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Open mike 07/12/2009

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 7th, 2009 - 52 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:


Topics of interest, announcements, general discussion. The usual rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

52 comments on “Open mike 07/12/2009 ”

  1. gitmo 1

    I wonder what the political motive is for this play by Andrew ?


  2. Seti 2

    So while Eddie is banging on about the “substantive’ issue of Melissa Lee’s NZOA funding the Labour party is tearing itself apart. It seems Key could carry out a ritualistic sacrifice of his first born live on air and still be more electable than Phil-in.

    Surely Jones or Cunliffe are working the numbers?

    • Sorry Seti

      From long practice I have learned that you should not believe everything that you read in the Herald.

      • Tim Ellis 2.1.1

        micky, which of the quotes of Mr Little and Mr Goff’s spokesman do you think are untrue? If they are not untrue, don’t you think it destabilises Mr Goff’s leadership to have the party president criticise him for his policy decisions?

        • mickysavage


          Straight from the Horse’s mouth.

          In particular,

          “There has been a range of reaction to the speech amongst the party membership and these reactions have been fully canvassed at last weekend’s New Zealand Council meeting. Like any major speech on a controversial issue there will continue to be discussion and reactions which is what needs to happen on these two crucial issues.

          I support the stance taken by Phil in the speech and encourage ongoing discussion and debate about the issues that matter to New Zealanders.”

          I think that you call this vindication.

          Like I said, never trust anything you read in the Herald.

          • Tim Ellis

            Micky Mr Little’s press release is more important in what it doesn’t say than what it does. It doesn’t say that Mr Little was happy with the speech.

            Just as an aside there seems to be a quote mark in your link that shouldn’t be there, perhaps a moderator can edit it so that it works properly.


            • felix

              “I support the stance taken by Phil in the speech and encourage ongoing discussion and debate about the issues that matter to New Zealanders.’

              Will there be anything else, my petulant child?

              • Tim Ellis

                Mr Little said he supported the stance in raising the issue of relitigating treaty settlements Felix.

                Mr Little was very careful with his words. He didn’t come out and say: “I give a ringing endorsement of Mr Goff’s speech. It was a great speech, and I approve of everything in it, and have no concerns with any of the issues or how they were raised. I particularly approve of the way Mr Goff titled his speech “Nationhood”.”

                Mr Little in fact damned the speech by failing to endorse it. It says a lot about the power relationship between the president and the leader that Mr Little has to clarify a point on whether or not he has personal concerns with the leader’s speech, yet very craftily says he it is rightly Mr Goff’s position to question the government on two points, as if it is Mr Little’s job to approve policy positions announced by the Leader.

                Mr Little certainly didn’t point out in his press release that at the last Labour conference he called the foreshore and seabed legislation a mistake, yet Mr Goff’s speech was a slap in the face to the position that Mr Little took at Labour’s conference.

                Time will tell in the next couple of days just how much heat is aired at tomorrow’s caucus meeting I suppose.

      • mike 2.1.2

        That’s it mickey – denial is the best course when the truth is unbearable.

        This is a sad end to Goffs long but pretty boring life in politics..

      • Tim Ellis 2.1.3

        So now TV3, radiolive, and TVNZ are running the same story Micky noting Mr Robertson’s discontent, Mr Ltitle’s critical comments of Mr Goff, and that it will be discussed as a point of contention in caucus tomorrow Micky. It seems to me not all is well in the Labour caucus at the moment, and you can’t blame it all on the Herald.

    • Tim Ellis 2.2

      Those are interesting points Seti.

      It seems to me that both Mr Little and Mr Robertson see themselves as Labour’s future leader, but they know their best chance is for Mr Cunliffe to take the reins going into the 2011 election and be blamed for the loss.

      • mickysavage 2.2.1

        No it is a beat up. There is no mood to replace Goff as leader. There is discussion about his speech. No parliamentarian that I know of it has any concerns about the speech itself. Some members do but that is the left for you. We actually allow each other to have different beliefs and views and consider this to be healthy.

        Some are worried that the right are spinning it to suggest that Goff is playing the race card. IMHO we should not allow the right to set the agenda or to apply their view of reality on us.

        • Tim Ellis

          So what do you think of Mr Little’s comments, Micky? How is it that Mr Little has “personal concerns” with Mr Goff’s speech? That sounds to me that he does have concerns. Granted Mr Little is not a member of caucus, but he is a very senior and influential person in the party.

          How about Mr Robertson? Does he have concerns about the speech? Reports suggest he does. Is this a beat up also?

          It doesn’t sound like the right are setting the agenda re Mr Goff playing the race card. It sounds like Mr Robertson and Mr Little are fuelling the agenda.

          • bill brown

            Sounds to me like he’s a living breathing human being with his own opinions rather than an autominon who spends his days mindlessly parroting NACT talking points.

            • Tim Ellis

              A living breathing human being who is the party president on the one hand, and a caucus member on the other, criticising the party leader. That puts a lie to Micky’s statement that no Labour MP has had concerns with Mr Goff’s speech.

              • bill brown

                News Flash!
                Labour MP’s hold own opinions

                must be a fucking slow news day.

              • Tim Ellis

                News flash, Mr Brown. Mr Goff is at five percent in the polls, and his colleagues are openly criticising him. Can’t see his leadership lasting long.

                • lprent

                  I realize that the Nats are an autocracy and therefore have frequent back-room palace coups.
                  However Labour MPs are expected to hold their own opinions, but to follow due process. This is a more civilized process that is somewhat less feudal than the one that the tories cling to.
                  I prefer our process.

                  • Tim Ellis

                    Rule 242 LP, plus just yesterday Mr Mallard was gloating about the ease by which Labour leaders can dump list MPs from Parliament.

                    • felix

                      Gloating about the ease or explaining that there was a process for doing so?

                    • lprent

                      I commented on that rule yesterday. It has to be there in each parties rules because of the nature of MMP. If the Nats had any sense they’d use it on Melissa Lee who clearly lied to someone, probably John Key.

                      However you avoided my comment on the handling of dissent (ie not behaviour) in National and Labour respectively – which is a wholly different topic. I asserted that National acted like an antique autocratic feudalism, and Labour was more civilised and tolerated open dissent more easily.

                      You seem to avoid discussions that you’re not controlling the topic as much as TR did the other day. Not particularly healthy on the net. It usually means that someone is either a nutter or a PR hack. Which one are you?

                    • Tim Ellis []

                      On the Melissa Lee topic LP, there isn’t evidence of lying. I see you didn’t wade into the debate to counter my claims. Eddie gave up defending his position on it.

                      As for handling of dissent, there is a long history of it in the National Party as you know LP. Your statements on it really just are tribal nonsense.

                    • prism []

                      Yes yes Tim – didn’t your doctor tell you not to get excited and stressed out. I’m sure that someone somewhere agrees with at least one of your points, and the others who don’t would accept that its time to agree to disagree.

                      Why don’t you give yourself a break from blogging for a whole day before it becomes an obsession that squeezes the joy of life out of you and twists your mind and wrenches your soul from its moorings etc.

              • felix

                Hi Tim. Got any plans for the rest of the day?

              • Tigger

                Reminder: must complain to Red Alert for banning Tim Ellis so that he feels the need to post here a billion times a day…

              • felix

                Trevor had the same complaint when Timmeh was banned from here.

              • You are misquoting me. I was referring to the words of the speech themselves. Of course the speech and subsequent commentary has invoked discussion.

                Now how about a discussion about some really big issues such as global warming or corruption in New Zealand?

  3. Pascal's bookie 3

    While Goldman Sachs guys are arming themselves in fear of populist outrage, Morgan Stanley VC says ‘bring it on’…


  4. prism 4

    What about this Federated Farmers approved application to run dairy-factory-farming? Jeanette Fitzsimons says in reply to the remark that there is shed farming in the south, that in fact these are shelters providing a place for cows to stay and keep warm and dry.

    The applications to Canterbury Environment would be for 18,000 cows in stalls for 18hours 8 months a year, and the rest for 12hours. Feed would have to be brought to them, their effluent would be resprayed on the fields at optimum times. Industrial farming at its worst and the type of farming approach that led to the foot and mouth outbreak in Britain.

    We have sold ourselves to the world on raising our stock on green pastures in a climate that other countries don’t enjoy. This would be seen as a drop in quality and image and we open ourselves to attack on transport miles if our produce is no different than what is available close to our sales locations. Our major export, that we have sacrificed most of our manufacturing work-rich jobs for, would be put under threat, and we would be allowing the cold-blooded types who are the same as the financiers we have learned to despise, take this factory approach, probably using newly developed technology which allows operations handled from a distant site, the swivel chair farmers! The type was exemplified in the case where a manager died of overwork, he was thinking he would be a sharemilker and build up a herd of his own, but his bosses laid so much on him that there weren’t enough hours in his day to handle their animals as well as his own.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 4.1

      I feel its the scale of what they are proposing that is the problem, rather than what they are proposing. I’d have a hard time believing that they would be able to hire enough qualified animal handlers capable of caring for that many very large animals in such a small space. The animal welfare implications would be mind blowing.

      My suggestion for the proponents would be to start small and demonstrate you can do it humanely and in an environmentally responsible manner before trying to ramp up to such large numbers.

      • prism 4.1.1

        What about growing whatever in a suitable climate?
        Sheep may be better for the cold south and more work done to improve that market than just milk rush after the fast dollar at the expense of animal welfare.

      • The bottom line, as ever, is profit. Regardless of the animal welfare issues or damage to New Zealand’s reputation these operations will make money for the people running them and apply price-pressures to anyone continuing the ‘old-fashioned’ way, forcing them to compete by squeezing more milk from more cows for even less cost. The inevitable herd-health, environmental and perceptual problems are ten years in the future, by which time the ones setting this up will have made their money, sold up and moved on leaving a hundred similar operations on the same slippery slope to the same problems and disasters.

        New Zealand agriculture has shot itself in the head rather than the foot this way over the years but seems incapable of learning – i heard the President of New Zealand farmers on radio this morning blaming environmentalists for forcing farmers to adopt these practices.

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox

          You obviously have little faith in the government who are supposed to police the Animal Welfare Act and Resource Management Act.

          Given the pitiful amount of resources MAF puts into policing animal welfare that is not without some justification.

  5. prism 5

    British Labour Mp talking on Nat Radio this morning. Some are asking Gordon Brown to stand down as the belief is that if he remains, a Conservative govt will get in and be able to stay in for decades.

    Interesting because I thought that is what happened with Helen Clark. A good leader but it seemed that only losing would get the Party to look for another and her to stand down. Now we have National which we all knew would be a disaster for the country. Now we have talk of privatising school property. Every time the right come in they push the jigsaw off the table and start doing it again, their own way. How useful is that to the country, expensive too.

    think that we need to have a control system on leaders that they can’t serve more than two consecutive terms. The present system does not encourage new leaders to be nurtured. Leaders don’t like competition, it is regarded as disloyal. Muldoon managed to stand on Tallboys (and another’s) fingers.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    You know, I am no greenie by a long stretch. I eat meat and I don’t believe, for instance, that trying to reduce carbon output (Kyoto, Copenhagen) has a hope in hell of saving the planet from global warming. I believe the only way to do that is use technology to sequester carbon and reduce the number of humans on the planet.

    But I hate gratuitous cruelty to animals, I loathe treating creatures with intelligence as simple production tools. A cow – or a pig – is not a form of industrial robot.

    The McKenzie country is high, cold, arid and infertile tussock country. It is a fragile environment not suitable for dairy farming. Factory farming cows in the McKenzie country is simply immoral greed writ appalllingly large from an industry that is not used to being told “no”. I cannot believe we would even consider this, buut then again Federated Farmers under the glogal warming denying, neo-liberal fanaticism that characterises the leadership of Don Nicolson appears to be heading down the Greg O’Conner route of irresponsibility.

    I would go out of my way to boycott milk produced in such a way. Of course, Fonterra will go out of its way to try and make sure I don’t know where the milk is sourced from. I am lucky in that I live near a charming couple who run their own organic dairy unit, so I can get “happy” milk anytime. But even then, why should I have to go to such trouble to simply source ethically and sustainably produced dairy produce??

    The only solution is to make quite clear to Nicholson and the rest of his hateful, cruel big-farm mates that there will be direct action against their farms, and plenty of New Zealanders will be calling for an international boycott of our dairy industry if this is the only way to the march of immoral greed in our farming industry.

    • Bored 6.1

      With you all the way on animal cruelty, I have never ceased to be amazed at how some stock are treated by farmers, its so variable between those who care and those who dont.

      On the dairy issue, the whole industry is highly reliant on energy, to pump water, milk cows, move milk long distance etc, not to mention the energy input costs of maintaining marginal land as feedstock for animals. If the price of energy were to spike upwards even a minor amount the whole economic viability of production in remote or marginal areas would collapse quickly. I can assure you this will happen, hopefully before your concerns with animal welfare are realised. Its just another one of the elephants in the room that we prefer not to see, its called peak oil.

    • prism 6.2

      Fonterra appointed a new top guy a wee while ago and the comment was made that he was a commodity trader rather than a brand supporter or developer of value-added products. The result of these very large dairy farms will be to increase the supply of milk but run the risk of dirtying the brand that is our crown jewel.

      Then there is the water needed. These big businesses are pretty cold-eyed, they will try to get water rights for long terms. Even if others can’t get the water they need in the future, they will have supplies sewn up legally. Australia is running out of water, why wouldn’t some of their capital come here and find a way to utilise this asset of ours as well. There are long-term contracts already being made that will give some rich guys great advantage. Environment Canterbury I am pretty sure, said about water and the environment, that it didn’t want to grant too many rights for tree planting at the heads of catchments because that would reduce the amount available downstream. A queer attitude from a practical environmental perspective.

      Lastly, in early colonial days the govt stepped in to prevent a few wealthy men getting large tracts of land so they could not follow the path of British aristocratic land grabbing and become squatters here.
      But that is actually what is happening now, the small dairy farmer is being squeezed out. And the Crayfurs and the Gillespies are examples of the greedy being able to leverage their way onto farms they couldn’t afford or manage properly, but causing the land price to rise because of demand from such financial gamers.

    • prism 6.3

      Yes Sanctuary, the Feds are big and snide, and pretend that they are trying to make environmental changes to improve their pollution, but will need strong disapproval to stop them marching on in the way they prefer. Many farmers are planting flax along streams etc. but the big ones I don’t think have such ideas in their business plans that will squeeze out the most profit for them.

      One idea for using pollution from cowyards was to harness it for energy use from methane produced. I wonder if that has proved to provide useful power with low wastes.

      There are presently troubles for some farmers trying to stop thefts from their farms with cables for remote cameras being cut etc. I would think that such things may be done to harrass the factory and polluting farmers if they are allowed to continue ‘creaming’ the country. They are worse than foul-mouthed politicians and those trying dodgy methods to increase their salaries.

  7. Pascal's bookie 7

    I asserted that National acted like an antique autocratic feudalism,

    cf Richard Worth, who was drummed out of parliament for making the king look bad.

  8. gingercrush 8

    Oh Timmy you’ll end up banned again.

    • Tim Ellis 8.1

      Since this post has a lot of people on the left saying that the left are good at handling dissenting views, GC, I doubt I’ll be banned for putting forward a contrary opinion.

      [lprent: No. We don’t ban for contrary opinions. We usually ban for trolling and other attacks on the operation of this site.

      Since much of the time the authors of posts don’t agree between themselves that wouldn’t be a particularly effective way to run a site.

      I think you’ve been banned twice by Irish (the second time I’d have banned you as well if he hadn’t done it first). Both times were for personally attacking the authors of posts for what they wrote rather than what they were writing about. That is something the moderators do not allow.]

      • felix 8.1.1

        No, you’ll probably get banned for being an obnoxious troll as you usually do.

        Then you’ll complain that you were really banned because of your contrary opinions, as all trolls do.

  9. felix 9

    I dunno Tim, I saw the thread about Lee.

    Just because people get tired of going around in circles with you about imaginary points you’ve pulled out of your arse doesn’t mean that anyone “gave up defending his position”.

    In fact there are a lot of responses to all of your claims on that thread, most of which you haven’t even bothered to address. Does that mean you “gave up defending your position” too, Tim?

  10. Pascal's bookie 10

    Seems comments are being inserted to the thread almost at random?

    Or izzat jus me?

    [lprent: Odd. I’ll have a peek at the SQL server. ]

    • Tim Ellis 10.1

      Yes I’ve noticed that too PB. The front page seems to miss the first post for a while and the posts frequently go to a different page thing.

      [lprent: That is probably the super-cache. It stores generated pages and will sometimes serve up old pages when the system is under load.

      Looks like we’re having another spamming attack *sigh*. There was one on friday evening as well (actually pulled down the server for a couple of 10 minute stints). It is a bloody noisy environment and every so often we get a string of attacks that amount to denial of service attacks. ]

    • lprent 10.2

      Ok. Looks like I pushed down the limits on simultaneous connections too far on fridays attacks. Pushed it back up again. That should let through the css files that were failing to be loaded where the client side didn’t have them cached.

      I need a better mechanism for defeating the multiple-connection spam attacks.

  11. Quoth the Raven 11

    Interesting collection of Paul Krugman quotes talking about the need to lower interest rates for a housing led recovery back in 2001 precipitating the housing bubble in the US and people still listen to these Keynesians. Krugman Did Cause the Housing Bubble.

    • Quoth the Raven 11.1

      An even better Krugman quote here:

      To fight this recession the Fed needs more than a snapback; it needs soaring household spending to offset moribund business investment. And to do that, as Paul McCulley of Pimco put it, Alan Greenspan needs to create a housing bubble to replace the Nasdaq bubble.

      Keynesian FAIL.

  12. All this stupid talk about leadership change reminds me of the time when Helen Clark was on 2% . Remember how Banks refered to HC as miss 2% every day on his talk back show. Wake up people the Right will always have the upper hand regarding publicity . How long ago since we had a Left Wing Paper, Left Wing TV channel, or a talk back show. The only way the Left can get its message across is by direct involvement or Union activity.

    [lprent: we try as well…]

  13. Zorr 13

    Interesting reading brought to you from beyond the grave from Isaac Asimov (one of my favorite writers of all time).

    Credit to PZ Myers linking to an essay by him in his blog on the fuzzy nature of right and wrong when it comes to knowing things.


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