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Open Mike 05/10/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 5th, 2017 - 76 comments
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76 comments on “Open Mike 05/10/2017 ”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    The makeup of the up-coming parliament (based on the preliminary vote). It’s more diverse than last term with a bigger proportion of women Maori and Asian background MPs.

    However, it is largely represented by people with previously middle class occupations, according to a Bryce Edwards’ article on Newsroom.

    The conclusions are based on the MPs’ previous occupations and not upbringing. Of course, Metiria Turie was one of the few MPs last term who had a working class upbringing, and we know how that ended. i think Cartmel Sepuloni may also have had a working class background.

    The stats:

    25 percent of the National Party caucus comes from a business background and 19 percent from a government sector background.

    “Labour is much more government: 21 percent of their caucus, the main sector, is from a government background, 18 percent is from business. New Zealand First is 28 percent business—so they are the most business background party—18 percent from the education sector and 18 percent from a military police background. And the Greens: 43 percent of their current caucus comes from a union or activist background, 14 percent (i.e. one MP) comes from a government background and 29 percent is coming from business.”

    Interesting that it is the greens that have a high number of MPs with a union or activist background amd least from the government sector. The Greens and NZ First have largest proportions from a business background (although Shaw’s business background was not terribly corporate, for-profit).

    But what is the background of the remaining National MPs – that’d be 66%? Were they lay-abouts?

    • red-blooded 1.1

      What’s with the “much more government” line? Nats = 19% from a government background. Labour = 21%. Big deal!

      The differences between NZF and the Greens are more stark, but given that each has a really small caucus, they’re also (if not actually misleading) somewhat sensationalised. One person in a caucus of seven can hugely alter percentage points (with each individual being worth 14.3%).

  2. Peter 2

    Extracts from an article in the Herald 4 October, written by a former National MP, explain how the German MMP system has been modified to give the party with the most votes the initial opportunity to form a government.

    “The German Constitution, Article 63, provides that the person who receives the votes of a majority of members of the Bundestag (lower chamber of the federal Parliament) shall be elected Federal Chancellor. If no person has a majority in the Bundestag the person who receives the largest number of votes shall be elected. If that person cannot win a majority at an election in the Bundestag within seven days, the Federal President can either appoint that person Chancellor or dissolve the Bundestag for a new general election.”

    What follows are the thoughts of a layman, not a legal or political expert. I look forward to reading what others have to say.

    So, let’s say these German rules currently apply in New Zealand where English is given the opportunity to be PM. English would be PM for seven days, on the basis that 59 seats (including Act) don’t give him the required majority. If he cannot gather the support required from other MPs’ to achieve a majority, within the seven day timeframe, he can then go to the Governor General and asks to be Prime Minister.

    If the Governor General agrees he is then PM of a minority government. If there was a genuine opposition coalition of the majority Left that includes NZ First, Labour and the Greens they would presumably have a large say in how the country is run despite English being PM. In any event a good opportunity to work as a cohesive opposition.

    If he is refused by the Governor General, we then have another electoral vote rather than provide Ardern, Peters and Shaw with an opportunity to form an alternative Government. The power goes back to the people not to any particular Party.

    • Andre 2.1

      You want to provide the link? After all, it’s just as easy to copy and paste the link as it is to copy and paste a quote from it. Rather than make the rest of us waste time searching for it.

    • Andre 2.2

      Now that I’ve found the link, the extract at the end has almost nothing to do with the rest of the opinion piece by Michael Cox. Who was a total non-entity as an MP, and clearly the thirty years since then have done nothing to improve his cognitive abilities.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11929017

      With respect to the idea that only the leader of the party receiving the most votes may form the government, that’s crap. One of the main points of MMP is to include a wide variety of voices and opinions. Then the largest coalition of those voices that can work together form the government.

      Making it so only the largest party can from the government hands way too much power back to established large party power structures, who will suppress variety of opinion in order to present the largest possible monolithic bloc. And make even harder for small parties to get traction.

      • Peter 2.2.1

        Lets tell the Germans “that’s crap”. My intention is to get comments on the German system not the merits of Michael Cox. Shoot the messenger if you must.

        • Augustus 2.2.1.1

          You missed the bit where it says “IF no person has a majority in the Bundestag….”. A majority does not have to come from one party, it can be of any number of participants. So it is very possible for a person to become chancellor if his/her party does not have the most votes in parliament, just enough votes will do, from any party.

          • Peter 2.2.1.1.1

            I do understand that the majority can come from any number of parties. So in that respect it is no different to here.

      • Bearded Git 2.2.2

        +100 Andre

        Completely nullifies the reason for MMP in the first place. For instance you could get a situation where the Nats had 35.5, Labour 35.3 Greens 14 NZF 12. Labour/Green could form a stable government (49.3 v 47.5) but would not be given the opportunity. The Nats couldn’t, so there would be a new election. Many other combinations would be possible if a new party got over 5%.

        (On a practical note on Peter’s post, surely the week to form a government would start after the Special Votes had been counted. That would at least give 3 weeks to work out a government.)

        • Peter 2.2.2.1

          Thanks for the comments. You would expect the week to start after special votes.

          So maybe a modified system would give the largest Party the opportunity to make the first attempt at forming a majority Government? If they cannot do that the second largest Party then has the opportunity?

          • Andre 2.2.2.1.1

            Why should any party be granted special privileges to form a government? What’s the problem with the current arrangement where the leader of the first coalition to say they have a majority of the house goes to the Governor General who presumably checks it out and if it seems legit, gives them the opportunity to prove it?

          • Molly 2.2.2.1.2

            Andre has provided a valid reason why this kind of approach is a failure of recognising the democracy that can be provided by MMP.

            If a group of like minded parties secures more than fifty percent of the vote, your proposal to adhere to the german method, would only provide space for the largest party vote, even if it was not part of that majority group.

            Ultimately, meaning that despite MMP attempting to reflect the diversity of the electorate, the parties with the simplistic, most phatic policies and campaigning would be the ones who are most likely to garner the biggest block of votes, and be given the first priority to form a government.

            The bland liars would retain their power – again.

            Surely that is not what you are championing?

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2.1.2.1

              That’s exactly what he’s championing.

              • red-blooded

                Plus, under our system, the governor general is appointed by the PM (leader of the largest party in what would in this situation be the previous government). Surely that predisposes him/her to stick with the status quo if there is no decisive outcome from an election?

            • Peter 2.2.2.1.2.2

              Thanks for the perspective. Have patience while I continue to think this through.

              What we really need then is for the NZ public to always expect that the final vote simply indicates peoples party preferences, not a result. So if one party has 49% of the vote and, say, 5 others, have an even split each of the other 51% of the vote they can all decide equally amongst themselves the way forward to forming a government. There is no “winner” until a coalition is formed.

      • tracey 2.2.3

        I heard yesterday that in 16 years time, or so, Europeans will be a minority in Auckland. It really is time we starting listening to different voices rzther than trying to shut them down to preserve a world view that hasnt really existed in a long time?

      • ScottGN 2.2.4

        Putting aside the ramifications around MMP, denying the Leader of The Opposition the right to test the confidence of parliament in the event that the PM or leader of the largest party has failed to win a confidence vote would pretty much overturn the parliamentary conventions that we’ve inherited with our version the Westminster system.
        Furthermore the article seems to be suggesting that, in the event, that the leader of the largest party in the Bundestag is unable to muster a majority in that house, the President can simply appoint that person Chancellor? So, in our case we would be allowing the sovereign to appoint the PM even if that person has failed to survive a confidence vote in the house?

        • Andre 2.2.4.1

          While I’ve got lots of criticisms of our governing arrangements, the details around how parties can come together to form a governing coalition seem reasonable to me. So I’m waiting for a good argument against what we have now before I get interested in suggested alternatives. So far all I see is flailing distress from Nats that currently don’t have the right to rule they feel entitled to.

          In the event that some convincing argument against what we now have actually comes up, then yeah, the points you’ve raised are a good argument against following the german model. Particularly since the two worst features of our overall MMP system, a high threshold and coat-tailing, were also apparently copied from a german model.

          • Molly 2.2.4.1.1

            “So far all I see is flailing distress from Nats that currently don’t have the right to rule they feel entitled to.”
            Watching that with interest too.

            The last two weeks of watching the echomen bouncing around in their echo chambers has been a study of idiocracy.

            • Stuart Munro 2.2.4.1.1.1

              Bill has promised to march in the streets for his “right to govern”. Can’t wait.

          • ScottGN 2.2.4.1.2

            I think that lowering the threshold to 3% and getting rid of the coat-tailing loophole are the 2 easiest things we could do to improve our version of MMP. And I also thinks there’s a good chance it might happen now that National’s decade long shenanigans in Epsom and Ōhāriu are finished.

          • Peter 2.2.4.1.3

            It would be good to have the experts reassure everyone of the merits of our system when compared to FPP and the German version. How do you counter the view that NZF have the balance of power?

            • ScottGN 2.2.4.1.3.1

              The “experts” reviewed MMP after the last referendum in 2012 and arrived at the conclusion that the coat-tailing loophole should be scrapped and the threshold lowered to 4%. All of which the, then National government chose to ignore.
              http://www.elections.org.nz/events/past-events-0/2012-mmp-review/results-mmp-review.
              And I don’t actually want to “counter” the view that NZFirst have the balance of power. The last 2 years has suggested the electoral outcome we find ourselves with. Get over it. Stop thinking in FPP and get on board with MMP. If National has spent the last decade doing that they might not have found themselves in the crappy position they’re in now.

            • Andre 2.2.4.1.3.2

              The view that Peters holds the balance of power is totally accurate. Because of the choice of Green party members to effectively close the door on the idea of going into coalition with National thereby rejecting the possibility of holding the balance of power. If the Greens had chosen to be open to National, they too would hold the balance of power making any coalition negotiations much more interesting.

              I think one (of many) fair ways of looking at that is that many NZF supporters would swing between Labour and National in the absence of a somewhat centrist party like NZF (or United Future in its heyday). So rather than consciously making the choice between Nat and Lab themselves, they are comfortable delegating that choice to Peters, in the expectation that NZF would also moderate any extreme ideas that make it in from the wings of whomever they go into coalition with. Keeping the bastards honest, if that phrase appeals.

              So while I utterly detest Peters, I can respect the choice of his supporters. And if I’m completely honest, despite my loathing of Peters, I still prefer the idea of Nats having to keep Peters onside to the near-as-dammit absolute majority they’ve had the last nine years.

        • Peter 2.2.4.2

          That’s my reading of it.

    • tracey 2.3

      OR the public and media could grow up politically and wait for negotiations to see which relationships will work for good government in the future?

      Shall we also follow Germanys 7 weeks annual leave each year and strong Unions or you just want to cherry pick the bits that help National?

      • Once was Tim 2.3.1

        “OR the public and media could grow up politically and wait for negotiations to see which relationships will work for good government in the future?”

        Ain’t that the bloody truth! The media (or rather what parades as a MSM/4th Estate) should. Some aspects of this ‘nation’ called NuZull/Aotearoa continue to baffle me.

        This little nayshun that “punches above its weight”; is/used to be criticised for that “Tall Poppy syndrome”, all that sort of stuff is actually ultra-competitive (at least amongst the male population – and more lately the Sharlene’s and Shona’s (at the risk of being labelled a sexist cnut) trying to prove they have adequate testosterone levels in order to compete. They seem to care so much about what the rest of the Whurl thinks of us – let alone fellow Kiwis.
        Battles between egos in media stars, Hosking/7 Blunt versus The Fucking Project hosted by a Jesssie who has 3 or so hours to undergo a lycra-clad conversion between RNZ and Eden Terrace – the former address where ‘I’m old school and in-depth’ to the latter where ‘I’m superficial and aha ha ha’ with a parade of Mediaworks staff with mortgages to pay to prop him up – and despite an occasional outburst in order to maintain the last vestiges of credibility.
        Even the way Kiwis drive a bloody car has become a competition – and despite their penis length, they’re not actually that good at it. (You’ve got to push the pedal to the floor and race to the next red light ahead of someone who’s read the road ahead and realised that exercise was going to be a pointless exercise.)
        It’s no surprise to me all the FPP thinking that’s been evident before AND after the 23rd September.
        I’m not sure why it is that we’ve become so fucking yea/nah about various gains and so pig ignorant (1893 Women’s Suffrage); a contribution to LGBTI and YouMan! roights; the implementation of a proportional representation system (with all its inadequacies) that we’re so frikken insecure or ignorant about that we all see this past month or so as a competition that someone NEEDS to convincingly win.
        After 30+ years of neoliberalism, I guess it should be no surprise, but it’s kind of uphill.shit.push – which, in the end is a “loser’s battle”

    • Ah, so you want us to change the rules so that only National can form a government – got it.

      I think we’ll pass.

  3. joe90 3

    A law abiding gun-owner right up until, surprise, he wasn’t.

    An Australian man who came to know Stephen Paddock intimately in recent years has offered the most detailed public portrait yet of the Las Vegas mass killer.

    He said Paddock was a highly intelligent, strategic though “guarded” individual who won a fortune applying algorithms to gambling, and studied arguments for his right to own weapons under the US constitution.

    Their encounters came via their respective girlfriends, Philippine-born sisters – one of whom, Marilou Danley, has returned to the US to be interviewed by the FBI in the wake of Paddock’s meticulously planned massacre.

    Their acquaintanceship, through more than half a dozen encounters in the US and the Philippines between 2013 and 2015, revealed Paddock’s generosity – which had his overseas guests living in “palatial” style – and the existence of a “gun room” at his home in Mesquite, Nevada.

    “Yes, I was familiar with him,” the man, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Guardian at his Brisbane home on Wednesday. “He was extremely intelligent, methodical, conservative – guarded – and strategic. A planning, thinking type of guy.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/oct/04/las-vegas-shooter-stephen-paddock-intelligent-gambler-gun-rights

    • tc 3.1

      If they were to apply Paddocks profile across the population how many US citizens would trigger an alert.

      I’d suggest the bulk of US gun owners would come up which in itself tells you somethings very much amiss in America as their biggest terrorist threat is likely to be coming from their own citizens.

      I guess it makes a change from the US govt and it’s backing of violent conflict outside of the USA.

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        The report in The Press on (killer) Paddock: 64 years, left no immediate hint of motive. He had 34 guns, and shot at least 59 people.

        He was a retiree with penchant for gambling – but no criminal record.

        ‘Paddock was not known to have served in the military, or to have suffered from a history of mental illness or to have registered any inkling of social disaffection, political discontent or radical views on social media.’

        I think he was just infected with a bad case of empty USA propaganda with the disadvantage of ‘Being Born in the USA’ and believing the empty bit in their Constitution about his Right to be Happy. Which as anyone who thinks knows is only a passing feeling, not appropriate as full-time goal for questing humans.

        Paddock’s behaviour would seem the likely outcome for many of male humanity who succeed in getting money and then buying what they decide they want from life, and then find this doesn’t provide a satisfactory reason for living.
        The rich man Howard Hughes ended up degraded after having a surfeit of his wealth, accomplished some personal goals, and finding nothing else to stimulate him. He got beyond wanting, living on chicken soup in the entire floor of a hotel where the windows were blacked out, sitting on a toilet for hours, long hair, long nails, and with someone managing his affairs for him.
        http://content.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1902376_1902378_1902405,00.html

        On a lower level of wealth a guy from NZ killed his girlfriend Crystal or killed himself or someone else at his apartment in some Australian resort where he had retired after making money investing in some vitamin pill company. I
        registered the negativity of this ‘successful’ investor, but his details weren’t worth remembering.

        These individuals are unconnected to the real world where people actually work for their earnings, not just invest in likely profitable business or housing where they live off others striving and work. I think the term is rentier.

        There will be more of these crazed individuals who show symptoms which psychiatrists do not deign to consider insane because of narrow definitions. Otherwise, we might recognise our world is daily near-insane, and I guess the trick-cyclists are just peas in the soup. And crazed individuals within the individualistic society seem to be proliferating in the neo liberal economic religious system imposed on us. In the free market, we have to be careful to look for real friends to give life with each other meaning as in The Three Musketeers – inseparable friends who live by the motto “all for one, one for all” (“tous pour un, un pour tous”). Individualistic men and women probably don’t have real friends, more drinking buddies, investor leads and suitable social partners but if we can only trust a few friends, a group separate from society, then do we actually have a society or is life another version of Game of Thrones?

        • Kevin 3.1.1.1

          You have to also question the wisdom of US law enforcement and the demand for every detail of the crime from the news media in these situations.

          With every passing ‘massacre’, prospective lone-wolf gunmen get an ever more detailed blueprint on how to commit one of these crimes; e.g.: it was the gun smoke in the room setting off smoke detectors giving him away. Without that and, presumably a suppressor, he could have remained undetected for a lot longer than what he did.

  4. Eco maori 4

    Some how I think I’m going to end up like a lot of people thought our history that have fought for equal rights and who fought against the the establishment like Eddie Grant a controversial death it has happen many times through out our history . But I will keep for OUR Earth because we have only one Earth only one WORLD.
    Big UPPS To those supermarkets taking the lead and banning plastic bags .
    The big picture is all OUR people in a position to make changes that will benefit our environment should not wait for government . They need to take the lead and make these changes for our grandchildren future.
    Governments are a complicated beast that need US to show them the right path to a brighter future.
    P.S. It awesome to see MSM taking the lead and showing the fact,S on climate change Ka Pai

    • Steve 4.1

      Eco Maori i agree plastic bag use should be banned.Should have already happen long before now.And feel its also good to see Greenpeace actively involved.However i fail to see banning any kind of bag as a workable answer.Shopping isn’t necessarily always a planned event for everyone.So why not allow replacement of plastic with paper?.Many more people would be likely to then get right behind the idea, and freely adopt that as change that’s easy to accept. I’d really like to understand why Greenpeace hasn’t taken up this approach .Perhaps somebody,here,can help explain why?

  5. Ad 5

    Those Catalan government idiots are going to get their asses kicked.

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-41498685

    “Madrid nos roba” – “Madrid is robbing us”

    Catalonia is spectacularly rich compared with other parts of Spain. It’s got 16% of the population and 19% of the GDP. Barcelona gets massive tourism and has one of the biggest ports in Europe. Tarragona has one of the biggest chemical industries in Europe.

    So of course they pay more taxes than the rest of the country, and more of it gets spent in poorer regions than where it came from. Doing what proper government does with taxes: redistribute from those with the average wealth, to those who need it more.

    The Catalan government also owes E77b in public debt. They’ve been the biggest beneficiary of the special fund the Spanish government set up to get the regions going again after the protracted effects of the GFC. Catalan took far and away most of this facility to do good for its own people. But of course, that rich region and its on average wealthy and educated region wouldn’t have to pay that back if they struck out independently.

    Tax. Debt.

    No doubt calls for independence stirs the heart of old socialists and anarchists brought up on For Whom The Bell Tolls. But before you start asking for another Crimea, ask yourself: who benefits?

    • weka 5.1

      “Madrid nos roba” – “Madrid is robbing us”

      Where is that from? It’s not in the link.

      • DSpare 5.1.1

        weka
        I think it might have been on a placard at one of the demonstrations, though I didn’t see it in the linked article’s video (maybe one in the weekend). Ad seems to have seized on the idea that the Catalan independence movement is entirely economic; which seem to be overly simplifying matters, and ignoring history (such as the torture and execution of the last independent Catalan president by Franco’s regime).

        However, I found it grimly amusing for a member of an heridatary Bourbon monarch (descendant those overthrown during the French revolution and whose father had been handpicked by Franco as his successor) to be lecturing those who had been engaged in a largely symbolic referendum on; “democratic principles of the rule of law”. The excessive reaction by the Spanish government in sending in their armoured goon squad was very counterproductive in assuring the Catalan people that they not oppressed.

        • weka 5.1.1.1

          I wondered about that too, would have been good to see the context. Madrid robbing Catalonia could refer to the election, or democracy, or independence etc.

  6. Andre 6

    Surprising precisely nobody, here is episode number 271,828,182,845,904,523,536,028,747,135,266,249,775,724,709,369,995 of awesomely blatant conservative political hypocrisy. In this case, rabidly “pro-life” politicians pressuring their mistresses to abort the unborn child they had fathered.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2017/10/03/this_pro_life_congressman_was_caught_telling_his_extramarital_boo_to_get.html

  7. joe90 7

    Happy happy….

    On NBC, @SRuhle clarifies that her source says Tillerson didn’t just say moron — “he said F-ing moron"— Michael M. Grynbaum (@grynbaum) October 4, 2017

    https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/white-house/tillerson-s-fury-trump-required-intervention-pence-n806451

  8. Adrian Thornton 8

    Theresa May’s disaster speech at the Conservative Party Conference…couldn’t have happened to someone more deserving….

    ….and the icing on the cake, she was wearing a bracelet depicting the proud Communist artist Frida Kahlo….it sounds like it could have all been scripted by the writers of The Thick Of It.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/theresa-may-frida-kahlo-bracelet-communist-cough-conservative-conference-a7982931.html

    But before you start feeling even just a pang of sympathy for her….save it for people who are really suffering under her regime, as the evidence for the relationship between austerity and suicide mounts…
    http://discoversociety.org/2017/02/01/suicides-linked-to-austerity-from-a-psychocentric-to-a-psychopolitical-autopsy/

    So I say enjoy, have a giggle, a chuckle, it is one of the few times it is OK to laugh at someone else’s misfortune.

    • gsays 8.1

      So very english, the protester stooped as he was lead out, presumably so as not to disrupt too much.

      And Corbyn, Corbyn, Corbyn he clearly has them rattled.
      Reminiscent of the Tories here, spent more time talking about the ‘enemy’ rather than articulating their vision.

      • If our Tories articulated their vision then very few people would ever vote for them. And so they articulate the same vision as the Left while putting in place policies that bring about its antithesis.

    • ScottGN 8.2

      She seems to suffer from some sort of acute stage-fright which might explain the dreadful coughing.
      How that guy got anywhere near her with the P45 form is amazing and the Frida Kahlo bracelet and all the letters falling off the wall was just the icing on the cake.

    • ffs that security is non existent – shocking.

    • rhinocrates 8.4

      Commentary from Jonathan Pie:

      Iain M Banks, AFAIK, coined the term “power junkie”. There are certain parallels one can draw with Wayne’s recent emissions.

    • Bearded Git 8.5

      It’s a pity the O,R and Y in COUNTRY didn’t fall off…..oh that would have been so good.

  9. DSpare 9

    SDHB are having public meetings fora next week to put a gloss of public consultataion on their; “strategy and action plan” through to 2030, particularly focusing on the hospital rebuild. The ODT is a bit vague on the details, but the SDHB facebook page has a scan of a print ad (probably from the ODT, I seldom see a physical copy these days). For Dunedin that is; 13:00-14:30 Tuesday 10/10, at the Barclay theatre in the museum. Nothing about whether you have to book to speak as with the public forum prior to the start of ordinary public advisory committee meetings.

    https://www.facebook.com/southerndhb/
    http://www.southerndhb.govt.nz/pages/public-forum/

    This seems worth trying to make your voice heard at, if you can make it during workhours. Or you could just leave it up to the unelected SDHB in conjunction with an multinational professional services corporation to do what is best for the people of Otago:

    SDHB and WellSouth were working with Ernst & Young to create the strategy and plan.

    Association of Salaried Medical Specialists executive director Ian Powell said the senior doctors’ union supported the move ”in principle”, but the health board would have difficulty convincing the public.

    ”They will be up against a difficulty in terms of what happened last time they developed a strategic plan and it was handled very poorly,” he said.

    The public forums would be held in Dunedin on October 10, Invercargill the following day and Cromwell on October 12.

    Queenstown resident and former Queenstown Lakes District councillor Kirsty Sharpe said the public forum in Cromwell was inconvenient for Queenstown residents.

    It appeared the forums were being held at a time of day that suited DHB staff rather than the public, she said, and was also disappointed a forum would not be held in the resort.

    ”It’s cutting a lot of people out from going.”

    SDHB did not respond yesterday to questions about why no forum was being held in Queenstown, or the timing of them

    https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/forums-chance-have-say-health-services

  10. Andre 10

    Profiles in Craven Cowardice. Repug senators deflect and hide when asked about any kind of legislative response to the Las Vegas mass murder.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/mass-shootings-las-vegas-gop_us_59d3ef64e4b04b9f9205baf4?ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

    • joe90 10.1

      Religious extremism courtesy of RWNJ’s – a gun shop in Dallas using Crusader imagery and citing biblical verses.

      https://www.facebook.com/TEMPLARORDANCE/#

      • rhinocrates 10.1.1

        A friend of mine gasped when she saw the Vulcan episode of American Gods. “That’s Civic Religion!” she said. She’d been enrolled in religious studies and apparently one of the tools for understanding how states operate is to look as societies as religions or cults.

        The creators of American Gods here explain why they created an episode not in the original book to look at this.

  11. Cinny 11

    Two more sleeps then roll on 2pm when we will know the results of the Special Votes.

  12. ScottGN 12

    Radio NZ has just said in the 11 am bulletin that the meeting between NZFirst and National was all over in half an hour…?

  13. Whispering Kate 13

    In today’s paper Herald Grant Bradley the aviation commentator has an article of the CEO of Air NZ speaking to an audience of 400 in the Business Section. The CEO says its “no time to slash and burn” with businesses looking for short term goals of cutting jobs, cutting investment and cutting customer services”. I would like to link this article but I cannot find it on the online Herald.

    His words “the reality is that the business world is sadly littered with companies that are just cutting jobs and ultimately not fulfilling their purpose to do anything useful. That’s pretty sad”.

    He goes to on say they Air NZ have greatly reduced the income parity between the genders and is endeavouring to make their company more sustainable – for example the recycling scheme where unsealed food/drinks left on trays will be recycled where its safely possible.

    My first thoughts were of this National Government and previous Labour Governments which have sold off state owned assets purely to pay down debt and get that instant gratification of money in hand. No thoughts of the dividend stream that might still be coming in if they hadn’t been sold off. Also their customer service in all of their departments is a bloody disgrace especially at WINZ. The attrition of staff in departments and front line in essential departments is another serious problem.

    Banks are another where customer service is next to nothing. It seems we have a way to go yet where customers are valued and staff treated with respect.

    • tracey 13.1

      “words “the reality is that the business world is sadly littered with companies that are just cutting jobs and ultimately not fulfilling their purpose to do anything useful. That’s pretty sad”. ”

      I take some heart that more and more businesses are operating beyond just bottom line return to shareholder or owner. More than 30 years ago. Still more need to transition but it is a start

  14. adam 14

    It seems some in the media have caught on that the labour party are economically ‘orthodox’ rat bags. That if they stick with what they been saying (policy), nothing will change, actually just like the last 9 years it will only get progressively worse.

    https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2017/10/05/bryan-gould-to-labour-this-is-no-time-for-conventional-answers/

  15. Ad 16

    Hugh Hefner cured a ‘model’ of her eating disorder:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11929842

    Now he’s dead, one more miracle like that and he can apply to the Pope for sainthood.

  16. eco Maori/kiwi 17

    Well we are giving our daughter and son and inlaw a break we have 3 of there children till Sunday man they keep you on your toes 2 girls whom are blonde and very well behaved and our eldest grandson well he has a real full of life personality . We are very proud of our whole family we created. But when we were bring up our children I did not realize how much time goes into bring up children most of the time I was out there chasing the big money fishing and other various jobs. So most of the time I just past the money over and my wife did most of the hard yards bring up our family .
    But when my daughters started having children this opened my eyes to the hard ship Lady’s go through carrying a baby for 9 months having no sleep for the first 6 months it is a 24 7 job bring up children and can be a very dangerous life threatening time giving birth and most males are totally unaware of these fact’s . For this reason we give our young lady’s all the help we can with bring up our grandchildren and this is one of the reason that I get the big picture . Which is we have one Mother Earth and we have to look after her as no one else is Kia Kaha

    • Ffloyd 17.1

      I love a bit of self awareness from a male who actually gets how hard a woman works when she becomes a mother. I still remember the absolute exhaustion I had from when I had my first child and then second . Right through till….. Can’t remember.Good on you. High five. Oh, and that was over 40 years ago.

  17. tracey 18

    Has anyone seen/read this? It exposes the smokescreen that trade is about encouraging democracy rather than a greedy grab to be first in. Remember how being in WTO woukd help China be more Democratic and better on Human Rights…

    ” To make matters worse, the Trump family have placed themselves conspicuously on China’s payroll, accepting future profits in the form of trademarks for both the Trump and Ivanka brands, and seeking Chinese investment in Kushner real estate projects. When China Labor Watch, a New York–based labor rights organization, published information on poor conditions in a factory where Ivanka’s brand-name shoes had recently been produced, China detained the group’s three field investigators, the only time CLW’s investigators have been detained for exposing the abuse of Chinese workers.2 ”

    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2017/10/12/chinese-world-order/

    • Once was Tim 18.1

      “Remember how being in WTO wou[l]d help China be more Democratic and better on Human Rights…”
      Fark! That’s almost as big a lie as all the others the new neo-libs told us would happen – in the future, going forward, actually-as a matter of fact, to coin a phrase, so-to-speak.
      Public Service reforms
      The market the market as the natural leveler
      Privatisations
      etc
      etc
      etc

  18. Sumsuch 20

    Tea-service all set?

    I have to go numbing my nut somewhere else.

    For a last mention, cheese.

  19. savenz 21

    “Auckland ratepayers [are] now paying 6 percent more this year for council salaries. A staggering 52 percent of rates are now used by the council just to pay staff.”

    …Mr Town (CEO)- who got a $34,000 payrise to $690,000…”

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/10/bump-in-auckland-council-staff-earning-six-figure-salaries.html

    Note the article attacks democratically elected Phil Goff NOT the unelected CEO Town who earns $690,000 who is supposed to ‘run’ the council.

    Not sure how much the Ports of Auckland get, or Metrowater CEO’s but probably more than Phil Goff.

    Like Fonterra, it’s about time CEO salary is linked to real results, ratepayer (or in the case of Fonterra farmers) satisfaction, real public services and real results. Hard to see how the current situations of both organisations can meet normal measures of results.

    Apparently Auckland council has some unbelievable dissatisfaction rate from ratepayers.

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