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Open mike 07/07/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 7th, 2015 - 90 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

90 comments on “Open mike 07/07/2015”

  1. North 1

    What a load of Poppy-Cork from The Milky-Barred-Kid !

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11476712

    Seems the only ‘stunts’ here are the jacked up crime figures and weeps of “Poor little me……” from the archetypal thug/bully.

    Sooo sooo Judy !

    • tc 1.1

      2 thoughts stand out reading that PR piece.

      Granny has zero credibility running self serving fluff like that without balance around feenys valid point that she overstepped her authority, a recurring theme with the MP for oravida.

      Secondly it reads like a who’s who of dirty politics with the 3 C’s of carrick, cathy and clammy. A rogues gallery.

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 1.1.1

        Judith Collins thinks that the public have no memory
        “The best crime stats we had ever had” and “It was my shining glory” was in fact the result of recoding burglaries and removing these from the crime stats.

        “Acting Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted knowing Counties Manukau police officers illegally recoded 700 crimes to make them disappear, but didn’t pass the information on.”
        “Ms Collins, police minister until December 2011, admits she had been told “something about the stats” but said nothing publicly. She did not even tell her successor, Anne Tolley.”
        http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/collins-plays-down-crime-stats-blunder-2014071408#axzz3f64ZVsLc

        “Judith Collins, police minister at the time, has serious questions to answer after the Herald on Sunday’s disclosure that hundreds of burglaries were taken out of crime statistics over a period of years in part of the Counties-Manukau police district. Foolishly, Ms Collins has assumed the disclosure came from the Labour Party and dismisses the subject as “politically motivated”. Her assumption was simply wrong, not that the source of the information matters nearly as much as its substance. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11293312

    • Charles 1.2

      How do you overshadow a National government?

      Piss’n’bubbles, apparently.

      PR FAIL.

    • Tracey 1.3

      why is this a story today? I am confused?

      • John Shears 1.3.1

        Is it because the Blonde is trying to get her head above the parapet?

        • Tracey 1.3.1.1

          It seems odd because the report was released last November? Maybe I am missing something obvious…

          Se is EVERYWHERE, more than any other backbencher I will wager.

        • Tracey 1.3.1.2

          I came across this today while working

          ” principal youth court judge, Andrew Becroft, who identified recent research suggesting that young Māori who are involved or connected with their culture do not offend at any greater rate than any other person, (Cherrington, 2009)

          For those who don’t understand the notion of the importance of maori culture for our youth in breaking some over representation in the negative statistics.

          For those who don’t understand why reconnecting young Maori with Marae and broader whanau etc is so important for them and the rest of us.

          “The Christchurch Health and Development Study has recently produced results relating rates of offending to a sense of cultural identity amongst Māori. It showed that rates of offending (both officially recorded and self-reported offending) were about five times higher in the Māori study members, than the non-Māori members. Those rates reduced to three times higher, when adjustments were made for socioeconomic and adverse family factors. However, when study members were asked whether they identified themselves as Māori, the rates of offending for those identifying solely as Māori were roughly similar to those who identified themselves as non-Māori37. This research indicates that a strong sense of Māori identity and connectedness to Māori culture may reduce risks of offending.

          http://www.justice.govt.nz/courts/youth/publications-and-media/speeches/what-causes-youth-crime-and-what-can-we-do-about-it

  2. b waghorn 2

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/national/education/69865514/NCEA-pass-rates-increases-don-t-reflect-genuine-increase-in-learning
    Is national gaming the system at kids expense or is having greater choice and more internal assessment working?

    • Charles 2.1

      I suppose grade inflation might be a concern if it happened within a meritocracy, like in Ontario, perhaps. However, in NZ, the rungs of the ladder that lead to the oriface of John Key’s Republic don’t require particular merit. If everyone is being equally inflated there is no problem. If only the few that would already be assisted by privilege are being inflated, there is no new problem. After a certain distance, the gap of inequality becomes irrelevent through it’s increasing impossible divide. Teachers still teaching same stuff. Students still learning whatever they learn. Just the medals change colour. Egos and bridges stand or fall. Policy and social attitudes still the same as 1984. Cheating? Untruths? Unprincipled? It’s NZ stock in trade. Situation normal all fucked up.

      Nice to hear that some teachers are pursuing a program of concentrating on what kids can do, though. That will undermine National’s Shighter Future more than anything else. Good for them.

  3. North 4

    Trev’, do they actually pay you for this shit ?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11476615

    I mean, does your fatuous scribbling give anything at all ?

    Other than a dutiful salute to “John Key – 16th All Black” ?

    If you’re going to Samoa I recommend you consult with the locals about whom they thank for Wednesday’s match-up.

    You’ll find it’s not the simpering Richie McCaw Wannabe, ShonKey of the Infamous Triple Hand (Face Palm), but rather the presently out of work John Campbell.

    You don’t believe ? Tune into Auckland Samoan talkback for a bit. You’ll also hear a thing or two about who’s at the root of Campbell presently out of work. Warning: consultation with Minister Fiapalagi Sam will not reveal anything reliable.

    • Facetious 4.1

      A very clever move by Key, who has become an expert at reading the public mood. A Labour PM would have done exactly the same. Cheer up, North.

      • Paul 4.1.1

        The arrival of the first troll of the day.

      • North 4.1.2

        I note you recognise and are kind enough to demonstrate the move Faecetious.

      • Tracey 4.1.3

        As he loves his pacific neighbours so much, how come he wasn’t at the King of Tonga’s coronation?

        • Clean_power 4.1.3.1

          Are you blind Tracey? Can’t you see there are far more votes in attending the rugby in Samoa that the coronation in Tonga? I’m surprised you are so politically naive.

          • Paul 4.1.3.1.1

            Troll 2

            • Clean_power 4.1.3.1.1.1

              Pathetic.

              Why, Paul? Why do you call troll anyone who does support your narrative or agree with your point of view? Are you against debate or disagreement in this blog?

              • McFlock

                Nah, he just seems to be against trollls.
                Can’t say as I disagree with him on this issue, although I probably have on others.

              • Realblue

                I blame The Herald for Paul’s behaviour. It consumes and upsets him so, yet he continues to read it.

          • Tracey 4.1.3.1.2

            the coronation was a few days ago… two birds, one set of traveling fees 😉

    • Grey Area 4.2

      I can see some sense in Coleman attending this match as sport & recreation minister but the rest of the troughers going, undoubtedly at our expense, led by Shon reluctant to steal Labour’s thunder but I will Key?

      And I find it disappointing that on this junket (like others) there are members of all parties involved (if Trevett is correct), including one which I support and expect better from. To cover each other’s backs in case of criticism from the people picking up the tab?

  4. Lanthanide 5

    Good interview by Andrew Little this morning on RNZ about National’s lack of action on the economy: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/201761370/govt-complacent-on-economy's-weak-spots-labour

  5. Enough 6

    Even by usual Herald standards, that Trevett offering is the most fatuous drivel. Read it, reread it and was still bemused. Can only presume she was dutifully responding to Shayne Currie’s latest edict. “Glad I’m a man” rugby link for John….it works for Vladimir….

  6. An interesting article on how the SNP were used by the Tories to win the UK general election. Clear echoes of the strategy used here by National with Internet/Mana.

    http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/politics/latest-survation-poll-shows-england-6015818

    • ianmac 7.1

      That Cosby interview about how it was straight-forward to just present the options in a straight way was so wrong. They used fear by exaggerating the Scottish Labour “risks.” Here wasn’t the “fear” promoted that Labour + Green would be a bad thing. And in 2017…..

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1

        The right-wing always promote fear as they know that it can lead them to victory and thus allow them to screw over the majority of people to enrich the already wealthy.

  7. hoom 8

    Has anyone else noticed the sudden large media presence of NZ First in the media post Ron Marks deputy coup?

    Reads as Dirty methods of trying to drum up a new Coalition partner for Nats next election to me, Ron Marks being distinctly Right rather than center.

    • Stuart Munro 8.1

      Might be self-defeating though – he’ll struggle to pull votes like Winston – but if he did he’d be inconvenient. National likes parties manqué like Maori, ACT, & Peter Dunne – none of which endanger their vote.

  8. Ffloyd 9

    I have just read the latest burbling of Trevvy. What was it all about? Was the *feel-good * announcement to do with balls? Who was going to take them? Who wasn’t? Who knows? Who cares? I bet Andrew Little doesn’t. But at least we know that he was GAZUMPED! by Dodger Key. How so?
    I actually feel quite sorry for Trevvy. One day she’s going to go back and read all this juvenile besotted rubbish and be ashamed. I am presuming at one stage she was a genuine journalist who wrote real in-depth articles with both sides investigated and reported without bias.
    All she has now is a published *Dear Johnnykins* diary. Poor girl.

    Mr Key is “delighted to be attending this historic event”
    Speaking of balls, I hope he has the grace to acknowledge that this *Historic Event* is happening ONLY because of John Campbell. Bet he doesn’t. He has no guts.
    I would love to see JC be made an Honorary Chief or something like it. Go John Campbell! and go the All Blacks! And Go Samoa!

    • Tracey 9.1

      I wonder if it might backfire on Key, not Labour. Won’t most people think Key was being a bit pretty, childish?

      Seems the historic event of a coronation of a king of tonga wasn’t delightful enough.

    • ianmac 9.2

      Wouldn’t it be great if on appearance Key gets a muted Samoan response but John Campbell gets a riotous response. Should that happen, would MSM report it?

    • North 9.3

      I have very, very close Samoan friends, one in particular of decades, who are absolutely, absolutely serious about John Campbell being honoured with a chiefly title. As far as I can gather John Campbell is truly loved by huge numbers of Samoans, both here and in that beautiful place. He’s seen as reflecting, best as palagi can, ‘Fa’a Samoa’. Key……ummh, not so much. Polite about him, of course, polite, polite, but no. Bullshitter you see. And vain. And false.

      Just quietly, can’t imagine that Trev’ of the Herald did Key any favours with the Samoan community with that piece of mindless crap she wrote about rugby balls to Samoa. You really fucked up there Trev’. Not quite ‘Pebblesque’ but certainly a fuck-up.

      The sneering, eurocentric tone in this huge moment in Samoan sporting history……it’s not missed, even if polite, polite rules. You’re an unartful fool Trev’. A nasty piece of work too.

  9. Philip Ferguson 10

    Redline blog regularly receives reports from friends within Syriza. We received the following communique from our friends, one of the left currents in Syriza, yesterday:

    1) We are in front of a great NO by the Greek People, who stands defiant and fighting against the ultimatums and the destructive policies imposed on Greece by the troika and its local supporters. Today’s NO has a pan-hellenic, national, popular, democratic character. It proves once again that the Greek People has a great reserve of courage and resisting spirit, and storms the political scene, as it has always happened in critical moments of our History.

    2) This great NO, around 61,5%, comes despite the (unforeseen in post-war Europe) terror campaign and direct threats by all the systemic reactionary forces on European and international level. Moreover, it has been achieved despite the manifest weaknesses of the Greek Left’s forces. It is a result that was not expected by all those who underestimate the Greek people’s courage, and this remark is valid no matter how huge difficulties we shall face tomorrow (literally!).
    3) The referendum’s result represents a crushing defeat of the pro-troika internal opposition, which, in vain, spared no effort to distort the meaning of the referendum and to multiply the fear amongst the Greek society. It represents a crushing defeat of the whole old political, business and media system. Already. . . .

    full at: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/a-great-no-by-the-greek-people/

    • Tracey 11.1

      Good on her for being mature and taking responsibility.

      New Herald on Sunday Editor is braver than previous or just they don’t feel they “need” Pebbles as much as they think they need Glucina?

      “NZ Herald Weekend editor Miriyana Alexander has confirmed Pebbles Hooper has stepped down from her role as Spy co-editor.

      “Today I accepted the resignation of Pebbles Hooper, effectively immediately. She will no longer co-edit the Spy pages in the Herald on Sunday, or appear in the Weekend Herald’s Canvas magazine, ” Alexander said.

      “As I said on Sunday, the views she expressed in her tweet were distressing, and are obviously not shared by me, or the Herald on Sunday.

      “I have also apologised to a family spokesman for the contents of the tweet and the distress it caused them.””

      Do you think Herald had a heads up on the Press Council complaint and so let Glucina know she could quietly exit if she found a new job?

      • Sacha 11.1.1

        “Good on her for being mature and taking responsibility”

        Presume you’re commending the editor. No proof of any such thing from Hooper.

        • Tracey 11.1.1.1

          Nope, commending Hooper who seems to have offered her resignation. Many much older and more experienced than her have not done such a thing.

          • Sacha 11.1.1.1.1

            Many a firing has been presented as a resignation.

            • TheContrarian 11.1.1.1.1.1

              Shorter…

              Tracey: Well done Hooper for taking responsibility and resigning
              Sacha: There’s no evidence she resigned
              Tracey: It says right here she did
              Sacha: Yeah but it was probably a firing which, ironically, I have no evidence for.

              • Sacha

                I’m comfortable with my doubts, thanks. There is only a prepared written statement by her employer claiming resignation. There is no quote from Hooper saying “I resigned”. The resignation also seems to have come after the meeting and not before it.

                • TheContrarian

                  “There is no quote from Hooper saying “I resigned”

                  So?

                  “The resignation also seems to have come after the meeting and not before it.”

                  I don’t know where you have worked but the general course of action, when you want to resign, is to have a meeting.

                  Also it is funny where you say: “No proof of any such thing from Hooper.” But when it is shown that she tendered her resignation you offer a theory that has no proof.

                  Oh the tangled webs we weave.

    • tc 11.2

      bet she pops up over at media works or some other pay station for the nactolytes.

  10. Barbara 12

    I had an interesting day today at the PO getting my passport photo updated – I had already been down yesterday and Internal Affairs rejected it because there were shadows in the background behind my head and my head wasn’t centred in the middle and my hair was touching the edges of the frame (I have thick curly hair) . So I was back down there today to have another attempt – 3 head shots later they got it right – ears have to be showing so I had to shove my hair behind my ears, the shadows were still there and my head was slightly tilted and not centred correctly in the frame.

    What’s going on here? I was getting pretty cranky at this stage and told the staff we will be getting chips implanted next – they agreed with me and said everything about security is getting more complicated. The lady told me that when she was in a US transit lounge waiting for another flight out of the US she had her finger prints taken even though she was not leaving the t.lounge. There was a queue behind me and I apologised to the lady waiting behind me for the delay – she said “I don’t mind waiting, if it means that I can fly without fear of a bomb going off on the plane” – I said to her “lady that is the last reason why the authorities want to have your identification on their files, its surveillance for all sorts of reasons – the least being terrorism – they just create the fear knowing that we will be suckered into it and accept it”. She looked at me blankly and I just walked out of the place shaking my head.

    • TheContrarian 12.1

      “…we will be getting chips implanted next…”

      People have been saying that for fucking decades.

      • Barbara 12.1.1

        What sort of comment is that? Who rattled your cage – I am well aware that the topic of chips has been around for years – I am an old woman for goodness sake – and watch your language its unbecoming. Have a chill pill.

        • TheContrarian 12.1.1.1

          Watch my language? Seriously? Fuck that.

          • weka 12.1.1.1.1

            Wow, swearing at elder women, stay classy TC. If there was ever a comment that negated the last shred of validity of your moaning about other people here, that was it.

            Barbara, thanks for the story, it’s erudite. I think along with the increasing control stuff, there is increasing incompetencies, end of the empire stuff.

            • TheContrarian 12.1.1.1.1.1

              I care so much for what you think of me Weka.

              I would be careful of moaning about the validity ones comments, weka. Tell me again how magic can cure people and how expressing skeptism of magical claims is bigotry.

    • It’s pretty straightforward. If you’re running a border control agency and have lots of passport photos to look at every time a plane lands, get a computer to do it. It’s cheaper, more reliable and doesn’t get bored.

      But there’s a downside for the poor sod who has to get a passport photo taken – a face means nothing to a computer, so as far as it’s concerned your passport photo consists of a set of points it can identify and see how they’re arranged. That means a list of criteria for a passport photo (including, as you found: must show the ears, because they make handy measuring points, must be centred in the frame, must be entirely within the frame and must have a completely plain background).

      So, yeah, it’s very annoying. But it’s less to do with terrorism and surveillance than with convenience and cost-effectiveness for border control agencies. (I’m guessing that at this point you’re not thinking “Oh, no amount of trouble is too much if it means greater cost-effectiveness for border control!” Because I sure didn’t think that.)

      • Barbara 12.2.1

        Thanks for that P.M. I knew it was for facial recognition but I thought that hair behind ears was a bit much – I thought the equipment that processed our skulls would be like Xray with goes through stuff like hair – an MRI scan doesn’t bother about hair when they scan the head – I thought computers could do anything these days. The no shadows in the background – why that – what’s that got to do with our heads? As for the budget constraints of our Gov departments – just about half the Parliament are at the Samoa game today and the poor citizens of Samoa are shut out of the game because of the cost of the tickets – it is illusionary that there is no money in the kitty for our essential running of this country – it goes where the Gov wants it go and its on trips away and other frippery. Lack of money – I think not.

  11. Brighter Future update No 94:

    A man has threatened to set himself alight in the offices of a National MP.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/man-in-custody-after-incident-at-mps-office-2015070714

    • Realblue 13.1

      An international student who is mentally ill has threatened to set himself on fire. Low life TRP attempts to blame Government. FIFY

      • te reo putake 13.1.1

        Yeah, and it was entirely coincidental he did it in the office of an MP who did nothing for him. Which is the normal response from our caring sharing government. Don’t hurt yourself falling off your high horse.

      • North 13.1.2

        You Key Gorks have got no memory have you ? No good asking you to recall the slitting the throat gesture in Parliament then. Like your man(?) is a gauche shithead, so Realblue are you.

        Gimme a call when the effete poseur tries to make like a jock rugby boy up in Apia. He’ll do it. Can’t resist.

  12. Charles 14

    In defence of privilege, ignorance, and Pebbles Hooper..

    (tl;dr – skip to bold section)

    I admit I had to wince a bit, observing the shit-storm of outrage over Pebbles Hooper’s ill-advised comments. When you get social media full of separate-but-the-same-tone opinions, it always looks like overkill no matter what the conclusion or topic. Even the Ashburton Mayor was in on the game. That’s about where my sympathy ended, though. Just before her twitter account disappeared, Pebbles posted an apology that included,

    “…I deeply regret any distress caused to the family. I apologise for my wording and take responsibility for upsetting those involved, and I was careless in my actions… The issue I regrettably tried to raise was about parental negligence and the precautions needed to ensure the safety of those who are unable to care for themselves…”

    This started to ring familiar bells for me, because didn’t we all see at least the superficial psychology of the tweeter? Sure we did. We were all taking about it, if a little smothered by the ideology and hierarchy of privilege. What sort of person doesn’t care about the abstract concept of kids who can’t care for themselves dying, then does, but still largely runs off their parent’s fame and fortune? How to reconcile the contradiction? IS she contrite or not? What sort of person admits they should, could, or would vote ACT, a party of extreme individualism and privilege, but will settle for a similar party, National – a party of shadows and deception? Things were getting fishy. Wasn’t the idea of what the tweeter looked like, her botox program, offered as evidence of inner insecurity? Must be something subconscious, we said. Sure we saw it, we were using it against her, to quieten our own demons. The mind of the mob is not such a mystery if you’re a life-member.

    So what could be similar in her apology and also initial claim of the colloquial “natural selection”?

    I’ll tell you what I saw, I saw a person like me. A threatening to vote for ACT voter (I hated any idea of anyone telling me what to do!), a person who was pissed that people (the media, and by association the public who follows the media) who’ve never demonstrated they give a shit about anyone but themselves, suddenly gave a shit about a family who they’ve never met, who they voted against in principle since 2008 – or chose not to vote at all – enabling the same thing.

    Why would she be pissed, in a sort of cynical, passive aggressive way? Did she see some parallel in her situation a situation “everyone” knew about? Did anyone give a shit about her when she needed it, when she needed protection from the outside world when she was a kid? What kind of person, we asked, displays that lack of life experience? Was it not obvious? Did her parents let her down, perhaps, did they at any time look the other way when it mattered, consumed by their own ambitions, problems and tendencies? The colloquial use of “Natural Selection”, what did it really mean? The Freudian-slip-o-meter was running overtime. On one hand it matched the theory perfectly, on another, not at all. The contradiction again: how could both claims mean the same thing? Simple maths.

    Culture, the whole aspirational outlook, the economic style – that’s the “natural selection” – it’s a given, it’s bigger than us, it can wipe anything out and no one knows how to stop it or change it. It’ll roll over people who aren’t ready for it, and most of those people are kids – like you, me and Pebbles, were once.

    During the weekend I was reading some work by Helen Brown: privileged talented, famous Journalist. She summed privilege up nicely, in her rapid over-anxious style, omitting to get as close as anyone should to pick the maggots out of a common wound,

    “…She cheerfully describes her upbringing as, ‘long periods of neglect disguised as freedom, interspersed with inspirational bouts of the Rudolph Steiner teaching method…’

    The abuse of privilege is a terrible thing, but being born into isn’t an inherently good or favourable thing by default. Fucked me right up. Unlike Helen Brown there were no “inspirational bouts” of anything in my life. Took 40 years to get close to untangling it, and the time it took and the lines I had to draw cost me my financial future and my family and friends. On a bad day I’m bitter and angry. I don’t regret trying, I’d do it again, but some people aren’t as pig-stubborn as me.

    “Neglect disguised as freedom”.

    From the inside, being born into aspirational privilege (working or middle-class) looks like the World is just out of reach. You can hear the World, you can see it, but you cannot reach it. Everyone else is having real lives, lots of fun it seems, making wild choices and decisions that blow your mind. Trying to get out while young is like trying to swim against a rip-tide. There is no inherent or allowed personal power for the privileged kid: it’s elevation of culture over the individual at all costs. Then the teachers come along and make it worse. In my case they knew my parents, my siblings, so I was ok, I was one of them, and they put me in an accelerated class. And just like Helen Brown, I didn’t “…want to be clever, I wanted to be ordinary”, but couldn’t get out. Kids know what’s wrong, even if they can’t articulate it. So I broke out, any way I could. Helen had a tantrum, and didn’t get out. She’s even more embedded now. I got side-lined in math class in my School Cert year. Shut up and sit in the corner, they said. Don’t annoy us, we won’t ask you to learn anything. Numbers are a complete fucking mystery to me. So fuck society and their enforced aspirational games.

    A few weeks ago I was talking to a homeless guy whose one line of enquiry was where I got my clothes and the rings on my fingers. He implied my privilege, that he was different and that I owed him, somehow. So I pushed back at him, gently. I sat down and told him where I got my clothes, how much they cost, and he wasn’t impressed. His sneering chuckle told me all I needed to know. Without knowing how I even came to be sitting next to him, he assumed people who look like me have the money and economic obligation to pay full price for known labels – he would, he knew what he wanted, the brand and everything – it was where he was headed. He was disappointed that I didn’t encourage his outlook of aspirational escape. In fact, I said very little and just listened. Why would I tell him that where he wanted to go was a barren landscape? Leave him hope, at least.

    He grew up in the opposite kind of World to me and he said he never really had coped well with life. Sounds familiar, I thought. I could’ve been him if it weren’t for the luck of finding one person. Without that one person, when my breakdown came, I’d have been out on the street, or locked up. The alcohol and drugs the running away, that was why he did it, he told me, but he was getting towards a place of his own, he said, with help from whatever organisation. Good luck, I thought, those fuckers aren’t your friends. There was nothing more to say. Couldn’t tell if the unsolicited honesty was a sales pitch; the initial style yes, pretty common for homeless to speak that way; but, no, I think not overall. Just people talking. We talked a bit about his childhood hometown. His tribe. We’d both been there. In time and distance, he was a long way from home. What could I have done for him?

    Privilege rots creativity in the minds of the privileged. It’s like possessing a set of skills that only work inside a certain environment. Maybe it’s like how an astronaut might not be much good to anyone unless there is a spaceship nearby, because they can’t figure out how to split up and re-apply their skills, while everyone else wants them to be an astronaut so they can know the moon isn’t made of cheese. It’s a prison you can’t see the bars of, even if you’re lucky enough to know where they are. A privileged person can be loaded with privileged information, but there is no way to apply it if they leave the circle of privilege. Nobody who isn’t privileged wants you to give up your privilege, otherwise they’ll never get a turn. Their hope within an intransient and hostile environment will be gone.

    That’s the evil of the inequality gap: on one side we have the rich, still within the culture of potential action, on the other we have everyone else, including the presumably borderline undecided, perhaps like Pebbles Hooper. Those people are the kind that Marx relied on for societal stability “after the revolution”. They are the disaffected and disillusioned aspirant classes – the people who have woken up to the game, but have few ways of applying anything “until the revolution”.

    So why can’t anyone just make a list and apply their skills? Well putting aside the obvious uses and variation of skills and talents, lets use an obvious example.

    Have you ever tried volunteering?

    Fuck me, it’s more involved than finding work, and the legal liability is all your own. It’s like being a contractor on a project without a project manager, but for free, and you better be pretty good at self-managing your sensible personal boundaries. It’s nothing like that flippant slogan, “Oh hey have you tried volunteering?” that they tell unemployed people, to suggest they aren’t doing enough, like the door is wide open for all-comers. There are purposeful hooks, hoops and snags, and lots of waiting, and some of those guys you’ll meet are just plain dangerous. People can be shits no matter where they accumulate. No white middle-class charity wants unemployed, unconnected people – period – unless they can use their ethnic background. How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go?

    The abuse of privilege, the closed doors of culture are still in effect, even with do-gooders. The tendencies of society never goes away. So recently, when I signed the electronic petition to cut those same milquetoast charities a break in the face of legislation that would have them incur costs on their police vetting, I was laughing. Laughing because they are so fucking hypocritical, so fucking self-righteous, so desperate-for-help-but-not-that-desperate. I did it anyway, because there might theoretically be an organisation out there that isn’t full of shit and who does actually have legitimate reason for concern. So fuck your volunteering and charity – born of abusive Christian help-them-but-keep-them-down ideology. I can’t wait for the revolution that never comes, but I’m not signing up to your bullshit.

    Yeah but what’s your point, Charles?

    I’m getting to it.

    Did I say I sometimes get angry and bitter? That’s important to the point. That is what even just the scar of privilege does to the minds of certain people. Do I sound like Pebbles Hooper yet?

    I know why a car would be running non-stop inside a garage, because I’ve had to consider doing it myself. How would Pebbles Hooper or anyone else ever find out? Unfortunately, though, I know that even if I showed people, who didn’t know, how to avoid it, those people wouldn’t listen. And you can be damn sure there isn’t a charity right now checking the obvious in their known clients. Practical skills aren’t for everyone and I’m no teacher. Just like the homeless guy, he wasn’t listening to the implied story that I wasn’t teaching. He was set on his course, and god bless him. Because if I told these people what I know, these homeless, these addicts, these mentally struggling people, they would not be able to hear and in most cases they’d already know better than me anyway. When I’ve tried to get back in to “climb the ladder to change the system” to help them, the system kept me out. You think change will occur inside a system of privilege? Nah that’s bedtime story stuff, it’s what our privileged parents told us to do when we pointed out the fucking obvious to them as kids. When they got to the top, they never changed anything.

    Yeah but what’s the point, Charles?

    I’m getting there, it’s all important to the point!

    There is no certainty that the homeless guy wouldn’t reach the top, or at least find a secure roof to sleep under, but after that, using the values of aspiration, he’d be on his way to indirectly enforce homelessness on another victim. Do you reckon that pulling people into safety is as morally admirable as we like to think when our cultural environment has nowhere constructive for them to go to from there? When do we address that? Do you reckon people will wait for us before moving on their own in a potentially dangerous direction?

    Fair enough, we can’t escape the present: that if you lived like a dog for most your life a bit of the good life would do you good, give you some breathing space to safely look at things and rest. Whether you were owed it or not, you might certainly need it.

    That’s why the attitudes that National and ACT promote have to go – not just out of power, but out of circulation. To attempt to right the balance. And the reason it’s so important they go, and not be allowed to pass charity or social welfare into private hands is so that people like me, and Pebbles Hooper, on a bad day, when we’re angry, bitter and hurting, sick to death of the do-gooder hypocrisy, the preparation of charities to collude with a new privatised environment, it’s so that those in need don’t have to rely on our transient mood to eat that night, or have somewhere safe to sleep; or so a solo mum doesn’t finally get pushed off the rails by the stress (that’s what Bill English is sizing up next…); or so a carer of a disabled person can get a break and not fall into poverty themselves.

    Don’t rely on me. It’s a roulette wheel of chance.

    Don’t rely on Pebbles Hooper’s ability to figure it out in time or decide who’s deserving or not.

    Don’t rely on cuddly charities being impossibly un-flawed.

    Welfare must stay in the hands of a neutral government system, not flawed individuals.

    That’s my first point.

    That’s what I saw in the Hooper apology. She reminded me of me, my flaws, my shadows. If she isn’t already a sociopath, I hope she gets further down the track and instead of just projecting her disappointments and hurt onto current events, she digs down into the real issue and maybe even finds a solution. It’ll cost her, Big Time. Some popular psycho’s know all this stuff already and just manipulate it for their gain – easy enough to spot because they can’t contain their glee, or plans – but I’m still unsure about Hooper and can afford to extend her some good faith.

    It’s an old story, kids get fucked up, it’s the way it is, and no one stops to change it. Life happens fast. Culture pushes us to think fast. Very few parents can get over themselves before becoming parents, and even if they did they can’t entirely compensate for the destructive environment – especially if they’re invested in it for income and identity. Botox is a superficial act that could mean anything, and anyone who says fashion is superficial and shallow doesn’t understand what fashion can be. In attempting to explain herself, to apologise, Hooper started a war with the people her favourite political party like to blame. Your damn-tooting her olds stepped in to “stop the conversation”. Ever heard National and ACT blaming “poor parents” for the poverty of their children? Ever heard Bill English blame solo parents for costing “the country” too much money? Mr. Freud, with have hit Defcon2.

    Blaming parents is blaming kids, because once those parents were kids too, and it was their parents who were fucked up –on their own and by the environment. Blaming the poor exposes the destructive culture of the aspirant classes. Don’t let them isolate any more victims. If you want to stop the game, you have to change the culture from the outside; or as Zach de la Rocha, lyricist of Rage Against the Machine, once said, “…We don’t need the key, we’ll break in…”.

    (Ahh the nineties, a heady mix of bullshit and smoke.)

    “…Yes I know my enemies
    They’re the teachers who taught me to fight me
    Compromise, conformity, assimilation, submission
    Ignorance, hypocrisy, brutality, the elite…
    All of which…”

    All of which…

    all of which… my generation didn’t do much about. We weren’t listening to Zach in any great numbers. If we had, we wouldn’t be in the mess we are now. Fuck the norm, Zach says. Hmmm. Nah. Mostly we turned neglectful complacence, complicity and cluelessness into the norm. But we looked good while we were at it.

    It happens to every generation, even good old GenX – the poster girls and boys for “slacking” and rejecting the status quo. Few of our pop-culture heroes were slackers, though, most worked hard-out to get rich, making dumb soundbites ala Hooper along the way. Beck says he was “too busy” to be depressed. No one crucified him on social media.

    To the sound of our slacker soundtrack, we lapped-up the initial flourish of greed in NZ in the nineties. We played in the boutique retail spaces, we played with bohemianism (“lifestyle homelessness”), we had the interest-free student loans and spent the money on toys, and we were so up ourselves we never stopped to check our privilege. We flattered the greed and, if the numbers are right, a fair few of us must vote for National now. In a few years you won’t find anyone admitting they voted for National. I voted ACT, once, in 2002. There were 17 of us morons of varying degree in my electorate. So Pebbles ain’t so bad, compared. She’s only thinking about it.

    GenX: who the fuck would identify with that anyway? You had to be privileged to know. And the worst part? You can’t get a coffee as good as it was when we gave shit about first world problems like roast, grind, tamp, and extraction times. We couldn’t even maintain and pass on our barista skills! It became unprofitable to do so. How profitable is social awareness? So fuck sanctimonious self-righteous GenX. Fuck me, cause I was one of them. Why point at today’s hipsters. Buy a mirror. We were worse. Hooper’s generation don’t know what’s up out of unavoidable ignorance. What’s GenX’s excuse for wholesale willful ignorance? We knew what it was like before Rogernomics. Our job, our responsibility, isn’t over. The nineties were not our finest hour. Hooper isn’t any more “feeble” than us. At least she exposed the problem no one wants to address, if they can avoid it. Some of the outrage is that Hooper reminded us of our own past – not a good thing to do unless you’re Taylor Swift.

    A certain personality type doesn’t get over the impact of privilege on who they are. The accident of birth includes a random portion of personality traits that contains all the best and most fragile. Cognitive functions don’t “pre-harden up” just because someone’s parents are well-placed. A certain type of person can beat compassion and understanding out of themselves, but it’s not an act of aspiration, not in the beginning; or have it beaten out of them, and that’s an act of fear-transference, or bullying. But some can’t change, ever. Famous examples might be Janet Frame, Katherine Mansfield, let’s pick some men… Witi Ihimaera, Vincent O’Sullivan – all happy to admit they don’t or didn’t get over stuff. And some who aren’t born into riches and privilege are just as potentially psychopathic as anyone who occupies the nice leather seats of parliament right now. It hard to say who’s who, sometimes. So fuck ideology. I’ll help you because you’re a person, and the reasons for your situation need addressing, not because I have a nice pair of pants and you don’t.

    The difference between Hooper and me? Gender, personality, experience and direction.
    The difference between Helen Brown and me? Gender, personality, experience (and what reads like a shit-load of 1996 grade caffeine) and direction.
    The difference between some hard-core ideologist and me? Potentially gender, personality, experience and direction.
    Who’s better? Do you know where it’s going to end for you?

    Much of our existing ideologies make no account for people being people or the influence of events that lead up to the present. Eventually we have to face that fact if any version of a harmonious society is ever going to include everyone. It’s why I’m not a feminist, or an indigenous rights activist, or a lefty at heart. My perspective frequently crosses paths with those ideologies, but doesn’t adhere to them. In the end, it’s just me meeting you and we go from there.

    Where Hooper and her friends go from here is up to them. She should re-open her twitter account and chill the fuck out. It’s entirely possible to state two contradictory claims and have them point to the same thing. Ideology of any kind just helps us kid ourselves. The ideology of privilege demands we not cry for the privileged (and I suggest you don’t, either), but it also encourages us to demonise the person, and in doing so we blind ourselves to what is really going on, we see only half the picture. It’s human. So don’t feel bad.

    End the culture, the whole fucking lot. If you can figure out any way to do that, I applaud you. If you can actually change it, even slightly, you’ll be a better person than me.

  13. maui 15

    Government sets new greenhouse gas targets. 30% reduction sounds good… but that is in relation to 2005 levels. In terms of 1990 levels it’s an 11% reduction target.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/70038782/tim-groser-commits-new-zealand-to-30pc-cut-in-greenhouse-gases

  14. Draco T Bastard 16

    Labour need to watch this and learn from their history as there’s no way that Labour is back – yet.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      in terms of economic policies and views, Labour are far closer to the ‘social democratic’ (cough) PASOK party of Greece who kept signing off on Troika austerity measures, rather than the coalition of the ‘radical left’ party, Syriza.

      • Clean_power 16.1.1

        That simple fact can only be good news for the Labour Party, because nodoy would like to be Syriza. Syriza is like Mana-Internet, a hodge-podge of radicals missing the wealthy donor, a Greek Kim Dot Com.

        • Draco T Bastard 16.1.1.1

          Ah, no, Syriza has the support of the majority of the Greek people unlike Labour who keep losing support because they don’t support the majority of people.

  15. classic aussie

    “”I said, ‘If they don’t want to be Australians then maybe they should go back to the country where their parents come from’. That’s not being racist,” Fraser said.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/tennis/70038375/nick-kyrgios-hits-back-at-former-champion-swimmer-dawn-fraser-over-racist-rant

    ummm – yes it is

    • weka 19.1

      The bit that always has me rolling my eyes is the complete lack of self awareness by white Australians when they say this shit as if they’re not descended from immigrants. Exactly how long do you need to live somewhere it be legitimately from there?

      • marty mars 19.1.1

        You’d think being born there creates some legitimacy.

        Interesting to note fraser said, “Go back to where your parents come from” – can’t see the whiterighters using that in their next march, just doesn’t roll off the tongue.

      • Psycho Milt 19.1.2

        Exactly how long do you need to live somewhere it be legitimately from there?

        Well, on any Kiwiblog thread in which the Treaty is mentioned you’ll find someone saying 600 years isn’t enough to count yourselves as indigenous, and in a recent thread on my blog someone was trying to make the case that Palestinian Arabs have no claim to being indigenous after ca 1400 years on-site, so White Australians must have to be classed as fresh off the boat.

        • weka 19.1.2.1

          Ah, but it’s different if you’re not trying to claim to be indigenous. Then being a 5th generation NZer has some mana, right? That’s why Fraser’s comment was funny, about where the parents came from. I’d love to know when her rellies arrived in Oz (although looking at the article, I think she was trying to make a different point entirely and didn’t realise just how racist it would come across).

          • Psycho Milt 19.1.2.1.1

            Maybe Maori should try that one – if being a 5th-generation NZer fills a person with a sense of entitlement (which it apparently does, if blog comments and letters to the editor are anything to go by), being a ca 120th-generation NZer must be good for ca 60x that sense of entitlement.

  16. What a load of shit tim groser

    “”This target is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030,” Mr Groser said. “This is a significant increase on our current target of five per cent below 1990 emission levels by 2020.”

    It was equal to a reduction of 11 per cent below 1990 emission levels by 2030.”

    and

    “The Government would adopt a mix of policies to ensure the target was met.

    “In particular, we will begin a review of the Emissions Trading Scheme this year, which will include scope for further public discussion on what New Zealand will do domestically.” ”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/70038782/climate-change-issues-minister-tim-groser-commits-new-zealand-to-30pc-cut-in-greenhouse-gases

    talk, bullshit, talk, bullshit… you know nothing tim groser

    • maui 20.1

      Maybe next year Groser can say we’ve decided to cut our 2010 emissions by 40% and if we do this for other previous years we can meet an arbitrary target. That sort of logic would not surprise me.

      • marty mars 20.1.1

        I expect he’ll say they are working on a time machine so that they can meet all the targets from yesteryear – what a dim bulb is tim groser

    • Bill 20.2

      Yearly cuts, as of right now, of over 10% and zero emissions from fossil by 50. Anything less than that is fcking criminal negligence that’s going to make living really fcking difficult for some and impossible for others.

      • Colonial Viper 20.2.1

        I suspect that NZ emissions from fossil fuels are going to be near zero by 2050 (or before) anyways.

        • Bill 20.2.1.1

          Nope. Not necessarily. The 5% who are responsible for about 50% of emissions will have their lifestyle ‘protected’. They will be ‘included’ in a world bent on excluding most citizens from access to things we currently take as granted and consider basic (food, medicine). They will continue to consume and work just as have a strata of Greek society.

          That’s not taking the likely and widespread collapse of social infrastructure into account.

  17. millsy 21

    You’re a smug self righteous little git Kevin.

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