Open mike 07/06/2022

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 7th, 2022 - 110 comments
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110 comments on “Open mike 07/06/2022 ”

  1. Patricia Bremner 1

    Listening to Christopher Luxon. Morning Report "We believe in welfare. surpriseWe would probably raise benefits"

    Wow, look at the recent history of Paula Bennett!! What do the rest of you think?

    • dv 1.1

      Yep raise benefits, reduce taxes, how will that play out!!!

    • Blade 1.2

      Patricia – well done. The last thing National should be about is welfare. Luxon wouldn't have a clue about what National should be about.

    • mary_a 1.3

      Patricia Bremner (1) … Um I think the 7 houses man meant corporate welfare somehow. He hasn’t a clue!

      • Blade 1.3.1

        So you don't think he should have 7 houses? Does it offend your socialist sensibilities?

        • Blazer

          Why should anyone have 7 houses?

          • Blade

            Why not? Passive income. Status. A privacy move. Investment. Buy and sell. Birthday/Xmas present for the kids. Change of view and area.

            I always know when you are brought out of Cyrogenic storage, that things ain't great.

    • Stuart Munro 1.4

      Luxton is sufficiently removed from entrenched National that he might throw a sop to the underclass if he thought it would make him more electable.

      But in application it would be more likely to be a modest increase in Super – National's core demographic – than anything for the precariat.

  2. Robert Guyton 2

    If you are at a loss for things to do today, or rather, things to watch, you might enjoy this short-film (15 mins) made about our forest-garden here in Riverton, by Happen Films. It's a 5-year-on follow-up to "An invitation for wildness", called, "Growing wild together" 🙂 It was released yesterday and has already attracted over 11,000 views, so we are very pleased.

    Growing wild together 🙂

    That's the YouTube version. Here's the Facebook version:

    • Patricia Bremner 2.1

      Wonderful Robert. You are a great Team.

    • Great film, Robert.

      You're on my list to visit some day soon.

      • Robert Guyton 2.2.1

        Thanks, Tony. I look forward to your visit – you and I have much to talk about.

    • weka 2.3

      that was a lovely thing to watch first thing in the morning.

    • Molly 2.4

      On my to-watch-to-relax list. Can't believe it's been five years since the first.

      Looking forward to watching, and really impressed with your teamwork on the property, and the output from Happen Films.

    • Belladonna 2.5

      Thanks for the link Robert.
      Watched and loved it!

      • Robert Guyton 2.5.1

        I am pleased to hear that, Belladonna 🙂

        • Belladonna

          Love that you and the food forest are getting older and wilder together 🙂

          And was happy to recognise so many food plants (though yours are conspicuously larger and healthier than mine!).

          My Mum is one of those keen gardeners – and we are sadly resigned to her garden going when she dies. The land (inner suburb of Auckland) is just too valuable – and there's no way that I could afford to buy it. She has huge oak trees – and growing natives – but I lack your optimism about developers *not* wanting to knock them down, and cram 42 townhouses on the site (exaggeration for effect!)

          Do you compost? (and this wasn't covered here) – or just slash and tread down unwanted or over-exuberant plants?

          • Robert Guyton

            The "developers" comments were tongue in cheek, but really, I believe that in just a few short years time, cutting down trees will be socially unacceptable. I'm getting mine in the soil in preparation for that time (grand parenting 🙂

            I haven't composted for many years, doing just as you describe: prune and let lie. Recently though, since I got enthusiastic about the big tunnelhouse, I've been enthusiastically composting everything I can get my hands on with the intention of creating a rich faux-jungle floor in there, to support the bananas, ginger, canna etc. – it's a fancy really, but fun and funny. I scrounge materials from everywhere I can; coffee grounds by the sack from a local cafe, Shetland pony poo from the wee family down the road, seaweed when we walk on the beach, spoiled fruit from the co-op (I have so many avocado sprouting in there, it's not funny (it actually is). I've created worm-farms in there also; piles of autumn leaves and pony poo, "seeded" with tiger-worms from the environment centres worm-farm-in-a-bath-tub and they are loving it! I expect they'll turn the rougher stuff; corn husks, egg shells etc. into wonderful, nutritious soil in which my heat-loving plants will achieve enormous proportions. I've calla lilies in there now with leaves the size of taro leaves! I shouldn't be going for "huge", but I am 🙂

    • Just Saying 2.6

      Magnificent. You and Robyn are an inspiration!

      I look forward to visiting and learning and soaking in the beauty.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    Damien Venuto's piece in the Herald is a tour de force of an echo chamber media circle jerk. MZME opinion piece about an NZME opinion podcast where one opinionated NZME journalist interviewed another NZME journalist for her opinion about the bile spewed at the PM largely by – you guessed it – the opinions of NZME broadcasters.

    No wonder no one trusts them.

    • Patricia Bremner 3.1

      yes So true about NZME.

      Is that in place of actually asking the Pm, as they might get answers they don't want?

  4. kejo 4

    Thankyou Robyn and Robert, an inspiration to your wider community. [and me]!!

  5. Ad 5

    Hope no one's here's got shares in Twitter.

    What a value-bonfire.

  6. Blade 6

    China has attacked a Aussie plane. At least that's what I would call it. I have been thinking about China and I'm wondering if they have taken internal dissent into consideration. There's Hong Kong. There's the supressed democracy movement in mainland China. And what of all the suppressed religions? When better to start a uprising should the country be focused on war with Taiwan and the West?

  7. Blade 7

    Crikey, this hasn't gone away yet. Dennis Frank gave the topic a good airing a while back. Who would want to get into any type of politics, eh?

    Unfortunately the story is pay wall protected.

    • tc 7.1

      Granny will probably rerun a few pre election as part of their totally objective coverage.

    • Belladonna 7.2

      I know, Audrey Young – so automatically dismissed by a die-hard loyalist group here. But, where are the left-wing journalists in covering this issue?

      Having read this, it looks as though Labour squeak through the accusation of 'corrupt process' but it was clearly highly manipulative, and absolutely designed to get rid of Wall and parachute Williams into a safe seat. Louisa was shafted by her party leadership.

      The 'lie' that Wall lost the support of her electorate, promulgated by Mike Williams, is clearly debunked.
      The 'old' (i.e. existing) electorate committee supported Wall. There was an argument that this didn't reflect the 'new' electorate members – recruited and loyal to Dunwoodie (who'd returned from Wellington specifically to continue his campaign to unseat Wall – been trying since George Hawkins retired).
      Labour could have required a new selection of representatives from the local electorate committee- given that they delayed the selection specifically to address the issues raised — but didn't. Instead they refused to allow any of the local electorate reps to vote. Leaving 2 votes from the floor, and 3 from Labour head office.

      Williams had zip in the way of local support.

      Clearly Labour either wanted Williams in parliament, regardless. Or realised that unseating Wall in favour of a white Christian male (Dunwoodie) would have been several bridges too far, for their political base, and especially for the Maori caucus.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 7.2.1

        Nice Blade-Belladonna tag teamwork – "several Bridges too far", you say?

        NZ Election 2020: Senior National Party figure 'Merv from Manurewa' aka Roger Bridge still in leadership [28 Sept 2020]

        "I'm that confused."

        • Belladonna

          Look forward to a response to the actual content – rather than deflection. Ohhh look a squirrel!

          Or, perhaps you're agreeing with Gypsy – and it's just political corruption as usual, both parties do it…..

          I've met, and liked Louisa Wall. I felt that she was a unique and vibrant voice in parliament – and am always predisposed to like another 'stroppy Sheila' 😉
          I didn't agree with everything she said, but she had the passion of her convictions, and an unusual ability to build consensus across parties in pursuit of her goals.

          She did not deserve to be treated this way – and it's a mark against the Labour party.

          When I think of the outrage which was poured out here on TS yesterday over the 'bullying' of Curran, I find those voices conspicuously silent on Wall.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Your findings are noted – btw, Merv's no squirrel, just “that confused.wink

            I regret that Wall is no longer in Parliament – maybe the church isn’t broad enough.

      • gypsy 7.2.2

        Dirt. Manipulation. Dishonesty. Meh, just another day in politics.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Gypsy, what can be done to keep "Dirt. Manipulation. Dishonesty." out of Kiwi politics, if, like me, that is indeed what you want? May seem hopeless, but easier surely than reversing global warming.

 [25 January 2022]

          Forget Luxon's National, it's ACT which is set to make an impact
          [22 May 2022]
          However, and here dear reader is the point of this column, do not underestimate the desire of the MP for Epsom and his colleagues to reshape Aotearoa. They, unlike many in the National front bench, did not join politics to accumulate air points and attend state dinners in Washington DC.

          They want to tear apart the sclerotic non-performing civil service, they want to bring market discipline to our failing health and education sectors, they want to end the soft corruption of corporate welfare and, most of all, they want New Zealand to be wealthy, to be free, and to be successful.

          • Gypsy

            Politics brings out the worst in people, unfortunately. But I enjoy your optimism.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              I'm not optimistic that Nat party MPs and insiders can model good behaviour. Hope springs eternal, but they have shown so very little promise.

              Maybe Luxon can make a clean break from the Key / Ede / Collins / Slater legacy of Dirty Politics – it's a substantial legacy, from Todd Baclay and Jami-Lee Ross on, and a break is overdue – time will tell.

              'Useless' MP Maureen Pugh says it was an 'easy choice' not to vote for Simon Bridges

              Dirty Politics: Can National stop the rot?
              Walker / Boag / Woodhouse

              Political Roundup: The low standards in the National Party

              Given the events of the week just past, National’s Paul Goldsmith’s unfortunate remarks concerning colonisation could be considered the least of its worries
              As with so much of National’s recent behaviour, Goldsmith’s comments raise some very dangerous questions. The most obvious being: ‘What’s wrong with these people?

              ‘This is not our best day’: More pain for National’s MPs
              National leader Judith Collins' scorched earth approach…

              National MPs say Falloon's behaviour not reflective of party

              Nick Smith resignation: National Party MPs unaware of Parliamentary Service inquiry

              National investigating troll account that targeted women

              • gypsy

                Luxon may be a different individual, but even if he is, politics is a cess pit, and the sewage eventually rubs off. It's what makes observing so fascinating, in a perverse kind of way.

                • Drowsy M. Kram

                  Luxon may be a different individual…

                  No "may be" about – Luxon is "a different individual", presumably with some different values and some new ideas, e.g. tax cuts.

                  Time will tell how those values and ideas play out in the service of all Kiwis – no doubt better for some than for others.

                  politics is a cess pit

                  So it would seem – a cesspit of self-serving behaviour. But why?

                  Hannah Rodger: Gray report lifts the lid on 'a cesspit full of arrogant, entitled narcissists' [28 May 2022]

                  • gypsy


                    As long as I have been following politics (since the late 1970's) there has been an element of this, because power corrupts. But it seems to be getting incrementally worse. I have a passing involvement with local politics in Auckland and it's a thoroughly toxic environment, in fact it got so ludicrous the left are now attacking their own.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      But it seems to be getting incrementally worse.

                      Interesting observation – any idea what's driving that trend? Your insights might contribute to slowing a descent into the cesspit.

                      The Nat's Dirty Politics initiative didn't help – has anyone on the political right repudiated that deliberate and well-resourced political obscenity? Why is it some of our political representatives think it's OK to model this sort of behaviour? Are they simply rotten eggs?

                      Four years of opposition: National Party's 'years of shame' blamed on 'lightweights' and personal ambition

                      Maybe that's the pronlem – some politicians have no sense of shame. I'm irrationally hopeful that Luxon will be the one to lift the lid on the Nat's cesspit and drag his rotten eggs into the light.

                      This is man’s highest end, to others’ service, all his powers to bend. – Sophocles

                      Joy can be real only if people look on their life as a service, and have a definite object in life outside themselves and their personal happiness. – Leo Tolstoy

                      The high destiny of the individual is to serve rather than to rule. – Albert Einstein

                  • gypsy

                    "The Nat's Dirty Politics initiative didn't help – has anyone on the political right repudiated that deliberate and well-resourced political obscenity? "

                    You mean admit they were actually wrong? I doubt it. The Nats dirty politics 'initiative' was only unusual in that it appears to have been carefully orchestrated. The best thing to happen to the right was that it was outed.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      But it seems to be getting incrementally worse.

                      Any idea what's driving this apparent trend? Dirty Politics was low, but are some NZ pollies even now reaching further into the cesspit?

                  • gypsy

                    "What's driving this apparent trend? Would've thought Dirty Politics was about as low as Kiwi politicians could go, but maybe not?"

                    It's necessary to differentiate Dirty Politics (Cameron Slater style) from dirty politics as a broader pattern of behaviour. The broader pattern of behaviour is getting worse, at least from my observation. Why? Maybe because politics is becoming more polarised. Maybe people stay in politics for too long and power corrupts them. Maybe humanity is just getting nastier.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      It's necessary to differentiate Dirty Politics (Cameron Slater style) from dirty politics as a broader pattern of behaviour.

                      An interesting take, but we both know that it was politicians who orchestrated Dirty Politics – Slater blogged to order.

                      …National has orchestrated a campaign of political vilification using bloggers, Cameron Slater in particular, to do the dirty work.

                      Why the necessity to differentiate Dirty Politics from "dirty politics as a broader pattern of behaviour" – isn't Dirty Politics an eye-wateringly obscene example of the abuse of political power and resources, and so an exemplar of this "broader pattern of behaviour" you allude to?

                      Polarisation, nastiness, the atrophy of decency – yes, they each play(ed) a role to a greater or lesser extent. Can Luxon fix it? He seems a bit bland and vague, but imho he’s actually doing a fare job of modelling moral and ethical behaviour so far – maybe it’ll catch on.

                  • gypsy

                    "Why the necessity to differentiate Dirty Politics from "dirty politics as a broader pattern of behaviour" – isn't Dirty Politics an eye-wateringly obscene example of the abuse of political power and resources, and so an exemplar of this "broader pattern of behaviour" you allude to?"

                    Oh yes. But wind that back and we find ourselves with the Louisa Wall selection row. It appears people within the Labour Party orchestrated a plan to lie about the relationship between Louisa Wall and her Local Electorate Committee in order to undermine her reselection chances. The deputy PM is well implicated, and the line is drawn to his apparent dislike for Wall. You'll have read Audrey Young's research. Is that dirty politics in your opinion?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      There are quite a few differences between Dirty Politics and your example, although it may be difficult for you to spot them.

                      When it comes to examples of nobbling candidates from one's own party, I gravitate towards Merv/Roger "I'm that confused" Bridge, and yes, it does seem to be part of a broader pattern of behaviour.

                      Still, to my way of thinking, Dirty Politics is the towering benchmark against which all subsequent
                      aberrant political behaviour should be compared – unless you have a more disgusting example to offer?

                    • gypsy

                      Correction: the lie about Louisa losing support of the LEC was not to undermine her reselection as such, it was to smear her as an 'explanation' for why she had withdrawn. Audreay young wrote:

                      The upshot was that instead of a candidate selection panel which could have comprised four local votes (two LEC, one floor rep and one ballot vote from qualified party members present) and just three New Zealand Council reps, there were only two local votes which were outnumbered by three New Zealand Council reps.

                      It's clear that Wall was unpopular with senior party figures, and so they engineered her exit, including stacking the selection committee, and then accepting a nomination from Arena Williams that she couldn't even get in on time.

                      How dirty does politics have to be before its dirty politics?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Are dirty tricks and smear campaigns still National's modus operandi? I hope not.

                      It's Dirty Politics when staff inside a Prime Minister's office facilitate the release of confidential documents for the purpose of embarrassing political opponents. And it's particularly Dirty Politics to leak information for the purpose of attacking public servants.

                      As I said, a towering example of malfeasance against which all subsequent aberrant political behaviour can and should be judged.

                      So how do you think Wall's treatment (“stacking the selection committee“) compares to that of Simon Pleasants? Or Adam Feeley?

                  • gypsy

                    "There are quite a few differences between Dirty Politics and your example, although it may be difficult for you to spot them."

                    It's a pattern of behaviour. Bad behaviour. And it certainly ties in with some of your examples above (

                  • gypsy

                    "(“stacking the selection committee“) "

                    And telling lies to smear her, something that seems to have been coordinated from high up in the party.

                    "The person on the other end of the phone that day asked if I knew that the real reason Wall had withdrawn was that she had lost the support of the Labour electorate committee (LEC). That’s the local executive in each electorate that runs party business. The suggestion was news to me but it was a line to be repeated publicly in the following days by at least two Labour-aligned commentators, Neale Jones and Mike Williams. It can safely be said that the phone call was wrong. Louisa Wall did not lose the support of her LEC. She not only had the support of her LEC, she had the endorsement of E Tu union, the support of Te Kaunihera Māori (the Māori council of the party), and Labour’s Māori caucus with the exception of deputy leader Kelvin Davis."

                    I'm wondering is it dirty politics when the right do it to left, but not when the left do it to each other?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      I'm wondering is it dirty politics when the right do it to left, but not when the left do it to each other?

                      I hope we both know dirty politics and Dirty Politics when we see it. Certainly not the exclusive (Brethren) property of the Nats, but imho they are past masters and remain the leading practitioners in NZ.
                      Time will tell.

                      The five most terrible, horrible, no-good very bad days in recent National Party history [26 November 2021]
                      A once-in-a-hundred-year weather event in which Judith Collins, true to form, decided the best form of defence was full-bore attack. On Monday night, Simon Bridges was on the news responding to polling that put him ahead of Collins. His words said “no intention” to run; his grin said, “Heeeere’s Simon”. On Wednesday night Collins issued a press release saying he’d been demoted over historic remarks. The statement was over-egged, misleading and an insult to caucus. That set the scene for Thursday, with the media camped outside parliament to grab MPs on their way into a meeting that was still going two hours after the promised press conference was meant to begin. “I can’t recall a worse case of potential brand damage under MMP than the way this has played out,” said veteran National pollster David Farrar.

                      Collins is still in play – perhaps Luxon can keep her in cheque.

                  • gypsy

                    "Collins is still in play – perhaps Luxon can keep her in cheque."

                    Collins has been neutered. I'm not sure how they've done it, but it's probably a promise of some overseas posting? Or perhaps they've made up some role for her, say something like the Ambassador for Gender Equality (Pacific)/Tuia Tāngata?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Promises, Promises
                      Artist: Naked Eye(brow)s. Album: Burning Bridges wink

                      You made me promises, promises
                      You knew you’d never keep
                      Promises, promises
                      Why do I believe
                      All of your promises
                      You knew you’d never keep
                      Promises, promises
                      Why do I believe?

                • Incognito

                  Commenters on a political blog are not merely observers of politics, they are active participants.

      • Blade 7.2.3

        Thanks, Belladonna.

        ''So automatically dismissed by a die-hard loyalist group here. But, where are the left-wing journalists in covering this issue?''

        True …and yes, good question about Lefty journalists. Well, if we extrapolate things to this blog, the die-hards here will never criticise their own. (See below) So we can't expect any better from Jessica and co.

        I loved this piece: 'White Christian male (Dunwoodie) That's like taking a cross to Dracula.devil

        From Young's bio:

        ''I’ve been working at the Herald for so long that my 30th anniversary was mentioned in Parliament. However, I never tire of seeing what people do to try to gain power and what they do when they get there. I was pleased to be the union representative on the Press Council for six years. In a previous life, I worked as a sub-editor at the ill-fated Auckland Sun, was a tutor for a Pacific Island journalism course at Manukau Polytechnic in Otara, and was a teacher in Wellington.''

  8. Chris 3 8

    Someone opposing the removal of the Three Strikes Law…

    • Blade 8.1

      To be expected. I caught the tail end of an interview Mikey had with someone called Mark Lockes(?) from a Queensland University. He explained how their biker laws had driven the hardcore element out of the state, and just left run of the mill bikers. The power of the patch had also been muted.

      Jacinda Ardern has replied that we need laws more appropriate to New Zealand. If we read between the lines, we can have a guess as to why.

      Mitchell and Megan Woods will face off tomorrow on Mikey's show.

      Mitchell also rung in later this morning.

      • Ad 8.1.1

        Telling that the government sends Woods not the Ministers of Police (Poto) or Justice (Little) whose portfolios are relevant.

        • Blade

          One thing I will give this Labour government – they know how to deal with exposure to the media and potential awkward situations. Their protection of Jacinda is first class.

        • Craig H

          Isn't that a usual spot i.e. Woods and Mitchell debating?

          • Blade

            Yes it is. But although Mikey has had Poto on before, she hasn't fronted when he's invited her, and others, to debate some aspects of crime control. So Megan Woods is basically it regardless of being a regular or not. Given her form of late, I don't think Woods will be raising a sweat. A Rightie can but hope.

            • Stuart Munro

              Why on earth should a minister of the crown waste her time pandering to a bitter biased toxic right shock-jock who isn't even a journalist? Nothing good can come of it. Better to leave Hosking and his cretins to stew in their own bile.

              • Blade

                ''Bitter biased toxic right shock-jock who isn't even a journalist?'

                That seems to be the default opinion here. I find that funny given many CLAIM they never listen to him.

                To me the difference between his well read and well argued opinions is the difference between night and day compared to most in the media.

                For example, he gave his opinion on Adrian Orr's official cash rate move and the reasons why he had trouble with the explanation Orr provided when he interviewed him. Two later economists backed Mikey's view. That doesn't mean Mikey is right – but when did you last hear a MSM journalist go behind headlines and offer a detail explanations of how things work?

                I'm prepared to look past personality faults if someone at least makes an effort to explain the news… and actually read articles from all over the world to be better informed.

                • KJT

                  "his well read and well argued opinions".

                  Your capability to be unwittingly amusing.

                • Blade

                  I had a lot of time for this man. Someone who you could have a debate with without him going off the handle like many Lefties are inclined to do.


                • Blazer

                  'Mikey'… changes his opiniin' like the.. weather.. motormouth looking for.. numbers =advertisers. A

                  • Blade

                    You make your opinion with the facts available at the time. You change your opinion if the facts change over time.

                    ''Motormouth looking for.. numbers =advertisers.''

                    Seems to be working. His radio ratings are through the roof. But we all know those radio ratings are just right wing bs.

                • Stuart Munro

                  I find that funny given many CLAIM they never listen to him.

                  Oh we've heard a couple of his minutes – and seen him make a cock of running a televised debate. I used to teach debating – Mikey is a neophyte.

                  I'm prepared to look past personality faults

                  Personality is to some extent destiny. It is a natural and inevitable consequence of being a far-right bigot, that educated persons will despise you.

                  • Blade

                    ''Oh we've heard a couple of his minutes – and seen him make a cock of running a televised debate. I used to teach debating – Mikey is a neophyte.''

                    Fair enough. Post one of his 'Mike's Minute' Clips and show me where he's going off track.

                    In fact, here's one for you to dissect.


                    ''And seen him make a cock of running a televised debate.''

                    If you are talking about the leaders debate, the general consensus I read, at the time, was he did OK. I'm hoping he will be a co-host in the upcoming leaders debate.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Post one of his 'Mike's Minute' Clips

                      No. This is material of no value whatsoever.

                      the general consensus I read, at the time, was he did OK

                      No, the general consensus was that he was not as bad as expected – a D fail instead of an F fail. There are literally thousands of New Zealanders who would have done a better job – and one of them should have been there doing it. Hosking was there because he is a reliably useless bigot.

                      Bigotry is not a social virtue – in the free market of ideas, the Right needs to fight its corner on its merits – Hosking always gives them a free ride.

        • Belladonna

          Woods is presenting as a highly competent MP with a talent for 'fire-suppression'.
          One of the rising stars of the current Cabinet line-up.

          It appears that neither P Williams nor Little have the right kind of quick-wittedness to deal with an increasingly hostile media.

  9. Sanctuary 9

    Been reading about a few contemporary and near contemporary French philosophers, and their relation to the discussion yesterday about the "right to repair" as a way to empower consumers and reduce waste.

    After doing my philosophy browsing I thought about it and I wonder how much of it is really about saving the planet and how much of it is actually a reaction against what French philosopher Bernard Stiegler calls the "proletarianisation of consciousness"?

    According to Stiegler we are proletarianised in everyday conscious when our savoir-faire (knowing the right thing to do) and savoir-vivre (knowing how to live well) is appropriated and "black boxed" by technology. in the 1970s, a broken cake mixer or valve radio or anything really could be fixed by any reasonably competent home handyman with access to some parts and a soldering iron. You just unscrewed the back and went looking for the blown transistor, resistor, or capacitor. New technologies are designed to stop this, be it a mobile phone you can't swap out the battery in or seedless vegetables you can't grow at home. In this, they are in fact controlling us, in the way that Gilles Deleuze (another froggy philosopher) anticipated in his essay on the "control society": they don't tell us what to do, they just present us with a fait accompli and we meekly comply. Of course, this is in turn reflects the wider "black boxing" of our economic management made explicit by neoliberalism, a system of technocratic exclusion designed to control the proletariat in the name of expertise.

    One of the ways we seek to regain our savoir-faire and savoir-vivre is via self-help, by self-sufficiency. Perhaps in this unconsciously perceived helplessness we can observe the anger of the anti-mandaters, of the anti-vaxxers. The marginalised and excluded and the aggrieved wellness Mums at their perceived exclusion were vouchsafed a manifest target to take aim at and blame for their helplessness. But on this we are all quite wrong – it doesn't matter if I can fix an old cake mixer, or if I use a fountain pen rather than a biro to cut down on plastic waste, or if I grow my own vegetables in an organic patch fertilised by my own shit, or I refuse to vaccinate my kids and/or latch onto some vast conspiracy theory. The reality of late capitalism is we are all helpless, merely passive spectators completely reliant on massive industries (just four companies control over 90% of the world food supply, with that food passing through just three main choke points, two or three companies dominate the internet), on large bureaucracies colonised by neoliberal technocrats, and on their enabling technologies over which we exercise very little control.

    In short – is the right to repair nothing more than a salve, a balm of diversion which makes us feel good when we all know the world is going to hell in a handbasket and there is nothing that we – infantilised and atomised as we are in the great culture of narcissism that dominates our social and political discourse – can do about it?

    it seems to me the only solution to planetary warming, excessive consumption, is not a right to repair but simply not to own any of those things in the first place. Since no one (including me, to be honest) will voluntarily give up their standard of living to that extent, and no government will ever be elected on a promise to reduce the standard of living by a lot, it seems to be the perhaps the only answers to the global crisis of late capitalism are to be found in the grim calculations of Malthus?

    • Robert Guyton 9.1

      Having one's eyes off the screen and turned instead toward the natural world; gardens, beaches, mountains, skies and so on, is the way to unravel the tangle we find ourselves in. Those foci stimulate valuable thoughts and understandings. Having fewer gadgets helps great deal. That we are habituated and reliant on some gadgets (eye-glasses, window panes etc.) makes reducing one's reliance a challenge requiring much thought, patience and tolerance.

      But it is the direction to take.


    • weka 9.2

      I take it you don't know any people that grow most of their own food? I do, I know quite a few. If the global food supply falls over this year, they will do without but they won't starve and they won't need to riot because they will be busy teaching people in their community how to grow their own food too.

      Gardening is one of the most potent political acts we can do at this time (growing, paying others to grow for us, community gardens, and upthread, food forests). It doesn't give a false sense of security, it gives people actual food security as well as the personal empowerment to take action in other areas.

      Right to repair is both class activism (enabling people to manage on low incomes), and a direct challenge to neoliberalism. It's not designed to save the planet, it's intention is to be part of the right living movements that will give humans the ability to survive and be respectful of all of life.

      Both gardening and repairing bring joy to the people who do them, so much joy that they will teach others, often for free. That is political activism too, and the value of joy at this point in history cannot be measured. The way out of the Malthusian hell hole that neoliberals want to keep us in, is joy and activism combined. They build upon each other and give people a pathway that makes sense, improves their lives and saves the planet at the same time.

      For some of us, politics is primarily about liberation.

      • Patricia Bremner 9.2.1

        Gardening and saving seed is great as well, my late Aunt saved seeds, as did my Dad. Robert, you would save seeds I think, and do you exchange them?

    • Drowsy M. Kram 9.3

      Thanks Sanctuary, imho your last paragraph highlights some inconvenient truths. Late capitalism is a highly resilient growth engine – it will not transition voluntarily.
      The current economic system being utilized and internalized relies on perpetual growth. It has long operated counter to the reality that we are confined to a finite planet with finite resources. Yet, this system continues to be practiced and promoted globally. As the environmental and social repercussions of disbelief in limits become increasingly clear, so does our need for a new economic system —one that is not wedded to growth. Neither growth in the number of consumers nor growth in the amount consumed.” – Erika Gavenus

      "The COVID-19 pandemic has halted mobility globally on an unprecedented scale, causing the neoliberal market mechanisms of global tourism to be severely disrupted. In turn, this situation is leading to the decline of certain mainstream business formats and, simultaneously, the emergence of others. Based on a review of recent crisis recovery processes, the tourism sector is likely to rebound from this sudden market shock, primarily because of various forms of government interventions. Nevertheless, although policymakers seek to strengthen the resilience of post-pandemic tourism, their subsidies and other initiatives serve to maintain a fundamentally flawed market logic."

      Reset or temporary break? Attitudinal change, risk perception and future travel intention in tourists experiencing the COVID-19 pandemic
      [4 February 2022]

      • Sanctuary 9.3.1

        “…The current economic system being utilized and internalized relies on perpetual growth. It has long operated counter to the reality that we are confined to a finite planet with finite resources…"

        Humanity deal with this conundrum with occasional spasms of massive capital destruction (i.e. a crisis that leads to a hugely destructive war) that re-sets the growth clock to zero.

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Re-setting the 'growth clock' to true zero would be good for spaceship Earth – humans not so much. Controlled degrowth is the best civilisation could do, imho.

        • roblogic

          Except it won't just be a war mainly in Europe, it will be a global catastrophe that wipes out most species on the planet. Similar level of upheaval to the Ice Age or the K-T extinction event.

          Crops are failing, oceans are being demolished, habitats are being bulldozed everywhere.

          The only way the human race makes it past 2030 is to stop everything. And depopulate.

          Industrialisation gave us incredible power but we are still bound by the laws of thermodynamics, and the bill has come due.

          • RedLogix

            The only way the human race makes it past 2030 is to stop everything. And depopulate.

            We are alreadybecause industrialisation has allowed us to.

            As John Ibbitson and I wrote in Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline, the forces driving population decline have been in place since at least the turn of the century.

            The biggest force is urbanization. The largest migration in human history has happened over the last century and it continues today as people move from the country to the city. In 1960, one-third of humanity lived in a city. Today, it’s almost 60%. Moving from the country to the city changes the economic rewards and penalties for having large families. Many children on the farm means lots of free hands to do the work. Many children in the city means lots of mouths to feed. That’s why we do the economically rational thing when we move to the city: we have fewer kids.

    • pat 9.4

      There is an amphibian school of philosophy?

    • Ad 9.5

      Who are you reading and what bits?

      Stretch your legs and do a post.

      Failing that send me some paras and I'll do one.

  10. No name used 10

    I read this morning Luxon was head of deodorants for Unilever in the US. So he would have been responsible for the repulsive Axe (you know it as Lynx) advertising campaigns. How unchristian. What a bottom feeder. Lay in to him.

    • Robert Guyton 10.1

      "head of deodorants"!!

      Roll-ons, yes?

      • Nic the NZer 10.1.1

        Lay off the head shots.

        Chris has been saying this to photographers for months now.

    • Blade 10.2

      Lynx… the workhorse of smellies for the young and unsophisticated. You can also smell it half a kay down the road if the wind is blowing in the right direction.

      A young rellie of mine was lamenting the fact he couldn't get laid when he went out. I chucked the Lynx and gave him a pheromone spray (Chikara). He's had a sexually transmitted disease three times in the past two years. Must be working.

      • KJT 10.2.1

        If you were into prevention, rather than punishment, you would have given him condoms.

        • Blade

          Then he wouldn't have been laid. BTW, condoms CAN usually be effective. But not all the time, and not against all sexually transmitted diseases.

      • Blazer 10.2.2

        Nothing like experience.. as they say on the right. I hope the cure was better than. the.. disease. cheeky

    • Alan 10.3

      wow, the internal polls must be really bad

    • Blazer 10.4

      'head of deodorants' =too funny!

      Chrome dome got his position through pure nepotism imo.

      Daddy worked for Johnson and Johnson.

    • Chris T 10.5

      "I read this morning Luxon was head of deodorants for Unilever in the US."

      Close. But no.

      [So close, yet so far.

      Since you seem to know better, why don’t you set the record straight, yes?

      Put up or shut up – Incognito]

      • Incognito 10.5.1

        Mod note

      • Chris T 10.5.2

        He was Head of Unilever Canada.

        And they don't just do deodorant.

        Too much disrespect for the Company that gifted us the great Magnum almond ice cream.


        • Incognito

          Irrelevant distraction from you, as usual. This was about a specific claim what Luxon had been doing and it is entirely correct. Indeed, Unilever does more than making soaps and Luxon has done more at Unilver than selling soaps (after all, he worked there 18 yrs and 4 mths), but soaps he sold, which suits his name, IMO.

          Canterbury MCom grad and nz-edger Christopher Luxon is now based in Chicago via Australia and Europe, where he leads Unilever’s North American Deodorants & Grooming business. Presently he is jump-starting Degree for Men antiperspirant, advertising the brand on the Super Bowl for the first time and breaking with the tradition of men’s deodorant ads heavy on jocks or sex in favor of action figures.

          Next time you correct another commenter you’d better be correct and not a waste of time again.

      • Chris T 10.5.3


        Why did you not ask the same of No name used's claim?

        “Kiwi joins Air NZ from Unilever

        Air New Zealand has appointed well-travelled Kiwi businessman Christopher Luxon to head up its international airline.

        Luxon, 40, takes over from Ed Sims as group general manager for international from May 30 and joins the NZX-listed carrier from consumer goods giant Unilever.

        Luxon joined Unilever in 1993 after completing a master of commerce at the University of Canterbury and since December 2008 has been president and chief executive of Unilever Canada……”

        [Take a week off for telling me how, whom, and for what I should moderate.

        No name used @ 10 made no incorrect claims and didn’t try to correct another commenter with BS to make yourself look superior or something whatever – Incognito]

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