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Open mike 04/07/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 4th, 2010 - 58 comments
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58 comments on “Open mike 04/07/2010 ”

  1. The Otago Daily Times has this report on Tolley’s visit to the recent Principals’ conference in Queenstown:

    Education Minister Anne Tolley provoked angry reaction when she hit back at about 550 principals opposed to National Standards and refused to stay for questions at a conference in Queenstown yesterday.

    New Zealand Principals Federation conference convener Brent Caldwell said the conference schedule had included 11 prepared questions from the floor after the minister’s speech.

    “There was never going to be an open forum. The delegates were very keen to hear her answers to their questions but she had another engagement to go to, unfortunately,” he said.

    I understand the questions were given to her in advance so that she could rote learn the answers and not be embarassed.

    It is no wonder there is such little respect for her. She apparently had a hall opening or something to go to. This was obviously more important than entering into a dialogue with the most important people in the education system.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      If the questions had been prepared and submitted so that she could actually answer the questions when asked them then there is only one reason why she didn’t – because they (National) know damn well that the answers are something that will turn the public against them. I can only speculate that the answers to those questions showed that the National Standards are as damaging as all other attempts at implementing such “standards” (US, UK) have been. Anyone know what the questions were?

      More secrecy and misdirection from National.

  2. joe90 2

    Looks like the tories are going to revert to form with an investigation into the screws union.

    I wonder how long before we have a report of financial irregularities within the Principals Federation .

    • Bob Stanforth 2.1

      Yeah, those friggen tories, man, is nothing sacred? Oh, hang on…

      It was a union member (“Senior prison officer Helen Williams”) who blew the whistle…

      So, um, here’s the thing joe90 (used to love him BTW, you are showing your age I think 🙂 ) – if I was contributing $17.50 a fortnight to a union, I would want to know that it was being spent in an open and highly relevant manner. Wouldn’t you? F’rinstance, if union delegates were flying around in helicopters, I would like to know why – particularly if I had paid for it.

      But yeah, those friggen tories, bastards 😉

      • joe90 2.1.1

        Bob, old enough to know what it’s like to have my representation hamstrung and then face major changes to my employment.

        • Bob Stanforth 2.1.1.1

          So what are you saying, the relevant authorities should not investigate claims of impropriety? Just because its a union? Are they above the law? To whom are they accountable then, if not (a) their members and (b) the police if laws have been broken?

          • joe90 2.1.1.1.1

            Not at all Bob, but if you wanted to push through changes to someones employment it would help if the employees representatives were knee capped. I am saying that this all looks rather convenient in the Royd ‘hero to zero’ Kennedy, I’ll back Roger way.

            • Bob Stanforth 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Interesting examples. My late and much missed Father in Law was a career fire fighter. He knew Royd Kennedy very well – there is much to that story the public will never know, and much that is skimmed over.

              Yes, the Fire Service were screwed, and wrongly so, but that doesn’t mean that people in positions of trust are free from scrutiny 🙂

  3. Ministry of Justice 3

    “Morality shouldn’t be legislated” is an easy assertion to make if you have few or no morals.

    Who here agrees with the assertion and can identify an action they think is immoral that should not be illegal?

    Note: It doesn’t count if you identify an action that is, in principle, an action that should be illegal, but is in a context where doesn’t warrant enforcement.

    • joe90 3.1

      Bryers and co, the way they took deposits from willing investors while they knew that their businesses were very nearly insolvent is an example of immorality but no one will be charged because their actions were dressed up as financial risk.

    • felix 3.2

      I think it is immoral to take children to church.

      • Ministry of Justice 3.2.1

        Perhaps you are just moralophobic. 🙂

        • felix 3.2.1.1

          How so?

          • Descendant Of Smith 3.2.1.1.1

            I think it’s immoral to have sex with someone other than your wife unless your wife is agreeable that you do so e.g. informed consent of all parties but don’t think it should be legislated against.

            I think however that it would be even more immoral to have my morals imposed on everyone else.

            I don’t necessarily agree it is immoral to take children to church as there is both good and bad in religion ( religious schools I see as much more immoral – particularly state funding going to them).

            I do think it immoral to for religions (cults) to ostracise people from their families if they choose not to believe.

            • Ministry of Justice 3.2.1.1.1.1

              DoS –
              Infidelity doesn’t count because, in principle, it is the breaking of a contract.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                I did say wife so you could argue that in the sense of a marriage contract but I also mean partner – ultimately either way it’s still a morally based contract.

                Equally there was an acceptance in marriage that straying would happen on occasion hence the acceptance that children born within a marriage were of that marriage – even when at times they were not. This principle allowed some social cohesion where otherwise those issues might have spilled over with the focus on the child and the raising of this as being most important.

                I’ve always though that moral questions should always be in two parts:

                1. What you would do yourselves
                2. What you find it acceptable for others to do.

                Often only the former is asked.

                I’m quite happy for instance for consenting couples to wife swap but wouldn’t do it myself – at least in my current relationship of 30 years because that would fundamentally undo that relationship. Another time a different relationship who knows.

          • felix 3.2.1.1.2

            My dear old gran considered exposing one’s shoulders in public to be immoral.

            Being quite staunchly anti-fascist, however, she never suggested that it should be illegal.

    • felix 3.3

      MoJ, how do you feel about legislating morality?

      Are there some practices you’d like to see outlawed on the basis of your own moral code? If so, why?

    • Pascal's bookie 3.4

      Note: It doesn’t count if you identify an action that is, in principle, an action that should be illegal, but is in a context where doesn’t warrant enforcement.

      Doesn’t that make the question impossible to answer?

      Why should it be illegal in principle if it doesn’t warrant enforcement? “should be’ and ‘not warranting’ are going to be decided how? The former through morality I guess, and the latter through pragmatism or whatever.

      The infidelity example is a good one. It’s not just ‘a breach of contract’, though you can think of it that way. It’s a personal betrayal and any number of other things, relationship specific. Saying it doesn’t count because while breaches of contact are generally illegal, infidelity doesn’t warrant enforcement just avoids the debate. Why doesn’t it warrant enforcement?

      • Descendant Of Smith 3.4.1

        Sadly in some countries it doe – but usually only if it’s the woman.

        That abuse of (religious + state) power is in itself a good enough reason for it not to be enforceable by law.

  4. Janice 4

    Am I being paranoid? For some reason I feel uneasy about the SAS being used for security for the Rugby World Cup. Is this another line that has been crossed to protect the sponsors investment, or am I just a stupid old woman and it really is a good idea to use New Zealand special troops on New Zealand soil against, possibly, New Zealand citizens?

    • jcuknz 4.1

      I guess I am a stupid old man when I believe they will be acting, if they have to, against foreigners …
      But after the Pricipal’s conference I’m not the only one … who ever heard of anybody, politician or other, answering loaded questions and cutting short their own speech to do so?

      • felix 4.1.1

        Ah, so they’ll be carrying those newly developed anti-foreigner guns. The ones that can be fired at British and Australian people but immediately lock up when pointed near a Kiwi. Goodo.

        That nonsense aside, do you seriously not have any problem with the presence of soldiers in the streets of NZ, in peacetime?

        Have we come that far already?

        • Bill 4.1.1.1

          Has everyone forgotten that LAV during the Armed Offenders Squad stand off not so long back?

          Army for hire anyone?

          • QoT 4.1.1.1.1

            Yep, the one-off use of a military vehicle as a shield, duly requested and authorised by Ministers of the Crown, is exactly the same as mercenarism (sp?).

            Using military forces as a police force? Badbadbad. Borrowing their car? Not the same thing.

            • lprent 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Has to be my comment of the day. I can almost taste dry acid. Very tart taste 😈

              • Bill

                Aw c’mon lprent!

                Such utterly spot on causticity is far more rewarding than a measly ‘comment of the day’ award.

                Surely.

                • lprent

                  Umm we really need to get a pH meter out to figure out which side of neutral QoT is on..

                  I have to admit that she made me laugh, and point the conversation out to Lyn. Something I rarely do.

    • Bill 4.2

      Are they actually going to be used, or is this WC line just a convenient cover for getting out of Afghanistan because –
      “The entire COIN strategy is a fraud perpetuated on the American (and NZ?) people. The idea that we are going to spend a trillion dollars to reshape the culture of the Islamic world is utter nonsense.”
      (Douglas Macgregor, a retired colonel and leading critic of counterinsurgency who attended West Point with McChrystal)

      Or maybe because – “It’s not going to look like a win, smell like a win or taste like a win. This is going to end in an argument.”
      (Maj General Bill Mayville,chief of operations for McChrystal)

      Or simply due to the fact that [W]e’re f****ing losing this thing.’
      (Staff Sergeant Kennith Hicks)

      All that and more is contained in the Rolling Stones articles that the msm decided contained nothing more substantial than a General bad mouthing his boss, ’cause like, nobody has ever badmouthed their boss before.

      Here’s the link if you feel like reading it for the information it contains rather than the gossip http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/17390/119236?RS_show_page=0

      ñ€”

      • Pascal's bookie 4.2.1

        This is also good:

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/25/AR2010062502160.html

        Earlier generations of American leaders, military as well as civilian, instinctively understood the danger posed by long wars. “A democracy cannot fight a Seven Years War,” Gen. George C. Marshall once remarked. The people who provided the lifeblood of the citizen army raised to wage World War II had plenty of determination but limited patience. They wanted victory won and normalcy restored.

        The wisdom of Marshall’s axiom soon became clear. In Vietnam, Lyndon B. Johnson plunged the United States into what became its Seven Years War. The citizen army that was sent to Southeast Asia fought valiantly for a time and then fell to pieces. As the conflict dragged on, Americans in large numbers turned against the war — and also against the troops who fought it.

        After Vietnam, the United States abandoned its citizen army tradition, oblivious to the consequences. In its place, it opted for what the Founders once called a “standing army” — a force consisting of long-serving career professionals….

        …The Long War is not America’s war. It belongs exclusively to “the troops,” lashed to a treadmill that finds soldiers and Marines either serving in a combat zone or preparing to deploy.

        To be an American soldier today is to serve a people who find nothing amiss in the prospect of armed conflict without end. Once begun, wars continue, persisting regardless of whether they receive public support. President Obama’s insistence to the contrary notwithstanding, this nation is not even remotely “at” war. In explaining his decision to change commanders without changing course in Afghanistan, the president offered this rhetorical flourish: “Americans don’t flinch in the face of difficult truths.” In fact, when it comes to war, the American people avert their eyes from difficult truths… Soldiers (and their families) are left holding the bag….

        …The responsibility facing the American people is clear. They need to reclaim ownership of their army. They need to give their soldiers respite, by insisting that Washington abandon its de facto policy of perpetual war. Or, alternatively, the United States should become a nation truly “at” war, with all that implies in terms of civic obligation, fiscal policies and domestic priorities. Should the people choose neither course — and thereby subject their troops to continuing abuse — the damage to the army and to American democracy will be severe.

        Andrew J. Bacevich, professor of history and international relations at Boston University.

  5. just saying 5

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10656304&pnum=2

    hear hear, Matt McCarten:

    “In our country we now have a self-perpetuating political elite with a lifestyle and a sense of entitlement that is alien to the people they purport to represent. The idea that public service is a privilege, not a tenured career with unearned and immoral perks, doesn’t seem to occur to them.”

    Our House of Representatives on both sides of the house, is chock full of people whose lives bear no resemblance to the people they pupport to represent. And not just once they reach the champagne and caviar “jet set” which parliament has become, but in the lives they’ve lived before entering politics.

    I dunno what the answer is, but I can’t see the 70 percent of New Zealanders earning less than $50,000 having any effective representation until this changes.

    I think there desperately needs to be an affirmative action policy in all the left wing parties of standing a minimum percentage of candidates who have a) Lived outside of Parliament for most of their working lives (ie just aren’t stepping up the career ladder from ‘policy advising’ or other ancilliary parliament job), and b) lived for a signicant amount of their lives on average or less income (student days not included).

    • Tigger 5.1

      Why only Left wing parties?

      • just saying 5.1.1

        That would be ideal. I’m just assuming the right doesn’t actually give a rat’s arse about the majority of New Zealanders. They’d prefer to screw us over even more. And I’m desperately hoping the left does care.

  6. wyndham 6

    @ Janice

    I feel exactly the same . . . can’t yet say why other than I feel that the RWC will be neither the time nor the place to be using our military. In fact all sorts of negative images are not difficult to find.

    • Janice 6.1

      Thanks for confirming that I am not the only person who is uneasy about the SAS being on the streets during the RWC, I thought I was being paranoid. Imagine if Muldoon had brought in the troops in 1981.

      • felix 6.1.1

        Ah yes, Key’s hero.

        And no, you’re not paranoid. The idea of soldiers in the streets during peacetime should be abhorrent to all of us.

    • logie97 7.1

      Anyone else note how the NZRFU continues its subtle snub and loathing of the Northern Hemisphere unions.

      – plays Ireland at New Plymouth
      – plays Wales at Carisbrook and Hamilton.

      Just imagine the outcry if the All Blacks had to play Wales at anywhere other than Cardiff Arms Park, England at Twickenham, Ireland at Lansdown Road or Scotland at Murrayfield.

      • Descendant Of Smith 7.1.1

        Actually as a long staunch rugby fan it wouldn’t (and doesn’t) matter to me in the least where we played them. Can play them in Venezuela.

        The outcry wouldn’t come from the fans of the game the outcry would come from the administrators who would make less money from the smaller grounds.

        The snub that irritates me in England’s refusal to play a 5 test series in cricket with NZ. We’re not worthy.

      • big bruv 7.1.2

        Despite the mighty Irish ASKING for the game to be played at New Plymouth.

        But hey, don’t let facts get in the way of your argument.

        • BLiP 7.1.2.1

          No sign of the $100 you owe wikileaks, then?

        • logie97 7.1.2.2

          You got a link for that? And the Welsh asked for Hamilton?
          They were offered Christchurch/Auckland/Wellington but asked for the
          provinces…?

  7. ianmac 8

    I do believe we should pay the MPs as much as it takes. The recent fuss over their “overspending” is a nonsense. It is quibbling over pennies when the big questions are sidelined like lack of transparency (see No Right Turn on OIA), the rights of democracy (see funding of Political Parties, not the drinking sort), and interferring in professional affairs (like National Standards not the other sort).
    I have more concerns over the multi-million salaries for CEOs. Guess who is paying for them?

    • I agree with you ianmax. I believe that all politicians put aside their often successful business lives to undertake public office and are paid a pittance for it BUT I do not agree with double dipping like Bill English is apt to do.

      Being a politician is not an easy job and it is a 24/7 job and no one is guaranteed employment after their 3 years in office. Remuneration should reflect that and should also reflect the high level at which they all have to work. We expect a lot from our politicians so we should pay them for the job they do.

      More – I feel sorrier for the support and administrative staff that work with these politicians. They have the worst jobs of all. They are shuffled all over the place with very little reward or job security from government to government. I just hope they are paid appropriately and have excellent working conditions with good severence pay.

      BTW – I would love to see a General Strike take place and see how this govt responds!

  8. Draco T Bastard 9

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1007/S00031.htm

    “It is ridiculous that less than a week after ACC Minister Nick Smith announced the organisation will this year record a $2 billion surplus, New Zealanders are being hit with substantial increases in ACC levies.

    “At a time when Kiwis are already struggling, substantially increasing vehicle registration costs is a cruel blow when the justification used for the increases was exaggerated,’ David Parker said.

    Didn’t see this in the MSM and it’s what people need to know. They need to be told about it so that they know that NACT are lying to us.

    • uke 9.1

      “Didn’t see this in the MSM and it’s what people need to know.”

      I’ve been reading Robin Hyde’s book on being a journalist in 1920s & 30s NZ. Things were no better then and her comments are sadly still relevant:

      “The attitude of most New Zealand dailies on questions of any political importance is a foregone conclusion. Money-bags need never open his morning paper with the presentiment that the New Zealand Herald, the Wellington Dominion, or the Christchurch Press will have anything to say that could possibly spoil the flavour of his breakfast bacon.” (from Journalese)

  9. big bruv 10

    Oh dear, oh dear!

    It looks like some union thug has been ripping off his hard working members.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/3883259/Police-investigate-union

    Reason 373 not to join a union.

    • The Voice of Reason 10.1

      Talking about rip offs, you paid up yet?

    • felix 10.2

      Yeah you’re no-one to be talking about rip-offs, “big bludge”.

      Pay up you liar.

    • So do the significant numbers of fraudulent businessmen stop you from getting involved in business?

    • Bill 10.4

      Reason 373 to have the union structured along syndicalist lines bb.

      Alas, an impossible proposition given the laws surrounding union structures in this country – must be hierarchical, incorporated and hence fundamentally vulnerable to undemocratic dynamics.

      Them’s the capitalist rules.

  10. a human 11

    It’s Independence Day of course and in the twilight zone of double-speak we see this
    http://www.newsvine.com/_news/2010/07/04/4610953-clinton-laments-a-slow-crushing-of-civil-rights

    • Bored 11.1

      White lady speak with forked tongue. As the Rev. Spooner might say, rectal moritude.

  11. john 12

    [audio src="http://michael-hudson.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/RE23.06.10.mp3" /]

    A great interview with Dr Michael Hudson explaining the neo-liberal takeover in the west’s social economic life and its destructiveness e.g. Prosperity through austerity for some but not others.

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