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Open mike 05/06/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 5th, 2011 - 106 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

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

Step right up to the mike…

106 comments on “Open mike 05/06/2011”

  1. Jim Nald 1

    Greens set to declare today who they would work with in the next Government:

    Norman: please don’t do a Nick Clegg.

    • weka 1.1

      “Norman: please don’t do a Nick Clegg.”
      Greens: please don’t do a Maori Party.
      A seat in cabinet with National would end the Greens. I’d most likely give my party vote to Mana if the Greens are willing to work with the Nats and I’m sure many others would go with Labour.
      I haven’t been following the internal stuff – are they really considering a deal with the Nats or is this just a formality?

      • Jim Nald 1.1.1

        Peter ‘toi toi’ Sharples goes with where the winds of power blow.

        Let’s hope Russel doesn’t go toi toi-ing with the RWNJs.

      • Lanthanide 1.1.2

        I think this is just a way for the Greens to get publicity.

        Be all coy about not ruling out the Nats and possibly, maybe, go with them after the election. It’s the kind of scuttlebutt that gets Guyon and Duncan all hot and bothered because it’s all ‘just so interesting’.

        • Jim Nald

          Ok, hoping Russel isn’t toying with the left progressive voters and then selling out on them.

          • Jim Nald

            News out now ..

            Here’s hoping, “highly unlikely” or not, the Greens do not supply political capital and give their confidence to the Greeds:


            Lesson 1: Tory con jobs demand too high a price.

            • weka

              “At their annual meeting in Auckland on Sunday, the Greens made a final decision that they could form a Government with the Labour Party or support it on confidence and supply.
              But they ruled out forming a government with National.
              They said they could work with National on confidence and supply, though such an arrangement would be highly unlikely.”

              The RNZ link.

              That’s a dangerous game. I’ll be wanting to see the Greens press release itself. Under what conditions would the Greens support National on confidence and supply? Or are they just saying that to get the centre Green vote?

              • Drakula

                I agree Weka I said exactly the same thing when Metiria and Norman were making similar overtures a few months ago, I said on Frogblog that they were playing a dangerous game.

                For the Greens to vote on Confidence and Supply ? That’s not in my view an option it would be best to force a re-election.

                This government is extremely dangerous you don’t negotiate with them nor do you give them any options once out of power; ‘It’s either OR’ !!!!!

            • Jim Nald

              Here’s the “highly unlikely” press release from the Greens website:


              And here’s Metiria’s speech (with the “highly unlikely” remit at the end) on Scoop’s:


              Interesting. But still hoping that Russel (cf. Turei) will not be doing a Cleggy.

      • jackal 1.1.3

        You would also need to factor in National voters bailing ship as well weka. Personally I’m all for more cooperation between the parties, but can see why the Greens are unable to work with National. With more cooperation though, we would hopefully not see the extreme swings in policy direction every time the Government changes, which costs NZ millions of dollars.

        • weka

          I agree about the need for more cooperation. There’s ways of co-operating without going into government with them. Although it’s the Nats (and Labour to an extent) that don’t like doing that, not the Greens.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Cooperation is nice but, considering that National are a bunch of psychopaths who don’t believe in reality, there’s very little that you cooperate with them on.

      • Vicky32 1.1.4

        I haven’t been following the internal stuff – are they really considering a deal with the Nats or is this just a formality?

        From what I’ve heard on Nat Rad, the Greens will not go with National, whew!

    • Grens will woith Te mana and Labour, not because Te Mana will have great environmental policies but because of their idealogy.

  2. Morrissey 2

    Would Nick Clegg have had the courage to confront Chinese government thugs like Russell Norman did last year?

    More importantly: is Nick Clegg married to the sister of a gorgeous movie star?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Courage or grandstanding stupidity? Fine line there.

      • Morrissey 2.1.1

        Many people said the same about Martin Luther King. Are you a member of ACT?

        • McFlock

          MLK inspired millions at the cost of his own life. RN waved a flag and whined like a little bitch. Difference, much?
          BTW, I’m not a member of ACT but I do know better than to rely on the moral backbone of a well-meaning hippie.

          • Morrissey

            MLK inspired millions at the cost of his own life. RN waved a flag and whined like a little bitch. Difference, much?

            He didn’t simply “wave a flag”, you fool. He protested against the Chinese government and was manhandled by Chinese government goons. And he didn’t “whine” at all, he quite properly pointed out the craven behaviour of the New Zealand government, which did not even protest at an attack on a New Zealand parliamentarian in the grounds of parliament.

            BTW, I’m not a member of ACT but I do know better than to rely on the moral backbone of a well-meaning hippie.
            You certainly sound like a member of ACT. But okay, you’re in the National Party.

            • McFlock

              Oh please, even if I agreed with your interpretation of RN’s protest, comparing him with MLK is fecking nuts.
              And dude, you’re talking about a party that refuses to rule out going into coalition with NACT. Two elections down the line they’ll be looking the other way on minimum wage as long as national pay farmers $500mil to “compensate” them for not putting cattle shit in our rivers.

              • Morrissey

                Oh please, even if I agreed with your interpretation of RN’s protest, comparing him with MLK is fecking nuts.

                He stood up for democracy and protested against a brutal and repressive regime. Your objection to him seems to be based on nothing more than his tone of voice.

                Two elections down the line they’ll be looking the other way…
                You may well be right, unfortunately.

  3. logie97 3

    Rugby crying poor again.


    I seem to recall that the call for the game to go professional came from New Zealand against much opposition from those dastardly chaps of the Northern Hemisphere Unions. As Ye Sow, So Shall Ye Reap.

    • Jim Nald 3.1

      The game is no longer the same since it was privatised, erm, professionalised .. or de-Unionised.
      Sell the game, sell your players, export New Zealand, go Kiwis!

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        It’s really embarrassing listening to expat Kiwis talk about what a basket case NZ is, and listening to foreigners talk about how they will use their NZ immigration status to get working and living in Australia, if they can’t get into Australia directly in the first place. NZ provides a useful work-around but they would never want to live here due to the shortage of career opportunities and bad management.

        Actually it’s fraking pathetic.

        • Jim Nald

          We don’t have a government who is willing to do the hard yards to invest and create in jobs.

          Easier just to hollow out the country by selling out.

          Or pissing off to across the ditch.

  4. ZeeBop 4

    Broadening tax collection or grow welfare? This is the choice the National Socialist aren’t going to answer. Free up individuals not by increasing compliance but take the weight off of a unfair taxation system. Its sad that the very people who succeed in a system, that exports skilled kiwis, that locks in welfare dependency, that supports old profit centres, who run up debt, who won’t debate without using the politics of destruction, national socialism (which is neither good for our economy or good for equality), then go out and tell us that those on welfare, people who live in high unemployment areas, people with real illnesses, people who told they can’t have another child say just watch. Its a shameless system that has picked up these mediocre right wing nutters who peddle the nastiest politics because a few media talking heads can talk for middle NZ.
    Middle NZ does want people to be happy, does want happy families, they don’t want to stop people having kids who want them, they are just concerned that in order to help the poor who have kids that we remove the incentive to work, now this is wrong thinking. Firstly the market produces incentives, not a National socialist party that believes in intervention in markets, there are enough incentives for mums to get work, nice clothes, better wider range of food, services, and products! Second Middle NZ have their belief high-jacked by media, that because it looks easy (which it is not) that the low status of poverty actually leads to addiction, to social malaise, when the poverty trap is laid down, its the thinking of elites that find it all to easy to say poverty has poor outcomes it must be the poor at fault, morally, ethically, etc. But what happens when its not, what happens when all too many are addicted, too many in prison, too many ill? Well its the system that’s bigger than individial people trapped in poverty.
    What happens when this persists? Well the people rise up and work together to change the system, and I assure you they will and are, globally people cannot get food and they rise up.
    Government is not efficient, it does pick winners, and those winners are not more ethical or moral than the poorest, they are however less ethical and immoral when they use their lick to justify that poor, ill, marginalized are the problem.
    So there’s one thing worst thing that a do-gooder, a right wing fascist do-gooder.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Government is not efficient,

      Yes, actually, it is.

      • ZeeBop 4.1.1

        Government picks winners. If picked Key up and made him a beneficiary of
        government distorted taxation. Only by allowing massive borrowing that favoured
        capital farming could a man will little skill become a speculator currency trader.
        We need a debate why the wealthy who have won from the legislative mix think
        its the poor who are holding NZ back, when its them and their habits that have
        led to massive indebtedness in the private sector. The rich a person was, the more
        debt they could carry and the more debt they put on the NZ taxpayer now.
        Government never works perfectly, and so we always need to cut down those
        who benefit by failures in government, they are now the wealthy elite who
        think they are owed a living despite being the people still offering us the same
        restricted economic vision that just digs us deeper into debt, economic,
        fiscal, environmental, social debts. Zombie economics. They don’t want the
        debate because they know they will be in the dock for running our country
        into the mire. We are a wealthy nation, commodities are booming, yet children
        can’t get shoes, can’t have afford milk, can’t get ahead, its shameless.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Yes, the zombie economics, otherwise known as capitalism needs to be removed but that doesn’t mean that government is inefficient. One thing we should have learned over the last three decades is that government is more efficient than the private sector. The problem is that, over the last three decades, it has been used to benefit the capitalists rather than the community that it is, nominally, the servant of.

          • ZeeBop

            Its inevitable that any system will become so paralysed by parasites that it falls over. Even capitalism, it does not follow that capitalism is a failed system, just humans are. The argument
            against public services is they are parasitical bureaucratic self-serving entities. But the same
            could easily be said for the wealthy. Over time the wealthy will create such a large inequality gap that they fear becoming poor, so much so they will use their influence to write down the means of exchange (whether in a capitalist system or a communist one), since all human societies revolve around gift giving to create trust bonds between individuals and groups within society.
            So one day you will be paid more, but somewhere someone is printing so much money that actually in real terms you are paid less, you buy less in the shops, the size of the products on the shelves sudden shrinks, the quality disappears, the tinned of peaches is flat like its been recooked a few times. But that’s not a problem! If you have a gormless enough citizenry who love soft nazi propaganda like NZ does, then nobody would notice how horrible the pies were, or how fat their kids are, or how stupid the education system was. No, with continuing cheapening oil supplies we all become duller. But now we are heading into a crisis, a crisis where the parasites cannot sustain themselves and the body they have infested, so its the parasites or the body. And
            the parasites are winning, it will be a short victory. Nothing to do with capitalism since it happened to communism too. Every so often you need to legally, or illegally, remove the blockage, clean house, wash off the fungus. The choice is up to the parasite to choose their demise, too go out fighting taking us all down with them, or give up to the inevitable, that all the excessive unnecessary activity designed to create consent for huge unfair resource reallocating to a few of the worlds wealthiest.
            It was never a binary choice, left or right, capitalism or communism, bludgers or farmers, its was always about getting everyone in a room and having the debate and playing off wants and needs. Fact is the wealthy got into bed with government and don’t want, or are too inanely stupid, too paralysis by their own pathetic addiction to power….

            rant, rant.

          • Rob

            How is it more efficient give us proof?

            • Draco T Bastard

              ACC, Telecom (If we hadn’t sold it we wouldn’t have lost ~$20b and we wouldn’t be paying them another billion or so to boost their profits), Health – US private insurance is 3 times per capita more costly than ours and only reaches 5/6 of the population…

  5. r0b 5

    RNZ right now Chris Laidlaw is doing an hour on food prices, crop failures, world hunger and the like.  It has started well, probably be an interesting hour.

    • Morrissey 5.1

      He’s been running a good quality programme lately. One of the highlights came last Sunday, when the great man read out a letter about the Sri Lankan government, written by (ahem!) me.

  6. r0b 6

    Hey Lynn – the time stamp on comments is about 7 min ahead of real time (and getting faster I think?)

  7. Morrissey 7

    Prof. Steve Hoadley defends Kissinger, gets himself saved by Jim Mora
    The Panel, National Radio, Friday May 27, 2011

    Today’s panel: Jim Mora, “Bomber” Bradbury, Richard Langstone

    First topic for the day is the arrest of Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic. Unlike Saddam Hussein, General Suharto, Augusto Pinochet, Ariel Sharon and dozens of other mass murderers, Mladic never enjoyed the support, sponsorship and diplomatic protection of the United States, so his arrest and arraignment was only a matter of time.

    First guest is Professor STEPHEN HOADLEY, a right wing “security and foreign affairs specialist” from the University of Auckland. After he makes a few remarks condemning one war criminal, an unwary Hoadley is artfully lured into supporting a much worse one. Langstone and Bradbury are both astounded by what Hoadley says, and both of them want to argue the point with him. Unfortunately, the nervous host Jim Mora swiftly moves to shut down any possibility of Prof. Hoadley having to defend his words.

    Presumably Professor Hoadley was capable of standing up for himself, so this is just another in a long line of missed opportunities for serious discussion on this programme….

    PROF. HOADLEY: Sir Michael Jackson calls Mladic a bombastic thug.

    RICHARD LANGSTONE: The man is a psychopath and a war criminal! He throttled a Dutch journalist in front of John Simpson from the BBC, for God’s sake!

    MORA: The Jewish people won’t let the Holocaust be forgotten. Should we be allowed to forget Srebrenica?

    BOMBER BRADBURY: Or the people who backed Osama Bin Laden?

    HOADLEY: Rwanda, John Demjanjuk—there’s no statute of limitations on these heinous crimes. But then we see what’s happening with Assad in Syria, and with Gaddafi in Libya. The message doesn’t seem to deter bad behaviour.

    LANGSTONE: Many people feel Henry Kissinger should be indicted for his role in the destruction of Indo-China.

    MORA: Uh! But he’s slightly more REMOVED! He didn’t pat the heads of Muslim children befo—

    LANGSTONE: Someone gave permission for the bombing.

    MORA: Uhhh! Thank you! Thank you for raising that EXTRA strand of conversation!

    HOADLEY: [with extreme gravitas] In the Geneva Conventions, military objectives are legitimate.

    BRADBURY: W-w-w-w-what?

    LANGSTONE: Hoohooooo…

    MORA: I know you’re hoo-hooing…

    LANGSTONE: If you carpet-bomb a country and think you won’t get civilians, you haven’t been in many wars.

    MORA: Okay, okay! Yeah, yeah, yeah! Onto the next topic!

    • D-D-D-Damn ! 7.1

      Yep, Hoadley’s a bit of an old neo-conservative. He’s been a loyal apologist for US/Israeli military action/War Crimes for a few decades now.

      But good to see Richard Langstone telling it like it is !

      (Incidently, I fail to understand how you can consider Anna Paquin “gorgeous”. We obviously have fundamentally different tastes in women).

      • Morrissey 7.1.1

        Yep, Hoadley’s a bit of an old neo-conservative. He’s been a loyal apologist for US/Israeli military action/War Crimes for a few decades now.

        I’m wary of calling these people “conservatives”, or “neo-conservatives”, which is what they call themselves. It implies that they were once liberals, which is untrue, and that they are now conservatives, which is also untrue. They’re radicals, with a contempt for things that conservatives hold dear, such as the rule of law, and democracy. Hoadley had something to do with the dismissal of Dr. Paul Buchanan, didn’t he?

        But good to see Richard Langstone telling it like it is !

        Unfortunately, Jim Mora was determined to close him down. I think Langstone and Bomber Bradbury should have shown a bit of backbone and insisted on Hoadley defending his outlandish statement.

        I fail to understand how you can consider Anna Paquin “gorgeous”. We obviously have fundamentally different tastes in women.
        Well, you know, I wouldn’t say no…

        • felix

          It implies that they were once liberals…

          I thought it implied that they were a “new breed” of conservatives rather than that they had become conservative anew. How do interpret the term “neo-nazi”?

          I agree it’s a misnomer and they’re not conservatives at all, just interested in the etymology.

          • Morrissey

            Actually, felix, we’re both right. These guys—Wolfowitz, Perle, Kristol, Kagan, Cheney, etc.—were “doves” during the U.S. destruction of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, which means that they made sure that they didn’t end up being sent there. In the degraded, fantastic world of the American political establishment, that means they were “liberals”. Of course they never were, except when it came to dope-smoking, free love—and evading army service, unlike those stupid “rednecks” from the South and the rust-belt.

            When they grew up, and were no longer in any danger of being drafted, these phoney liberals transformed themselves into the most bloodthirsty exponents of American military “intervention”.

            In other words, they were (according to themselves, anyway) a new breed of conservative. All perfect nonsense of course, but it’s a term that’s caught on.

  8. prism 8

    Methinks, that methane gas and other explosive and deadly ones, need to be better monitored under safety regulations in NZ. Politicians should ensure that workers health is properly looked after with decent budgets and dedicated personnel. Workers doing difficult and dirty jobs should be properly protected by gas monitoring before they enter dangerous locations. Workers need to be able to demand these from companies and/or subcontactors.

    We have had Pike that may always have been a gamble with a possibility that a dangerous gas mix deadly to miners would arise in time. Now an explosion in an underground tunnel in Auckland. Also some workers killed in the last few days while working near a forklift I think on a wind turbine site underlines the vulnerability of workers using machinery outdoors to serious injury and death.

    ACC is seen as needed to provide assistance to the injured, help with expenses after death and encourage safe practices for those doing risky work. The comment was made that not too many office workers fell off their chairs and broke their arms. There is a lot of hot air in parliament, perhaps this should be monitored for flatulence, to avoid unexpected injuries.

    • Jim Nald 8.1

      Hoping what you’re noting there do not relate to the boring, expensive “back room” functions that this government is so enthusiastically slashing and cutting, oh, capping … more like fast-dropping capping from the looks of the previous budget(s).

  9. prism 9

    On Chris Laidlaw RadioNZ this morning he discussed with the author a book about the Churchill family. One aspect has been of interest to me, the way that British aristocratic, wealthy or colonial service families of the Empah often neglected to give their children on-going affection or support.

    I think the author said that Winston spent the years from 7 to 16 mostly away from home. He saw his mother once a year, and his father only visited his school twice in that time. His father died of syphilis so perhaps that was an indication of the choice he would make between visiting Winston at school or seeing his woman on the side. (Karen Blixen of Out of Africa fame caught the infection from her ‘noble’ Danish husband, so the disease was widespread.)

    The British brought up many of their boys under this regime of emotional deprivation and documented bullying behaviour. The likelihood of semi-sexual relationships of love and touch-deprived children in these warehouses of the privileged, though the boys may not have lived as so, has been an open secret over the years. Winston apparently yearned for love and time with his parents and was said to be devastated when his father died. His particular background, requiring strength of will and purpose to make his own way and form individual opinions, must have resulted in him being the unique person who could lead Britain out of what threatened to be a loss of the country to powerful, expansionist Nazi Germany. But what a cost to the individual to produce those traits, which most of his peers would not have been left with after the brutalising of the Brit public school, perhaps just another version of the lower class Brit Schools.

    Tom Sharpe has sharply saitirised these Brit public schools in his writings such as Porterhouse Blue and Grantchester Grind. And I suggest Vintage Stuff which focuses on Peregrine Clyde-Brown and involves wild driving and adventures in France during public school holidays. I think young Pere graduates to a career as a guerilla in Ireland where his talents for destruction are fully exercised.

    • Anne 9.1

      prism @ 1:00 pm
      Read a book about Churchill’s ‘deprived’ upbringing recently and it was fascinating. What is that saying now? “Give me the child until he is seven and I’ll give you the man”. Something like that.

      Those public schools were run by sadists and psychopaths in those days. His father was unstable from an early age and his mother had no maternal instincts. He was brought up by a nanny who was the only person who gave him any love, but she was taken away from him when he was sent to his first boarding school. His mother eventually found her maternal side but not until he was well into his teens. She ended up his greatest supporter. I sometimes wonder whether his many bouts of depression were the legacy of that childhood.

    • Vicky32 9.2

      Two things must be born in mind re the Churchill thing – I heard a letter read out about it, in which the letter writer begged to differ, saying that quite a lot of what Churchill claimed was not actually true… Also, I think it’s important to point out that Winnie’s mother was an American. (Agatha Christie is another upper class person everyone believed was the essence of English-ness, but in Aggie’s case, her father, and her maternal grandfather were Americans. Aggie identified herself as an American, somewhat to the bemusement of her siblings, and she lived a similar life to that claimed for Churchill – “benign” parental neglect, combined in her case, with what would be called now ‘home-schooling’! So, the fault is not entirely British.) All that being said, I had a boyfriend years back, whose father had been sent from home in Kenya, to a British boarding school when he was 8 years old, and didn’t see his parents again until he was 20. That had serious repercussions for his sons, who were very inadequately parented… 🙁

      • Anne 9.2.1

        Hi Vicky
        I wish I could remember the name of the book, but I do remember it was written by a well regarded British historian (whose name also escapes me for the moment – oh dear) and was not necessarily based on any claims made by Winston Churchill himself. It also confirmed what I have read elsewhere about Churchill.

        I agree with your premise that.. not everything Churchill claimed was actually true. If he hadn’t been a very famous politician he would have been a very famous actor. The two professions are closely related. Indeed one of his three daughters (Diana I think) took up an acting career. Sadly she took her own life in the 60s.

        • prism

          Anne I wonder if the author was William Manchester. I think he’s famous for his Churchill work.
          Vicky32 – I didn’t know about Ag Christie having USA relations. I had always thought of her as Brit. P G Wodehouse lived there also. I think that Simenon may have also.
          I have heard of a notable citizen from North America Ted Turner, being sent to a military academy at eight so some wealthy take their task of personal involvement with their children lightly.
          I don’t know if you have ever read Jon Cleary, Australian author but I have just finished Endpeace, a murder mystery about a wealthy family where the parents were so bonded that they hardly had time for their children. Actually the recent Churchill book said that this was what happened with Winston and Clementine.

        • Drakula

          Hi Vicky and Anne; I would like to read that book some time even though I could find it very difficult to read.

          I had a very similar upbringing though not on a so grand a scale, my family lived in the Solomons and I went to two boarding schools in Australia so in the early years I only saw my parents at the Christmas holidays.

          There was bullying at the first so I did the sensible thing, ran away!!!

          The origins of boarding schools are based on two premis one on Plato’s The State and Pauline Christianity; both dead ideologies.

          My house master in the 1st school was a major from the British Indian army, if one had problems academically he called one a ‘dumb idiot, no hoper’ in front of the whole class. He never had any training as a teacher. Another teacher at the same school looked exactly like the Roman emperor Vespasian, drove a VW, collected Wagner, and for such misdemeanors committed in the morning he would prescribe a caning, but the caning would not be performed until about 9pm. He would like to inflict psychological torture on 8 year olds for a whole day!!!! He never had a girl friend!!!!!

          Not very natural institutions.

          • Anne

            @ Drakula
            I would have to go to the library and get a list of all the books I’ve taken out in the past year in order to track down the title of the book 😉 . What I suggest you do is visit your local library. From memory the book deals with his life until the out-break of WW1. Another interesting book is the story of Churchill’s marriage to Clementine which is also revealing about his character.

            @Vicky32. (below)
            My father was a former British soldier too and he had no time for Churchill. In the past couple of decades however there have papers released and well researched books written that provide information about his upbringing – as well as hitherto unknown war-time situations. I like to think my father would have revised his opinion of Churchill had he known about them.

        • Vicky32

          I do remember that my father (English, British Army veteran) loathed Churchill! He said that C., was all mouth and didn’t achieve all that he was being praised for in the 60s, when we had this discussion…
          Prism, I decided in 2009, to read everything old Aggie ever wrote (such as Aspie thing to do, that, it really makes me wonder!), and often I come across cringe-making things (inevitable really) that I know people will blame on her “Englishness”, wrongly in many cases… She had a very American view of heredity, and the dangers of adoption (any child put up for adoption is bound to come from a bad background, and middle-class parents are nursing vipers in their bosom etc). Her obsession with race was very American! (Although after she married a Jewish archaeologist, at least she laid off the anti-semitism – which was never rife in England at the time, as you’ll see if you read Dorothy Sayers for instance)…

          • prism

            vicky32 – I have followed your track and read all Ag C (recently bought Postern of Fate her last written book). I did notice certain things that struck a wrong note, but thought that it just reflected attitudes at the time. It’s interesting how around World War 1 she wrote a number of spy stories, also about secret Russian anarchist groups.
            I have also read all Dorothy L Sayers and have a copy of The Song of Roland for when I feel like it. Though I can’t remember references to anti semitism.

            As for Churchill, a high-profile decision-maker like him becomes a target for sneers and anger when a military move goes wrong. I guess the trick when in a wild world war is to be right more often than wrong and to do what has to be done, persuade allies, keep the desired results of winning the war and protecting the country, first and centre to every decision.

            One of the hard things was to keep the information secret which was gained from the Enigma? code breaking and allow German maneouvres to proceed with loss of life and equipment to the Allies. Seeing into the heart of German planning was all important and to react to it would have ‘blown their cover’ and resulted in Germans changing their codes. The story of how those were obtained is a dramatic tale in itself which I haven’t read completely.

            I have many books on WW2 in paperback which come very cheaply these days though WW2 is still a greater story than James Bond for instance. There is the one about the Brit dying man who was recruited to be washed up dead in the sea off France with falso plans for maneouvres in his pocket. Then there are the wonderful, brave, persuasive, fast-thinking agents behind enemy lines, Nancy Wake is just one of them. Their stories are riveting. There is the Brit who had personal contacts with the French Air Force and could have brought many of their planes and trained personnel into Britain to fight with the Brits against the Germans. He was prevented in this, which required urgent, fast decision making, by dull-minded bureaucrats who could think no higher than processing paperwork in the system. And WW2 still reverberates today.

            • Vicky32

              I have also read all Dorothy L Sayers and have a copy of The Song of Roland for when I feel like it. Though I can’t remember references to anti semitism.
              The anti-semitic remarks are in early Agatha books, then she married Max Mallowan, a German Jew…
              There is the one about the Brit dying man who was recruited to be washed up dead in the sea off France with falso plans for maneouvres in his pocket.
              I remember my Mum talking about that… The guy had pneumonia, and died with fluid in his lungs, which would convince the Germans that he had drowned, which was an essential part of the scheme… There was a film about it, I believe…
              Then there are the wonderful, brave, persuasive, fast-thinking agents behind enemy lines, Nancy Wake is just one of them. Their stories are riveting. There is the Brit who had personal contacts with the French Air Force and could have brought many of their planes and trained personnel into Britain to fight with the Brits against the Germans. He was prevented in this, which required urgent, fast decision making, by dull-minded bureaucrats who could think no higher than processing paperwork in the system. And WW2 still reverberates today.
              Thanks to my son, I learned about the number of people involved in Formula One who were agents… and I learned the story about Andree Borell, who was incredibly brave!
              I started a Facebook group about her, and am looking for a link… which I can’t find, drat it! 🙁

              • Vicky32

                Sorry Prism that when I clicked ‘submit’ all my paragraphing was lost!

                • prism

                  vicky32 -Formula One agents? Do you mean the racing cars? Can you point me in the direction of that story as well as Andree Borell, when you find her link. Thanks.

                  • Vicky32

                    My son had a book about them a few years back, nail-biting stuff! I can’t remember the name or the author, I think it’s Joe Saward… here’s the Wikipedia link about Andree Borell… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andr%C3%A9e_Borrel
                    I see I’ve been mis-spelling her name, which can’t have helped my search… The Grand Prix Saboteurs, that’s the name of the book, Joe Saward… http://www.grandprixplus.com/meettheteam/joesaward.html
                    The thing that impressed me most about Andree Borrel is her fate – thrown alive into a crematorium, apparently… That makes me feel ill even to think about! (I watched Blitz Street last night on Prime, and thought about people in the ME who’ve been suffering things similar to that for nearly 10 years now..) I am constantly reminded of the reasons why I am a radical pacifist… I don’t know whether L., took the book to Welly with him, or I would arrange to lend it to you….(I assume you’re in NZ, but you may be at the other end of the country from me, for all I know!)

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Private insurers confirm that they can’t do accident insurance as cheaply as ACC and the only way they could compete in the market would be if the government removed ACC completely.

    Edmiston said that private insurers would not be able to compete with ACC’s pricing and would prefer it was excised completely from the market.

    There ya go RWNJs, straight from the horses mouth, the private insurance companies will not be making accident insurance cheaper or better because they can’t.

    H/T Chris Hipkins @Red Alert

    • burt 10.1

      They private insurers were cheaper last time ACC was opened up to competition. As an employer the amount I was paying went down considerably and the cover was far more extensive.

      I’m picking a big part of the reason they won’t this time is that they have learnt from last time that as soon as Labour get back in office they will revert to the model that best serves their ideology. A state run monopoly that can dictate the price and the level of cover to serve the best interests of easy administration. Once again we will be relegated to no fixed service level, no particular contract for what is covered and what is not – once again Labour will throw us onto the fire of ideology and ACC will be policy de-jour serving itself.

      • felix 10.1.1

        Why do you think he doesn’t just say that then burt?

        Why would he make up lies (according to you he’s lying) about not being cheaper than ACC?

        They were loss-leading last time burt. You got some insurance on special. Well done.

        • burt

          Umm, wasn’t just me felix. The ability to choose a level of cover, agree a price and have a contract for that cover rather than a nebulas ‘you pay what we say – you get the treatment we decide and we assess you eligibility for everything according to the rules in force when it happens’ was the biggest bonus. My most recent experience with ACC they changed the eligibility and cost of the services I was using half way through the process – strangely my premiums went up for the luxury as well.

          • felix

            Who said it was “just you”? They were loss-leading to compete for business.

            The insurance council says they can’t beat ACC on price for cover.

            You think they’re lying?

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2

        They private insurers were cheaper last time ACC was opened up to competition.

        That doesn’t mean that it will be cheaper now. In fact, the insurance industry has just come out and said it won’t be.

        Everything else you said is pure ideology and not backed up by fact as has been shown by the PWC study on ACC finding it to be the cheapest and best accident compensation scheme in the world and, now, by the insurance industry who have come out and said that they can’t beat it.

        • burt

          That doesn’t mean that it will be cheaper now. In fact, the insurance industry has just come out and said it won’t be.

          That was kind of what I was saying with;

          “I’m picking a big part of the reason they won’t this time is that they have learnt from last time that as soon as Labour get back in office they will revert to the model that best serves their ideology.”

          • Draco T Bastard

            No you weren’t. You were espousing your delusional belief that the private sector is always cheaper than the public sector and that the government should do what’s best for the private sector rather than what’s best for the community.

            • burt

              No I was saying ‘once bitten twice shy’.

              Labour have said they will reverse it… They did last time as well; If that’s not a major disincentive for insurers to enter the market then what is.

              Your beloved party is costing tax payers money because it’s policies are to restrict competition. I understand that’s probably a bitter pill to swallow but get over it.

              • millsy

                Who the fuck cares burt.

                The whole point of ACC is so people can have their treatment covered and be paid 80% of their wages while off work.

                Opening ACC up to private cover means that they wont be because private insurers have to make a profit, and the only way they can do that that is by denying people cover. That is a FACT.

                I dont give a shit if you dont like paying high levies, the fact is that it is a price to pay so living standards are preserved in hard times.

                • burt

                  Who the fuck cares burt.

                  The whole point of ACC is so people can have their treatment covered and be paid 80% of their wages while off work.


                  So the whole point is one size fits all so shut the fuck up !

                  • millsy

                    If people get compensated for the lost wages when they get injured, then one size should fit all.

                    Unless you are saying that people who cannot work due to injury should pretty much lose everything.

                    • burt

                      80% is the magic figure that people can survive on then ? For everyone ? So that guy earning $5,000,000 a year he needs $4,000,000 and the guy on $20K a year he will be just as fine on $16K ?

                      That guy on $5,000,000 might have wanted to reduce his premium and settle on an ‘after accident’ benefit of $500,000/year… That guy on $20K might have wanted to pay a small increase in premium to preserve $20K inflation adjusted as his after accident compensation… But no, couldn’t have that.

                      That’s great, I’m glad we understand that one size fits all.

                    • stargazer

                      80% is the magic figure that people can survive on then ? For everyone ? So that guy earning $5,000,000 a year he needs $4,000,000 and the guy on $20K a year he will be just as fine on $16K ?

                      That guy on $5,000,000 might have wanted to reduce his premium and settle on an ‘after accident’ benefit of $500,000/year… That guy on $20K might have wanted to pay a small increase in premium to preserve $20K inflation adjusted as his after accident compensation… But no, couldn’t have that.

                      uh, burt, you can’t insure yourself for more than $103,670 (this year’s upper limit, adjusted each year). that’s the maximum for ACC, if you want to make more than that.

                      also, you’ve obviously not heard of coverplus extra, which allows you to pick a sum & pay ACC on that figure. it allows guaranteed cover, and we usually recommend clients to purchase enough cover to employ a replacement person for their business.

                      pays to understand the system before you criticise it.

                      [there’s not a “reply” thingy on the relevant comment so i hope it appears in the right order]

                  • Zetetic

                    “So the whole point is one size fits all so shut the fuck up”

                    more right whining, eh?

              • Draco T Bastard

                burt, government monopoly accident compensation is cheaper than private insurers. Studies prove this and the insurance companies themselves have now come out and confirmed that they cannot match the low fees and cover of ACC. This means that Labour (whom I don’t vote for BTW), far from costing tax payers money is saving them hundreds of millions of dollars per year which means that you, in your denial of this, is promoting the delusional belief that the private sector is always cheaper and are saying that the government should do what’s best for the private sector rather than what’s best for the community.

                The government are our servants – not those of the capitalists and they should always do what’s best for us which, in this case, means not bowing and scraping to the psychopathic capitalists who want to enrich themselves at our expense.

                • burt

                  Are you deliberately not addressing the point that ACC is not an insurance as such. There is no specific contract with agreed costs and compensations. Sure we can continue to push the line that we have the only state monopoly no fault accident insurance scheme in the world and therefore the cheapest – but that’s getting us nowhere.

                  ACC are not our servants, they are a cost plus monopoly run for the convenience of having a one size fits all socialist model.

                  I have no issues with contributing to a social policy scheme that protects the people who can’t protect themselves, I just don’t agree that the only way to make that work is a one size fits all model for everyone.

                  • millsy

                    Burt why dont you just say that people should be denied ACC cover.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    As I’ve said – you belief is delusional. The one size fits all is the best option.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      And, yes burt, I did notice that you changed the argument from one of cost to one of best.

                    • weka

                      Why? Shouldn’t people over a certain income be asset tested?

                    • McFlock

                      “Why? Shouldn’t people over a certain income be asset tested?”
                      No, because it’s tied into no-fault cover. If you have an accident and are rich you’d be able to sue for compensation over what ACC would have given you, but if you were below a threshhold you’re limited to 80%. As soon as the door is opened to lawyers even a crack, they’ll push it further open and the entire point – that you get treatment and compensation without it becoming a battle of the lawyers – becomes completely unattainable (rather than less frequetly having to hire lawyers to deal with ACC)

                  • felix

                    burt you’re the only one here arguing from an ideological basis.

                    Everyone else just wants the most cover for the most people (everyone) at the best price.

                    • Rob

                      So why not put a couple of providers in the ring to test that theory Felix?

                    • felix

                      Because it’s not “theory” Rob, it’s the best system in the world in practice.

                      That’s a statement based on evidence. The study by PWC (those known socialists) found that no other system in the world can compare.

                      Why should we fuck with the security of our excellent system so that you and burt can test your theories?

                      No thanks.

              • felix

                No I was saying ‘once bitten twice shy’

                Yet for some mysterious reason they won’t say this and prefer to make up stories about not being able to match ACC on price for cover.

                Right burt?

                • burt


                  I did frame it as;

                  I’m picking a big part of the reason…

                  Did you forget that and get all carried away thinking you could corner me in add no value to the debate felix style ?

                  • felix

                    My question still stands: Why do you think the insurance companies won’t just come out and tell the truth?

                    Why do they insist on making up stories about not being able to compete on price for cover?

                  • felix

                    Did you forget that and get all carried away thinking you could corner me in

                    Haha no need for me to help you with that, burtie boy.

      • millsy 10.1.3


        Full cover for medical treatment and payment at 80% of your wages until you are better.

        Somehow I cannot see private insurers offering that. Most likely, they will try and get out of paying out, and leave people to struggle on sickness benefits, etc.

        • weka

          Actually ACC spends rather alot of money trying not to pay out on each and every claim. But yeah, private are unlikely to be more generous.

    • ZeeBop 10.2

      But twenty years ago they very may well could of competed, in a growing economy
      its possible to create a ponsi system where existing insured pay for dead cover
      (as we see now insurance circles as we are all now going to be paying higher

      I mean look around, there’s huge cash globally chasing ever shrinking prospects.
      Of course insurance cannot sell investors the revenue stream when the energy
      crunch continues and will continue for decades to come.

      So why doesn’t National understand this, is this just cheap politics of looking
      aggressive, extreme and radical because that’s how they attracted votes.
      Vote for winners because even thought they have no clue how government
      picked them as winners, and no clue why cheaper year on year energy
      and increasing access to cheaper and cheaper credit made anything they
      did well good, and anything they did badly come on as average.

      All it takes is China to sneeze, with a mass revolt and the whole hollow
      edifice of smile and jerk zombie economics will come crashing down.
      Petrol prices should be much higher, so high that even National voters
      are crying our for cycle paths, cheap local public transport, and intercity
      rail – that naturally mean better mixed retail apartment centers. Then we’ll
      be building a future, not the more roading sprawl.

      And we pay for it by introducing fair broad taxation, GST off food, books,
      child goods and a CGT. If we are going to compete with Australia
      we should have our tax regimes locked in step. Otherwise speculators
      can buy the PM slot, Key is not a good politician, he is a goof ball.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    Cause for hope:

    Jon Stewart’s Ratings Are Now Higher Than All Of Fox News

  12. millsy 12

    Paula Bennett appears on Q and A:

    read transcript here

    Not really anything there that hasant been mentioned before. No real hints at what the government will adopt from the WWG report.

  13. millsy 13

    Good old John Banks:

    John Let me turn that proposition in its head. I’m totally opposed to social welfare that pays young people $6 an hour to sit at home every day watching pornography and smoking drug and planning crimes. I’m absolutely committed to giving them the dignity of work. It is wrong to pay them $6 an hour to do that when you could have them working and getting work experience and apprenticeships in the workforce without a minimum wage rate of pay. Minimum wage rates of pay in this country are failing young people that want to work. My long experience Sean is that even criminals that come out of jail want the dignity of work, and want to play in the local Rugby League team. If they’ve got a job and they’re playing sport I’m telling you they don’t go back to jail.

    Victorian attitudes come to the fore here. Apparently all our young people sit at home and watch porn, smoke drugs and plot to commit crime and the only way to stop them is to make them work for effectively nothing.

    • Vicky32 13.1

      I especially love the bit about playing rugby! What a tosser… Because of course no “criminals” and no “young people” for that matter are girls, or hate team sports!

    • Drakula 13.2

      I agree Millsy; Banks came from a very hard background but misses the point entirely, he thinks if people come from a tough background they should have the guts to choose the right path.

      Like he did !!!!

      He fails to realize that scraping the minimum wage is tantamount to slavery and exploitation and nobody likes to be taken advantage of.

      If that becomes the prevailing zeitgiest then it is likely that the disadvantaged will make an economic decision over a moral one. Especially when one is hungry or their families are deprived of health services and educational opportunities.

      His philosophy is ‘I made it against all the odds so can anyone else’ He would be a fan of Ayn Rand where the survival of the fittest breeds the alfa- hero, Atlas.

      I think you would agree that a social system gives everyone a good start in life equips youth with a skill and keeps everyone healthy. this may not eliminate crime but people would be better equiped to make moral decisions rather than economic decisions based on desperation.

      The privatised prisons are a clasic example of this fascist thinking: The prisons usually have contracts with earth moving corporations who employ prisoners but only pay them a fraction of the going rate. these institutions argue that the crims should pay and pay.
      The prisoner knows that the employer is stealing his labour and that if the institutions steal then why can’t he? when he gets out of prison with virtualy nothing !!!

      It sends out the wrong message doesn’t it?

      In reality there are two issues (1) If one commits the crime one does the time, fair enough (2) A law breaker should be tought that work should be rewarded not exploited.
      A responsible employer should pay the prisoner the full rate to be put it into his bank account until his release that will help prisoners to settle into a straight civi life.

      • felix 13.2.1

        His philosophy is ‘I made it against all the odds so can anyone else’

        Indeed, and it’d be hilarious if it weren’t so serious how many people believe this without considering for a moment what “against all the odds” means.

        Do these people also believe that everyone who goes to the casino can win too? Perhaps they’d all win if they just gambled a bit harder.

      • KJT 13.2.2

        As Banks is only a bit older than me I am sure he had the same free schooling, health and dental care I did. He and his parents would have benefited from the relatively crime free and prosperous society and the infrastructure paid for by New Zealanders in the past.
        My parents were low income, admittedly from choice, as they chose to help people rather than earn lots of money. Thanks to the, pre-Rogernomics, New Zealand we grew up in we did not lack opportunity. We all went onto well paid and satisfying careers.
        If Banks was born to a low income family in the sort of society he advocates it is doubtfull he would have even finished school, or advanced beyound a minimum income job..

        • felix

          He and his parents would have benefited from the relatively crime free and prosperous society…

          From what I’ve heard they benefited in the sense that they didn’t have too much competition.

          • KJT

            Yes. And their son is living prove of the saying. “Steal a hundred dollars you are put in jail. Steal millions, you get a knighthood”.

  14. Tracy Watkin’s recent article – “The rise and rise of lobbyists” – inspired me to do a bit research:


    “But any sort of rules are a good start.”

    Given that NZ – ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt country in the world’ (along with Denmark and Singapore, according to Transparency International’s 2010 ‘Corruption Perception Index’) –
    doesn’t have a ‘Register of Lobbyists’ or a ‘Code of Conduct for Lobbyists’ – not to mention an enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for MPs ………….. I decided to check out the ‘rules’ which apply to ‘lobbyists’ (and MPs) – across the ditch – in Australia………..



    Summary of codes of conduct in Australian parliaments

    A survey of codes of conduct in Australian and selected overseas parliaments

    Online only. First published as an E-brief on 15 June 2006 and Background Note 1 July 2007.
    This edition issued 26 November 2009, updated 17 December 2009.
    Deirdre McKeown
    Politics and Public Administration Section


    Commonwealth parliament
    Ministerial code of conduct
    Post-separation employment
    Senators’ and members’ code of conduct
    Register of Interests
    Lobbying code of conduct and register of lobbyists

    New South Wales

    Ministerial code of conduct
    Members of parliament code of conduct
    Secondary employment and post-separation employment
    Disclosure of pecuniary interests
    The Parliamentary ethics adviser
    Lobbyist code of conduct and register of lobbyists


    Ministerial code of conduct
    Members’ code of conduct and register of interests
    Lobbyist code of conduct and register of lobbyists


    Ministers’ code of ethics
    Members’ code of ethical standards
    Register of members’ interests
    Lobbyist code of conduct and register of lobbyists
    Queensland integrity commissioner
    Integrity Act 2009

    Western Australia

    Ministerial code of conduct
    Members of parliament code of conduct
    Register of interests
    Lobbyist code of conduct and register of lobbyists

    South Australia

    Ministerial code of conduct
    Members’ code of conduct
    Register of interests
    Lobbyist code of conduct and register of lobbyists


    Ministerial code of conduct
    Members’ code of conduct
    Government members’ code and guidelines
    Review of ethical conduct by the Joint Select Committee on Ethical Conduct
    Register of interests
    Lobbyist register

    Australian Capital Territory

    Ministerial code of conduct
    Members’ code of conduct
    Ethics and integrity adviser
    Register of interests

    Northern Territory

    Members’ code of conduct
    Register of interests

    Summary of codes of conduct in Australian parliaments

    Selected Overseas Parliaments

    United Kingdom

    Ministerial code of conduct
    Report on the Independent Adviser on Ministers’ Interests
    Members’ and Lords’ code of conduct
    Register of interests
    Lobbying industry inquiry
    In June 2007 the PASC
    Parliamentary Standards Act 2009


    Ministerial code of conduct
    Members code of conduct
    Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner
    Post–separation employment
    Senate ethics officer
    Lobbying Act 1985

    United States

    Members’ code of conduct
    Office of Congressional Ethics
    Lobbyist legislation and post–separation employment

    New Zealand

    Ministerial code of conduct
    Members’ code of conduct
    Register of interests

    NZ is also missing legislation which covers ‘post-separation’ employment.

    ie: Legislation which prevents the ‘revolving door’ from public office to the private sector – which is arguably a form of ‘corrupt practice’ which appears to be endemic in ‘clean, green NZ’.

    Did I mention the similar lack of an enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for NZ Judges, and the lack of a ‘Register of pecuniary interests’ for both Judges and Local Government elected representatives and their spouses?

    If NZ is ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt country in the world’ (along with Denmark and Singapore, according to Transparency International’s 2010 ‘Corruption Perception Index’) – then shouldn’t we be the MOST ‘transparent’?


    Penny Bright

    • prism 15.1

      The Transparency International rating is as I understand, set after responses by citizens of the country as to their perceptions of corrupt practices or not. It could be that we are so busy swanning round in our Swandris, and wheeling around in our four-wheel drives, and taking part in or watching sport or talking about sport or watching fake reality shows, that we don’t know what is going on and really don’t care.

      Indeed, many don’t bother to be informed when there is real news informing about bad practices. Finally many haven’t absorbed any values and standards during childhood to adulthood so haven’t any ideals or aspirations other than to get as much money as possible, and pay as little tax as possible and regard the government as a lever to pull to achieve that.

  15. seeker 16

    Great comment Penny. New Zealand so needs to get its act together regarding ethical practice.
    No wonder ‘parasites in emperor’s clothing’ like Nact,their business buddies and their media buddies ( DF now seems to be in this category too via nz herald and stuff) are able to manipulate the weak democratic and justice systems we have here to meet their own ends.

    • burt 16.1


      Did you notice that National haven’t even been in govt 3 years yet? The substance of that report is actually a reflection on the previous tyrannous govt that operated in the best interests of the state providers – who are unaccountable.

      Note: Online only. First published as an E-brief on 15 June 2006 and Background Note 1 July 2007.
      This edition issued 26 November 2009, updated 17 December 2009.

  16. jackal 17

    Working Like a…

    I couldn’t believe the backlash against sports commentator Murray Deaker last week and had to turn the radio and TV off because of the incessant complaints about my old mate using the N word. People just went on and on like it was the end of the world or something. It’s freedom of bloody expression, something a lot of people just don’t understand.

    You might have noticed a large dollop of sarcasm in the above paragraph…


    • John D 17.1

      If ACC is privatised, will the British snowboarders who injure themselves whist on holiday in NZ still be covered?

      I really can’t see what the problem is. If a member of parliament can use the expression “White Motherfucker”, then surely any form of racial abuse is to be tolerated in NZ??

      • weka 17.1.1

        The difference is this:
        n*gger has been used as a term of abuse and oppression against groups of people who have enslaved, beaten, lynched, denied various human rights and even after all that was supposed to end are still by and large treated much worse than their white compatriots.
        Calling someone a white whatever, at least in a NZ context, NEVER has the same degree of hate and evil attached to it. Harawira was trying to make a point about the treatment of Maori at the hands of white people since colonisation. Pakeha in NZ have never experienced the kind of oppression that he was talking about. You can’t just reverse those things and say they are the same.
        Motherfucker is an abusive, misogynistic word, and Harawira apologised to women for using it.
        Harawira used the term in a private email. Deaker use the term on a TV broadcast. He has apologised unreservedly, which is good.

    • Brett Dale 17.2

      Even back i the 1970’s it wasnt liked, Richard Pryor says it well.

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