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Open mike 06/07/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 6th, 2022 - 108 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 Policy).

Step up to the mike …

108 comments on “Open mike 06/07/2022 ”

  1. Jenny how to get there 1

    Russia continues its war strategy honed in Chechnya and Syria of targeting civilian infrastructure, a war crime under UN definition.

    Ukraine war: Market hit as Russians shell frontline city Slovyansk

    • Published

      2 hours ago

    Russian shelling has set fire to the central market in Ukraine's eastern city of Slovyansk, killing one person and injuring seven, the mayor says.

    Vadym Lyakh says the city is being hit by Russian artillery salvoes from closer positions, as it becomes the conflict's latest frontline.

    He posted photos of the blaze on Facebook, describing massive shelling, and urging people to stay in shelters.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-62051585

    • Blazer 1.1

      Russia says it does not target civilians and civilian deaths that occur are 'collateral damage'.

      A quick search reveals numerous instances of Ukraine killing civilians as well.

      'the first casualty of war..is truth'.

      • Jenny how to get there 1.1.1

        '

        Citation Needed:

        "A quick search reveals numerous instances of Ukraine killing civilians as well." Blazer

        Very well Blazer. How about showing us the results of your ‘quick search’.

      • Populuxe1 1.1.2

        You don't even really sound like you're convincing yourself anymore

      • Jenny how to get there 1.1.3

        Nothing?

        Why am I not surprised.

        Blazer your 'quick search' is taking some considerable amount of time.

        Maybe other supporters of Putin's bloody invasion and war, need to give you a hand.

        Any takers?

          • Jenny how to get there 1.1.3.1.1

            The mountain has laboured and given birth to a mouse.

            A website that bills itself as the "Front Page of the Tea Party?

            A New York Times pay for view article that I cannot open?

            And Newswars, Infowars, Alex Jones?

            Really?

            Two Far Right conspiracy websites and one pay for view website I cannot read?!?

            I gotta tell ya Blazer. It's not very convincing.

            Surely you can do better than this?

            • Blazer 1.1.3.1.1.1

              -'The Tea Party movement is an American fiscally conservative political movement within the Republican Party.

              -New York Times article is easily opened…maybe you just don't want to read it.

              -it's not Info wars.

              Surely you can ..do better.

              When you 'get there' Jenny,I'm sure Forest Gump will be there to meet you wrapped in stars and…stripes.

              • Incognito

                FYI, for me too the NYT article requires an account to read it, which is not cool here on TS and along a similar vein as linking to NZH articles that are behind a pay-wall.

              • KJT

                The "Tea Party" is the US equivalent of the "Tax Payers Union".

                A bunch of right Wing “useful idiots” financed by heaps of dark money.

                Hardly a credible source.

              • Jenny how to get there

                An interesting exercise tho. Wouldn't you agree Blazer.

                Try harder next time.

              • Jenny how to get there

                And do you know why Blazer, you have to trawl through Right Wing conspiracy websites, to try and find some sort of half-arsed confirmation your disgusting pro-war narrative?

                Because…..

                There Is No Left Position That Justifies Putin’s Attack on Ukraine

                DAVID OST

                April 2, 2022 by Foreign Policy In Focus

                It is tough for leftists to be on the same side as the mainstream. We can easily feel at those times that we’re missing something, that we’re letting down the struggle, that by ganging up even on an admittedly bad actor we’re helping strengthen the nemesis at home, allowing it to appear as the good guy…..

                ….If we want to support the right of self-determination to America’s neighbors, we can’t deny the same to Russia’s. If we’re not able to recognize multiple imperialisms, we are guilty of the same kind of Americocentrism for which we castigate others.

                https://www.commondreams.org/views/2022/04/02/there-no-left-position-justifies-putins-attack-ukraine?

                • Blazer

                  I do not have a 'pro war 'narrative.

                  A negotiated settlement should have been done by now.

                  This conflict signals the end of U.S domination of the international finance system.

                  You seem to have a very simplistic view as to the situation,its catalyst and the geo political consequences.

                  Ost has his opinion,you yours and me my own.

                  • Jenny how to get there

                    Blazer

                    7 July 2022 at 4:20 pm

                    I do not have a 'pro war 'narrative….

                    If someone attacks you, you have to defend yourself.

                    The one who can stop the attack is the attacker not the defender.

                    If you support the attacker, you have a pro-war position.

                    Blazer

                    7 July 2022 at 4:20 pm

                    …..A negotiated settlement should have been done by now.

                    In the so called peace negotiations the Russian negotiators' position was that Ukraine should surrender.

                    Russia even refused a temporary ceasefire during the negotiations.

                    The Ukrainian negotiators offered Russia an a agreement not to join Nato. Ukraine also offered their terms for a ceasefire, which were to allow Russian forces to fall back to the pre- February 25 2022 areas in the Donbas Ukrainian territories, held by Russian forces before that date. And an agreement to continue negotiations for a permanent settlement, acceptable to both sides.

                    Russia rejected Ukrainian peace terms and refused to stop their attack on Ukraine, or return to its pre-February lines.

                    Hitting a stone wall with the Putin regime negotiators, President Zylensky, went over their heads to put the same peace offer before the Russian people on the messaging platform Telegram.

                    The Putin regime made viewing the Telegram video of the President's peace offer a criminal offence inside Russia, under penalty of 15 years in prison for spreading fake news

                    So much for 'a negotiated settlement should have been done by now'.

                    When you say that there should have been a negotiated settlement by now. What you really mean Blazer, is that the Ukrainians should have surrendered by now.

                    I am afraid Blazer, that is never going to happen, no matter what the cost, Ukraine will not stop fighting until the Russian Federation is driven back to its internationally recognised legal borders.

                  • Jenny how to get there


                    BREAKING NEWS;

                    The Latest press release from the Russian leader carried on the Russian government News Site RT, is that Putin says he is ready to talk peace.

                    Delivered under the usual bellicose headlines mixed with threats, it is possible that Putin is finally ready to take up Zelensky's terms.
                    Which are; a return to the pre-February areas of the Donbas occupied by Russia before that date, in return for a ceasefire.

                    Let's all hope so. And the killing stops.

                    .

                    RT

                    7 Jul, 2022 17:11

                    …..Russia is ready to engage in peace negotiations with Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin has said on Thursday, warning that those who reject such prospects should realize that prolonging the ongoing conflict would only make such talks more difficult.

                    https://www.rt.com/russia/558593-putin-russia-hasnt-started-yet/?

                    Let us also hope that this is the very last time that the Russian Federation launches a foreign incursion across its borders.

                    • Jenny how to get there

                      P.S.

                      What I find interesting in Putin's statement announcing his readiness for peace talks, is this line;

                      "Attempts to sow discord in Russia have failed"

                      The fact that they were mentioned means that they must have had some effect.

                      This must be the first time that the internet has proved its worth in being able to bypass state censorship to get Zelensky's peace terms to the Russian people.

                    • Jenny how to get there

                      Putin's new readiness to engage in peace negotiations, whether they result in a ceasefire or not, (and I hope they do), the underlying causes of imperialist wars have not gone away, and will inevitably emerge somewhere else.
                      The best we can hope for, is a new cold war.
                      If there is another outbreak of imperialist aggression, (the underlying economic pressures of growth economies that must either expand or die, means it is likely there will be).
                      Whichever side is the attacker in the next violent outbreak, the aggressor needs to be opposed and condemned by the united Left.

      • Jenny how to get there 1.1.4

        Unfortunately the pro-invasion orchestra seems to be enjoying an intermission and have gone quite for the moment.

        No doubt the orchestra will strike up again following the next Russian Federation atrocity, singing from the same song-sheet and in tune, misdirecting and obfuscating, excusing and explaining, denying, lying and justifying.

        • RedLogix 1.1.4.1

          If of course the hated satanic seppos had been conducting themselves like this – along with the insanely irresponsible threats to first strike nuke if they don't get their way by conventional means – everyone here would be all over them. Including me.

          But for some unspecified reason Russia gets a free pass with these dupes.

          • Blazer 1.1.4.1.1

            Putin has copied the U.S modus operandi-'military operation','collateral damage'.

            He has never threatened to 'bomb them back to the..Stoneage'…or 'make the economy…scream'…however.

            • Jenny how to get there 1.1.4.1.1.1

              Blazer

              8 July 2022 at 9:03 am

              Putin has copied the U.S modus operandi-'military operation','collateral damage'.

              He has never threatened to 'bomb them back to the..Stoneage'…or 'make the economy…scream'…however.

              He has threatened to use nuclear weapons.

              If any sort of weapons could bomb "them" (Ukrainians), back to the stone age it is nuclear weapons.

              Blazer. Your blood thirsty pro-war partisan bias is showing through.

              P.S. Anyone who supports Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is by definition pro-war.

              • Incognito

                Blazer. Your blood thirsty pro-war partisan bias is showing through.

                Perhaps you could dial back a bit the personal stuff and concentrate more on debating the contents of Blazer’s comments, yes?

                • Jenny how to get there

                  Yes of course. Why not.

                  I had considered appending this you tube video, of unarmed civilian Russian speakers in Ukraine confronting the invading Russian troops, because it skewer's Blazer's pro-war viewpoint without being personal.

                  'It’s You That's Fascist'

                  • Jenny how to get there

                    Meanwhile Russia' slaughter of civilians that Blazer tries to justify continues.

                    3 hours ago

                    https://kyivindependent.com/uncategorized/governor-3-civilians-killed-in-russias-recent-attack-on-kharkiv

                  • Incognito

                    So, you considered it and then decided to attach the YT clip anyway to re-emphasise your view of Blazer because of his comments rather than addressing the substance of his comments.

                    Blazer has already denied that he’s having a pro-war narrative. I can’t see it myself and very few would be genuinely pro-war as such. In other words, it is a bold accusation to make and that requires much heavier lifting that the feeble arguments you’ve made here so far.

                    This tends to get ugly rather quickly and I don’t want to have to moderate you or anybody else for that matter for this kind of commenting behaviour.

                    Let’s put it this way, if you have nothing nice to say, then stay silent and scroll on.

          • KJT 1.1.4.1.2

            They have since WW2.

            With buggerral criticism from the rest of the world, you and many others.

            Which is why yet another fucking baby killer, civilian bombing dickhead, Putin, knows he will get away with it.

            Because the Yanks and their puppet totalitarian Dictators, have “got away with it”, for decades, and right now. Ignoring the “rules based order” at whim, they keep pontificating about.

            • RedLogix 1.1.4.1.2.1

              With buggerral criticism from the rest of the world, you and many others.

              From 2014: :

              Has our intervention made things worse? Of course. That was eminently obvious and predictable when my partner and I marched down Lambton Quay in 2002 protesting GW Bush’s imminent invasion of Iraq.

              And that is just one from a very narrow search.

              If you are demanding a more contemporary condemnation of ill-advised US foreign policy – well Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Aghanistan all pre-date this site. Hell if The Standard had been around in the 1940s there would have been lots of lefties lining up to tell us how the horrid yankees should stay out of Europe, and let the Japanese have the Pacific in the interests of peace.

              The two key differences are of course that Russia is invading Ukraine with the explicit intention of permanently expanding its territorial empire. Together with the blatant, repeated threats of first strike nuclear action, Putin has not just stepped over a line – but sprinted for the wilderness.

              • KJT

                Straw Man again!

                I wonder where you find your mythical, "Lefties". Haven't met many, if any that would meet your definition of "Left".

                It was "leftie" workers, including a great many Yanks, who fought and died to defeat the Japanese and Nazis. Including a huge number of "leftie" Merchant seafarers

                Your right wing US hero's didn't want to get involved, until they were forced to. Too many of them thought The Nazis were right to remove those pesky trade unionists and the rest.

                I knew some "lefties" that were pacifists. It didn't stop them being in the thick of it, as aid workers, merchant seaman and medics.

                “Russia is invading Ukraine with the explicit intention of permanently expanding its territorial empire. Together with the blatant, repeated threats of first strike nuclear action, Putin has not just stepped over a line – but sprinted for the wilderness”.
                The US bombing civilians and starving populations into changing Governments is “fine” because they don’t explicitly, though it is implicite, threaten nuclear First strikes and their empire is corporate, not “territorial”. .
                One bunch of baby killing bombers, is not morally superior to the other. There is no fucking difference.

                And, I expect better from “our friends”.

                Where the fuck do you think Putin got the idea he could get away with ignoring the “rules based World order” and the UN, from.

                • Blade

                  ''It was "leftie" workers, including a great many Yanks, who fought and died to defeat the Japanese and Nazis. Including a huge number of "leftie" Merchant seafarers.''

                  Yeah, but on the Allied home front during WW2 some of those Leftie workers weren't too fussed about the war.

                  Quote:

                  ''In 1943 there were two major stoppages, one was a strike of 12,000 bus drivers and conductors and the other of dockers in Liverpool and Birkenhead. Both were a considerable embarrassment to Bevin since they involved mainly TGWU members. 1944 marked the peak of wartime strike action with over two thousand stoppages involving the loss of 3,714,000 days' production. This led to the imposition of Defence Regulation 1AA, supported by the TUC, which now made incitement to strike unlawful.''

                  http://www.unionhistory.info/timeline/1939_1945.php

                  https://www.bls.gov/wsp/publications/annual-summaries/pdf/strikes-1942.pdf

                  • weka

                    Yeah, but on the Allied home front during WW2 some of those Leftie workers weren't too fussed about the war.

                    I can't see a connection between what KJT said, and your comment, and the quote below it. What are you trying to say?

              • KJT

                Wasn't "Lefties" marching against fighting in WW2.

                When Nazis Took Manhattan : Code Switch : NPR

                And. I marched against the Vietnam war. Why the hell were we fighting against Vietnams gaining independence from France, in the first place?

  2. Muttonbird 2

    Boris Johnson's leadership in peril as two senior UK ministers resign from Cabinet

    Sunak and Javid gone. This is like Grant Robertson and Andrew Little resigning.

    Johnson has been hit by allegations he failed to come clean about a lawmaker who was appointed to a senior position despite claims of sexual misconduct.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson says that appointing Chris Pincher as deputy chief whip was a “mistake”, and denies that he lied to his colleagues about being briefed about Mr Pincher’s conduct.

    That account did not sit well with Simon McDonald, the most senior civil servant at the UK Foreign Office from 2015 to 2020. In a highly unusual move, he said on Tuesday that the prime minister’s office still wasn’t telling the truth.

    “The original No. 10 line is not true, and the modification is still not accurate,” McDonald wrote, referring to the prime minister's Downing Street office.

    “Mr Johnson was briefed in person about the initiation and outcome of the investigation.”

    Hours after McDonald's comments came out, Johnson's office changed its story again, saying the prime minister forgot he was told that Pincher was the subject of an official complaint.

    Boris is now using the John Key defence!

    However, Britain is an inherently conservative nation. Most voters are likely to ignore Johnson's appalling behaviour simply because he sticks it to the lefties.

    Only his own Party has the ability to get rid of him. Let's see what they do.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/uk/300630286/boris-johnsons-leadership-in-peril-as-two-senior-uk-ministers-resign-from-cabinet

  3. ianmac 3

    I stumbled on Liz Cheney's speech at the Reagan Library 5 days ago. Terribly impressed with her content and delivery. If they must have a GOP President she would be great. Even to listen to a few minutes of her 40 minutes might impress. Starts after 1min. Scathing comments on Trump.

    • joe90 3.1

      Quite the choice, an incompetent fascist (Trump) or a competent fascist (Cheney)?

      • Anne 3.1.1

        Thanks for that Joe 90.

        Like ianmac I was impressed with Cheney. But there's always another side. Her accusation… equating abortion rights with murdering killing new-born babies – which is effectively what she did in that clip – is dirty politics of the worst kind.

    • Mac1 3.2

      I felt quite uncomfortable listening to talk of patriotism and the greatest nation on earth that God had placed on earth. The listeners in the auditorium may have liked hearing that, but to us who live in this world outside of America not a source of pride but fear.

      America was founded by the gun, it survives by the gun and it is in peril from the gun.

      She spoke of freedom but America's people are not free and neither are the countries the US oppresses.

      For freedom encompasses freedom of ideas, of speech, of liberty, but also human safety, human needs, and a whole gamut of 'freedoms from' ranging from fear, want, poverty, hatred, to more than I can suggest.

      She did speak of finding common ground and standing up and being counted. And that's good.

      But in my eighth decade I seem to look back and remember a cycle of fear and oppression that America had full responsibility for.

      Missile crises, MAD and nuclear weaponry, invasions, coups, sanctions, pollution, economics, and then internally with racism, poverty, civil rights, consumption of resources…… again more than I can suggest.

      Luckily I have American Studies, literature and history in my degree so I have some idea of the greatness that has come from America, too, and conversely of the applicability of these same criticisms to other countries.

      The freedom she spoke of was limited and partial, and greatness is a concept to be conferred by others, not by oneself upon one's self.

      Of that last Ms Cheney at least knew that was true of Trump. That awareness too was limited and partial. True of us all……….

      • ianmac 3.2.1

        Mac 1 "I felt quite uncomfortable listening to talk of patriotism and the greatest nation on earth that God had placed on earth."

        Agreed but as US is a flag intense country that we are used to that, ho hum.

        I didn't know about the abortion issue but to be expected from the GOP. However the appalling Trump rhetoric compared with that coming from Cheney and her delivery at the Jan 6 Committee, she seems to me to be the best of the possible GOP leaders. It is unlikely that Liz will survive the current election though?

        • Mac1 3.2.1.1

          She did give a huge condemnation of Trump but she got a very quiet audience at times and once or twice a big clap, especially IIRC when she spoke of the courage of the young women who were testifying against Trump. But I know nothing of the current contenders, so how any will go I don't know.

          It's possibly the same in GB with all the Tory party resignations as to how they survive being the critics of their leader.

    • Nic the NZer 3.3

      More likely as a Democrat one would think. I doubt the Republican party can support her candidacy after her part in the January 6 hearings.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    Adam Tooze has a fascinating take here on inflation. I'd urge you to subscribe, he is an incisive and brilliant historian.

    The TL,DR is that "…An inflation regime… …is one of sustained and general price increases. This cannot be a one-round affair. It requires successive price and wage adjustment. It can only happen if you have a wage-price spiral, with both price and wage setters driving up their demands…

    …If this is what defines inflation, what anchors a low-inflation regime is a situation in which that reciprocal action cannot take hold. Either, neither price-setters (corporate capital) or workers have the power to set prices, or only one side does, so that you can have a first round price shock, but no second-round reaction…"

    Tooze argues what has guaranteed low inflation for the past 40 years has been that one side of the above reciprocal actions – wages and salaries – have been successfully repressed through labour market "reforms" designed to defang the labour side of the wage-price spiral.

    Tooze says: "…Our current condition does not actually meet the criteria of a sustained inflation. Why? Because the price surge is too one-sided. It has been driven by costs, demand pressure and mark ups. Real wages have fallen sharply. There is very little evidence of a sustainable wage price spiral in either the US or Europe. So there are first round effects, but no more than a muted second round reactions…"

    So what has really got the neoliberal economists of our central banks (who have, in Tooze words, thematized the underlying regime of power "…In a remarkably unselfconscious way, the managers of the system articulate their preference for a particular configuration, or non-configuration of social forces…") worried are the signs that this is changing. What worries them is not just much higher inflation rates, but the signs that the price system is beginning to move, once again, as though it were a single system – and hence towards a wage price spiral. This means workers are beginning to re-unionise, and wage growth is starting to pick up driven by this and other factors like labour shortages.

    My view is the forty plus year era of wage repression can no longer be sustained. It was only ever sustainable for this long because of price deflation driven by the move of manufacturing to China. Chinese made consumer goods are so much cheaper now in terms of relative value than they were forty years ago, and things like just in time supply chains and automation made the movement of goods ever more efficient and cheaper. As supply chain and labour supply issues bite, along with policies (tighter migration criteria, Fair Pay Agreements) that recognise that we can no longer continue down an ever downward wages path with out serious social unrest we need to come up with new ways of taming inflation. The problem is while the current labour government is at least dimly aware the wage/price crisis can't be solved by more austerity, lower wages and unchecked migration with a social catastrophe it is obvious the boss class – and the National party – are determined to go down fighting to defend their profits and their "regime of power".

    • Ad 4.1

      It requires successive price and wage adjustment.

      That can't be true here because we have generally low wages that generally don't go up. And haven't for many years in part because unions were wiped out.

      We only have strong unions covering about 10% of workers now, and it is they that are receiving the wage increases.

      Of the remaining 90% , about 60% of NZ's remaining workers are getting the Minimum Wage hikes or close to it.

      So his claim doesn't work.

      • Nic the NZer 4.1.1

        Which claim doesn't work?

        Your saying for Tooze ideas to be correct about NZ inflation should be hard locked to zero?

        • Ad 4.1.1.1

          In the current century New Zealand doesn't have a correlation between wage increases and inflation. We are in nothing like a wage-price spiral.

          • Nic the NZer 4.1.1.1.1

            That seems to be what Tooze is describing. I don't understand any particular difference between his description of the state of the economy and yours, other maybe than the rate and time-span of inflation which you expect to result and characterize as an inflation.

      • Poission 4.1.2

        Since immigration controls came in over the pandemic,every country that had high immigration has seen wage increases and benefit rises in the blue collar workforce.

        The excessive immigration was the largest driver in household inflation (of which shelter is the largest component of cpi) We have now one of the lowest housing availability numbers in the OECD .

        With the availability of cheap interest rates for lending,a housing inflation spiral enacted that increased demand over supply for existing stock,and new builds (where we have the highest building material costs in the OECD) The demand required the import of both materials and money,funded by debt,helped decrease the NZ $ ( risk to ca)creating further rises in inflation and so on.

        Shelter and utilities are the largest costs in the lower income deciles,those are the areas where costs need to be rigorously examined(as do the causal mechanisms)

        • Nic the NZer 4.1.2.1

          Didn't we have border closures (e.g lower immigration) right at the same time as house prices took off (e.g end of lock-downs)?

          Or your saying the immigration rates at that time were in practice higher due to NZers returning?

          • Poission 4.1.2.1.1

            net gain of 80000 in 2019 (cumulative gain 300k under labour) when we were already under growth strain.

            Thats a 108000 unit increase in housing just to add to immigration demand.

            Housing availability had decreased since 2007 from 395 (per 1000) to 385 in 2017.

            • Nic the NZer 4.1.2.1.1.1

              Is this the same net immigration statistic your describing?

              https://www.stats.govt.nz/information-releases/international-migration-february-2022

              It seems less convincing when we consider the 2019 brief peak net immigration has fallen and is presently negative. Maybe with the right amount of lag you can correlate this with parts of the house price survey, though that doesn't seem to apply at earlier times of high net immigration.

              • Poission

                The RBNZ uses the compliance certificate/new net electrical connection to ascertain the difference in net housing ( demolished houses vs new builds)

                The housing availability had decreased since 2007 (gfc and earthquakes) to 2017 by 10 houses per 1000 pop.

                The result of the present imbalance has seen the rental market correct slightly,more inventory,some price reduction.

                An increase in housing stock of what is consented would still keep us well in the lower half of the OECD average.

        • Ad 4.1.2.2

          We're overdue for a Building Materials Price Regulator.

          This government is today announcing the Supermarket regulator, but will it provide the RB with evidence of inflationary shopping prices?

          Personally I blame diesel prices for about everything.

          • Poission 4.1.2.2.1

            Along with the regulator comes the code of conduct.Mbie in their briefing papers said overseas evidence from a code of conduct,results in additional compliance costs and price increases.

            Diesel is a high cost for civil engineering (it is also for a agriculture,fishing and forestry.) Demand destruction ( around 6% by vol) and traders pricing in recession risk has seen prices of wti and brent decrease by around 10% in the last few days,.

            The building material regulator may be an outcome from the CC investigation,if the CC lets FB buy Timu timbers,then the CC should be sacked.

            • Ad 4.1.2.2.1.1

              New Zealand must be one of the most concentrated economies in the world, with oligopolies and near-monopolies in:

              building materials, general insurance, health insurance, ports, airports, air travel, supermarkets, transport fuel, health, electricity generation, milk production, beef production, international shipping freight, roading materials, and bunches more.

              • Poission

                Also over regulated in some areas,is part of the problem.Making a set of extended complex rules ,often too complex to readily understand,limits the ability for the lemonade stall in the driveway.

                • Ad

                  You can compare the regulatory reforms to the telecommunications sector that began in earnest in 2006, and see now how well prices have fallen over the decade. Compare that to the electricity industry and prices have just gone up and up and up.

                  Then there's building materials, in which two decades of leaky home wealth destruction and liability litigation have led to a wilfully conservative building products regulator. For which we are getting royally screwed.

                  Sometimes lemons just can't be made palatable.

                  • Poission

                    Telecoms pricing decreased as the cost of equipment (in real terms) decreased.

                    In Japan as a right you can set up a business in your front room,and sell to the public with minimal regulation ( only registration) this allows a large group of pensioners to still be a part of the economy,and providing both fresh vegetables,and handmade quality goods at sustainable prices (japan inflation 0.2)

                  • Poission

                    Then there's building materials

                    The RBNZ review identified the construction cost problem (which was problematic b4 Putin.covid et al)

                    World Bank data show that construction costs in New Zealand were 16% higher than in Australia and about double the OECD average in 2017. In 2012, the New Zealand Productivity Commission wrote a Housing Affordability Inquiry also showing that building costs were high here relative to other countries. Despite being high already, construction costs have also been increasing faster in New Zealand than in other countries since the GFC (Figure 8). This all strongly suggest that house building in New Zealand is an expensive business.There are no doubt many reasons why building costs are so high here. Part of the reason could be that the manufacture and distribution of building materials – which account for almost half of construction costs – take place in industries that are dominated by one or a small number of large firms

                  • roblogic

                    I blame the massive expansion of credit from the Australian banks (and laundered money from China), systemic failures of regulators, and fuckwit politicians who were happy to give the economy some crack cocaine to make themselves look good.

                    Heads should roll

    • Jenny how to get there 4.2

      Tooze argues what has guaranteed low inflation for the past 40 years has been that one side of the above reciprocal actions – wages and salaries – have been successfully repressed through labour market "reforms" designed to defang the labour side of the wage-price spiral…..

      Wage-price spiral explained in eight words

      Increased profits > Growth > Good!

      Increased wages > Inflation > Bad!

    • Nordy 5.1

      And yet Labour won a majority in an MMP system at the last election…..how did that happen with such a star as CS opposing them?

      • Chris 5.1.1

        Because most voters in New Zealand don't understand what they're voting for.

        • Nordy 5.1.1.1

          Its not a wise strategy to blame the voters. It smacks of sour political grapes. Never a good look. If you really believe that I'm sure you can point to your active support for funding to address this 'misunderstanding'.

          • Chris 5.1.1.1.1

            I don't blame the voters. Reference to sour political grapes suggests your take on things is a little too simplistic.

      • Ad 5.1.2

        You're not familiar with MMP clearly.

        It started in 1993. Do catch up.

    • Sacha 5.2

      Just need Labour MPs prepared to put ego aside and work with her as partners.

      • Ad 5.2.1

        Actually it would need her own party to show courage.

        Which they can't because they are led by two of the weakest politicians in the country.

        • weka 5.2.1.1

          what would showing courage look like?

          • Ad 5.2.1.1.1

            Chloe Swarbrick obviously.

            • arkie 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Fantastically uninformative circular reasoning.

              What we know is you think that the Green party is useless, yawn.

              • Ad

                Actually I just praised a Green Party MP as a good and effective leader.

                Asked then answered.

                Of course you just sound like one of those tiresome Axolotyls who would rather keep the Green Party's head below water than grow an actual skin.

                • Robert Guyton

                  " those tiresome Axolotyls who would rather keep the Green Party's head below water than grow an actual skin."

                  As an axolotl-keeper, I'm intrigued by whatever it is you might mean by your statement 🙂

                  Also, I wonder what it is you are expecting James Shaw to do, other than what he has already done?

                  • Ad

                    Axolotyls generally keep their heads down and barely have a skin. The Greens don't have the skin to take any criticism at all and tend not to rise above the surface.

                    It would just be great if James Shaw could show half the passion and enthusiasm of Chloe, or Jeanette, or Rod, or indeed anyone with a pulse. Does James Shaw exist?

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Would James Shaw's work/achievements/potential, increase, his and The Green's influence be enhanced, by showing more passion and enthusiasm than he does presently?

                      I can't see that it would. The "big players" he has to negotiate/work with are off-put by "Chloe-style" passion and enthusiasm. Her manner works very well with many, but James has specific objectives and can't afford, and doesn't need, imo, to play to the crowd.

                  • weka

                    Grow bigger balls is my guess. He should have forced Labour to do better in climate. Apparently its his fault that we have a shitty climate policy because he didn't negotiate better.

                    Swarbrick has power that Shaw (and MD) doesn't, by dint of position. And vice versa. Trad left often fails to understand the nuance in the Greens.

                    I want the co-leaders to lead differently too, but I'd really like to see some serious analysis of what that might look like rather than just vague hand waving.

            • weka 5.2.1.1.1.2

              so abandon Ministerial responsibilities, and the GP agreement with Labour, and shift into advocacy/activist mode?

              (it's not obvious what you mean, apart from you believe that CS is a very effective MP. I do too, one of the best. But she's not a Minister, and she is by agreement free to speak in ways that the other two aren't. This isn't absolute, I can see room to critique MD and JS. I just was hoping you would do some actually analysis).

              • Ad

                Do your own analysis – you're the Green Party supporter.

                Even within their portfolios they appear to have forgotten how to speak.

                • weka

                  ok, so you don't have any actual analysis beyond Chloe is great! why can't Marama and James be like her?!

                  I give my analysis of various things to do with the GP fairly often. In fact, I just did some in the comment above, pointing to why CS is freer to speak than the other two. Here’s the L/G agreement that sets out why.

                  https://www.parliament.nz/media/7554/labour_greens_cooperation_agreement-1.pdf

                  • Ad

                    Shaw and Davidson, from your own link, are perfectly able to critique from every single angle unconstrained by anything if it is outside Ministerial portfolios.

                    "The Green Party will determine its own position in relation to any policy or legislative matter not covered by the Ministerial portfolios and areas of cooperation set out in this agreement. Differences of position within such portfolios and areas of cooperation will be managed in accordance with this agreement."

                    Since you are clearly incapable of taking the start of the thread for the actual compliment to the Greens that it was, and also quite incapable of responding to any actual mild criticism of the Green Party leadership even while I was praising their Auckland MP, all you've done is show that it is actually Green Party supporters like yourself that hold them back from being the bold activists they should be.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Do you really think, Ad, that James Shaw is unconstrained by anything, if the issue is outside of Ministerial portfolios?

                      I suppose he could "passionately and enthusiastically" attack aspects that are dearly-held by other parties, but would that enhance his chances of succeeding in his Ministerial responsibilities; areas where real progress, actual change, can be negotiated and set into law?

                      Not feeling' it.

                    • weka

                      The coleaders =/= the party.

                      Since you are clearly incapable of taking the start of the thread for the actual compliment to the Greens that it was, and also quite incapable of responding to any actual mild criticism of the Green Party leadership even while I was praising their Auckland MP, all you've done is show that it is actually Green Party supporters like yourself that hold them back from being the bold activists they should be.

                      Meanwhile, what I actually did:

                      1. asked you to share what you think courage would look like from the GP leaders
                      2. said I agree with you that CS is a very good MP
                      3. asked you to provide some analysis for your belief that the co-leaders could be like CS, ie the how.
                      4. pointed out that the leaders aren't as free as CS to speak out
                      5. provided a link the agreement which governs that.
                      6. said I think there is room to critique the GP leadership and that I wish they would speak out more.

                      You quite often slag off the Greens, I'm just pointing out a flaw in your politics. It's not personal, it's a feature of NZpol to say shit about the Greens but fail to explain how they could work differently in the system they are in. It's rare for people to explain how it could be.

                      I've written about the option for the Greens to stay out of a C/S agreement precisely so they can speak out, particularly on climate. Whether I'm right or wrong, I laid out some of the ways in which the Greens could be acting differently.

                      Is it time for the Greens to go their own way?

                      As Robert points to, much of what happens with the GP is based on relationship and the need to maintain those well. This applies to the agreement with Labour. I addressed that in the post too.

                      If Shaw were to take Swarbrick's approach on say climate eg invite the fight, he wouldn't be able to build the bridges across diverse politics and needs that he has. And it's hard to see how the relationship with Labour would remain strong.

                      The idea that he could have taken a warrior approach and forced NZ into a much stronger climate policy is just not real when we consider that it is Labour that has the more conservative policy, not the Greens. The Greens would have us far further ahead. Shaw works with what he has got, and makes change from within. It's not flashy, but there have been gains made.

                      I'm completely open to being wrong about the impact on the relationship, but someone would have to put up the actual argument.

                      My suggestion is that if people want a stronger GP, they should support them in practical terms and vote for them. The Greens on 20 MPs would indeed give them the power to speak out more.

        • Sacha 5.2.1.2

          Actually it would need her own party to show courage.

          You're saying that the Green party are preventing Labour working with Chloe? Supporting evidence welcome.

          • Ad 5.2.1.2.1

            I'm saying precisely that Chloe is a better MP than Davidson or Shaw.

            • Sacha 5.2.1.2.1.1

              Which does not answer my question – unless somehow you think the only people Labour can work with are party leaders.

              • Ad

                Labour picks up some or whole parts of Private Members bills regularly.

                Your question was simply a misguided understanding disguised as a rhetorical ploy, and you knew it.

  5. Patricia Bremner 6

    angryHas anyone else read Kiwi blog lately? The anti Jax, anti vax, anti masks, sick chat was far worse than previous iterations. The anti vax groundswell far right and every other anti are there. A sewer of seething hatred.

    • Ad 6.1

      Did you miss the entire set of political polls since the start of the year?

      Kiwiblog are preparing to win.

    • Nordy 6.2

      It's the equivalent of throwing their toys out of their collective cots because they can't get what they want. Childish and pathetic.

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