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Open Mike 05/10/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 5th, 2018 - 136 comments
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136 comments on “Open Mike 05/10/2018”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    There’s an interesting UK political analysis here: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/04/insecurity-britain-labour-tories-economic-justice-cultural-security

    “People are crying out for economic justice and cultural security. Whoever grasps this will control the immediate political future”. Security is an eternal primary political motivator in nation states, and Brexit makes it the key to the future, but it seems significant that this analyst identifies post-neoliberalism as equally determinant.

    Phillip Blond is the director of the ResPublica thinktank, and the author of Red Tory: How the Left and Right Have Broken the System and How We Can Fix It. Here’s his main point: “it is clear we are in the middle of a significant reframing of our political reality. The shift is probably equal to, if not greater than, the 1945 moment that founded welfare states across Europe or the Thatcher revolution in 1979, which began the dismantling of them in the name of free-market economics. The tectonic shift taking place now is away from liberalism in both its social and economic forms.”

    His balanced view is that Labour is ahead in regard to economic security, while the Conservatives are ahead on cultural security – but both have yet to orient themselves to the new reality with a comprehensive political program.

    • Sanctuary 1.1

      The Guardian is a bourgeois publication that has a vested interest in doing anything and promoting everything that pretends that class politics are no longer relevant.

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        I’m inclined to agree, inasmuch as it has yet to apologise to readers for getting itself on the wrong side of history (supporting Blairites, etc). But the author is a guest there: “ResPublica’s ideas are founded on the principles of a post-liberal vision of the future which moves beyond the traditional political dichotomies of left and right, and which prioritise the need to recover the language and practice of the common good.[Wikipedia]

        I personally think class politics have become potentially relevant again in recent years, due to widening inequality in all western countries. However there is a noticeable lack of any intellectual advocacy to make it actually relevant. Until we get contenders filling that vacuum class consciousness will remain suppressed, and identity politics will divide everyone as usual.

        • marty mars 1.1.1.1

          Identity politics actually brings us together not divides us imo. It depends whether you fit the dominant societal category membership or not.

          • solkta 1.1.1.1.1

            Yes, it’s the ones bleating “identity politics” who divide us. They tell others that their subjectivity is not as valid or worthy of acceptance, or important enough for politics.

            • marty mars 1.1.1.1.1.1

              I know and it really bugs me. Those that don’t understand because they don’t experience it belittling others who do. Irritating.

              • Dennis Frank

                I intended no implication of either/or. I’m well aware that identity politics is a naturally-emergent phenomenon. My first such was via the teenage rebel wave in the sixties and there’s been others since.

                Seems that humans initially identify with social groups via differentiation. Although natural, when we do differentiate between groups and identify with one or more, the divisions between the groups often outweigh the common ground between folks. It’s in that sense that I meant identity politics usually divides us.

                You notice that in this forum too; respondents tend to disagree more than agree because we clarify our comprehension of stuff via differentiating. Political psychology motivates political behaviour. Consensus happens when participants integrate instead. Funny how we got taught in college maths the various uses of integration & differentiation – would have been better for us to have been taught the psychological benefits too.

                • Thanks Dennis.

                  I find that people talking and activating around their experience helps me to understand a little of their experience. For instance I am able bodied (in general). If someone says I’m in a wheelchair and i can’t access this service or resource and we need to fix this. I think ‘wow I didn’t realise that’ and it helps me connect to them and work with them to make it better for them. I don’t use the difference to create MORE difference instead it creates LESS difference.

          • SaveNZ 1.1.1.1.2

            Identity politics is being diverted into a type of elite globalism against pluralism.

            It is pluralism that celebrates individuals differences and cultures not globalism which puts everyone into one lump…

            the globalists want every nation to be free of ‘nationality’ and just have blind competition for all resources… so greedy beats needy… unless you can harness the growing needy into some sort of greedy way to make more money of course and the rise of corporate “charitable trusts” and PPP’s “helping” with prisons and social housing…

        • AB 1.1.1.2

          “Identity politics will divide everyone as usual”.
          Let’s wind back a bit.
          Why is class important? Because it’s an affront to natural justice that some people lead better lives and wield power over other people due to their greater access to, and control of, economic resources. Doubly so when that access and control is not even tenuously attributable to merit or effort.

          When is identity important? When people of one identity wield power over people of a different identity for no reason whatsoever other than that difference in identity.
          So there is a big overlap in the underlying principles for both class and identity politics, i.e. who has power, who doesn’t and the lack of any justification for that difference. So it should be possible for class and identity politics to work harmoniously together.

          However there is a weak form of identity politics which implicitly believes that class differences ARE actually merit or effort based. Identity politics then becomes merely making sure that everyone has the same chance (or equality of opportunity) to get rich and assume power over others. The cry for “more women on Boards” is a classic example of this weak identity politics.

          If criticising “identity politics” it would pay not to throw the baby out with the bathwater by making sweeping statements.

          • Dennis Frank 1.1.1.2.1

            Yes, a good explanation. For most people both class & identity seem to be more tacit than consciously referenced. Kind of like niche in an ecosystem. When you grow up in that matrix it’s like the dwelling you take for granted due to never knowing another.

            Your point about differentiating strong & weak forms of identity politics seems valid but I’m not seeing it clearly. Would be good to develop that. Incidentally Fukuyama’s “Identity: Contemporary Identity Politics and the Struggle for Recognition” was published yesterday. He may prove capable of producing a general theory.

    • Bill 1.2

      Heartening to read in a mainstream outlet that the relevant target of liberalism is being brought into focus. And yes, I know it’s only an opinion piece, and so afforded much less authority within the publication than its editorial line and the general thrust of its news pieces. But still…

      And to all those people (plenty hereabouts) who protest that liberalism’s a good thing and somehow possibly connected to leftist ideas, ideals or thought, and/or who insist on viewing it favourably as akin to large (liberal) servings of ice cream being given out at deli or some such, please, for fucks sake educate yourself on what liberalism is and the political philosophy/schools of thought its built on.

      (Not holding my breath)

  2. cleangreen 2

    So…..believe nothing we read, and only half you hear?

    We needed the promised ‘free to air public access TV channel with investigative journalism as we had with ‘TVNZ 7’ under the last Labour Government from March 25th 2008.

    Quote; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TVNZ_7

    “TVNZ 7 was a commercial-free New Zealand 24-hour news and information channel on Freeview digital television platform and on Sky Television from 1 July 2009. It was produced by Television New Zealand, which received Government funding to launch two additional channels.[2] The channel went to air just after 10 am on 25 March 2008 with a looped preview reel. The channel was officially launched at noon on 30 March 2008 with a special “kingmaker” political debate held within the Parliament building and featuring most of the elected minor party leaders. The channel went off air at midnight on 30 June 2012 to the Goodnight Kiwi.

    It featured TVNZ News Now updates every hour from 6 am to 11 pm, with a specialised rolling 10-minute bulletin ‘zone’ between 8 am and 9 am, throughout which six bulletins were aired. TVNZ 7 also featured an hour-long bulletin, TVNZ News at 8, at 8 pm each night. It was hosted on weeknights by Greg Boyed and on weekends by Miriama Kamo.”

    • Grey Area 2.1

      I don’t watch much TV and only “discovered” TVNZ 7 in what turned out to be its final days. We found it had a lot of interesting stuff on it and began to watch it a bit. Not as good as SBS (which some parts of NZ used to get because of the spillover from the satellite feed into Tasmania before they fed the signal by cable) but it was coming along nicely.

      Such a shame that it was killed off by Key and his lackeys.

      • cleangreen 2.1.1

        Thanks Grey Area.

        Key killed off any truth to power in NZ!!!!!

        But now under Jacinda with ‘her transformative’ Government; – she must restore her government’s pledge to restore the public free to air channel for the peoples voice to be heard now as we have a highly compromised media that has tainted the truth.

        Now there is virtually no honest investigative journalism as national has deliberately sabotaged our free speech media that has been canned since 2009.

        ‘Let’s do this Jacinda’ – before your first year has ended.

        • tc 2.1.1.1

          Removing Curran’s a step towards that IMO. JA’s no fool, she gave em enough rope and now can go and assemble a crew to get that done if she wants to.

          It’ll need to be toughened players to succeed as the msm will scream nanny state socialist sky is falling memes till the cows come home.

    • Muttonbird 2.2

      I wonder if Key’s axing of this last true public broadcasting platform contributed to Greg Boyed’s condition.

      • Alan 2.2.1

        I wonder if you are dumb or dumber – you cover the left in glory most days mb, well done that man!!

      • mauī 2.2.2

        Do you think readers really want you speculating on a recent suicide?

      • james 2.2.3

        Using a long bow on a persons suicide as a political point score is a low point even for you.

        • In Vino 2.2.3.1

          Oh! What delicacy of conscience! Oh! What altruistic moral rectitude! From what super-ideal realm do you RWNJs deign to deliver upon us the condemnation we so richly deserve?
          Stinking hypocrites.
          Muttonbird may have a point..

          Someone needs to call your pratings.

  3. RedLogix 3

    No comment needed:

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      One set of the toughest regulations that we need is those governing recycling to ensure that it happens and that it happens safely.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    Why China is our natural enemy.

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/after-3-month-silence-chinese-authorities-confirm-status-of-disappeared-actress-fan-bingbing_2655205.html

    https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/oct/04/fan-bingbing-mysterious-disappearance-chinese-film-star-elite

    In China there is no protection against the arbitrary exercise of state power by an absolutist regime run by a dictator who invokes a form devine providence to operate above the rule of law or the constraints of any court or parliament. There isn’t even a star chamber, just an Oriental absolutism inimical to Western ideas of freedom.

    In China there is no Magna Carta, no Habeus Corpus, no bill of rights, no elections, and no human rights. You have no protections whatsoever.

    China is the enemy of freedom as we understand it, and this is a country that actively and vigorously seeks to interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries if they are displeased.

    In short, I fear we must soon begin to prepare for the coming confrontation with China.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Helen Clark’s FTA with China was the one big thing she did that I really felt uncomfortable with. And you’ve outlined exactly the reasons why.

      As always I feel the need to bookend this with a disavowal. My oldest and best friend is part-Chinese, I have an adopted son who is a pilot in China, we are living the past 9 months with a Chinese family and the man right next to me as I work today is Chinese. Part of me still laments the absence of our most active author and Chinese contributor CV. I know far more than I should about traditional Chinese medicine. There is much that intrigues and fascinates me about the culture and it’s prodigious history, yet in most respects I still know far too little

      Yet in all this another part of me has long been perturbed and uncomfortable with the direction modern China has taken. China there is no Magna Carta, no Habeus Corpus, no bill of rights, no elections, and no human rights. Even the most basic exercise of the rule of law, always remains at the pleasure and whim of some faceless, inaccessible party official who can never be held to account.

      Australia gets it. There is considerable media and political discussion around China, yet little old NZ remains both obdurately naive and too frightened of the ‘r-word’ to day anything out loud. There is also the simple possibility that at 15% of the electorate local Chinese voters are already too powerful to challenge openly.

      Interesting times ahead.

      • SaveNZ 4.1.1

        + 1 – “Part of me still laments the absence of our most active author and Chinese contributor CV”

        … yep he was critical of Labour’s neoliberals as well as the Natz and ardent to the death of trade agreements that screw the locals (no matter what ethnicity) ..

        • greywarshark 4.1.1.1

          Trouble with CV it was hard to discuss anything with him. He was short and to the point and didn’t help in discussion much to advance a change of thinking from other commenters. He seemed to become more extreme as time went on.

          China has been a great power, and a scholarly one for so many centuries. It seems that much appreciation of that was lost in the turmoils they have gone through.

          Joseph Needham felt that they had lost sight of their achievements and gathered them into an extensive series of books to present to them their past. He was interested firstly in science but also in inter-relationships. Looking at Chinese culture and why they did not develop the codes similar to the west as no Magna Carta, no Habeus Corpus, no bill of rights, no elections, and no human rights posed in Red Logix 4.1, might have been answered in a conversational comment quoted here:

          Dr. Needham argued that while the West was preoccupied with natural law, set forth in the scientific principles developed by Galileo and others, the Chinese Taoist and Confucian tradition was more concerned with social ethics and the direct implications of science. “A wise ancient counselor advised against gunpowder,” Dr. Needham liked to say, “for it singed beards, burned houses and brought Taoism into discredit.”
          *https://www.nytimes.com/1995/03/27/obituaries/joseph-needham-china-scholar-from-britain-dies-at-94.html

          His massive series, in which many other academics participated, and which is ‘ongoing at the Needham Research Institute in Cambridge’.*
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_and_Civilisation_in_China

          https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/obituaryjoseph-needham-1612984.html
          This is an interesting paragraph from the above obituary.
          (Most great mountain peaks are found close-packed in ranges. Needham matured at Cambridge in the presence of J.J. Thomson, Ernest Rutherford, Arthur Eddington, Edgar Adrian and Charles Sherrington, not to mention some 10 other Nobel laureates from Blackett and Bragg to C.T.R. Wilson. )

          This addresses why science did not continue to rise in China to the modern era.
          https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2008/11/06/why-didnt-science-rise-in-china/

          (Incidentally, it seems to take an inordinate amount of time for google to produce something with China as one of the keywords!)

          • Stuart Munro 4.1.1.1.1

            There are similar arguments about why Islam did not modernize after the golden era of Baghdad.

            For China the Confucian model, which was designed for stability, was part of the obstacle to change. Confucius was a clever guy but not really as self critical as Socrates.

            For Islam the blame tends to be placed on the lack of an Augustine writing City of God – a major rethink for millenarian theists who until then thought deus vult would cover most of their problems. Although Al-Ghazali was a decent thinker, he wasn’t obliged to deal with a problem like the fall of Rome – so his work is more of a triumph of his own faith than a redirection and rededication like Augustine’s.

        • SaveNZ 4.1.1.2

          I think the FTA with China could have been better if they had put in provisions to protect NZ and had more thoughts about the eventual balance of power that the agreements failed to protect.

          To have provisions where Kiwis can’t buy Chinese land but Chinese can buy NZ land and assets… no real thinking about the long term problems with that.

          Sounds lovely (sarcasm) on paper but then there are 1.5 billion Chinese people desperate to buy property around the world and they have a cash culture and need ways to get rid of that money, and only 4 million Kiwis on low wages – it’s not a fair deal to allow the worlds middle classes to come to NZ, get residency or citizenship buy assets, leave and but still have access to our generous welfare provisions, while those still here are paying all the taxes like petrol taxes, infrastructure taxes etc…]

          I feel the same way about other countries that get screwed over by big powers and they become tenants in their own country – of course the way things are going, a growing amount of Kiwis will not even be able to afford to be tenants in their country. Tents in 5 years, maybe? Or our taxes pay big business to house our poor, neoliberal style.

          Looking at NZ business that try to do partnership with China, well does not end well for the Kiwi business aka Fonterra having it’s only loss in it’s history, but clearly great to Chinese business.

          This government is in love with being popular overseas, very Obama, very John Key, but we are in a new era where increasingly people are getting wise to the eventual effects of globalism on their lives and culture.. that’s how Trump won and why Key stepped down before he got busted, because the Labour/democrat/Green strategists of the Intellectual Yet Idiot class making it easy for the right because they can’t see another way but a sort of kinder neoliberalism with more taxes, will it work? I doubt it.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.3

          But he was defensive of Chinese actions that went against human rights and international law.

    • bwaghorn 4.2

      The more people in a country the tougher the leadership needs to be . Humans are to stupid to be free . As long as the iron fist isn’t running death camps i’m good .
      Terry Pratchett s patrician from his disc world is a good guide

      • SaveNZ 4.2.1

        I hope you are being sarcastic there, bwaghorn..

        • greywarshark 4.2.1.1

          saveNZ
          I don’t think he is being sarcastic or facetious. Looking around at what has been achieved by us with democracy and freedom I don’t like what I see We introduced MMP to enable minority groups to bring their ideas into the mix but still haven’t been able to break the stupidity barrier.

          I read Terry Pratchett and The Patrician is a dictator cunning and pragmatic, with understanding of human nature, who tries to control excesses and keep the peace to a manageable level of drunk and disorderly. He has introduced a police force, and set about bringing diversity into it, and most sentient beings may get employment of sorts.

          At present I am reading Thud and he has the City Watch trying to resolve a severe division coming from dwarfs with beliefs thousands of years old and whose leader is undermining the self-respect of modernised dwarfs. They have a long-held dislike of trolls, and the Watch’s police force is under stress with both dwarfs and trolls resigning as their group develops old antipathy to the other ‘side’. Dwarfs and trolls could be involved in an internecine battle in which the humans may be brought down too. The Patrician will have some plan to deal with this, having a cool overview and the ability to move in everyone’s (particularly his) best interests. He spies a lot so that he can keep alert to subversion. He is a relatively benign dictator, but is a graduate from the Guild of Assassins and is someone to take notice of.

          Certain similarities with our real world will be noticed I am sure.

          • McFlock 4.2.1.1.1

            Vetinari is essentially the Platonic “philosopher-king”.

            In real life people are rarely that smart, and when they are they rarely maintain it for more than a decade. but kings and patricians don’t lose elections.

            There’s also a certain amount of the “freedom:order” dichotomy at play.

            But China is heading to a full 1984 scenario. This is much worse than attempts at democracy.

            • greywarshark 4.2.1.1.1.1

              That 1984 thing does seem to be the case which is very scary. Reading about the people being surveilled all the time at 4.3+, thanks for the info, is bad as it is something that i had thought might occur in future. I didn’t think it already was.

              And did the Chinese leader gain another term that can be rolled-over, or am I mis-remembering?

              I googled something about China by the way and found that suddenly results were much slowed down. Perhaps something to do with Chinese internet controls?

              • McFlock

                China has sort of an hierarchical system of representatives, if I recall correctly. So not quite democratic, but with a certain amount of factional inputs.

                What they did recently was get rid of the term limits for the president. This enables thirty year rule by one person, but also slows down the adaptability of the system by entrenching existing factions at the top. I suspect that this will significantly shorten China’s period of dominance (although probably not in my lifetime).

      • McFlock 4.2.2

        His predecessors Snapcase and Winder providing the counterargument.

        I’m not sure India is so much worse off than China, and they don’t have such an authoritarian government.

        • SaveNZ 4.2.2.1

          I think that overpopulation is a big issue… as soon as people become commodities then governments or society creates organisational way to control. India has the caste system and apparently Indian women have 40% of the highest suicide of women in the world… So it might be government or it might be a societal way of organising people but much more control is needed for larger volumes of people and India and China have the largest populations.

          Neoliberalism loves it, because then if you control food, housing, power, water, banking etc etc, you have more profits and consumers and then you redistribute the people around the world after destroying their countries environment and you can get your costs lower and lower for wages and higher for consumer goods…

          I don’t think that western societies are perfect, but it’s better than some sort of dictator or caste system to organise people. And what people have to be aware of is that democracy is something that needs fighting for constantly, because there are ALWAYS systems in there to try and take it away.

          Look at our own councils in NZ. Effectively democracy has been destroyed by COO structures and SOE in government.

          • McFlock 4.2.2.1.1

            Bear in mind that the caste system predates the population explosion by centuries (although the British, as always, exploited it).

            And the population in India in 1951 was roughly the same as the current US population. China wasn’t much farther off.

            So a lot of India’s problems are Auckland-style strain on social infrastructure, which will resolve when the population stabilises (mostly when the birth rate decrease catches up with lifespan increases).

            As for NZ democracy being destroyed, in my opinion that’s a hyperbolic statement to an absurd level.

            • SaveNZ 4.2.2.1.1.1

              NZ democracy being destroyed – so no dirty politics then in your opinion? No interference in the Brexit and US elections?

              Normal that in Auckland the ratepayers who are forced to pay their rates then have 1/2 their money given to Auckland Transport whose board now does not even have an elected representative from the council whereas previously they had 2?

              Aucklanders were forced into the Supercity against their will.

              Oh and wait, in spite of wasting a billion on IT, and against IT advice, Auckland council are thinking of investigating on line elections, that in the US even an 11 year old has hacked…

              • McFlock

                We’re still well shy of, say, China or Russia or the USA. So yeah, “destroyed” is hyperbole.

                • David Mac

                  I agree, I’m getting fed up with the cries of how dire things are in NZ.

                  There are 195 counties in the world. Some of the comments in here would lead anyone to believe that we’re in the bottom 5% of life-worthy countries in the world.

                  Where would these people rather live? Where is better?

                  Swapping emails with pals in the modern socialist utopia of Sweden, things ain’t all roses over there. Imagine walking through an Auckland suburb and being showered in saliva from the apartments above for wearing a skirt. A male in a skirt, begging to be stabbed.

                  If NZ is so crap, go to where I’m sure you’ll find things perfect.

                  Yeah, like all families we have our differences but Sheesh, instead of bitching on a blog, make like Penny, turn off your computer and have a genuine go.

                  I could move anywhere, I choose NZ. if it ain’t for you I’m happy to drive you to the airport.

                  • greywarshark

                    I think that comment is naive; the kind that you hear from someone who has served in a war-torn country and comes home saying that we are so lucky but ungrateful for our good conditions, compared to the previous location.

                    We notice the gradual degradation of our society which is ongoing. If we don’t stand up and protest, then we are complicit. People who find the place suits them, care nothing for those who are disadvantaged by the political and economic system, and then turn round and interfere with efforts to hold standards or restore ones, are beneath contempt.

                    • McFlock

                      “Gradual degradation” is probably fair enough, especially under the last lot. ECANZ, the Anadarko and Hobbit law changes at the behest of overseas corporates, the Auckland supercity, sure. All whittling away against public power over public interests.

                      But our democracy is far from “destroyed”, which was your opening position. And histrionic overstatements actually enable the tories to undermine valid concerns relating to those issues.

                    • David Mac

                      The older we get, the more we pine for the good old days. They weren’t. A working life of sewing the cuffs on business shirts is not something to aspire to. A hand poised on the Stop button of a bottle labeling machine for 40 hours a week for 40 years is as unfulfilling as work can be. How much insulation was in the house you grew up in? How many of your school pals went on to a tertiary education?

                      Starting your waking hour with a public moan and ending it with a heartfelt gripe is not a quality life Grey. I’m sure you don’t want to be a perpetually cantankerous grumpy old man, they’re awful to spend any time with.

                      It doesn’t need to be war-torn location Grey, start a utube search with the name of any city you like and add the word homeless.

                      By all means fight to make a difference for those you perceive to be political or economic victims but be sure, moaning from sun up to sundown on a blog achieves nothing beyond making yourself feel helpless and miserable.

                    • greywarshark

                      David Mac
                      I see your point. But you will never see mine because you can’t see far enough and don’t find it surprising that we are saying the same things that probably have been said since the 1800s.

                      We have lifted people out of ignorance, we haven’t lifted them out of poverty. You can quote statistics all you like and ignore thought about who, what, and how they are gathered. They don’t change the reality of life for people in general, and the hopeless future for all if we go on as we are. The sort of thing i am talking about is probably very similar to what was said by people who could see WW2 coming up and tried to instil some understanding of its terrible possibilities.

                      It is true what you say. moaning from sun up to sundown on a blog achieves nothing beyond making yourself feel helpless and miserable.The wilfully ignorant ensure that it does not reach any receptive part of their brain and indeed I am helpless to achieve anything with such as you. But this is a blog where people who are trying to understand what is happening and talk about it come, and unfortunately it is not all happy stuff, and does make one miserable. Personally I like to put up happy stuff and positive items and a few jokes, because I think we should smile and need some joy in life. So sorry that you have missed those comments and are upset that it’s all not ‘She’ll be right’ as you prefer.

                      Perhaps you have come to the wrong blog, and should go to one where they think all can be fixed by sliding in the right statistics, carefully gathered, and with a few nuts tightened and the machine greased, all will be well. The common-sense practical man rides over all.

        • bwaghorn 4.2.2.2

          Haven’t been able to liknk it put a quick Google told me that since 1990 China has lifted 730 million out of poverty compared to India’s 130 mill .
          And that honour killing is still a thing in India it seems to have died out in China back in one of the dynasties .

          • McFlock 4.2.2.2.1

            And how many prisoners have had their organs harvested or their bodies plasticised?

            • bwaghorn 4.2.2.2.1.1

              I guess we could play my picks more fucked than you pick all day . But I concede as harvesting organs is fucked up . Unless they were from the likes of breivik or Clayton weathrston in which case I’d be fine with it.

              • McFlock

                Well, I’d have to be reminding myself why it’s wrong, at any rate.

                The basic contradiction is that authoritarian leadership gets shit done, but eventually destroys society with shit ideas. I reckon this applies regardless of the size of the society.

                The major problem with large societies is that they tend to build bureaucratic structures that ossify. This means that even if the leader tries to change course, the inflexible structures resist. Not because the society wants to resist (the leader’s desire for change might even be a reflection of the people’s desire for change), but because the pathways it uses to implement decisions are the things that need to change.

                The Ottoman Empire, Qing Dynasty, and Catholic Church are all good examples of this. India is having scaling problems as well, in its justice system in particular. Procedurally-heavy with long waits for trial, IIRC.

                Smaller societies are more adaptable.

    • Dennis Frank 4.3

      I share your aversion to China’s current policies, but doubt that framing them as “our natural enemy” is good foreign policy. Rewi Alley provided us with an excellent role model, and Sir Ed replicated that in Tibet, so I’d rather we pursued a policy of constructive critical engagement with China.

      In respect of the actress, the real target would be her business advisors, agents and managers. The context is the ongoing anti-corruption campaign being waged by the regime against the most flagrant rule-breakers who have become spectacularly successful via capitalism. Basically it’s a replication of Putin’s campaign against the oligarchs. So she’s just one domino amongst many to fall and I suspect her house arrest is a temporary holding-pattern to send the appropriate signal throughout China that the regime is serious.

      If I were Ardern I’d do a state trip to China to launch a new activist foreign policy. I’d use the example of Rewi & Sir Ed as historical precedents. I’d explain that we have a common interest in re-inventing socialism as alternative to neoliberalism. Both countries now have a long tradition of being socialist/capitalist hybrids, so the common ground is how to develop that via sustainable practice and reducing inequality.

      • RedLogix 4.3.1

        In principle I can’t fault your reasoning. Yet the core problem lies deeper; over-populated, intensely competitive societies like China have historically struggled with the notion of individual sovereignty and rights.

        In addition there is a fundamental lack of trust in the public domain; the concept of ‘inner circle/outer circle’ is a very real and potent aspect of all life in China; a phenomenon that places a subtle constraint on their development. The CCCP actually understand this; hence their rollout of their extraordinary and deeply intrusive ‘social score’ system that rates every citizen by their behaviour and daily real-time choices in an attempt to impose ‘trust’ top down.

        Maybe we think this all too remote from us; but the expressed intention is to roll this system out to all their trading partners. NZ would be an ideal starting point, smallish and not in much of a position to say no.

        • Dennis Frank 4.3.1.1

          Thanks for that. I wasn’t aware of it. This extract from Wikipedia explains their policy: [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Credit_System]

          “The plan shows the government wants the basic structures of the Social Credit System to be in place by 2020. The goal being “raising the awareness for integrities and the level of credibility within society.” It is presented as a means to perfect the “socialist market economy” as well as strengthening and innovating societal governance.This indicates that the Chinese government views it both as a means to regulate the economy at a business level and as a tool of governance to steer the behavior of citizens. The outline focuses on four areas: “honesty in government affairs”, “commercial integrity”, “societal integrity”, and “judicial credibility”.

          Those four principles seem sensible. Universal applicability, eh? Societal integrity would be what NZF is fumbling its way towards via their bill for imposing our values on immigrants. As for judicial credibility, wouldn’t that be nice? Too high a bar for our judiciary with its entrenched unaccountability to the public.

          • RedLogix 4.3.1.1.1

            I discussed it a few weeks back in response to this excellent ABC investigation:

            http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-09-18/china-social-credit-a-model-citizen-in-a-digital-dictatorship/10200278

            • joe90 4.3.1.1.1.1

              Russian-speaking journalist managed to enter the autonomous Uyghur region and observe the Orwellian world of total surveillance, segregation, and discrimination.

              The cameras register not only a car’s license plate number but also the face of its driver. At night, lights are projected over the camera lenses, blinding drivers more than oncoming headlights ever could. As we drove past another checkpoint, I tried to shield my eyes with my hand in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the road. The gesture did not go unnoticed: all four cameras immediately flashed a series of strobe lights.

              […]

              The city is split into square regions, and in order to cross from one quarter into another, every Uyghur must display a plastic ID, hand over any bags or purses to be searched, undergo a pupil scan, and, in some cases, surrender a mobile phone for inspection.

              […]

              “All textbooks published before 2009 were confiscated more than a year ago,” Ekhmet clarified. “They just went from house to house and took everything that we hadn’t managed to burn ourselves.” He managed to hide a couple of the textbooks he had used at university, but he had to destroy the truly old ones — the punishment for keeping them was up to seven years in a prison camp.

              […]

              In Xinjiang, where every resident is almost constantly under surveillance, this futuristic nightmare quickly took on the qualities of a bloody dystopia. The artificial intelligence system that analyzes personal data about people divides society into “safe,” “average,” and “dangerous” citizens. Age, religion, previous convictions, and contact with foreigners are all taken into account. It is very likely that samples of DNA might affect residents’ scores in the near future, as well, if they are not part of the system already.

              https://meduza.io/en/feature/2018/10/01/an-internment-camp-for-10-million-uyghurs

      • Tony Veitch [not etc.] 4.3.2

        I doubt if Sir Ed ever set foot in Tibet, except perhaps if he strayed to the Tibetan side of the peak of Mt Everest.

        Furthermore, I doubt if Sir Ed would have been allowed in the border region of Tibet and Nepal – on the Tibetan side.

        Rewi fell out of favour with the Communist Chinese authorities and was only rehabilitated after years of being virtually ostracised, in the final years of his life.

        • Dennis Frank 4.3.2.1

          Right, my mistake! Getting old, memory fading nowadays. Interesting that about Rewi. When Shadbolt went there to visit him in the seventies he called Tim a young whippersnapper (Shadbolt writes in his second autobiography). I picked up an old biography of Rewi for five bucks last year at that ramshackle place in Wellington where piles of old books almost reach the ceiling, but haven’t got around to reading it yet.

          • greywarshark 4.3.2.1.1

            Tony V
            What you refer to in your comment is an actual example of how politics change and why it is worthwhile for our PM to keep options open and do some hand-shaking.

            Nothing political is set in concrete, and just quoting the past changes is a bit of an oxymoron or something. Diplomacy is to try and get the other to change in a way that improves relationships to the advantage of each country involved. So mentioning Sir Ed and Nepal and how we have built a mutual relationship is very good thinking.

            As for Rewi Alley you say he was rehabilitated in the final years of his life after his standing had earlier been rubbished. The change to communism was a cataclysmic event and the violent measures it led to subsided as you state. So even after all that there is an opportunity for change and hearing differing views of people and systems.

            Don’t rubbish diplomacy. We have in the past broken through crusty old walls that have been drenched with blood in conflicts. If we can stay out of great power conflicts, and try to keep going as a unified country, with some concessions, perhaps keeping Switzerland and Sweden as possible guides for survival, we might preserve some of what we achieved in the last century.

    • Tony Veitch [not etc.] 4.4

      Check out the RFA (Radio Free Asia) website

      https://www.rfa.org/english/

      for what’s happening to the Uyghur and Tibetan people in China. They (the Han Chinese) seem to be actively trying to eradicate any culture not Han in China.

      They are our ‘natural enemy.’

      • Dennis Frank 4.4.1

        Well, having written similar emphatic sentiments myself here in the past I won’t argue the point! Comes a time, however, when we ought to learn how such polarisation eventually got transformed in history. Being resolute in opposing Chinese imperialism is essential, as is civil rights for non-Han Chinese. I just think our foreign policy can combine being tough with identifying common ground.

        • Tony Veitch [not etc.] 4.4.1.1

          Totally agree, Frank. The trouble is, I don’t see us sticking up for the rights of the persecuted people in China at all.

          If we had a truly ‘moral’ foreign and trade policy, we probably would only exchange goods with a handful of countries in the entire world.

          And, as someone else mentioned above, maybe the Blue Dragons already exercise too much control over one political party, and maybe their ‘red’ off shoot in another?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.5

      If we set standards that other countries needed to meet before we traded with them China would be one country that we’d never trade with.

  5. solkta 5

    the expressed intention is to roll this system out to all their trading partners

    citation needed.

    not in much of a position to say no

    why?

    • RedLogix 5.1

      Fair enough, maybe I overstated that from something I read.

      Given the CCCP’s determination to restore China’s national prestige and global influence (and there are multiple dimensions to this effort, from the Spratley Is forts, through to their debt-diplomacy through-out Africa and Asia, and the ‘Silk Road’ initiative) in which there the is clear determination to dominate a vastly expanded sphere of influence … it’s not a big step to imagine them requiring such a system (or at least some watered down version of it) on their client states.

  6. chris73 6

    Dog humping is a sign of rape culture and other fraudulent research papers (deliberate) inlcuding taking a some of Mein Kampf, changing some of the terms and submitting it…and being accepted

    Its right up there with Dihydrogen Monoxide 🙂

    ttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PwFmrI5QQFI

    • chris73 6.1

      For those that don’t like Ben Shapiro (can’t imagine why not 🙂 ):

      https://quillette.com/2018/10/01/the-grievance-studies-scandal-five-academics-respond/

      ‘To date, their project has been successful: seven papers have passed through peer review and have been published, including a 3000 word excerpt of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, rewritten in the language of Intersectionality theory and published in the Gender Studies journal Affilia.’

      and in their own words:

      https://areomagazine.com/2018/10/02/academic-grievance-studies-and-the-corruption-of-scholarship/

    • greywarshark 6.2

      WTF at No.6
      How is this important to the discussion?

      • chris73 6.2.1

        Its open mike and it shows just how easy it is to manipulate these sorts of things plus its quite amusing

        • WILD KATIPO 6.2.1.1

          I read Mein Kampf ,… but after I got about three quarters the way through I’d had enough. I threw the book into the rubbish bin . Literally. All I had to envision was all those little kids and their mothers being led to the gas chambers… all those young men’s lives wasted fighting that regime, and all those elderly and sick who were killed, injured and died prematurely… sickening.

          But one must admire the English constitution and humour in producing a brilliant comedic musical satire like this :

          Lambeth Walk: Nazi Style – by Charles A. Ridley (1941) – YouTube

          I showed it to my 90 year old father and it had him in fits of laughter.

          • chris73 6.2.1.1.1

            Gestapo hep cats 🙂

          • Exkiwiforces 6.2.1.1.2

            Will you did better than me, I only as far as pg 109 and it away back in my Blook case. Every now and again I’ll have a crack at reading it, but I fall asleep in the chair while reading pg 109.

            • McFlock 6.2.1.1.2.1

              Apparently merely being able to finish the bloody thing is a sign of a deranged mind 🙂

              • Exkiwiforces

                I’ve got Marx two volumes on Capital anyway it’s bigger than war and peace, which both was an interesting read and the manifesto which I used to carry around with me and pull it out during before briefings with work for shits and giggles.

                I’ve come across a 2nd vol of Herr Hitlers book and I have been rather tempted to buy it for shits and giggles on Foreign Policy.

                • McFlock

                  🙂

                  • Exkiwiforces

                    While we are the subject of Nazism and Herr Hitler, I’ve started to read this book by Julia Boyd. “Travellers in the Third Reich, The rise of Fascism Through the Eyes of Everyday People. So far it’s been an interesting read how some got caught up it and suck into it and those who escaped from the claws of Nazi Fascism barely with their clothes on.

                    • McFlock

                      Not exactly bed-time reading, I suspect.

                      But it’s an oft-neglected aspect of history. Perspectives tend to be top-down, party membership mysteriously grows while the plots of the named leaders are described in great detail. Actual ground-level perspectives are few and far between, and often merely incidental anecdotes to liven up the main history.

                      A bit like how writers like Keegan moved military histories into recognising the ordinary soldier’s perspective, rather than just being all descriptions of generals’ orders and monochrome maps with rectangles and arrows.

                    • Exkiwiforces

                      What I find amazing just about everyone from the big end of town to down to the working class both in German and International travellers to German got suck into National Socialism/ Nazi Fascism.

                      I’ve a few books on some of major and lesser players within the Military got caught up in it especially when Herr Hitler change the Military oath. The German Military had very high standards and ethics at the time. One those standards was to remain aloof from Politics and Political Parties which was their major undoing until it was to late for intervene and this was to cause them grief once Herr Hitler change the Military Oath. Hitler knew if he could change the Military oath and get away from then he knew he had the Military in his palm as the Military would never in a mth of Monday’s they would break that oath no matter what happens.

                      Yes some Officers and NCO’s did turn a blind eye at some of the Herr Hitler orders and others didn’t until towards the end when were trying to save themselves along with rest of the population in 45 especially those fighting on the Eastern Front.

  7. cleangreen 7

    Superb science here as Germany excels again; – as a world leader we need to follow now.

    “New evidenced based ‘zero emissions train’ developed in Germany that scientists claim are the best transport option.

    https://futurism.com/the-byte/hydrogen-powered-trains

    SEPTEMBER 17TH 18__KRISTIN HOUSER__FILED UNDER: EARTH & ENERGY

    ALL ABOARD
    Hydrogen fuel cells are a greener way to power vehicles. But they have also been cost-prohibitive.
    Today, though, that’s starting to change — on Monday, German passengers boarded the world’s first hydrogen-powered trains.
    “Sure, buying a hydrogen train is somewhat more expensive than a diesel train,” said Stefan Schrank, a project manager at locomotive company Alstom, which built the trains, in an interview with Agence France-Presse, “but it is cheaper to run.”

    The new trains transport passengers along 100 kilometers (62 miles) of track and can travel up to 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) on a single tank of hydrogen, reaching top speeds of 140 kmh (87 mph).

    Chemistry recap: Hydrogen fuel cells generate electricity by combining hydrogen with oxygen, and their only byproduct is water. That makes the cells a promising energy source that produces zero emissions and very little noise.
    Though they remain pricey, hydrogen fuel cells have advantages over batteries. Instead of recharging, for instance, you can just refuel them like you would a gas or diesel engine. And because train schedules are highly predictable, it’s easier to build refueling infrastructure.

    TRAIN-ING DAY
    New research is helping cut the cost of hydrogen, and the fuel source is already in use elsewhere in the world to power buses and cars. Trains are much heavier, though, so powering them with hydrogen instead of diesel could do much more to cut carbon emissions.
    If all goes well with these first two trains, Alstom hopes to add another 12 to its Lower Saxony fleet. So while they might be the world’s first hydrogen-powered trains, they’re unlikely to be the last.
    ‘World’s First’ Hydrogen-Powered Train Enters Into Service [CNBC]
    Edited;

    Our view is that NZ also may be easily able to develop our own ‘manufacturing Hydrogen plant’ here to supply the transport of rail freight and passenger services as South Australia is doing currently.

    https://reneweconomy.com.au/s-a-to-host-australias-first-green-hydrogen-power-plant-89447/

  8. More unravelling – putinbots won’t be happy

    “The Dutch defence minister, Ank Bijleveld, said Russian diplomats had been summoned to the foreign ministry. She told reporters the decision to publicise the failed attack was a “far-reaching and unusual measure” designed to “send a very strong signal” to the Kremlin that such behaviour would not be tolerated.”

    “On Thursday Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: “The evidence is clearly against Russia on both the Salisbury attack and of course on the latest cyber-attacks so there has to be a confrontation, a diplomatic confrontation, with Russia on this.” ”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/04/netherlands-halted-russian-cyber-attack-on-chemical-weapons-body

    • cleangreen 8.1

      And we need to stop more security flaws in cell phone use now as the latest exposure just occurred to “100 Million users” – now last August.

      These flaws may affect our services too, as the flaws are built into phones by manufacturers, and include a loophole that could exploit data, emails and text messages.

      https://www.engadget.com/2018/08/08/phones-us-carriers-security-flaw-Verizon-ATT-Sprint-TMobile/
      “Customers using devices from four major cell phone carriers could unknowingly be exposing sensitive data to hackers, according to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

      Fifth Domain reports that DHS-funded researchers from mobile security firm Kryptowire have found vulnerabilities in phones used by Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint.

      The flaws are built into phones by manufacturers, and include a loophole that could exploit data, emails and text messages.

    • Macro 8.2

      Yes the putinbots are clearly noticeable by their absence..
      Probably waiting on instructions from RT et al.

      I thought they would be all over this like a rash. /sarc

  9. greywarshark 9

    Latest chop in the continuing RW and National Party’s woodchoppers axeing contest against NZ business, NZ competence, NZ resilience, NZ as a place of busy, thriving workers, and for a defeated country selling bits of its once proud heritage to enable it to exist from day to day.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/business/367945/auckland-packaging-plant-to-cut-almost-130-jobs
    6:38 pm on 4 October 2018

    Nearly 130 jobs could be axed at a packaging plant in Henderson, as part of the business is moved to Asia.

    • Antoine 9.1

      How do you see this as the National Party’s fault?? In case you haven’t noticed, they aren’t in Government.

      A.

      • WILD KATIPO 9.1.1

        No but we are still feeling the effects of their destructive anti worker, corrupt and odious legacy. It will take a long time to rectify the damage they caused.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.1

          This is part of the ongoing damage to our economy that the neo-liberal ideology that was brought in by the 4th Labour government and continued by all other governments since including the new one.

          • WILD KATIPO 9.1.1.1.1

            Exactly. There has been no significant change by any govt since 1984 . Not even during the Clarke years , – and if anything, all she ever did was manage the status quo. Shes no hero of mine.

    • Monty 9.2

      National have not been in power for a year now. How have they (national) in the last 12 months cost these jobs?

      Perhaps increased labour costs have caused this to happen. Currently we don’t know the reasons. But a base assumption would be they can do it cheaper offshore and made a commercial decision – nothing to do with National if it was anything political it would have to do with the current Govt and its policies driving cost up for this business.

      Do you believe Huhtamaki is a NZ business, is that due to the name?

      It was founded in Finland and it is now a massive multinational.

      https://www.huhtamaki.com/en/about/our-history/

      Personally, I would prefer to see it go as they do a considerable amount of single use plastic products (bags, cups, takeaway containers etc) and a existing or local start up move into the field and produce bio degradable or reusable products then be supported by local business and govt.

      • greywarshark 9.2.1

        @Monty
        There have been many events happen in the past before you became conscious of political matters. 12 months is just a blip in time for the policies that have been harming NZ.

        • In Vino 9.2.1.1

          +1, greywarkshark.
          To put it in biblical terms, the sins of the previous government are visited upon the present govt for up to seven generations. A mere year is almost certain proof of the guilt of the previous govt.
          How long did Key’s govt harp on about Helen Clark’s? 3 or 4 or 5 years, I think.

  10. greywarshark 10

    We are going towards righteous anger time. The failure of government to ensure that the laws put in place did not allow shoddy behaviour by those contemptuous of good quality and fair practice whether they were in business or as supposedly experienced and trained advisors.

    Who should be targeted and drained of their every penny, and forbidden to associate with good people in their industry ever more? Let’s treat these people with the disdain and suspicion that we mete out to child fiddlers? These people have fiddled with the people that have employed them, they have had supposedly superior wisdom which we trusted, and we have been let down like vulnerable children.

    Who should be turned into a shamed leper in the society for being a cunning artificer with cunning plans to rip people off, expecting to get away with it? Are we going to end up so angry that we become biblical in the end – and punish unto the third and fourth generation? There is a deep well of resentment growing in NZ against certain families who live high on ill-gotten gains while others are reduced to penury.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/367881/owners-of-leaky-apartments-in-auckland-anxious-as-expenses-skyrocket
    St Lukes Garden Apartment complex was built between 2003 and 2011 and its defects and leaks have become a serious problem.

    The 285 owners are taking a claim against the Auckland Council and 15 other defendants.

    When RNZ first met Bill Bennett in 2016 the estimated cost of repairs was around $60 million.
    Defects include cracks in concrete panels, and areas failing to comply with structural or fire safety requirements.
    The bill has now jumped to more than $80 million and could grow as they prepare for court.

    “There are now far more leaks starting to appear, far more obvious leaks should I say,” Mr Bennett said.
    “There are ranch sliders where moisture is coming in, there are actual walls where water is coming in, both through the cracks and from the upper level from the decks of the apartments up the top.

  11. greywarshark 11

    Bus services, desperately needed reliable public transport cannot be supplied under the neo liberal, laissez faire model.

    Wellington has had trouble with a new system because it is being run for a private business with profit as more important than providing the needed service in the practical places, at a reasonable cost. Instead they apparently have worked out on a computer which routes can be maximised on each bus for passenger numbers.

    Now Auckland’s hapless passengers have suffered being in a two kilometre gridlock. With no toilets in those buses! That could be embarrassing and distressing apart from all the havoc that would have happened in the passengers lives as they don’t arrive at the appointed time and place to carry out their personal responsibilities.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/367740/auckland-bus-gridlock-37-buses-to-be-pulled-from-service
    Constellation Drive? On which planet is that??

    Auckland Transport will pull dozens of buses from a new North Shore network after passengers got stuck in a two kilometre jam yesterday.

    AT says it is still ironing out problems with the new bus network, which came into effect on Sunday.

    A transport hub was jammed with buses during peak-hour traffic yesterday afternoon, and angry passengers got stuck in a two kilometre jam on Constellation Drive in Rosedale.

    Auckland Transport spokesperson Mark Hannan said 91 buses arrived within half an hour.

    He said 37 buses will be pulled out of service this afternoon in order to free up Constellation Drive.
    Mr Hannan said there was a settling-in period with major transport changes such as these.

    Expect more of this peeps, as the business world is into a new word that demonstrates a meme: ‘disruption’. This apparently means revising things all the time so that we are faced with constant change and stress, and cannot rely on anything valuable to us continuing for more than a couple of years. Brave New World suckers! – say those wealthy leaders and corporates who have us in their grasp.

    disruption – specialized business changing the traditional way that an industry operates, especially in a new and effective way: disruptive technologies. Upsetting and destabilizing.
    https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/disruptive

    • SaveNZ 11.1

      You wonder the brain power of the officials that sent out 91 buses to be operating within the same location within 30 minutes…

    • Carolyn_Nth 11.2

      Of course, the mainstream media have focused on the one area that was badly conceived in the new northern bus network.

      But there also seem to be some positive improvements in other areas.

      I read of people in Glenfield liking the new services in their area. The rationalisation of the East Coast Bays services, via the busway, plus more buses terminating at Takapuna and Milford, seems sensible to me.

      The NX2 starting and ending with the City Universities via Wellesley Street – to and from Albany seems pretty popular. Yesterday I saw a double decker NX2 that was heading north and pretty full by the time it reached the Civic.

      But the change I’m most stoked with is the new service to Warkworth – and I have not seen any media mention it.

      I have been saying for some time Warkworth needs a decent public transport system. I was up there for work this week and was told about the new service. Basically it’s about every half hour to and from Warkworth to Silverdale in peak times, and about every hour in the middle of the day.

      A Warkworth resident was very positive about how “cheap” the service is. It costs about $3.50 one way between Silverdale and Warkworth on a HOP card. The pre-existing Auckland-Warkworth intercity bus is way more expensive – about $30.00 one way.

      There are also now 2 loop services a few times a day: 1 Warkworth to Omaha, and one to Snells Beach.

      The main down side is that the extension of the bus stop in Baxter Street has not been properly marked. They just put cones out by the car parking bays telling people not to park there – but people just removed the cones and parked there anyway.

      • Sacha 11.2.1

        “but people just removed the cones and parked there anyway” – hope they towed the feckers.

        • Carolyn_Nth 11.2.1.1

          🙂

          It’ll be interesting to see how it develops there.

          But parking in the town centre is pretty difficult these days, as well as continual congestion. So I hope enough of the locals see sense and start using the buses more. If they do, I think the service will expand.

    • JO 11.3

      And this, on the situation in Wellington. Simon Louisson […] finds the US expert who advised the change considers passenger outrage a welcome part of the process.’

      https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/10/01/259842/the-american-consultants-behind-wellingtons-bus-nightmar?preview=1

      You could also commit the acronym PTOM to the well of everlasting memory:
      ‘But it’s not just the redesign that is behind the debacle. At Parliament’s Transport Select Committee hearing on Thursday, it became clear that the genesis of the fiasco is the Public Transport Operating Model (PTOM) imposed on local authorities by the former National Government.’
      […]
      ‘Campbell claimed the planning and the process had “worked exceptionally well’ although “some really unexpected issues emerged.”
      Imposed by the former government, the PTOM has two overarching objectives:
      • to grow the commerciality of public transport services and to increase incentives for services to become fully commercial; and
      • to grow confidence that services are priced efficiently and there is access to public transport markets for competition.

      What this top-down, neo-liberal model has done is force councils to divvy up their public transport services through a tender process, with cost considerations outranking quality, service or protection of employees’ working conditions.’

      Can’t have the public being transported can we, they might be so ecstatic that we’d never hear the end of their jubilation – productivity growth would plunge and Business would Suffer!

      • Carolyn_Nth 11.3.1

        I think the current Auckland and Wellington situations are a bit different.

        AT is far from perfect. But, with the latest reorganisations AT have been attending to usage patterns, and it looks like they have listened to some of the things bus users say. They’ve been slow to the mass transit cause, but gradually seem to be realising that improved mass transit is absolutely necessary to ease Auckland’s congestion.

        The profit motive in Auckland is seen more with low wages for drivers and probably poor conditions, too. And in the cost of fares, which could be decreased – especially for low income people.

  12. greywarshark 12

    Why I am against shared walkways with cyclists. I feel sorry for cyclists, but safe footpaths should stay as FOOTPATHS. And there will have been other injuries and grazes and rights and stress because of children and adults on footpaths.

    It is a loss of the commons,
    a loss of the right to walk on public paths freely and safely,
    a loss of the space to move around our towns and get the exercise we are told daily we need,
    a loss of places for old people to walk safely to keep healthy and strong and who can’t afford to have falls that may precipitate debilitation and death,
    and a loss of the uncontested free right to our most elemental form of locomotion!

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/367983/hit-and-run-cyclist-told-to-turn-himself-in

  13. SaveNZ 13

    Great to see a strategy for change

    “On 19-20 October we will launch own national debate on what an alternative and progressive trade and investment strategy for Aotearoa should look like at a hui at the Fale Pasifika at Auckland University. The sponsors include the NZCTU and many affiliate unions, NGOs Oxfam and Greenpeace, Ora Taiao: New Zealand Climate and Health Council, among others.

    The hui is deliberately timed to coincide with a round of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations at Sky City, a deal involving China, India, Japan, ASEAN and others that follows the same flawed TPPA model.”

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2018/10/03/converting-resistance-to-tppa-into-a-new-agenda-for-change/

  14. Muttonbird 14

    Tenancy reform begins. I wish this was part of one big social policy and announcement but Twyford obviously wants to get things moving.

    One less fear for tenants who are forced to move from schools and communities, amidst a rising tide of fears in other areas.

    It’s a start, and I hope The government doesn’t fall victim to powerful landlord and property investor lobby groups. They need to keep thinking long term and keep their eyes on those who are suffering.

    https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/10/government-to-abolish-letting-fees-by-christmas.html

  15. Herodotus 15

    I salute the government for consulting and then acting in addressing an issue, pity it was not addressed 6+ years ago. Especially using its 10% market in leverage to be considered for govt tenders 🙂
    It will place a halt on the lazy solution of just importing the workforce to meet current demand and no consideration towards the future
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/property/107592034/Government-announces-action-plan-to-target-construction-worker-shortage
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=12136784

  16. ianmac 16

    “Official version of Meka Whaitiri report finally released” As bad as it sounded???

    This bit was of interest to me:
    “…having regard to the information provided to me by Employee A, I find that the Minister did not pull and/or drag Employee A from the foyer. She did take Employee A outside the building where the meeting was taking place.”
    and:

    “Whaitiri’s lawyer was also concerned that the bruise on the staff member was small and had been described as “tiny” by Patten in his interview with Whaitiri.

    The bruise was not the shape that would have been expected from a grab that was alleged, the staff member was unsure where it came from because she didn’t notice until she was prompted three days later, and the photos of it were not taken in a timely way.

    “Given the bruise was not ‘discovered’ until four days after the alleged events it is possible the bruise could have been as a result of an entirely unrelated manner. There is no contemporaneous evidence … to indicate the bruise was present on the Monday of the alleged incident and to conclude the bruise was as a result of Ms Whaitiri’s actions in those circumstances is not sustainable.”
    and:
    “I wouldn’t say yelled but she did raise her voice to me and asked me if I knew what I was doing in my job …”
    and:
    “Employee A, did not initiate the complaint herself,……”
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12137532

    • Anne 16.1

      To expand on the last portion:

      The letter goes on to say that the staff member, a press secretary referred to as Employee A, did not initiate the complaint herself, and the there was potentially a political element to the matter given the PM’s chief of staff was involved.

      I’m not sure what the inference is supposed to be. Of course the PM’s chief of staff became involved. It’s their job to look into issues that arise on behalf of the PM.

      • ianmac 16.1.1

        I took that to mean A did not initiate the complaint. A friend did, so the PM’s Chief of Staff became involved. Wonder about the motive of the “friend.” Acting out of real concern or was she trying to create a political problem for Labour?

        • Anne 16.1.1.1

          Oh I see. The ‘friend’ could have been male or female of course. Chances are it was a mix of both. You often find in such situations that motivations can be plural.

        • james 16.1.1.2

          The friend didnt create a political problem for labour.

          The MP who assaulted the staff member did.

  17. chris73 17

    Ok so way back when celebrities didn’t attack politicians but simply encouraged people to vote

    Also my god those voices…shivers down my spine

    (Yeah its basically an excuse to play the vid)

  18. CHCOff 18

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/winston-peters-would-have-let-far-right-commentators-talk-venue-basis-free-speech

    Yep

    A lot of feminism is detrimental to gender equality. Nature does not need to be ‘fixed’ dues to it’s power imbalances between the genders according to feministas.

    Gender equality has nothing to do with that. It is for creating a strong sense of dynamism within the community in order to create a fullsome or wide spectrum to the value system so that shared freedom and efficiency may thrive in the functioning of the local demand and supply system. And all demand and supply is firstly local just as all experience is firstly individual. The better these are the starting points, the better are the wider integrations the ending points.

    Thus to corporatism built on neo-liberal rigid marketism, gender equality to board decision making trees is a value system correction to problematic structural dynamism and lazy rigidness. Non disastrous administration of the technological age requires the objective dynamism that is the spirit of it’s ingenuity.

    A lot of feminism gets in the way of this.

    • Gabby 18.1

      How chcoffoffy?

      • CHCOff 18.1.1

        Beyond the law of the land, not judging that ‘personal/private’ arrangements and roles should be, or are better for the individuals, one way or another between consenting adults.

  19. Dennis Frank 19

    Half an hour ago this brief notice was put on the Herald politics page: ” Massey University Chancellor Michael Ahie said the Council of Massey University was undertaking an independent review into the process surrounding the cancellation of the former National Leader’s appearance on Massey University’s Manawatū campus.

    “The Council has already expressed its support and confidence in the Vice Chancellor and it is now seeking a review of the processes involved in the issue so that it can fully understand the lessons learned and have clarity over future events,” Ahie said.

    “The review will be undertaken by Douglas Martin, a former Deputy State Services Commissioner… scheduled to report his findings and make recommendations to the University Council by the end of November… terms of reference for the review will focus on the performance of the University in arriving at and managing the consequences of the decision. “As such, it will encompass all aspects of organisational performance and a summary of the findings will be released in the public interest,” Ahie said.”

    Interesting that the Council has decided to declare confidence in the VC in advance. Implies they are determined not to hold her accountable for any error of judgment the review may find – but maybe the Council is not her employer!

    • Drowsy M. Kram 19.1

      It’s a truism that everyone (brain surgeons, rocket scientists, politicians, generals, economists, vice-chancellors etc.) makes mistakes, yet many seem unable to admit openly to even the smallest error of judgement (I know I am!)

      Massey University council’s current expression of confidence isn’t incompatible with the VC being held to account at a later date if the review’s findings warrant this. The council could simply cop to an error of judgement (but don’t hold your breath) due to not being in full possession of the facts.

      VC Thomas is still finding her feet. The council members could (and maybe should) have held their peace, but the silence in Massey University circles would have been deafening, and this is university politics after all.

      University politics are vicious precisely because the stakes are so small.

  20. Bloody hell – bit of a shocking read.

    “The NZ First MP behind a “values” bill which could expel migrants was once judged unfit to run pubs because of his criminal record.

    ” “As far as judging other peoples values I am pretty confident I am on the right side of the NZ public on this issue, and the voters I have talked to have been really encouraging of remit “

    https://i.stuff.co.nz/national/107627761/nz-first-mp-campaigning-for-kiwi-values-was-ruled-unfit-to-run-a-pub

    • McFlock 20.1

      Using Shipton as a character witness proved to be ironic.

    • Dennis Frank 20.2

      Folks will see this as an own-goal by NZF. In his favour, we must concede that the principle of rehabilitation applies equally to him, and he seems reformed. Bottom line though is that someone with multiple criminal convictions is the wrong choice to promote a bill based on values in parliament! How could Winston be so dumb??

      • CHCOff 20.2.1

        I don’t see getting into a scrap to keep things in check in his pub is much of a vote loser for NZ1st.

        • McFlock 20.2.1.1

          Bit of an understatement about his past there, but in itself it doesn’t rule him out of being an MP.

          It’s just a bit tone-deaf having him front the idea of “values” tests, when his own values ruled him out of running a pub and his assessment of other people’s character was so bad the person who spoke in favour of him turned out to be a rapist.

          • CHCOff 20.2.1.1.1

            I don’t think so, all the other things are bit and bobs, life happens.

            The most serious incident has what i proposed as it’s main context, which while less than ideal is what alot of people would recognise as being the lay of the land in how life can go sometimes.

            It’s actually a pretty good AUTHENTIC NZ slice of life story, with bumps in the road but overall a good showing.

      • marty mars 20.2.2

        The problem is that values are nebulous and subjective – I think most of us would fail some ‘value’ test from someone at some point. Are we bad people, should we be barred? Of course not.

        • Dennis Frank 20.2.2.1

          Indeed. Failure by NZF to even suggest the primary kiwi values gives credence to Bernard Hickey’s theory that the NZF bill is intended merely to distract everyone from the actual immigration numbers this past year! https://www.newsroom.co.nz/@politics/2018/10/03/263430/when-deflection-a

        • WILD KATIPO 20.2.2.2

          Yeah there’s been plenty of law officers in times past that were less then sterling in character… but they were kept on because they were the only ones with the nerve, cool heads and willingness to use lethal force if needs be to keep the peace. Look at so many famous lawmen of the American west in the 19th century…or our own colonial past.

  21. eco maori 21

    Kia ora Nation I say farmer’s need to be included in our plan’s to cut carbon uses.
    % 091 of te tangata of Aotearoa support meeting OUR Paris Climate Change commitments that give Eco A sore face.
    Yes Jamie one need’s to be flexible with our goal’s on reducing green house gases like Obama he did not try and force his goals down the Papatuanuku neck .
    Obama and our other left leaders did a GREAT job getting the Paris agreement signed .
    The Green Party has been getting some good win’s while in Power.
    The ETS COST are there they have always been there. Its is the unborn and the mokopunas that will ultimately be paying the cost of Climate Change if we do nothing.
    80 million view’s Voices of hope yes our mental health system is so under funded its because some people can not see it so they think its not a Huge problem for Aotearoa.
    The Crown has never been fair on the treaty process
    $ 00.1 cent in $100.00compensation is that fair well not in my book.
    Ka kite and .

  22. eco maori 22

    tricky rick the republican Florida senator for the last 8 years has slashed water monitoring station and funding by $700.00 million scraped all the environment protection targets .
    The fake it till you make it crew is making a mess of America so primitive they don’t have the intelligence to see that they are ruining the children’s future this $$$$$$$$$$$$$ is what distorts there reality on the facts of Human Caused Climate Change.
    When one see dead fish & birds washing up on Miami beaches one can not hide that the voters are going to vote blue Bill Nelson I see a BLUE TSUNAMI hitting America in the near future Kia kaha ka kite ano P.S how do idiots get so much power ????????????

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/oct/05/florida-red-tide-republican-rick-scotts-senate-midterms

    • eco maori 22.1

      Kia ora Newshub it’s cool that Our defense force went to Indonesia Parlu to fly the poor people to a safe place trapped on that Island after the earth quake and tsunami
      That organization predicting doom and glom of our exchange rate is non other than anz bank as for imports they make big mark ups on there prouducts so they will absorb some of the rise in price.
      Tangaroa research boat and the crew doing research on the Hikurangi seduction zone are doing good research if it is all ready slipping I say it won’t go with a bang ????????
      Many thank’s to the people in Christchurch for using there humane initiative and getting the local cafes in Christchurch to donate they leftovers and gifting the food to the needy .
      Kate Rocket Man look like quite a good movie
      Ka kite ano

      • eco maori 22.1.1

        trump is going to ram through Kavanaugh vote on the supreme court judge trump & his followers will be using a lot of tissues come november . trump and the republicans are CHEAT’s just lining there pockets ka kite and

  23. eco maori 23

    Ka pai Mike

  24. eco maori 24

    The sandflys are still playing there stupid games everytime I go out I take there game away from them by ignoring them they sent 2 actor’s in yesterday Eco just check’s them. What a bunch of fools . I got another brush off from this system The Ombudsmen ask for me to proudce evedince for my OIA request when they know that is what they should make the organization give me what a SHAM.
    I told you common people the systems are rigged all around the World to serve and protect the RICH Ana to kai P.S there sirens went off just after I posted Ecos Music they are trump lovers

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    1 week ago
  • Is it time to further recognise those who serve in our military?
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  • Paving the way for a fully qualified early learning workforce
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    1 week ago
  • Sport Recovery Package announced
    The Sport and Recreation sector will receive a multi-million dollar boost as part of the COVID-19 response funded at Budget 2020.  Grant Robertson says the Sport and Recreation Sector contributes about $5 billion a year to New Zealand’s GDP and employs more than 53,000 people. “Sport plays a significant role ...
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  • Major boost in support for caregivers and children
    A major increase in funding and availability of support will improve the incomes and reduce the pressure on 14,000 caregivers looking after more than 22,000 children. Children’s Minister Tracey Martin says that caregivers – all those looking after someone else’s children both in and outside the state care system – ...
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  • Great Walks recovery on track for summer
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  • Māori – Government partnership gives whānau a new housing deal
    The Government is investing  $40 million in a partnership with Māori to get more whānau into warm, dry and secure accommodation, Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Hon Nanaia Mahuta says.. “We are partnering with Māori and iwi to respond to the growing housing crisis in the wake of COVID-19. ...
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  • Keeping New Zealanders Safe In The Water
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    2 weeks ago
  • Legal framework for COVID-19 Alert Level referred to select committee
    The COVID-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, which set a sound legal framework ahead of the move to Alert level 2, has been referred to a parliamentary select committee for review.  Attorney-General David Parker said the review of the operation of the COVID-19 specific law would be reported back to ...
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  • New Zealand condemns shocking attacks on hospital and funeral in Afghanistan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand condemns the targeting of civilians in two terrorist attacks in Afghanistan earlier this week. “The terrorist attacks on a hospital in Kabul and a funeral in Nangarhar province are deeply shocking. The attacks were deliberate and heinous acts of extreme violence targeting ...
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  • Government to close tobacco tax loophole
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  • $62 million package to support families through the Family Court
    The Coalition Government has made a significant $62 million investment from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund to start the reform of the Family Court and enable it to respond effectively to the increased backlog caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Today Justice Minister Andrew Little introduced the Family Court (Supporting ...
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