Open mike 06/10/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 6th, 2015 - 48 comments
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48 comments on “Open mike 06/10/2015”

  1. Tony Veitch 1

    It is with considerable regret that I have to inform the New Zealand public that its democracy contracted a wasting disease overnight. Dissolution is inevitable, but the disease is likely to be a protracted one. There is no known cure, once infected, except by really radical surgical means, which will, unfortunately, not be undertaken in the near future.
    At the moment, the patient is seemingly doing well, but this insidious disease will progressively sap the sovereignty from the body corporate, until only a skeleton remains.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Well put!

    • Matthew Hooton 1.2

      Except that NZ can withdraw from the “disease” as you call it, whenever we like. Will be interesting to hear from Andrew Little whether or not he intends to activate the withdrawal procedures if (a) the thing is actually ratified and (b) he becomes prime minister. No doubt he’ll waffle because the real answer is no.

      • mickysavage 1.2.1

        Why give lawyers the ability to sue states and rule on trade disputes between corporates and states. Terrible rapacious bunch they (we) are this is bound to end in tears …

        • Matthew Hooton

          To avoid a repeat of the apple situation, where Jenny Shipley wouldn’t back growers’ WTO case against Australia. It took Helen Clark to accept their representations the case should go ahead. I guess this was one of the reasons she included ISDS in her China FTA.

    • Reddelusion 1.3

      Take a breath Tony

  2. As far as New Zealand is concerned, the TPPA is based on fraud.

    The Crown has no mandate to legislate in New Zealand because the sovereignty of parliament is a fiction. The Crown insinuates that sovereignty means accountability, but sovereignty is based on virtue in relation to deity. The Crown also lies about the role of deity in law, describing the common law as case law when the common law has a theistic origin from the time of King Alfred the Great, who began his judgments, called dooms, with a Saxon version of the ten commandments.

    This situation is compounded by the fact that Crown employees such as politicians and judges swear an oath of allegiance to a head of state who holds the title of “Supreme Governor” of the Church of England”, applying an act of religion to endorse a secular state which misleads people about the role of deity in law and consequently injures their natural rights, treating them as persons with no such rights.

  3. AsleepWhileWalking 3

    Enviromentalists, alternative music, and radicalised (weaponised?) children linked to terrorism.

  4. Tautoko Mangō Mata 4

    Compare and contrast:

    1. “Hard sell tipped to follow TPP deal”
    Government has PR campaign ready to go but hoped-for gold-plated agreement on dairy fails to happen.
    By Audrey Young

    “Trade Minister Tim Groser will be heading back to New Zealand from the United States today to begin the hard sell on the deal, which has to be turned into text and released within 30 days.

    It is understood the Government has a public relations programme ready outlining in detail how it believes New Zealand will be better off in the deal, not outside it.

    It does not intend to leave a vacuum for the next month for opponents to fill.

    The most contentious part of the deal is the Investor State Dispute Procedure, however Mr Groser has remained confident the detail of the agreement will allay people’s fears on that score.

    It is thought New Zealand has had to settle for something akin to a bronze deal on dairy products rather than the gold-plated one it insisted early in the negotiations that it would get.

    But the overall deal will be sold to the public on the basis of better-than-hoped-for gains in other sectors.

    The Government has already said an increase in costs for pharmaceuticals as a result of IP changes under TPP would be met by the Government, not patients.

    Mr Groser, a former professional trade negotiator, has played a pivotal role in the negotiations, led by US Trade Representative Mike Froman. The three most difficult issues in the end were the patents on biologics, medicines made from living organisms, rules of origin for vehicles, and dairy access.

    Before talks on dairy intensified yesterday, he told the Herald the negotiations had “the smell of a situation we occasionally see which is that on the hardest core issues, there are some ugly compromises out there”.

    That meant everyone had to eat “dead rats”.

    In the event of a failure at Atlanta, the talks could have gone another round at Apec in Manila, but the longer they dragged on, the closer it would get to the United States presidential contest and the more difficult it could be to get a deal through the US Congress.”

    2. TPP deal: New Zealand and 11 other countries strike Pacific trade pact

    “There would be no change on the current patents for biologic medicines, although an extension on copyright by 20 years will be phased in.

    Groser said Pharmac’s decision-making would become more transparent and the measures would cost $4.5 million in the first year, then an added $2.2 million annually.

    But the Pharmac model would remain the same.”

    In Updated version:more detail,
    less emphasis on the hard sell aspect
    No mention of the ISDS*
    *Note that Pharmac will have to justify its decisions and this will open it up to the possibility of litigation.

    Read “Eli Lilly Raises Stakes: Says Canada Now Owes It $500 Million For Not Granting A Patent It Wanted ”

    **Eli Lilly operate in NZ

    • Majic Mike 4.1

      I hope Tim Grosser didn’t forget to put in his order for tarrif free medical marijuana.

  5. amirite 5

    Wow what a deal! Sold our sovereignty and our public health system for – wait for it – 2 billion dollars a year we may reach by 2030! What a bargain for the big corps.

    • Matthew Hooton 5.1

      In what sense have we “sold our sovereignty and our public health system”? What do you mean by that?

      • weka 5.1.1

        The inability of NZ governments to restrict overseas land sales is a pretty big sovereignty issue. Just going off micky’s post, haven’t looked that up.

      • Majic Mike 5.1.2

        Matthew the TPPa prevents us from freely trading Dairying and Beef to their market’s.
        Prevents NZ from purchasing cheaper meds elsewhere.
        Stops us while allowing big Corporates to sue if a govt dept wants to buy locally.
        The US and Canadian govts are allowing open discussion before its put to the vote.
        National are using their minions to shut down open and fair debate.
        This will backfire and Key will flip flop because other govts are releasing information that will expose Key and Grosser weakness in getting a very poor deal for farmers and Pharmac.

        • Paul

          Matthew supports big Pharma

        • northshoredoc

          Your comments are just so wrong but just to take one

          “Prevents NZ from purchasing cheaper meds elsewhere.”

          Bullshit… the vast amount of our medicines come from outside of the TPPA countries now this will continue to be the case.

          • b waghorn

            Please keep up the good work . it must be tough to bat away the same stuff every day.

  6. amirite 6

    More cost for Pharmac, which will be spread over by cuts to all health services to keep to the Budget, and the right of corps to sue NZ for lost profits.

  7. Morrissey 7

    “Well that’s what I mean by HYPERBOLE! … Here we go!”
    Note how dominant Hooton is, and how little Williams has to say.

    From the Left and From the Right, Radio NZ National, Monday 5 October 2015
    Kathryn Ryan, Matthew Hooton, Mike Williams

    Part 1 of 2

    “Hissy fit? You were listening to a different show.” *
    —- Matthew Hooton, 90 minutes later.

    First topic today: the TPPA. From the beginning, Hooton takes charge, as always, embarking on a long monologue full of P.R.-speak….

    MATTHEW HOOTON: ….. It’s about twenty-first century business, it’s about modern supply chain management, so it’s a different form from what, uh, y’know, we’re used to when we’re talking about the hangovers from the post-Second World War type GATT arrangements. Ummm, but they will be doing some details and they’ll be hoping that every i can be dotted and t crossed, to use the cliché, and then they’ll have their press conference and at some point we’ll see the text and THEN, ahhhhm, it’ll all begin again in the public domain. Because the chances of it being ratified by the U.S. Congress would have to be low, so there will be an almighty public debate involving every business, every union, every academic on one side or the other of this debate that will last probably for some more years.

    …[At this point Mike Williams makes his first contribution; he loudly clears his throat]….

    KATHRYN RYAN: Mike, it has to be today or it’s probably never going to happen, I think was the consensus wasn’t it. Because we know trade ministers have to head off to some other meeting somewhere, a G-8 or a G-20 meeting somewhere, and of course the big factor with the timing is whether, as Matthew has just alluded to, there is time for this to make its way through Congress before Obama’s time is up. Ahh, so what is your gut instinct on what’s happening right now?

    MIKE WILLIAMS: Well I think, ahhm, SOMETHING will be announced at three o’clock. Um, if only because I think the ministers, a large proportion of the ministers, have got a meeting in Istanbul tomorrow. Be interesting to see WHAT is announced, umm, there was a leak about twenty-four hours ago that the Australians and the Americans had reached an agreement on biologicals, I think they’re called but this is in fact drugs. Ahhhm, whether there’s ANYTHING on dairy or not will be fascinating, and I think that the two holdouts there, who are the USA and Canada, are, frankly, unlikely to budge. Canada’s only three weeks—two weeks—off a general election with a very powerful dairy lobby, a very protected industry, so, y’know, it’s, it’s VERY interesting times and we have no idea what’s gonna come out.


    KATHRYN RYAN: … The other sticking points have been the patents on the medicines…. This is not a small matter. I don’t wanna re-, y’know, re-debate this, but with the sheer volume of quite um, y’know, dramatic, um, ahhh, treatments that are coming, ahhh, on stream and the price impacts of an extended patent, that’s been another big factor. In the end, what is the debate gonna boil down to politically in New Zealand? Whether we got done on dairy, ahhhh, Mike? Whether we got, y’know, whether we got, on balance, a better deal when we instigated the whole damn thing effectively didn’t we! A better deal, a better situation than we’re in now.

    MIKE WILLIAMS: Well I, look, I think a lot of the heat’s gone out of this debate because of Helen Clark’s statement. Umm, she supported TPP very STRONGLY, and standing beside John Key—

    KATHRYN RYAN: Well was that HELPFUL at this time of the negotiations, to have a former prime minister saying New Zealand can’t NOT be in it? Was that a helpful intervention?

    MIKE WILLIAMS: It’s very interesting because there were two aspects to it. One, Helen Clark always was a committed free trader, I mean I watched debates in caucus on these issues, and she was very firm that free trade was a good deal for, ahhh, New Zealand, but she stepped out of her comfort zone, ‘cos she NORMALLY makes NO comments at all on New Zealand politics, and that, you could argue, is kind of international politics, but—

    KATHRYN RYAN: Hmmmm, this was also at the same time though, as negotiators and trade ministers were saying we’re not gonna sign a deal that doesn’t, y’know, doesn’t meet the threshold on dairy.

    MATTHEW HOOTON: This is her legacy. She launched these talks. I mean, the original Trans Pacific Partnership with um, y’know, New Zealand, Chile, Singapore and Brunei, she launched, she completed. And then she lobbied very hard as prime minister to bring the United States in, which was always the plan. Umm, so this is her legacy as prime minister and it’s going to be an historic achievement for New Zealand if it, if it happens so I don’t think it would be surprising that she would have made those comments.

    KATHRYN RYAN: No, it’s more the timing of it was my point.

    MATTHEW HOOTON: Well, yeah.

    KATHRYN RYAN: But I think there was also a caveat, if I’m correctly reading what I read from, um, Tim Groser, the caveat which didn’t necessarily make the soundbite, which is “If it is a good deal.” [giggles]

    MATTHEW HOOTON: Yeah, right.

    KATHRYN RYAN: Which is quite an important caveat.

    MATTHEW HOOTON: I think that what, I mean, I thought that in a few sentences, she cut through and made the case for this deal, ahh, in a way which the current prime minister has not really done in seven years. She made the case for why New Zealand should be part of this in principle, ahhh, and she did so very efficiently, and it’s very, how COULD you disagree with what she said? Umm, I know we’re going to be victims of massive hyperbole over the next twenty-four hours because the likes of Tim Groser, umm, y’know, this has been twenty years’ work for him. For all our diplomats, this has been New Zealand’s number one foreign policy objective for twenty years.

    KATHRYN RYAN: Yeah but the question is whether it leaves us net better off given how much we had already liberalized most of our economy—

    MATTHEW HOOTON: Well this is—

    KATHRYN RYAN: And, and second—

    MATTHEW HOOTON: [impatiently] Yeah.

    KATHRYN RYAN: —the real gain for us was always going to be dairy. Are we in a better position—

    MATTHEW HOOTON: [in an impatient, peremptory tone] Dairy’s seven per cent of our economy. This is just the, the, the CARTOONISH way of presenting this. And it goes to what I said at the outset: this is not, this deal is not about putting unmodified commodities across borders. That is where trade negotiations were sixty years ago.

    KATHRYN RYAN: It’s also where our biggest exporter still is.

    MATTHEW HOOTON: It is our, it is a [sic] important export for New Zealand and it is seven per cent of the economy. What this is about—and it’s DWARFED by tourism, it’s increasingly DWARFED by other services, um, what this is about, and I think that this is why the critics are absolutely right when they say this is not a trade deal, and why, I think, in many ways, the supporters of the deal have not promoted this rationally and sensibly, because the whole thing is oh, y’know, “We’ll get better dairy access” and we hear from Malcolm Bailey and he’s on the delegation. What this is about is looking at the supply chain that starts from research and development and intellectual property and goes through to the final consumer behind the borders. And this is the first in the world, other than arguably the European Union, and some of APEC’s efforts, to say that international business is no longer about exporting things across borders.


    KATHRYN RYAN: Okay, it does say that. Then we have the other arguments, and PLEASE let’s not get bogged down again, but these arguments about sovereignty, you’re gonna have governments being sued in these international tribunals or worse, where they’ll just be delayed and public health policies they might introduce these kinds of things, so that’s where you get—

    MATTHEW HOOTON: Well that’s what I mean by HYPERBOLE! So while Groser is—

    KATHRYN RYAN: Well it’s NOT hyperbole, it’s happening right now to Australia, over—

    MATTHEW HOOTON: It’s NOT happening.

    KATHRYN RYAN: The plain packaging is happening right now. Okay? And that is, that is—

    MATTHEW HOOTON: Here we go! A single case, that hasn’t been won, that won’t be won, the Australian government will prevail over Philip Morris and that’ll be the end of that matter. But what, um, y’know, while we’re victims of hyperbole from the pros, we’re also told people are gonna die and this sort of thing and I think the most intelligent way to look at this is umm, y’know, it is not the “world historical breakthrough”, it is not “bigger than Ben Hur”, “best thing that—“. Y’know, it’s not, nor is it the most evil thing. It is an important way of integrating, um, our economy further with other economies.

    KATHRYN RYAN: Right. Mike, your take on how this is going to play politically, and for whom, and what is that gonna depend on?

    MIKE WILLIAMS: Well I think Helen Clark’s statement has probably defanged the MODERATE left. It will not, um, uh, alter the, y’know, the um, Jane Kelseys of this world, but I actually think it will boil down to some sort of benefit-cost ratio. Y’know, will we get more dairy exports, what will the government’s slice of that be, and what will it cost for more drugs? And if we’ve gotta pay half a billion dollars more, y’know, increase the Pharmac budget by five hundred million dollars and we don’t, ahhhh, get that back in taxes on dairying, then um, that’ll be a bad deal. But it’ll take a while to um, to work out. So let’s, y’know, we really DON’T know what’s there, we’re SPECULATING at the moment.

    ….An uneasy silence ensues, then the host realizes that Williams has nothing more to offer….

    KATHRYN RYAN: All right. Let’s look at some of the other big matters around the place. It has been quite a focus hasn’t it, on the great and the good gathering in the United States….


    Coming up in Part Two: Some of the most vacuous chat to be heard anywhere outside of an ACT caucus meeting, including this gem by Mike Williams: “Well I think John Key actually gave a very good speech, and so did Murray McCully.”

    * /tppa-deal-close/#comment-1078620

  8. Northsider 8

    Tories Of The Day
    The ever so bright Taxpayers’ Alliance, speaking at the Conservative Conference.

    Taxpayers’ Alliance: Cut pensioner benefits ‘immediately’

    “The first of which will sound a little bit morbid – some of the people… won’t be around to vote against you in the next election. So that’s just a practical point, and the other point is they might have forgotten by then.”
    He added: “If you did it now, chances are that in 2020 someone who has had their winter fuel cut might be thinking, ‘Oh I can’t remember, was it this government or was it the last one? I’m not quite sure.’

    This is where Bill English gets his ideas from.

  9. savenz 9

    What we can look forward to under TPP.

    A homeless woman lay dead at a Hong Kong McDonald’s restaurant for hours surrounded by diners who failed to notice her, sparking concern over the city’s “McRefugees”.

    The woman, who police say was between 50 and 60, was found dead Saturday morning and has been held up as an example of the growing number of homeless people who seek shelter in 24-hour restaurants.

    “Officers arrived upon a report from a female customer (that a person was found to have fainted),” police said in a statement.

    “The subject was certified dead at the scene.”

    Local media said the woman was slumped at a table, 24 hours after she first entered the restaurant in the working class district of Ping Shek.

    She had not moved for seven hours before fellow diners noticed something was wrong, according to Apple Daily, citing CCTV footage.

    The woman was thought to have regularly spent nights in the McDonald’s, the South China Morning Post said.

    The city’s Social Welfare Department said it was “highly concerned” about the incident.

    “We endeavour to support street sleepers to enhance their self-reliance… the subject is a complex social problem,” a department spokeswoman said.

    There are concerns over the plight of the homeless population in the affluent southern Chinese financial hub, although the number of homeless is relatively low, estimated at more than 1,000 by local NGOs.

    Many are forced to live on the street as they cannot afford to rent even the tiniest home as housing prices are sky high.

  10. Paul 10

    Headline in the Independent

    ‘TPP signed: the ‘biggest global threat to the internet’ agreed, as campaigners warn that secret pact could bring huge new restrictions to the internet
    The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement covers 40 per cent of the world’s economy, and sets huge new rules for online businesses as well as traditional ones.’

    [lprent: If you want to raise the topic of media focus. Do it in OpenMike. Not on my post. ]

  11. whateva next? 11

    Thank goodness for Rod Oram this morning being interviewed by Kathryn Ryan, intelligent responses and questions in the public arena, what a balance for yesterday.

  12. Puckish Rogue 12

    “No, last Thursday’s (1/10/15) statement from Helen Clark was no mistake. It was an act of deliberate political sabotage.”

    Don’t hold back Chris, tell us how you really feel

  13. mac1 14

    Henning Mankell, Swedish author, has died of cancer some eight months after diagnosis.

    Kenneth Branagh wrote upon his death of Mankell’s writing, his generosity and his “stringent political activism.”

    Though I did not know of his student and political activism, his writing was informed by a social conscience and concern for society and for individuals which came through in his novels.

    His last writing was a book about dealing with cancer- one which will be high on my reading list.

  14. Bearded Git 15

    Seats predicted in Canadian election; latest polls:

    Conservatives 122 Liberals 118 NDP 96 Greens 1

    The Liberals have overtaken the Conservatives in the polls 32.4 v. 31.6 with the NDP on 25.3.

    The Greens are polling 4.9% for their one seat.

    • millsy 15.1

      NDP/Liberals could outflank the Tories and govern? Or is it not that simple?

      • Bearded Git 15.1.1

        It’s a bit weird-no culture of coalitions, but surely this will happen.

        The Portuguese election result is another example. It has been touted as a win for the ruling Rightists, but in fact they have lost their majority to Leftist parties and will constantly be out-voted. Why the Left doesn’t form a coalition beats me, despite the fact that there are some policy differences between the Leftist parties.

  15. Smilin 17

    To Edward thanx for up holding the rights of the people when asked the fascist question about betraying national security
    Tvone news a few minutes ago

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