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Open mike 04/06/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 4th, 2013 - 241 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…

241 comments on “Open mike 04/06/2013 ”

  1. Furrball 1

    Someone, please sell me the Green Party and its policies in terms of my self-interest without appealing to my conscience or my morals.

    • karol 1.1

      Because it’s all about you?

    • Paul 1.2

      You have kids, grand kids?
      Do you want them to have a planet worth living on?

      • Furrball 1.2.1

        Better, but a potential long-term threat that’s relatively nebulous or worse, seems too vast to deal with as an individual, isn’t enough to get me out of chair to vote. But me personally, I don’t have kids or grand-kids.

        I’m playing devil’s advocate here, by the way.

        • Colonial Viper

          Without your conscience or morals?

          The Green Party is not interested in the sociopath class vote.

        • Olwyn

          You said a few days ago that the most urgent matter for NZ was to raise the living standards for the larger community. http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-03062013/#comment-642782 The Greens’ policies would arguably come closest to contributing to such a project. Certainly closer than National’s, who are into concentrating wealth into few hands, and also closer than Labour’s, who seem to be too scared of offending National voters to commit themselves to anything that might bring about real change.

          • Furrball

            Hello Olwyn. Yes, I did say that. As an arbitrary figure, let’s be ambitious and say the bottom 65%. The other 35% are doing ok and can take care of themselves, in my view, although the question of universal benefits vs. means-testing is going to continue to pose questions for all parties.

            I don’t count myself in that 35% by the way, nor was I born into it. Personally, I’ve never voted for a conservative/tory party in my life, unless you want to include the Lange goverment… and to be fair, to those of us who were young at the time, we thought we were getting something else. But that’s history now.

            Say for instance, I’m a disengaged or soft-left voter (which I’m not really, despite all appearances and assumptions) who is concerned about living standards and public services, then how would you specifically address these concerns? Because I think most people will respond to issues surrounding pollution, building standards or resources, but if you come straight out and ask that people that are already having a tough time to save the planet from some future fate, then it’s not so persuasive because it’s an abstracted reality that isn’t going to help them now. That doesn’t make them a sociopath; it makes them human.

            • karol

              It doesn’t need to be either living standards and public services or climate change responses. The NZ Green Party is tackling both. And some like Jenny think heir strong focus on poverty means they are selling out.

              Many of us realise that the Greens need to put a lot of stress on issues of poverty, housing, retaining assets etc, because the general public tends to associated them most with environmental issues. Actually, the Greens, following the earlier Values party, see all those issues as part of a whole. However, you will note that the two party leaders’ speeches last weekend focused on the key government’s divisive cronyist support of the well-off, and on child poverty.

              Meanwhile Kennedy Graham’s climate change conference at parliament is coming up on Friday.

              • Jenny

                …some like Jenny think (t)heir strong focus on poverty means they are selling out.

                Karol, Why do you keep misrepresenting my position? I applaud the Green Party focus on poverty. What I condemn is their down playing of climate change.

                The NZ Green Party is tackling both.


                In saying that the Green party is tackling both Karol. How about supplying some evidence?

            • Olwyn

              Furrball: If you are a soft left voter, a statement like this might resonate with you, “We’ve got news for SkyCity: unlike other political parties we didn’t take your campaign donations and we didn’t go to your corporate box at the rugby.

              “Your tools of crony capitalism don’t work with us … and if the people of New Zealand tell us to turn off the tap on your blood money, then we bloody well will.”

              No, it does not tell you exactly what you will gain from the Green Party, but it does outline a general position, in relation to which a party can be held to account. It also suggests that the speaker, Russell Norman, is prepared to put up a fight on behalf of people who are not rich enough to be included among the cronies.

              In comparison, promises that are made without an accompanying general position can end up meaning something very different than what they first seem to suggest.

        • Mary

          Aren’t you a cheeky little monkey then, eh?

      • Populuxe1 1.2.2

        Not really an ideal way to promote the Greens to gay, trans, and infertile people.

        • prism

          Populuxe 1
          Who’s being holier than thou now eh?

        • QoT

          Gay, trans, and infertile people are all actually quite capable of having kids.

          I don’t completely agree with the “for the future” style of aspirational politics, but nevertheless, no need to shit on non-standard family setups.

    • just saying 1.3

      I see you are still getting the hang of the Standard, Furrball.
      I doubt any of us here really care who you, or any other individual, votes for. Those of us on the left would prefer most voters vote left, but I doubt many, if any come here to evangelise or convert or solicit individual votes for a particular party. We come here to talk politics. If you’re wanting “quotes” from political parties from which to choose the best deal for you, I suggest you find and then compare each party’s stated policies.

      • Furrball 1.3.1

        No, you’re the one who is misunderstanding me. I’m trying to get a sense of how those who seem enthusiastic about the Green party and its policies can communicate and persuade effectively with those beyond its base.

        Want to get beyond 10%? Or is this board just an echo-chamber?

        • karol

          It was clear where you are coming from. There’s more to party policy than gaining the treasury benches.

          You seem to me to be still to be looking to apply individualistic “neoliberal” marketing policies. Many of us want to get beyond slick managerialist marketing approaches and want a return to conviction politics.

          Also, what’s the point of Greens being in government, if they aim to extend their vote by ditching their principles? I want them there to hold the lost tribe of Labour Caucus leadership to account. An underlying value through all the Greens mission statements etc, is that they are for the collective, and don’t elevate self-interested individualism above the collective good.

          The Greens actually have a very good approach to getting their policies into the media. I reckon Laila Harre is probably doing a very good job.

          There was a major lesson from Clark’s government of 9 years. Pandered to the centrist vote, and self interest, and put individualistic “neoliberalism” into a holding pattern. Then along came Key’s government and ruthlessly undid any good they did.

          We need to think beyond the short term goal of just getting into government. there’s too much at stake for the future.

          Times are changing. Time to return to conviction politics and to engage honestly and directly with the disengaged (non) voters. More slick and cynical managerial marketing approaches is just using the methods that have already resulted in disengaged voters.

          Whose echo chamber? Your approach seems like the echo chamber of the current Labour caucus leadership – locked into their own managerialist bubble.

          • Furrball

            No, communication isn’t necessarily about ‘neo-liberalism’, nor is marketing a policy, it’s a technique used in politics since the dawn of time, although it hasn’t always been called that. I’ve already seen the dismay here and elsewhere, when David Shearer is perceived to have failed to communicate effectively. Conviction isn’t enough on its own.

            But I think you’re on the same wavelength that I’m making when you say that ‘to engage honestly and directly with the disengaged (non) voters.’… and given that environmental issues are usually low on many voter’s priorities, compared to the economy and jobs, health, education, housing etc. my point is, how do you engage directly with those who are disengaged and less likely to vote, or to those wavering or undecided. Because not all of them have the time or inclination to read a manifesto, but they may pay attention to their mates, their colleagues, their family etc…

            And here’s a question for you: What makes you think that extending the Green vote means ditching principles?

            • karol

              Extending the Green vote doesn’t necessarily mean ditching their principles. It depends how it’s done.

              The Greens are working on it.

              Yes, I agree communication is the issue. But I don’t think some top down branding exercise is the way.

              Communication is two-way. Contemporary marketing approaches tend to be more of a one-way process, attempting to control and shift perceptions and behaviour in pre-decided ways. And, as the MSM tends to follow the corporate way, genuine communications between a party and the communities needs to be done in through other platforms, as well as on the ground in the community.

              The Greens and Mana have been much more engaged with two way processes, on the ground and, especially for the Greens, using social media. Dialogue and conversation are more open processes than marketing approaches and slogans: they can be messier. While some succinct core messages are helpful, they are useful only as far as they provide some coherence to the wider processes.

              The Labour Caucus is aiming to use marketing techniques and the MSM to communicate with the “centrist” middle-classes, largely through one-way processes.

              As I understand it, in the past, the Labour Party’s strength was in the way it engaged with communities on the ground and via it’s membership. These days the Caucus has retreated into their Wellington bubble.

              The Greens are far more connected and engaged with their membership in a democratic way.

        • Winston Smith

          “Or is this board just an echo-chamber?”

          – Pretty much 🙂

        • freedom

          Furball, raise a point that illustrates part of a policy that you find lacking then perhaps someone who supports that policy will enter into a dialogue on the topic. (also works with news music art and science for example) If you just want stimulus response sound-bites gift wrapped with pretty sales tags, I suspect this is not the right place for your political edification.

          • Furrball

            See, characterising my question as ‘stimulus response sound-bites gift wrapped with pretty sales tags’ is little more than a strawman designed to deflect rather than address, to trivialise rather than engage.

            What’s more, it’s a fairly cliquest attempt to define what the purpose of any community should be about, ruling out discussion or perspectives that don’t meet some ill-defined and arbitary standards known only to the cognoscenti. In fact, it comes across as fairly elitist and vaguely oppressive.

            Nice one. 🙂

            • just saying

              Furrball, if you want to have a conversation – raise a topic and make an argument.
              Your supercilious attitude toward this community just makes you look like a dick in my opinion.

              • Furrball

                You’re too kind.

              • karol

                Yep, hir posts seem like those of someone who has parachuted in here, without fully familiarising hirself with the community and the kind of on-going conversations, to tell us that shi knows better. Kind of seems like lecturing us rather than engaging sincerely in the conversation; and without any effort to gain an in depth understanding of the current context and where people here are at in dealing with it.

                That’s bound to get antagonistic responses.

                Underneath there seems to be a different political philosophy, involving a top down approach – more akin to the current Labour Caucus than that of the Green MPs, IMO.

                Mana and The Greens are trying more to engage with the disengaged communities in a bottom up way.

                Mana is taking the lead there. But the Greens also have been making very good use of social media too engage, as well as with their community engagements, and with their membership, and reaching out to non-members through various networks..

                The Greens used the asset sales petition process well in engaging on the ground, IMO.

                • Furrball

                  There’s a clear misunderstanding where I’m coming from. At no point have I advocated top down structures or organising. In fact, I’ve already signposted the work that Arnie Graf is doing with the Labour Party in the UK in order to rebuild and reshape how membership and the party works along community-building lines. And it’s interesting to hear how you think the Green party are engaging in communicating, particularly to non-members and the third sector.

                  I’ll also add that I’m not generally here to insult people or to cast aspersions upon them, but I’m curious to tease out some people’s thinking in order to learn more about leftwing politics in New Zealand and occasionally, I have some points to make, which I would never expect to meet universal peer approval.

                  It’s easy to call people dicks or accuse them of thinking they knowing better, but I try to avoid it if I can. The only recent point which seemed absurd to me was being challenged on the fact that I was posting from London, which struck me as irrelevant to what I had posted. Want to tear people down? No problem. If it helps some to feel better, that’s cool too.

                  • karol

                    Furrball, you seemed to be the one making something of posting from London, and seemed to imply you had some superior knowledge as a result of your activities there.

                    Maybe you didn’t mean it that way, and it was just the result of jumping in quickly into the forum, but that’s how it came across. Your first comments did focus on where you thought the NZ left was going wrong (at least online), rather than looking like someone trying to find out what is happening here.

                    • handle

                      Reading “I’m in London” as signifying a sense of superiority rather than seeking deeper locally-grounded information reflects less on Furrball than on those making such assumptions. Same with painting political communication as ‘top-down’. Fortunately the Greens have grown beyond that.

                      One for Furrball: the Greens’ economic policies promise smart higher-paid jobs in sustainable industries that will keep our young people here rather than send more of them overseas. That may interest some voters, if they can get past the smears about ‘printing money’.

                    • Furrball

                      No, stating that I was posting from London was meant to signal that I wasn’t on the ground, for instance, and couldn’t get into the weeds of political personalities or current events… and initially, all I was interested in doing was linking some hopefully useful work that’s being done in the Labour party over here with Arnie Graf that has some potential bearing on the future of the NZ Labour party, if it’s to remain relevant… as well as my communications work in the voluntary sector and some awareness of some processes within Organising For America.

                      None of this is top down, because it won’t fly anymore, especially with those in their teens to perhaps the mid-thirties. I sense we’re on common ground.

                      Then, I outlined from my perspective what I thought was the core issue at stake in this coming election which was to do something about comparatively poor living standards which embraces wages, jobs, tenancy rights, public services and a whole bunch aside. Some took this as an attack on New Zealand, which is just utterly pitiful bollocks, to be frank… and personalising it to a degree which ultimately is boring and unproductive.

                      Finally, trying to put tease out some thinking behind those who support the Greens and trying to understand winning but broad succinct ideas that have a relevance to everyday concerns, instead of being nagged with phrases akin to:

                      • you should care
                      • you’re a sociopath if you vote out of self-interest
                      • the planet’s going to burn/drown

                      In themselves, they’re not vote winners… and they’re not persuasive to those outside the base. In fact, they seem more aimed at enforcing orthodoxy and conformity, which sorta runs against bottom-up organising.

                      I’ve got to split. Deadline for tomorrow. Thanks for everyone’s posts. Be excellent to each other.

                    • karol

                      It wasn’t just “I’m in London” but a reference to the work shi has been doing there associated with some other statements, implying that gave hir a very good insight into how political parties in NZ should be working.

                      It was the references to branding, and party’s way of promoting themselves, using business methods, that seemed to be taking a top down position.

                    • Mary

                      Cheers, matey. Hope you meet the deadline. Let us know how it goes, okay? Cheers again, and thanks for commenting!

                  • Populuxe1

                    You’ll have to forgive them, Furball – many of the commentors here tend to the ideologically purist rather than a more pragmatic and ad hoc approach. For all their talk of rejecting top-down models, they do seem to cling to a vertical model of academic privilege moralising to the working class about the latter’s ignorance of theory. You can sort of tell by the way they are claiming you have joined unprepared and are therefore ignorant – a classic example of protection of privilege.

                    If I were to promote Green Party policy, I would focus on its horizontal organisational structure, and I think it would need to show some of its initiatives working on a small scale basis first. Basically I think the strength of the Greens is that they offer something different to the dictatorial model of the larger parties. Their biggest weakness is that they have little in the way of concrete policy other than a waving of hands and abstract nouns.

                    • handle

                      Don’t know what you are talking about there. The Greens have heaps of policy: http://www.greens.org.nz/policy

                    • Populuxe1

                      handle: “Don’t know what you are talking about there. The Greens have heaps of policy”

                      Admittedly there’s a lot utopian goals, but it’s all very light on how to fund it an dthe steps to be taken to get there.

                    • karol

                      Fb is being a bit disengenuous. Early on shi was making assumptions about the left in NZ, promoting a “professional” business-like approach for the left, and aggressively dismissing those who disagree as reactionary old Trotskyists. Later this was followed by comments about those opposed as being ideologically-driven and talking here in an echo chamber.

                    • freedom

                      Populuxe1-from your later post
                      “Admittedly there’s a lot utopian goals, but it’s all very light on how to fund it and the steps to be taken to get there.”

                      To be fair, that can be said of every single political party in NZ. Most worryingly and perhaps most obviously by our current Government whose varuious policy pages read like rejected Tui billboards.

                    • just saying

                      I missed this earlier, Populuxe.

                      …….You can sort of tell by the way they are claiming you have joined unprepared and are therefore ignorant – a classic example of protection of privilege.

                      I’m not “moralising to the working class”, I am working class.

                      Check your own privilege.

                  • freedom


                    Someone, please sell me the Green Party and its policies in terms of my self-interest without appealing to my conscience or my morals.

                    If you were pondering this in NZ you would find you are not alone. Many Kiwis are finally having some serious internal debates about the relevance of Green’s policies to everyday life. In no way should any criticism of how you raise the issue be indicative of seeing the issue itself as not being important. Policies matter, your own life matters. The Venn intersection of those two realms deserves clarity. Clarity in your own internal reasoning and for actively sharing the eventual understanding of policies that is critical to political growth.

                    This is a fundamental question any voter should rightfully engage in. The quagmire of crony-ism we currently call a Parliament illustrates how very few actually do. Lack of basic comprehensions of policy impact is undoubtedly at fault. I suspect this is an educational failing (a failure by design?) more to do with the lack of ‘part of your day’ socio-political culture in NZ. This deficiency is so comparably existent throughout most modern Democracies it is hard to believe it was not a deliberate incremental manipulation of society. But I digress.

                    How a person deciphers policy is hugely important to their life and their vote. Obviously the success and failures of representational democracy is reliant upon those enmasse decisions having some stability and this desperately needs discourse on the group-think level of comprehension. Blogs are challenging, often volatile places, like all new media, they are evolving. It is perhaps one of the first political tools where input directly and immediately contributes to the output.

                    Why not submit a post outlining your particular questions about the Green’s policies and how they relate to your self-interest? In fact no-one else can, because as you pointed out , you are asking for others’ opinions on what your self-interests are. If we do not plainly understand the problem a policy presents to your self-interest, how can anyone help explain it to you?

              • +1 Yeah Furrball I know you’re a tall poppy and all but js has just given you an idea of how to go about getting a conversation going – it’s pretty basic really.

            • freedom

              karol summed it up right out of the box
              “Because it’s all about you?”

      • prism 1.3.2

        Isn’t Furrball in the UK? I wonder why the deep and abiding concern to find out about Greens policies? The questions seem like an idle pursuit somehow filling in time annoying people who are stupid policy wonks. Maybe it is planned to have a special vote, if that’s what overseas votes are called. Perhaps by the time the election happens late next year, some mature understanding of NZ politics will have been gained.

        • Populuxe1

          Oh get over yourself, it’s tiresome. Furball will be getting most of their information the same way most of us do – by internet or by broadcasts available over the internet. Living here doesn’t make one more informed, and in any case what’s with all this nationalistic hating on expats? It’s ugly.

          • felix

            Could you point to some of this “hating” please?

            • Populuxe1

              The snotty tone of the prism comment above – but why do I even bother? You deliberately cultivate obtuseness the way John Key cultivates his smarmy grin, and for much the same reasons

              • felix

                You have to be very careful inferring “tone” from the written word, Pop.

                What you call ‘cultivating obtuseness’ is really just me asking you to indicate the basis for your conclusions, which more often than not turns out to be nothing more than some preconception you arrived with fully formed, and nothing whatsoever to do with anything anyone else said or did.

                The above is a textbook example. No hate is one display, if it was you’d have pointed to it immediately.

                Whenever you find yourself inferring “tone” from a comment, it’s advisable to stop, take a few breaths, and read it again calmly and slowly. You’ll be surprised how often the tone is overlaid by the reader.

                An easy mistake to make, one most of us are guilty of from time to time, and potentially a very unhealthy one if left unchecked.

              • karol

                As someone who was an expat living overseas for a couple of decades, I would concur with Prism and don’t see any ex-pat hating there. When overseas, I kept up an interest in NZ, but in no way saw myself as knowledgeable enough to comment in any depth on the (then) current situation in NZ. I stopped voting in NZ elections after I took up residence in the UK, because I felt I no longer was in touch with the situation here, and would barely be impacted by the nature of government here.

                I did not begin to get a more comprehensive up-dated understanding of the politics here until I had been living back here for some time.

    • Pete 1.4

      Because you benefit from living in a healthy, well-educated community rather than having to tolerate the ignorant and be at risk from catching an illness.

    • Lanthanide 1.5

      By focusing on minimizing poverty and the deleterious effects of same within the community at large, the Greens policies will reduce the amount of tax money spent on healthcare in the short to medium term, and especially over the long term. In turn, this will mean tax money can be spent on other things, which ultimately means you will be able to get a tax cut in the future, or that taxes will not need to rise as much in the future.

    • weka 1.6

      “Someone, please sell me the Green Party and its policies in terms of my self-interest without appealing to my conscience or my morals.”

      We would need to know more about you Furrball, and what things would meet your self-interest needs. In the meantime, why not look at the GP website, it’s pretty obvious from that what they are about.

    • Bill 1.7

      For what it’s worth Furball, I reckon you almost raised a reasonable point. But your assumption is wrong. I mean – is the Green Party only appealing to people on the basis of their conscience or morals? I don’t think so.

      eg, they have proposed monetary policies that run counter to austerity, which, you might say are an appeal to common sense as well as the collective back pocket. They have proposed putting nurses into schools which, again, is an appeal to common sense as opposed to an appeal to conscience or morals. And there’s the housing policy and so on….

      • karol 1.7.1

        Good points, Bill.

        And they do it within a more collective mindset about the experience of, and measures to counter, poverty, while also, most likely engaging those on low incomes.

      • weka 1.7.2


    • felix 1.8

      “Someone, please sell me the Green Party and its policies in terms of my self-interest without appealing to my conscience or my morals.”

      It’s not going to happen, Furball.

      Greens just isn’t the party for you. See if they were, their policies and philosophies would already be resonating with you. Simple as that.

      Get involved in discussions around a party that does speak to your needs and beliefs and leave the Greens well alone.

      National’s blog is here: http://kiwiblog.co.nz
      Labour has one here: http://blog.labour.org.nz.

      • Lanthanide 1.8.1

        He’s playing Devil’s Advocate, felix, on the point of “what do the Green’s need to sell to get them above ~10% in the election”.

      • Populuxe1 1.8.2

        What? Sort of like a cult? One has to have faith and just know? Hahahahahahahahahaha

        • felix

          Not at all Pop. I’m saying that if a party’s well documented and easily accessible philosophies, principles and policies don’t appeal to you, then don’t vote for them.

          Quite the opposite of a faith-based approach.

          • Populuxe1

            Karl Popper would disagree

            • felix

              That’s nice dear but he doesn’t often comment here. Do you disagree with what I wrote? And if so, how and why?

            • Murray Olsen

              What makes you think Popper would disagree? He’s mostly famous for his theory of falsifiability, and I don’t see how that applies to what Felix wrote at all.

              • Populuxe1

                You should read his “Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge”. Lack of falsifiability directly applies to felix’s spin on good old fashioned historical determinism that underlies all Greens policy, without the convenience of a five or seven year plan that actually explains how we will bring this brave new environmentally friendly and socialistically utopian world about.

                • felix

                  I didn’t say anything whatsoever about historical determinism.

                  Do you agree or disagree with the very simple straightforward statement I actually made, or have you not gotten around to reading it yet?

                  • Populuxe1

                    I disagree because you keep talking about Green policy as if it is some consistent, coherent body of philosophies and policies that one can “resonate” with when in fact it is as relativist and adaptive as any other party in pursuit of political influence. Your faith (which it what that is because there are no testible hypotheses involved) that this hotchpotch can bring about a better society is derrived from a combination of neo-Marxist historical determinism and the sulferous whiff of Social Credit lunacy

                    • felix


                      I’m pretty sure all I said was that the commenter above should vote for the party that best represents them, and that the measures to determine which party that is will be the party’s easily accessible and well documented policies, principles and philosophies.

                      I have no idea why you’re talking about some faith that I supposedly hold, as none of what I said had anything whatsoever to do with my own preference.

                • Murray Olsen

                  I have read it. It has nothing to do with Felix’s short statement about voting. On the surface, it seems that you haven’t read the post you replied to.

                  • Populuxe1

                    I was referring to the notion one should vote for the party whose philosophy one “resonates” with rather than systematically analysing policy. The arrogant refusal to justify this fits very neatly with Popper’s analysis of Marxism.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      God you talk a load of shit.

                      Firstly, you don’t even bother to think about, or ask, what Felix meant by ‘resonate’. I figured he meant that one should analyse a party’s policy and candidates and see if it fits. So there is more than a whif of false dichotomy about your whole line of thought.

                      Secondly, politics is mostly about trust. You need to work out which party and candidates you trust, and yes, that takes ‘faith’. But that is the case no matter who, what, (and how) you decide to support.

                      Tell us how you make the call, and explain how it isn’t made on ‘faith’ Pop.

                    • felix

                      “I was referring to the notion one should vote for the party whose philosophy one “resonates” with rather than systematically analysing policy.”

                      Who’s notion is that, Pop? It’s certainly not one drawn from my comments, which specifically mentioned the well documented and easily accessible policies.

                      I agree with Murray, you don’t seem to have read the comment you’re replying to. Or to put it another way, you’re replying to a comment which only exists in your own mind.

                      I also agree with Pb, you do talk a lot of shit.

    • Murray Olsen 1.9

      Your cannabis plants will have a higher percentage of organic THC. All beer will be half price and organic, so you’ll never get a hangover again. You will become incredibly sexually attractive overnight. Is that enough?

      • Murray Olsen 1.9.1

        On a more serious note, I’m starting to really like the Greens. They seem pretty inclusive, have a focus on living standards, and take the environment seriously. They want to do something different about the country’s finances than follow the neoliberal cookbook. If you want to live in a fairer society where fewer people are on the bones of their arse, I think they’re a better bet than any party bigger than them. They also maintain a mixture of activism and parliamentary work.

      • Furrball 1.9.2

        Not bad. 😉

  2. karol 2

    Is that Kim Hill on my RNZ this morning?

    • wyndham 2.1

      Yes Karol, indeed it was ! Fingers crossed that we may get some real questions asked of our political “masters”. Much as I respect the urbane Geoff, that’s the problem – – – he’s just too polite to tackle meateaters such as Collins and Joyce.

      • karol 2.1.1

        And Metiria Turei just stood up well under the Hill scrutiny.

        Labour-Green, not Labour-led; Kye is the divisive one in that he governs for the wealthy and not those in poverty; Greens meet with Labour regularly, send them some policies, consult on others on a case-by-case basis, and they are working on how they maintain their differences from Labour. And the voters will decide how many Green ministers there’d be in a progressive government.

  3. karol 3

    Unbelievable. Aucklanders own less cars per head than the average for cities in NZ. Meanwhile, in 2016, Swanson railway station will no longer serve passengers when the line is upgrade to electric.

    • Kevin Welsh 3.1

      Good article here karol


      The only place to read about transport matters for Auckland.

    • Not done and dusted yet Karol. And intensification around the station should make AT think again.

      Slightly confusing article. It is the Swanson to Waitakere township link that they are talking about.

      • karol 3.2.1

        Thanks, micky. Amd Kevin, while I usually agree with the ATB posts, I disagree with that one. Like micky says, there’s major long term developments happening around the Massey area. It’s being developed as a key hub, with upgrade of the shopping centre etc.

        The whole Kumeu are looks to be a rising centre. They will need more and diverse public transport out that way, not less.

        • mickysavage

          To confirm Karol. Swanson station will remain open. Swanson to Waitakere Village will be serviced by busses, there is very little demand there. The demand in Helensville is also very low especially since the North Western Motorway was completed. The headline is not correct although the story is.

          • karol

            OK. Thanks, micky. However, I also think the decision to close Waitakere to Helensville is very short-sighted. I think demand will rise in those areas in the next decade.

            Buses will help, but I think passenger rail services need to be extended further north. There needs to be better bus services to and from the Kumeu area.

  4. vto 4

    Sometime ago some thoughts were swapped with a commenter on here about what makes a culture or people indigenous in New Zealand. It was interesting and the upshot gained imo was that indigeneity is something that moves along a sliding timeframe as other peoples and cultures arrive and morph and mix with any pre-existing peoples and cultures, as has happenned to reach the current state of indigineity.

    It got mine wee brain to thinking… that means at some point pakeha must also become indigenous to New Zealand. That they become of and from here, the culture has developed into itself independently from its place of origin, despite links back… there are various definitions …

    Putting aside for a moment any ideas about the effects that such a state may have on Maori and their current position (for the purpose of clarity of argument)… if this is so and indigeniety moves then at what point in time would pakeha become indigenous to New Zealand? Or has that point already passed? Is it the next generation? Or some more generations off?

    …. a short and incomplete take of a big subject ….

    • karol 4.1

      I’ve been looking into my family history – the sad reality is that many of my ancestors are serial colonisers, though also sometimes the colonised and/or class-oppressed. But they have been a nomadic lot over the centuries. I can’t say they are indigenous anywhere except maybe somewhere in northern Europe – just mongrels and nomads. Normans, anglo-saxons, celts, vikings, high & low class Scots, Anglo-Irish.

      So I don’t, and never will count myself or my extended family as indigenous New Zealander. I don’t think any of my family’s future generations ever will be. I count us as New Zelanders. I’m quite happy with that. What’s the need to creep towards claiming indigenous status?

      • vto 4.1.1

        “What’s the need to creep towards claiming indigenous status?”

        No need. It is simple curiousity and a desire to explore the intricacies of pakeha in NZ.

        Pakeha culture and people here would seem to have developed sufficiently here to be called its own, despite those links back to many other cultures. Pakeha culture is not british, nor irish, nor chinese, nor german. It is a mix of various cultures that has developed in these islands as a result of various migrations and mixings since the first whalers and sealers around 1800. It has also mixed in with Maori culture of course to varying degrees. All of these factors seem to satisfy some of the requirements for a culture and people to call itself its own.

        • karol

          Yep. I’m happy with the term Pakeha. No need to try to usurp indigenous status. My look at the history shows that Pakeha history is what it is – a mix of good and bad – a mongrel culture; a bunch of nomads.

          • vto

            It’s interesting because under the UN indigenous ‘definition’ it relates strongly to peoples who existed in a place prior to the arrival of, essentially, europeans during their colonising wave which swept the world. But the term also strongly incorporates features such as those of belonging to a certain place, having a culture that has developed there, having distinct political, social and other systems, etc.

            Of course pakeha did not exist prior to that wave of european colonisation here but in most all other respects it seems the requirements for indigeniety are met. Is it possible to have two or more indigenous peoples in one place (subject to the pre-colonisation point)?

            • karol

              Mate, it just looks like you’re trying to over-ride and usurp the tangata whenua. Giving Pakeha tangata whenua status will just further serve to erase historical memory and and the trauma of Pakeha colonisation. There are two seperate histories. Trying to twist the definitions of “indegenous” to incorporate Pakeha will just blur the historical differences.

              Pakeha is what it is – live with it. Tangata whenua have a long painful history that should not be buried.

              • vto

                karol, where have i suggested any of those assumptions of yours? it sounds to me like you don’t like certain questions being asked and that sort of prohibition has a badly potted history across time.

              • RedLogix

                Yes … on the other hand my family has been here since 1832. She arrived from San Francisco and was probably the very first professional midwife in this country. (This is not to discount the fact that Maori women had been looking after their needs in this respect for a very long time, however my ancestors services were in demand and appreciated by both Maori and Pakeha. Her daughter recalls her having a stand-up argument with none other than Hone Heke and winning her case.) Another branch of my mother’s family arrived from the Yukon in 1838. We’ve been her seven generations now.

                If you wanted to undo colonisation (a wicked and evil thing according to received wisdom) … exactly where would you send us white trash back to? Where is our whenua tapu?

                • karol

                  If you wanted to undo colonisation (a wicked and evil thing apparently) … exactly where would you send us white trash back to? Where is our whenua tapu?

                  It’s in the history that you articulate. We don’t need to go back to anywhere – just acknowledge the journey and the history.

                  A place is more than a geographical location. It’s a state of mind, a way of thinking, an understanding.

                  • vto

                    I think what is being expressed by redlogix and myself is an exploration of pakeha’s place in these islands. It is not a settled issue, yet it is very important to people – just as it is with any people.

                    This exploration is of course not intended to negate anything concerning Maori – their place and history is acknowledged.

                    It is at the same time a simple and a complex question. It is important, crucial, it has not been comprehensively answered.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Why do you think someone else can give you an answer?

                      What is the ‘Pakeha-ness’ that has evolved here? Answer that, and you answer the question, surely?

                  • RedLogix

                    We don’t need to go back to anywhere – just acknowledge the journey and the history.

                    Which is a very fine answer. And which I’d suggest is not too far removed from vto’s first comment:

                    Of course pakeha did not exist prior to that wave of european colonisation here but in most all other respects it seems the requirements for indigeniety are met.

                    I don’t think vto was at all suggesting any sort of “erasing from memory”; but eventually with time and intermarriage the past gradually releases it’s grip on the present. For an obvious example, there can be few in modern Britain today who still counts anyone with Norman ancestory as a ‘foreign coloniser’.

                    • karol

                      But my Norman ancestors WERE foreign colonisers, even if many of my contemporaries don’t recognise that.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      “For an obvious example, there can be few in modern Britain today who still counts anyone with Norman ancestory as a ‘foreign coloniser’.”

                      maybe not in England 😉

                    • The idea that being indigenous is some kind of movable label is wrong imo and often used to diminish cultures, but to what end? Why do it? It is not to raise up the culture attempted to be rammed into that classification, it is to diminish the culture already accepted within that definition – why do that? Sadly it is a continuation of colonisation – you see if you can’t kill off the others you try to assimilate them into your dominant group and if you can’t do that then eventually you try this tactic of making the dominant culture equivalent to the indigenous culture – it is on the same spectrum just a bit further along the line.

                    • Bill

                      …but eventually with time and intermarriage the past gradually releases it’s grip on the present.

                      Yes and no. Not so much cultural memory…at least, not without it being actively suppressed. And since colonisation here was a process of one culture dominating another instead of a marriage or a synthesis of two (or more) cultures, and since that domination is ongoing, then the past rightfully grips the present in NZ and sometimes even manages to grab it by the balls.

                      You want to move beyond the bi-furcated reality of NZ? Then decolonise your head and move the institutions of NZ out of the space they currently occupy, radically changing them in the process.

                      And that second part (if it is to be at all meaningful) requires much more than any PC acknowledgement of Maori culture while maintaining current social/economical/political contexts. It means building new contexts.

                    • RedLogix

                      Yes … the Normans were foreign colonisers, but modern Britain does not function on the basis that those with Anglo-Saxon heritage have a special place and privilege in the nation’s life.

                      That is my point. The past does not get erased, but nor is it set in aspic. Time does change things.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  The part that confuses me is what it is supposed to change.

                  Say we agree that Pakeha culture is something that is distinct from settler cultures throughout the former British Empire, that a unique culture has indeed evolved here. (I’m not saying it has or it hasn’t).

                  So what? How does it change the debate in any way at all?

                  • vto

                    ” what it is supposed to change”

                    I don’t know and I don’t think the issue has made it that far yet. We as a country are still working out the position. It is part of an exploration and most explorations do not know where they will end up or what they will find.

                    What is supposed to change is something that can be answered further down the track, if it needs to be at all…

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      For the sake of argument: Done. you’re indegenous. Now what?

                      My View:

                      Treaty still needs to be honoured, and honouring that is part of Pakeha identity.

                    • “Treaty still needs to be honoured, and honouring that is part of Pakeha identity.”

                      That is it – you have nailed it Pb.

                    • RedLogix

                      And if honouring the Treaty means that us Pakehas are forever to be regarded as tangata manuhiri in this land, then on what basis are we to ever develop a true nationhood?

                      If nothing else the left constantly bemoans how our right wing politicians constantly sell-out this country to foreign interests in one form or another, yet how are we to measure loyalty to a home that we merely perch upon?

                      This is something Helen Clark understood quite well, the need to build a national identity across the entire community. And where John Key falls so very short.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      The treaty says we belong here Red, we can honour it if we so choose. It is by honouring it that we cease to be just perched here, IMHO.

                    • “Pakehas are forever to be regarded as tangata manuhiri in this land”

                      Perhaps you should try to understand – guests are honoured – you and your people are honoured – if Māori go to an area where they don’t come from they are considered tangata manuhiri and they are honoured. It is not an insult – it is a compliment and if you learned a bit about Māori culture you’d learn that – stop looking at everything through the distorted lens you are currently using red you are better than that imo.

                    • vto

                      Valid points here and there above…

                      Re honouring the treaty, that has always been a given, even with its problems. As stated recently the call should be to honour the treaty and then improve it, or fix it.

                      But the treaty is just one part and Redlogix hints at a problem with that, and that is that pakeha are only here due to the treaty and that the treaty underpins our place. I don’t accept that entirely. The treaty has been a starting point, one of the foundation stones for sure, but it is not the sole plank. Pakeha’s place here stems from not just the treaty but also this idea that pakeha culture and pakeha people are now “of here”. Our basis for existence is similar to that of Maori in this regard i.e. we are people of the land as well, though in perhaps a modified form. We are of these islands as much as others. This position has developed with the passage of time.

                      This is the point which many find uncomfortable I suspect, but it doesn’t negate anybody else or their positions or special status etc. It is simply an acknowledgement that pakeha are rightfully of these lands. We are not guests, we are home. And this position arises separately from the treaty, the English system which came over, current constitutional arrangements, immigration laws, and all of that other formal structure which sits here and there.

                      This issue is actually solely about pakeha. How have they come to be, how have they developed since arrival, what are they now and where are they heading in the future. Imo it pays to consider this issue independently from Maori and their own place here, despite the intricate tie-up. That is another issue which follows quickly on.

                    • “We are not guests, we are home. And this position arises separately from the treaty”

                      Your western interpretation of guest is not the same as Māori. Think of it like rats – westerners often portray rats as dirty and so on but within other cultures a rat is seen differently, for instance the chinese year of the rat says, “People born in this year are expected to possess qualities associated with rats, including creativity, intelligence, honesty, generosity, ambition, a quick temper and wastefulness.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rat It is the same rat but viewed differently depending upon culture. Guest is not a derogatory term it is a specific term denoting the relationship between people – many terms in te ao Māori relate to the relationship between people such as tuakana and so on.

                      Yes you are home I haven’t read any disputation of that idea but that is a long way away from being indigenous which was your original ‘poser’. You may say that you are home and that status or position is separate from the Treaty – that is your right and some may agree – I disagree.

                  • Ennui

                    Seems to me that the whole debate is framed in time and space, as opposed to being seen in a continuum, and the actors are being set upon distinct stages to play set parts…who the players are is but a chance of birth. We the audience view the whole together, through different glasses. As the French would say, “vive la difference”.

                    • vto

                      Yes you have a good point. I have tried to view a continuum of sorts with the original point around sliding timeframes wrt belonging and when that point arrives.

                      And yes the French manner of viewing things through a kind of mirror at times highlights things missed – vive la difference indeed.

                • Why you call yourself white trash is beyond me red – have some pride in your heritage mate – you seem to allude to that pride in your paragraph about your family but for me it gets washed away quite quickly when you use the white trash term.

                  You could answer your own last question and it would have nothing to do with being indigenous to this land or not.

                • weka

                  “She arrived from San Francisco and was probably the very first professional midwife in this country. (This is not to discount the fact that Maori women had been looking after their needs in this respect for a very long time,”

                  Sorry Red, but I think that does discount Maori midwives. If you had said “and was probably the very first professional pakeha midwife in this country.” you wouldn’t have rendered invisible the nature of Maori midwives at that time.

                  I would add that there weren’t really any professional European or American midwives at that time, other than that there were competent midwives who got paid in some way for their service. But midwifery itself wasn’t a ‘profession’ then, as we understand the term now.

                  Awesome story about your ancestor though, I bet there have been many interesting stories in her life.

          • JK

            Karol – I agree with you. Pakeha is unique to Aotearoa-NZ, just as Maori are.
            I also think we (Pakeha) still have a long way to go before we reach collectively a real understanding of Maoritanga. It seems to me that we continue to be “two peoples, one nation” living side-by-side with a lack of collective empathy on the Pakeha side.
            You might find this link of interest – its just popped up on Scoop News

            • karol

              Excellent. Thank-you. Very interesting website.

            • kiwicommie

              Well I know the history, not so much the culture; it wouldn’t be wrong to say most Pakeha in New Zealand don’t know much about it. The wealthier the Pakeha the less likely they are going to know anything about Maori – it shouldn’t be like that, but I find a lot of upper class Pakeha view Maori as dole bludgers, criminals, and dead beats.

              • karol

                And that’s not so new. Some of my grandparents/great grandparents had a similar attitude as soon as they arrived here. It does need to be acknowledged, understood and in the cases of prejudice, challenged.

                • Very good points and whilst I’m not a ‘blame’ person the fault of all of this misunderstanding and lack of knowledge is the governments of yesterday and today. They had the obligation to create equality but chose a different route – that equality would have meant knowledge about tangata whenua and would have helped us all. It didn’t happen and isn’t happening now but if it did happen it would solve many of the issues we face in this country imo.

                  • JK

                    I couldn’t get the Herald up on my computer this morning – until just now, and I find there’s another story re Treaty claims in it. As below. All this helps aid our further understanding, Marty Mars, and I agree with you : if we all knew more of what happened in the past between Maori and Govt forces, I think we’d be a lot better off.

                    “Ngai Tuhoe will today sign their Treaty claim Deed of Settlement with the Crown. So far 62 settlements have been completed.”


                    • Good stuff JK

                      I’d just also say that imo Māori would love people in this country to be interested in their beliefs, ways of thinking and history – absolutely love it. That, if visible, would do more for this country than anything else I can think of, because it would build community and understanding and break down the imposed barriers that are there. It would also address the crooked foundations of this country and set us up for a future we could move towards with pride and it would counter the capitalist, exploitative, neo-liberal agenda that continually tries to cut us all into ever smaller pieces.

                    • cardassian

                      Mainly a reply to Marty’s post but couldn’t find a reply button there. Earlier this year my whole workplace spent a day at the local Marae as part of our professional development program. It was a great day enjoyed by all. We learnt a lot about the history of the area, the culture of the local Maori and local myths/legends.
                      One of the best things about it is we now all feel comfortable going to that Marae if we need to, as we know and understand the customs.

                      [lprent: When it gets to level 10 (ie 9 levels of reply) the reply button turns off. Quote or link to the comment – check the FAQ. Or just find the last level 9 reply button above and use that. ]

                    • Sounds like a great workplace cardassian and thanks for your insight

                      John Minto has put a great post up that talks about a visit he and some teachers and students into The Urewera – a great read.


  5. just saying 5



    So many outstanding writers on the left, I’d be forever gushing if I gave everyone their due praise. How can it be that virtually none of it ever reaches the mainstream?

    • Because the mainstream media tends to cater to people between the reading ages of 12-16, it is quite a shame really.

    • Bill 5.2

      Because that which calls itself the mainstream is in fact a muddy backflow running alongside that bank over there.

    • ianmac 5.3

      “rich man’s crumbs”+ great! Yes just saying. Sanity always sounds sane.

  6. Morrissey 6

    Bradley Manning Show Trial begins in Maryland;
    Radio NZ’s “U.S. correspondent” doesn’t want to know about it

    Nine to Noon, Radio New Zealand National, Tuesday 4 June 2013

    Today the obscene, Stalinist persecution of Bradley Manning comes to a head with the start of his show trial in Fort Meade, Maryland. So naturally, when Kathryn Ryan talks with “U.S. correspondent” Jack Hitt for ten minutes this morning, it will be all about the show trial. Right?

    Wrong. Here are the highlights….

    KATHRYN RYAN: We go now to our United States correspondent, Jack Hitt. What’s happening, Jack?
    JACK HITT: Are you a Game of Thrones fan, Kathryn?
    KATHRYN RYAN: Why yes I am!

    Hitt then spends a considerable amount of time filling her in on something that has annoyed the Throners in the United States recently. It’s an utterly dull, obscure and trivial thing to go on about, especially on the day that an American hero is being crucified….

    JACK HITT: The Twittersphere’s on FIRE about this!

    ….[Awkward extended pause]….

    RYAN: Right, we’ll move on to more pleasant topics, like Obama’s drones policy. The latest thing that made my hair stand on end was the President saying these drones could be used on AMERICAN SOIL!

    Cue another long and not very enlightened monologue from Hitt. The problem for both Ryan and Hitt seems to be the killing of AMERICAN CITIZENS. The moral and legal outrage of using them against Pakistani and Afghani civilians doesn’t seem to worry either of them.

    HITT: On the weekend there was a drone strike against a Taliban leader in Afghanistan.
    RYAN: It was Eric Holder the Attorney General who said that drone strikes on American soil might be acceptable in a 9/11 type scenario.
    HITT: Obama’s been incredibly opaque in his responses. I mean, they have killed AMERICAN CITIZENS!

    ….[Long, thoughtful pause to indicate moral seriousness]….

    RYAN: Does anybody remember Watergate?
    HITT: [with fervent sincerity] Yeah, actually, I think they do

    Hitt wanders off on another long digression. Anything to avoid talking about the Bradley Manning show trial.

    Ironically, just before these two airheads vapoured on about the heroism of the American press, the target of the Watergate burglaries, Daniel Ellsberg, was on television. He was protesting at the show-trial of Bradley Manning. I do not think that either Hitt or Ryan would have registered the irony.

    RYAN: Interesting times! Jack, good to talk to you. We’ll catch up about China next time!

    • Te Reo Putake 6.1

      Er, having heard the conversation, can I just point out that Morrissey’s highlights bear little resemblance to what was actually said. eg, Ryan did not claim to be a fan of Game of Thrones, whatever that is. And there was no evidence that Jack Hitt was deliberately ignoring the Manning trial, anymore than he ignored the weather, South Sydney’s excellent NRL form or the colour of my socks.

      Discussing the use of drones on US soil, however, was an excellent topic, because clearly, that’s a gamechanger precisely because it ties actual deaths in Iraq et al to potential deaths in the States. It brings the reality of drones to the American people. Shame you missed that point, Moz. Perhaps if you dialed back the faux outrage and actually listened to what was being said, you might find the radio quite enlightening.

      • Morrissey 6.1.1

        Ryan did not claim to be a fan of Game of Thrones, whatever that is.

        Okay, you’re right there, no doubt. I thought she said that. But I concede to your sharp ears, my friend. Right, that’s the trivial stuff out of the way.

        And there was no evidence that Jack Hitt was deliberately ignoring the Manning trial, anymore than he ignored the weather…

        Errrr, yes there WAS evidence that he deliberately ignored the Manning show trial. The evidence is that he did not talk about it. Similarly, supporters of the Soviet state deliberately ignored inconvenient and troubling aspects of the USSR in the 1930s.

        Discussing the use of drones on US soil, however, was an excellent topic… Shame you missed that point, Moz.

        I did not miss it. In fact, I cover their shallow discussion of it in my rush transcript.

        Perhaps if you dialed back the faux outrage…

        “Faux outrage”? You think I’m joking about the triviality, dishonesty and utter lack of responsible discussion on our public radio?

        …and actually listened to what was being said, you might find the radio quite enlightening.

        I listened to what was being said, all right. As so often is the case, it’s what they deliberately did not say that is interesting.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Even in the depths of your paranoia, a small part of you must understand that if people don’t talk about what you think they should talk about, it’s not actually evidence of a conspiracy. Still, it’s nice that Jenny has someone on her wavelength.

          • Morrissey

            Even in the depths of your paranoia

            Your urge to trivialize and your attempts to derail serious discussions are beneath contempt. What is paranoid about what I wrote? Do you even understand what the word means?

            You think they just “forgot” to talk about it, do you?

            • Te Reo Putake

              Sorry, Bud, but I am not trivialising anything. The nature of a catch up with a correspondent in a show such as Nine to Noon by definition is lightweight. Its a skim through a few subjects in a few minutes.

              If you want more depth, or other issues that are dear to your heart discussed, I suggest you apply for a job as Ryan’s producer*. Till then, you’ll just have to live with the fact the Game of Thorns is more important to most radio listeners than Manning, who isn’t actually being lynched, but, instead, is being tried for releasing materials he knew he wasn’t supposed to release.

              *Snap (below)

              • Morrissey

                Sorry, Bud, but I am not trivialising anything.

                Yes, you are. Instead of entering into a serious and respectful dialogue, you abused me, and picked on the most trivial slip-up.

                The nature of a catch up with a correspondent in a show such as Nine to Noon by definition is lightweight.

                “By definition”. What tosh!

                Its [sic] a skim through a few subjects in a few minutes.

                It certainly is with Kathryn Ryan. You might accept such low standards; I and many other concerned listeners most certainly do not.

                Till then, you’ll just have to live with the fact the Game of Thorns is more important to most radio listeners than Manning,

                You just said yourself that you had no idea what it was! Hardly anybody watches it, either here or in the U.S. But that doesn’t matter; what’s important is that it furnishes a chance to talk about anything except the vengeance being exacted by the state on a dissenter. THAT is boring—according to the likes of you.

                ….who isn’t actually being lynched,

                It is an attempted lynching, run by the U.S. government. But I guess that, with your track record, you feel honor-bound, if that’s the right expression, to endorse it.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Lordy, how isolated from the average Kiwi you sound! Like Ryan, I’ve heard of Game of Thorns because it’s omniprescent at the moment. It is by a factor of thousands more important to kiwis than Manning. And I know this without ever seeing a single ep. because it’s the show du jour, Moz. You really should get out more or possibly stay in more, it’s hard to tell.

                  And you completely misunderstand Ryan’s show. The clue is in the name, which references the timeslot. It usually starts with follow ups to one or two big news stories then moves on to lighter stuff. That’s a pretty normal formula for a mid morning show on a talk station anywhere on this blue planet.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  “It is an attempted lynching, run by the U.S. government.”

                  They aren’t seeking the death penalty.

                  • Morrissey

                    They aren’t seeking the death penalty.

                    They have isolated, and physically and mentally abused and tortured him during his incarceration. They have tried to humiliate him, and have repeatedly stated, without evidence of course, that he is psychologically faltering. That was standard Soviet modus operandi for treating dissidents, of course.

                    Whether or not they do what the haters of liberty want them to do and kill him is really beside the point; by locking up this dangerous young truth-teller, they are effectively murdering dissent, and freedom, and human rights.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      All of that is awful.

                      But it aint a lynching.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Indeed PB, governments don’t carry out lynchings. They carry out show trials, summary judgements and retributive sentences for political effect.

                      They aren’t seeking the death penalty.

                      Ah yes, life in solitary with 1 hour per day exercise. Very gracious and humane.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      The point, CV, is that this stuff is serious. The way we talk about it matters. Morissey’s overwrought nonsense hurts insofar that people who know a bit about it will be see how much he overcooks it and be turned off.

                      It’s like the truther garbage. It taints actual critical discussion by making it seem like fantasist nonsense.

                    • Ennui

                      Im with Morrissey, all those who uphold the rule of law and the power of the state against the individual and his/her conscience an go to hell!

              • Murray Olsen

                There has been an argument made that Manning witnessed war crimes and therefore had a duty to report them. He reported to his superiors and was told to take things no further. This order was then illegal. Without recourse within the chain of command, he fulfilled his obligation by releasing the evidence to Wikileaks. On this basis, you could argue that he knew he was supposed to release the material.

                By no means am I a lawyer, let alone a specialist in US military law or the Geneva Convention, but I think Manning did the right thing. I like to think I’d be courageous enough to do the same, and I applaud him.

        • handle

          “Errrr, yes there WAS evidence that he deliberately ignored the Manning show trial. The evidence is that he did not talk about it.”

          That is no evidence of intent. There are reasons for not mentioning something other than deliberately suppressing it.

          • Morrissey

            That is no evidence of intent. There are reasons for not mentioning something other than deliberately suppressing it.

            Yes, there was a really important discussion about Game of Thrones that just had to be completed. Much more interesting than the public lynching of a dissident.

    • Jane 6.2

      Isn’t the Manning trial going to be very very short?

      Q. Did you sign a piece of paper saying you would keep official secrets?
      A. Yes.
      Q. Did you send files to anyone?
      A. Yes.

      Right, your sentence is…

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        It is the sworn duty of every Colonial Officer to refuse illegal orders to commit or cover up war crimes against civilians, Jane.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Dead right. And if he’d only raised the issues through army channels or through his state or federal representatives he wouldn’t be going to jail for the rest of his life. Don’t forget, he leaked everything he had, not just the specifics of abuses. More fool him for trusting Saint Jules not to dob him in, too.

          • freedom

            It was not WLO that dobbed him in, Manning states he did not use the TOR anonymizer when uploading the main file dump. I understand that he was identified through regular investigative methods.

          • Colonial Viper

            And if he’d only raised the issues through army channels or through his state or federal representatives he wouldn’t be going to jail for the rest of his life.

            You have to be kidding me. Do you believe that Manning would be off scot free if he did as you said? At least Manning is not as naive as you, given that he understands how the US military and government deliberately prosecuted this war from the start.

            Also you’re complaining that Manning didn’t follow correct channels when multiple war crimes against civilians were being committed. Seriously. What are correct channels when war crimes against civilians are being committed? Writing a letter to your local congressman? Or to your CO?

            • Te Reo Putake

              What channels? Re-read my comment. Manning had choices, lawful and unlawful, and took the dumbest option. For all its faults, the US military does prosecute its own and does listen to whistleblowers. The heroism of those who spoke out about the My Lai massacre shows that to be the case.

              • Morrissey

                For all its faults, the US military does prosecute its own and does listen to whistleblowers.

                I cannot believe anyone can be so dishonest as to write something like that sentence. You really need to think about what you are saying, and perhaps more importantly, why you are saying it.

                • Lanthanide

                  Careful TRP, you’re going to end up on “Liars of our Time”.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    I’m pretty sure I was the first, Lanth! I have a vague memory of Moz calling me something like that (liar of the week?) a couple of years ago in a forerunner of the current selection of People Who Confuse Moz. I think P’s B also made the shortlist.

                    • Morrissey

                      I’m pretty sure I was the first, Lanth! I have a vague memory of Moz calling me something like that (liar of the week?) a couple of years ago in a forerunner of the current selection of People Who Confuse Moz. I think P’s B also made the shortlist.

                      Actually, Te Reo, I don’t think you or Pascal’s Bookie did feature in “LIAR WATCH”, the 2012 feature that is the predecessor to today’s “Liars of Our Time” series. But several of our good buddies did….

                      Open mike 07/03/2012

                  • Morrissey

                    Careful TRP, you’re going to end up on “Liars of our Time”.

                    I do not think our friend Te Reo is a liar like, say, “Sir” Graham Henry or Henry Kissinger. Mere credulity and cowardice do not in themselves meet the criteria.

              • Colonial Viper


                The heroism of those who spoke out about the My Lai massacre shows that to be the case.

                That example was 50 years ago.

                For all its faults, the US military does prosecute its own and does listen to whistleblowers.

                That was before Obama decided to prosecute more whistleblowers during his term in office than every previous US president added together.

                Get with the programme my man, times have changed, you can’t be this naive.

                For all its faults, the US military does prosecute its own and does listen to whistleblowers.

                So the Apache crew who shot up the civilians, the children, and the Reuters camera man were prosecuted? I call bullshit on your claim.

                Link please.

              • Murray Olsen

                If Thompson hadn’t spoken out, there may well have been no prosecutions over My Lai. If he hadn’t landed his helicopter and stopped American troops by pointing machine guns at them, there would have been more murdered Vietnamese. There was still a movement to court martial him and he received numerous death threats.

          • Morrissey

            And if he’d only raised the issues through army channels or through his state or federal representatives he wouldn’t be going to jail for the rest of his life.

            Enjoy your vacation at the dacha, Comrade! You have earned it with your steadfast loyalty.

            If only those Jewish doctors had your ironclad devotion to the Holy State!

      • karol 6.2.2

        As I understand it, there’s a large number of charges. Manning has pleaded guilty to some and not guilty to others.The main focus of the defense will be on whether the leaks aided the enemy.

        • McFlock

          basically, they threw the book at him.

          Quite possibly literally.

          That’d be the problem with the education system – should’ve taken notes from Deep Throat: be paranoid, be anonymous, and STFU for decades afterwards.

      • freedom 6.2.3

        Enlistment Oath.— Each person enlisting in an armed force shall take the following oath:

        “I, XXXXXXXXXX, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

        If you have never read it, here is Manning’s [redacted] statement.
        It explains why he has plead guilty to some charges but will not plead guilty to others.


      • Morrissey 6.2.4

        Right, your sentence is…

        My sentence is: you must do some reading, you ignorant and heartless sow.

  7. Winston Smith 7


    A shameful lack of ethics if its true…

    • Te Reo Putake 7.1

      I think we all realise Farrar has a shameful lack of ethics, WS, but thanks for bringing this to our attention anyway.

    • Murray Olsen 7.2

      I heard Pete George is paid by Big Pharma looking for alternatives to sleeping pills. Does that count?

      Yawn. So what?

  8. Morrissey 8

    Rancorous Hypocrite Alert!
    Gavin “Mogadon” Ellis will be on National Radio at 11:45 this morning!

    Gavin “Mogadon” Ellis is not just the unbelievably dull media commentator that appears for five wasted minutes once a week on Nine to Noon. Media-watchers will be all too aware that Ellis used to be the inordinately dull editor of the New Zealand Herald, and as such he distinguished himself in 2002 not only by putting out a dull paper, but by a notorious display of craven cowardice. After the then Herald cartoonist Malcolm Evans dared to publish a series of cartoons criticizing the Israeli onslaught in the Occupied West Bank, Evans and Ellis became the target of the usual shrieking abuse from the local Israel lobby, led by the snarling Dame Lesley Max.

    Far from standing by the right of his cartoonist to criticize the outlaw regime, Ellis started returning his cartoons, with hand-written threats that his job was in jeopardy if he continued the provocations. Evans refused to buckle under, and sure enough, Ellis fired him.

    This morning, this notorious coward and toady will talk about the Al Nisbet cartoons. If he is to be consistent, he will take the side not of the victims but of the oppressor, and will back Nisbet to the hilt.

    Of course, silly old Malcolm Evans should have drawn cartoons SUPPORTING the massacres in the Occupied Territories; that way he would have been in line with the Herald‘s editorial policy.

    • Tim 8.1

      “Gavin “Mogadon” Ellis is not just the unbelievably dull media commentator….etc”
      Thank C I’m on a self-imposed 1 week ban.

      Testing 1 2 tree

  9. Tiger Mountain 9

    Open Mike today: the denizens seem to be squiggling, and humpfing, those cocktails and brewskis will wear off soon enough troops, bushy tails tomorrow.

    • cough up please Furball
    • morrissey might have a wee lie down
    • And B. Manning is going “down, down, down” to quote the Boss. He did great service to democracy at great personal cost unfortunately for naive wee him.

    and that was mountain view today…

  10. joe90 10

    Mandawuy Yunupingu of Yolngu, Arnhem Land, has died.

    • xtasy 10.1

      Sad to hear this, and him having to go so “early”!

      I used to enjoy, and still do at times, the music of Yothu Yindi.

      “Australian of the Year 1992”, I understand, well deserved.

  11. xtasy 11

    John Key’s “booming” New Zealand economy in “full revocery” from the Global Financial Crisis:



    Maybe good for property rich and owning National Party members and supporters, for speculators, certain developers and for those owning homes that are largely paid off.

    Great stuff, but what about the rest of us?

    So where are the houses for the low income earners, and when will they be ready to move in, while in many parts of Auckland the average price is around a million for a house or home now?

  12. Morrissey 12


    Lest We Forget
    Why the U.S. regime is exacting vengeance on Bradley Manning

    A Stalinist show trial began in Fort Meade, Maryland, today. The U.S. regime wants to make sure nobody else dares to make this kind of evidence available ever again….


  13. Winston Smith 13


    Please whatever Labour does do not, I repeat do not get rid of David Shearer

    Hes Nationals best chance of getting re-elected

    • xtasy 13.1

      Winston Smith(erines): Cunning game, played by your mentor, first promote and flatter the man, now get out the hatchet and hack his legs off, right?

      I have little time for Shearer as “leader”, consider him a suitable minister though, but we all know what David Farrar is all about.

      He is a boot-licking advocate for John Key and that Natzi Party, right.

      Yes, Shearer needs replacing, and one has to be suspicious, whether Labour’s leadership may indeed not have been “infiltrated” by government friendly saboteurs of sorts, for such press release to be allowed out.

      • kiwicommie 13.1.1

        I think Labour decided that any more leadership battles coming up to an election would divide the party, and create bad publicity. When the 2014 election is over, that would be the time to decide whether Shearer should stay or someone else should take his place. Right now however National is trying to anything to mud-sling the opposition, so keeping a united front is the best bet, no matter how much you may dislike certain politicians in Labour.

        • gobsmacked

          But when the opposition are slinging mud at themselves?

          There IS a united front. People commenting on the left (blogs, twitter, polls, you name it) are united in seeing clearly that Shearer isn’t up to the job.

          “Bad publicity”? A change of leader might be a week’s worth. Whereas no change = bad publicity every week.

          • kiwicommie

            I doubt it matters, as I have said before. This is MMP, not a Presidential system. Shearer doesn’t have to be a great leader at all, as long as people vote for this party, and the opposition parties. There are plenty of other nations where the leader is unloved and even hated, yet their party still win elections – because they aren’t voting for the leader, but the party.

            • Colonial Viper

              This is MMP, not a Presidential system. Shearer doesn’t have to be a great leader at all, as long as people vote for this party

              That seemingly innocuous assumption didn’t work that well for Goff now, did it.

        • Alanz

          Wait till “the 2014 election is over” ?
          Hey, give it another 6 months, just 6 more months.

        • Colonial Viper

          Right now however National is trying to anything to mud-sling the opposition, so keeping a united front is the best bet

          A few more policies as gutsy as NZ Power and you won’t have to be calling for Labour Party supporters to fall into line.

          • JK

            Hah, CV – didn’t you see David Parker saying NO to anymore joint Labour-Green gutsy policies ?.

        • xtasy

          While I get your message and see your point, I just cannot bear seeing an opposition heading into an election campaign eyes wide shut, ending in a major disaster, which will give the Natzies a third term (possibly with Colin Craig’s Conservatives).

          Having been through a term and a half now, and seeing how they get meaner by the week, it will drive me to insanity or serious self harm, to live through a third term of yet more nastiness. It is simply mentally, emotionally and physically not bearable, the mere thought of it.

          Labour hoping to win by default is a bet like buying a lotto ticket, nothing else. Hence my desperation and dismay.

    • felix 13.2

      Jesus Labour, what’s wrong with you? Stupid stupid stupid, is he doing it on purpose?

      • Rhinocrates 13.2.1

        mobilise and terrorise our political opponents. …

        “Let the games begin,” says David Shearer.

        Oh dear, he’s been drinking Brut 33 again. Someone stop him before he starts guzzling Old Spice. Before you know it, he’ll grow a porn ‘stache and wear an a open-necked shirt and a medallion.

        Is their campaign song going to be the theme from Shaft?

        P.S. Whatever happened to “hands on” and “holding the government to account?” Are they still using those?

        • Pascal's bookie

          Would have been cool if he’d said “eat their fucking souls’ instead of ‘terrorise.

          But he didn’t, and now he looks like a dick.

          • Rhinocrates

            … and meant it.

            Right, if Samuel Motherfucking Jackson (that’s his real middle name, not “Leroy”) forms a party, I’m voting for it.

            Said it before, gotta say it again: if you want to know why Wall Street fucked the world economy, look at Key, but if you want to know why the UN is so ineffective, look at Shearer.

            • Colonial Viper

              Right, if Samuel Motherfucking Jackson (that’s his real middle name, not “Leroy”) forms a party, I’m voting for it.

              Might be time for (Sir) Robert Jones to come out of political retirement, at this rate.

            • Murray Olsen

              Nice one, Rhino. Says a lot.

  14. gobsmacked 14

    Good day for the opposition in the House. Key showed his nasty side (as usual), Norman skewered him, Winston dug some dirt, and Metiria forced Hekia into a vote-losing confession.

    So it’s all good. Except – of course – David Shearer comes to the rescue! His talk of “terrorising” will piss off potential friends and make Labour look bad. No change there.

    Please, please, Labour MPs … Make the stupidity stop.

    • Morrissey 14.1

      Simon Bridges was floundering too.

      Chester Borrows seemed particularly uncomfortable trying to answer on behalf of the absent Paula Bennett.

      Even the Speaker (David Carter) seemed to be exasperated with Hekia Parata’s performance.

      Serious question: Has there ever been a more unimpressive front bench in the history of New Zealand parliaments?

  15. NickS 15


    Once more Scandinavia shows the way.

    • prism 15.1

      What a great country – Finland really supporting its parents. Pity that NZ isn’t like that.
      It would be great if parents could all state something like this about NZ support.

      We now live in Helsinki and have just had our second child, Annika. She did get a free box from the Finnish state. This felt to me like evidence that someone cared, someone wanted our baby to have a good start in life. And now when I visit friends with young children it’s nice to see we share some common things. It strengthens that feeling that we are all in this together.

    • muzza 15.2

      Good link, Nick.

      The Finns showing, how to build foundations of a functioning society.

      It takes an educated, engaged nation, with a sense of identity, pride, self respect, and respect for others, to ensure the continuation of such standards.

  16. xtasy 16

    Sky City: Future Governments not bound by current deal – lawyer

    Amazing stuff coming from lawyer Stephen Franks (from another political quarter, but acting in his professional capacity as advising lawyer), given to the Green Party, and revealed in the New Zealand Herald today:


    So a future government can opt out of any deals signed by the present government with Sky City – in return for a close to 400 million “free” convention centre (for more pokies).

    One concern is the foreign investors/owners of Sky City can possibly sue for loss of revenue they expected, if the deal is reneged on.

    • infused 16.1

      I don’t think it was ever said the govt can’t get out of it. They can – it will just cost.

      • xtasy 16.1.1

        Such compensation claims can surely be legally disputed as well, and any “claim” filed will not mean that it will be met and succeed.

        It may in such a case likely end up before the courts, and that international courts, and one would have to see, how that would pan out.

        Every day, every week, every month, every year, new legal precedents are set, so it could be very interesting what would come out of it.

      • Colonial Viper 16.1.2

        If SkyCity are unreasonable, it’ll cost them their operating license. Remember who has the leverage in these “negotiations”.

        • xtasy

          Also perhaps, due to the processes followed, highly criticised by the Auditor General, a future government can perhaps use that as an argument, for the agreement to be made, to have been reached illegally (breach of natural justice in deciding on who gets the deal).

          I’d appreciate some senior legal expert, perhaps Miss Chen, to give an opinion on this.

  17. FYI………….

    Must be doing something right, if Cameron Slater (Whaleoil) and Martyn (Bomber) Bradbury – have BOTH banned me from making comments on their blogs?

    Both of them believe in ‘freedom of expression’ – but not on their blogs?

    How sad.
    Too bad.
    Carry on ……………


    Martyn Bradbury BANNED me from posting comments on ‘the Daily Blog’ – because he was totally opposed to my standing for the Auckland mayoralty, against John Minto.

    Although I had made public my intention to stand as a 2013 Auckland Mayoralty candidate, well before John asked Mana to endorse his standing.

    Although I stood as an Auckland Mayoral candidate in 2010.

    For the public record, I do think it’s a great idea for John Minto to stand as an Auckland Mayoral candidate, for the Mana Party.

    It’s a very effective way to help get a higher political profile for both Mana as a political party, and John Minto as a candidate before the 2014 General Election.

    As the only candidate campaigning on an ACTION PLAN against ‘white collar’ crime, corruption and ‘corporate welfare’ – I look forward to the upcoming Mayoral debates!


    ‘Her Warship’ 😉

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campaigner

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate


    • felix 17.1

      “Must be doing something right, if Cameron Slater (Whaleoil) and Martyn (Bomber) Bradbury – have BOTH banned me from making comments on their blogs?”

      Or something wrong. Or something annoying. Or none of the above. There’s no logic that suggests it means anything at all actually, people get banned from blogs all the time for all sorts of reasons so it could well be a coincidence.

      Did either of them say why they banned you? Could be clues there.

      • Lanthanide 17.1.1

        Hasn’t Penny been banned from here in the past? Too much dry copypasta, not enough saucy comments?

        [lprent: Nope. After she stopped doing the really long ones, got it more into her own words, reduced her CAPITAL and bold excretions, reduced our exposure to defamation suits, and started using OpenMike – well I haven’t really had anything to do with her comments apart from looking at them for some ideas about what was going on. No bans for a long time and the last time I had to do something was [deleted] in a comment that was defamatory in the absence of strong backing material (and if she had that then it would have been better to take it to the police for malfeasance) ]

        • Morrissey

          I heard Penny interviewed on the radio yesterday. She was extremely articulate and interesting.

          But she could work on her written presentation a bit, I guess.

          • xtasy

            She spoke to Sean Plunket on Radio Live late this morning, and in the end was cut off. But he gave her a bit of a go. Perhaps it took his nerve centres to connect for a while, until he realised, who “Penny” was, defending Russell Norman and the Greens, and then raising her corruption in NZ concerns.

        • muzza

          Lanthanide, what is with the snivelling little cissy attitudes here…Thats rhetorical, in case you don’t get it!

          What were you, hoping to achieve by making that comment?

    • Jimmie 17.2

      You were probably banned Penny as your bright and sunny personality combined with succinct and relevant posts were threatening to outshine the blog hosts – so of course you needed to be given the short shift.

  18. felix 18

    Good to see Tracy Martin siding with the human resistance in the War Against The Machines.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      The only way to beat the Machine intelligence is to be fully human.

  19. Jenny 19

    Finally. It Speaks:

    “Labour will campaign relentlessly… We will organise, mobilise and terrorise our political opponents.”

    David Shearer scoop.co.nz 4 June, 2013

    Surprisingly Shearer’s tough talking was aimed at the candidates standing in the Ikaroa-Rawhiti By-election. So it appears that Shearer’s “opponents” who he intends to “terrorise” don’t include the National Party, who are not standing. If only David could reserve such tough talking for the National Party. Shearer should take a leaf out of Russel Norman’s book, and instead of largely letting them off the hook with his meek stumbling bumbling performance to date, get stuck into the Nats. with as much ferocity.

    Instead with intemperate language that Parekura Horomia would have been appalled at, Shearer with all the finesse of a blundering rhino charges at Labour’s potential allies.

    More likely than not, Shearer’s stepping in with this sectarian diatribe will cost the Labour candidate votes.


    National’s glaring failings, so obvious that a three year old could spot them, make an easy target. Russel Norman skewered them with ease. Why can’t Shearer do the same? Instead it seems his real invective is reserved for Labour’s erstwhile future allies.

    And the Green Party want to go into coalition and are prepared to bend over backwards to accommodate themselves to Shearer’s Labour Party in exchange for cabinet positions?

    They must be mad.

    The Green Party are prepared to give up their principles for what? To be outvoted on every single cabinet decision, yet be locked into supporting them, through “collective cabinet responsibility”?

    • marty mars 19.1

      david shearer is by far the biggest liability the left has to gain power and I don’t mean fucken labour btw – to say what he said, today of all days – I am so over that wanker. He is a fucken right wing plant, a judas goat and a semi-articulate bastard.

      • Olwyn 19.1.1

        I can understand someone thinking that Shearer is a right wing plant, since the only people he actually picks fights with are on the left – first the Labour Party members, and now he’s “terrorising” his supposed allies. Allies, that is, unless he thinks it’s a better idea to leave them in the lurch and try to form a grand coalition with National. The people who vote for John Key don’t care if he tells lies because they believe he is lying on their behalf. David Shearer seems hard put to make an utterance, whether true, false or indecipherable, on behalf of Labour voters.

        • Paul

          I think he’s a right wing plant.
          Matthew Hooton was involved in his selection. At a BBQ just after the 2011 election.

          • Matthew Hooton

            “involved in his selection” is a stretch. I’ve explained what happened many times before: http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-29052013/#comment-640274

            • felix

              It’s not a stretch at all.

              A stretch would be to say that you were responsible for selecting him, or that you were tasked with selecting him, or perhaps that your role was crucial to his selection.

              But “involved” is precisely what you were, and you’ve never made any secret of it.

              It suited you that he was selected, as it suited you to feign support and praise for him, just as it now suits you to attack him.

              Just as everyone said you would all along.

    • lprent 19.2

      IMHO: Really the wrong language for that Ikaroa-Rawhiti electorate. I suspect there will be some backlash from that tomorrow..

      But hey, there were mass mail-outs from those bastions of Maoridom, the Labour leader’s office and the NZLP HQ. They used them to introduce their candidate – they didn’t let her introduce herself despite what looks like an interesting history. The mailout that I looked at showed no real appreciation of the importance of connections, family, or past history amongst Maori which are kind of important to Maori candidates in Maori seats. Apparently it was the better of the two…

      I’m not exactly a major student of Maori culture in the East Coast, but it does make it feel a teensy bit patronising… I bet that neither the Maori party or Mana or even the Greens would do that.

      I’ll have a look at seeing if we can get a couple of posts from people who know about that electorate.

  20. democracy 20

    In the shortness of a persons lifetime how is that the failings of political history repeat themselves to the extent that they have reached today
    Poverty of the masses, denial of educational opportunity,resurgence of the lack of freedoms that our forebears left europe because of,the unbelievable denial of democratic principles in the governance of this country not seen since Muldoon and Holland were in power .
    This is the re establishment by party politics of democracy being nothing but a tool for the capitalist doctrine to slash and burn without any control by true majority of the nation
    These capitalist have no safeguards to cleanup the mess their policies of money at whatever the cost will leave us to pay for .The’re just like any other international corporation using the country for their 2%ers benefit, paying media politics and lying thru their advertising.
    The answers simple we are a country of 4 million that needs to be very careful about how it looks after itself and this govt has lost our way because they are there because of us so Mr Key do the hard yards if you are a Kiwi

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