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Open mike 05/05/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 5th, 2021 - 74 comments
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74 comments on “Open mike 05/05/2021 ”

  1. Muttonbird 1

    The motion by ACT to debate in Parliament China's human rights abuses in Xinjiang is another example of their marketing strategy. The regularly use this strategy to advance their own profile.

    It is dressed up as concern but in reality it is quite cynical and it too is exploitative of the very Muslim minorities in China they claim to be representing.

    As with most of ACT's activities, it is 99% political charade.

    • Peter chch 1.1

      Well if you are correct, then thank god for political charades.

      If not, there would be no publicity whatsoever about the Xijiang situation. China is an empire and has systematically colonised and subjugated the Ughurs (Na the Tibetans) over the 70 years.

      More shame on our lame PM that she and her government lacks the principles to do what ACT is doing, whatever their motive.

      • Byd0nz 1.1.1

        Pure BS, you have been sucked in. As for Tibet, it was still feudalist before China set the bonded slaves free.

        • McFlock

          The enemy of an enemy of human rights is not necessarily a friend of human rights.

          Frankly, ACT's concern for human rights in China is about as honest as the whataboutism of China's happy defenders.

          The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

          NZ needs to avoid being dominated by both these nations, while trying to remember and assist all victims of oppression, regardless of the perpetrator. Sure it's aspirational and never perfectly attainable, but it's better than volunteering time to suck up to oppressors.

          • Morrissey

            … the whataboutism of China's happy defenders.

            ??? So it is wrong to point out that the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Australia have no moral ascendancy over China? To unhappily point out—and it is an unhappy task—that the U.S., France, U.K. and Australia are rogue states who have no right to lecture anyone else about human rights is to "happily defend China."

            What moral syllogism is that exactly?

            • McFlock

              You want me to provide a syllogism to support something that runs opposite to what I actually wrote:

              NZ needs to avoid being dominated by both these nations, while trying to remember and assist all victims of oppression, regardless of the perpetrator.

              ACT pointing out the wrongs committed by China while ignoring (or even in order to distract from) wrongs committed by the USA etc is simply the flipside of some online sinophile pointing out the wrongs committed by the USA etc while ignoring (or even in order to distract from) wrongs committed by China.

        • Peter chch

          My involvement with China goes way back, and knowledge of the Han colonisation of Xinjiang was well known and obvious to anyone who went there decades ago. You may deny reality because of your political views, but that does not change what has been happening in Xinjiang for the last 70 years.

          And as for Xinzang/Tibet, yes it was a medieval theocracy prior to the Chinese invasion of 1949. That however in no way justifies todays colonisation by the Han.

          Seriously, you need to learn about China. It is an empire just as evil and imperialistic as the Russian Empire, or USSR as they euphemistically called it.

          • In Vino

            I am not sure how to assess your knowledge of history, Peterchch. I agree about Russia, but why call 'USSR' a euphemism? Stalin was indeed the last of the great csars, because he ruled Russia with a rod of iron just as they did, and ignored many of Communism's ideals. Totalitarians they all were.

            But as to the history of Tibet, etc? That area was always a province of China when a dynasty was strong. And when the Chinese were weak, Tibet, etc were independent.

            Have you seen Frank Capra's "Why we Fight"? A series produced by the US Department of Information during WW2… In the episode of the war in China (episode 5, I think) the US Dept of Information clearly states that the 5th great province of China is Tibet.

            There you are – the USA seeing Tibet as a province of China.

            (But then the naughty Communists took over in China, and the propaganda narrative changed completely. Amazing historical gymnastics.)

            Are you sure you know the history well, or are you just part of the latest exercise in US-directed historical gymnastics?

      • greywarshark 1.1.2

        Oh we are so pure all of a sudden, so moral about China's abuses and yet we have been involved in the USA's abuses for decades also the UK – going to war about fictitious Weapons of Mass Destruction WMD is one. Supporting the USA drop of its nuclear bomb would be another, and I have just found that they fire-bombed Tokyo or Hiroshima or both before which hadn't reached my history memory store.

        Gordon Campbell is like you Peter chch. https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL2105/S00009/on-our-determination-to-ignore-chinas-human-rights-abuses.htm

        We need to keep considering these people in North China, those being badly treated in Myanmar, and the refugee camps, the Afghanistan people, etc. It goes on, I am playing an old CD to raise money from the children of the Bosnian war and have two books about forthright women who went to the area and saved orphans. Perhaps we could ask China for permission to go there and help the Muslims in the north, and perhaps as well we could work here to help the Muslims amongst us and our own anti-social people we are raising here.

        We have to keep exporting, our economy has been built into the capitalist system of trade and desire for material things. Change that a bit and then we have options for moral and spiritual considerations. Just don't hit on our Labour government for doing what the country needs to do for us to survive.

        We see in Ron Brierley's descent the true face of capitalism and materialism. That is the state of NZ and we have to work our way back to the place we were before. Try listening to the words of Hotel California about decadence and you will get an idea of where we are now.

        • gypsy

          Ron Brierly's behaviour is not exclusive to capitalist societies. In all of the noise, we should at least be grateful we live in a democratic society in which we learn about such horrors via a non-state media.

        • McFlock

          Criticism of China is hardly sudden, and rubberstamping the illegal invasion of Iraq eviscerated the Alliance party from within like a yankophile chestbursting alien.

      • Incognito 1.1.3

        Well if you are correct, then thank god for political charades.

        If not, there would be no publicity whatsoever about the Xijiang situation.

        I needed a good laugh, thank you 😀

  2. Peter 2

    On RNZ this morning Judith Collins managed to condemn Trevor Mallard's behaviour last night as 'vindictive.' It meant he is temperamentally unsuited to his role she said.

    Her 2020 public crucifixion (along with Duncan Garner) of Iain Lees-Galloway means she is eminently suited to her role of course. Some roles need people who are nasty, vindictive [deleted sexist remark].

    • Muttonbird 2.1

      I find it odd that the Law & Order party would side with a sexual harasser. I wonder what their motives are…

      • David 2.1.1

        Interesting take on a Speaker who uses the cover of Parliamentary privilege to make further allegations against an individual. The same individual he ended up apologising to 18 months after the fact for getting his previous allegations wrong. Surely there are more appropriate bodies such as the Police to deal with such allegations than in the House under privilege.

        • Adrian

          You mean the allegations that were analogous to accusing someone of murder by firearm when they actually used a knife? Keep it up you tory bastards, theres nothing 'quite like endearing yourself to the public by defending a sexual predator.

          Collins and Bishops brains trust of advisors are certainly a few neurons short.

          • ghostwhowalksnz

            Yes. Wasnt it some years back Helen Clark as PM had to make a payment for someone she said was a murderer, when the conviction was for manslaughter.

            'Mr Yelash said he did not have a National Party background, but he hoped that the party would win the next election'

        • Anne

          Such a shame isn't it. Mallard has to resort to parliament to make a statement about a serious case of sexual assault against a woman (there were several women who complained in fact) because he knows that should he say it outside of the House, a vindictive opposition leader and her lackeys will gerrymander the ongoing process of justice – all in the name of politicking for personal gain.

          And all of it would serve to re-victimise the young women in question, but who cares about them eh David?

          • Peter chch

            Or maybe if he said it outside the House he would once again be exposed as a bully making unsubstantiated claims.

            IF sexual assault happened, let the Police investigate and take whatever action is appropriate.

            Innocent until proven guilty seems an unfamiliar concept to many on TS. Thankfully the extreme Left will never have power.

            • Muttonbird

              Tova O'Brien says something has got to give to take the heat out of the situation.

              Unfortunately for the victims it might have to be them presenting evidence, which of course re-victimises them. This would simply be collateral damage in the eyes of the National Party – they do not care about people or who they trample over in their quest for power.

              Their exploitation of those women and this situation is disturbing, even for them.

          • Muttonbird

            Yes. And this is new as far as I'm aware.

            "(The alleged perpetrator's) ongoing behaviour has caused distress to a number of women and he's been asked to stop and he hasn't," Mallard said in the chamber last night.

            Mallard also directed his diatribe against National MP Chris Bishop, who Mallard believes came to the staffer's defence online.

            Wouldn’t be surprised if Chris Bishop is egging this guy on and deliberately trying to fuel the fire. National has form in this area.


            • Forget now

              I am not particularly keen on watching people shouting at each other. Was there any naming of; "the Staffer", or is that court-suppressed? It seems they still have their job, so it's hard to see how "Mallard ruined that man's career and his life" (unless Staffer is in past tense).

              It sounds like there is an ongoing police investigation (or maybe pending trial?), though I have not seen details of that linked anywhere. I assume the Investigation he referenced last night was the Francis report?

              "Mallard made the {original rape} comment after the Debbie Francis report into bullying and harassment at Parliament was made public in May 2019. He was commenting on the report's disclosure of sexual assault accusations in the report…

              That man's life was destroyed when he sexually assaulted a woman. That's what did it," Mallard said. "I will support the woman and what she said, I will support the investigation that found that he seriously assaulted her… and I will support the police and their investigation and the results of that."


            • Treetop

              My take on Mallard and Bishop is that National will keep raising Mallard's blunder even though Mallard has faced the legal consequences for getting the terminology wrong.

              I do think Mallard can survive this as something has happened. The process for keeping the women safe needs to be put in place according to their employment conditions. This is what National need to be in agreement about and not wanting the scalp of Mallard.

              I would leave it to Mallard whether or not he considers his job as speaker to be right for him unless there are parliamentary legal grounds which can terminate his position as speaker.

            • Jester

              I think it may be Barry Soper who is "egging this guy on".

              • Muttonbird

                I was interested in the comment Mallard made about the former staffer's "ongoing behaviour". This suggests a man who shows no remorse for touching women inappropriately, or groping or whatever it is he's done.

                He also doesn't seem to be able to let it go, a bit like Chris Bishop, really.

    • Corey Humm 2.2

      He has to go. The guy who used parliamentary privlidge to label a hug, a comment and allegedly inappropriate staring as rape and uses parliamentary press and spent hundreds of thousands of tax payers on defending himself can't be speaker during hate speech and sex crimes law reforms which the left don't realize how much political capital they are burning or how much scrutiny the public and media will give these reforms. Jan Logies already being attacked by law organizations left right and center as basically a law that wants to put poor people in jail regardless if they are guilty or not we don't need the speaker who wanted a good sound bite and declared a man a rapist over a hug overseeing the debate.

      Trevor should have gone out with the fifth labour govt. What a relic. He's a violent, bullying ,shit kicking mudraking hypocritical dinosaur careerist of fourty years who noone in the party likes he's our gerry brownlee and he's a worse speaker than even Carter but there is literally noone in Labours ranks unfortunately who'd be a great speaker who isn't in cabinet already.

    • Sanctuary 2.3

      The biggest issue here is the fact that Bishop and Mallard hate each other. I could easily imagine a fist fight on the floor of the house. That would suit Collins because she is all about the vendettas of dirty politics and the distractions of court politics.

      The meta issue is the total lack of control by Collins of her caucus. Whenever she is pulled up on the lack of discipline in her MPs she plaintively whines she can't tell them what to do, and boy does that weakness show. Her party is swirling mess of cliques pursuing personal vendettas, paranoid, US inspired conspiracy theories and plotting against each other.

      She should shut this whole vendetta against Mallard down, because her party is sailing perilously close to the sort of seditious disloyal opposition territory traversed by Trump's Republican Party.

      Unfortunately, you can be sure she’ll only double down and double down again until the National Party are presented with either trying to subvert democracy or look like complete idiots. Either way, the public will punish them for manufacturing such a crisis.

      • gypsy 2.3.1

        I'm not so sure Collins is the party leader who should be shutting this down. It was good to see the PM has given Mallard a ticking off over this whole episode, but frankly he should have been removed ages ago.

      • DukeEll 2.3.2

        So meta!

  3. francesca 3

    Scientific understanding of Covid is still evolving.

    Hopefully this leads to more effective therapies and targeted vaccines

    This is the latest report from the Salk Institute,

    Covid as a vascular disease as opposed to purely respiratory, how this happens ,and goes some way to explain neurological effects


  4. Adrian 4

    I heard Collins pet yap battery, the incoherent Chris Bishop on RNZ this morning and wondered if 7am wasn't just a bit early to already be drinking.

  5. Sabine 5

    Starship is still fundraising for some ICU beds. So if anyone has some spare cash behind the sofa cushions please consider to contribute.

    • Donations can be made online at http://www.starshipicu.org.nz or by contacting the Starship Foundation directly.


  6. Sanctuary 6


    What can be justified as an emergency expedient often proves an unmitigated disaster if elevated to an operational principle.

    • Ad 6.1

      Memo to all staff: Beatings will continue until morale improves.

      • Nic the NZer 6.1.1

        This is terrible economics. Public sector wage trends influence private sector wage trends. It also signals the return of the 'austerity' narrative which should have died already in 2008 but instead it took till 2020 for NZ to discover it controls its own budget.

  7. Ovid 7

    The announcement of a pay freeze on public sector employees strikes me as a bad faith move that guarantees increased industrial action and employee turnover in the coming years. Very short sighted and a slap in the face to essential workers who helped guide the country through Covid in the first place.

    • greywarshark 7.1

      Ovid agree yesangry

    • gsays 7.2

      Especially galling considering $200 million dollars can be found next year for new buildings for our parliamentarians.

      Anyone that thinks this will not cost more than $200M, I have a bridge to sell you.

    • satty 7.3

      In areas where the government departments compete with private companies to recruit and retain talented people, like IT, where even average people are almost certainly above the $100,000 limit, this is going to be a disaster. The market for IT people picked up significantly the last couple of months and I already declined multiple project offers for the rest of this year.

      Means the government departments have to use external consulting companies for the heavy lifting… and pay accordingly!

      Keep this in mind when you read – and comment here – about another expensive government IT project.

  8. Sanctuary 8

    I think I have worked out why the Herald has a column from Richard Prebble. They have comments open on his pieces and they know he is reliably offensive enough to juice their engagement stats for advertisers.

    Hardly behaviour befitting a "responsible MSM" outlet, but then the Herald is really just the Daily Mail without the witty bits.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1

      Wonder if ACT , with only one electorate MP but 9 list Mps, is continuing the 'scheme' they used in Prebbles time with all their list Mps having the same address a few blocks from parliament for their 'out of parliament' office ( similar to electorate Mps offices, but in their electorate).

      Is there any way of getting the 'office' street address from Parliamentary services of all List Mps- and not PO box either

      • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1.1

        More from Grant McLaughlin who says the 'out of parliament' offices in Little Pipitea St were bogus as he was a researcher who went there only once even though PS paid them for 32 hours pw 'electorate agent' and only supposed to be 8 hours in the Act Party leaders office. Prebble was leader at the time and John Bishop was his right hand man in leaders office


    • greywarshark 8.2

      Was that the paper that had the pwitty t.ts?

  9. Robert Guyton 9

    weka, incognito et al. fyi

    "…languages that told a different story were an enemy. Indigenous languages and thought were as much an impediment to land-taking as were the vast herds of buffalo, and so were likewise targeted for extermination.

    Linguistic imperialism has always been a tool of colonization, meant to obliterate history and the visibility of the people who were displaced along with their languages."


    • Incognito 9.1

      Thanks, Robert. I’ve just been reading an article on Cancel Culture; will read yours tonight, hopefully.

      At heart, I think, cancel culture is part of a wider linguistic turf war currently being fought on many fronts over who gets to control the language.


      • greywarshark 9.1.1

        Punishment for using unacceptable language could be for Maori a sharp slap with a ruler across the knuckles at any age. Now, what parallel; a sharp rejoinder, a stream of invective worse than what was originally said, a punch in the head? Jonathan Pie says that it only needs someones feelings to be hurt to produce a complaint that can be acted upon.

    • weka 9.2

      Half way through reading this, so good and sparking so many ideas. Political within the left, and of course the politics of our relationship with place. It’s so clear that the further we are from nature the more imperilled we are, and as Kimmerer and Incognito point to the current battle is over language and power.

  10. Macro 10

    Will Rudy Giuliani flip against Trump?

    The question arose the minute federal agents began their search of Rudy Giuliani's home and office. Once again someone close to former President Donald Trump — someone who could testify against the former president — was in prosecutors' crosshairs.

    CWouldn't happen to a nicer person.

    • Sanctuary 11.1

      He first big notes on how he "…received this email exchange between a former head of the Treasury and a former Reserve Bank Governor…" (by whom I assume he means his fellow inhabitants of the 1980s political rest home Don Brash and either his brother or his fellow ACT sidekick Graham Scott) where they fret about the decline of hair shirt austerity for other people and balanced budgets for all.

      He reveals that he appears to think everyone in Wellington drinks cappuccinos, in what I suspect is a fashion miss-step from the superannuated political far right. I guess when your salad days were inhabited with nothing more threatening than instant all these new fangled styles must be practically indistinguishable.

      He then does the usual Rogernomics cultural cringe of quoting some far right Aussie and comparing us with the usual suspects (Venezuela, Nigeria etc although somehow he failed to squeeze in the USSR) .

      He then concludes democracy is the same as Muldoonism.

      Reading the piece is the literary equivalent of being the rest home worker forced to listen to a couple of nasty old men playing checkers and complaining about everything.

  11. aj 12

    A Parting Shot from Dennis Potter: 1994

    When groundbreaking television writer Dennis Potter learned he was dying of cancer, he sat down with Melvyn Bragg for a final interview. The subject of media mogul Rupert Murdoch came up.

    The HBO 'dark comedy satirical drama' "Succession" currently screening on NEON is apparently loosely based on the Murdoch family and the background drama over control of the Murdoch empire will be interesting and important the direction of media around the world. Lachlan seems like a chip from the block and James has shown slight signs of social responsibility. Odd are Lachlan will be in control when the time comes.

    • greywarshark 12.1

      Thanks for the Dennis Potter clip. It would be worthwhile to get a view of the strange world we are drifting towards to see his Cold Lazarus and Karaoke among any others on Youtube.

  12. Stuart Munro 13

    There was a story a day or two ago about how the so-called 'investor migrants' were able to continue their migration plans. Five wealthy investors granted border exemptions, then residency | RNZ News

    The information is doubtless privileged six ways from Sunday to protect their privacy, but I really hope they are not real estate 'investors', a class that impoverish rather than enriching our country. Being a determination made by MBIE or Immigration, it's safe to assume that any investor will do, however pernicious their activities might be to the greater public. More work for Kris Faafoi I guess.

    • satty 13.1

      There are certain investment criteria to fulfil for investor visas:

      Acceptable investments

      If you are interested in applying under one of our investor policies, the opportunities you take up must fit our 'acceptable investment' criteria. Broadly speaking, acceptable investments can be:

      • Equity in NZ firms, public or private. An equity investment can be active or passive, and be made direct or via managed funds (only the proportion of the Fund that is invested in NZ is counted as acceptable).
      • Bonds, issued by the NZ Government, NZ local authorities or approved NZ banks, finance companies or firms.
      • New residential property development that is not for the investor’s personal use and designed to make a commercial return on the open market.
      • Up to 15% of the investment total can be philanthropic investment.

      Generally, to be considered acceptable, an investment must:

      • Be capable of a commercial return under normal circumstances.
      • Be invested in New Zealand in New Zealand currency.
      • Have the potential to contribute to New Zealand’s economy.
      • Not be for the personal use of the investor.

      This is just an overview, and there are other conditions that apply.

      Not sure if this helps.

      • Stuart Munro 13.1.1

        It is very useful thank you. I'd be interested to see a value analysis that considered the degree to which NZ benefitted from such arrangements – financial and real estate investment typically do little beyond inflating the chosen sector, though on occasion something like a farm may benefit, in terms of productivity, from a capital injection.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 13.2

      They werent granted border exemptions…because they were wealthy

      'INZ general manager for border and visa operations Nicola Hogg said the five approved for residencies – and their 14 associates – had travelled to New Zealand on other critical worker visas before having their applications for residency approved…"

      Critical worker visas were generally higher end medical people or public company type CEOs or related to movies and Americas Cup

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