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Open mike 04/06/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 4th, 2012 - 175 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step right up to the mike…

175 comments on “Open mike 04/06/2012 ”

  1. Save TVNZ 7?

    Clare Curran has been promoting a campaign to save TVNZ 7. There have been public meeetings around the country, there is one in Dunedin this Thursday night. I’ll have a chance to speak at that.

    Any ideas on TVNZ 7 and public broadcasting? For or against? Saveable or not? Innovate ideas for public broadcasting? Any worthwhile comments here will be added to the meeting mix.

    • Ad 1.1

      I honestly wouldn’t have a clue how my public dollar gets spent on television at all. My first step wouldn’t be save TV7. It would be abolish New Zealand On Air. Like charities, I would like to see all subsidized programs published, and be able to write to the television stations direct with my views on them.

      • BillODrees 1.1.1

        Kia ora there, AD. This is The Standard, and we have some for the vernacular also. One may “write to the television stations directly” nor “direct”.  tccch

      • Pete George 1.1.2

        From http://issues.co.nz/savetvnz7/

        TVNZ 7 would cost only $16.25m annually or 1 cent a day for each New Zealander. That’s a third of the budget for Maori TV.

        Is that good value for money, or could it be better spent?

        • Colonial Viper

          What’s your view?

          • Pete George

            I think we need some form of public television but tying it to TVNZ was a mistake, they didn’t want to encourage viewers to leave their advertisers. And I think this campaign is far too late, virtually no chance of getting the bill drawn from the ballot, and little chance of saving the exisitng failed experiment.

            I’d like to see the Save TVNZ 7 campaign used as a springboard for finding a better way of doing it, but with an integrated multi media approach and perhaps not tied to one 24/7 commercial free channel. So I’m looking for ideas on it.

            • Colonial Viper

              So did you have a better way to spend the $16.25M or not?

              • No, not at this stage. I have a few ideas, but so do others. I’d like to see some brainstorming, innovation, creativeness, some thinking out side the old MSM square, and see what people come up with.

    • Te Reo Putake 1.2

      I’ve got an idea Pete. How about Peter Dunne quits the Government and forces an early general election? That’ll save all sorts of public assets, including TVNZ7. As UF’s only public supporter you are in a unique position to make this happen.

      • mike e 1.2.1


      • Foreign Waka 1.2.2

        Would this not require personal integrity?

      • Can you imagine Peter Dunne leaving parliament for the final time? The security staff will be dragging him by his feet as he grabs every object he can to stop them. It will end with him holding on by his finger nail to the the last groove in the last brick.
        He will then be seen around Wellington, clothes disheveled, several weeks growth of beard, smelling of urine and muttering to himself – “They stole my precious, I mustz getz it back”.
        He will be drinking and drunk dialing MPs in the early hours of the morning – “No, I really love you, man….no, no, I really really love you man”.

        • Pete George

          William, you may have thought this might earn you some pats on the back from dogdicts of the blog, but it says far more about youself (and standards on The Standard) than anything. You might undo some of your self inflicted damage with a more circumspect followup.

          • William Joyce

            Peter Dunne gets elected for Labour but by 1994 they were not far enough on the right for him. So he leaves Labour and becomes an independent. 
            Peter Dunne – Party of …..?
            Then he establishes Future New Zealand (not to be confused with the other one). A party that will be remembered forever anytime someone mentions New Zealand politics. As effective as the Real Democracy Movement and the Co-operative party.
            Peter Dunne – Party of One
            In the middle of 1995 he joins the United New Zealand Party, party time Petie has some friends! They boldly go into the 1996 elections with a party of 7 MPs.
            But BHAM! The 1996 election sees United NZ almost becomes a footnote to history. Poor ol’ Peter. All his friends get blitzed in the 1996 election so again Dunne is alone – it wont be the last time.
            Peter Dunne – Party of One
            In 1999, Peter is the only United NZ candidate to get elected. He couldn’t bring anyone with him – it’s hard to do this when your party vote is only half of one percent!
            Peter Dunne – Party of One
            Desperate to have some friends he merges with Future New Zealand (not to be confused with the other one) to form United Future. Excellent choice.
            He gets some more friends in parliament in 2002 [whoot whoot]. But who does he side with? National? No, Labour – but I thought Labour weren’t right wing enough for him?
            But things aren’t perfect. All UF’s MPs are all political outliers, why not get some more. Let’s throw in Outdoor Recreation?

            Then we come to 2005. Let’s not forget that there was another cup of tea in Epsom before Key and Banks. Peter “Mr Integrity” Dunne met with Brash suggesting the idea that he would go with National. Understandable if you are on the centre-right – you would think so. But no, he went with Labour. I guess they had better baubles to offer him. Feign right then go left.
            UF wasn’t looking well though, down to three members. Not so much fun at the caucus meetings. Especially when Copeland left and the caucus was down to two. But hey, there was another election coming and it looks like there will be some new kids on the block. Time to make some new friends.

            In 2008 National had the better baubles. Dunne becomes a born-again rightie. The downside, he’s alone again – naturally.
            Peter Dunne – Party of One

            His new friends are good to him and left him slide into first at the 2011 election. But he’s still alone.
            Peter Dunne – Party of One

            Now, how seriously do you think I should take this man or his party, PG?
            Enough of a “A more circumspect followup” for you PG?
            BTW, WTF are dogdicts?

        • mickysavage

          I thought it was quite funny, and disturbingly likely …

      • Pete George 1.2.4

        An odd thread for you to choose to trolljack. Dunne has been a vocal supporter of TVNZ 7, public boradcasting and Clare’s campaign.

        And it would make a farce of our democratic MMP if he forced an early general election, so that’s a ridiculous suggestion.

        • Logie97

          So Dunne can be walked over at any cost? Seems the larger party would be abusing MMP.

        • mike e

          perpetual groveller it would show dunny has some integrity and the hair piece is just not a mouth piece for the murdochization of our Media.

        • felix

          Dunne has been a vocal supporter of TVNZ 7, public boradcasting and Clare’s campaign.

          Cool, so presumably he won’t be voting for whatever legislation winds it up.

          • Pete George

            As far as I’m aware there won’t be any legislation necessary. TVNZ 7 was set up for a fixed term, that term is simply coming to an end (in 25 days).

            It would take legislation to extend the funding for TVNZ 7 and there is nothing planned, except for Clare Curran’s belated private members bill that is unlikely to be even drawn from the ballot before the channel switches to being TV1 +1.

            If there was extension legislation to vote on I don’t know if Dunne would be free to vote how he liked because there would be financial implications, so their may be C&S constraints.

            • felix

              Yes, the budget was the legislation I was referring to.

              And this is just another in the long list of things he theoretically opposes but actually votes for.

              • He has to vote for the budget (like Maori Party and Act), them’s the coalition rules. If he didn’t MMP would become a democratic farce (much more than now).

                Upsetting the coalition, especially for something that in the whole scheme of things is very minor, would be ludicrous. Apart from a few wishful thinking subversives it would be widely condemned.

                • felix

                  Yes I understand he has to follow the coalition agreement, and that’s my point.

                  All his “vocal support” is just that: vocal and vocal only. Quite two-faced really, to be a “vocal supporter” of something you have absolutely no intention of actually supporting.

                  You can call it minor, and it is, but it’s become a familiar theme for Dunne. Seems there’s nothing he believes in that he would actually vote against the government to protect.

                  • Are you suggesting MPs should speak up about polcies they can’t vote on? That would render the opposition parties voiceless.

                    He has voted against National this term, he has indicated support for the Mondayisation bill, he is pushing for a super discussion (and has a commitment to one)…

                    • felix

                      “That would render the opposition parties voiceless.”

                      For someone who wants to be in parliament you really don’t have a fucking clue how any of this works.

                      Do you think it’s honest to speak out publicly against something and then vote for it or not?

      • Ad 1.2.5

        Well once you’ve finished with Peter Dunne, you can all go and form a coalition with that total nut job from the Mana Party. In the court of public opinion, which single candidate would you want the next government to rest on?

        • prism

          Hey Ad Hone Harawira is more true to doing a politicians job for the people he represents than many in the old established parties. His language requires reining in but then so do you when describing your opinions about him.

          • Ad

            Anyone holding back on Peter Dunne here?
            The site will have to learn to take it while dishing it.

      • yeshe 1.2.6

        trp, best idea of this full moon eclipse day ! think how famous he would become, and forever it shall be writ how he crossed the floor and tumbled donkey and how he enjoyed stronger hair than marilyn waring and saved assets and education ! and you, dear pete, can take all the credit ! go for it, please, please, please !! NOW !

    • Dr Terry 1.3

      Pete. I protested to the Minister for Broadcasting and received a reply which demonstrates that too many New Zealanders are boorish and uncultivated. Also, I have signed the petition as I hope every
      educated person will be sure to do.You will gather that I am FOR maintaining TVNZ 7 coverage. Otherwise, I shall have to turn to overseas outlets to learn anything about our world (which are likely to exclude this country).

  2. BillODrees 2

    Charter Schools are attracting the  “smart” investors in the US. Mitt Romney’s son Tagg(!) and Goldman Sachs are in. And naturally they are sucking the tax payer’s tit and gouging students to make sure they get the required RoI.  The Act party is getting its guidance from The Maxim Institute: those great advocates of probity. 




    • prism 2.1

      Everyone needs education to do anything in life. Therefore it is a constant business that is a reliable investment to speculate on. With so much money sloshing around among the top 10% they are desperate to get it placed in the proper niche with repeat good returns. And all the toilet paper manufacturing and sales options are taken.

  3. BillODrees 3

    Sick to the stomach that Michael Cullen accepted a silly knighthood. A man, with his sense of history and with a great reputation for both his intellectual ability and wit, should not have let his name be sullied by a tacky title.  Embarassing. 

    • Logie97 3.1

      Would be interesting to know who turned down an “honour”. That would make a much better read. Looks as though Key is running out of tall poppies now when you see names like Jackson having to have extra letters added … as a matter of interest what has Jackson done since LOR apart from facilitating an employment dispute?

      • Ad 3.1.1

        Key could do a political Benefit Cost on the whole honors system: for every family and charity whose vote-loyalty an award locks up, how many more are just pissed off that their favorite wasn’t rewarded?

      • mike e 3.1.2

        I’ll be funny when shonkey and dipstick retire in 2014 and miss out on knighthoods for ripping of the taxpayer.

      • Lanthanide 3.1.3

        “what has Jackson done since LOR apart from facilitating an employment dispute?”

        King Kong, The Lovely Bones, Tintin.

        • Ad

          … and spinoff the entire digital game industry in Wellington (and generally conduct from the centre the only sign of economic life in the entire Wellington region), a few Academy Awards, and be the single most important non-agricultural entrepreneur we have.

        • Vicky32

          King Kong, The Lovely Bones, Tintin.

          Not one of them worth the money, IMO….

        • mike e

          he’s made his fortune on the back of continual handouts going right back to his early days.

      • prism 3.1.4

        Logie97 Come on. Jackson has done a lot for NZ despite pissing you off and holding back on offering wage rises as required. Actors get emotional, that’s their job. Technicians get real that’s their job. NZ ran the risk of not having any film jobs and others also , from Jackson et al. Didn’t he offer you the part you wanted. Pout, pout.

        • Logie97

          Bit personal there Prism. It would appear you may be the actor the way you change your spots on this site. FYI I have never set foot on the boards.

          • prism

            Hi Logie97
            Not an actor no. But I would like to see others having this opportunity so tend to support Peter Jackson rather than badmouthing him.

    • Carol 3.2

      I haven’t even looked to see who has been put on this list of people receiving these outdated, imperialistic, autocratic cluster of awards.

      Irrelevant, unnecessary.

      • Logie97 3.2.1

        Cullen has been the subject of much vitriol from the likes of Key over the last few years. Charged with pursuing a policy of retiring public debt in the good times rather than giving out large tax cuts to the citizens and also of wasting “vast sums” of “mums and dads” money on fruitless projects. Now, apparently, his services to stewardship of the public purse warrant a knighthood …

      • just saying 3.2.2

        Best not to Carol. Bad for the blood pressure.

        It seems they have extended the “services and devotion to the richest a*%#-holes” category so it’s nearly as big as the “filthy rich snots – they who are serviced” category.

        (Apologies to any recipients who are decent human beings who deserve recognition for long, unselfish service to others – I wasn’t able to keep reading read that far down the list..)

      • Dr Terry 3.2.3

        Carol, you would be well advised not to look, it is predictably horrifying. But I cannot resist telling you that the foremost recipient of an “honour” is none other than the Duke of Edinburgh.
        It is simply not fair to expect an old bigot to learn, in his ninety’s, where N.Z. is, and who is the Governor-General, let alone that our people are busy clearing out to Australia (wherever that is)! Nevertheless, I bet he knows just who is the vastly wealthy and sycophantic John Key!

    • Foreign Waka 3.3

      au contraire, I like to congratulate Sir Michael Cullen to the recognition of which he is very deserving. Considering that no one seem to recognize his efforts in this country (tall poppy syndrome?) it is even more significant that the outside world seem to understand what great work he has done. Maybe an order of New Zealand is old fashioned, but at least it gives honor where honor is due. New Zealanders are not very good at celebrating people with intellect. What pleases me is that his effort has not been misused by the right and he has maintained his integrity through ought his carrier.

      • Ad 3.3.1


        Cullen was The Man for 9 years in power. Budget surplus and low public debt, save the rail system, lock in a good few Treaty settlements, juggle massive portfolios. English doesn’t deserve to polish his shoes.

        • Anne

          plus me:

          It may be an old fashioned anachronistic honours system, but it is the one we have, and Michael Cullen is probably the most deserving recipient this time around.

          Congratulations Michael.

    • Even more embarrassing is Prince Philip appointed to the Order of New Zealand. What has he done for us? Farcical.

      • Fortran 3.4.1

        The longest jail sentence on earth.

      • Murray Olsen 3.4.2

        The Order of New Zealand doesn’t even have to be about NZ. It can be for services to the Crown. I suspect that Phil serviced the Crown a few times when there was nothing else available for the lecherous old racist.

        • mickysavage

          Beg to differ.  The award is for services to “Crown and Nation“.  I can’t see how Philly boy could qualify.

          • Murray Olsen

            Apparently he qualifies by being Air Marshall of the RNZAF, that sterling force which sent officers to Duntroon to lecture the RAAF cadets on the dangers of socialism under Labour governments and how NZ would never get a much desired free trade agreement with the yanks unless we stepped up to defend freedom by letting nuclear ships back in.
            But yeah, thanks Mickey, I knew that but couldn’t resist a weak attempt at humour.
            I don’t think we should have these ridiculous colonial awards anyway, so if giving the old lecher one wakes people up, that could be a good thing.

            • mickysavage


              I wish Cullen did not accept the award.  To me a “Knight” or a “Dame” is a person who in the past subjected ordinary people to terror so that the privileged could retain their power.  I much prefer a society where people do not have fancy titles but earn recognition through their contribution to the common good. 

          • lprent

            apart from the obvious?

    • Dr Terry 3.5

      BillODrees. Embarrassing and despicable, especially for changing his story, and for ingratiating himself to John Key. He must live with himself, but will Labour be able to live with this?

      • Dr Terry 3.5.1

        Bill has disappeared! Comments right out of order again. The above (hopefully) was a reference to Cullen. I bet his ingratiating supporters are not members of Labour! Now let me ask, does anyone recall what Key has done/is doing/ will do to the “Cullen Fund for Superannuation”? Well, just as well that today they are great mates!

      • BillODrees 3.5.2

        Kia ora Dr Terry, i was busy all day walking around my Earldom, waving at the peasants.

        The Labour Party can make itself relevant again by clearly dis-connecting itself from all the processes and trappings around the whole royalty and title thing. I suspect Shearer was consulted by Key, or even possibly nominated people for these silly things. Helen stopped all that crap: Labour should not have a bar of any aspect of it.


    • muzza 3.6

      Bill, they are all answerable to the “father land”

      Being that the Queen is not even English, I find it facinating the number of people who do not know that, and who also fawn over the royal cabal!

      So Prince Phillip gets an ONZ – Just to ensure we know who rules over us, hint no he is not English either, many people aware aware of this fact, but seem to see it as insigifigant the fact that his parents were N.A.Z.I’s, and that the comments Phillip has made over the decades, the true expression of a man who represents everything, so many people believe no longer exists!

      • Vicky32 3.6.1

        Just to ensure we know who rules over us, hint no he is not English either,

        Which is why he’s known in our family as Nick the Greek, and always has been.. 😀

        • Populuxe1

          Aside from being racist, it’s also inaccurate. If you must go by ethnicity, Mountbatten, ie Battenberg, is German.

          • muzza

            “Aside from being r*cist, it’s also inaccurate. If you must go by ethnicity, Mountbatten, ie Battenberg, is German.”

            –Pop, yes the fact you think the post was r*scist, simply shows the level of defects you have.

            By all means keep responding to posts, and affirming your psyche, while adding, doesn;t know the meanings of words onto the list of things your posts give you away as.

            I suspect your projection speaks loud and clear, because r*scisim (yours), and aggression (your rifle comments), are close cousins, or ignorance and stupidity!
            Perhaps like the royal family you are inbred, as it tends to create psychological defects!

            Keep up the fine work

  4. Carol 4

    I’m pleased to see Metiria Turei getting some MSM coverage for her speeches at the Green Party conference.

    I have voted Greens the last few elections, but, with the ascendency of Russel Norman, and the related shift towards the centre, I am reconsidering my (limited) options for party vote next election.

    I am not happy about the way the MSM and many in the beltway are promoting Norman as the de facto leader of the Greens, while Turei has been far less publicly visible.

    A lot of the reason for this is the patriarchal way (most usually male) holders of finance/economy portfolios and responsibilities within parties are usually foregrounded as being the most important players, next to, or even along side the PM or party leader.

    The money people should be technicians….. people who work out whether party policies are financially feasible, and/or how to finance said policies. The policies on how to organise the country and the values such policies are based on should come first. They shouldn’t be the ones that dictate how a country is run.

    The things Turei has been talking about, and the issues on a lot of people’s minds these days, to do with poverty, a fair, democratic, quality and accessible-to-all education system, jobs paying fair wages for all that want them, and an income for all that enables a decent living standard, decent housing etc.


    Mrs Turei promised that if elected, Greens would give the children of beneficiaries an in-work tax credit, and would extend paid parental leave to six months.

    She emphasised the importance of education as a strategic investment for children, and said the party would repeal controversial changes such as class size.

    The Greens co-leader also made a rare personal criticism of Social Development Minister Paula Bennett, saying her welfare reforms belittled women.

    “For all the modern feminist advances we have made, the solo mum remains the primary target for society’s most vitriolic personal attacks – led these days by Paula Bennett who knows only too well how much it hurts, but plunges the knife in anyway.”

    • Ad 4.1

      It could simply be that Norman is a better politician than Turei – a real measure of success is whether you can command public opinion through the media. Patriarchy didn’t stop Clark.

      • Carol 4.1.1

        That so women have been able to do this indicates that there are still strong patriarchal tendencies. Clark had to work hard over many years to get that cut through, and to put up with a lot of sexist smears.

        Define “better politician” without reference to being able to get onside with the media, and the related dominant discourses and establishment?

        It is a skewed playing field.

        • just saying

          The media is acting as if Turei was the deputy and not the co-leader. I think this is something the Greens need to acknowedge and act to ameliorate in any ways they can, if they want the co-leadership system to be more than window-dressing.

        • Ad

          I agree it is a skewed playing field. Patriarchy still exists, and the media is part of it.

          But you can’t define politician in absence of the media (mainstream or otherwise). By definition media are the mediators, not just the amplifiers. It’s simply a skill you must have to be an effective politician.

          But don’t make excuses for Turei. You know how supportive the Green Party is to its leaders. It’s a hothouse environment. There’s plenty out there who should have been leaders, but couldn’t make the actual step.

          It really is time to test Green policy and Green leadership really hard, because it’s just two years now before it all goes live.

          • just saying

            I don’t give a stuff who the media have ordained. The Green Party has chosen to elect co-leaders. They either take action to make that mean something, or the management devolves into a kind of 1950s marriage. With a little woman.

            Turei is a force to be reckoned with, and often makes Russel look like a light-weight by comparison.

            • alex

              I think in general terms Turei is more of the leader within the party organisation, and Norman is more of the leader in the media. They have balanced their roles quite nicely, as it would make no sense to have them competing for the same airtime.

              • just saying

                Sounds a bit like ‘keeps the home-fires burning’. Why does there need to be such a division of labour?
                And ‘complimentary roles,’ as an excuse for sexism, is as old as the hills.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Its not a bad thing having clear roles. That way you are not sending out contradictory messages to the press or to the party internally. People like to know who is doing what, and who they should go to for different issues.

                • Carol

                  Yes, js, and interesting also, that Turei’s speech this weekend is a powerful exposé of the continuing history of sexism and belittling of women in NZ. She frames her speech in feminist terms:


                  The Suffragists were clear – women have the right to economic independence whether she chooses to stay home to care for her children or chooses to work, whether she has a partner or not.

                  She has autonomy. She exercises her self-determination.
                  Many women in Aotearoa are still living in the shadow of discrimination, exclusion, racism. If we shine a light in their direction we find:

                  – New Zealand women are still paid 13% less than men doing a similar job
                  -1 in 3 New Zealand women will have a violent partner in her lifetime
                  – 1 in 5 women will experience sexual violence
                  – 232,000 New Zealand women live in poverty
                  – 70 percent of women’s work is unpaid

                  And for Māori, Pacific and disabled women the numbers are much worse.

                  For all the very real gains women have made in the last century, there are glaring gaps – gaps that fuel inequality, injustice and poverty.
                  The National Government tells New Zealanders every day that women, especially mums on their own, are weak, incompetent and incapable.
                  Working equitably alongside men in our caucus and our party, the Greens are here for women, young and old, for mothers and for nannies.

                  Holly is touring Aotearoa showing the Inside Child Poverty documentary in a town near you so we confront and deal with the realities of poverty on women and their children.

                  Jan and Denise are working with women from unions and community networks to expose the impact of National’s low wage obsession on women and children.

                  Mojo is blazing a trail through the veil of discrimination for all women with disabilities and for the mothers of children with disabilities.

                  Eugenie is working with women who are standing up for our rivers so our kids can swim in clean water, women who want our rivers wild and free, where tuna can grow old and wise like our kuia.

                  Julie Anne has taken the government to task over failed transport plans and is championing smart green transport to make it safe for our kids to walk and cycle to school.

                  And Catherine is challenging the vicious cuts in education, exposing the ‘class warfare’ waged by Hekia Parata and presenting families with education solutions that respect their children’s learning.

                  Women are fierce. Our transformation is in our hands.

                  So, when is the MSM going pay more attention to these women, and to Turei who has made some of the best speeches on social justice, in and outside parliament in recent years?

                  And Turei was speaking about the plight for male and female children in poverty, and/or households on low incomes:

                  We are staring, not into a gap but a chasm – one driven deeper and wider by a Government hell bent on making those who can least afford it pay.

                  Ours is a country where, for many kids, a pair of new school shoes is a pipe dream.

                  – Where, just last month, a Northland doctor wrote of children in his neighbourhood seen scrabbling through a pig slop bucket for something to eat
                  – Where Maori kids are 23 times as likely as non Maori to suffer acute rheumatic fever – a third world disease
                  -Where poor kids are one-and-a-half times as likely to die in childhood than other children
                  -Where four out of five families have struggled at some time to have enough food.

                  For hundreds of thousands of our littlest people, Aotearoa is empty of the hope that the rest of us base our dreams on.

                  But this is not a place where people are poor because they make bad choices, as Key has said.

                  We refuse to blame our children for being vulnerable and hungry.

                  • Ad

                    The above replies are right and support your excerpts. This is a speech for playing to the internal base. The MSM will never ever do a story on that kind of speech unless she starts reading out the SCUM manifesto. Division of labour like this is good if you are to achieve political scale.

                  • weka

                    Ae, Turei is awesome. I really wish someone on the left would go after the women’s vote. But it’s a conflict for The Greens. Who do you think that middle NZ is going to like better: a charming, white, middle class man, or a radical, staunch Maori woman? Obviously both those are needed, but I’m not sure how The Greens should best balance that.
                    I am glad to hear that Turei is getting good media coverage though, and thanks for posting about this Carol.

    • muzza 4.2

      Greens co-leader Russel Norman told TV3’s The Nation mining was part of the economy that could not be escaped.

      ”It’s part of life, like you know look at things all around us,” he said

      — A message those sucked in by the Greens, past , present, future..

      Your intentions were well meaning, as perhaps were some of the “Green MP”S, but that is not why the political movement exists!

      Its politics people, not matter the colour they fly, its all smoke and mirrors!

      • Ad 4.2.1

        Just makes me like Norman more. Now he can ideologically own the steel and aluminum that forms his pushbike, the rare earths that form his Apple machines, the fine clays in his toothpaste. Muzza he just owned up to being a modern human being.

        • Colonial Viper

          Yeah. Those anti-mining types who drive around in new Toyota Prius make me roll my eyes. Does their Prius not run on petrol? Use a steel and aluminium chasis? Contain a battery which holds kilograms of lithium and a dozen other precious minerals, and which needs to be completely replaced every few years? Upholstered with plastics and cabin parts derived from hydrocarbons?

          I gotta respect Norman for this. As you say Ad…he just owned up to life in a modern civilisation.

        • muzza

          Ad – People will make all the excuses in the world in the name of hope, and not having to get directly invovled. Its why our so called democracy has been so successful for the elites (apathy).

          I guess time will tell on the signifigance if Normans comments, again Ill keep them for future reference..

          If NZ continues to mine and does, not become a “wealthier” country all round for it (as a minimum)…What will the so called greens then say about mining?

          Because if we don’t become collectively wealthier on the back end of mining our country, then we will have collectively become a whole lot poorer…Guess who will have pocketed the difference!

          • weka

            The Greens have always been pragmatic like this. I remember Rod Donald talking about using coal-fired trains on the West Coast as a tourism initiative to replace other jobs losses there. This is why people who criticise the Greens as being extremists or wanting to ban everything are idiots.
            Re the mining. There is a difference between mining to make money, and mining to access minerals to use ourselves. The former is majorly problematic, the latter is a necessity as we powerdown. Of course fairly soon we are going to start mining landfills, so the situation might not be as dire as we think in the medium term.
            The debate about mining in NZ should also be about ethics. Are we really going to say that it’s ok for us to ban mining here and buy our minerals from elsewhere? Ditto oil drilling. We can only legitimately ban deep sea oil drilling here if at the same time we lessen our desire for oil.
            What Norman is doing in that Herald article is quite smart. He’s using the mining issue to talk about peak oil, and doing so in a way that won’t scare the horses.
            I’m not so worried about the Greens selling out on something like this. They still have enough integrity as they move towards the centre, and by the time they get enough power to influence mining policy, there will be space on the left for more radical voices again to keep them honest.

            • muzza

              “Im not so worried about the Greens selling out on something like this. They still have enough integrity as they move towards the centre, and by the time they get enough power to influence mining policy, there will be space on the left for more radical voices again to keep them honest.”

              –Yup the problem is in your own words Weka…They have to drift to the centre, then another “left” entity fills the space, and so it goes on…fantastic system keeing “the centrists”, just comfortable enough to ensure that little change is possible.
              Whatch what you see as integrity eek away, with any drift to the centre….

              What really changes for NZ in a positive sense, NOTHING!

          • Draco T Bastard

            If NZ continues to mine and does, not become a “wealthier” country all round for it (as a minimum)…What will the so called greens then say about mining?

            Under capitalist systems the majority of people will continue to get poorer and, as the Greens seem to have gone full capitalist, that’s where them and me part company.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2

        Mining is a part of the economy. No way we can change that unless we stop doing most of the stuff that modern technology allows us to do and go back to being totally agrarian. What we need to do is change the way mining is done so that there is less damage to the environment and do more recycling so that we can minimise the amount of mining we do.

        • Colonial Viper

          What we need to do is change the way mining is done so that there is less damage to the environment and do more recycling so that we can minimise the amount of mining we do.

          Just designing and making stuff so that it lasts longer than a year before breaking would help no end.

          • weka

            I’d like to see how much of the minerals mined in NZ get used here.

            • Draco T Bastard

              SFA. Most of them are sold overseas with most of the money going to foreign corporations and the government getting a small cut. That’s why I figure we can easily support ourselves with far less work than we presently do.

              • weka

                Yeah, that’s what I figured. Would be good to see an analysis somewhere. A quick look at wiki shows that our biggest ‘mining’ is for aggregate for roading. People don’t think about that one very much. But that and coal aside, what minerals do we have here and in what quantities that we could use ourselves?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Iron. Gas, condensates. Gold.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  But that and coal aside, what minerals do we have here and in what quantities that we could use ourselves?


                  Lead and Zinc
                  Rare earth
                  Limestone, mable and dolomite

                  Not all of those would be commercially viable but they do have one attribute that imports don’t have – we already own them (as long as the government doesn’t sell them off – unfortunately, this government certainly will and Labour governments haven’t been much better).

                  Reading some of the reports it’s obvious that our government has only considered who it can export the unprocessed minerals to rather than what we can do with it ourselves. With the proper investment in infrastructure and R&D we could certainly improve our position over what being a supply depot at the bottom end of the world can do for us by developing the skills and knowledge to use those resources ourselves.

                  • prism

                    DTB This para sayd so much about NZ needed direction for the future.

                    Reading some of the reports it’s obvious that our government has only considered who it can export the unprocessed minerals to rather than what we can do with it ourselves. With the proper investment in infrastructure and R&D we could certainly improve our position over what being a supply depot at the bottom end of the world can do for us by developing the skills and knowledge to use those resources ourselves.

                • prism

                  Aggregate for roading – road metal – is a big user of mining. How much does the environment change as a result of the removal of tonnes of rounded stones to use as mulch, feature spaces outside businesses and residences? Won’t be long before some will want to mine the mountains to put on their garden.

          • prism

            Yes CV I have got a number of moans about the quality of appliances available these days but I think that electric jugs take the prize. They will have a beautifully finished metal body but plastic lids and bases. Then the button that lifts the lid will break etc.

            On a recent one water oozed out of the clear water-line panel. I decided to keep it as a drip watering gizmo for my plants. I am at present using the jug with the broken lid control as it still goes so what the heck.

      • Vicky32 4.2.3

        A message those sucked in by the Greens, past , present, future..

        Do you mean ‘a message FOR those sucked in’? Yes, I agree. (I am not one of those sucked in, I always distrust the Greens..)

    • Dr Terry 4.3

      Carol. Yes, fair comment. I moved to Greens, but would be ever so much happier (as a male!) to see Turei leading the Party. Ms Turei’s comment and analysis is a delight to hear/read; while she cares about the economy, she actually CARES ABOUT DISADVANTAGED PEOPLE. One must highlight this, as it is all so rare in politics these days.

  5. alex 5

    Hi Standardistas
    Pete George was asking if anyone could provide him with a record of either English or Key talking up the virtues of our low wage economy. If anyone can find a link to these records, please answer his question here:

  6. North 6

    It is hilarious that Dame Margaret Bazley should be appointed an additional member of the Order of New Zealand for “services to New Zealand”.

    The last thing she did of significance but certainly not to say the public good was to put her name to Simon Power’s already written fictitious report on criminal legal aid, essentially a catalogue of crap which Bazley herself acknowledged was largely anecdotal and unproven. Still, as a “senior and respected civil servant” – that’s how Power billed her – she put her name to it.

    Power, then Collins used this report to demonise criminal legal aid lawyers so as to avoid any public accountability for their destruction of the right of the poor to equal access to justice. They got away with it.

    The spin said the changes would retain experienced lawyers already within the criminal legal aid system and attract experienced lawyers not already within it. The big headline of course contained the promise to weed out the crooks.

    To my knowledge there have been 5 or 6 lawyers who have been pinged and disciplined. So much for the never quantified but impliedly asserted huge numbers of lawyers ripping the system.

    Most criminal legal aid lawyers including those with 20-40 years experience never much exceeded the $100K annual before tax income anyway. There are numerous examples of income dropping by as much as 60%. What other service sector would suffer that ?

    Of course many are getting out, more particularly amongst those with 20-40 years experience,
    leaving inexperienced youngsters (not to criticise them personally) who simply haven’t developed the skills. So much for retain and attract. Thank you Dame Margaret. Care to apologise now for the lies you put your name to ?

    Any District Court judge could verify that the criminal legal aid system is now severely damaged and shambolic with daily instances of these allegedly imperative changes actually increasing cost.

    Throw lie after lie at the public then toss the baby out with the bath water then blame the nanny is a tactic deployed in criminal legal aid well before it was in education.

    Services to New Zealand indeed ! Services to John Key and the 1% in reality.

    • Ad 6.1

      With apologies to Mickey:

      OK everyone a collective weep for the Defence lawyers.

      • North 6.1.1

        Uwittingly Ad you prove my point.

        Your childish exhortation to “weep for the defence lawyers” is not what I ask. I ask you to be informed and concerned about changes to the criminal legal aid system which make it harder for the poor to access equal justice. I only cite the lawyers to demonstrate that experienced and skilled lawyers will be lost rather than retained and gained.

        The Power/Collins/Bazley snow job on the public has worked on you beautifully to the point where you’re immediately moved to throw shit at defence lawyers and not even contemplate considering through adult eyes what these changes will do to poor people.

        Congratulations on being owned by Power/Collins/Bazley.

        You and your petty ilk are the very group foreseen by them as foot soldiers by whose unthinking, childish commentary they would escape accountability for making it harder for the poor to access equal justice.

        You see now why I say you prove my point ? Further point – there must be someone in your family, friends who has needed or will in the future need a legal aid lawyer. Can you honestly tell me you’d rather have that person’s fate in the hands of someone inexperienced over some one experienced ? Live a little outside your pathetic blinkered world mate.

        • Ad

          Really? You got all that from two lines? No wonder you’re a Defence lawyer.

          Anyone seen the legal system go down in a heap recently? No?

          You guys are just going through what the rest of the entire public sector are going through.

          Your degree of bloodrush emotion simply shows you need to step back a bit, perhaps pop your own bubble if you don’t like it being done, and actually acknowledge that reform needed to happen.

          • North

            Have you looked at the changes, do you know what they are, are you aware of the consequences before you of all people talk about emotion ? Power/Collins/Bazley relied and continue to rely on the emotion you resort to in your facile responses, as planned by them.

            Just the little matter too of the Chief District Court judge being moved to formally register a number of concerns with the Ministry of Justice about the damage already observed and accruing to the legal aid system overall.

            Reform “needed to happen”, like class sizes needed to increase, what ?

            “Let them eat cake…..” covers it ? Well we have something much greater to protect here than indulging you as a spin-puppet, Ad.

          • Jackal

            Yes! Reform did need to happen. But as we have seen from many other sectors, National is only interested in reform to save money. In fact they often fail to undertake proper research into the effect of their reforms, and the result is operational failures.

            A recent legal aid lawyers’ survey found:

            Changes to the legal aid system: 72% disagreed with the introduction of fixed fees as a method of paying lawyers for some of their legal aid work, and 54% disagreed with proposals to tighten eligibility for criminal and family legal aid.

            Intended impacts of changes: 75% did not agree that measures being taken to control legal aid expenditure would maintain access to justice, 71% did not agree that fixed fees would help achieve earlier resolution of legal aid cases, and 65% did not agree that ‘rotational’ assignment of less serious criminal legal aid cases would lead to more experienced lawyers doing legal aid work.

            Implementation of changes: 71% were dissatisfied overall with the way the changes were being implemented. More specifically, 79% were dissatisfied with a new application and approval process introduced in 2011 which requires lawyers to apply to the Ministry of Justice providing evidence of their experience and competence; and 62% were dissatisfied with the 2010 introduction of ‘rotational’ assignment for less serious criminal legal aid cases.

            The outcomes after reformation is undertaken seems irrelevant to the right-wings idealogical march towards increased austerity.

            • North

              Well done Jackal !

              Bottom line – experienced lawyers are leaving legal aid, the reverse of the promised outcome – for the poor, reduced access to equal justice.

              In case anyone wants to say that’s down to legal aid lawyers bailing because they’re not on the sweet wicket they were, consider this: reduction in earnings by 50-60% to a figure before tax at or below the national average wage, this after 20-40 years experience……..ask yourself .

  7. Dr Terry 7

    North. So we observe bad behaviour being rewarded.

    • North 7.1

      Dr Terry, yes, you got it (unlike Ad)………the reprehensible behaviour of powering up spin/lies by lending one’s high public reputation and esteem to the spin/lies………more reprehensible when the patently obvious consequence of doing so would assist the further distancing of the poor from equal access to justice.

      In comparison it can’t be said that the TV fellow Richard Long knew or should have known that Hanover Finance was gonna crumble when by his paid prosletysing he added grist to its mill.

      The only other explanation in relation to Dame Margaret is incompetence. I don’t seriously suggest that. Either way however, why the supreme honour, as an additional member of the Order what’s more.

  8. prism 8

    On Radionz a patent lawyer was talking about NZs past successes with inventions such as Gallaghers electric fence. The speaker had some suggestions to make to improve our sorry rate of patent applications now. Among them was investment for start-ups, angels who get behind ideas. Tax credits for R&D also.

    I am sure we will definitely have good results from this and something to bolster us when the milk starts to flood us out of our homes. He also commented on how we undervalue our intellectual capital. It is cheaper for overseas corporates to buy up a NZ company which has intellectual assets than develop themselves. Of course we lose the initiative there, and he says one company sold for $10 million but its patents were worth much more.

    An ecologist was also on air this morning commenting on the favourable report on the dairy industry that was released some time ago which only referred to the positive aspects and did not mention much less attempt to cost the externalities of pollution and mono-culture and depletion of rivers. He is seeing fish decline dramatically from rivers etc.

    We need to keep thinking about these things. Our leaders personalities, not so great, get people riled up but these politicians are all smoke and mirrors. They learn magic tricks of legerdemain, keep the audience watching the moving hands or lips, and they won’t see the elephant in the room. How zat for mixed metaphors. I might get a knighthood or something next year for being the best person at a very unimportant skill.

    How come so many sportspeople are getting gongs? We might as well start giving those awards to champion livestock. They are better looking, they are good earners for the country, and best in their field.

    • Vicky32 8.1

      How come so many sportspeople are getting gongs? We might as well start giving those awards to champion livestock. They are better looking, they are good earners for the country, and best in their field.


      • Dr Terry 8.1.1

        Re sportspeople. You must recognise that these are our gods! Thus McCaw got an hon. Doctoral Degree for Rugby. (Modestly, he intends not to refer to himself as “Dr McCaw). Now Kirwan a knighthood for Rugby (and, on account of his moderate depression, services to mental health; somehow I don’t think this entered the equation anyway). Highest “honours” should certainly go to livestock which really do serve our country better!.

        • North

          Leave McCaw alone – he did the honourable thing and declined – it was Key who sought to bask in Richie’s glory by offering him one in the first place and then going public about doing so. He used the man actually.

          You know, the potential for photo opportunities, clothing himself in Richie’s machismo……..what a simpering, mincing thing is that John Key ?

          And then I gotta say John Kirwan is a GENUINELY good and humble man. If we’re gonna have the bullshit practice anyway why reserve it for rich thieves and crooks and Key lickers.

          On the ligher side there was NZ born Nancy Wake (that wartime heroine who faced some question on Ozzie TV about her yet again not being honoured – as it happened during Howard’s time) –
          “What, I wouldn’t accept an honour from that BASTARD Howard anyway!”

          Go Nancy !

  9. weka 9

    More from the Green Party conference

    The Green Party has revealed that its monthly donations have tripled in the past six years, adding more fuel to its belief it is transforming from a minor party into a political force.


    Departing co-convener of the party Roland Sapsford – the equivalent of a party president – said that since the Greens’ general election disappointment in 2005, the party had become a more professional group that was attracting greater financial support.


    In June 2006, the party gained $5000 a month in automatic payments. Now the party is collecting $18,000 a month, despite difficult economic conditions.


    Mr Sapsford said that in the 2005 election, when the party lost three seats, Greens raised $600,000 and were in debt of $35,000 six months after the election.
    In the 2011 election, the party raised more than $1 million, and the party was now in surplus of $335,000, Mr Sapsford said.


  10. Penny Bright 10

    Seen this article by Professor Prem Sikka – on the Guardian website “Auditors must be held to account”?

    (Professor Prem Sikka
    Professor of Accounting
    Centre for Global Accountability
    Essex Business School
    University of Essex)

    The by-line is that “The shareholder spring is the perfect time to challenge the poor performance of unscrutinised accountancy firms”. It argues that auditing firms continue to fail but collect vast fees. Parliamentary committees have accused major accountancy firms of “dereliction of duty” “complacency” and basking in a culture of “box ticking”, but their gravy train rolls-on. The article encourages a greater scrutiny and accountability of their performance.

    The article is available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/31/auditors-held-account-shareholder-spring

    • mike e 11.1

      PB the same spring clean out should happen at treasury.A $75 million dollar budget for us to be lied to and ripped off .

  11. Populuxe1 12

    I would like some debate on John Pilger’s lastest utterance. Does he have a point, or has his personal obsessions blinded him to basic justice?

    • Vicky32 12.1

      I would like some debate on John Pilger’s lastest utterance. Does he have a point, or has his personal obsessions blinded him to basic justice?

      Lolwut? What’s your point? As always, Pilger is perfectly correct…

      • Populuxe1 12.1.1

        Really? Your pseudo-Christian prejudices aside, can you not keep two ideas in your head at the same time?

        • Vicky32

          Really? Your pseudo-Christian prejudices aside, can you not keep two ideas in your head at the same time?

          Yep, your snipe was directed at me… But seriously, what’s your problem with what Pilger’s saying? Do you think he’s anti-gay? Because that’s not what he’s saying at all, simply that gay marriage is not the issue, and that there are things that are much more important.
          Also, there’s nothing pseudo about my Christianity.

    • Murray Olsen 12.2

      I think Pilger does have a point, especially when he writes of the hypocrisy of Blair and Obama, who have never stopped to think of the sexual preferences of those they have criminally killed. However, I still think gay marriage is an important issue and one worth fighting for, even though I don’t give a toss about the institution of marriage. I feel it is important to strive for what he calls bourgeois rights, even if only to show how limited they are and that they do nothing to guarantee the rights to a free and fair society. I think it is important to push capitalism to its limits in all directions and organise to supplant it. Oh, and the idea of gay marriage annoys the bigots as well, so that’s a happy side effect.

      • Vicky32 12.2.1

        However, I still think gay marriage is an important issue and one worth fighting for, even though I don’t give a toss about the institution of marriage.

        As I am one of those ‘bigots’ (or so you and others have/would call me) I think you’ve missed the point as much as Populuxe seems to. Self-indulgence is infinitely less important than life and death issues such as – oh, the naqba!

        “On 12 May, in Sydney, Australia, home of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, a protest parade in support of gay marriage filled the city centre. The police looked on benignly. It was a showcase of liberalism. Three days later, there was to be a march to commemorate the Nakba (“The Catastrophe’), the day of mourning when Israel expelled Palestinians from their land.  A police ban had to be overturned by the Supreme Court.”

        Do grow up! Tanties about your sex life come a distant way down the list of importance, from people being killed!

        • Murray Olsen

          1. I never called you a bigot. If you wish to describe yourself as such, go for it.
          2. This has nothing to do with my sex life.
          3. I wish I had your ability to sum up the whole of a person’s views and maturity from one post. Where can I get it from?

          • muzza

            “3. I wish I had your ability to sum up the whole of a person’s views and maturity from one post. Where can I get it from?”

            –If more people had those sorts of abilities, humanity would not be in the predicament its in now.

            You can’t learn it, and it cant be taught!

            The gay marriage issue is a sideshow, and illustrates nicely how the elites keep the simple people at eachother, while trying so very hard to show how “liberal or tendy” they are!

            • Murray Olsen

              I’m very aware of how the ruling class use the issue, thank you very much. I’m also aware that many gay activists are active in other areas, even though they’re often told by some on the left that they are just a side show.
              As for summing people up from one post or one look, that’s what the police do. Are you saying if they did it more, the world would be a better place?

        • Populuxe1

          Yeah Vicky, and all those Suffragettes who enabled you to vote should have bloody well not gone of message about Boer War atrocities, aye?

        • Dr Terry

          Yes, Vicky! Absolutely right and to the point. Good to see you holding out so well in this “discussion”.

      • Populuxe1 12.2.2

        I agree that Same Sex Marriage has been abused by the pollies as a bit of a smoke screen, but I greatly resent it being brushed off as some bourgeois frippery. I think this is a good response http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4023802.html

      • Carol 12.2.3

        +1. MO. And, while I’m not a champion of marriage, as it currently stands, it should be equally available to all. To not allow this is a measure of the underlying homophobia in society. I think some people just don’t realise how debilitating anti-gay prejudice can be. It results in suicides, and on occasion, being killed by others. But there’s many kinds of nastiness that’s dished out to some gay people.

        And, I’m sure it’s no accident that Pilger chose Manning as an alternative issue, to represent the lethal results of capitalism.

        Manning is gay, and suffered some extreme bullying in the military, when it became known. It is also likely that the homophobia he experienced in the military had an influence on his decision to leak the documents. It certainly was one of the main causes of him becoming disaffected with the US military:


        “It took them a while, but they started figuring me out, making fun of me, mocking me, harassing me, heating up with one or two physical attacks,” Manning wrote to ZJ.
        New online conversations between a gay activist and Bradley Manning, the US soldier suspected of passing secret diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks, allege Manning was being bullied in the military over his sexuality.

        The 2009 weblogs, sent from Fort Drum, the upstate New York barracks where Manning was preparing to be sent to Iraq as an intelligence analyst, give new insight into his state of mind around the time he is alleged to have contacted WikiLeaks.
        In the cyber conversations with ZJ Manning also says he was shocked by life in the army when first recruited.

        “The army took me, a web dev, threw me into a rigid schedule, removed me from my digital self,” posted Manning. “The army … threw me in the forests of Missouri for 10 weeks with an old M-16, Reagan-era load-bearing equipment and 50 twanging people hailing from places like Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi … joy. What the hell did I put myself through?”

        • Dr Terry

          Private Manning is a world hero, but looks like being made a martyr, just like virtuous leaders of WikiLeaks.

  12. Te Reo Putake 13

    Poll out on One News, National down four points, Shearer up in the preferred PM.

    • One News breathlessly speculated whether National will change everything due to one new poll, but National won’t be too worried about this one.

      National 47
      Labour 33
      Green Party 13
      NZ First 2
      Maori Party 1
      Act 1
      Mana 1

      Still not as low as the recent Roy Morgan, and the same as they got in the election.

      Results with comparisons with the last poll and with Roy Morgan.

      • Pascal's bookie 13.1.1

        One News breathlessly speculated whether National will change everything due to one new poll, but National won’t be too worried about this one.

        Didn’t see it. It’s odd though that their on-line report would be so different. There is no breathless speculation here:


        “What’s interesting about this poll is we’ve seen plenty of controversies this year for National to have to contend with – the likes of the convention centre, the John Banks saga, Nick Smith – that didn’t seem to hurt them in the polls whatsoever. Not this time.”

        But Dann does not think the result will force the Government to rethink its policies.

        “I think National will try and get back on the horse – they know last week was a bit of a disaster public relations-wise – and try and win that argument which they say is about quality teachers over quantity.”

        Unless you think that suggesting they will not do a thing, is a actually a subtle, but somehow still breathless, speculation that they will do it.

        Your specualtion that national won’t be worried is also peculiar. I would assume that National wouldn’t be so stupid as to nat be aware of polling issues. The colmar poll had national at 51% in Nov last year, according to the linked report. the April 1st poll had them at the same. It seems the Colmar tends to overstate National’s support.

        But perhaps you’re right, and National are ignorant enough to compare this poll result with the electon result and say “hey samsies, no worries”.

      • Te Reo Putake 13.1.2

        That’s a trend, Pete, not just one poll. A Labour/Greens Government is just a point or two away and both parties have gained at National and NZF’s expense. That makes a simple two party Government a real option, particularly if Labour keeps its steady rise; that’s running at a point a month gain since the election.

        • Pete George

          A Labour/Greens Government is just a point or two away

          Yep, but an election is over two years away. It’s all just distant speculation.

          Of course National (and the rest) will be following the polls with interest, but it’s not going to chnage much at this stage. You never know what happen, to get his 15% Don Brash might take over the Greens.

          One News speculated that the result was due to the education debacle (it will have hd some effect) but I doubt National will change what they are doing due to one poll. They should have well and truely got the message already.

      • mike e 13.1.3

        pg their would be an overhang on the maori seats you haven’t accounted for thats five seats

      • Dr Terry 13.1.4

        I have tried to say many times that we must be very patient and long-suffering. “Rome did not fall in a day” and all that. This poll result is (I am sad to admit) a triumph for National. For once they risked upsetting the comfortable middle-classes and still they got away with it! So what will it take to change anything? I wish I had the answer (I fear that our population contains more than a share of wickedness today). Stand firm. Remain steadfast. The population also contains a fair number of intelligent people and principled people (as hard as that might be to believe!)

        • Pete George

          Cumulative effect will eventually start to kick in for National, there’s already signs of it but not a lot yet.

          Greens are doing the right thing, they’ve rebuilt well over the pasy few years and now just need to steadily consolidate and take any oportunities they can.

          Who knows when Labour will sort themselves out. Shearer is showing gradual albeit unspectacular improvement, he gets a pass mark for that, but he hasn’t stamped his authority to stem the same old failed negative strategies yet. He has to show signs of doing that soon.

      • North 13.1.5

        And you’re so delighted, aren’t you, you wally Pete George ? What planet do you actually live on ?

        Masquerading as a rarely insighted while down to earth, considered chappy, purporting to go all cross-party as I saw from your posts somewhere earlier today. A regular Geldoff/Bon Jovi. You really are your leader aren’t you – hot air, full of self importance and actually subliminally angling for that bloody knighthood.

        Go and drink some hemlock, egg ! On the score alone that your contributions are so, so, so boring !

      • lprent 13.1.6

        Its a colmar-brunton poll if it is TV1. They usually overstate National. National will be worried because of that. I won’t bother looking at your post because if you follow the usual form, you will be comparing and drawing conclusions between polls from different companies using different methodologies.

        It is the typical dumb response from apologists for this government about polls.

    • muzza 13.2

      Remember what I said the other day Voice

      1: It makes no difference if “your team” get the big seat back
      2: Your political efforts, are endosing the status quo, and feeding it, contributing to the continued downward slide, thanks again for that
      3: Your community/life efforts are still valid, accepting you’re part of the political problem, does not invalid your efforts elsewhere in life.
      4: Accepting #2 would mean there is a chance you could use the freed up energy, to really add some value in a functioning system

      • Te Reo Putake 13.2.1

        Cheers, Muzza.
        You’re wrong, IMHO. I’ll keep on trying to make a difference every day, as I have for yonks. I don’t much care whether you think it counts, I’m still going to do it.

        • muzza

          Fair play Voice, at least what you’re doing comes from good intentions, and a position of caring…

          That in itself can create good things…


  13. Vicky32 14

    Yeah Vicky, and all those Suffragettes who enabled you to vote should have bloody well not gone of message about Boer War atrocities, aye?

    Your comment is both childish and ignorant. Discrimination against women is a much bigger issue than gay marriage. If you think otherwise, then I am fully  justified in calling you self-indulgent – and you strengthen my view that gay men are not the ally of straight women, but their enemy (and it’s obvious why!) 🙂
    Having sex in whatever position and with whomever, is not a vital human right. Not being bombed to death, is a vital human right. That’s Pilger’s point – and mine.

    • Populuxe1 14.1

      Well you would say that, Vicky, you’re a woman prejudiced against gay men and probably gay women too. I’d rather you didn’t insult me by reducing my humanity to my sexual orientation, and quite frankly the rest of your post speaks for itself.
      To which I respond


    • Murray Olsen 14.2

      It’s not at all obvious to me why gay men are the enemy of straight women. What have I missed? Which straight women besides Condoleeza Rice and Hilary Clinton was Bradley Manning the enemy of? What did he do to you?
      Why does it have to be gay marriage vs stopping people being bombed to death? I support both where and when I can.

    • North 14.3

      I don’t have a very vivid mind’s eye of gay women relating spectacularly negatively to gay men but I can recall some, only some, “hate everyone who’s not a gay woman”, over the years. Very sad but I guess you can put it down to every sector having arseholes in their ranks.

      • Jackal 14.3.1

        +1 I think there’s more of an argument that gay woman and men get along together better than they do with straight people… They have more in common after all.

        I’ve always found that my bisexual woman friends have a disproportionate amount of gay male friends, but wouldn’t like to speculate that this is because they’re prejudiced against straight people. Gay people just seem to have more friends overall. Most gay men I know are more respectful of people’s struggles, as they often experience discrimination and can sympathize.

        Vicky32 (and Pilger) are right… The issue of gay marriage has little relevance when put in context with the war atrocities undertaken in Afghanistan by the US. Pilger could just as easily have chosen a hundred other topics to make the comparison with to highlight the vacuities of our media.

        He chose to write about gay marriage because it happened to be the topic of the day when the article was written. He makes a number of pertinent comparisons that show the hypocrisy within the current administrations message. I find his writing inspirational and suggest you simply get over it Populuxe1.

        • Populuxe1

          “Get over it!” Yes – everyone should just get over it. Women should just get over the fact that they don’t earn as much as men. Maori should just get over the legacy of colonisation and the various terrible statistics that haunt them. Environmentalists should just get over mining and pollution. The Left should just get over free market capitalism.
          Pilger cultist.

          • Jackal

            I was talking about Pilger choosing to write about gay marriage, which received a disproportionate amount of airtime than more newsworthy material. All the things you’ve raised are not relevant to the topic.

            Gay marriage is important, but in comparison to children getting blown to smithereens… you can’t honestly be arguing that gay people having the right to marry and Obama changing his mind is more important than people (children in this case) being murdered en masse in Afghanistan can you Populuxe1?

            At least try to divest your own personal interest in this matter.

            • Populuxe1

              Firstly, Jackass, I shouldn’t have to divest myself of personal interest – that’s how civil rights progress. It probably doesn’t affect you so you feel completely at ease in your hetero-normative privilege to ignore it and tell me to get over it. The implication that concerned people can’t respond to more than one issue at a time is absurd, insulting and quite frankly I am more likely to affect change in what happens in my own country than all Pilger’s et al pontificating about Afghanistan is likely to do. It’s not about playing favourites.
              We all get it, Afghanistan is an atrocity, but guess what – it’s still there and we haven’t forgotten about it, and therefore I resent Pilger’s implication that me enjoying equality in the eyes of my country’s constitutional laws is some bourgeois irrelevance. Pilger doesn’t have the right to use gay people as a political football in that way. Just as Bob Geldof was a dick to think it appropriate to remind the public not to let the Boxing Day Tsunami distract from the plight of the poor wee kiddies in Africa.
              Justice is not a finite resource. The qualities of mercy are not strained!

              • Jackal

                So you’re in support of a biased media that ensures people are not informed properly about important issues so that they’re able to make decisions that could effect change, which is all about playing news-story favourites btw.

                Here’s what the media actually think like: “Shit! There’s this huge story that just broke that makes the administration look bad, what other story can we promote instead to cover it up.”

                It’s the media and their masters that are using gay rights as a political football, and Pilger who has pointed this out. Yet here you are claiming that Pilger is saying you cannot enjoy lawful equality. Get real Populuxe1.

                Please don’t inflict us with your own ignorance and beguile at your own ineptitude and feckless diffidence that you’re not able to help people in other countries… and please don’t use your sexuality to justify your abuse of people who can.

                • McFlock

                  Here’s what the media actually think like: “Shit! There’s this huge story that just broke that makes the administration look bad, what other story can we promote instead to cover it up.”

                  Well there’s the problem. You think that because a story is huge, it means that the western msm thinks it’s huge. 63 white americans being killed in Mainstreet USA, they’d agree with you. 63 Yemenis or Pakistanis killed by drones? Not so much.
                  They don’t need to “cover it up”. Editorially, they just don’t care, because their audience pays more attention to whether mccleans kid toothpaste is better than colgate, as the ads claim. You only need a major distraction if something else will get the people’s attention.

                  • Jackal

                    I think it has much more to do with what the media are promoting than what the people actually want to view… Although with most brainwashing techniques, people soon become accustomed to reacting in a specific way.

                • Populuxe1

                  No Jackass, I am saying that Pilger is denying the seriousness and dignity of lawful equality by calling it lifestyle liberalism and then, with very little evidence that the media did anything of the sort, proceeded to make an unnecessary and unhelpful comparison – essentially using gay rights as canon fodder – for his own ends. We didn’t consent to be used in this way any more than various countries in the Middle East and Central Asia consented to being bombed. But congratulations, in your Pilgerolatry have effectively decided that there’s only a finite amount of human rights to be shared around.

                  • Jackal

                    As any human rights campaigner can tell you, there’s a finite amount of human rights to be shared around. You’re welcome to choose your cause, but this should not be at the expense of other people’s causes.

                    The moral of the story is that the media should not dictate what issues take precedence based on political or financial incentives. Unfortunately media exposure equals change, because in a democracy people will vote for those who share their beliefs. The more people who think bombing children in Afghanistan is wrong, the more likely it will be an issue for debate leading to an election.

                    I don’t think Pilger belittled gay rights, and take some exception to you believing I live a life of hetero-normative privilege (whatever the fuck that is?). You simply don’t know who I am Populuxe1.

    • risildo 14.4

      Gay men dont go around raping woman

      “”and you strengthen my view that gay men are not the ally of straight women””

      I find comment you made offensive

      • Vicky32 14.4.1

        I find comment you made offensive

        I am sorry that you think so, Risildo – please understand that ‘not the ally of’ is not the same thing as ‘the enemy of!’
        Like it or  not, Murray, rights campaigns compete with one another. Everyone has only so much time, attention and money that they can “spend”  on these issues. My main issue is, and always will be, being for  pacifism and anti-war. No one has the right to kill anyone else, full stop. For that reason, I am also against capital punishment and abortion on demand.
        To the man who called me ‘angry God lady’, congratulations, you’re very clever. /sarc/

    • North 14.5

      What’s having sex in any particular position got to do with gay marriage Angry Lady God Vicky Whatever Number ? Chill !

  14. Dr Terry 15

    Whether or not I agree with all of Vicky’s points, I applaud her for standing fast in face of rather much ferocity.

    • Murray Olsen 15.1

      What? Have a look at who’s actually throwing the insults around.
      “Do grow up! Tanties about your sex life..”
      Now go and applaud Louis Crimp. He stands fast in the face of much ferocity too.

      • McFlock 15.1.1

        Frankly, Pilger should have known that his comment would not be used to highlight the injustices that he cares about most, it would merely be an excuse for homophobes to deny the opponents of another injustice their voice.
        As to the substance of his artice, Manning isn’t being persecuted because he’s gay. He’s being persecuted because he allegedly leaked massive amounts of classified information (yay!) using the pseudonym “bradass87” (ffs) and then boasted about it (duh). Don’t get me wrong, if his alleged actions were motivated by noble feelings with full knowledge of the risks, then great, he is an heroic guy. But he could have done more if he hadn’t mouthed off about it. And his detention has nothing to do with his sexuality, whatever it might be.

        • Murray Olsen

          I’d see Manning as heroic, but like most of us, flawed. I never even knew he was gay until today, or perhaps I did and forgot.
          What I don’t like is people on the left telling me I can not advocate for gay marriage because I’ll have the blood of Afghans and Arabs on my hands. Excuse me, but I’ll do what I think is best according to my politics and world view. This allows me to oppose imperialist murder just as much as it allows me to oppose the denial of what should be a simple living arrangement to people I know and care about. These people also fight for the environment, against war and for indigenous rights. I’m not going to tell them they have to stop thinking their love is important because some ideas that should have died out years ago are still rampant on the left.

    • Vicky32 15.2

      Whether or not I agree with all of Vicky’s points, I applaud her for standing fast in face of rather much ferocity.

      Thank you DrTerry! Your support is much appreciated.

    • Murray Olsen 16.1

      I even get worried about education opportunities for our kids and grandkids. Is that allowed when Obama is murdering by remote control? Am I allowed to worry about the environment or the right to belong to unions? Bottom line – I don’t need anyone’s permission to fight for any issue I believe worth fighting for. I don’t believe there is a finite pool of rights so that some people have to go without so others can have theirs. I do believe in taking the right to exploit labour away from the bourgeoisie, not in keeping rights from people who have never had them.

  15. Adele 17


    “As any human rights campaigner can tell you, there’s a finite amount of human rights to be shared around. You’re welcome to choose your cause, but this should not be at the expense of other people’s causes”

    Human rights campaigners worth their weight in gold would not say such a thing. Unless, of course, they have come to accept that humans rights are now a tradeable commodity and subject to the vagaries of the non-free market. Only those rights likely to receive maximum returns for invested interests should be pursued and the rest relegated to junk bondage.

    Its wonderful that we focus on children being blown up in Afghanistan but how about the children currently starving to death in the Sudan, Sub-Sahara Africa, The Indian subcontinent, Latin America, Guatemala? 15 million children die of hunger each year.

    Human rights are limited only by the amount of humans that currently exist. At last count that was about seven billion.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      Its wonderful that we focus on children being blown up in Afghanistan but how about the children currently starving to death in the Sudan, Sub-Sahara Africa, The Indian subcontinent, Latin America, Guatemala?

      I’m going to have to admit that I’m more concerned with children starving in NZ. Those other countries can work their own problems out. If they want some advice then they can ask.

    • Jackal 17.2

      Human rights campaigners worth their weight in gold would not say such a thing. Unless, of course, they have come to accept that humans rights are now a tradeable commodity and subject to the vagaries of the non-free market.

      Let me rephrase that: There is presently a finite amount of human rights to be shared around. This is because human rights campaigners et al only have so much time in the day, and the media exposure their causes attract is also limited. In a purely idealistic future world you may be correct, and there is a potential for human rights not to be limited, but presently they are, hence the starving millions you talk about.

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