Open mike 07/05/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 7th, 2012 - 198 comments
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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…

198 comments on “Open mike 07/05/2012”

  1. shorts 1

    Kim Dotcom… freaking legend

    “Amnesia is a song about the John Banks donation saga in New Zealand.
    For details watch this news story by John Campbell: http://bit.ly/Itv7OY
    Share & play the song anywhere you like – It’s free.”\\

  2. Jenny 2

    The presidential polls have just closed in France, mass celebrations have begun in Paris.

    Tax Justice is on Europe’s agenda

    Though the full count is not in, exit polls and the early count have put Francois Hollande way out in front.

    Sarkozy aides have all but admitted defeat, saying, “it would take a miracle for him to win”.

    Hollande has run on anti-austerity platform, promising to raise taxes to 75% on those earning 1 million Euros per annum to fix the budget deficit.

    Hollande’s programme is in direct contradiction to Euro leader Angela Merkel of Germany who has alongside attacks on wages, employment, and social welfare, has demanded that crisis torn E.U. countries go into further debt to the rich bankers who caused the crisis in the first place.

    Contrast France with New Zealand

    As the global economic crisis laps at our shores, the two main parties are in battle with each other over which type of Austerity to impose on us.

    • Carol 2.1

      Well, let’s see if this is the beginning of an international shift that NZ parties, especially those/that previously of the left, cannot ignore or resist.

      Masses of people in lots of places are coming out and expressing their dislike at the cruel, damaging and democratically unnecessary policies of austerity.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      The outcome of the Greek elections is going to be even more interesting. Including the fact that the ultra right wing, neo-nazi sympathetic Golden Dawn Party might get 7%.

      In Germany it appears that the Pirate Party has got 8% in recent state elections.

      • rosy 2.2.1

        +1 about the Greek elections. I still can’t work out who can do the numbers. I’m thinking the 2 main parties might try for a grand coalition, but they still fall short.

        One option looks like a left-wing coalition – a ‘national unity government’. In that case Pasok will have to ease-up on austerity. The right are looking to form a ‘national salvation government’ – one of the minor parties might have to change it’s stance on anti-austerity and we all know what happens to minor parties when they betray the voters…. either way it’ll probably all fall apart in a year.

        Interesting times.

        • Te Reo Putake 2.2.1.1

          If I remember correctly, Rosy, the Greek electoral system gifts 50 seats to the largest party (New Democracy, this time, PASOK last time). That takes the two of them to the brink of being able to form a Government.

          • rosy 2.2.1.1.1

            It does. They need 35%, but who can they bring with them? Any of the smaller parties allying with them is going to be crucified and given the dire conditions at the moment this could bring civil unrest way beyond what has been seen so far. But yeah, if your saying you think there’ll be a grand coalition, I agree that seems the most likely outcome. Important to keep Golden Dawn out of it but.

          • Te Reo Putake 2.2.1.1.2

            Nice graphic from the Grauniad. Got the percentages and the conversion to seats.

            • rosy 2.2.1.1.2.1

              Ta, hadn’t spotted that. ‘The Grauniad’ – haven’t heard that for years. A mainstream slur, that was. But still it made them lift their game to be above the rest 🙂

              • Te Reo Putake

                Lifted it from Private Eye, Rosy. Lord knows when they started using it. Possibly one of Peter Cooks efforts? Here he is down the mine.
                 

                • rosy

                  hehe. I wondered about it’s orgins – I knew it was about type-setting mistakes, but that’s all. When I was working in London I was given so much stick for reading that newspaper – I guess I should have hidden it when I worked for a big corporate 😉

                • prism

                  That link is the 2 minute version. If you like Peter Cook’s dead pan delivery plus a story about a million nude ladies down a mine led by one Beryl Jarvis here is the link to the full sketch which takes 9 minutes and finishes up explaining his deeper feelings about whether he prefers being a miner to being a judge.

    • muzza 2.3

      “Hollande has run on anti-austerity platform, promising to raise taxes to 75% on those earning 1 million Euros per annum to fix the budget deficit”

      –Jenny, I think the prudent position to take would be caution. France is financially in a mess, which leaves it very open to “market attack”. Of course you will know that politicians will say anything to get elected, this is nothing new, and Hollande is no different.

      People got very excited about Obama, and here people were excited over Key, both of which have been monumental failures, as they were designed to be, for the country!

      Lets see how things play out in France over the next few months…

      • james 111 2.3.1

        Muzza
        Obama has been an epic fail Key is doing OK

        • marsman 2.3.1.1

          Bush fucked America, Obama has been trying to save it.
          Key is fucking NZ. Someone else will have to save it.

          • Colonial Viper 2.3.1.1.1

            US politics is completely dysfunctional. And with 47M on food stamp support, the only people that Obama has definitively helped are the bankers.

            Should I add that US war spending has continued unabated and Guantanmo Bay is still open?

          • Vicky32 2.3.1.1.2

            Bush fucked America, Obama has been trying to save it.

            A good start, would  be ending all the small and large wars, and Obama seems totally uninterested in doing that…
            I was never disillusioned with Obama, as I was never illusioned in the first place! He never stood a chance of being any different from Dubya…

    • james 111 2.4

      Jenny
      A one term socialist government for sure! . A person works really hard builds up a great business ,and for doing that only earns 25 cents in every dollar they earn. Sound realistic ,and fair to you ? Whilst the Socialist Government spends money wastefully with merry glee (this sound familiar to you)
      I know it’s the dream of Socialists to try and tax the wealthy into submission trouble is with your pipe dream is that you end up hurting the worker in the end. Businesses close down , workers get laid off to cut over heads down. Will be interesting to watch it develop they are a rebellious lot in france remember the Farmers with their tractors blocking the streets. I don’t believe this new Government will last one term

      • Te Reo Putake 2.4.1

        So many mistakes in such a short comment, Jim Jim! Is this a new PB for you? For starters, there is no proposal to tax all business income at 75% and this is a presidential election, not a general election.

      • fatty 2.4.2

        “A one term socialist government for sure! . A person works really hard builds up a great business ,and for doing that only earns 25 cents in every dollar they earn. Sound realistic ,and fair to you ? Whilst the Socialist Government spends money wastefully with merry glee (this sound familiar to you)
        I know it’s the dream of Socialists to try and tax the wealthy into submission trouble is with your pipe dream is that you end up hurting the worker in the end. Businesses close down , workers get laid off to cut over heads down. Will be interesting to watch it develop they are a rebellious lot in france remember the Farmers with their tractors blocking the streets. I don’t believe this new Government will last one term”

        This is probably the dumbest post I’ve ever read…that includes pete george’s posts.
        BTW, yes, getting taxed 75% in the dollar for the top earners sounds about right to me. But that would mean returning to the tax system which put NZ around the top of the developed world – you obviously want the opposite and enjoy seeing us slide down? The French are most likely to be rebellious against the selfish/upper class. At the moment, in contrast to NZ, they are not worshiping the ignorant rich wankers who hog resources and force people into poverty. This election was the protest you dumbass…or are you expecting the French to soon come out and protest that the poverty producing, fat & lazy upperclass should get to keep even more of their unearned money?

        • Gosman 2.4.2.1

          Excellent, we should see France bounding ahead in economic development just as they did when they introduced the 35 hour working week.

          • Colonial Viper 2.4.2.1.1

            As opposed to the Japanese and NZ’ers bounding ahead with their 55 hour weeks? Or is it just the corporates and the shareholders who benefit from all that extra work?

          • fatty 2.4.2.1.2

            Good point gosman…the 35 hour week in France was a sham cause their neoliberal tax system prevented the trickled down and created a torrent up. The 35 hour week exasperated economic inequality, it needed to be implemented alongside other ethical policies, but it was not.
            No point in cutting hours to the average worker if your economy is still based on greed.

            • Bored 2.4.2.1.2.1

              Its obvious to me, the mighty Gos intellect has swung into action and has decreed….France has gone socialist…hmmm..they will be like Zimmers within the week. Cuba will do a better job of handling the economy than France under Hollande.

              Dream on Gos.

        • james 111 2.4.2.2

          Fatty
          Time for you to go out and spend your food stamps now

      • mike e 2.4.3

        Jturd a Republican senate and house hardly socialist
        Take flush

    • Hm, I think this is more realistic.

    • Jim 2.6

      I agree Jenny.

      Labour ran away at the mouth with its election promise to raise the pension age. What a knife in the back from this speculative proposal for people who will die before they experience their pension rights, the populations of manual workers, other poor and shorter lived people, people with disabilities, Pacific and Maori, and others (what % of the population is this?).

      And why? Because Labour does not have the courage to stand against the idea that New Zealand should balance ‘it’s books’. Why again? Because it’s still got a neoliberal political stripe that runs the length of its back.

      Until I see it’s money where it’s mouth is then Labour, if they win the next election, will return with the same austerity agenda. Assets including a right to the pension, will be undermined unless Labour commits to creating jobs and creating new assets irrespective of the state of ‘the books’.

      And older people? We will continue to earn our keep as we always have. We aren’t a drain on the economy anymore than we ever have been. We pay up front.

      And a true economics to replace the self seeking from banking and finance (the deficit bean-counters)?

      Government spending (deficits if needs be) grow the economy when the government has let the economy flounder by permitting unemployment. A labour government must run a deficit if needs be, until all of our proper economic capacities are put to work. Government must guarantee full employment (even by creating real green socially needed employment itself). And framed by this, democracy must be about our long term real economic and social priorities.

      • Colonial Viper 2.6.1

        +1

        Apart from the fact that “growing” the economy is not going to be very achievable or sustainable as energy and resource depletion bites harder.

        • Bored 2.6.1.1

          Balancing the books sound a desirable outcome in a zero growth or declining GDP world BUT it has a serious impediments. Balancing the books implies you control the books i.e that you have some sovereignty.

          • Jim 2.6.1.1.1

            NZ isn’t a business or a household, and NZ government doesn’t really need to ask banks for money. Our government has sovereign control of its own currency and can always pay its bills if they are in $NZ. We use our own currency to settle accounts abroad i.e. we always use $NZ to do this.

            For some reason (maybe because we still think we’re on the gold standard) we give the banks low interest loans when the government spends. But we don’t have to do that. I think we should stop giving the banks a free lunch because they speculate and create massive financial instability.

            NZ doesn’t even have a problem in raising investment finance. The government could take that away from private banking and do it itself.

            Sometimes NZ has a deficit, but that’s not a debt we owe that can’t be paid because as I’ve said government spending is in $NZ. Deficits can be run indefinitely as many countries do – it doesn’t lead to inflation (when the economy is under utilising labour evidenced by unemployment) nor to national bankruptcy.

            Private debt issued by banks, on the other hand, is the stuff of global financial crises. That’s where governments have let the banks run riot. That’s the real problem but you won’t hear banks talking about that.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.6.1.1.1.1

              That’s the real problem but you won’t hear banks talking about that.

              Nor the politicians who seem to be in the banksters pockets.

        • Jim 2.6.1.2

          Ooops CV, should have said ‘sustainable’ rather than proper. Food can be grown sustainably, and a good diet is an excellent aim. That’s just one example.

    • Kevin 2.7

      @Jenny
      “Hollande has run on anti-austerity platform, promising to raise taxes to 75% on those earning 1 million Euros per annum to fix the budget deficit. ”

      Hollande has shot himself in the foot with a policy like that. France cannot afford to alienate the wealthy when their economy is in tatters. With Hollande at the wheel France will crash in the next 12 months, watch that space.

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 2.7.1

        Bullshit. Let’s see what an actual billionaire has to say on the subject:

        “People invest to make money, and potential taxes have never scared them off.”

        Warren Buffett.

        Why do you right-wingers rely on so many false assertions? Don’t you realise it renders everything you say irrelevant?

      • vto 2.7.2

        But that makes no sense Kevin because France and countless others have crashed already under their current leaders. You silly egg.

      • Jim 2.7.3

        Kevin

        It’s the Euro that has made Eurozone countries at risk of default. If they went back to their own individual currencies, they’d sort the problem out.

        The 99% don’t need the wealthy. It’s the other way round.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.7.4

        France cannot afford to alienate the wealthy when their economy is in tatters.

        Yes they can especially when you consider the fact that their economy is in tatters due to the rich. Same goes for NZ and the rest of the world. The rich are the problem.

      • Colonial Viper 2.7.5

        France cannot afford to alienate the wealthy when their economy is in tatters.

        Why not? The very wealthy aren’t afraid to alienate everyone else, have you noticed that?

        Hollande has been very clear about this point. The extremely wealthy are free to leave France if they don’t like the new President, but they can still expect their income and wealth in France to be taxed just the same.

    • Vicky32 2.8

      Hollande has run on anti-austerity platform, promising to raise taxes to 75% on those earning 1 million Euros per annum to fix the budget deficit.

      Well, now we know he won! 🙂
      Matthew Hooten was incandescent with rage about it on RNZ this morning, and Kathryn Ryan was rather unhappy as well. (I always knew she was a rightist.) Hooten outdid himself with insulting remarks about the ‘lazy, welfare-loving French’…

  3. David Shearer was in Dunedin in the weekend and ODT’s Dene Mackenzie interviewed him – I think giving Shearer a fair go, headlining “Shearer confident in role”. He seems to do well on the small stage although he’s yet to master the big stage.

    If you’re not a fan of Shearer you don’t have to read it or the comments. Dunedene on Shearer.

    But for Shearer to succeed he needs more obvious party support.

    • David H 3.1

      And where is the Link to the ODT?? and not your little linkwhoring site???? Fucking troll. Puts up an article but butchers the links for his own design.

      • That’s one of the most common purposes of a blog, to link to other information and comment on it (and to provide any reference links there).

        Your comment is more like trolling – grizzling and swearing simply to be abusive. Just skip what doesn’t interest you like most people manage to do.

  4. I intend to have a Pete George free day today and others may wish to do the same.

    • As a Labour party official in Auckland do you support David Shearer as Labour leader?

      Others may wish to also show support for Shearer here.

      • I support the leader and the party.  

        And see 4.0.

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          Exactly; DNFTT.

        • Pete George 4.1.1.2

          No more enthusiasm than that? Can you bring yourself mention his name?

          There’s some doubt as to who is really leading.

        • muzza 4.1.1.3

          MS, why is it people are seemingly so hung up on party politics still. This is in no way a dig, but do you feel obliged to support a party that has almost zero % likelyhood of halting its movement right, let alone stop, turn and head back in the direction of its roots.

          Its ok to admit our parliamentary system is not our own, in fact it would be a great first step to accepting people need to get off their butt and take change in their own hands..

          Doggedly supporting a party and or its leader, is endorsing our stolen democracy!

          The current system is not going to change, unless it is forced to, its as simple as that!

          • mickysavage 4.1.1.3.1

            Muzza

            I certainly oppose a rightward drift by the party.  I believe that in the past Labour has achieved great things for New Zealand and ordinary people and that it can do this in the future. 

            And that members including our elected politicians are the trustees of a movement and owe it a duty to respect its history and to support its principles. 

            • Ed 4.1.1.3.1.1

              I suspect Muzza was talking about National.They are the only party doggedly moving to the right.

            • muzza 4.1.1.3.1.2

              “I certainly oppose a rightward drift by the party. I believe that in the past Labour has achieved great things for New Zealand and ordinary people and that it can do this in the future. ”

              — A very long time ago MS, but yes they did. I’m afraid to say, that going forward short of something extraordinary happening in the mindset of the electorate, and the selection processes of those who are “chosen” to stand in general elections, be it in a constituency, or as a list MP changes to become all enagaging, and people engage, then we will continue to see the lowering of the bar of those who are the “choices” on the ballot.
              So unless ordinary people take a stand, the ordinary people will continue to suffer!

              “And that members including our elected politicians are the trustees of a movement and owe it a duty to respect its history and to support its principles”

              –Absolutely they do, but how is that looking over the past few decades MS, and what chances to you rate it to self change, should it be left to the current apparati! I think the evidence in the seel out that has become NZ politics is plainly obvious for all to see!

    • Carol 4.2

      +1 today and most days!

    • Te Reo Putake 4.3

      Excellent idea, MS. Do Not Feed the Tory.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.4

      I’m more likely to have a PG free week or, possibly, month.

  5. Kim Dotcom has put out a rap song about Banksie’s difficulties with his memory.  I sense that Dotcom is not someone that anyone should annoy …

    EDIT Oops Shorts bet me to it.

    • Te Reo Putake 5.1

      Shorts beat ya to it, ms. Speaking of amnesia, does anyone remember Ernest Saunders? A Tory crook who weaselled his way out of a well earned stay in prison by claiming amnesia. Happily the condition cleared up immediately on his release, which suggests that all Banksie needs is a short stay in Mt Eden prison to sort out his memory loss!

    • Tiger Mountain 5.2

      Listened to the song, got me chuckling on a Monday morning, Key was unaware of Dotcom? believe that you believe anything, the big man barreling through ShonKeys electorate in a pink ’59 Caddy to his definitely not state house?

      • deuto 5.2.1

        But how often, if ever except at election time, is ShonKey in his electorate?

  6. james 111 6

    Great article here on the myth of Bio fuels ,and how they only exist because of a generous government subsidy. Have driven up the price of food products as well as producing more green house gases per say than fossil fuels

    http://www.fcpp.org/publication.php/4191

    • joe90 6.1

      Idiot, two minutes tells me that the Frontier Foundation is funded anonymously and senior fellow Tim Ball was one of 60 ‘accredited experts’ who in April 2006 wrote to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper denying climate change. And in 2006 Ball claimed that “CFC’s were never a problem, it’s only because the sun is changing.

      • james 111 6.1.1

        Idiot it doesnt mean that anything he is saying isnt true debate the article and facts rather than use personal abuse

      • joe90 6.1.2

        Idiot means you’re stupid enough to parrot the utterings of Ball and his ilk.

        • james 111 6.1.2.1

          Idiot dispute the facts!
          Have corn prices gone up because of Bio fuels yes/no?
          Are Government subsidising production yes/no?
          Does that mean that Bio fuels are really sustainable if they weren’t subsidised yes/no?
          Do they actually end up producing more green house than fossil fuel yes/no?
          If you’re not sure how to answer any of the questions ask your full-time carer for help with the big words!

          • Bored 6.1.2.1.1

            Jimmy, yes the whole bio-fuel thing is a crock from every way you look at it. Your suggested remedy is?

            • james 111 6.1.2.1.1.1

              Bored
              Well un like some thing I dont think it lies in Bio fuels. Electric ,and better battery research for cars. Diesel for heavy transport or other types of combustable oils.

    • joe90 6.2

      Well getting your feeble wee Jimmie mind around the threading system seems beyond you but here goes.

      It’s a press release about a study titled The Green Plague by an organisation that’s anonymously funded and fronted by people who are tied too anti-green organisations.

      The paper itself is little more than a missive about the merits of fossil fuels and a beef about subsidies for the development of alternative energy.

      From the paper: Overall, tax subsidies and grants come to $7-billion a year.#

      (# No link to his source)

      Compared to referenced figures:

      2010 US Corn subsidises: $3,519,507,154

      2010 US Wheat subsidies: $1,744,199,117

      2010 US Soybean subsidies: $1,561,095,329

      • james 111 6.2.1

        Joe 90
        Im glad you got your hand out fo your pocket and finally let some blood flow to your brain. So we agree that it doesnt work without subsidies . Which in turn force up the price of food for people to eat. Bio fuels are a fantasy ideas just like wind power which is the dearest power to produce on a per MW basis

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1

          Agree with J3 here. EROEI for biofuels is absolutely rotten, and generally makes no sense unless the raw materials are nearly free and were going to go to waste in the first place.

          • lostinsuburbia 6.2.1.1.1

            They can also take large amounts of water to produce – in the Midwest US they are using irrigation from aquifers which is outstripping the ability for the aquifers to recharge.

            Its “solving” one problem and creating another one.

            Sugarcane is a better source of biofuel but it can’t be grown in as many places as corn etc.

            But I agree, biofuels are a crock – they have low EROEI and have a lot of inputs to produce (e.g. all the herbicides and pesticides)

            • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Indeed. You can’t substitute a barrel of oil or a tonne of coal storing a million years of sunlight, pressure, heat, gravity with corn which has been above ground for just a few months.

    • joe90 6.3

      With around a sixth of the subsidies fossil fuels receive alternatives appear to be the best use of public money.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.4

      Same could be said of fossil fuels.

      A 2009 study by the Environmental Law Institute[5] assessed the size and structure of U.S. energy subsidies over the 2002–2008 period. The study estimated that subsidies to fossil-fuel based sources amounted to approximately $72 billion over this period and subsidies to renewable fuel sources totaled $29 billion.

    • mike e 6.5

      not unlike the road user subsidies we pay truckies and holiday highways

  7. logie97 7

    Perigee Moons and natural disasters. Thank goodness this one appears to have passed without too much incident … fingers crossed mind you. What price the Transit of Venus?

    • yeshe 7.1

      Hopefully not this expensive …. this requires some discussion .. harm to the mutton birds, only 20% returned this year to the South Island and in possibly unsurvivable condition from migration grounds just out of Tokyo; thousands of pelicans and nearly 1000 dolphin dead without known causes on Peru coast …..

      NaturalNews Insider Alert ( http://www.NaturalNews.com ) email newsletter dated today

      Dear NaturalNews readers,

      I’m interrupting our normal email schedule to bring you an urgent alert that makes everything else seem insignificant by comparison.

      The issues of GMOs, fluoride, food freedom and vaccines won’t matter at all if we don’t solve this far bigger issue that threatens human civilization: Fukushima reactor No. 4.

      Right now, the reactor’s spent fuel pool is just one earthquake away from a structural failure that could set off a chain of events leading to the release of anywhere from 10 times to 85 times the Cesium-137 released in the Chernobyl disaster.

      Such circumstances caused one of Japan’s former ambassadors to make the following extraordinary statement:

      “It is no exaggeration to say that the fate of Japan and the whole world depends on No. 4 reactor.” – Mitsuhei Murata, Former Japanese Ambassador to Switzerland and Senegal, Executive Director, the Japan Society for Global System and Ethics.

      A failure of the reactor — and the subsequent catastrophic release of Cesium-137 — would decimate human life across North America, killing off crops, polluting groundwater, causing widespread infant stillbirths and unleashing an explosion in cancer rates. North America could become uninhabitable by humans for centuries.

      Cesium-137 has a half-life of 30 years, meaning that if North America is blanketed with a layer of radioactive dust in 2012, that radioactivity will still be half as strong in the year 2042. It will drop by half again by the year 2072. By the year 2102, it might be low enough to where humans could start to re-colonize the continent, but even then, rates of cancer and birth defects would likely be off the charts.

      Yet, as we speak, the mainstream media is running a total media blackout on this story. Governments are pretending there is no problem, and the corporations that built these nuclear facilities (like GE) are quietly running disinfo campaigns to convince everybody there is no problem.

      I’ve just published an urgent feature story on this issue, outlining the facts about Fukushima reactor No. 4:
      http://www.naturalnews.com/035789_Fukushima_Cesium-137_Plume-Gate.html

  8. Campbell Larsen 8

    The Judge, the Sheriff, and echoes of Nottingham.

    The Herald in its article Justice in the firing line attempts to paint a picture of a dysfunctional Court System.
    It is no surprise to find that the push towards specialization is a pet project of Chris Finlayson
    And also no surprise to find the Herald is giving the cheerleaders of this approach an opportunity to slag off the Judiciary.
    Finlayson refers to a Scottish review by Lord Gill as evidence that specialization has passed consultation hurdles elsewhere:

    During the consultation period of the review, practitioners and court users were found to be strongly in favour of a greater degree of specialisation in the courts, especially in commercial law, personal injury, consumer and housing cases. The review considered a number of submissions on this topic and recommended in its final report that a system be introduced .where a number of sheriffs in each sheriffdom should be designated as specialists in particular areas of practice, including solemn crime, general civil, personal injury, family and commercial.

    New Zealand’s legal fraternity is not so keen on it however.

    The principle drawback of specialization is a narrowing of views brought to bear in rulings – this is not necessarily so, however in the eventuality that there are fewer numbers of ‘qualified’ speciality Judges then this is a logical consequence. Even if more Judges were to be appointed any new ‘expert’ appointments would need to be closely scrutinized so as to negate the influence of cronyism. Some argue that hearing a succession of speciality cases may in itself lead to inequitable outcomes – after all each case requires a unique balancing between circumstance and the law, an effort which may be compromised by sentencing via repetition reflex. This are not issues which should be so lightly disregarded by the Attorney General.

    Our ready familiarity with injustice in the setting of the ‘Sherriff’ reflects the fact that history tells us that those with great authority are more likely to abuse it if there are few in a position of equal power/ position/ expertise to challenge them. One of the great strengths of the Judiciary is the diversity of backgrounds and values that exist, all underpinned by a respect for and knowledge of the law. This diversity is constantly in tension with the consistency that the law strives for – and rightly so. The test of Justice is that diversity does yield this consistency, not by solely by design or edict but through commonly held values. The Judiciary are our representatives – we are no better served with less representation in this context than we would be in Parliament.

    The Law Commission is of a similar disposition saying:

    the generalist nature of the High Court is “one of its great strengths” and that formal specialisation “could have the effect of excluding some judges from exercising parts of the Court’s jurisdiction entirely”.

    Looking at the people who are critical of the status quo or are promoting specialisation (DPF & ex-ACTiod Stephen Franks) one could be forgiven for thinking that their comments are designed to erode faith in a system which is actually working very well, with the intention of placing ever more of our legal system outside of our sovereign control or placing its delivery into the hands of an even smaller elite group:

    Stephen Franks:
    “We need to send cases to the High Court of Australia, or to take on outside judges on the Supreme Court when the people on our top court know too many of the parties, or have worked for them, or have relatives or close friends with such complicating interests, or have investments that will be affected by a decision, or are known to have longstanding friendships (or the opposite) with parties or their counsel, or have passionate known views on issues.”

    Attorney General Chris Finlayson:
    “The last sub-rule is that the existing principle of the rule of law requires compliance by the state with its obligations in international law, the law which, whether deriving from treaty or international custom and practice, governs the conduct of nations.”

    Our agenda pushing Herald is only too happy to jump on the bashing bandwagon quoting barrister Anthony Grant who in the online magazine NZ Lawyer said:

    “I can’t recall a time when our most senior local court – the Court of Appeal before 2004 and the Supreme Court since then – has been the subject of so much criticism,”
    However the Herald has not just asked him his opinion, this quote dates back to an NZ Lawyer article dated 7th October 2011! (and was quoted by DPF Dec 15th 2011) Talk about having (yet another) another go at it…

    In quoting James Farmer QC the Herald seems to have overlooked the reservations that he had earlier expressed regarding overstating problems with the Supreme Court:

    ” Reasoned debate is what we should all aspire to and we should not shrink from making that debate public on occasion. But I do emphasise the word “reasoned”. An unqualified statement that the skids are under the Supreme Court because one barrister has criticised two of the Court’s decisions hardly meets that standard. – James Farmer

    So by his own measure, it is not reasonable for the Herald to assert “Justice in the firing line” simply because there is criticism from two QC’s, an ex-appeal Judge and two no-names. Extending that logic further and adding his concerns regarding consultation processes becoming simply the rubberstamping of agendas one would think that he would prefer to make his comments via a more formal process. To be fair to Mr Farmer he most probably did not ever intend being placed by default into the same camp as Mr Franks again, at least not going by this:

    “I was reminded of this when I read the interpretation to the Court Report broadcast given by Stephen Franks (a former commercial lawyer, ACT party MP and now lawyer again) on his web site. His discussion of the programme and in particular of my contribution to it begins with the heading “Heat Builds on Supreme Court” and then immediately suggests that the “skids” are under the Supreme Court in its current form.
    What nonsense! And it is just this kind of destructive and emotive and irresponsible language from someone who is well known that makes constructive debate that much more difficult.

    What a coincidence – I am looking forward to his equally vehement condemnation of the Heralds more recent attempt at manufacturing a crisis.

  9. prism 9

    On radionz this am there was a report about a mock sojourn on Mars carried out in the Nevada Desert. Interesting how in a world where the financial system is in turmoil and people are as a result suffering in large and small ways, that the appetite for space exploration and programs is still strong. The world may be poor they say, but we will deliberately look away from that and concentrate on our resource-gobbling studies of space with ever-increasing projects a la sci fi writers imaginations.

    After the Second World War the USA put effort into setting up Peace Corps and their people went and served in developing countries (not always successfully but most things that the USA does carry a sting in them). Now that sort of thing is in the backroom and shooting money into space is the favoured occupation, and talking in a disjointed way with the present and our own realities, the thinking is about events millions of light years away.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      Poor old NASA is quietly being starved.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:NASA_budget_linegraph_BH.PNG

      http://articles.businessinsider.com/2009-07-17/wall_street/29980802_1_moon-landing-golden-age-space-age

      Yes NASA gets to spend over a billion USD a month, but that pales in comparison to the US$2B to $3B per week the US spends in Afghanistan and Iraq.

      Overall though your point is correct. A fraction of that money spent directly on the people would do so much more good. In NZ its like saying that there isn’t $25M for a brand new community hospital, but there is $2500M for a new stretch of bitumen.

      • prism 9.1.1

        I was trying to remember how much the US Defence spends on PR a year – something tremendous that goes into millions, billions, a speaker on Radionz referred to it the other day.

        But I did discover some long numbers on Global Security.org site about military spending in 2011.
        GDP Rank %ofGDP Rank Military spending
        United States $14,120,000,000,000 2 5.2% 25 $741,200,000,000
        China $8,818,000,000,000 3 4.3% 23 $380,000,000,000
        Japan is next with 0.8% of GDP on military spending and rank 150 $33,192,000,000
        India next 2.5% and rank 62 $92,000,000,000

        Russia$2,116,000,000,000 8 3.9% 27 $82,500,000,000

        Interesting Saudi Arabia ranks 23 on GDP scale but spends 10% on its military

      • prism 9.1.2

        Thanks CV The NASA budget was sky-high, ha, in the intoxicating days of 1964, but has been shelved as attention has turned to other ventures I guess. What a lot of info is out there. How do we/you keep up with it all?

        • Colonial Viper 9.1.2.1

          Well, it requires special herbs and spices combined with frying in a high pressure cooker.

          The trick of course prism is knowing how to transform raw data into actionable information. Part of that is being able to apply context, perspective and objectives – which the progressive Left should have available in spades. In theory anyway.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      The world may be poor they say, but we will deliberately look away from that and concentrate on our resource-gobbling studies of space with ever-increasing projects a la sci fi writers imaginations.

      The world isn’t poor (it’s over populated) and space exploration doesn’t gobble up huge amounts of resources. Then there’s the fact that the resources it does use pretty much can’t be used for anything else (maybe a few extra planes but do we actually need more planes?). Then we would need to consider the idea that resources could be brought back.

      You’re falling into the same trap as most others and confusing money with resources.

      • prism 9.2.1

        @DTB I wonder if there is a sensible cost benefit analysis on the project of bringing resources
        back from space. Isn’t money the grease required to get more resources, which will then be likely to be sequestered by a corporation or private equity king? When a space vehicle leaves earth isn’t it using a lot of fuel? Isn’t it made from special materials that have to be obtained by paying money that could be spent elsewhere?

        There will always be poverty in the world, I have surmised, not so much because we are overpopulated with which statement I agree, but because of certain people’s insatiable desire to get lots of tradeable things, money, gems whatever and hold as much as possible exclusively.
        And not even to enjoy spending it, the individual can end up a recluse living on chicken soup like Howard Hughes.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1.1

          I wonder if there is a sensible cost benefit analysis on the project of bringing resources back from space.

          I would assume that the company in the Reuters article is looking at it. I would like it even more if our government was also doing so. One major benefit I can think of is that mining asteroids would decrease environmental damage.

          When a space vehicle leaves earth isn’t it using a lot of fuel?

          Most of which comes back to Earth. There maybe an argument about the electricity used to get the LOX/LH but even that could be addressed by making more efficient houses and renewable generation.

          Isn’t it made from special materials that have to be obtained by paying money that could be spent elsewhere?

          Think about what that actually means. There are limited resources and we have to consider their distribution but not all resources can be used for the same end. Using aluminium, LOX/LH and the people for research to explore space doesn’t mean that people are being made poorer because the resources are different to what’s needed to ensure people have a decent living standard (food, housing, clothing). The other way to look at it is that spending the money on space exploration won’t increase poverty.

          IMO, the biggest problem with modern economics is that it fails to distinguish between resources which is why I tend to think of it as a monetary theory rather than an economic one.

          There will always be poverty in the world, I have surmised, not so much because we are overpopulated with which statement I agree, but because of certain people’s insatiable desire to get lots of tradeable things, money, gems whatever and hold as much as possible exclusively.

          Which actually means that we need to stop such sociopathic individuals from accumulating so much.

          • prism 9.2.1.1.1

            DTB That’s a really thorough reply thanks. That’s an idea – that our government should be thinking about space mining? They can’t think of anything till there is a crisis, and only if Australia has thought about it first, and soon the USA too when their shoes are sufficiently clean..

            Is there a particular resource that could be obtained efficiently from asteroids such as rare earth minerals? What happens when space travel requirements clash with resources needed for useful things for people?

            And on a ‘lighter’ note, personally I would like aluminium to be still available to the masses.-My ladder is a lot lighter and stronger than the wooden ones from the past. I would definitely be poorer if I had to employ a tradesman to do anything high because I couldn’t lift my ladder and though I might lend it I would want it returned to me exclusively.

            I don’t think that makes me a sociopath but another big question is how people are directed as children so they go on a humanity path, not the psycho or socio path. These traits seem to crop up too often. We don’t understand how important it is to control and channel our natures so our energies are turned to good outcomes, and how to decide what the best outcome is from what’s offering. That could be more important than space travel, and in the short term rather than next century.

            • Draco T Bastard 9.2.1.1.1.1

              Is there a particular resource that could be obtained efficiently from asteroids such as rare earth minerals?

              In theory the asteroids/moons have the same make up as Earth – they did, after all, accrete from same stellar gas/dust cloud. It’s not quite that simple but…shrug.

              What happens when space travel requirements clash with resources needed for useful things for people?

              Well, if we’ve got good economics going (we don’t ATM) then the people would decide how much would go to the people and how much for the space exploration. Looking at the composition of the moon I don’t think you would have any concerns about your ladder.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                Many of the chemical compounds and minerals found on earth are as a result of our biodiversity – Earth didn’t come equipped with them from the git go.

                Planets without life would not provide us with many of the minerals we value today. Planets with that level of biodiversity are likely to be inhabited.

                http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=evolution-of-minerals

                Only a dozen minerals (crystalline compounds) are known to have existed among the ingredients that formed the solar system 4.6 billion years ago, but today Earth has more than 4,400 mineral species.

                Earth’s diverse mineralogy developed over the eons, as new mineral-generating processes came into play.

                Remarkably, more than half of the mineral species on Earth owe their existence to life, which began transforming the planet’s geology more than two billion years ago.

                • lprent

                  Remarkably, more than half of the mineral species on Earth owe their existence to life, which began transforming the planet’s geology more than two billion years ago.

                  You mean the ones we know about?

                  We have bugger all knowledge of anything from the mantle downwards and the massive numbers of pressure/temperature zones through to the core will form massive numbers of differing minerals of which we know only a few that survive in pipes. We know very little about even the crustal minerals because we only see them in the low pressure zones in the upper km or two.

                  Similarly it is daft to talk about mineralogy in space in the stylized form of the simple. We only know of a few rocks that drop on us, some regolith from the moon, and a few impacts with asteroids. This is in the geological terms of a solar system that spans light months out past the Oort and Kuiper belts – and they are still largely theoretical.

                  You really need to investigate a bit more about the limits of what we know before making such simplistic statements.

                  • Descendant Of Smith

                    It wasn’t my statement it was Scientific American’s.

                    Take it up with them.

  10. For those that aren’t blog snobs and interested into David Garrett’s insights and predictions on the Act Party here’s Decline and Fall Part III (with links to I and II).

    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2012/05/guest-post-david-garrett-5/

    • vto 10.1

      I cannot see how this rubbish advances the cause of any man, woman or child anywhere in our land in any way whatsoever.

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      If we’re so-called blog snobs are you a blog slut?

    • QoT 10.3

      David Garrett posting on WhaleOil? I assume this is some clever ploy to make your own linkspamming look less irritating by comparison?

      • mickysavage 10.3.1

        Hehe

        Garrett is possibly the only blogger in NZ that would make Slater look semi rational … 

        • Pete George 10.3.1.1

          Garrett often joins in on Kiwiblog and usually makes worthwhile contributions to interesting discussions. That’s a lot more than I can say for you, more often than not you’re being snarky about other posts, far more than adding anything to discussions.

          Once Garrett jumped to a conclusion and snarled at me, I called him on it and he came back and apologised. There’s a few here that could learn from what he says and his normally reasonable blog etiquette.

          • mickysavage 10.3.1.1.1

            Sorry Petey, Garrett and worthwhile in the same sentence is a misnomer unless the word “not” is in the middle somewhere.

            You are showing your true colors.  Garrett fanboy, there are not many around … 

            • Pete George 10.3.1.1.1.1

              You mean you’re showing your true colours takethegreg. I’ve seen Garratt involved in a lot more meaningful discussions than you.

              And again you fail to understand that it’s possible to have good discussions, even rip snorting debates, without agreeing with everyone and everything. You seem to prefer circle jerking and avoiding showing enthusiasm for your party’s leader.

              And you can’t be trusted. You said you weren’t going to t-droll me today.

      • Pete George 10.3.2

        That’s snotty isn’t it?

        I had this maybe naive belief that on a political blog some people may be interested in an interesting insight into a significant political story. I thought that normally most people visiting here wouldn’t be normally visiting Whaleoil.

        To minimise excuses for snotty responses I made it clear where the link was going.

        But I’ve learnt that prople make snotty comments here whatever I do. Not sure whether it’s more sad than funny or not.

        • McFlock 10.3.2.1

          Yes. That’s right.
          It’s our fault you’ve lost damned near all respect possible here. /sarc [SUPER-OBVIOUS SARCASM TAG] {sarcastic use of sarcasm tags tag}
                
                   
           

          • Pete George 10.3.2.1.1

            I wasn’t aware you speak for everyone here. I presume you don’t talk for those who simply ignore what doesn’t interest them, nor those who contact me off blog, nor those who choose to follow links – I see how many do that. It’s not just you and a few intolerants who use TS, but I guess you’re too busy doing sensible stuff here to notice things like that [SUPER-OBVIOUS SARCASM TAG].

            • Pascal's bookie 10.3.2.1.1.1

              Thanks Pete. It’s been a long while since I’ve seen that one. It’s a classic, as this little ditty from just prior to the turn of the century shows:

              To the tune of “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean”:

              The Lurkers support me in e-mail
              They all think I’m great don’t you know.
              You posters just don’t understand me
              But soon you will reap what you sow.

              Lurkers, lurkers, lurkers support me, you’ll see, you’ll see
              Off in e-mail the lurkers support me, you’ll see.

              The lurkers support me in e-mail
              “So why don’t they post?” you all cry
              They’re scared of your hostile intentions
              They just can’t be as brave as I.

              Lurkers, lurkers, lurkers support me, you’ll see, you’ll see
              Off in e-mail the lurkers support me, you’ll see.

              One day I’ll round up all my lurkers
              We’ll have a newsgroup of our own
              Without all this flak from you morons
              My lurkers will post round my throne.

              Lurkers, lurkers, lurkers support me, you’ll see, you’ll see
              Off in e-mail the lurkers support me, you’ll see.

              (Author is Jo Walton….)

            • Te Reo Putake 10.3.2.1.1.2

              Pooter George?

        • mickysavage 10.3.2.2

          The trouble Petey is that the post bears no resemblance to reality.  It does not discuss Garret’s own contribution to the party’s downfall after his theft of a dead baby’s identity became public.  It does not discuss National’s takeover of ACT or the role of money.  It does not talk about the Hide-Roy civil war or the frankly misogynist attitudes that were very apparent.

          It is a very sterilized self serving commentary on what happened.  But I am not surprised.

          It is anything but interesting.  Do you think that Garrett had a responsible part to play in our political history?

          • Pete George 10.3.2.2.1

            He claims a fair bit of responsibility for three strikes. That hasn’t proven calamitous as some claimed it would, and I’ve seen a few lawyers offering reserved praise for it.

            • mickysavage 10.3.2.2.1.1

              It was a cop out.  It does not kick in for about 10 years or so.  Then after that the Californian “stole a piece of pizza and then gets life imprisonment” cases start to kick in.

              No one who knew anything claimed it would be calamitous.  Please, please provide links to those who did.  Go on, no further debate necessary, just provide the links … 

              • Then after that the Californian “stole a piece of pizza and then gets life imprisonment” cases start to kick in.

                You’ve just illustrated the calamitous argument. You provide the links to support that claim.

                You do know New Zealand law is different to California law don’t you?

              • Provide the bloody link Petey.  I put the proposition up.  You respond.  This is why you get such a hard time.  This is the invitation to you to actually engage in the argument.  Go on, put the links up.

                I said the calamitous arguments will kick in 10 or more years later.  They are not happening now because that is how the law is drafted.  Show me where I am wrong. 

              • No one who knew anything claimed it would be calamitous.

                …Kim Workman on Morning Report. He made the very good point that if we had a “three strikes” law and a person had just committed their third strike then they would become extremely dangerous and would in all likelihood kill to avoid being caught. After all, what do they have to lose?

                • Aargh I broke my resolution of today of not arguing with idiots.

                  There is no immediate effect.  There is an effect down the line.

                  Workman did not say there would be an immediate effect.  He was talking about their third strike …  

                  EDIT: a relevant quote for Petey …

                  Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

                  • Descendant Of Smith

                    On a day with a tea party post and Pete George continuing to post inanely it must be time for Pete to have his own section on this site.

                    This would mean that those that wish to peruse his posts and respond can do so and the rest of us can blithely ignore them.

                    May I suggest this section be called “PG Tips”

                    Suitable photo found in link below:

                    PG Tips Chimps

                    • QoT

                      I second this motion so hard I’ll ruin it for all future supporters.

                    • Does “inanely” mean showing a lawyer up on the basics of a law?

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      “Does “inanely” mean showing a lawyer up on the basics of a law?”

                      Nope it means that the Tips in PG Tips could be reversed and would still accurately describe your postings here.

                      Your posts rarely have substance or depth, rarely give us any inkling as to what your opinion is (posing questions is not expressing an opinion) and consist of a he said / she said style of expression.

                      Of course we’ve seen your type before.

                      At the same time you are apologist and supporter of the right, the corporate and the current government (despite your occasional protestations to the contrary) and for that in itself your posts are a pointless trolling for many.

                  • I didn’t say there would be an immediate effect either.

                    You haven’t responded to being called on your claim of Then after that the Californian “stole a piece of pizza and then gets life imprisonment” cases start to kick in.

                    As my link showed, theft doesn’t apply with the New Zealand three strikes law. It’s hard to believe you are that ignorant of the law, that leaves deliberate misleading as the reason for making a calamitous claim?

                    • Um er I was talking about relatively minor transgressions attracting severe consequences.

                    • Um er – can you give possible examples that are actually in the list of offences that apply? The included offences seem to be mostly quite serious offences, like murder, rape and other crimes of significant violence. Not theft.

                      It is possible that a third offence is at the lower end of the scale of offending for that offence so the resulting three strikes sentence may appear like an anomaly, but the offender will have already been convicted of two probably reasonably serious offences at least prior to that.

                    • I would rather chew my toenails than continue this “discussion”.  To the standarnistas community can I apologise for allowing Petey to contaminate another thread …

        • QoT 10.3.2.3

          I assure you, Petey, “maybe naive” is about the most charitable opinion anyone could have of your actions given your previous form.

          And I’m not snotty. I’m a bitch.

          • Pete George 10.3.2.3.1

            I wouldn’t call you a bitch, at least not without knowing you a lot better and I’ve no inclination to go there.

            I still call snotty on that. I don’t care about snottiness aimed at me, I’ve seen a lot worse, but don’t you think you should let each person here make up their own minds? I come across quite a few people on blogs who read quite a variety to keep up with what’s going on. Even takethegreg does that a bit, without admitting it much.

            • QoT 10.3.2.3.1.1

              I wouldn’t call you a bitch, at least not without knowing you a lot better and I’ve no inclination to go there.

              My dearest Pete, I don’t give a fuck what you’d call me. I am quite happy to label myself a bitch, knowing precisely what the word is meant to convey in a patriarchal society.

              And since, you know, I don’t actually have the power to erase your comments via telepathy, I fail to see how pointing and laughing at your sad pretence to “stimulating conversation” in any way stops other people making up their minds. Of course, you might be worried that these days your every comment is met with a gale of snark from the regular commenters here, and that will almost certainly affect the view newbies have of you, but you’ve really no one to blame but yourself for that one.

  11. ianmac 11

    David Fisher is an active explorer. What did the PM know or should know:

    Through the Official Information Act, it has emerged the Government’s lawyers at the Crown Law Office began working on the case in July 2011.

    Prime Minister John Key carried out a lengthy television interview last Friday to deny any knowledge of Dotcom until the day before the raids even though his senior ministers, a string of senior civil servants and his own electorate staff were involved in matters relating to him.

    It has emerged that staff in the Prime Minister’s own department were aware of Dotcom and his bid through the Overseas Investment Office to buy the mansion in which he lived with his family.

    The purchase was approved by Overseas Investment Office officials and Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson in April 2011.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10803977

    • rosy 11.1

      A spokeswoman for the Prime Minister said: “The Prime Minister’s office was briefed by Hon Power’s officeof the minister’s decision as acourtesy.

      “The briefing was a brief phone call between two staff members – one from Hon Power’s office and one from the Prime Minister’s.”

      She said Mr Key was not told any details of the briefing.

      Any details… fair enough, but interesting wording. Surely he was told there was a briefing. That’s basic – especially for an apparently ‘no surprises’ government.

  12. Bemoan Riot 12

    Viva la France!

    • Gosman 12.1

      So touching to see that some people actually think it will make a blind bit of difference what the French Government does. Although I can imagine the Brits and Swiss are going to be happy with imminent influx of high earners from France.

      • Bemoan Riot 12.1.1

        I can imagine the French will be happy with any exodus of the greedy from France.

        • Bored 12.1.1.1

          If Gos is correct and nothing changes (a la Obama) then we may see the reappearance of Jacobinism and the Committee of Public Safety. If the French get austerity foisted on them expect to see the haircut performed by the “National Barber”.

          • prism 12.1.1.1.1

            @Bored As long as they don’t start lashing out around the world at anyone who annoys them, sending agents out to sink boats and stuff.

        • fatty 12.1.1.2

          “I can imagine the French will be happy with any exodus of the greedy from France.”

          Too true…they’ll be better off without their ‘wealth creators’ (poverty producers)

          • Bemoan Riot 12.1.1.2.1

            “Too true…they’ll be better off without their ‘wealth creators’ (poverty producers)”

            and there’ll be less piss to trickle down on the heads of the middle and lower classes, which will be a nice respite

          • joe90 12.1.1.2.2

            ..

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.2

        @ImperatorFish

        Having a socialist win the French presidency is worth it if only to witness the conniptions of righties in NZ.

  13. s y d 13

    http://www.governmentshareoffers.govt.nz

    quick get in now, never to be repeated offer!!! Not open to those pesky americans or australians… ACT NOW!!!

    • Dv 13.1

      >you are not in the United States nor are you acting for the account or benefit of any person in the United States;

      This a condition to allow entry to the website.

      Why only the US?
      Seems odd.

      • Chris 13.1.1

        Don’t really know but I would assume it is because of the US’s securities laws which are far more intensive than anyone elses

    • freedom 13.2

      The entry page does scream the obvious question, why does the United States get such special mention? Last time i checked the Atlas there were a whole bunch of countries other than NZ and the USA. or is it a Winston moment ,( no not him, the other one) there only is the United States, there only ever was the United States and only ever will be the United States.

      But seriously for a second . . for the elucidation of us all . . can anyone give a clear and accurate explanation as to why the page has this particular and specific declaration ?

      oh and where is the mention of only keeping 51 % of the voting shares whilst selling everything else not welded down?

  14. joe90 14

    François Hollande victory speech.

    http://www.france24.com/en/livefeed

    • vto 15.1

      But hang on – the reason public sector pay rates have increased so spectacularly recently is because apparently the two can be compared and the public lot should match the private lot.

      So if that is the case then make it match the private lot i.e. none of this annuity bullshit.

      Or is that just another question and logic which can be ignored?

    • felix 15.2

      I wonder if Key realises how neatly it highlights the fact that his focus is now on retirement…

      • Carol 15.2.1

        And with all his millions, why would Key be concerned about having a guaranteed income for life?….

        …unless, he’s expecting to lose a lot of his wealth in some future global economic crash?

  15. John72 16

    this morning’s PRESS has an article describing some incidents over the weekend where the police were called in to controll 100’s of disorderly youths, “mostly students”. “..the message about responsible drinking did not seem to be getting through to students…”
    50 years ago students could not afford to drink. It was the well paid labourers who caused the trouble. Even youth on an apprenticeship wer short of cash. Why am I paying income tax for the youth down the road to leave broken glass in my drive, pull out my letter box, etc. The Studend Army, who went out and helped CH after the EQ, demonstrated that there is a different student.

  16. BLiP 17

    Accueillir la nouvelle France . . . Ζήτω η νέα Ελλάδα !!!

  17. prism 18

    Matthew Hooting this morning was almost incoherent on the bad of tertiary education for the masses. It is a marvel how somebody with such a right agenda gets so much air time. All people with an ambition to get on in politics, and in business, should take lessons in public speaking at an early age and aim for a confident, fast-speaking style of speech. It doesn’t matter then what quality of mind and thinking is behind the mouth.

    His attitude is set on his favourite ways of supporting right-wing policies so much that he can’t contemplate another point of view and be willing to change his stance. And why? Because he does not support a government or economy that gives all people opportunity for advancement and which finds ways to continue that when there is a shortage of cash as at present.

    He of course wouldn’t say that the tax cuts on high marginal income should be reversed so easing ‘our’ government’s money shortage, forcing us sadly, crocodile tears here, to sell off some of our infrastructure which, run successfully under present regimes, are prime earning assets.

  18. deuto 19

    Did John Banks ask SkyCity to donate anonymously?

    I posted this link on the Dotcom song post earlier to an article on Scoop this morning.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1205/S00056/did-john-banks-ask-skycity-casino-to-donate-anonymously.htm

    This article suggests that Banks was involved with the Sky City / convention centre whole scenario from the start. Scoop has asked Sky City a range of questions re this but without success in getting any detailed answers.

    New evidence has come to light which offers a motive for why John Banks may have asked SkyCity to have donated anonymously to his campaign – namely he didn’t want to be seen to be a hypocrite during the Mayoral election campaign.

    And did Mayoral Candidate John Banks make a convention centre for Auckland an election commitment to give himself wriggle room to change his position on the pokies after the election?

    The new evidence consists of a combination of a little-seen Youtube video posted during the Mayoral campaign (around the time of the anonymous donations from Kim Dotcom), John Banks strident opposition to Casinos expressed in 1997, SkyCity’s record in making political donations (it didn’t before 2010), and the timing of Prime Minister John Key’s intervention in the National Convention Centre policy debate. …..

    The mud gets murkier and murkier – and the dots start to connect…………..

    The article also provides a useful timeline summary.

  19. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 20

    The secret diary of John Banks:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/opinion/columnists/6864044/The-secret-diary-of-John-Banks

  20. Annnnnd the latest Roy Morgan is out.  It is better than the last one which I thought was a bit of a rogue but not as good for Labour as the recent digipoll.
     
    Labour up 2 to 28.5%
    Greens up 2.5 to 15%
    National down 2.5 to 47% (the Banks effect is seeping through)
    NZ First on 5%
    United Follicles and Association of Crooks and Thieves are on 0.5% each.
     
    The trends are all in the right direction.  The next couple of months will be fascinating.

    [lprent: Tucked in the graphs because it was a pain last time with moronic trolls with no links. Now to sharpen the banning button if I see repetitions of the irritating behaviours from last time. ]

    • ianmac 21.1

      Interesting that a few more than last time, don’t name a Party to vote for. A little bit of uncertainty perhaps?

    • Te Reo Putake 21.2

      The Govt vs Opposition is still looking mint. Only 2 of 8 polls since the election have had NACTM better than the actual election result, six show the opposition well on top.
       
      If this poll was replicated in an actual election, I beleive the Nats would have 48 seats, Labour would have 36/37, Greens 19/20 and NZF 6. 51-53 against 48 plus whatever is left of the corpses of ACT and the Maori Party.

  21. Pascal's bookie 22

    BSA ruling on that child poverty doco pre election. You remember, tories bleating, etc:

    http://www.bsa.govt.nz/decisions/show/4340

    • ianmac 22.1

      Hope National doesn’t see fit to use Urgency to ban such issues during Election zone? They wouldn’t – would they?

  22. Pascal's bookie 23

    heh.

    “That awkward moment when the National Party launch their Hutt Valley branch 20kms away from the Hutt Valley.”

    http://bit.ly/IGFCMO

  23. Reagan Cline 24

    O

  24. Reagan Cline 25

    On August 4th 1914, the German Socialist Party voted in favour of credits for the war. The statement that went with casting their votes in The Reichstag ended with:

    “We hope that the cruel lesson of war will arouse in many more millions of people a horror of war and will convert them to the ideals of socialism. Guided by these considerations, we vote for the war appropriations”

    29th July 1914 the Kaiser threatened to declare a state of emergency and “have the (socialist) leaders arrested, the lot of them”

    The lessons I draw from this are that the NZ consitution should not allow the possibility of rule by decree to be vested in one person or a small non-accountable group.

    Socialist parties need to be seen to walk the talk as ruthlessly as the righties.

    Socialists should have a means of avoiding betrayal by their leaders.

    Passive resistance on a large scale was not tried in August 1914 and perhaps it could have worked.

    I got the quote from “Dance of the Furies. Europe and the outbreak of World War 1” by Michael S Neiberg, Harvard University Press, 2011.

  25. M 26

    ‘Australia in grim shape. Retailers are going under, home prices are sinking, and there is an enormous collapse in the entire service sector.’

    http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.jp/2012/05/spotlight-australia-collapse-in-service.html

    • Peter in Papua New Guinea 26.1

      And they want to introduce a big fat Carbon Tax. Timing is everything I guess.

      • fatty 26.1.1

        And our only economic plan is to ride their coattails. Ignorance is everything I guess

      • Colonial Viper 26.1.2

        Hey PPNG

        Extractive industries can only stay highly profitable if they don’t have to pay in full for the damage they cause the environment.

        After all its not hard to be profitable when you only pay for a fraction of the expenses yourself, and make society pay for the rest.

    • Reagan Cline 26.2

      On the other hand, Australia’s retail sales rose for the third month in a row in March (0.9% mom as compared to a revised 0.3% mom rise in Feb)

      And building approvals rose sharply in March (7.4% mom rise after a 8.8% fall in Feb)

      • John72 26.2.1

        So many people look at history and think “It is quaint. It is history. It can not happen to me. ” They will not accept that each day we are creating history. So many people stop thinking when they see something they do not like. Posts on The Standard illustrate this when people change the subject again and again, rather than discuss the original subject. Even personal critisizim is just “changing the subject” and admitting that you can not debate the original point.
        As I see it, Austerity might be part of the solution to Europe’s economic problems but the majority of the population are not prepared to accept the hardship caused by Austerity so no government will be able to enforce Austerity. In the Western World, many in this generation are reluctant to work. Such people have always been present BUT they have not always been tolerated by their peers. France has real problems now. This was reflected in the price of the NZ dollar on Monday. We need Europe for trade.
        How many people abuse bennefits today to avoid work? This is a principle. There are thousands of documents covering the detail.

  26. millsy 27

    Old cabbage-for-brains looks to be safe (for now at least), but all signs point to him being out come 2014. Though the filthy rich god-botherer Mr Craig, and his merry band, could demand kooky stuff like the throwing out of evolution from our schools, tightening up on divorce laws, a complete ban on abortion, and perhaps the prohibition of homosexuals from teaching, etc in a C & S arrangement. The clock will be turned back to 2012 BC by lunchtime.

    Be careful what you wish for….

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