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Open mike 06/05/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 6th, 2012 - 125 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 link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

125 comments on “Open mike 06/05/2012 ”

  1. Some of you won’t like what I have to say, but you can choose to skip it and ignore it – don’t follow the link!

    It’s about a political disgrace – Labour’s Mallardy, Parliament’s malady

    • Can I urge Standarnistas to follow Petey’s advice and ignore the link.  Don’t click on it.  I did and it burns, it burns …

      There is one minor problem Petey with your analysis.  You neglected to mention that Banks has allegedly made a false declaration, told someone how to make an anonymous declaration, thanked the person’s aide after it was made, then told a few porkies to try and hide the face.  He may just be on the right side of this legally but it smells to high heaven.  This is not the “high ethical standards” we were promised.

      This is relevant doncha think?  I am intrigued that you should not mention it as it is the centre of this scandal.

      • Frida 1.1.1

        +1 Micky. My reaction too. We should just ignore unethical and possibly illegal behaviour by Banks because to raise it and probe is a bit *nasty* and offends Pete’s delicate sensibilities. Having been up in Auckland the last few days and in the company of some right wingers with views normally far removed from my own I hasten to suggest Pete has misjudged the mood of the electorate to this issue as well. Everyone seems universally disgusted with Banks and not that impressed with Key’s refusal to deal with him either (and this from some usually diehard Key supporters).

        • felix

          I’m so disgusted with Banks that I actually feel sorry for the disgusting ACT people.

      • Pete George 1.1.2

        I agree that the alleged false accusation of a false declaration deserves proper attention.

        However that has been overshadowed by a campaign of fishing for more hits that are detracting from the key questions – and add to the gutter reputation of politicians and currently of Labour.

        I didn’t mention that in this post because it’s a different issue. It’s common for blog posts not to deal with every related part of an issue, but instead to focus on one aspect.

        I happen to think it’s a wider and more important aspect overall – Banks may or may not last the distance, that to me is minor in the whole scheme of things, but the quality of all of our politics and democracy is something I feel strongly about, I have done for years, it’s what has attracted me to become more involved.

        • Inventory2

          I agree Pete. Labour has laid a complaint with the police over the Dotcom and Sky City donations. IMHO, they would be far better now to wait for things to take their course, rather than dredging up distractions which Mr Mallard is not prepared to discuss outside the House. Labour runs the risk of over-egging the pudding, and turning public sentiment back towards Banks if they keep banging on about peripheral issues.

      • james 111 1.1.3

        Micky question for you Do higher Ethical Standards,and Trevor Mallards gutter politics go hand in hand, and sit well with the Labour supporters? It certainly doesn’t sit well with most of the voting public, and Labour better hope like hell that both Willams ,and Malllard don’t get found guilty in their court case brought against them by Collins. Other wise everything that Mallard is saying now which is false will come back to bite Labour again. New Zealand voters are turned off by this sort of politics, and unethical standards

        • Te Reo Putake

          Mallard is well liked by Labour supporters, Jim Jim. Winning all those elections is a bit of a clue, don’t you think?
          “New Zealand voters are turned off by this sort of politics, and unethical standards”
          Yep, totally agree. The public is definitely getting tired of Key’s dirty politics and unethical standards. Well spotted.

          • james 111

            Te Reo
            You don’t get it Mallard being like by Labour supporters is your problem its an ever diminishing pond. The problem is Mallard isn’t like by those whom you want to attract to vote Labour. New Zealanders don’t like the way he operates he operates in the gutter, this disenfranchises him from the majority of voters

            • felix

              “The problem is Mallard isn’t like by those whom you want to attract to vote Labour”

              People like you, jimmie? I don’t think Labour’s chasing your vote.

              • james 111

                Believe it not myself ,and my family voted Labour for years before it lost it way,and moved from its core values to a party that became a mouth piece for every political activist pushing their own ,and not the party agenda. I still believe it has a problem transitioning itself back to its core values ,and keeping all of the factions under control

                • Te Reo Putake

                  The only honest word in that comment is ‘Felix’.

                • felix

                  I’m very sorry to hear about your family losing its way and moving from its core values.

                  I wish you the best in dealing with your transitioning problem, and hope you’re able to bring the factions in your family together again.

                  • james 111

                    I thank you for your very genuine concern for both me and my family the journey hasn’t been too hard. Its been quite enlightening once you take your blinkers off

                    • kiwi_prometheus

                      Felix won’t be doing that anytime soon.

                      Felix is a good illustration of why the election is National’s to lose.

              • muzza

                Actually Mallard is exactly the sort of liability this country should not be paying for, but have done and will be until he leaves this world!

          • Pete George

            “Mallard is well liked by Labour supporters, Jim Jim. Winning all those elections is a bit of a clue, don’t you think?”

            I presume you’re not referring to the elections Mallard was a major player in, losing 2008 and 2011 (with a significantly reduced vote).

            Trying the same thing even more is not usually recommended if you want to reverse failures.

            • Te Reo Putake

              Comprehension fail, Pete. By the way, how did you go in your attempt to win political office? Oh, that’s right, you drove the UF party and candidate vote down.

              • james 111

                Te Reo
                So we can take it by your comments and unfettered support for Mallard you support his style of Politics? Even a lot of the writers on The Standard actually find him cringe worthy

                • Te Reo Putake

                  I would have thought you’d have spotted by now that writers on the Standard have a wide variety of opinions. But then, as you are a racist and a homophobe, I imagine you aren’t all that keen on diversity anyway.

          • Inventory2

            You think Te Reo Putake? Trevor Mallard was Labour’s chief strategist last year, and his strategies were so successful that Labour got its worst election result in 60 years. I’d hardly call that a resounding endorsement of Trevor Mallard.

    • freedom 1.2

      “It’s about a political disgrace ”
      That’s odd, i didn’t see anything about Peter Dunne in the article

    • Mallard interview on Q+A – weak answers, nothing of substance on his allegations, the only actual hits claimed have been gotchas on the aftermath of his allegations.

    • joe90 1.4

      I followed the link and once again you manage to show that you’re a sycophantic arse Pete. But hey, you’ve got a fan in the Whanganui baby farmer.

      • Pete George 1.4.1

        It’s notable that so far, apart from a bit of the usual abuse, grizzles and diversion to Banks, no one is questioning the damage Mallard keeps doing to the public perception of Labour, and no support for Shearer’s promotion of non-gotcha politics.

        Is the post an attack on Trevor Mallard? No, it’s holding him to account. The media and David Shearer don’t seem to want to do it.

        Are the media likely to bite the hand that feeds it scandals? Maybe not.

        Is Shearer likely to cut off the festering sore that keeps preventing a Labour recovery? It doesn’t look like it – I don’t know whether that is due to impotence or hypocrisy.

      • joe90 1.4.2

        No Pete, the only thing damaged by Mallard is your perception of the Labour party. You trot around the blogs peddling your perception but the only place you appear to have anyone agreeing with you is the sewer.

        He may not be your cuppa Pete but among my mob of working gals and gents the general consensus is that Mallard is on the right track and as far as I’m aware people are quite happy with the notion that the oppositions job is to light fires and then stand back and watch the roaches crawl out.

        See, no abuse, grizzles or diversions.

  2. ak 2

    Rapidly losing patience with this Pete George thing. Mildly tolerable as the farcical parody of a barely-litrate parasite in the rectum of an elderly, traitorous, narcisstic dung beetle with dementia – but now so very passe. Supporting Judas and smearing others – beyond lunacy. Piss off back to the arsehole, blowfoly.

    • Tigger 2.1

      My problem is that he is a troll. He’s only here to take issue with either specific points raised or the general leaning of the site. The more he posts the less I frequent this site. It’s like going to the public pool and finding someone taking a dump in there.

      • Pete George 2.1.1

        I disagree, I don’t think the “general leaning of the site” is to attack politics – only some commenters seem to openly support gutter politics rather than discussing valid issues.

        And “troll” has just become a generic term of abuse that’s meaingless. I introduce topical issues that are of interest to me, I’m prepared to discuss them, mostly within the stated terms of the blog.

        And I don’t resort to abuse as some critics do.

        • felix

          What constitutes a “valid issue” though Pete?

          Isn’t it possible that your measure of validity is entirely different from someone else’s?

          • Pete George

            I’m sure it will be. I haven’t seen any requirement by The Standard that any measure of validity of an issue be entirely the same as everyone else.

            • felix

              I never suggested there was any such requirement. You said:

              only some commenters seem to openly support gutter politics rather than discussing valid issues.

              So who decides what a “valid issue is”?

              • That’s up to each individual.

                But you must notice that some commenters (I’ll exlude you) seem mainly to mainly abuse rather than discuss, and some openly support attack politics as an essentialm part of the game.

                I guess you don’t really care if Labour self destruct. I do – I prefer that we have as strong parties and MPs as possible, including Labour. I’m very disappointed they wasted last term, and are on target to fail to regroup and rebuild this term too.

                • felix

                  I think there’s a couple of things there we can agree on – I too am disappointed by Labour’s waste of the last term (and possibly this one). All this leadership stuff should’ve been sorted out when Helen left, not 4-5 years later.

                  And I also don’t want to see them self destruct. I even hope they can convince me to vote for them one day.

                  Where we probably disagree is on what they should be doing about it.

                  • They don’t seem to be able to agree about that amongst themselves either, hence their ongoing problems.

                    Do you think Mallard is helping their cause, or is he an old millstone still grinding away?

                    • felix

                      Hard to say. I think he’s probably not doing much to help Labour’s cause, but that’s not to say he isn’t doing some important work by by exposing the likes of Banks to public scrutiny.

                    • His hit rate is quite low though – he has tried a string of speculations, he admitted they were speculation and didn’t provide any substance on Q+A, just vague stamenmts like “it could look bad”.

                      That’s not so much exposing, more like trying to generate mistakes. That’s an old political strategy (dirty trick) based on the adage that it’s not the initial issue that causes the damage, it’s how it’s dealt with.

                      I’m sure there are other MPs who would buckle under sustained pressure and suprious accusations. Should all MPs be scrutinised to this degeree? Or should they be putting more effort into doing something for the country as our representatives?

                    • felix

                      I’m not sure what you think would constitute a “hit”.

                      I imagine the objective is to expose Banks’ shonkey dealings and general incompetence, thereby calling into question Key’s judgement in allowing him several ministerial warrants.

                    • Vicky32

                      Do you think Mallard is helping their cause, or is he an old millstone still grinding away?

                      Well, speaking as a Labour voter, which I am, I have to say that I like Mallard! 🙂 I don’t think he’s a disgrace or whatever you say he is…

                    • felix

                      Yes Vicky, I think the much-touted public dislike of the man is very much confined to a very small group of political insiders.

      • Te Reo Putake 2.1.2

        “The more he posts the less I frequent this site.”
        Pete would see that as a victory, Tigger, so please keep visiting. Trolls are just about the only weapon the Tories have left in the armoury as the economy tanks, the country is being abandoned by our best and brightest and their economic policies appear to be based on bullying, corruption and cant.

        • Pete George

          Wrong. One of the things I promote is more and better discussion, The more the better, especially if it’s reasonable discussion and fair criticism.

          • rosy

            I’m quite sure more is not better in terms of the discussion you promote – with a couple of thoughtful exceptions the discussions you promote are snide swiping at everyone with a political leaning to the left of you.

          • Te Reo Putake

            Wrong. All you do is promote wibbling, Pete. You are the black hole of discussion, sucking all the energy and light out of any topic that comes up with pointless questions, meaningless attributions and conservative assumptions.

            • Colonial Viper

              PG does at least pretend to maintain a “higher standard” (sorry HS) with which to hold everyone else to. He also does a great job pretending that he lives up to the kind of politics that all NZers want more of. Well, according to him anyway.

            • Tiger Mountain

              ‘Pete the pest’ is what some in the ‘trade’ might call a squiggler. Being an opportunist (no I am not going to supply a definition) means you are never wrong, and fortunately also never correct.

              Pete’s comments are more often than not obsequious waffle in my opinion, but he manages to slide in under the Standard site’s limbo behaviour stick, so I just skate over his posts as I see fit.

              • seeker

                @TigerM 10.28am

                “so I just skate over his posts as I see fit.”

                Likewise, especially today as they were too tedious for words.

                When a “squiggler” produces “wibble” after “wibble” after “wibble” ….. “skate over” as fast as you can and don’t look back!

            • weka

              Te Reo Putake
              6 May 2012 at 10:01 am

              Wrong. All you do is promote wibbling, Pete. You are the black hole of discussion, sucking all the energy and light out of any topic that comes up with pointless questions, meaningless attributions and conservative assumptions.

              Maybe TRP, but from what I can see it’s the people replying to him ad nauseum that are creating the problem 😉

          • QoT

            … explain how.

  3. Interesting that Brian Edwards on The Nation praising John Key’s performance on Campbell on Friday night. But what would he know.

    • Frida 3.1

      Well yeah it showed his genius in the art of dissembling that’s for sure. He’s peerless in NZ in that regard.

    • felix 3.2

      What would he know? I’d say a fair bit about communication.

      I haven’t seen the piece yet, but I’m going to hazard a guess that Edwards was talking about how well Key performed to the viewers of the program. Yeah?

      And if he reckons he did good at that, he’s probably right. About half of NZ seems to find him believable most of the time, and that interview was probably no different in that respect.

      But he didn’t convince Campbell, and he didn’t convince me either.

      • muzza 3.2.1

        “And if he reckons he did good at that, he’s probably right. About half of NZ seems to find him believable most of the time, and that interview was probably no different in that respect”

        — Yup and thats “democracy” in action right there…just gotta keep a working number of them dumb enough, and in the pocket to keep control, jusk like how you can control a parliament!

        The interview was a farce, in so far as the number of lies that were not only told/not told by words, but that his body gave him away, despite the fact he was clearly trying to keep control of himself!

        Best thing about it was what appeared to be the penny dropping live on Campbells face!

    • Lanthanide 3.3

      Have you ever heard the phrase “damning with faint praise”, PG?

      • David H 3.3.1

        And here we are at comment number 4 so all the other comments have been wasted by everyone being sucked in by Petey’s bullshit. And guess what you all fell for it. To disrupt and obfuscate, that’s Petey’s goal and he’s winning judging by all the wasted timer on here this morning..

        • Pete George

          To, my goal here was to see how much the elephanatidae in the room is ignored or avoided here.

          • David H

            Your one and only object is to disrupt and obfuscate, so stop with the lying… Nasty little Troll.

        • deuto

          Exactly. I try to not respond to PG comments to avoid encouraging him.

          I rarely visit Kiwiblog but did a quick look there a few minutes ago. PG filed the same comments there on General Debate that he did at 1 and 1.3 above ( his “anti-Mallard day” ones) and interestingly, unless I missed any in the very quick scroll I did, not a single response to his comments. They were just ignored.

          • seeker

            Pete G. was also anti- Mallarding in the Herald today. He certainly has a bee in his bonnet.

    • logie97 3.4

      I think you need to watch the closing sequence again. Campbell felt that the interview was particularly revealing. I think he appeared to be quite happy with how Key opened up and there will surely be more … come into my parlour said the spider to the fly.

  4. MikeG 4

    In Farrars recent post about ECan there is a small paragraph that deserves further comment:
    “This is not a reason to keep the Commissioners on beyond the 2013 elections, but it is a reminder that local government is the creation of Parliament, and Parliament has the ability to intervene if they fail.”

    This statement show an attitude that is far worse than any nanny state that the right claimed we had under Labour – how far do we take the ‘creation of Parliament’ aspect, as every law is a creation of Parliament? It seems that if things are not going Nationals way they will ride rough-shod over any other democratic process to get their own way, justified by that one statement – ‘Parliament has the ability to intervene if they fail’. Disturbing.

  5. higherstandard 5

    Congratulations to the Anglican church on an inspired choice.


    • mac1 5.1

      Inspired, HS? A good choice of word. Since it seems so far out of sync with my appreciation of the Anglican church, partly as “the National Party at prayer” but more kindly as a generally conservative church, the appointment is unusual to say the least.

      I’m old enough to remember James K Baxter in his latter years preaching in ChCh cathedral, barefoot with an old parka, long hair and big beard. This decision- I hope inspired- resonates with that image.

      • Vicky32 5.1.1

        Since it seems so far out of sync with my appreciation of the Anglican church, partly as “the National Party at prayer” but more kindly as a generally conservative church, the appointment is unusual to say the least.

        I think it really depends on where you are! In the BOP and Auckland, the Anglican church is pretty conservative, but not in Welly! My priest in Welly was Richard Randerson (St Peter’s in Willis Street, in 1987-90). He was pretty radical I thought, I really enjoyed him!

  6. Lanthanide 6

    Ignoring the bizarrely US-centric headline, this article is interesting:

    Of particular note:

    The performance of Government drug buying agency Pharmac appears to get a big tick with this country paying less for the 30 most commonly prescribed drugs than any of the other countries covered.

    • rosy 6.1

      Yep. Those Commonwealth Fund reports go back aways – they’re designed for measuring the US. health system against other developed nations – hence the US-centric title. I’ve been taking note of them since 2002.

      NZ has performed as well as or better than most countries in almost all healthcare measures compared over the years, especially given our low spending on health . Two measures where we are notably worse (though not compared to the U.S – their system is dire in terms of population health) are the upfront cost of primary care and access to new high cost medicines.

      Labour made some good progress in improving primary care access, not so much in the high cost meds. It’ll be interesting to see how these measure up in the next couple of reports.

    • Reagan Cline 6.2

      “Lower provider incomes could reduce the quality of applicants choosing a career in medicine”

      Take out or reduce the income incentive and you could find the quality of applicants increases.

      There is no research I am aware of that shows the personality traits desirable in good health professionals are linked to a drive to earn more money than others.

      • Lanthanide 6.2.1

        When we’re talking about surgeons and the like, personality traits would tend to take a backseat in favour of competence and accuracy of diagnosis etc.

        • Reagan Cline

          True, and competence and accuracy of diagnosis are as far as I can tell more often found in self-aware, broad-minded, patient people able to learn the right lessons from their experience and make decisive decisions based on that and on evidence-based practices.

          The promise of a higher income does not to my mind foster competence and accuracy of diagnosis

          Admittedly though, charlatans on high incomes are rarely exposed and I take that as a reassuring sign of their rarity.

    • ianmac 6.3

      Isn’t the USA Supreme Court about to overturn the Public Health Scheme recently introduced by Obama? A tragedy if they do can it.

      • james 111 6.3.1

        It was very dodgy bill passed in a very dodgy way poorly communicated ,and costed it deserves to be thrown out

        • Zorr

          By your reasoning, the Supreme Court should have ordered the troops back from Afghanistan and Iraq years ago….

    • Draco T Bastard 6.4

      NZ spends much less on healthcare than US

      Not quite sure how that is US centric – it’s a comparison and one that’s been true for a long time. It’s only inaccurate so far as it doesn’t have per capita on the end.

      Quoting article:-

      The study questioned why the US spent so much more on health than any other countries.

      That higher spending was likely to be largely due to higher prices and perhaps more readily accessible technology and greater obesity, the study said.

      LOL, just failed to mention the huge profits and the spending on advertising which probably has more effect than anything else.

      and then it finishes with the standard ode to the market

      “Inevitably, efforts to control healthcare spending involve trade-offs, and many such efforts – whether restricting access or regulating prices – come with a cost.”

      Lower drug prices may lead to less research and development and, consequently, fewer pharmaceutical breakthroughs. Lower provider incomes could reduce the quality of applicants choosing a career in medicine.

      Despite the fact that the countries whose health services isn’t market dominated are cheaper and just as good if not better than those which are. This denial of reality is a major issue and highlights the problems with blind faith in market economics.

      • Lanthanide 6.4.1

        It’s bizarrely US-centric because US was the most expensive of all of the countries. Singling NZ out as being cheaper than the US is odd, because we’re also cheaper than all of the others except Japan.

        Better headlines would have been:
        “NZ amongst cheapest for healthcare” or
        “US healthcare most expensive”

        Anyone with any inkling of how the health systems of both countries work would go “duh” at a headline that said NZ was cheaper than the US, so the headline itself isn’t telling us anything.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Better headlines would have been:
          “NZ amongst cheapest for healthcare” or
          “US healthcare most expensive”

          The best would have been a combination of those two:
          NZ 2nd most efficient healthcare, US the least efficient

  7. Lanthanide 7

    Another interesting article: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/6867602/Key-to-lock-in-PMs-perks

    Seems that Key is getting his ducks lined up before he’s turfed out.

    • felix 7.1

      As usual, the tory commitment to cutting social welfare spending only goes so far…

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Yep, he’s done an analysis of how much collecting handouts for the next 25 years will net him, and he wants to make sure he gets it all.

  8. Lanthanide 8

    Finally another interesting story:

    The Conservative Party has emerged as a possible alternative support partner for National as pressure mounts on under-fire Act leader John Banks.

    The Sunday Star-Times can reveal that National Party president Peter Goodfellow is seeking out Conservative leader Colin Craig.

  9. Chris 9

    It seems that key went to sleep one night and woke up one morning to find that he had been given a country to play with.His absolute disdain and dismissal of the people of “his country”is not only believable but frightening.For him to stand there and state that against the will of the country he is going to do what he wants to do no matter what is appalling.Is this dictatorship?It must be very close.Watching him on Campbell was very enlightening. He had obviously spent some time learning his lines because if J C tried to change tack a little bit key got rattled and said he couldn’t answer that and then reverted pretty much on to the sentence he had been interrupted on.He also had his lying face on.Closed face and dead eyes.If anyone believes that he did not know that the raid was going to happen is deluded.Although he seemed to think the overkill was warranted because the place was full of armed and dangerous criminal with masses of weapons lalala. Never mind that it was also housing women and children who would have been terrified for their lives. I don’t know what Brian Edwards saw or heard but I agree totally with JC. The way key treated the interview was cynically farcical.

    • ianmac 9.1

      I haven’t heard/seen Brian Edwards on Key/Campbell on The Nation but I imagine his interest would be in the technical disposition of Key. That is that he sat well, faced Campbell, mostly answered questions, make-up, suit, dropped the hill-billy aww shucks persona Key usually adopts and so on.

      However I doubt that the content of Key’s answers would be regarded by Edwards as any more credible that the words of Banks. Hidden agenda. See Hooton in NBR.

    • seeker 9.2

      Totally agree Chris. Loved it when JC said “Farcical” at one point. Felt he certainly had his finger on the pulse.

  10. Anne 10

    The Conservative Party has emerged as a possible alternative support partner for National as pressure mounts on under-fire Act leader John Banks.

    Back in 1994 the former Association of Consumers and Taxpayers (later shortened to ACT) was picked up by a small bunch of wealthy business tycoons (Alan Gibbs and Craig Heatley led the charge) and turned into a political party for the specific purpose of being an MMP partner for National. Nothing wrong with that, but they clothed the new party in a cloak of forging political honesty ‘we are here to make sure both major parties are honest and transparent’ was the battle cry, and they never let the real aim of the exercise be known. It took a while for the penny to drop because MMP was still in its infancy.

    Now it’s happening all over again only this time with the Conservative Party. Even the timing is the same… two years out from the next election. Will the same wealthy business tycoons be throwing their not inconsiderable weight behind it? Judging by the huge spend up (second to National) at the 2011 election, they have already started.

    • felix 10.1

      Interesting indeed.

      But where does that leave Colin Craig and his staunch opposition to asset sales as a general principle?

      Or is he disposable?

    • yeshe 10.2

      Is it worth noting that Craig Heatley is New Zealand’s best friend with Rupert Murdoch ?? Amusing this week to watch ACT’s slow dissolve to black at same time as Murdoch was king-hit by Parliamment in London. Whoever is agitating to investigate possibilities ( probabilities?) of Murdoch influence in NZ need look no further than this connect imho.

      • felix 10.2.1

        Any relation to Phil Heatley?

        • yeshe

          Not as far as I know .. certainly not close family .. and certainly not as close at Rupert …

        • Anne

          I think he may be Craig Heatley’s nephew but don’t quote me on that. It could be wrong.

          Interesting comment yeshe.
          These moguls, no matter what their core business and where they officially reside, seem inextricably linked. I suspect there’s a massive story yet to be told that will leave “The Hollow Men” for dead. Perhaps even the Murdoch scandal.

          As far as Colin Craig is concerned: we have seen how easily principles can change for the sake of political ambition and expediency. By the time the Cons. become Nat’s official support partner, I think the Asset sales will be done and dusted and we will be advised by our Tory ‘friends’ to move on… nothing more to see.

  11. Salsy 11

    A lot of folk on the left have talked about Labour needing to rapidly cut off the dead wood and rediscover itself post 2011. Q & A this morning was case in point. Trevor Mallard, looking hungover dithering on the Banks saga – Holmes asked what his “leader” Helen Clark would do? Joyce effortlessly convinces us to stop training doctors and start nailing graduates – just because he is a spin master. Mallard, not only cant articulate what Banks has done wrong, but the mere presence of this dinosaur causes Holmes to timewarp back to yesterday’s Labour. Mallard should have known better than to refer to how Helen would have handled it and quickly seized the opportunity to talk about Shearer’s leadership, his moral code, his ethical standards. Shearer, FFS – keep Mallard away from the public and get your MP’s some decent media training.

    • james 111 11.1

      Well said Salsy some one that isn’t afraid to speak what every one else is thinking. I watched it to, it reminded me of a punch drunk fighter who had stepped into the ring to many times it was quite pitiful really. The best thing Shearer could do is totally hide Mallard from anything to do with the Media he does not paint New Labour in the best light

    • seeker 11.2


      “:keep Mallard away from the public and get your MP’s some decent media training.”

      Think you have a point here as Trevor mumbled and stumbled about Banks on Closeup last week too. However he always seems to do well in Parliament, especially when he asked the rather clever “Russian Doll like” question about whether Banks had set up a charter school in Skycity.

      Perhaps studios, cameras/lights and TV interviews get to him; hence as you say media training is very necessary.

  12. Blue 12

    The disgusting state-sponsored bullying of Bradley Ambrose seems to have finally stopped, with the announcement that he will not be pursued for $14,000 in court costs:


    Now that he has been roundly defamed and Key has moved on, I guess someone just ties up the loose ends and sweeps Ambrose under the carpet.

    “I became completely disillusioned with the people running the country. And that’s coming from someone who’s been a National voter for 18 years.” – Bradley Ambrose.

  13. DH 13

    The Herald seems all over the place on it’s political views these days, just as you think it’s beginning to shed the tory cloak it’s back to business as usual. This article here is full of flaws and frankly just ideological claptrap;

    “Loan debt is costing too much”


    Nearly all of the ‘cost’ of student loans exists only on paper. They apply interest and then write it off, creating a debit in the accounts. The truth is that student loans are now mostly self-funding; loan repayments fund new loans. The only real cost is inflation & population increases which necessitates increasing the size of the loan pool.

    Claiming that we’re losing on the ‘opportunity cost’ of interest foregone is specious bullshit, the same argument could be applied to all of the Crowns assets which don’t return a dividend. Following their argument we should sell our national parks & other assets because they’re not collecting rent. A very poor effort from the Herald.

    • John72 13.1

      Looking at neighbours and relatives, we are pandering too much to students. (50 years ago) I went university for one year. When I did not produce the results Dad closed his cheque book. I spent the next year doing Compulsory Military Training then pouring concrete. I like to think that I matured considerably with that experience. The next year I started on a carreer I was passionate about and never looked back.
      “Life is difficult ! Once we truly understand and accept this then life is no longer difficult. We transcent the difficulties.” Life has a series of problems for everyone. Once we have faced these problems we can move on and enjoy some of what is offered.
      Problems call forth our courage and our wisdom. It is usually because problems that we grow mentally and spritually.

      • QoT 13.1.1

        You’re so right, John, we should have a society entirely built around military-trained concrete-pourers … I mean, fuck’s sake, even economically that makes no sense.

        But hey, you played at going to varsity 50 years ago in a country where pouring concrete was probably a viable lifelong career decision, so carry on talking out your ass while expecting the next generation to burden themselves with debt in order to fund your super.

        • Reagan Cline

          I’m with John on this one. When you are older you know you got through times when life did not seem worth living. This can be reassuring and inspiring to younger people.

          • QoT

            What utter bullshit. John wasn’t trying to “reassure” anyone, he was saying – as someone who never had to take on debt to get a necessary university degree – that we “pander” too much to students.

            • QoT

              And I swear to God anyone who wants to say “but but but Bill Gates!” can fuck off and die. Bill Gates and Albert Einstein are not representative of the general no-university-degree population.

              • John72

                The vocabulary describes the Author.

                • QoT

                  I’m sorry, John, just to be clear (because I’d hate to be accused of “looking” for things to be offended by again) that was a dig at my terribly unladylike language, wasn’t it?

                • felix

                  Nah, the sole focus on two naughty words out of a hundred or so describes the reader.

                  • QoT

                    Quick, someone find vto so zie can lecture me once more about how this is nothing to do with misogyny!

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Now that’s quite true.

                  • Vicky32

                    Nah, the sole focus on two naughty words out of a hundred or so describes the reader

                    OK. I focused on the rest of QoT’s words as well, but at the same time the unnecessary effing and blinding is just childish. It’s time QoT learned that sweariness gets him/her the wrong kind of attention. The bleat about misogyny as a defence is equally juvenile. Foul language demeans both men and women.

              • John72

                I used to work all through the school holidays. In summer, shifts and overtime was available and always worked fully, for the money. Dad had been a Plumber, but died a couple of years after I left home, after a long illness. Life is difficult.
                Could the Government police the student loans so carefully?

                • John72

                  There is plenty of adventure in life, but at the end of the day, it was cycling to work day after day, year after year, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter, that put a meal on the table for the family.

            • bad12

              Wasted on a POS like you…

              • McFlock

                More perceptive commentary there…

              • Vicky32

                Wasted on a POS like you…

                WTF? Who are you insulting, bad12? It seems very childish and nasty of you. Shame.

            • seeker

              +1 QoT @ 6.22pm You’ve called it as it is.

      • DH 13.1.2

        Maybe so John but that doesn’t address the issue of interest on student loans. The only effect that interest has is to increase the amount the student has to pay back. The student loans aren’t free remember, they’re loans they have to be repaid whether they have interest on them or not.

        As things stand the taxpayer has ponied up some $10billion as a loan pool. We didn’t borrow it and we’re not paying interest on it, we paid for that loans kitty with our taxes. It’s an asset on the Crown books just like any other asset and it pays dividends in the form of educated graduates who should go on to pay lots of lovely tax. The question is whether we need to make a cash dividend, ie profit, from that loan pool or if the existing dividend is sufficient. That’s a no-brainer to me.

        About the only reasonable argument for interest I can see is to make the system totally self-funding; charge a very low interest of maybe 0.5 – 1% to cover the administrative costs of running the scheme and other costs such as loan defaults etc. In practice however we’d see the interest rate creep up as beancounters got their disgusting greedy mitts on it so I’d rather not see even that.

        • ianmac

          My youngest son has a BA in History and Political Studies and has a huge Loan. He is working in the building Supply Industry on a modest wage and not a high flying job. He has organised his budget to allow for the repayment of his loan. He resents the increase as apparently a response to defaulters who are not repaying Loans.
          He also comments that the money loaned will get close to equilibrium of money repaid. The total is about $12billion but should stay at that as loans go out and get repaid.

          • DH

            I think the $12billion includes interest & may not be the actual capital invested or lent out. The beancounters charge interest on the loans and each year write some of it off. All of that occurs only on paper of course, but that has the effect of increasing the value of the asset on the books before they write some of the interest off as an expense each year.

            Not that it matters, the nett cash is still just an asset and isn’t costing us anything like some people claim. We fronted up the dosh & now it’s being put to a good use. Shit we get it back and then someone else can use it, what’s wrong with that?

    • Vicky32 13.2

      The only real cost is inflation & population increases which necessitates increasing the size of the loan pool.

      And there was Matthew Hooten on Radio NZ this morning moaning about the fact that the ‘middle classes’ can’t get student allowances, only the poor and the rich. Of course people like him hate the idea of the poor going to university. That’s what the 4 year limit is all about, we can’t have poor people becoming doctors for goodness’ sake!
      My son got an allowance because his rich father agreed to never have anything to do with him! That was utterly painful and humiliating. Josie Pagani redeemed herself by stating her support for totally free tertiary education, which was good because all her other remarks were pretty right wing. In my day, (the early 1980s) student allowances were universal, so I got one, and I’d like to see a return to that!

  14. Draco T Bastard 14

    It just gets better and better:-

    Crown lawyers acting for the United States knew before seizing Kim Dotcom’s fortune and property that they were using an unlawful court order.

    The High Court file has revealed Crown prosecutor Anne Toohey realised there was a paperwork problem on the morning of the January raid.

    The Solicitor-General at the time, David Collins, was alerted to the error but told the mistake didn’t alter the lawful nature of the order allowing the seizure of Dotcom’s wealth.

    The advice was wrong – Justice Judith Potter later ruled the restraining order “null and void” and having “no legal effect”.

    Lawyers making up the rules as they go along – actions that are anathema to a free-state.

    • Treetop 14.1

      What I found of interest was that “Justice Potter upheld the restraining order although she said Dotcom could sue over Crown Law’s mistake.”

      A judge holding Crown Law to account for not following the correct legal process on a operation which required careful planning.

      Were Dotcom to sue Crown Law could this be used by the police to delay their investigation into Banks mayoral donations?

      What is the time limit for Dotcom being able to sue Crown Law?

      • Frida 14.1.1

        Depends what for. Judicial review time is of the essence even though strictly no time limit. Bill of Rights Act unreasonable search and seizure no time limit but again Courts prefer you not to sit on your hands if your rights are breached.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      And now Dotcom gets Rodney Hide on his side despite Rodney helping pass the legislation that is being used against Dotcom.

      I wonder if being such a flake is endemic to being a libertarian…

  15. joe90 15

    Here’s another reason for why the rest of the world should tell America to fuck off.

  16. aj 16

    After this morning’s interview on Q & A, imagine Joyce in a head to head debate with Shearer.

    Notwithstanding the rights or wrongs of his arguments, but his eloquence in stating his case would result in a slaughter.

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