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Open mike 06/01/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 6th, 2011 - 31 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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

Step right up to the mike…

31 comments on “Open mike 06/01/2011 ”

  1. Sailor Sam 1

    Trevor Mallard has just realised that there are too many public servants, with nothing better to do than download unauthorised material from the internet, during working hours.

    Nice one Trev!

  2. Tigger 2

    Link? Source?

  3. From the Herald

    Finance Minister Bill English is under fire for backing a losing horse while keeping the relevant ministry and the Treasury in the dark and side-stepping normal Government processes.

    Documents obtained by the Herald show that after meeting Pacific leaders in Auckland, he decided to grant a little-known private company, the Pacific Economic Development Agency (Peda), $4.8 million for Pacific youth programmes.

    When his office informed the Treasury in March, officials asked the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs for information, but no one at the ministry knew of the initiative.

    When ministry officials told the Treasury they know nothing, a Treasury analyst responded: “We are even more in the dark on this one – there are no Cabinet papers or anything else … maybe worth asking your minister’s office.”

    A few days later, the ministry had evaluated Peda as untested, inexperienced and with a track record of not working well with others.

    What is that word starting with “C”?

    • pollywog 3.1

      …chump, clown, cocksnot ?

      about time Bill packed his shit up and fucked off back to Dipton methinks. If he still remembers how to ge there that is.

    • andy (the other one) 3.2

      Finance Minister Bill English is under fire for backing a losing horse

      Politics is about the horse race.

      Note to Mr Cheng, Blinglish actively flouted the proper tender process. He did not back a losing horse. There were no horses anywhere near the PEDA 6 page application for $4.8 million in funding. Your stupid analogy makes a mockery of good governance by describing the allocation of funds to a shady outfit vs other more credible organisations as a horse race.

      You have trivialised the issue, thanks for nothing Mr Cheng.

      • Lanthanide 3.2.1

        I think it refers to English’s repeated support for PEDA over the several months that followed, only for it to be finally put up to tender and PEDA didn’t get a penny. It’s an apt description in that perspective and I don’t see anything trivialising about it at all.

        If, instead, when the allegations/questions first came up, he said “oops, my bad, lets do this properly”, this whole affair could’ve been swept under the carpet without too much fuss.

        As usual in politics, it is the coverup that does more damage than the actual crime.

        • andy (the other one)

          More apt would be:

          “English throws weight behind PEDA application, why was due process not followed”

          The horse race analogy alludes to there being a fair race between contenders which there patently was not.

          Also it trivialises the issue because a large percentage of people only read the first paragraph, and Mr Cheng and the Herald editors are well aware of that.

          • Lanthanide

            I see your position, but don’t agree. I also think the opening paragraph outside the horse-race analogy is pretty damning and close to what you’re suggesting already anyway:

            “keeping the relevant ministry and the Treasury in the dark and side-stepping normal Government processes.”

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      Well, that is proof of corruption on Blinglish’s part so when is Jonkey going fire him?

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    World Commodity Food Prices at Record High

    Yes even higher than the bubble of 2008.


    catcha: sugar (WOW!)

    • Bill 4.1

      Nice that the Food and Agriculture economist is so in touch that he feels comfortable spinning lines such as that food riots came and went in 2008. They didn’t. They’ve been continuous but under reported.

      Or that high prices are contingent on current crop yields. They’re not. This year is a bumper year for wheat in global terms. And yet we see the same old line about Russia’s failed harvest bumping up prices.

      Nothing about speculators treating staple foods as commodities…funny that.

  5. Francisco Hernandez 5


    *facepalm* winner of most tasteless analogy ever

  6. fabregas4 6

    It’s my birthday today – wouldn’t mind some equity, fairness, money for education and health, a focus on employment, and a government that puts Kiwi’s first.

    • The Voice of Reason 6.1

      Would you settle for nil all against MCFC? All the best for the day, hope it’s a cracker where you are.

  7. Jilly Bee 7

    Interesting reply to Fran O’Sullivan’s excessive pandering to the USA free trade agreement by Gehan Gunasekara in the N Z Herald today http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10698003 – nice to see someone at long last challenging her theories, which make for dreary but predictable reading. I fear that things could get even worse for us if his predictions come anywhere near fruition.

    • Deadly_NZ 7.1

      What you mean the muckety mucks in the land of the Paranoid and Insane are a little Paranoid about what we think of them??

      Thats insane they must know most of the world hates them for some reason or other…

      The simple fact is that their whole political machine couldn’t lie strait in bed if their lives depended on it ..

  8. Janice 8

    I will probably get shot down in flames for this but here goes anyway. I have heard several people over the holidays asking the same questions so here goes. Yesterday I heard on the news that they were trying to find cracks into the Pike River mine and block them to attempt to reduce the available oxygen. Today I hear that the police want to drill more holes to monitor the heat in the mine. Who is in charge here? While I sympathise with the bereaved families I think it is time that someone said “enough”, sealed the mine and turned it into a memorial. The dead should be allowed to rest in peace where they lie. The GAG machine is costing $10,000/hour just for the fuel not to mention the costs of the support crew, hiring and maintenance of the machine, etc. I haven’t heard how much the other machine is costing but it won’t be peanuts. I understand this is all coming out of the (stretched) police budget at the moment. If they succeed in making the mine safe for recovery and restoration, will they be able to invoice the Pike River Mining Company (in receivership) for how much of the taxpayers’ money they have spent? Who will finally make the decision to pull the plug? The Minister of Police, the Commissioner, the mine managers, Gerry Brownlee, or the PM (he won’t because it might make him unpopular, unless the focus groups say yes).

    • Deadly_NZ 8.1

      No shoot down, you raise some very valid points the biggest one of all is that there is not an endless supply of money, sooner or later people will have to look at it and say thats it. And yes seal the mine as a memorial..

      As to who’s in charge? Surely as the highest ranking politician there it would fall to Brownlee not Key, as yes the popularity thing again, the poster child for country ruining wouldn’t want that.

    • Treetop 8.2

      Retrieving the remains of the very brave 29 who died at the Pike River mine became political when the Pike River Mine Company went into recievership. Every attempt needs to be made to get into the mine to also establish the required evidence to give as much certainty as can be given to the families that the men did not die in vain.

      Any hope that the government had on mineral exploration in NZ is dependent in part on the safety of mining. I think that this government saw a future in mineral exploration to be the saviour of growing debt and this may be why so much money has been borrowed.

      Much will certainly be learnt by the Pike River mine disaster, in particular how a company is allowed to put profits before people and go into recievership to save their arse. At least BP are being accountable and have the funds to reduce the harm which their negligence caused due to the oil well disaster in the US last year.

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Playing With Economic Dyanamite

    No one at the top wants to admit it, but big business has quietly been imposing a structural transformation on our economy, shifting from a workforce of permanent employees to one in which most jobs are temporary, scarce, low-paid, without benefits and with no upward mobility.

    Which is exactly what this government, and the three governments before hand to a lesser degree, have been doing to the economy – shifting it offshore and reducing rights/security. It also mirrors what I’ve been saying – the rich and their party (NACT) have been shifting the economy in such a way so as to make most people dependent upon them in such a way so that they cannot get out (reduced upward mobility).

  10. Draco T Bastard 10

    Fiscal Shock

    I see that the Washington Post editorial board is shocked, shocked to discover that the incoming Republicans aren’t serious about deficit reduction. Who could have suspected?

    I was going to be snarky all the way here, but actually let’s be serious: the gullibility of much of the media establishment on all this amounts to journalistic malpractice..

    Republicans have, after all, been the party of fiscal irresponsibility since 1980; the GW Bush administration confirmed, if anyone was in doubt, that unfunded tax cuts are now in the party’s DNA.

    Sounds like a good description of our government and MSM. Massive unaffordable deficits caused by cutting taxes on the rich are part of NACTs DNA and our journalists are too craven to take them to task about it.

    • Deadly_NZ 10.1

      Unfunded Tax Cuts??? Now why does that sound familiar??????

      • Lanthanide 10.1.1

        It shouldn’t sound familiar at all. The ‘tax switch’ we had was completely revenue neutral (once you take into account the extra $1B in ‘wider economic factors’).

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    US oil spill: Cost-cutting decisions led to BP disaster

    A series of decisions made to cut costs and save time contributed to last year’s BP oil spill disaster, a US presidential panel has found.

    Privatisation and deregulation – isn’t it great?

  12. just saying 12


    Chris Trotter’s latest offers timely warnings about the very real possibility that National might win an outright majority this year, and about Labour’s continued denial about it.

    But, this sort of denial only makes things worse. If there’s one thing in this world upon which it is still safe to rely – it’s mathematics. If three or four independent polling agencies, each one conducting its survey at different times and using its own idiosyncratic selection and weighting formulae have, for two years straight, produced results within a very few percentage points their rivals – then those results should be heeded.

    Rather than insisting there’s something wrong with the polling agencies’ little black boxes, Labour should be devoting its energies to understanding the data. Phil Goff needs to understand why John Key’s government is so popular. Only then can the Labour Party begin making it unpopular….

    Deductive reasoning has its place, but it is not always true that simply because something has never happened in the past (or, at least, for a very long time) it cannot, therefore, happen in the future. Just ask Barack Obama.

    If a set of conditions have come into existence between 2006 and 2011 – conditions that were not present when past general elections were conducted – then it is entirely reasonable to argue that this year’s general election will produce an outcome none of us have ever seen before…

    • Lanthanide 12.1

      1. If the polls during election year continue in the same vein as the past 2 years, I’d be quite surprised, and he’d also have a reasonable point to argue.

      2. For a while Clark’s popularity was up as high as Key’s is now and National only got 22% in 2002, but that still wasn’t enough to give Labour an outright majority. In these economic times, I really doubt the chances for a government that hasn’t produced clear positive results from their efforts.

      • Pascal's bookie 12.1.1

        The other thing comradski fails to include in his piece is the ‘undecided’ part of the polls. National aren’t getting 50+ of the electorate, they are getting 50+ of the ‘decideds’.

        It would be interesting to know if the pollsters rework the reported Margins of Error to account for when they effectively drop the undecideds from the sample, or if they just stick with the initial, and usually reported, sample size…

  13. Drakula 13

    It’s getting late but I am a subscriber of Watchdog that is http://www.converge.org.nz/watchdog and there are some interesting articles in which I hope the Standard may pick up on.

    One is notably shocking ‘Fishy Goings On’ by Chas Muir this is really grubby and corrupt business.

    It is only one page and it is an appeal to sign the petition to get the govt to put some sort of constraint on monopolies like Sealord.

    I am going to get a copy of that page highlite words like ‘ Sealord terminated 700 jobs – – – – – -and replaced them with foreign labour!’ [at poverty rates] and put it on the supermarket shelf in the fish section.

    I hope other folks can do the same I am so ANGRY!!!!!!

    Sue Bradford has also got a good article ‘ALERT On Welfare Reforms’ that gives a brief historical perspective as well as what is going on in other countries like Australia, US, Canada and Europe.

    She has put together an alternative working to counter the phoney one that is already making recomendations to the government.

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