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Open mike 05/12/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, December 5th, 2014 - 103 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

farrardirtOpen mike is your post.

The Standard is not a conspiracy – just a welcome outlet for the expression of views. Leaders that command respect will not be undermined by this.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

103 comments on “Open mike 05/12/2014 ”

  1. Rodel 1

    Letter in the newspaper this morning from a perceptive reader in Timaru.

    Quote: ‘TV newsreaders should continue to refer to Andrew Little as a “former union boss” as long as they describe John Key as a “former currency trader”.’

    • miravox 1.1

      Fair point.

    • mac1 1.2

      This reflects the subtext which pejorative words bring with them. Why not former Union ‘leader’ instead of ‘boss’ which is also used in connection with criminal gangs.

      Whereas, a ‘trader’ is quite different from a ‘dealer’ in terms of the subtextual undertones. Trading is fine, but deals can often be shady.

      I remember a discussion in the late Seventies when on a School Board when I reacted to the Chairman, an accountant, who was weighing in against unions and the PPTA in particular. I simply asked, “Don’t accountants have a union in the same way that accountants and lawyers have to protect their pay and conditions?”

      ‘Association’, ‘Federation’, ‘League’- all good but ‘union’ bad.

    • GregJ 1.3

      Former currency speculator, perhaps? 😈

    • Clemgeopin 1.4

      Ex foreign exchange currency gambler?

    • Murray Rawshark 1.5

      Are we sure Key isn’t still a currency trader? What do we know about his blind trust?

  2. Weather forecasters should continue to refer to Dunedin as in “the Deep South” as long as they refer to Auckland as being in “the Shallow North”

    • i think the ‘deep south’ is a definition borrowed from america..

      ..and more referring to the racist/reactionary-attitudes/beliefs of so many of those residents of ‘the deep south’..

      ..than the actual geographical location..

    • Puckish Rogue 2.2

      Dunedin should be referred to as the South, Invercargill as the Deep south

      • phillip ure 2.2.1

        and going on those racism/reactionary-attitudes..

        ..you’d swing back up to christchurch..for the ‘deep-deep-south’..

        ..christchurch..where the nite-air echoes with racist-epithets..

        • DoublePlusGood

          Phil, the same occurs in Otago and Southland.

          • phillip ure


            ..yeah..i know..

            ..i was just trying to make sure christchurch didn’t miss out on the general approbrium/tagging..

          • Wonderpup

            Having lived sometime in all of them, Christchurch (or Boganville as I like to think of it as) is the most conspicuously class-riddled and intolerant. Formal far-right organisations are flourishing here, like the weeds between the cracks in the East.

        • Belladonna

          Sorry Phil but I think you are talking rubbish here. Christchurch is no more racist than any other city in New Zealand. Last I heard there were around 30 National Front members there but you get idiots everywhere.

          • phillip ure

            and what do you have to say to the likes of/personal testimonies of wonderpup..?

            ..and auckland is as racist/class-riddled(they often go hand in hand) as christchurch..?

            ..don’t think so..eh..?

            • Mark

              Having lived in both, you need to get out more Phil. I suggest you head down to the Black Bridge hotel in Mangere this afternoon for a good helping of race relations in Auckland. Can’t find any hotels in Christchurch like the Black Bridge in my time down there.

          • swordfish

            This is going back a bit, but…….

            Polls from 1980-1981 suggest Christchurch stood out from most other centres for its opposition to the Springbok Tour. That was also true in the early 1970s – opposition to the (ultimately-cancelled) 1973 Springbok Tour, for instance, was about 10 points higher in Chch than in most other cities.

            On attitudes to Maori, an early 80s poll found a significant majority of New Zealanders wanted to abolish the Maori electorates. Of a whole range of cities and towns surveyed, one and only one -Christchurch – expressed majority support for retaining the seats (and it was a fairly substantial majority at that. Major contrast, once again with the rest of New Zealand).

            In another early 80s poll asking about Maori disadvantage, every single town and city recorded a majority “No” (ie Maori suffered No disadvantage or discrimination). Once again, though, Christchurch was at the progressive end, fairly evenly split on the question, with 45% of Chch residents saying “Yes” compared to 33% of respondents in Auckland, for instance.

            So although they’re by no means recent polls, they do have me wondering if this periodic beat-up of The Garden City over racism is entirely justified. Maybe we’re talking about a racist minority that’s both LOUDER and, at the same time SMALLER than in other centres ?

            I might also add, though, that we shouldn’t go down the path (as too many preeners and posers at the affluent end of the liberal-left do) of outrageously romanticising Maori (and, indeed, Pasifikas) and – because of guilt over colonisation and on-going dire contemporary social stats – officially deeming them eternally innocent, eternally virtuous and eternally needing the paternalistic protection of affluent pakeha liberals. Life’s a little more complicated than that sort of Good vs Evil nursery-rhyme. Or, to put it all another way, racial tensions aren’t entirely all one way.

            That may have one or two Luvvies clutching their pearls in shock.

  3. that picture on the header is the nearest to a biography farrar will get…

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      Well, an accurate one anyway.

      • batweka 3.1.1

        Is DPF a small man or is DP a large book? (haven’t seen a hardcopy yet).

        • phillip ure

          it’s a very big book..coffee-table size…

          ..all is in proportion..in the pic..

          ..or..it’s a very small book…a mini-paperback..

          ..and once again..all is in proportion..

          ..(and both that and that brownlee/genter pic..(as others have noted)..wd make great caption-comps..

          ..both just scream for one-liners..)

        • Rosie

          23.5 cm X 16 cm. 165 pages.

        • Once Was Tim

          “Is DPF a small man….”?
          Bit of a silly question really unless you’re asking in relation to his physical stature only.

        • Murray Rawshark

          Farrar is a hobbit. When he bought Jimmy Saville’s second hand clothes, he had to have them considerably altered to fit.

  4. “..Could Islamic finance save capitalism?..

    ..Islamic finance is widely misunderstood –

    – but its core principles could provide a blueprint for a sustainable global economy..”



    • BassGuy 4.1

      Islamic finance? Does that mean, for wage theft and similar dishonesty offences, that they’ll cut off the hand that committed the offence? Because I’m all for that.

      Sorry for perpetuating a cliche that’s probably quite offensive, I just have rather strong feelings about overpaid bosses who nick a few hours from employees here and there. Frankly, I’d quite like to see them go to jail.

  5. (another recommended-read..a profile of how/what a politician should be..

    ..compare and contrast..)

    “..13 Reasons We’ll Miss Uruguay’s Weed-Legalizing President José ‘Pepe’ Mujica..

    ..Uruguay’s President José ‘Pepe’ Mujica became an instant celebrity in 2012 –

    – after the BBC published a feature documenting his austere lifestyle – and detailing his past.

    A former guerrilla fighter who spent 14 years in jail –

    – more than 10 of them in solitary confinement –

    – and two of them in the bottom of a well –

    – Mujica later swore off violence –

    – and became a successful politician of the leftwing Broad Front..”



    • Clemgeopin 5.1

      Was he not reelected (why not) or did he retire?

      • phillip ure 5.1.1

        he retired..but still has major political roles..and his party is back in power again..

        ..i particularly liked the screaming commonsense of his cannabis policies..

        ..having it grown/supplied by the state..(thus creating many jobs..growing/retailing etc..)..

        (and here there wd be opportunity there for a way to help the suffering provinces..eh..?..good quality pot is already grown in most regions..it wd become like wine..personally..i like a cannabis grown in alpine-regions..there is a crispness/clarity to the high that is most rewarding..)

        ..and mujica..to ensure there was no criminal-element in the trade..

        ..mandating that the govt-grown pot to be sold @ $2 per gram..

        ..with all income going to the govt..

        ..what is not to love about the simplicity/job-creation of that…?

        (here $5 per gram wd both cut out the criminal-element..and wd generate huge incomes for the govt..generating bulk-jobs along the way..and boosting our tourist trade..!..

        ..this proposal shd be loved by both left and right..)

        • Clemgeopin

          His idea seems good…but

          Is pot smoking really harmless?

          Will the easy accessibility cause wider consumption, especially among the young and vulnerable?

          Isn’t $5/gm too expensive?

          Not sure if the public will be in favour of the changes.

          • phillip ure

            “..Is pot smoking really harmless?.”

            ..short answer…mostly…and esp. compared to the commonly-used drug it wd replace..

            ..(a&e depts. don’t report many fri/sat-nite drug-casualties for pot..

            ..’you have the munchies..?..get thee to a vending-machine..!’..)

            ..”..Will the easy accessibility cause wider consumption, especially among the young and vulnerable? ..”

            ..re access/consumption..probably..but once again..weighed against the drug it will replace..that wd be a good thing..

            ..and the reality now is that young people are the go-to’s to find out where the nearest tinny-house..

            ..and no system is perfect..but age-restricted legal-access would do a better job of work at that..than the current no-age-restrictions blackmarket..

            ..plus young people are exposed to gangs..other drugs (meth)..by getting their pot thru those tinny-houses..

            ..and i came @ $5 per gram to both chop down the blackmarket..to provide a much cheaper retail-product than the blackmarket offers..

            ..and to generate a serious amount of income for the gummint-coffers..

            ..and recent polling showed 85% of respondents favoured ending prohibition..

            ..they only differed on what form that should take..ranging the gamut from just medical..to what i favour..full legalisation/regulation etc..

            ..so that discussion needs to be had..and that 85% poll-result shows the public are open for that conversation..

            • Clemgeopin

              Thanks phillip for your well thought out honest answers.
              I agree with all you are saying. Now it will depend on the support of the people and the political parties.

              I just worry that the young, being curious/adventurous/naive may get hold of it too easily and bugger up their brains in school.

            • Murray Rawshark

              What makes you think it would replace alcohol?

              • it’s a much nicer high..no hangovers..

                ..and if cheaper than booze..and legal..

                ..would be the preferred choice of/for many..

                ..and it won’t totally replace alcohol..and the damage done..

                ..but it will help..

                ..in colorado..after pot was legalised..there was a drop in alcohol sales..

          • BassGuy

            Cannabis does appear to have a few particularly nasty components, as the link shows.

            • phillip ure

              from yr (wiki-pedia) link..

              “..No fatal overdoses with cannabis use have been reported as of 2010.[19]

              A review published in the British Journal of Psychiatry in February 2001 said that “no deaths directly due to acute cannabis use have ever been reported”

              ..and compared/contrasted with alcohol..?

              (care to dig up that wikipedia-link..?..)

              • BassGuy

                Not especially – just so I’m clear, I’ve no strong feelings on cannabis either for or against it. In my opinion, it’s more-or-less the same level as alcohol: if one is legal, the other probably should be, too. Personal responsibility and all that – to a point, and here’s why I qualify that:

                I come from a fairly long line of heavy drinkers, so I know first hand the harm it can do. (Apparently, my father’s side used to be a very wealthy family but alcoholism destroyed us outright.)

                I was more interested in the significantly higher levels of carcinogens in cannabis, but I also recall reading recently that there was a potential cancer treatment using some chemicals from cannabis.

                I’ve got some washing to hang out and then I’m off to work, but I’ll try and find the link and post it here for you later.

            • Clemgeopin

              Thanks for that link. I found these bits interesting:

              Short-term effects

              When smoked, the short-term effects of cannabis manifest within seconds and are fully apparent within a few minutes,[33] typically lasting for 1–3 hours, varying by the person and the strain of cannabis.[34] After oral ingestion of cannabis, the onset of effect is delayed relative to smoking, taking 30 minutes to 2 hours, but the duration is prolonged due to continued slow absorption.[33] The duration of noticeable effects has been observed to diminish due to prolonged, repeated use and the development of a tolerance to cannabinoids.

              Psychoactive effects
              See also: Medical cannabis § Strains

              The psychoactive effects of cannabis, known as a “high”, are subjective and can vary based on the person and the method of use.

              When THC enters the blood stream and reaches the brain, it binds to cannabinoid receptors. The endogenous ligand of these receptors is anandamide, the effects of which THC emulates. This agonism of the cannabinoid receptors results in changes in the levels of various neurotransmitters, especially dopamine and norepinephrine; neurotransmitters which are closely associated with the acute effects of cannabis ingestion, such as euphoria and anxiety. Some effects may include a general alteration of conscious perception, euphoria, feelings of well-being, relaxation or stress reduction, increased appreciation of humor, music (especially discerning its various components/instruments) or the arts, joviality, metacognition and introspection, enhanced recollection (episodic memory), increased sensuality, increased awareness of sensation, increased libido,[35] and creativity. Abstract or philosophical thinking, disruption of linear memory and paranoia or anxiety are also typical. Anxiety is the most commonly reported side effect of smoking marijuana. Between 20 and 30 percent of recreational users experience intense anxiety and/or panic attacks after smoking cannabis, however, some report anxiety only after not smoking cannabis for a prolonged period of time.[36]

              Cannabis also produces many subjective and highly tangible effects, such as greater enjoyment of food taste and aroma, an enhanced enjoyment of music and comedy, and marked distortions in the perception of time and space (where experiencing a “rush” of ideas from the bank of long-term memory can create the subjective impression of long elapsed time, while a clock reveals that only a short time has passed). At higher doses, effects can include altered body image, auditory and/or visual illusions, pseudo-hallucinatory, and ataxia from selective impairment of polysynaptic reflexes. In some cases, cannabis can lead to dissociative states such as depersonalization[37][38] and derealization;[39] such effects are most often considered desirable, but have the potential to induce panic attacks, critical introspection and paranoia in some unaccustomed users.[citation needed]

              Any episode of acute psychosis that accompanies cannabis use usually abates after 6 hours, but in rare instances heavy users may find the symptoms continuing for many days.[40] If the episode is accompanied by aggression, sedation or physical restraint may be necessary.[40]

              While many psychoactive drugs clearly fall into the category of either stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogen, cannabis exhibits a mix of all properties, perhaps leaning the most towards hallucinogenic or psychedelic properties, though with other effects quite pronounced as well. THC is typically considered the primary active component of the cannabis plant; various scientific studies have suggested that certain other cannabinoids like CBD may also play a significant role in its psychoactive effects.[41][42][43]

              • the interesting thing about cbd…is that strains high in cbd should also be sold in legal pot shops..

                ..because pot high in cbd..if smoked..will bring you down off a high..

                ..so if someone feels too stoned..they can self-medicate that back under control..

                ..and also if someone feels too high to approach a designated task with confidence..

                ..a puff of cbd-pot will straighten them back up again…

                ..will smoke them straight..


                • Clemgeopin

                  …assuming one is not too high to realise that one is too high…

                  • aahh..!!..one of the big existential-questions…that one..

                    ..philosophers have wrangled with it since forever..

                    ..what did socrates say..?..or was it pliny the elder..?

          • DoublePlusGood

            Cannabis has risks like any drug, though the level of harm is less than most other recreational drugs.
            However, when you create a regulated, taxed market you can use that to control the quality of the drug, so there aren’t other things being thrown in with the cannabis – that reduces harm.
            The tax income can be used to support those who have drug abuse issues.
            Also, you no longer have a driver for a black market supporting organised crime. Which means big savings in police resources, courts resources, and corrections resources. They can be directed to other areas of need.

          • The Al1en

            “Is pot smoking really harmless?”

            Of course it’s not. Anything smoked carries severe health implications for the imbiber, especially weed, where it’s usually held in the lungs for a longer period compared to ciggies to maximise the hit.

            Best NZ will ever get regarding pot, is decriminalisation for small amounts and medical cannabis, though there’s no reason why med weed should be in a smokable form Much better to turn it into vapour or synthesize it into a pill, which would also have the added benefit of dopeheads not nicking sick peoples scripts or faking illness for a green pass.

        • phillip ure

          a large part of our booze/alcohol-problems wd also vanish..

          • DoublePlusGood

            I think that’s unrealistic. Alcohol problems are not going to go away just because cannabis becomes legal, particularly since they are often co-consumed.

            • phillip ure

              c’mon..!..twenty bucks for a slab of beer-cans..

              ..or twenty bucks for four weight grams of quality-guaranteed gummint-pot..?

              ..just let the market work its’ magic…

              ..and of course not all alcohol problems will disappear..

              ..but it will make a serious dent in them..

              ..going back to that a&e again..

              ..ask those doctors which purchase they wd rather be made..

              • DoublePlusGood

                Uh, people will just buy pot and beer, and consume them both together like they do now.

                • u missed my point..you get many more highs for more people with yr four grams of pot..that you will with yr slab of beer..

                  ..currently..’cos of the blackmarket costs of pot..and the cheap booze..

                  ..that imperative works the other way..(favouring the most dangerous of the two..)

                  ..(i wd also seriously raise the taxes on booze..seeing the huge damage it does..in fact i wd nationalise it…nationalise all the sin-industries..)

                  • The lost sheep

                    I used cannabis for 20 years, and haven’t touched it for the last 15.

                    When I look now at the people I know who have kept using it regularly I just feel an immense relief I didn’t.

                    It is not harmless. Like any other drug, over time it will take it’s toll, and the results aren’t pretty.

                    No one needs it. It’s fun when you are young, but if you persist too long the drug will end up determining who and what you are.
                    I’ve found life a hell of a lot more fun since I gave up.

                    • goodonya..!

                      ..different strokes for different folks..eh..?

                      ..and could you detail for us the pits of detritus yr still-smoking ‘people’ fell into..

                      ..from their continued use of cannabis..?

                      ..’cos i know old people who still smoke..and it doesn’t define them in any major way..

                      ..they just happen to be people who still enjoy using cannabis..

                      ..and why shouldn’t they..?

                    • emergency mike

                      Like any drug moderation is the key. Overdo it and there will be a price to pay.

                      The only negative about cannabis that I can see, its that it’s easy to get into a pattern of overdoing it since the downsides, loss of motivation etc, are more subtle. If you were to get drunk every day of the week your body would object, and your life would go downhill quite quickly, but not so with cannabis. But long term it can affect your life. However, that is a choice that some people make, they feel the positives outweigh the negatives.

                      Some like the lost sheep, feel better without it. Each to their own. Everyone is different. Everyone should be free to make their own informed choice.

                      I once read Terence McKenna, who is considered one of the psychedelic culture’s major gurus, say that any more than once a week smoking weed is overdoing it. I think that’s about right. Smokers should moderate themselves more imo, and they will gain greater enjoyment and positive benefit too. Again though, each to their own, and YMMV.

                  • emergency mike

                    I agree with Bill Hicks, don’t legalize it, make it compulsory.


                    • heh..!

                      ..for many..i wd agree..!

                      ..they should be force-fed..

                    • The lost sheep

                      “..and could you detail for us the pits of detritus yr still-smoking ‘people’ fell into..
                      ..from their continued use of cannabis..?”

                      When I compare the people I have known long term, I see a direct relationship between the amount of dope they have smoked and a negative impact on their levels of health, state of their finances, and the degree to which they have reached the ambitions they had when they were younger.

                      It gets worse if they also have continued to drink heavily and smoked tobacco.

                      I smoked every day for 20 years, and i’m telling any of you that have done the same, that if you can give up completely for 6 months you will find that under the cloud of the drug there is actually a completely different person inside you, and it may well be someone you like better and enjoys life more.

                      If you can’t give up happily for 6 months, maybe you should ask some questions about yourself.
                      Are you in control of the drug – or is it in control of you/

                      But thats just my opinion and observations, I’m not trying to tell anyone else what to do.

                      Opium is the opium of the people after all.

          • b waghorn

            Don’t know about that one Phil when I was lurking around Galatea a few years back the weed was washed down with lots of stienies and Bourbon.

  6. Colonial Rawshark 6

    Ukrainian parliament gifts US born hedge fund manager “citizenship” (as well as the post of Ukranian Finance Minister)

    For those of you who doubted that “western interference” in Ukraine was real – the transnational oligarchs are about to hit their payday looting the country.


    • miravox 6.1

      Never doubted it.

      Additionally in Putin’s state of the nation speech oligarchs were also welcome to repatriate their ill-gotten gains thanks to Russia having to deal with the fallout of Western actions in the East

      Putin said sanctions should prove an impetus for increased internal growth, and promised new, liberalised rules for small businesses and an amnesty on returning potentially dirty money to Russia. Capital outflow has been a problem for Russia for years, as rich businesspeople prefer to store their wealth in Britain, Cyprus and elsewhere.

      “I propose a full amnesty for capital returning to Russia,” Putin said. “… This means that if people legalise their resources, they get a guarantee that they won’t be bothered … won’t be asked about the sources … there will be no questions from the tax and law enforcement bodies to them. This should be done and done once.”

  7. batweka 7

    Probably time that NZ started talking about (or at least thinking about) our Polynesian future.

    In the 2010 calendar year:

    approximately one in four women giving birth were Māori (25.4%)

    about a quarter of women giving birth were either Pacific (11.7%) or Asian (10.8%)

    over half (52.2%) of all women giving birth were grouped into the Other ethnic group (the majority of these, 96.1%, were European)


    I think that works out like this,

    Māori/Pacific 37.1
    Asian 10.8
    European 50.45
    Other 1.65

    I’d like to see a projection of population increase by ethnicity, but am assuming that because the birth rate of Māori and Pasifika is significantly higher than the current actual precentage of population that we will be eventually be predominantly Polynesian. I think I’ve seen estimates of the Polynesian population being over 50% by mid century.

    • Murray Rawshark 7.1

      I think the proportion of Asians is going to go up as well. Pakeha will be a minority for the first time in ages. It might do us good, as long as we don’t let white South Africans from the North Shore tell us how to live with it.

  8. Skinny 8

    Here is a new group (Public Transport Users Association) set up to promote public transport. Big shout out to my friend Jon Reeves, well done matey. They have some solid committee members like Mike Lee & Christine Rose aboard. They have been out West Auckland trying to save this train service which is getting scaled back to Swanson. A fool hardy thing to do when you consider a major housing development is being built right across the tracks of the railway station.


  9. Worth a read if just to realise our haters are just like other haters everywhere.

    Another point I would like to make is that all of these messages are very aggressive, hostile, sexist, racist, and they are by men, though the anonymous ‘Facebook User’ above could very well be a woman, but what I see here are very aggressive and derogatory references to women. It is no wonder Native American women suffer high rates of violence, most of the time by non-Native American men. This is very apparent. Mind you, these screenshots are random selections. In almost each one there is a reference to my appearance and the word “squaw” or “bitch” was used. As Native women advocates, we are attacked because we are women and then because we are Native.


    It takes great bravery to put your head up above the parapet especially when you know they’re looking for targets.

    • Murray Rawshark 9.1

      I never realised squaw was an insult until I used it when speaking to an Indian friend. She put me right pretty quick.

  10. Philip Ferguson 10

    As New Zealand joins in the ever-expanding and (apparently) never-ending western powers’ war/s in the Middle East, some useful background.

    Back in October Don Franks wrote this: “This morning’s DominionPost editorial ponders how many foreign people we should kill.” See Don’s full article at: http://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/10/08/we-have-been-too-passive-and-trusting/

    How things in Iraq and Syria got to where they are now: http://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/11/19/iraq-syria-the-making-of-a-catastrophe/

    ISIS is part of the Salafist wing of Islam, a wing that regards other Muslims as infidels. Check out Iranian writer Karim Pourhamzavi explaining Salafism & Wahhabism: http://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/11/30/explaining-wahhabism-and-salafism/

    Going further back, a piece on how Washington created Osama Bin Laden; this piece also contains extracts from a fascinating interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski from a French daily in which the former US secretary of state says that ‘a few stirred up Muslims’ was a small price to pay for breaking the Soviet Union and ending the Cold War: http://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/how-the-west-created-osama-bin-laden/

    The folks that have proved most capable of fighting ISIS have been the Kurdish militias (peshmergas); the West now praises, but the Western powers’ interference in the Middle East has always worked against the Kurds having their own country: http://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/12/04/the-kurds-treated-as-pawns-by-western-powers/

    And lastly, a potential manifesto for people in NZ interested in opposing western intervention in the third world: http://rdln.wordpress.com/2014/11/13/towards-an-anti-imperialist-movement-a-manifesto/


    • RedLogix 10.1

      Great links Philip. Thank you.

      I’ve commented earlier that most westerners have no real sense of the threat that fundamentalist, extremist Wahabism poses – not so much to the non-Islamic world – but within it.

      And that as with all fundamentalist sects, it has almost nothing to do with religion, and everything to do with the politics of exploitation and fear.

  11. Morrissey 11

    “We appear to have lost contact with Bright Matonga.” (smirk)
    Black Africans are treated like no others are treated

    Two examples of selective media standards this morning: first on the Qatar government’s mouthpiece Al Jazeera, the second on Radio New Zealand National.

    1.) “Preparing for life after Mugabe?”, Inside Story, Al Jazeera, Friday 5 December 2014, 6.30 a.m. (NZ time)
    Guests: Bright Matonga (former Zimbabwean deputy Minister of Information); Obert Gutu and Lance Guma. The presenter was one Veronica Pedrosa, who makes a specialty out of pulling funny faces and pausing meaningfully to convey her feelings about certain news items. Towards the end of this morning’s programme, Bright Matonga, the pro-government speaker, started to raise his voice and keep talking, in a rather irritating manner.

    Now, there is no question that he was being obnoxious and quite deliberately trying to drown out the other two men by talking nonstop; this is done quite often by media-trained politicians and “think tank” spokespeople. It’s a strategy that is used incessantly by Israeli government spokesmen like the notorious Mark Regev and by almost every Israeli government apologist, whether on Al Jazeera or any other forum. Time after time, Israeli apologists hijack and destroy discussions, whether on Al Jazeera, the BBC, CNN or anywhere else that tries to, however mildly, hold them to account. But it is inconceivable that Veronica Pedrosa or anyone else would cut the sound off when Mark Regev or Ofir Gendelman or David Assaraf or indeed any of the even more extreme and intolerant illegal “settlers” from the Occupied Territories while he (or occasionally she) is in mid-filibuster.

    With black Africans, however, there’s a different standard. Bright Matonga started filibustering—-annoying and rude, certainly, but compared to Israeli spokesmen, he was polite and well-mannered. Veronica Pedrosa was having none of it, however—she cut off not only his voice, but his picture. “We appear to have lost contact with Bright Matonga,” she said, with a smirk. The screen behind her suddenly had two big heads on it instead of three.

    2.) Radio New Zealand National, Friday 5 December 2014, 9:10 a.m.
    A controversy has arisen over the sale by the City Gallery in Wellington of the Sir John Lavery painting Anna Pavlova as the Swan, which was bequeathed to it by the renowned dance Alexander Grant. Host Lynn Freeman announced that she would be speaking to City Gallery director Elizabeth Caldwell and Alexander Grant’s cousin Margaret Chalk. Then she announced: “Elizabeth Caldwell has insisted that she be allowed to speak first today.”

    Lynn Freeman’s decision to broadcast something that had obviously been negotiated in private seems to me to be morally questionable. By so doing, she cast Elizabeth Caldwell as devious and manipulative. Maybe that’s true, maybe it’s not. But the pointed, deliberate revelation of that seemingly minor procedural detail served to undermine Elizabeth Caldwell before she had even spoken.

    Lynn Freeman’s divulging of that information might be acceptable if she and other Radio NZ presenters made clear the stipulations and demands of politicians that speak to them. But I have never heard them do that. Elizabeth Caldwell could be shown up like that; powerful and vindictive people like John Key or Steven Joyce are never dealt with in such a demeaning manner.

  12. Te Reo Putake 12

    Jeremy Thorpe, leader of the Uk Liberal party in the seventies has died. He was quite a decent man, an early supporter of the anti-apartheid campaign for example, but forever blighted by the allegation that he tried to have a former lover killed.


    The attempted killing court case was brilliantly satirised by Peter Cook:


    • joe90 12.1

      tears flowed at a self confessed chicken straddler

    • Morrissey 12.2

      He was quite a decent man, an early supporter of the anti-apartheid campaign for example…

      Jeremy Thorpe may well have been a decent man, but being an early supporter of the anti-apartheid campaign does not necessarily guarantee decency in a person. Peter Hain, one of Great Britain’s most odious hypocrites, a supporter of Blair’s blood-soaked policies in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine, was once an anti-apartheid leader.

      • Paul 12.2.1

        The Panel especially dire today.
        Maybe the problem is Mora because Simon Mercep made it a tiny bit better.
        Barry Corbett talking about his daughter getting a job, Andrew Clay asking for work busking jobs in Christchurch and ,worst of all, Mora dragging out a desperately dull and pointless discussion about some awful song, simply because his son liked it and it had many you tube hits.

        Are these really the important issues people want to talk about ?
        Would love to hear your opinion, Morrissey, on it.
        But then , you’ve probably given up on the show.
        Quite understandably.

        • Morrissey

          The Panel especially dire today. Maybe the problem is Mora because Simon Mercep made it a tiny bit better.

          I agree. Mercep is better, more serious, more thoughtful. I can’t imagine him joining in with the likes of Chris Trotter and laughing at the plight of political dissidents being traduced, persecuted and hounded into exile by rogue states.

          Would love to hear your opinion, Morrissey, on it. But then , you’ve probably given up on the show. Quite understandably.

          No, I haven’t given up on it. I still listen whenever I can. I’ll post up my rush transcript—-okay, okay, Te Reo, Felix, McFlock and other fans out there, it’s my hastily dashed and imperfect approximation of a transcript and would be laughed out of court by the St. Louis County Grand Jury—-in the near future.

          • Murray Rawshark

            Your transcripts usually fit well with my prejudices. I can’t ask for more than that in life.

  13. Colonial Rawshark 13

    Economic austerity and income stagnation>/b>

    Not if you’re a US CEO however…


  14. Once Was Tim 14

    another btw @PU – just something that might tickle your interest and sentimentals
    Bernie Grif – Natrad Afternoons with Mercep.
    Very good fella that BG and interesting sounds in his new venture

    • heard that..i like him..

      ..and i’ve been meaning to catch up with him..

      ..as the junkie-woman he sang/sings about who he thought was dead..is apparantly still alive..and well and clean..

      ..and i think she is an old friend/drug-buddy of mine..

      ..and i wd like to touch base with her again..

      ..she was/is a stunner of a lady..and blessed with a keen intelligence..

      • Once Was Tim 14.1.1

        @PU. I think I may know who you mean. I think we’ve come across each other in the dim distant – if not us then I suspect you’re an acquaintance of my (now deceased) bro – unusual name of Baine – but it just pleases me to know you’re a genuine survivor …… so many didn’t, and so much potential lost. It’s nce to come across those doing well and with chillun who haven’t turned out complete fuckups.

        • phillip ure

          yeah..some of the smartest/most on to it people i have met in my life..

          ..just happened to be also junkies/heroin addicts..

          ..and quite often that was part of the reason they had turned to heroin..

          ..too clear/focused a view on the serial-bullshit/ters we are all surrounded with/by..

          ..can see you turning there for some relief/salve..

          ..shame the cure is worse than the ailment..

          • Murray Rawshark

            My experience was that you get a whole cross section, but that junkies, like afficionados of BDSM, like to exaggerate their intelligence. Intelligence is a funny thing. Unless we concretely test it against some difficult intellectual task, we really have no idea of how bright we are. Nodding in the arms of Morpheus usually gives us an exaggerated opinion of our ability. I know it did with me.

          • BM

            What a load of shit, Phil.
            Don’t try to justify your drug weakness.

        • Murray Rawshark

          Aubaine LTH?

  15. This present government has made a lot of noise regarding their laying of fiber cable.
    But very little publicity has been made about the number of sewage drains that have been broken instaling this fiber.Causing a lot of damage to private sewage pipes.
    In Cambridge and Te Awamutu the damage has been considerable ,causing a lot of inconvenience to families.,The cost to councils must be very high which of course will be paid by ratepayers or maybe taxpayers,

    • Te Reo Putake 15.1

      Good point, PP. My Dad’s street was dug up for replacement of storm drains a few months ago, then dug up again for fibre a couple of weeks back. A little bit of cooperation and planning and they both could have been done at the same time. Admittedly, they don’t follow exactly the same path, so the trenches for each don’t always line up. But the disruption in the street would have been minimised if they’d both been working at the same time.

  16. Clemgeopin 16

    Yet another callous capitalist exploitation of workers for excessive greedy profit:

  17. Clean_power 17

    Those who opposed the sale of state assets not long ago, will today do the same with Christchurch’s proposal under Labour’s Dalziel? Her council plans to sell a hell of lot.

    • Clemgeopin 17.1

      They are not state assets belonging to all of us. They are Christchurch council assets belonging to the residents there and I suppose it is up to the people of Christchurch to decide to agree or oppose, isn’t it?

      • Ed 17.1.1

        From many news reports over quite some time since the earthquakes it appears that the National – led government is deliberately keeping assistance to Christchurch down to the “Right” level that will force the Council to sell off council-owned assets or be saddled with crippling debt. If it was up to the people of Christchurch they would, in general, prefer not to sell.

        • Clemgeopin

          One of the things that puzzles me is why do the councils set the salaries of their managers so so high? And do they need thousands of them? Take a look at the dismal way the Auckland council is run.

  18. “put half the funding that goes into cure research into prevention instead and reduce the load all round (less disease, less cruelty to animals, improved environment, improved health).”

    I’d rather add half the funding and more to achieve those goals than cut, but I get your points.
    It’s worth noting though that medical animal testing is more than just curing preventable diseases, with research into genetic ailments (for want of the correct terminology) being undertaken to which no amount of money spent in a common sense holistic approach will cure.

  19. greywarshark 19

    I was today looking at an old copy of the Smithsonian dating back to 1983 and they had an article about the Colorado River. It runs a long way through Arizona, then a long way and finally comes out in Mexico and they showed a picture of a little creek where the remainder of the river exits. Everywhere it passes they take so much of it.

    One woman complained about others taking it for swimming pools which she thought was bad. But it may be that the swimming pool is a fire-fighting resevoir. They do grow lettuce in the desert, and have huge plantings of other crops with concrete pipes turning the desert green. But they are taking too much, they are taking someone else’s share.

    The water planners know about this – they can see what’s happened elsewhere but they are just like the early colonists, trying to get the good resource cheap before it can be properly priced. And they want permanent rights to it as a tradeable thing so they can sell their water to someone else.

    It is just unbelievable that we have such perverted people in charge of our country and with large numbers supporting them. The populace can get upset about Smith and his manipulative nasty ways, but getting a stranglehold on our water, and engineering food crops so as to get a monopoly on them is buggering all the citizenry. We need to see the gradations of crime clearly, not just pick off the obvious bad low hanging fruit.

    • Clemgeopin 19.1

      Good points, Grey. Always a problem when rivers go through different regions within a nation (and into different countries, like in USA and India.)

      In China, they have ‘killed’ (yep!) many of their rivers with poisons, rubbish and chemicals. Here in NZ, similar stuff is happening with careless add-ons of chemicals and cow crap.

      Just google and you will be amazed at the river disputes/problems.

  20. Morrissey 20

    “In due course the true story will be revealed”
    Poor old Blubberguts’ deranged rant at “those who sought to conspire to kill me in the past few months.”
    (This one is for all those aficionadi of black humour out there)

    by Cameron Slater on November 2, 2014 at 8:00am
    In case you hadn’t worked it out, today is my birthday.

    On November 2 1968 I was born in Suva, Fiji. ….

    …I am alive.

    I am shoving my continued existence in the face of those who sought to conspire to kill me in the past few months.


    Yes, I am going to share with you what I have been dealing with.

    You all thought Nicky Hager acted alone, in conjunction with a hacker. He didn’t.

    There were many, many people involved in a planned and concerted conspiracy to attack me, attack my friends, attack my business and to bring down a government.

    In due course the true story will be revealed and who was involved.

    Click below if you want to read more, much more of this (unwittingly) funny masterpiece….


    • b waghorn 20.1

      Even funnier if you imagine a Winston Churchill voice (we will fight them on the beachs.

    • Halfcrown 20.2

      “Click below if you want to read more, much more of this (unwittingly) funny masterpiece….”

      No Thanks

  21. North 21

    Having been cheered by Morrissey’s contribution above (yes, Morrissey almost always buzzes me for the essence he [cantankerously] brings) – I go back to what I intended to say in the first place.

    This – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11369562 – in which Bryce Edwards whether meaning to or not testifies to the legitimacy of the alternative media. And thus to the hisorical piss-useleness of the preening, established ‘Cafe Society’ media in New Zealand – it’s all very encouraging. “Calling National Party employee Billy Ralston…..calling Billy Ralston…..and the admittedly lovely person and therefore forgivable Janet”.

    My reservation is that Edwards goes close to saying that ALL Blog-Land is equivalent to SlaterPorn. And as bad, to quote Farrar as authoritative. Which is like saying we can rely on the Roastbusters to define decent thresholds.

    Fact is Farrar’s got the same gross kaupapa as Slater. Just less crudely and self-damaglingly displayed. Which means he’s significantly more dangerous to Democracy in New Zealand than the bewildered Slater. Under the radar and all that. He’s as guilty in DP as The Sadly Unfortunate One. Yet still Edwards quotes him ?

    • Murray Rawshark 21.1

      Bryce Edwards is a gossip columnist. All he does is cut and paste from blogs. I pity anyone who pays to take his Polsci courses.

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