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Open mike 07/06/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 7th, 2012 - 131 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

131 comments on “Open mike 07/06/2012 ”

  1. Hi there comrades, please give our new branch a “like” on FB. We need all the support we can get in such a strong National electorate http://www.facebook.com/groups/163564560349751/#!/pages/Young-Labour-Marlborough/152818718149669

    By the way, I agree with enough is enough re Alliance and Kiwibank

  2. Logie97 2

    Does anyone know whether teachers are entitled to redundancy? Haven’t heard the government offering it …

    • Dv 2.1

      Yes, or at least they used to.
      I lay odds that the redundancy costs are not in cluded in the costings.

      I saw an item on stuff? Today it is gone that Key had told Parata to talk to the unions.

      • BLiP 2.1.1


        Here ’tis

        Prime Minister John Key has stepped into the class sizes row and says under fire education minister Hekia Parata needs to talk to teacher unions . . .

        • Dv

          ThaNks blip.

          I liked the emmerson cartoon.

          Parata is meeting the unions seperately.
          Ironic that it is fine for teachers to deal with a variety of pupils in larger classes, but Parata cant deal with a varietty of unions togetherr.

          Also interesting to hear key on morning report

          Said the govt needs to be able to explain the change better to parents.
          They have been fed misinformation.

          (To help with this the min needs to release the info to schools!)

          THEN he went on to talks about class sizes of 15 16. They only exist in private schools.

          • ianmac

            Interview with John Key this morning on Morning Report. A very vague response.
            Then an interview with Professor John O’Neal Education, who quietly explains the implications of larger class sizes. John points out that the teacher numbers have grown in an effort to catch up on other countries. The OECD average is about 1:22 so Parata’s 1:27 is pretty grim.
            [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/mnr/mnr-20120607-0822-education_professor_says_small_classes_improve_teaching-048.mp3" /]

  3. Yesterday’s bene bashing bombshell dropped by Bennett was a bit of a surprise to put it mildly. It dog whistled compulsory sterilisation but we were assured that this would not occur. It appears to me to be a diversionary tactic to take the public’s attention away from something really important.

    But what?

    What is this Government doing that is deeply unpopular, that is opposed by most of the population and that will permanently damage our economy? What is it that the Government does not want us discussing or thinking about?

    Could it be this?

    • lefty 3.1

      Yesterday’s bene bashing bombshell dropped by Bennett was a bit of a surprise to put it mildly.

      You could be right about National needing a distraction, but yesterdays suggestion by Bennett was no bombshell for those who have been following welfare reform closely.

      She has discussed this before and the Welfare Working Group pretty much pushed a eugenics line without coming out and saying it directly.

      The problem is nobody pays much attention to what is being done to those at the bottom of the heap unless it is extreme. Then after expressing their disgust the good old middle class move on to something more interesting.

      Thats why the people at the bottom have realised its a waste of time voting.

    • alex 3.2

      I thought it would have been something to do with asset sales. They appear to be abusing parliamentary process again. Oh dear.

  4. “Our big problem would be … if Europe goes, China could slow down, Australia would be very badly affected by the China slowdown and that’s the nightmare scenario for us – a slowdown in China, our second-largest market, a slowdown in Australia, our largest market, a weak United States and we’re in a diabolical position.” John Key, London, 7-6-2012.

    ​Let’s assume for a moment that John Key did not earn his fortune with what in 1993 was already recognised as the instrument which would eventually bring down our entire global economy and just realise what he said here in public.

    • Foreign Waka 4.1

      If all these markets stumble there will be a major recession worldwide, if not a depression. And we all know what’s next. Of cause everybody is looking up and down the lines whether they are being hoodwinked into ever more belt tightening or whether some serious preparation is required. Unfortunately, the “don’t make the public panic” will always be in place as the funds need to stay in the bank(books) and any to be withdrawn will go to the few in the know. Besides, it is already forecast that China is slowing down and Australia will follow. To what extent needs to be seen.

  5. BLiP 5


    A worryng trend . . .

    – Treasury pulling figures from the collective arse of its battalion of consultants

    – Minister of Education witholding vital numbers on staffing cuts in schools

    – Department of Statistics cancelling release of unemployment figures

    – Tourism operators astounded by government figures showing domestic tourism is soaring

    – Expert dismisses government figures on retirement as “meaningless”

    . . . isn’t National Ltd™ being run by some sort of financial genius known for his acumen with figures?

    • ianmac 5.1

      John Key and mates know that we dear constituents cannot cope with real facts, so BLiP, they are just protecting us in a cocoon of bliss. “Hush little babies. Nothing to worry about. Just go to sleep. Daddy John and Daddy Bill will fix everything.”
      It is getting serious though. The Minister and Ministry of Ed are particularly remiss given the current debate. Show us the money! Oops. I mean show us the figures!

  6. outofbed 6

    Why working-class people vote Conservative


    • Uturn 6.1



      Fuck-all point being offered the theoretical choice of chosing to be either moral or immoral within an overall system that makes the manifestation of your choices either impossbile or ineffectual. The story forgets that. Lack of wider perspective. Any colour you like… as long as it’s black.

      • Uturn 6.1.1

        “In sum, the left has a tendency to place caring for the weak, sick and vulnerable above all other moral concerns. It is admirable and necessary that some political party stands up for victims of injustice, racism or bad luck. But in focusing so much on the needy, the left often fails to address – and sometimes violates – other moral needs, hopes and concerns. ”

        That a professor could write a book about moral choices and say something like this means he doesn’t even know how to locate morality. I suppose he is a professor of a business school after all.

        • Olwyn

          Joe Bageant’s “Deer Hunting with Jesus” looks into the same sort of thing with greater depth and insight. He argues that the modern left have come to have a high-handed, patronising attitude to the poor, which puts them off, while the right take steps to actively and directly engage them, albeit via their prejudices and status anxieties.

          I see it like this. In the sixties and seventies, the left was an amalgam of the working class and the avante garde. Various victories on the identity politics front have allowed large sections of the avante garde to be absorbed into the middle class, while Reagan/Thatcher economics have driven the working class into poverty. This leaves the political left not knowing who to represent and the poor not knowing who to blame.

          • Uturn

            Is this a problem of being unable to differentiate between morals in the wider context and political expediency or an orchestrated misinformation effort? The professor’s words suggests that ambition and undefined concepts of fairness are simultaneously rights and virtues. Without any examination, and examination cannot take place at a political level, such a statement is false. Certainly in the UK, it would be unrealistic to say that the government concentrates too much on the needy.

            As I see it, the political left know exactly who to represent, some do. There is only dispute among entertainers who cannot retain existing power structures while abandoning the support base – a common problem. If the poor do not know what’s up, they may have a – usually rare – intelligence problem or a failure to grasp realty, but this has nothing to do with being poor.

            “He argues that the modern left have come to have a high-handed, patronising attitude to the poor, which puts them off, while the right take steps to actively and directly engage them, albeit via their prejudices and status anxieties.”

            It’s not unusual to find that those who receive assistance often suffer subtle and influential prejudice from the source of assistance, however, the steps the right take to “engage directly” is much like someone else described recently: handing out band aids to the person you just punched in the face. On the one hand we hear him saying that the left need to stand up for the weak, since the right won’t, but that the left cannot remain politically viable if they do, based on the incorrect assumption that the left need the poor to stay in business. Then we hear him suggesting societal dysfunction is better than addressing basic need. His argument is flawed in that it suggests he doesn’t understand who or what the left is, outside of mainstream six o’clock politics, or maybe he does, so he makes up lies about it all.

            I fail to see how this makes the political right a more likely choice for the working poor. His unsubstantiated argument is a plea to “a poor working class” who he imagines is a bunch of people who are not intelligent enough to see through his illogical conclusions. He then blames the left for his prejudices. Funny how projection works like that. Not a level of argument I would expect from a professor.

            • Olwyn

              I am certainly no advocate for the right, and neither was Bageant. However, you need to be in a pretty abject position to see yourself as one of the “needy.” The “needy” is what someone else calls you, not what you call yourself. Our own earlier working class movements were quite clear about wanting justice, not charity. The middle class left often want to be nice to the poor, without feeling genuine solidarity with them, while the poor themselves want to be represented, positions which are hard to synthesise on a political level. The right do not represent the working class’s interests, but their prejudices. However they at least make a connection on that level, and thus inveigle people into voting against their interests. I am with you regarding the moral position, I think that it is the one the left should make central. But the core moral value ought to be justice, not charity (in the modern, degraded sense of the word). And I also thought the professor’s piece was lightweight and morally confused.

              • Dr Terry

                Because people are poor, by no means infers that they lack a sense of self-esteem and integrity, or that they lack intelligence or make “bad decisions”. Agreed, justice comes first, maybe tempered with charity (which of any of us, poor or otherwise, is not in some need of charitable intent?)

                • Olwyn

                  I did add a little caveat to charity, Dr Terry. By “in the modern degraded sense” I meant the sort of patronising charity that gave rise to the saying “cold as charity.” Simone Weil has said that we degrade both justice and charity when we separate them: that real justice includes charity and real charity includes justice.

            • prism

              Uturn It is moral to run a country so that everybody who needs and wants
              it can have a job with a living wage. There are lots of rights to be considered by governments but that is an important point applying to the whole society. It’s so basic that it can get overlooked when viewing those who have handicaps. Sometimes the people without handicaps, including caregivers, become invisible.

          • just saying

            I completely agree with you Olwyn. This inequity of outcome for the various parts of the left is a huge problem. Those whose dignity, well-being, and human rights have been eroded so easily turn against those who have experienced a net benefit from the changes over the last 25 years, especially those groups that society had previously set below the white, het, working class.
            I’ve read a bit of Haidt’s stuff and have found his analysis to be shallow right-wing apologism. His latest book was reviewed on NZ’s Sciblog and it didn’t impress the reviewer much either.

            • Olwyn

              This can cut both ways unfortunately. Not only do those who are left out resent those who have benefited, sometimes those who have benefited feel superior to those who have not. It is just human psychology; we think we merit our gains and are unlucky in our losses. But however it is understood, it is the left’s biggest problem in my eyes. We have been divided and ruled. Gore Vidal has said, solidarity is easy for the right, because they are all after one thing – money. Whereas the left are after all sorts of things and easily fall into disagreement – I am paraphrasing, Vidal said it a whole lot better.

              • Dr Terry

                Olwyn, I much appreciate your line of thinking.

              • just saying

                Yeah that’s true. In being allowed to join the “respectable” class, members of formerly heavily stigmatised groups too often look down on and victim-blame the poor and still severely oppressed.

                I’m reading a (very distrubing) book ‘Scapegoat’ about hate crimes against people with disabilities, which, while always a problem, have increased as those at the bottom are squeezed harder and harder in the UK. It can’t be denied that there is also a problem of “traditional”-working -class hatred for other disdained and vulnerable minorities, as a function of their own hardship, where legitimate anger is taken out on those least able to fight back, rather than on those with the power.

                There must be a way that the anger can be channelled into solidarity.

              • prism


          • Carol

            Olwyn, I largely agree with you here:

            In the sixties and seventies, the left was an amalgam of the working class and the avante garde. Various victories on the identity politics front have allowed large sections of the avante garde to be absorbed into the middle class, .

            But actually, you haven’t really explained how the right were able to split off a narrowed version of so-called “identity politics” from the class struggle.

            The neoliberal divide and conquer was (at least partly) the outcome of the right targeting the shift from classic marxism to neo-marxism; from a materialistc/economic-based left-wing analysis to a focus on culture.

            And that shift was a result of the difficulty marxists (and socialists generally) had with explaining why the (r)evolution predicted by Marx, hadn’t happened – why the working classes hadn’t joined to over-throw their oppressors & exploiters. The neo-marxist explanation was that cultural/social constructions and processes were keeping the exploited working classes in a state of “false consciousness” – i.e. they’d been conned into supporting capitalism, against their own interests by (in Althusser’s terms) Ideological State Apparatuses e.g. media, religious organisations, education, the family etc. The New Left started to shift away from (what many saw as) the underlying material and economic determinism of classical marxism.

            This began the ‘turn to culture’…. but the postmodernists – enthused by the increasing proliferation of easily replicated communication, and media productions (videos, visual images etc), really went intensely into the cultural realm. (i.e. just change culture, and thence attitudes, then all the inequalities can be dissolved and economic and social justice will reign. They split off from the materially-based class struggle.

            But the strength of the neoliberal right is, that they had a unifying model – the “business does it best” trope. Through this they amalgamated policies that target material and economic circumstances, with methods of cultural persuasion : the business model of dealing with the financial and economic realities, while also using marketing and advertising techniques to sell their political product – and increasingly a kind of viral marketing through all areas of culture and media.

            So, in my view, the crucial thing is for the left to find their own unifying concept. Then use this as a way to unify material/economic struggles with relevant discourses, cultural productions and policies targeting social divisions social division. …. and probably includes those kind of values that you are calling “moral”.

            • Olwyn

              Hi Carol, to start at the end, I am not using the term “moral” in any prissy sense, but in the sense that I think social and economic justice are best construed in terms of a moral issue; that of how we treat our fellow human beings. I realise, however, in saying this that the term “moral” is also employed divisively and on a petty level, eg. Ms Bennett’s recent moves. It is hard to win with language.

              “…the biggest beneficiaries from changes in social attitudes will be those within the middle & upper classes (women, LGBT people, Maori elite etc).”

              I agree, but such people were then often exiles from the middle classes. In a way, you could say that the neo-libs broadened the criteria for being members of the middle class, and that not all of those on the above list naturally gravitated to the avante garde anyway. In fact do we still have an avante garde beyond comic and graffiti artists?

              “…the strength of the neoliberal right is, that they had a unifying model.”

              The closest I can think of as a unifying model for the left is the idea that being allowed into the middle classes, whether you are blue collar, female, brown or rainbow, (or any combination) is not exactly power. Power is either physical or economic might, and anything less depends upon the acquiescence of might. If there was a sudden need for large numbers of soldiers, for example, the blue-collar male workers could just as easily be invited back into the tent, & the LGBT, etc unceremoniously kicked out, as workers were under Thatcher. Someone said recently in a post on the Herald site (I forget which one) that if you are not able to take a year off work without going on the dole and without loss on the scale of losing your house, you are not part of the elite, whatever airs you give yourself. This seems to me like a good place to start. I think it is hard to separate the economic from the social so far as oppression is concerned, since you are economically punished if you are socially on the outer, and you are socially punished if you are economically on the outer. And the only might we have is in our numbers, whichever form of injustice we have suffered, or seen others suffer.

              • Carol

                Ah, Olwyn, I see you quoted from my post before I edited it out (I looked at what I’d posted and it seemed awfully long).

                Yes, it is a complicated situation, and I mostly agree with you. I think left and right wing ideas of moral behaviour tends to differ. So I just talk about left wing values. Of course, the neolibs talk as though their policies are based in some objective reality, while it masks some very self-centred values.

                Maybe, though the middleclass is going to shrink in the future as resources become more scarce.

                Yes, ultimately political power lies in force – it’s a negative form of power – stopping people from doing things.. Foucault talked of a more positive form of creative power. People exercise power with their actions e.g. by doing something innovative, an imaginative protest, or making something useful for people – such things can be quite powerful.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Maybe, though the middleclass is going to shrink in the future as resources become more scarce.

                  Already happening. Look at the UK, USA, Spain, Greece, Portugal. In Australia, the coastal capital city middle class isn’t shrinking, but it is stagnating.

                • Olwyn

                  Carol: Yes I was speaking of power purely in terms of might. There are most certainly creative powers and the power of an idea whose time has come, etc. However, if the middle class shrinks it will not because that is what the middle class want.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    “IF the middle class shrinks…”

                    Well, they are going to shrink, but they are going to continue to tear away at the under class and the working class in order to maintain their own position for as long as possible.

      • outofbed 6.1.2

        god knows what happened to that link
        thankyou yes, that article

  7. Has Cris Trotter gone over to the barmy side? Turns out money is printed out of thin air after all. What do you reckon does John Key know it too?

    • mikesh 7.1

      Trotter seems finally to have seen the light. However, the possibility of government reclaiming the right to be the sole creator of money seems to be the “elephant in the living room” these days. It is something all columnists should be “shouting from the rooftops”.

    • freedom 7.2

      it was certainly a good introduction and for many people it probably scared them stupid but why did he limit the scope of the reality as if it only applies to Home Loans. It reads as if he was wanting to expose the big lie . . . only to mention a smaller fib ? Or maybe he has a drip feed plan to slowly acclimatise people to the truth that the entire Global Economy is a big ol’ scam with me, you and the other seven billion who call Earth home as the oblivious marks.

      Either way it was great to see it in a mainstream newspaper.

      ( as a bonus the Peter Taylor & Moriarty show running in the comments is funny stuff )

    • Chris 7.3

      I saw that article the part that confused me about it though was he was saying the home loan is just a book entry. Surely they have to pay the person you are purchasing the house off?

      • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1

        The book entry creates the money that pays for the house. Another book entry destroys that money. The two do not happen at the same time.

        • Chris

          Sorry but that really didn’t explain anything to me.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Money is created
            House paid for with money
            Money is then destroyed as the loan is paid back

            Which bit are you having trouble with?

            • Chris

              Well my point was about the house is paid for with money part. The article and you seem to ignore that part – the bank is not creating money by book entry only – they are actually making a payment to a person.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The money was created through bookkeeping. If the money had not been created then the person could not have been paid.

    • DH 7.4

      Judging by his article I’d say yes he’s on the barmy side. Banks don’t print money out of thin air, he’s dreadfully misinformed there. Time he retired IMO.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.4.1

        Banks don’t print money out of thin air

        Actually, they do. In fact, ~95% of the money in circulation is bank printed money.

        • DH

          No they don’t, your linked article states that “banks are said to create money.” Note the word ‘said’. And they don’t create it out of thin air anyway, which is what Trotter was claiming. They can only lend money which is deposited with them (or borrowed), they can’t create a loan from nothing.

          NZ doesn’t really have fractional reserve banking either, in practice the banks do retain a fraction of deposits for daily withdrawals etc but the Govt doesn’t set reserve ratios on banks here. We use capital ratios to control lending.

          • Draco T Bastard

            They can only lend money which is deposited with them (or borrowed), they can’t create a loan from nothing.

            Then you explain how a $1000 deposit in a bank becomes $10000 in circulation and that the original deposit can be withdrawn without decreasing the money in circulation.

            NZ doesn’t really have fractional reserve banking either, in practice the banks do retain a fraction of deposits for daily withdrawals etc but the Govt doesn’t set reserve ratios on banks here. We use capital ratios to control lending.


            • DH

              C’mon people you’re not that financially illiterate. The M3 money supply grows because money lent by banks usually ends up back in the bank for them to lend out again. Banks just do not create any money out of thin air, that’s fantasy thinking.

              Spare the facepalm BS, check for yourself and you’ll find NZ is one of the few countries in the world that doesn’t set a fractional reserve for trading banks. (well it didn’t last time I read up on it) We use capital adequacy instead.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Banks just do not create any money out of thin air, that’s fantasy thinking.

                The fact is, before loaning out the money, the bank didn’t have it.

                We use capital adequacy instead.

                They changed a word but it’s still the same thing. Drop those ratios and you will see the economy collapse as not enough new money enters circulation.

                • DH

                  Of course they had it, banks can’t lend from a negative balance sheet. When a bank lends money they take it out of their cash account and transfer it to the recipient, it’s real money. It’s a paper entry only because that’s the way we do things these days, we don’t lug wads of cash around any more

                  Guys I’m not one to belittle others but this talk about banks printing money from nothing just makes people appear a little foolish IMO. The banking system leads to money creation but we’re just as much a part of that as the banks are. M3 money supply includes bank deposits. If someone pays us with borrowed money, and we put that money in the bank, well we’ve just created more money (M3 money anyway).

                  When you read informed commentary about banks creating money they’re usually talking about the whole banking system, not the banks per se.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Of course they had it, banks can’t lend from a negative balance sheet.

                    It’s called Fractional Reserve Banking. I linked to it further up. They loan out a multiple of the money that is deposited with them.

                    If someone pays us with borrowed money, and we put that money in the bank, well we’ve just created more money (M3 money anyway).

                    Yeah, that’s what we’ve been saying all along. Banks create money.

                    When you read informed commentary about banks creating money they’re usually talking about the whole banking system, not the banks per se.

                    And it’s not the banks that perform this modern miracle of financing but lolly shops.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      DH seriously has no idea.

                      Hey DH, look up “quantitative easing” and get back to us, OK?

                    • DH

                      I don’t know what they taught you guys at school but banking doesn’t look to be part of it. Fractional reserve banking means they lend out a fraction of what they borrow, not a multiple. They retain a small fraction for cash reserves, that’s the fractional reserve, and they lend out the larger fraction.

                      And as I’ve stated NZ banks aren’t required to retain a fractional reserve, they can lend out 100% of deposits if they want (provided they have enough capital).

                      Keep on with your misconceptions, doesn’t bother me, but whenever you bring this up among people who do understand banking they just laugh at you.

            • TheContrarian

              It is rare if ever I agree with Draco but, yeah, facepalm.

              • DH

                Quoted from the reserve bank;

                “In 1985, New Zealand was the first country to abandon reserve ratios completely, and we are still among the minority in not having a ratio system at all.”

      • KJT 7.4.2

        He is actually more correct than you are.

        Most of the money supply is created as debt against future earnings. Thin air.

        Only a small fraction is money held as deposits.

        There is absolutely know reason why we cannot do that themselves instead of paying fees/interest to banks, which really is money out of thin air. And one reason why our economic system requires continual growth.

  8. Morrissey 8

    Sneering and sniggering about prisoners’ rights
    National Radio, Thursday 7 June 2012

    Maybe you heard this nasty little item on National Radio just before 9 o’clock this morning. In a tone of barely contained levity, Simon Mercep said that prisoners have been “grumbling” about the quality of the food they get. Prisoners have laid 374 complaints about food in the past year.

    Obviously, in the minds of the producers at National Radio, this is a matter for amusement and sniffy disdain, and it was treated as such. Corrections Association head Bevan Hanlon clearly thinks it’s a big joke: “One of their main complaints was that, ha ha ha, the bread was only buttered on one side.” He called their complaints “whingeing” and said that the only reason they complain is “because they can.”

    Of course, the prisoners’ concerns are much more profound than that, and it’s a concern to hear someone in Hanlon’s position dismissing so callously the views of the people he and his colleagues are entrusted to look after.

    The final insult was to give the last word to that moral pygmy and outspoken advocate of knife-killing, Garth “the Knife” McVicar. He asserted that he has been into every prison in New Zealand and that “they are all very humane places”. He repeated Bevan Hanlon’s contention that the prisoners are simply “whingeing”.

    In view of his defiant support for child-killer Bruce Emery, for the monstrous ACT member of parliament David Garrett, and for the brutal and extreme Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, surely McVicar is a discredited and thoroughly disreputable commentator. It beggars belief that Radio New Zealand should go to him for comment about anything at all.

    • alex 8.1

      Surely for all the crimes he has committed, Garrett himself should be sensibly sentenced? There was drunk driving, there was an assault in Tonga, and lets not forget the whole dead baby thing.

      • Morrissey 8.1.1

        Garrett also loudly and truculently supported the knife-killing of that boy in Manurewa. He was speaking in his capacity as an SS Trust “legal adviser”.

        • Rosie

          And wasn’t the hypocrisy of the SST silence in condeming, and as you point out, even supporting the murderer of the 16 year old Manurewa boy so very telling of their ethnic compass. Can’t remember the name of the murderer now but I do remember he only got a minimum sentence and was out in under half the time served. Imagine if the victim had been Pakeha and middle class?

          • Morrissey

            Can’t remember the name of the murderer…

            It was Bruce Emery. He was supported not only by the SS Trust, but vociferously championed by NewstalkZB and sympathetically covered by (among others) the New Zealand Herald and TV3.

            • Rosie

              Sorry Morrissey, a duh moment on my behalf. Of course, Bruce Emery’s name is in your post above! I recall the sympathy the media gave him at the time and the way they angled a justification for his vile crime. It was chilling,and truely sickening.

            • McFlock

              By the way, apparently the lobbying arm of Garth McVictim is no longer a trust. So it’s just “SS”

          • Morrissey

            …the murderer of the 16 year old Manurewa boy

            Actually, Pihema Cameron was just FIFTEEN years old when Bruce Emery chased him down and knifed him to death.

  9. Dv 9

    Re dotcom
    From aardvark


    Lawyer John Pike told the court that sending copies of the evidence taken from DotCom’s computers to the USA was not a breach of the Solicitor General’s ruling because “that only covered ‘original material’, not copies”.

    So, in making this statement, it is clear that the Crown and the FBI themselves have shown that there is a massive distinction between an original work and a copy.

    By highlighting this distinction, and effectively saying that a copy is not an original and therefore ought not be subject to the same laws as apply to an original — they are striking at the very heart of the MPAA/RIAA’s own assertion that unauthorised copying is theft.

    • ianmac 9.1

      That’s interesting Dv. And maybe if I steal a replica of a medal or gun or jewel it is not theft. And as you say any stuff downloaded must be a copy and therefore not illegal. What a tangle!

      • Dv 9.1.1

        AND here is a stuff report

        Sounds like dancing on the head of a pin


        FBI agents who copied data from Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom’s computers and took it overseas were not acting illegally because information isn’t “physical material”, the Crown says.

        • lprent

          FBI agents who copied data from Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom’s computers and took it overseas were not acting illegally because information isn’t “physical material”, the Crown says.

          Interesting legal approach. I’m sure it will stand them in good stead when dotcom’s lawyers argue that that there was no problem. That holding copyrighted data isn’t unlawful because it isn’t “physical material”.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      Laws are only there for the convenience of keeping the punters in punterland cowed for the ruling elite.

    • Murray Olsen 9.3

      Giving the material to the FBI was legal because USA!! USA!! USA!!

  10. Why don’t they both increase and decrease class sizes?

    Nudging up the size of average classes of average kids will hardly make a difference.

    Redirecting substantial resources to the bottom 10-20% of kids that are failing could make a big difference.

    • Morrissey 10.1

      Nudging up the size of average classes of average kids will hardly make a difference.

      What an ignorant statement. You need to do some serious research, and talk to some teachers.

      • Rob 10.1.1

        You know, the biggest issue in the class is the quality of teaching. It does not matter if 1 child is exposed or 40 is exposed to a useless teacher.

        Is a teacher cannot teach maths, cannot even do the basics, class size is an irrelevance as all the children are fuked.

        • Morrissey

          If a teacher cannot teach maths, cannot even do the basics…

          Such a teacher would not survive. Such a teacher exists only in the minds of ideologues in the ACT and National parties. The children soon make life intolerable for an incompetent teacher. Unlike incompetent Education Ministers, teachers have no place to hide.

      • Pete George 10.1.2

        It’s already done, low decile schools already get extra resources

    • freedom 10.2

      Ok i’ll bite,
      I read your post which as always says little and suggests nothing

      so PG the question to you is HOW?????????

      do you isolate the 10-20% into special in-class groups? How?
      do you introduce specialty teachers who travel the country doing Workshops? How?
      do you group the failing kids from various schools into multi-school hubs? How?
      do you introduce additional user-pays programmes for failing kids? How?

      or do you just waffle on as usual supplying sidetracks to empty yards and building bridges for trolls all the while ignoring the reality that without a massive gigantic and really really big increase in funding, Education of NZ children is looking down the barrel of a shotgun loaded with disparity.

      • Pete George 10.2.1

        I’m just posing a question. It’s a very complex issue with no easy one size fits all solution.

        • freedom

          being unable to offer any actual answers you proffer a response that only highlights the inadequacies of the current system. PG if ‘it’s already done’? What are you suggesting needs to change?

          p.s. are you serious in your insinuation that the only kids that are failing are from low decile schools? Perhaps you need a referesher in what the term means

          “Does the decile of a school tell me anything about the quality of the education at that school?

          Absolutely not. Deciles are a funding mechanism only and in no way reflect the quality of the education delivered at that school.”

          • Pete George

            The best things that could change would be for Government to do it’s homework properly, and for both Government and teacher groups to learn how to work together rather than have schoolyard scraps all the time.

            The attitude of both sides of the incessant arguments is the biggest impediment to improvement.

            • freedom

              you had a straightforward out if you had simply said something like:
              ‘the government could reverse the hundred million it has given to private schools since 2008 and return it to the public schools it stole it from’ but no just carry on ignoring the theft of the dwindling Education resources and blame the teachers.

              btw, the only people who need to remove impediment is the succession of governments who have committed Education to the asylum of user pays bean counting

              • Kevin Welsh

                Just do what I do freedom, treat all of PG’s questions as rhetorical and move on to the next post.

            • KJT

              How about the Government could actually listen to the Teachers and researchers instead of simply following blindly whatever fuckup is the latest fashion in the USA and UK.

              The sheer stupidity and arrogance of the Government is the biggest obstacle to improvement.

              Or maybe it is not stupidity. Just a another way of ensuring State schooled kids cannot compete for jobs with their inbred brats. “Keeping their winning ticket”.

            • mike e

              pathetic grovelling again

        • tc

          ‘I’m just posing a question’ a.k.a. trolling PG

        • Morrissey

          I’m just posing a question.

          Instead of idiotically posing questions, why don’t you do some reading and talk to some teachers?

          • Pete George

            Because I just have a peripheral interest in the topic.

            And I thought that putting up questions might get some sensible responses, even some intelligent responses, rather than resorting to abuse.

            There might even be teachers that are able to contribute, they should be adept at discussions, and I’m sure they wouldn’t try to put down any student that asked questions.

            • Morrissey

              You have regularly been corrected by many people, including teachers. Yet you persist in posting up your frivolous, half-baked contributions about something you know nothing about, then when confronted, you scuttle away and claim that you were just “putting up questions.”

              You rarely make a serious or coherent statement about anything, and when exasperated regulars point this out to you, you squeal about being “abused”.

              Are you actually Judith Collins, by any chance?

            • freedom

              what abuse PG?
              please point out the abuse you have suffered since posting your insightful questions.
              ( please note i edited out a line earlier that was admittedly a bit snarky but not abusive)

              also, as someone who wanted to be an MP how can you only have a peripheral interest in what is arguably the single most important policy matter facing any nation, ie the funding of the education of its people?

              • No politician is an expert on everything, they all specialise. And my main interests are more general than specific, although there are some I have more experience with.

                • McFlock

                  Pretentious in all trades, master at none…

                • Draco T Bastard

                  No politician is an expert on everything, they all specialise.

                  Which, IMO, is a serious mistake. Politicians need to have a basic understanding of everything.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Correct. Subject area specialists should advise the pollies, who need a much broader view of the country to put the advice into context.

    • mike e 10.3

      more bs puerile git Massey university say the cuts will affect the bottom 14% of children not reaching the required levl of education to function in the workplace.

  11. Save TVNZ 7 – Dunedin public meeting

    There have been “Save TVNZ 7″ public meetings around the country. It’s Dunedin’s turn tomorrow night:

    Thursday 7 June, 6-8pm
    Colquhoun Theatre, 1st floor of Dunedin Hospital, Great King Street
    – entrance just to the left (north) of the main hospital entrance

  12. just saying 12

    I miss the ‘latest comments’ box which used to be on the right of the screen.
    Do other people using more sophisticated devices still get it?

    [lprent: Fixed. There was a problem with the latest minify update. Turned it off and logged it for looking at why it works on the first page, but not the post pages. ]

    • just saying 12.1

      I’m emabarassed now. It’s still there, I just needed to hit the “Comments RSS”.

      • Anne 12.1.1

        Umm.. it’s a nuisance to have to hit ‘Comments RSS’ everytime though. Is there something else I can do to retrieve the comments box at top right of screen?

        I’m seriously technically challenged!

      • McFlock 12.1.2

        When I hit “comments RSS” I get an error page “This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below.” with all the latest comments scripted, no gui.

        Google Chrome.

        [lprent: adding to list. ]

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.3

        Shouldn’t need to hit the “Comments RSS” link at all especially considering that the box (technically, all three boxes) is still there on the main page.

  13. Dv 13

    10 years ago there were 2 effective (at least) interventions in Decile 1 schools the

    Feso’otaiga Academic and Community Leadership Program and
    Both were successful and both have had their funding cut.

    This is the Nats commenting on the funding in 1998
    The funding was seeding, and then to be carried on by the schools.
    BUT the model was broken, because the schools couldn’t afford to carry on.

    The debate is an interesting commentary

  14. joe90 14

    They bought democracy and now the law.

    In a dissent in that case, Justice John Paul Stevens predicted that such spending would overwhelm state court races, which would be especially harmful since judges must not only be independent but be seen to be independent as well. North Carolina is proving him right.

  15. Hammer 15

    Peak Oil hits another snag
    The story of Peak Oil just can’t get legs; for 50 years the Greens have found that stating a lie over and over doesn’t make it true.

    The US Geological Survey recently announced a 200 year supply of Shale OIL under Utah/Colorado; this known as the Brakken shale.
    Well today, Forbes has announced a shale oil/gas source called the Bazhenov shale; 80 times the size of the Brakken, in a large area of Siberia. Bye bye Peak Oil.


    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      And it’s going to take 400 years to get that 200 years of supply out.

      • Hammer 15.1.1

        No – shale production has proved very efficient in the USA.
        “The Bakken is a huge boon, both to the economic health of the northern Plains states, but also to the petroleum balance of the United States. From just 60,000 barrels per day five years ago, the Bakken is now giving up 500,000 bpd, with 210,000 bpd of that coming on in just the past year.”

        So no problem; and the cost of gas in the USA is about one-third of what it was 5 years ago.
        They are now setting up export contracts of LPG/CNG to the likes of India.

        Some 800,000 real [not subsidized] jobs have been the result of the boom.
        This will be a key part of the USA shaking of the economic slump

        Meanwhile”green jobs” are still holding back Europe as they subsidize Wind/solar and kill real jobs as companies harvest Government subsidies.

    • lprent 15.2

      Always nice to meet another idiot. You certainly are one.

      The point about peak oil is that it is when the costs of extracting oil and gas start to rise. It is not (as morons like yourself seem to think) when there are no liquid hydrocarbons to available to extract. So your comment merely shows your major deficiencies in the understanding of economics. Now we have done a hasty repair on your basic lack of understanding with sarcasm as the tack, have another look at your linked article…

      Any mention of cost? Nope. I wonder why?
      Hell, we’ll probably never run out of hydrocarbons. As the germans proved in WW2 you can create industrial levels of producing the right hydrocarbon factions for liquid fuel from crap coal if you are willing to pay the cost of production. Of course that cost is sky-high and it is probably cheaper to simply produce a complete network of magnalev trains…

      Were these ‘new’ fields known about previously? Ah yes…

      From the looks of it, geologists have been looking at the Bazhenov for more than 20 years.

      I guess that means they have. In fact you can find mentions of this structure from as far back as early last century if you hunt around in geological texts. Geologists have known about shale fields in Utah and Colorado since the 19th century. Neither were economic to mine and as we can see from this following statement from your link…

      It’s only in the last five years that the technology and expertise has been developed that will enable drillers to harvest it. Lukoil‘s president Vagit Alekperov said a year ago that his company was also experimenting with the shale.

      …there is a pretty good probability that they may still not be economic. It will take another decade at least to find out because it depends on a lot of uncertainties. This is pretty much a puff piece trying to attract investment capital to the field. Less than a third of fields at this stage of development prove to be worthwhile to put into ‘reserves’. Only a very few get made commercially viable in less than a few decades. And the only reason they’re looking at fields like this at present for oil is because the oil price is going through the roof.

      You are a wee fool aren’t you. Hammer isn’t that good a name for you. Dumbo would be better…

    • Murray Olsen 15.3

      More like bye bye Siberia. Rivers up there are flowing black already. If the yanks don’t wake up, it’ll be bye bye Utah and Colorado as well.

    • Bill 15.4

      Your link reckons there is 24 billion barrels recoverable from Bakken shale. You know how much oil that represents? About 6 – 9 months worth at present rates of use.

      And ‘your’ Bazhenov saving grace is 80 times the land area. Not 80 times the quantity of recoverable oil.

      And even if it was 80 times the oil, it would represent much less than a 40 year supply. Y’know, because we use more of the stuff year on year

  16. SamHall 16

    Not “justice” “charity”(urrgh!)tension. Compassion.

    Seems like a wee weak man that MCVICTIM chappie.(urrgh!)

    D te B, u the person! A liberal education a day….

    Uturn, Wonder about we?

  17. Penny Bright 17

    Some of you may enjoy the updated –


    – with the ‘Open Letter’ calling for John Banks to do the ‘Honorable’ thing – and RESIGN?

    Kind regards

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

  18. Hammer 18

    Talking of Europe being held back by pursuing the “Green Dream” of running on more and more wind and solar sources of energy, we have the sad case of Spain.

    Recently from the New York Post:
    In January, the Spanish government removed lavish subsidies for its renewable-energy industry, and the industry all but imploded. You could say it was never a renewable-energy industry at all, but a government-subsidy industry: The government gave the makers of inefficient windmills and solar panels piles of cash that consumers never would.
    “They destroyed the Spanish market overnight with the moratorium [on subsidies],” European Wind Energy Association CEO Christian Kjaer told Bloomberg News.
    The Spanish example shows how the whole green-energy “revolution” was really an ideologically driven boondoggle from the start.
    …….researchers at King Juan Carlos University found in 2009 that Spain had destroyed 2.2 jobs in other industries for every green job it created, and that the Spanish government has spent more than half a million euros for each green job created since 2000.

    Spain is now effectively bankrupt.

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      If Spain is effectively bankrupt then so is the UK, the USA, and numerous other highly indebted nations.

      All you’ve really shown here is your basic lack of understanding economics. That’s real economics, not the delusional stuff that economists, this government and Treasury use.

    • lprent 18.2

      Hi dumbo. I see that you’re still cherrypicking your examples without bothering to apply either intelligence or industry to the task.

      As far as I’m aware there are no subsidies still in place for the Baltic and North Sea windfarms, nor for those in Texas.

      All of them took subsidies to get the industry up and running. Just as there were subsidies in the 19th and 20th centuries to get coal, hydro, geothermal and nuclear power industries up and running. Private industry are pretty useless about getting into new infrastructure areas that may be a wee bit risky. Governments use power infrastructure subsidies to get things up and running to the point that the economies of scale kick in and the risks become clearer. Subsequently the subsidies get progressively removed after a decade or so (except for nuclear – which was a complete waste of time and a soak for subsidies).

      Right now I think that Germany is trying to push for more offshore windfarms and is moving the subsidies to encourage an industry to form (there are close to 10,000 towers producing nearly 10% of their power on land). The reason for this is obvious. They closed their nuclear power stations last year at a considerable saving in subsidies and are now trying to catch up with the cheap Danish power from their offshore windfarms.

      The only problem that Spain had was that they’d only started to push their windfarm industries relatively recently. So the fledgeling industry hadn’t hit critical mass yet and was unlikely to do so for another decade. But you were clearly too lazy to read.

      Basically you are a simple munter who seems to never engage your brain and who is too lazy to find some actual information. You’re like a idiot parrot who sees a few Key words and then tries to extrapolate a idea from them. Too stupid to think really.

      BTW: It’d pay to link when you quote. When I wear my moderators cap I’ll ban quite rapidly for that particular tactic.

    • MrSmith 18.3

      “researchers at King Juan Carlos University found in 2009 that Spain had destroyed 2.2 jobs in other industries for every green job it created, and that the Spanish government has spent more than half a million euros for each green job created since 2000.”
      Rubbish. Debunked here Hammer:


    • mike e 18.4

      hey ham murmurer Lies and BS you are telling porkies the Spanish economy has Imploded because of over investment in their property bubble you bubble brain.
      You can laugh but we are going through another property bubble right here in god zone.
      Sooner than later its going to crash again.

  19. Te Reo Putake 19

    The Herald apparently thinks there is a film director named Coward Robert Ford. Sub editors … who needs ’em?

  20. Hammer 20

    Well this is a pleasure….
    we’ve got the “Leaders of the Left” explaining away the observations of the Right by using such in-depth explanations as to why I am wrong by using indepth analysis such as….
    : another idiot; morons like yourself ;  you are a wee fool aren’t you:     Dumbo would be better…
     You’ve missed the point Iprent –  I achieved the  response which I expected to my fact based comments; have another nice day.
    Keep it up   lprent 7 June 2012 at 4:15 pm
    It is a pleasure to meet minds with you

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      I achieved the response which I expected to my fact based comments; have another nice day.


      Fact based? No, not even close which is what Lynn showed you and now you seem to have taken exception to have been shown to be a moron.

    • lprent 20.2

      Umm. As far as I am aware all I do is express my opinions mostly on this site. Anyone thinking I am a leader of the left is really stupid. For a starter, I’m quite noticeably right on things like economic policy compared to most on this site and around the left.

      But I guess if it helps you then I guess it is a harmless conceit for you to believe… I always like helping people with their self help procedures on their way to a climatic revelation. In your case I think that a paper towel may be good to have handy rather than a calculator.

      A meeting of minds it is not. So far you haven’t actually managed to express an opinion of your own as far as I can see. You have merely repeated something you read somewhere without really understanding it.

      Which is of course why you whine about how others treat you with contempt. That you never address the holes they chop into your poorly constructed comments could explain their attitude.

      It is a common fallacy of the inept that inconvieniences like contradictions to a theory are just part of an intelligent design to fool those with more skepticism than your simple faith in your own omni-potence of understanding. Unfortunately others usually tend to view this trait of ignoring the blindingly obvious is because you’re just too damn lazy to exert yourself. I know I do…

      When you do provide links, people only have to quote the parts of your own links that clearly contradict your plagiarized argument. But, like me, they probably suspect that you are incapable of understanding why there is a contradiction.

      Kind of defines why you’re known as dumbo..

  21. Hammer 21

     Sorry Iprent – I missed a few more of your GEMS;  apparently I am also:

    … dumbo ;      Basically you are a simple munter ;     seems to never engage your brain  
    too lazy to find some actual information ;      You’re like a idiot parrot   ; Too stupid to think really ;
    I’ll ban quite rapidly   –

    ohhhhhh –  sounding desperate ??

    No doubt replying to you with your own words will be an excuse for banning me for being honest.

    If you may have any doubt  – have a nice day.  Enjoy the sun.
    – I was just pointing out where the state of world oil/gas supplies are going over the next few decades. 

    This is obviously a threat to your world view – Sad!

    I am sorry for your poor state of mind.  Maybe you should seek help? 

    • lprent 21.1

      I see that as usual for our more pathetically ignorant trolls you have :-

      1. Been pretty much incapable of making up your own words and instead have to mostly quote the words of your betters amongst the internet mythmakers instead. Based on your previous efforts, I suspect that is all you can actually do apart from a rather juvenile and ineffectual attempt at taunting. I have seen prepubescent relatives with far better stirring techniques – It appears that you were raised in a convent?

      2. Found it impossible to put the quotes in a coherent context. In this case you failed to locate the reply button (hard to do, but clearly not impossible), failed to link to the comment you were replying to, and failed to even mention the number of the comment that you were replying to. Of course that could be part of a “cunning plan” to make it hard for observers to gauge your level of ignorance. That probably also explains why you didn’t even attempt to rebutt anything that I said and didn’t even argue about any of the counter points I made to your dumb unthinking claims.. But if so, then Baldric was way better at the planning.

      3. Gone immediately to try for victim status rather than arguing. Probably because your self-esteem has been crushed by people thinking that you have no idea about what you ae commenting on and expressing their incredulity that you could use a keyboard. But this forum is all about arguing, so what better place to exercise your rather useless skills at it into something more substantial*.

      Perhaps you should READ the policy to find out what gets people banned. I realize that it may FEEL like exerting your lazy arse. However if you are capable of understanding words (rather than just cut’n’pasting) it is the easiest way to find out what moderators will be looking to eradicate.

      If I’d thought that you were worth banning then I’d have done it already when I was moderating, rather than giving a reply and a gentle warning about linking.

      * I am sure that a few of the other commentators will be happy to treat you as a chew toy (try again) act as a sadistic drill instructor (damnit) assist you. It was only the other day that some were complaining that I was too abrupt and that they had noone to assist

  22. Hammer 22

    Hi Iprent
    Are you actually seeking help?
    Most of us hope so….
    Peace be with you. 

    • Te Reo Putake 22.1

      Let me guess, Hammer, you’re trying to win a bet that you can get banned from the Standard for terminal stupidity? The content of your comments was the first clue, your failure to work out how the reply button works was the real giveaway.

  23. Draco T Bastard 23

    One major advantage of trains have over cars and trucks.

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