Open Mike 06/01/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 6th, 2017 - 165 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 …

165 comments on “Open Mike 06/01/2017”

  1. Macro 1

    Rolf Harris only musician to agree to play at Trump inauguration
    It is believed that the star will be performing a set packed with favourites, including Two Little Boys, Tie me Kangaroo Down Sport, and I’m Jake the Peg (Grab them by the Pussy).

  2. Morrissey 2

    NewstalkZB’s dismal Mike “Contra” Hosking, punked on air

    Actually, it’s his English equivalent…

  3. HDCAFriendlyTroll 3

    Donald Trump, greatest American president since Reagan, tells Toyota to build plant in US or pay!

    • Morrissey 3.1

      Now, if only he’d pay the workers in his crummy casinos a decent wage.

      • Colonial Viper 3.1.1

        Don’t bother trying to please the left wing, it’s not worth it.

        By the way, Mexico is complaining that Trump policies have now cost them 3600 well paid manufacturing jobs which were going to move out of the USA to Mexico.

  4. Morrissey 4

    James Clapper is arguably the most notorious liar in the world;
    So why is RNZ National treating him as a serious and credible source?

    Summer Report, RNZ National, Friday 6 January 2017, 8:25 a.m.

    I’m sure I was not the only person to listen with interest when perky Summer Report host Anusha Bradley read out from her script that a “leading security analyst” is “more certain than ever” that Russian hackers were working for Donald Trump. It was not until at least thirty seconds into her spiel that Bradley revealed who this “leading security analyst” was: James Clapper, the utterly discredited Director of National Intelligence.

    In case you’ve forgotten, James Clapper is the man who lied under oath to Congress, and denied that the NSA was illegally collecting data on American citizens. It was seeing Clapper lying to Congress that prompted Edward Snowden to blow the whistle on the whole of the massive, illegal, unconstitutional NSA spying regime. “Sort of the breaking point was seeing the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, directly lie under oath to Congress. … Seeing that really meant for me there was no going back.” [1]

    None of this seemed to matter to Anusha Bradley, or to “our U.S. correspondent Kevin McAleese”, who chuntered on for a minute or so, recycling Clapper’s anti-Russian rhetoric as if he were a credible source. We are accustomed to RNZ National presenters being naïve (Jesse Mulligan, Bryan Crump), ill-informed (Jesse Mulligan), even nasty (Jim Mora, Noelle McCarthy). But this morning’s performance by Anusha Bradley and her “U.S. correspondent” was as bad, as foolish, and as flagrantly dishonest as anything I have ever heard on any radio station, anywhere.


  5. Sanctuary 5

    This “Indivisible” guide is very much written for an American audience, but a bit of word substitution and tweaking and it is a fantastic slacktivist/occasional activist/activisit guide for NZ as well. I love the inclusion, for example, of suggested call dialogues. The left here needs to publish them so people who might not go on a protest know who to call, and how to manage the conversation!

    Apparently it is going down a treat amongst Democrats in the USA, who are finally waking up to the fact that they now have oppositional, parliamentary style politics and they’ve allowed the equivalent of the right wing of the ACT party win power in state after state for the GOP.

    But all the poaching of Tea Party organising model will only work if the primary agency for the left is left wing and progressive in the first place, which brings us to the tactic which the representative wing of a political party fears the most: The purge. Nothing gets the attention of a fat cat political careerist like seeing their colleagues getting dumped one by one… Thinking specifically of New Zealand, Up to now, everyone has played nice in New Zealand on this – or rather, they’ve been bullied, browbeaten and purged by MPs whose vigilance in stamping out dissent in the local party sheeple is why Labour is now a hollow shell of a political party – an elite cadre party of like minded careerist technocrats is far, far easier to control than one full of opinionated people who refuse to be bullied. In terms of the purge, in nowadays seems you need an external but affiliated organisation (Momentum or the Tea Party, may God forgive my soul for mentioning them together in the same sentence) to smash the layers of institutional defenses establishment political parties have built to protect their careerist and managerialist cadres.

    Some MPs are already reasonably leftist, or pragmatic enough, to be dragged to the left. But many are simply to committed to neo-liberal ideology and/or beneficiaries from their close ties to the neo-liberal establishment to be saved. For them, forced retirement or de-selection challenges should beckon. A time traveller from the 1935 Labour party would be confused to discover the current labour party has no plan to radically reform Labour relations, fully fund “free” education, openly and fulsomely oppose free trade agreements that damage local wages and conditions or support proper progressive taxation of the rich – and will only reluctantly and listlessly pick elements of those things when threatened with open revolt.

    The left’s chosen vehicle must grow an ideological backbone if it wants to be able to co-opt the organising tools of their opposition. Any who refuse to do so should be kicked into touch.

    • JanM 5.1

      For the benefit of the more simple-minded among us, would someone please write a comprehensive list of Labour mps and where they stand on this spectrum. If you are living outside the beltway the information available is patchy to say the least and sources unreliable. We rely on a msm which, as we are clearly aware, is no better than it ought to be and if you read the likes of Chris Trotter you could be forgiven for tearing your hair out and running screaming into the bushes with the total confusion of it !
      I personally am only beginning to sneak back to Labour after leaving them as a result of the foreshore and seabed fiasco.

      • Rosemary McDonald 5.1.1

        + lots 🙂

        What would be great, assuming that Labour wishes to be seen as philosophically and ideologically in opposition to National, is to have Labour candidates come on here and answer questions from those of us who are quite desperate for change but have lost trust in all of those who aspire to lead.

        • Morrissey

          In the 2014 campaign, Labour candidates were all instructed to describe Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics as “a distraction.”

          That is how serious and well organized Labour is.

          • saveNZ

            @Morrissey – hopefully Labour learnt from that, the strategy’s effectiveness or lack of, showed in their election results.

            Helping your opponent in their denial is not a winning strategy.

            If Labour didn’t know what to do, they should stay out of it and deflect it back to the real protagonists Natz vs Hager. By minimising it and calling it a ‘distraction’ helped the Natz and angered the Labour supporters who are sick of the establishment denials on these issues.

          • weka

            “That is how serious and well organized Labour is.”

            “That is how serious and well organized Labour was.”

            FIFY. Different leader, Goff and Shearer gone etc. Times are a changing, best we support that change in the right direction.

            • Colonial Viper

              What waypoints tell you that Labour has undergone a “change in the right direction”?

              In my view, nothing has changed in the perpetuation of the same careerist ‘hanging on for dear life because I can’t get $150K pa in any other job’ Labour attitude and culture from those days.

              Have you heard anything from Labour about the UBI lately? How about anything around a commitment to keep national super? Or any remarks that basic benefits need to be increased?

              • weka

                You appear to want National to have a fourth term, so there really is no point in discussing this with you CV. Plus the whole poisoning not just the well, but the ground around it thing, ffs.

                • Colonial Viper

                  So Labour hasn’t said anything about NZ Super, benefit levels or a UBI lately then, eh? Interesting. They still have 6-7 months before the election so I guess they better start.

                  I’ve already said elsewhere that it’s 2:1 for a National win next (whoops THIS) year, which will increase further for National if they play the shell game that I am expecting.

                  At this stage I am picking the extreme upper limit party vote for LAB+GR at 43% to 44%.

                  • weka

                    Like I said, no point in talking with you while you’ve got your shit-tinted glasses on. You can frame it as a prediction, but everything I have seen from you in the past year suggests that you also want Labour to lose. Your political actions support this. You are abusing your power and I’m not playing that game any more.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Well said Weka.

                      RT’s megaphone is toxic.

                    • garibaldi

                      “Shit tinted glasses” are probably preferable to having your head buried in the sand. CV is right – we still need Labour to get a voice and say something instead of just barking at passing cars. We need a confident and worthy opposition….. the clock is ticking.

                    • weka

                      Yeah but that wasn’t what I was referring to about CV at all. I’m happy to clarify if it’s not clear, but I really think you are misleading about what I was saying and doing.

                      Are you saying that I have my head buried in the sand? Care to provide some evidence of that?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Weka you seem happy to accuse me of all kinds of nonsense (eg without evidence but people better not accuse you of anything without evidence, because different standard.

                  • Joy FL

                    Thanks for taking off the red tinted glasses and for putting putting on corrective, prescription (not prediction) glasses, Colonial Viper. Real Labour supporters must want to face reality and make themselves see clearly in order to hold caucus members, particularly the careerists and old driftwood, to account.

                    • weka

                      Unlike CV, I’ve never voted Labour, and only voted to the left of Labour. I’m not a Labour supporter, and neither are many in this thread.

                      The inability to engage with ideas in real terms is pretty tedious and a big part of the problem here. Of course Labour need to be held accountable. That’s nothing to do with what I was saying about CV though.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m quite happy to engage with ideas “in real terms”. Eg. I commented on your post the other day about how consumerism was a battle of the 1970s which had long since been lost and the left had no new ideas about it since then.

                      But you didn’t want to engage with that idea in real terms and shifted my comment off your post.

                  • mickysavage

                    CV you know how the party works. Policies are released incrementally and the party policy platform contains the general principles. Can you decist from misrepresenting the position all the time. People will suspect you are getting your lines from Hooton.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      From a non-partisan point of view.

                      A few months is insufficient to communicate and gain understanding from the electorate on any significant or complex policy.

                      It is barely enough time to ensure that voters are fully familiar with the headline policy items.

                      This has been proven over and over again.

                      You may argue that this is simply the way that the party “works.” That may be so, but it certainly doesn’t work for the public.

            • saveNZ

              +1 Weka – Times are a changing, best we support that change in the right direction.

              • garibaldi

                I was referring to the Party’s performance of late. Sorry weka, I was in no way referring to you re head in the sand. Perhaps I should have used “one”.

                • weka

                  Thanks for clarifying garibaldi. There’s hardly anyone here who is happy with Labour’s performance. That’s a different thing than wanting them to lose. So I will in fact take a Labour voter with their head in the sand over the ethically bankrupt politics that CV now pushes with his shit-stained glasses on. And to be clear, I’m not talking in any way at all about not criticising Labour.

                  Fortunately those aren’t the only choices and there is more to be gained from working constructively (including critiques) than poisoning the well.

                  As for Labour, I’ve long held the view that they are who they are and it’s better strategy to support them in small incremental shifts so that we get enough reprieve that the real change can be done elsewhere. If Labour fails now, that gives National another term, and that IMO is catastrophic for NZ.

                  I’ve put this challenge out to CV in the past, and he’s never responded meaningfully, but even if one were to think that a 4th National term might galvanise a true shift in NZ politics for something else good to arise, I’ve yet to see any evidence presented for how that might happen. Much more likely that we would have photo-fascism entrenched even further in NZ as well as more of our ability to effect change stripped from us.

                  Yes, many of us want a truly left wing party in NZ. We don’t have one. It’s not possible for Labour to be what we want them to be (if you disagree please explain how that could happen).

                  Time to get on with the work of making what we can with that.

                  • garibaldi

                    I’ll tell you what I don’t like about Labour. They claim they are a broad church but from the evidence I have seen in the past few years, they lean to the centre right (eg Stuart Nash) and reject the left (eg Hone Harawira). The image of Chris Hipkins visciously attacking David C during the great non-event coup is also etched in my brain.

                    • Clump_AKA Sam

                      When youer trying to take votes off National, of course you end up on the right.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Labour isn’t a “broad church” – it can’t even get one in four NZers to vote for it.

                    • weka

                      “I’ll tell you what I don’t like about Labour. They claim they are a broad church but from the evidence I have seen in the past few years, they lean to the centre right (eg Stuart Nash) and reject the left (eg Hone Harawira). The image of Chris Hipkins visciously attacking David C during the great non-event coup is also etched in my brain.”

                      sure, and there’s plenty of things I don’t like about them too. Nevertheless, they are the only way we are going to have a centre-left govt by the end of the year, so what’s the strategy now?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I’ve put this challenge out to CV in the past, and he’s never responded meaningfully, but even if one were to think that a 4th National term might galvanise a true shift in NZ politics for something else good to arise, I’ve yet to see any evidence presented for how that might happen.

                    Why would there be “any evidence” today for something which might hypothetically happen some time years in the future?

                    What was the evidence 12 months ago that Trump would be President of the USA today?

                    Did that lack of evidence back then preclude Trump becoming President?

                    I didn’t have any evidence when I picked a clear and significant Trump victory; I just read the political tea leaves.

                  • mauī

                    Well said weka. If we want to see a Government that isn’t a National one this year then we need to see Labour maximise its vote. Some lefties might not be a fan of Labour, but Labour are still going to make up at least 50% of a leftist block in Government. If you’re a Green or NZF voter you need them to do well, your chances rely on their success.

                    The last few weeks of the year I felt were good ones for Andrew Little. He looked more confident and fired up infront of camera and that’s good for everyone. I’m fine with them not chasing the UBI or anything else that might scare the horses for now… Just keep getting the hits in on our woeful housing situation and that’s half the job done.

                    • weka

                      Thanks, I don’t see a lot of MSM, so often don’t have a good sense of what Little is doing unless I go look.

                      (I would add that if people want a centre left govt then they shouldn’t vote NZF. Peters might choose National, or he might choose Labour in which case he will hold Labour to the right. Either way it’s not going to shift us left and it could be downright disastrous).

                  • JanM

                    ” If Labour fails now, that gives National another term, and that IMO is catastrophic for NZ.”
                    Yes I totally agree which is why I made the initial request

                    • weka

                      What did you think about the idea of crowdsourcing the list/post?

                      edit, sorry, just seen your reply below.

          • Xanthe

            In the 2014 campaign, Labour candidates were all instructed to describe Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics as “a distraction.”

            DUH ! And they still cant figure out why they lost! Thats just about the most counterproductive thing they coukd have done, short of dumping on dotcom

      • Sanctuary 5.1.2

        The guide is great because what is says is if you don’t like a GOVERNMENT policy, you don’t go and occupy a National party MPs office. You go and occupy the office of a LABOUR MP who won’t come out and oppose it when you ask him or her. So you don’t need to know a “spectrum” – you just ask your local MP for an unequivocal position on an issue, and if they won’t give you one you go and sit in their office or get you and 1000 people to keep ringing them until they turn up and explain why. The pressure is on YOUR SIDE to grow some balls, and take the fight to the right.

      • Anne 5.1.3

        On this site most of the commenters, who choose to shred Labour’s MPs on a regular basis for being so-called neo-liberals, are not even members of the party and I suspect have never been members. However, they seem to be of the view they know more about Labour’s MPs than those of us who are members and have been for many years.

        I drifted away from Labour around 1983/4 because I was sick of the [then] in-fighting. I didn’t understand the nuts and bolts of it at the time, but in retrospect can appreciate it was the Douglas clan (not always Douglas himself but his hangers-on in the Party) who were behind most of the problems. I rejoined 15 years ago after Helen Clark came to power.

        Since the departure of the Douglas crew and their member acolytes in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Labour has been slowly returning to its roots (albeit in a modernised version) and that can be evidenced in the types of policies I know they are planning to put forward this election year. For some people it has been too slow, but to reinvent a political party is not an easy task and it takes time to get everyone back on board again. In this respect, Andrew Little is doing a magnificent job and I am no longer as pessimistic as I was about Labour’s election chances… as I was a year or two ago.

        I know there are one or two ‘light to moderate’ neo-liberals still in caucus but they are bowing out at the end of this term. Others – like for example Annette King – have well and truly re-embraced their former Labour values. Indeed I’m sure they never lost them… just put them in a cupboard for safe keeping until the time was right to bring them out again.

        Perhaps those of us on the inside can appreciate the extent of the advances that have been made in recent years, but others have yet to catch up. I know CV will disagree but he appears to have had some major run-ins with the Party (I don’t know the details, just what he has revealed here) which are negatively impacting on his judgement. I’m hoping one day he will feel able to re-connect.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          “On this site most of the commenters, who choose to shred Labour’s MPs on a regular basis for being so-called neo-liberals, are not even members of the party and I suspect have never been members.”

          Guilty as charged, but in my defense I have tried to find enough in Labour and/or the Greens policy to give me reason to sign up.

          Both have to do better.

          (Oh, and I should maybe re email Annette King about a particular issue (that is within the scope of her responsibilities) and see if her re connection with true Labour roots has progressed far enough for her to challenge the Nats over their lies and deception.)

          But maybe not. I did make an approach to Ruth Dyson about the same issue in person, in her office, and oh my goodness gracious me….

          We left her office stunned, and shaking our heads that she would say what she did…and realised that as far as our particular issue…Labour was a predominant player in fucking things up.

          And if they’ll do that for people with disabilities….

          • Anne

            Ruth Dyson is one of those bowing out – I think.

            Fair enough comments Rosemary McDonald. Certainly Labour needs to to do better when it comes to policy presentation. They need to be short, sharp and easy to understand for the majority of voters. The long versions can be set aside for us political tragics who like to wallow in the complexities of policy or who have a vested interest (like yourself) in specific policy planks. 🙂

            • Anne

              Btw, I wasn’t impressed with Ruth Dyson as a minister in the Clark government. I didn’t know much about her but some of her media responses left a lot to be desired. She was rarely definitive and liked to talk about “looking at options” but never said what those options were. Someone else who is very good like that is Nick Smith.

            • Rosemary McDonald

              “…political tragics..”

              🙂 lol, in fact!

              The wallowing thing…yes, I am focused on non -ACC disability issues and especially the family carer issue. This particular subject I know inside out…including the history under Labour.

              Labour could have sorted this. Should have sorted this. Didn’t…but worse…allowed for a system where those who were willing to take a punt at being caught out could circumvent the non- payment of family carers policy.

              Ruth Dyson knew this was happening when we spoke with her in early 2013…”It was only a policy not the law”. When this government made the policy that had been determined to be discriminatory actual law…well…I wonder to this day if Ruth Dyson knew that this was going to happen…and the outrage from Labour in the House that day in May 2013 was just pantomime.

              Almost as if this suspicion of mine had been broadcast…a commentor on another site told of how exactly that solution (of making the Policy law) was being touted by the Ministry of Health and Crown Law back before the Family Carers case went to the Human Rights Tribunal in 2008…under Labour.

              You know, from my point of view…policies and manifestos and candidate bios are all very nice and good…but being honest, truthful, showing a very high level of integrity, is even better.

              I know Labour failed this test over the family carers case….in how many other areas of government responsibility did they also neglect to be honest and transparent?

        • Colonial Viper

          Labour is history in terms of political, popular and ideological relevance. They are no longer needed, but are instead taking up space on the political spectrum which could be better used.

          • garibaldi

            That’s a bold statement CV. If Anne is correct then maybe, just maybe, Labour might reconnect with people.
            The clock is ticking.

            • Colonial Viper

              Nope – if the Little/King leadership team had the ability to “reconnect with people” they wouldn’t have left it until 7 months before the election to demonstrate it.

          • Xanthe

            Yes CV i agree Labour is finished as a political force , those who continue to support them guarentee national party victory

            • Colonial Viper

              Last year I kept hearing: the affable John Key is the only real asset this National Government has which is keeping them afloat. Without his popularity, National would be gone!

              Now that John Key is history and the monotonous expressionless English is in charge, this election should be a walkover for Labour. Shouldn’t it?

              Unless of course, you and me are correct in our analysis (which we are).

            • weka

              “Yes CV i agree Labour is finished as a political force , those who continue to support them guarentee national party victory”

              I’m genuinely curious as to how you see that working. If Labour are finished and we shouldn’t vote for them or support them in any way, then what else can happen apart from National getting a 4th term? Can you please explain your thinking? e.g. do you think a new left wing party will arise this year and win the election? Or do you think that the Greens will get enough votes to win the election and govern on their own?

      • Pete 5.1.4

        ” … write a comprehensive list of Labour mps and where they stand on…”

        I smiled at that bit, picturing a serious interview with John Key, him answering the question about what his MPs believe. “I believe they believe what I tell them to believe. And believe me they do if they want to believe they have any future chances.”

      • weka 5.1.5

        “For the benefit of the more simple-minded among us, would someone please write a comprehensive list of Labour mps and where they stand on this spectrum.”

        I’d be happy to collate and put up a post on that if people here want to make the list. It would need to be evidence based, and we could do it in the sense of a lay-persons guide to the Labour Party. For those of us that don’t know Labour well, there is plenty in the public domain, both words/actions from MPs themselves, as well as analysis in the media (blogosphere, social and mainstream). We could pick say five MPs to focus on at a time and go out and do the research, bring it back to comments, get feedback and then it can go into a post.

        I think having an outline of how Labour works internally, including the selection process, would be important too.

        • JanM

          That sounds like a great idea – thank you Weka. Like you, I fail to see what the alternative is if Labour can’t make it as the dominant, or at least equal party in power. I’m reading all this hand wringing, but as you suggest, too much of that and we’ll wind up with a 4th term for the Natz

      • Jenny Kirk 5.1.6

        JanM, Rosemary McD et al – Chris Trotter is not a friend of Labour – he’s harbouring some sort of snitch from way back which keeps him blindfolded as to what Labour is actually doing.

        When you ask where Labour MPs stand on “this spectrum” – what do you mean? A simple left – right answer, or a bit more detail …… and for that maybe you could look at Labour’s policy platform – formulated after the last election debacle among much debate and argument between Party members and remnants of the neo-lib rightwing bloc . It can be found here

        This is what Labour policy for the 2017 election will be based on.

    • DH 5.2

      I’m not so sure it’s an ideological problem, seems more to be lack of talent.

      Take the frequent talk about ‘moving more to the centre’ as an example. The general argument is that Labour needs more votes from the centre ergo they need to move politically and ideologically further to the right to capture those votes.

      The corollary to that argument is moving to the right will lose votes from the left, the consequent strategy being to pass those votes to the Greens and get them back through a Labour/Green coalition..

      That argument is predicated on the rationale that you can’t please both at the same time; you either go for the centre or you go for the left. It seems more a pragmatic approach than an ideological one.

      My thinking is meh, this is New Zealand where a good 75% of the population would be considered ‘left’ in pretty much any other country. Just how hard is to to create a policy platform that would satisfy both the left and enough of the middle to capture 50% of the votes? … to my mind it should be a doddle for anyone with a bit of talent.

      • Pat 5.2.1

        “I’m not so sure it’s an ideological problem, seems more to be lack of talent.”

        Inclined to agree….compounded by special/personal interests.The Future of Work Commission is a glaring example…2 years work to produce what? if labour (or anyone else for that matter) could produce a comprehensive and clear policy prescription for a transitioning society they would be home and hosed (IMO)

        Monbiot has made the same point about the left in general worldwide……its called leadership.

        • Colonial Viper

          The Future of Work Commission is a glaring example…2 years work to produce what?

          A team of MBA students working on a one semester assignment would have done better work on the topic than that caucus. It was laughable.

          A noticeable portion of the stuff that Labour put out was googled, cut and pasted.

          • Clump_AKA Sam

            The future of work commision simply highlights how automation would exacerbate challenges around inequality & low productivity that New Zealand already faces. Its anti bureaucratic in nature, but not by nature?

            Neoliberalism conditions you to believe that value is in paper work. It’s starts on the level of a guy checking to see if you use the rooms in your house properly. Moving up the neoliberal pyramid you have police who spend most of there time filling out paper work but the message is the same, value is in paper work. Then you’ve got managers who’s function seems to revolve around if some one gets payed to much. Derivatives traders which is a really fancy form of paper is at the top of the neoliberal pyramid because they earn the most.

            To reevaluate what it means to work means finding away to destroy this mountain of paper work we’ve created that adds no value to the real economy.

            • Colonial Viper

              That’s seditious talk, watch I don’t audit you to ISO requirements

              • Clump_AKA Sam

                I suspect that hasn’t happened because bots aren’t a good excuse for saying I never received that advice.

        • DH

          Yeah. I’ve tried to avoid even commenting on that Future of Work because every time I see it mentioned I get the recurring image of Nero and his fiddle.

          I don’t wish to belittle their work but I can’t see the point of it, they’re not in power they just look to be indulging themselves there.

      • Jenny Kirk 5.2.2

        “Take the frequent talk about ‘moving more to the centre’……” That is media opinion, DH – and is not what Labour is actually talking about.

        As Andrew Little has said a couple of times – in his connections with NZers as he goes around the country – everyone he meets considers themselves “middle NZ” (except for the 1%) – so he’s talking to people who are having difficulty getting a home, who have been made redundant, farmers, business people, others who are in work, people who have been ill, etc etc – all of them considering themselves “middle NZ”

        • DH

          I think it is what they’re talking about Jenny, why else would they want a MoU with the Greens.

          • Colonial Viper

            Labour is a true left wing party! Promise! Labour will show their true left wing values after we give them power! Why do people not believe this!!! Wreckers and haters!!!!!

          • weka

            I would have thought it’s because they understand they can’t govern alone and have seen how trying to act as a FPP party in an MMP environment has failed them.

  6. Morrissey 6

    ….if you read the likes of Chris Trotter….

    There’s your problem, right there.

    • JanM 6.1

      Well, that all went well then!!! 🙁

      • Anne 6.1.1

        Well, I tried to give a bit of background for you JanM but perhaps you already knew it. You’ve got to say Labour is a far better party now than it was seven years ago. Cohesive with good policy coming up and believe me… some outstanding candidates on offer this election starting with the highly talented Michael Wood. Compare them to the types on offer from the National Party and they outflank them in every respect.

        • garibaldi

          Anne , do you know how much “deadwood” Labour is going to shed? Seems to me they need to fair bit of it, just like National has done already. Too many right wingers still in the Labour caucus.

          • Anne

            Bearing in mind Labour’s numbers were decimated in 2011 and 2014 so there aren’t as many to be culled as in the National Party:

            Clayton Cosgrove, Ruth Dyson, Damien O’Conner (not sure about him but think so) Su’a William Sio and I think one of the Maori electorate MPs might be going . David Shearer has already gone. I’m picking there might be one or two others who have yet to declare they’e going. All in all it looks like at least 8 MPs will be gone by the next election. That opens up a good chance some very bright and talented younger aspirants will enter the caucus. To name two of them Deborah Russell and Claire Szabo. There are others.

        • Pat

          “You’ve got to say Labour is a far better party now than it was seven years ago.”

          Yes they are ….but still frustratingly undetermined.

        • JanM

          Thanks Anne – it all helps

  7. Macro 7

    ISIS Pledge to Kill Thousands of Americans by opening Gun Stores across the Mid – West
    It is intended the new retail chain will be called ‘All-American Patriot’, and will have an extensive section devoted to easily concealed high calibre weapons with extended magazines.

    Oh Wait! The NRA are already doing this!

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      Over 20M new firearms were sold last year in the USA. A new record. Under Barack Hussein Obama.

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    Lionel explains how to maximally prosecute the case of 4 black youth in Chicago who kidnapped, tied up, abused, tortured a mentally handicapped white Trump supporter

    While yelling invective like “fuck Trump” and “fuck white people.” The alleged perpetrators live streamed their activities. The video is still available on the internet.

    He discusses if this is a “hate crime.” Also what if the alleged perpetrators have priors, and what would need to be done to maximise their sentencing.

    Also imagine the inverse situation: 4 white youth who kidnapped, tied up, abused, tortured a mentally handicapped black Obama supporter.

    While yelling invective like “fuck Obama” and “fuck black people.

    And live streaming it.

    • Bill 8.1

      Very fucked up (and I strongly suspect) drug induced bullshit.

      A ‘hate crime’? I have doubts.
      Politically motivated? No.

      Kick their collective arses from here to now, but as for pretending this sort of evil nonsense is hugely unusual and then blowing it upout of context to be something it’s not in order to score some point or other? Nah.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Very fucked up (and I strongly suspect) drug induced bullshit.

        If it were four young white men who had done exactly the same to a young black intellectually disabled Obama supporter while shouting “fuck blacks” and “fuck Obama” there would be much clearer hate and political motivations, no?

        I would even expect President Obama to address the incident in front of the White House press corp. If it had been carried out by white men.

        Anyhow, Cook County prosecutors have now filed charges of aggravated kidnap, hate crime, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

        • Bill

          All things being equal, I think I’d view it the same and still ‘call out’ any media seeking to surround it with a convenient context.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2

      That’s awful, and you’re a shithead propagandist trying to score points off it.

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.1

        How can it be propaganda if all the events relayed are factually true? Trump supporters are being targeted and attacked: both physically and verbally.

        • One Anonymous Bloke


          I’m not interested how you justify it to yourself, shithead.

        • TheExtremist

          But when people report things trump actually said and did, factually true things, it’s all just a smear.

          CV – you are the most intellectually dishonest person I have heard in recent memory.

          • weka

            +1. It’s about the propaganda now. Post-truth. It’s easy to see why he likes Trump so much.

          • Andre

            I’m not sure it’s intellectually dishonest if he actually thinks that way. But he is certainly the nastiest sack of shit I’ve had the misfortune to interact with in the recent past.

            All hating and wrecking, trying to be a saboteur. Not a single useful considered criticism, not even a valid challenge to viewpoints we get from the likes of BM, Puckish, et al. Just nasty slogans hating on Labour, Greens, Democrats. All the while spreading hate propaganda and fake news all over the site, while trying to get opinion and facts he doesn’t like labelled fake news and trying to trash the idea that there really are objective facts.

        • Bill

          That bullshit could just have easily revolved around some football team or a religious belief. The rhetoric just served as a vehicle for the abuse and isn’t in and of itself very important.

          Your other point about Trump supporters being physically attacked, if true, hasn’t got sweet fuck all to do with this wee group of shit heads being shit.

      • weka 8.2.2

        the new face of white supremacy.

        • Bill


          • weka

            So no, I won’t be writing angry tweets about what these folk did in Chicago. They are already in jail. They will be punished, I am sure, to the fullest extent of the law, but I’ve written about case after case after case of drug offenses and incidents of sexual assault and even murders committed by white folk where the system gave them a helping hand. The Stanford swimmer, Brock Turner, who was caught in the act of raping a woman, but spent a summer in jail for it instead of the 10 to 20 years he deserved, comes to mind.

            Black folk and white folk both use and sell drugs at almost identical rates, with the rates for whites actually being slightly higher in both categories, but African-Americans are sent to prison at four to 10 times the rates of whites for various drug offenses.

            Black folk are held super-responsible for every mistake and criminal offense made. We rarely have to march for justice in our communities. American prisons are full of black folk who are being held responsible for every mistake they’ve ever made.

            Now I actually see thousands of other whites saying I caused this assault. Of course I reject that foolishness altogether. What’s most disturbing is that I hardly see many whites who are particularly angry about the crime speaking sympathetically about the victim. They are mainly using it to advance their racist agenda and demonize random black folk who had nothing to do with such a thing. Furthermore, I have routinely seen tens of thousands of African-Americans standing up and fighting and protesting for white victims of police brutality and toxic masculinity. The Alt-Right Movement does not care about violence in this country. Thousands of whites murder people every year, but you’d be hard pressed to find a protest or march headed by their movement on white on white crime.

            As I type, the top trending topic in the country is now #BLMKidnapping. BLM stands for Black Lives Matter. The people in the video never even suggested such a thing. The Black Lives Matter Movement has never advocated such a thing. I have never advocated such a thing.

            Shaun King, Civil Rights and BLM activist.


            whole thing is worth a read.

        • Psycho Milt

          You’re pointing to this “White people are the new victims of racism” stuff that’s behind CV’s post?

          • weka

            Pretty much. Not that that is itself new, but there is something additional going on now where people feel emboldened in promoting ideas that are at the least aligned with white supremacist views e.g. that all racism is equal, that racism is simply how one person treats another, that structural racism isn’t a real thing. I see this happening more in the US, but CV’s comment seemed a fairly classic example of it and I’m guessing we will see more of it in NZ. I noted the other day that Bradbury’s recent post where he is complaining about not being allowed to speak because he is a white man is another example. Different, but maybe part of the same shift happening in the culture. Traditionally we would expect both CV and Bradbury’s comments to come from the right or conservatives or small parts of the left, but now we have these voices becoming larger within left wing spaces.

            • Carolyn_nth

              Bradbury’s recent post where he is complaining about not being allowed to speak because he is a white man

              Curiously, Bradbury has said a lot about the Sir Mad B story in the last few days – a flurry of posts, while saying the MSM have more important stories/issues they should be focusing on.

      • Muttonbird 8.2.3

        CV’s is Slater level posting. The steady decline continues.

        • Clump_AKA Sam

          You’ll thank us latter when every ones making money

          • garibaldi

            …….. and totally destroying the environment in the rush to “get ahead”.

            • Clump_AKA Sam

              Arthur Edington once said If your theory clashes with the second law of thermal dynamics I can give you no hope, there is nothing for it but to collapse in the deepest humiliation.

              Even environmentalists haven’t discovered a theory of production that fits with in the laws of thermal dynamics.

              By definition, anything that comes from several points across the globe has a huge carbon footprint.

              • Colonial Viper

                Civilisation is a heat engine – Guy McPherson

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                Pedantic observation – it’s ‘thermodynamics’ (does sound a bit like thermal dynamics); no criticism intended.

                • Clump_AKA Sam

                  Drowsy M. Kram is correct. It’s thermodynamics, not thermal dynamics.

                  We can get a rich function that relates to labour/capital/energy inputs (that hasn’t happened yet). Once you’ve got energy related to parts of production, it talks to a relationship between the 2nd law of thermodynamics and so on, then it will be possible to make links to entropy/wast/ecology issues which economics has failed to do.

  9. adam 9

    It keeps getting odd. From the ‘Jesus was white’ brigade Megan Kelly, now main stream…

  10. Ethica 10

    I talked to an overseas employment expert/philosopher recently and he was full of praise for Grant Robertson’s Future of Work project. He said it was world leading in scope and vision. I expect we will hear more about aspects of it this year (but hopefully in a form that is clear, succinct and easy to understand).

    • Nick 10.1

      Yes@Ethica….clear, succinct and easy to understand….because its definitely not a vote winner in its current form.

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      You gotta be kidding. A mish mash of a report clearly put together by different authors, few cohesive themes, with some chapters far better prepared than others which appeared simply slapdash thrown together.

      • Joy FL 10.2.1

        Regardless of FoWP’s substance and grunt, or lack of, it is very important for Robertson & Labour to talk it up !!

        • Nick

          @JoyFL ….do you really think so ?……I dont, not in election year.
          I would prefer they kept to simple policies i..e. Kiwi Build ….and placed Future of Work as a behind the scenes driver.

  11. Muttonbird 11

    Good piece here on the Israeli motive of keeping occupied territories just that, occupied. They do this to deny 3 Million Palestinians a vote.

    Amazing that Jews in settlements are allowed to vote but Palestinians are not. And Israeli supporters like to say Israel is the only democracy in the region…

    The Israeli electoral franchise extends to Jewish settlers in the occupied territories but there is no vote for the nearly three million Palestinians in those territories. If Israel annexed East Jerusalem and the West Bank it would have to give everyone the vote. It has used an endlessly prolonged peace process to save itself from having to do this.

    Israel has options.

    It can annex the occupied territories, extend the franchise to everyone and accept that Jews are a minority.

    Or it can withdraw to a more modest and legally less suspect geographical area within the limits set by the UN in 1947.

  12. The Other Mike 12

    Take note RWers who regularly want to deny the poor their piece of the pay pie:

    “The CEO of a popular fast food chain said this week that he was “stunned” to see profits soar each time California passed minimum wage increases.

    In an interview with KQED on Tuesday, Wetzel’s Pretzels CEO Bill Phelps admitted that his investors were worried about how a 2014 wage hike would impact the business. “Like most business people I was concerned about it,” Phelps said.

    For years, opponents of minimum wage increases have argued that wage hikes mean fewer jobs because businesses have to raise prices and cut hours to cover the additional expenses. But Phelps said that his sales skyrocketed after a California law forced businesses to raise wages in 2014.

    “I was shocked,” Phelps recalled. “I was stunned by the business.”

    The same thing happened earlier this year when California raised the minimum wage to $10.50 per hour, Phelps said.”

    But we have been told this many times of course… just some will not listen.

  13. Andre 13

    Oh dear. It seems that Trump found a way to hide how much he really owes in his FEC statement.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      Sounds like ordinary business working capital mixed in with long term mortgages on large properties. Nothing remarkable.

    • Sacha 13.2

      The Chump will really drain that swamp, eh.

      Debt “connected” to the President-elect’s companies adding up to more than US$1 billion ($1.4b) is owed to more than 150 financial institutions, the Wall Street Journal reported overnight.

      The revelation has prompted renewed concern about a potential conflict of interests minefield when Trump takes office in two weeks’ time.

      According to the Journal, the loans were divided, repackaged and then sold in the form of bonds over the past five years, with some of them personally guaranteed by Mr Trump – who previously estimated his companies’ debt obligations at US$315 million.

      • Colonial Viper 13.2.1

        Trump has made it clear that people who work at a senior level in his Administration will not be able move on and then lobby for corporations (5 year ban) and foreign countries (life time ban).

        Gutsier than Obama ever did.

        • Sacha

          Paying attention to the types of people he is appointing seems a way more useful predictor of future events than anything the guy said to get elected.

        • Gabby

          Sure and he prolly won’t change his mind about that.

  14. Andre 14

    A good piece that illustrates the difference between shoddy journalism and fake news. A distinction that even Glenn Greenwald can’t seem to get his head around, to his discredit.

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      N.B. Glenn Greenwald is one of the top dozen journalists anywhere in the world today. “Lauren C Wiliams” is not.

    • Morrissey 14.2

      You know more than Glenn Greenwald, do you?

      It’s funny, but going by the calibre of your posts on this forum over the last month or so, I wouldn’t have credited you with the necessaries.

  15. joe90 15

    Another Pumpkin Pinochet promise goes west.

    President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has signaled to congressional Republican leaders that his preference is to fund the border wall through the appropriations process as soon as April, according to House Republican officials.</i?

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      He’s already taken back 3,600 good paying jobs from Mexico and got billions in new investment for the USA which was going to go to Mexico.

      So yes, Mexico is definitely going to pay for the wall. From a certain point of view.

      • McFlock 15.1.1

        And promised to cancel tens of thousands of jobs across the continental US, alongside the F35.

        I’m sure you’ll somehow blame Obama for September’s US unemployment rate.

        • Colonial Viper

          if the F-35 is cancelled Boeing will get to build more F-18 Super Hornets.

          Also, no one outside DC believes those false unemployment statistics. And certainly not in Wisconsin or Pennsylvania.

        • Colonial Viper

          Obama is irrelevant. Putin demonstrated that masterfully.

  16. Morrissey 16

    Hebron shooter Elor Azaria is indeed the norm

    Over the past year and a half, dozens of Palestinian men, women and children have been killed, even though they could have been overpowered while they were still alive. The difference between them and Azaria is that he was videotaped.

    by AMIRA HASS, Haaretz, Jan. 5, 2017

    There’s one thing on which Palestinians agree with Elor Azaria and his supporters: that he wasn’t the only one, he just had the bad luck to be videotaped without his knowledge. Palestinians agree with Azaria and his supporters that he was complying with the norm and did exactly what other soldiers do – namely, shoot with intent to kill even when nobody’s life is in danger.

    Palestinians agree with Azaria that the system discriminated against him. It’s just that they believe dozens of other soldiers and policemen should also have stood trial.

    Like Azaria himself, Palestinians are wondering why he stood trial while the soldiers who killed Hadeel al-Hashlamoun of Hebron were never even investigated by the Military Police. She, too, was lying on the ground, after soldiers shot her from a distance at a checkpoint because she held a knife (which no soldier was even scratched by). And then, while she was lying there, they continued shooting her in the upper body. (This was on September 22, 2015, and Hebron residents attribute the subsequent outbreak of lone-wolf attacks to this incident.)

    On June 11, 2010, Maxim Vinogradov, a Border Policeman, “confirmed the kill” of Ziad Jilani, who was already lying on the ground, shot and wounded, after having run over other policemen with his car in Jerusalem’s Wadi Joz neighborhood. The prosecution decided against indicting Vinogradov, accepting his ridiculous claim that he feared Jilani had a bomb. He was in the heart of a Palestinian neighborhood – why would he blow himself up there?

    Fadi Alloun of Isawiyah was also lying on the ground, after having stabbed an Israel in Jerusalem’s Musrara neighborhood on October 4, 2015. An anonymous policeman shot him to death after passersby encouraged him to do so. In this case, there was video footage from a cell phone, but it wasn’t enough for any steps to be taken against the killer.

    Sara Hajuj of Bani Naim pulled a knife on Border Policemen inside the security-inspection room of a Hebron checkpoint on July 1, 2016. They sprayed her in the face with pepper spray and fled the room. Then one of them shot her, while she was alone in the room and didn’t endanger anyone.

    On June 2, 2016, Ansar Hirsheh crossed the checkpoint at Anabta, where pedestrian traffic is forbidden, on foot. She had a knife in her belongings, but she didn’t endanger anyone. And there was no reason why the four armed, trained soldiers who surrounded her couldn’t have overpowered her without killing her.

    Over the past year and a half, dozens of Palestinian men, women and children have been killed, even though according to both eyewitnesses and common sense, they could have been overpowered while they were still alive. Some, it later turned out, hadn’t even attempted to commit an attack. Dozens of soldiers, Border Policemen and checkpoint guards are walking free among us after having killed Palestinians who posed no danger to their lives. The defense establishment portrayed them as having acted properly.

    The boundary between self-defense and nationalist vengeance has been completely blurred. This is the atmosphere in which Azaria operated.

    Therefore, the message sent by the military court judges stands out for its rarity: Elor Azaria violated the rules of engagement, so he was convicted. But the message the Israeli defense establishment sends to its soldiers and policemen is equally loud and clear: “Take care that you aren’t videotaped when you do the deed. We know how to downplay the value of photographs taken by Palestinian security cameras and bury the testimony of Palestinian eyewitnesses. But we still haven’t found the solution to close-up, professional video footage.”

  17. Macro 18

    I don’t mean to brag – but…
    I just put a jig-saw puzzle together in 1 day
    And on the box it said 2 – 4 years!

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