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Open mike 08/06/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 8th, 2020 - 126 comments
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126 comments on “Open mike 08/06/2020 ”

  1. Peter Chch 1

    Kiwirail contract awarded to Chinese company.

    This is insane during a time of growing unemployment and economic downturn.

    The local companies have great experience of building rail electrification from the Auckland network. And to award the contract to China of all places? Unbelievable. China should be paying us compensation for the economic devastation from their actions relating to covering up their virus from October through to January. They are no friends of ours that's for sure.


    • Molly 1.1

      That's the separate departmental mentality for you, that uses cost as it's primary factor. It is inexcusable at present.

      If we included the SROI (Social Return on Investment) and other benefits when considering these major contracts, any local supplier would be accurately measured.

      A legislative adjustment that changes the way government contracts are awarded, is required, and as soon as possible.

      • Peter Chch 1.1.1

        Absolutely agree.

        In this case I do wonder exactly what is the real motivation. Kiwirail have had 10 years of being ripped off by their Chinese suppliers (and remember most large Chinese companies are ultimately owned and controlled by the Chinese government).

        The Chinese built DL locomotives have been a disaster, from continual mechanical breakdowns to the discovery they were riddled with banned asbestos. Already many have had to be partially rebuilt due to poor components and finish. And the Chinese built wagons were a similar expensive fiasco, with container wagons that were unable to be used as their camber prevented containers being able to be loaded! And the wagons with brakes that applied by themselves when running, causing hugely expensive damage to wheels and track.

        I think it is well overdue that the Auditor General had a good look at the cost relationship between Kiwirail and their Chinese suppliers. Anyone who has ever dealt with Chinese procurement will be well aware of what I mean.

        • Molly

          The closing of the Dunedin workshops alongside that contract is a succinct example of failings in the system.

          There is a need to include an assessment of the delivery of quality goods, remediation of substandard delivery and ongoing service as well.

      • greywarshark 1.1.2

        Molly yesenlightened

    • Sacha 1.2

      Great spin from the losing contenders, regurgitated faithfully by our media.

      • Peter Chch 1.2.1

        Downers and Fletchers are listed on the Australian share market. Their ownership has a heavy NZ component and involvement. They employ locally. Chinese firms tend to largely operate as a closed shop.

        As as for being 'better at the job', experience tells us otherwise, as per my post above. The media were doing what our PM should have been doing: putting the interests of our country first and applying pressure to KR.

        • tc

          National flush out the SOE's to get what they want asap so it'd be interesting to see how 'blue' the management team is. They can do whatever the F they like basically

          Governance is a box that's sooo easy to tick so everybody's all nice and clean.

    • gsays 1.3

      Thanks for sharing Peter.

      The shoddy workmanship/build quality etc, was apparently only 25% cheaper than the local bid.

      And… where is Winston on this?

      • Peter Chch 1.3.1

        25% cheaper to buy, but if you look at the costs of the required DL locomotive partial rebuilds, the lengthy period they were withdrawn to allow the removal of asbestos, the loss of productivity due to wagons that could not be used and required essentially new decks, the damage to track and wheel sets due to faulty brakes, which themselves required rebuild, all at our expense, I am sure the 25% saving was sucked up very quickly and we are now probably millions out of pocket.

        And yet KR continues to purchase DL locos. Very odd.

  2. Peter 2

    They've obviously had the big meeting with Todd and every little incident in the country, any little thing is to be used to create a fuss and a presence. From the desperate bullies like Matt King to the twerps like Simeon Brown they're into it.

    There's probably a 'brownie points' chart in the caucus room and every mention in the media is a point. A photo is a star and a T snippet will be some special bonus.


    • tc 2.1

      Matt King is a real chip off the Aaron Gilmore/Mike Sabin block and the 'right stuff' for team Toddy.

      I look forward to his ongoing contributions as to what's left behind in the NZ police force that he identifies with still and all around him in team national.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    Call me suspicious, but several of Guyon Espiner’s pieces have involved “scandals” involving constituents of the Government Coalition. NZ First’s Trust and financial structure, and now the “SIS 80s break ins” linked to the then Labour Govt. of David Lange.

    Perhaps todays voters will not care about such things as the Cold War “pie and Penthouse” era SIS–I see RNZ could not resist running again the 1974 night photo of Soviet diplomat Dimitri Razgovorov allegedly legging it after meeting Dr Sutch!

    Sure Espiner’s story may have naturally unfolded and been ready to roll, but few investigative writers drop a significant piece without consideration of timing. My view is there are various ways to try and undermine an administration. The ongoing exposure of the media stitch up of Jeremy Corbyn–in collusion with right wing UK Labour people–shows how this can work.

    • Peter Chch 3.1

      So you think that these illegal (although no doubt justified) actions should have remained buried forever? Gee, I thought we lived in a free and open society.

      If anything, this story is a positive for the Labour government of that time, as it dispels the myth that some still hold that they were puppets of Moscow. Shows the truth that they were realists.

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        Don't be naive Peter Chch. TMs point is looking at whether Guyon Espiner is basically just a Labour destroyer, despite giving signals that he is passionate about telling the facts, the truth, transparency etc.

        We need to know the present news, and then about the present background of it; we already know about the past, and it can be referred to briefly but left for later to be brought forward and reviewed for a fuller picture.

        • Peter Chch

          Greywarshark. I put that that badly in my post. But absolutely no, I do not think he is a Labour destroyer.

          His article is of importance and interest and the timing is not relevant to the Labour led government of today. It is to Espiners credit he investigated and published now. We need more real journalism like his, regardless of our political views.

          • observer

            Agreed. Espiner is a good journalist, doing his job.

            • tc

              He picks and chooses when to do his job and given way to many soft rides so he comes across as lazy at best or owned by not being consistent.

              He kept his SOE jobs through 3 terms of national so he plays the game. Campbell and many others didn't.

          • greywarshark

            Yeah I think I'm probably naive, but still suspicious of Espiner. When he left being host on Radionz he started into something that I felt seemed like a rightish partisan choice, forget what it was.

          • Anne

            In agreement. Thanks Peter ChCh. He maybe a bit of a stirrer at times but he is a very good journo.

            • observer

              Yes. For those who have forgotten, this is from the 2017 election. Steven Joyce and his "hole", memorably challenged by Guyon, and nobody in all of the media coverage ever did it better:

              Espiner, Joyce and Robertson on Morning Report

              • newsense

                Put a reply right at the bottom, but yeh- odd story with more to be teased out about how and why it broke, but not necessarily malign.

      • Tiger Mountain 3.1.2

        …Peter Chch @3.1
        No. If I thought the SIS story should be buried I would have said so. I have no brief at all for the NZSIS and its history of bungling and pursuing non threatening subjects, and not pursuing some more obvious ones!

        The consensus from those that replied to my post seems to be that Espiner’s story can stand alone, and I’m fine with that.

        • Anne

          … its history of bungling and pursuing non threatening subjects, and not pursuing some more obvious ones.

          Actually someone from the SIS is on record for acknowledging as much in the aftermath of the Christchurch shootings. It might have been Director, Rebecca Kitteridge.

          The history of the SIS leaves a lot to be desired. I was one of those personally impacted in the 80s and I suspect you were too. We will have to wait until the end of the 5 part series to be able to pass judgement on Guyon Espiner's handling of the subject. He's a good journo if a bit uneven with his partisanship at times.

      • Treetop 3.1.3

        Also the Rainbow Warrior incident and going nuclear free.

        Yes Labour were realists then and are realists now.

    • Sacha 3.2

      Journalists ought to be applying extra scrutiny to whoever is in government. Investigative stories like that take many months so I would not be reading too much into timing.

      • In Vino 3.2.1

        And remember how the righties all accused Nicky Hager of publishing things at times they did not like…

    • Treetop 3.3

      Investigative journalists and writers are needed to write about incidents which have been covered up providing what they write is factual.

      People will read into what they think regardless of the timing.

      On 17 June it is 45 years since the Colin Moyle incident. The full police evidence has not yet been released. Moyle has not recieved an apology from the police either. I think how the police handled the matter is of public interest. I also feel that there are documents of public interest when it comes to the planting of the cartridge case in the false conviction of Arthur Allan Thomas.

      • Peter Chch 3.3.1

        Yes Treetop, 100% agree. NZ Police have at times acted appallingly.

        Re Arthur Allen Thomas. Not just the cartridge case, the 'discovery' of the stub axle in the Thomas farm tip also was very suspect although seldom gets a mention. And to think that corrupt scumbag Hutton was praised so highly by Mike Bush, former Police Commissioner. Unbelievable.

        • Treetop

          Who is the watch dog of historical police cover ups?

          How do you get a historical police matter to be investigated by an independent source?

          I thought that a police commissioner or the PM could order an inquiry.

          I do not like it when a situation becomes political because the person who has been treated appallingly is the person who has to fight for justice and this takes energy when the complainant is usually partially burntout.

          A private investigator costs money but an investigative journalist does not.

          Where would Teina Pora be if McKinnel did not intervene?

          • greywarshark

            It is important to keep an eye on the ball – the mirror ball that is the election. It's very Labour purist to decide to follow some lead of misbehaviour or even crime of the past and get excited about that, and forget about being pragmatic.

            Pragmatic is real, it's now which is chaotic and we must stay steady on course; the other matters may be festering but bringing them up now is suspect to me.

            NZ has needs like never before. Stick with thinking about those all left supporters and concentrate on being in defence mode, not stir-mode.

            • Treetop

              But what if you were personally affected by a historical issue and you are still being affected and you approached those who were in a position to investigate and they were not diligent?

              As for stir mode, were the unresolved to resurface due to it being part of something else really important would victim blaming occur?

              • Anne

                But what if you were personally affected by a historical issue and you are still being affected and you approached those who were in a position to investigate and they were not diligent?

                I would go further than that and say: those in a position to investigate often chose not to do so because they were protecting their own.

                • Treetop

                  I want to think that silencing the complainant by not investigating has markedly reduced.

                  The misuse of power is horrible if you are the recepient.

          • newsense

            And National's current front bench, particularly in the current climate, have questions to answer there.

  4. Chris T 4

    "Call me suspicious, but several of Guyon Espiner’s pieces have involved “scandals” involving constituents of the Government Coalition. NZ First’s Trust and financial structure, "

    Do you not think this was worth checking out it is kosher?

    It has nothing to do with Espiner's timing. NZF was leaking like a sieve.

  5. weka 5

    Is anyone talking about what it will mean for NZ if we eradicate the coronavirus and no useful vaccine is developed? Or are we avoiding this until we see what happens with the vaccine?

    • Sacha 5.1

      Do you mean if it is eradicated worldwide, or eliminated from NZ?

      • weka 5.1.1

        I meant eradicate rather than eliminated in NZ. I thought eliminated meant no current outbreaks but still the potential for them, whereas eradicated meant there is no virus left here. I don't know how those are assessed/measured.

        But either way, is anyone talking about if there is no more covid in NZ and there is no vaccine?

        • Sacha

          Ta. The public health language matches what I used above: 'Eradicated' means it exists nowhere in the world. 'Eliminated' means only within a specific area, like NZ.

          Elimination only in NZ just puts more pressure on our border controls, quarantine, ongoing community testing and fast tracing capabilities.

          The current kerfuffle over the Avatar imports shows we may need more firm quarantine arrangements than the Ministry of Health's culture is capable of managing. https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/121746854/surprise-sequel-to-avatar-hotel-saga-as-guests-claim-stuffup

          Some regional public health units are refusing to use the national Covid case software that the Ministry had to rapidly develop. Again, more firmness may be needed – perhaps after today's cabinet meeting. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/418222/concern-over-dhbs-reluctance-to-use-government-s-contact-tracing-system

          • weka


            Restating the question then, is anyone talking about what happens if NZ eliminates covid and there is no vaccine (say in the next 5 years), or are we waiting and seeing?

            Assuming we sort out the quarantining issues, what next? Are we basing out current responses on the idea that a vaccine will be available in the next few years?

            • gsays

              I would have thought that pinning hopes on a vaccine is foolhardy.

              We would need to progress with the notion the disease has to be managed, along the lines of the 14 day quarantine and checking temps/testing that we do now.

              • weka

                I'm guessing the BAU economics crowd are working off the assumption that we will have a vaccine (backed up by the idea that if we don't, we should let covid back in at some point).

                More interested in what progressives are thinking and if anyone is considering it seriously.

            • Treetop

              NZ can probably eliminate Covid-19 with the current border restrictions. Once the borders are open even with a NZ and Australian bubble the risk rises to not eliminating the virus in NZ.

              Which animals can get the virus from humans and then pass it onto humans is a worry.

              It is not a time for being complacent in jeopardizing the hard won gains in the Covid-19 fight.

          • weka

            good grief, that article is a hodge podge of he said/she said. The MoH response looks standardly inadequate, but the 'we had to walk through a crowd of people wearing masks' story doesn't quite add up either.

            • Sacha

              The comment from the apartment wing dweller is more concerning than the earlier one who just heard some people with a US accent in the hotel reception area.

              Main problem seems to be that the MoH is reduced to taking the word of others about whether proper quarantine was maintained. Not good enough.

  6. greywarshark 6

    Radionz story on spies under the bed.


    The image of the guys lying on a bed with a bed cover printed the same as the wallpaper reminds me of a Gary Larson cartoon where enemy insects come to the door and the mother sits in her armchair unnoticed because her dress and the armchair match the wallpaper. That Gary, he has super-vision for a different angle to everything we think we know.

    This Cold War thing and spies and… is depressingly cyclic. Can we never break out; (plaintively)?

    Here is Gary Larson in the Simpsons with the satirical approach we so need. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUzFBzaAJfA

    His Top 20 Quotes: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVfdzPDAeI0

    • Treetop 6.1

      On Wednesday 9.30 pm on the Duke channel there has been a programme on spies. It is well worth a watch and has accounts from people who were involved.

  7. weston 7

    eek look out nz the russians are coming again !!

  8. We can't stay still waiting for a vaccine

    By keeping the borders closed we're effectively cutting off international tourism and the foreign student industry.

    Meanwhile import/export goes on as usual

    Limited numbers are allowed in according to our capacity to test, track , and isolate

    And viable treatments could change the scene considerably .Like HIV no vaccine, but good treatments

    Meanwhile we look at restructuring our domestic economy I suppose

    Sorry Weka , I'm no expert, no "inside" info , just "supposes"

    Cuba might give us a few clues

    Cuba at 11.4 million has managed to survive for decades despite the US embargo and sanctions.

    They have their own pharmaceutical industry, a health system lauded internationally, and a commitment to organic food production.

    Like us they have been heavily dependent on tourism .Unlike us they do not charge huge amounts for foreign students attending their much praised medical schools

    We should keep an eye on Cuba. They've handled Covid 19 brilliantly on meagre resources, and after years of imposed economic privations have come up with innovative strategies to deliver good outcomes for the people

    They continue to come up with new ideas



    • Chris T 8.1

      I really really really don't think we should look at Cuba for inspiration.

      • aom 8.1.1

        Why Chris?

        • Peter Chch

          Well i guess if we found a benefactor like the USSR that pumped up the Cuban economy for political reasons, then maybe. In the absence of such, I would not recommend it.

          Take a look at Cubas appallingly real situation, not the bs stats from a dictatorial government.

          • francesca

            The USSR left Cuba decades ago.They then had to make it on their own.

            Which they've done pretty damned well

            • Peter Chch

              Really? Have you actually been there and seen the empty shops? Try something as simple as getting a coffee in a coffee shop. Their economy is a joke. Like so many extreme right or extreme left economies, they are a beautiful peoples in a beautiful country ruled by an out of touch elite.

              The USSR propped it up but with the end of their empire Cuba reverted to what it otherwise would have been.

              • francesca

                Life expectancy in this poor country is 78.66 years

                Same in US (7th richest country in the world);78.54

                Child mortality is at a lower rate than the US

                Cuba 4 per 1000 live births

                US 5.8 per 1000 live births

                Suicide rate s

                Cuba 10.1 per 100,000 (less than us)
                US 21.4 per 100,000
                forget about the trappings of consumerism, if you want your children to stay alive, to live longer and not be driven to suicide its Cuba hands down

                • Peter Chch

                  Quoting such stats is meaningless.

                  For example, with suicide, just look at Durkheims famous study on suicide, that found vastly different recorded suicide rates reflected cultural factors more so than any real difference in numbers. With Cuba being a Roman Catholic country, that would suggest the authorities would be more reluctant to record a death as suicide than from other causes.

                  Life expectancy is also a meaningless comparison. Vastly different ethnic mix, a largely rural hot country cf a heavily industriaised country and could one even rely on a dictatorship to be honest as to stats?

                  As I say, visit Cuba, then post your views from first hand evidence and after talking to the locals. You may well have a different viewpoint then.

                • Andre

                  Just outta curiosity, how many Cubans want to move to the US? How many US residents want to move to Cuba? Of the Cubans that have moved to the US, how many want to move back to Cuba?

              • greywarshark

                Did you read Havana Bay with Arkady by Martin Cruz Smith.? He built a crime novel on the Cuban-Russian mix.

                • Peter Chch


                  Yes! Fantastic novel, although Polar Star is my favourite from that author. All in ChCh Library for anyone interested.

              • Siobhan

                Not at all suprising you should bang on about the USSR..yet forget the American embargo against Cuba..


    • RedBaronCV 8.2

      I am not so fussed about open borders.It remains to be see whether either tourism or education has been an overseas earner worth having. Despite our substantial population increases in the last 15 years my understanding is that GDP per head has remained pretty flat. We need to transition to a high wage economy not a high people import economy

      • greywarshark 8.2.1

        RBaronCV +100

      • RedLogix 8.2.2

        We need to transition to a high wage economy

        Would be very nice indeed. But in promoting that idea you need to take into account the demographics, because people at different stages of their life behave rather differently in economic impact.

        Young adults, under about 40, spend more, borrow more and drive up consumption as they form families, establish households and have children. They are early in their working life, have lower skills in general and lower productivity. On the back of this demographic you can have a consumption led economy.

        Middle adults are all about saving and investment. They pay down the mortgage, build equity in investments and save as much as they can. They now have two decades of work experience, are much more productive and pay higher taxes. On this demographic you can have a high value export led economy.

        Late adults, from 65 onward suddenly drop out of the job market and switch from saving to drawing down on their investments. The Japanese worked out an ingenious solution to this; they used automation to locate much of their manufacturing directly into their overseas markets, off shoring their economy.

        These are broad and crude generalisations of course, but what they tell you is that the raw population numbers alone are not enough to understand what is going to drive a 'high wage' economy.

        Because all the developed nations now have birth rates below replacement, populations are experiencing for the first time in human history a 'demographic inversion', more older people than younger ones. It's not obvious at all that every developed nation can use an export or offshore led strategy to support their economies.

        New Zealand is an interesting exception to this pattern, we have maintained a reasonably flat demographic profile by two processes, one was by exporting older workers overseas (over a quarter of all people born in NZ no longer live here), and at the same time importing younger workers to replace them. Immigration has been a critical factor in supporting a balance of local domestic consumption, and export driven income. (What we have never managed is to develop an authentic off-shored economy, but that may be a useful clue in developing a strategy.)

        Like you I'm no fan of increasing NZ's population for the sake of it, but in proposing change it's vital to start thinking about the implications.

  9. greywarshark 9

    To those who are protesting against civil outrages and bad government.Here is a song about a protester from the Vietnam war. This is just one of the past protests and the words written by NZr Willow Macky about an Australian with values.


    It is important that we keep trying to alter the direction that our world is constantly turning to that leads to destruction for the many. We did try in the 20th century, and though you don't understand that there may not be a 21st century for people, please take our word for this and keep thinking and working as if humans and animals will live on to their good potential. You will meet the best people you will ever know on these protests and the environmental work, so keep working together doing important work though you will have realised it won't make you rich!

  10. Ad 11

    Great to see the Greens effectively put Labour on notice that they potentially have other choices in forming a coalition with National:


    All those months that Shaw put in with Simon Upton and Todd Muller to get the ETS (such as it is) up and running have paid off.

    • Andre 11.1

      Um, yeah …

      If the National Party was prepared to come up with a deal where they could beat Labour and come up with a plan on addressing inequality, on climate action, and on protecting nature – and they could outdo our current partners on that

      Sure, outdoing their current partners is an awfully low bar, but it's still higher than a chalk line on the ground.

    • Sacha 11.2


      Shaw said the Greens have had a "different strategy".

      "We've been doing quite a lot of online town halls around the country and we've had several thousand people participate in those and for us that was about talking to people directly rather than trying to misbehave to carve out media time."

      Garner asked Shaw if he was accusing the Deputy Prime Minister of misbehaving.

      "No, not at all," Shaw replied. "It would be completely unlike me, as you know Duncan."

  11. joe90 12

    Mittens knows there's change in the wind.

  12. I Feel Love 13

    This is going to be very interesting to watch, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jun/07/minneapolis-city-council-defund-police-george-floyd they're going to dismantle the current police system and replace with something new. Saying incremental change hasn't worked, so sweeping changes are needed, and will come.

    • McFlock 13.1

      This'll be massive if it works – so prepare for pushback.

    • RedLogix 13.2

      Replace with what?

      Nothing is not an option.

      • Ad 13.2.1

        The option of a fully defunded Police force is that the hard left can occupy the streets with chanting and the hard right can come onto the streets with AR15s.

        There will be plenty of city-wide initiatives that come out of this, but the bills that are already in play at the federal level are where this contest needs to go.

        We re already deep into danger of nothing meaningful coming out of all these protests as much as nothing did from the last upsurge of #Blacklivesmatter.

        If the moronity stops it will be a gift for Biden to support the proposed police reforms now in the House. If it will continue it will give a good bump to Trump on a straight law and order platform like he has pledged.

        • RedLogix

          Indeed. One of their most obvious problems is the 17,000 odd police agencies they have. Way too fragmented.

      • joe90 13.2.2

        Something that works.

        After a particularly deadly year in 1995, Camden’s Cathedral of Immaculate Conception began illuminating one candle for each homicide victim. In 2012, the year ended with 67 candles—a rate of about 87 murders per 100,000 residents, which ranked Camden fifth nationwide.

        But on New Year’s 2018, just 22 candles were lit: The city’s murder rate fell to its lowest since 1987. The number of annual killings has been in decline since 2012; so have robberies, aggravated assaults, violent crimes, property crimes, and non-fatal shooting incidents.

        So what’s happening in this city, which for many years has been deemed among the dangerous in America? Thomson, who took the helm of the Camden police force in 2008, says the biggest factor may have been the change in structure of the department itself. In 2013, the Camden Police Department was disbanded, reimagined, and born again as the Camden County Police Department, with more officers at lower pay—and a strategic shift toward “community policing.”


        • McFlock

          some commenters are so freaking unimaginative.

          Council members said in interviews on Sunday that they did not have specific plans to announce for what a new public safety system for the city would look like. They promised to develop plans by working with the community, and said they would draw on past studies, consent decrees and reforms to policing across the nation and the world.

          Maybe have the new “police” live in the communities they serve as a basic start.

          • joe90

            Out of control thuggery. Well overdue a root and branch jobbie.

            Long before former officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd’s neck, the Third Precinct in south Minneapolis had a reputation for being home to police officers who played by their own rules.

            One officer kicked a handcuffed suspect in the face, leaving his jaw in pieces. Officers beat and pistol-whipped a suspect in a parking lot on suspicion of low-level drug charges. Others harassed residents of a south Minneapolis housing project as they headed to work, and allowed prostitution suspects to touch their genitals for several minutes before arresting them in vice stings.

            These and more substantiated incidents, detailed in court records and police reports, help explain a saying often used by fellow cops to describe the style of policing practiced in the Third: There’s the way that the Minneapolis Police Department does things, and then there’s the way they do it “in Threes.”


          • greywarshark

            This is exhaustive about Camden, New Jersey. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camden,_New_Jersey

            Some very telling images. If changes can be made in Camden they can be made here.


          • RedLogix

            The article IFL linked to, and you approvingly replied to is quite specific in supporting police abolition.

            Amid the current protests, abolitionist groups have put forward concrete steps toward dismantling police and prisons, arguing that defunding police is the first move,

            No police, no prisons, and presumably no courts. Do you support this McFlock?

            Because in the absence of state law enforcement, communities will quickly revert back to armed gangs of young men imposing their own arbitrary rules.

            It will of course be an imaginative experiment.

            • McFlock

              I think you'll find that most of those abolitionist groups do not see "zero police and prisons" as being synonymous with "armed gangs instead". I mean, it wouldn't compute in your head that there might be a different way of achieve peace in a society, but that doesn't mean that they don't have some valid ideas.

              Additionally, as the Cambden example illustrates, eliminating the current police force doesn't even mean replacing it with a police force of a completely different nature to the current alienated and combative model.

              So your strict interpretation of a single line in a report as being representative of an entire movement wanting "armed gangs" roaming neighbourhoods is just another example of your own conviction that there is no alternative to present evils.

              • RedLogix

                It's very clear that everyone is rejecting 'incremental reforms', so I followed the link in the article above, the one you so strongly supported, and it lands here:

                Demand the highest budget cuts per year, until they slash police budget to zero.

                • Slash police salaries across the board until they are zeroed out.
                • Immediately fire police officers who have any excessive force complaints.
                • No hiring of new officers or replacement of fired or resigned officers.
                • Fully cut funding for public relations.
                • Suspend the use of paid administrative leave for cops under investigation.

                That's very explicit … in fairly short order it means no police, no law enforcement. If this is what BLM is really demanding then do you support this?

                just another example of your own conviction that there is no alternative to present evils.

                Actually no. In numerous posts over the years I've outlined in considerable detail many alternatives to the current order of things …. sadly most of them too radical for the unimaginative. These days I hold back a fair bit.

                • solkta

                  But you haven't been holding back have you. No at every opportunity you have jumped at the chance to play apologist for the police. Credibility none you have.

                • McFlock

                  I actually do support that for current police departments. They need to be cleaned out, shut down, and replaced with something better. Whether that is a more community-oriented style of policing, or even something an actual anarchist might come up with, I look forward to seeing a variety of approaches. None of which will revolve around armed gangs of youths (well, no more than currently).

                  Because most of them will be better than the current model of paramilitary policing as an occupying force. And the ones that aren't will be discontinued quickly, as the "there is no alternative" terror will have been overcome by a multitude of viable alternatives.

                  • RedLogix

                    What if all people became so educated and refined that the mere thought of committing an offense against another was more shameful than the act itself?

                    Preventing crime is obviously a far more desirable strategy than punishing it and I'd strongly support anything that might be shown to move us in that direction. This position is consistent with my track record here for many years.

                    It's fairly clear too that the USA has moved too far down the path of punishment to the neglect of prevention. They need to restore that balance.

                    But this does not mean there will be no crime. You know that perfectly well. There is a reason why clubs and bars have bouncers, and why all functioning human societies have laws and means of enforcing them. Arguing that the police should be abolished when you can't even begin to outline 'something better' is beyond wrong. It's insane.

                    • McFlock

                      No. It's letting communities find their own solutions to their own problems, be it a phased replacement like in Cambden or whatever they come up with in the way of community involvement and control.

                      Because paramilitary policing isn't working.

                      Watching the same injustices get perpetrated by the same broken system year after year and doing nothing about it is insanity.

                    • RedLogix

                      It's letting communities find their own solutions to their own problems, be it a phased replacement like in Cambden or whatever they come up with in the way of community involvement and control.

                      Ah … separate development. Sounds familiar? Does this mean white supremacists get to have their own 'community solutions' too? I somehow don't think that is what you have in mind.

                      This of course doesn't rule out more sophisticated policing systems that have strong community input and advice, and adapt themselves appropriately to the situations they are operating in. That isn't easy and takes a considerable effort to develop the trust, communication and institutional memory to make it work well.

                      But that's the kind of incrementalism BLM has explicitly rejected. They're demanding police abolition, and there isn't much wriggle room in that.

                      At bedrock the whole concept of the nation state is predicated on it's right to make laws and operate them on behalf of all it's citizens. It is the state that 'owns and controls' the justice system, not any arbitrary number of identity groups.

                    • McFlock

                      BLM is not a homogeneous group, that's your first problem.

                      Secondly, municipalities in the US already determine their own policing methods. That's why some have a PD, some have a sherriff's department, some have constables, and some have two or thee organisations over the same jurisdictions. And yes, this has resulted in some forces consisting of white supremacists. That's a problem with the current system.

                      Thirdly, incrementalism failed. That's why obviousl;y defenceless people are still being murdered.

                    • RedLogix

                      BLM is not a homogeneous group

                      Unfortunately they're not very clear on what 'defund the police' actually might mean, but here you have it leading on their main website. You kind of have to take it seriously and ask yourself exactly what you are supporting.

                      Secondly, municipalities in the US already determine their own policing methods.

                      Yeah that's a big part of the problem. Somewhere up above I mentioned the 18,000 different law enforcement agencies in the USA. I really recommend this link on gypsy cops. It's an eye-opener.

                      The United States has a highly decentralized and fragmented system of law enforcement, with around 18,000 law enforcement agencies, and is regulated separately in the 50 states, plus US territories, the federal and local level as well. Hiring and disciplinary standards vary greatly between police departments, the majority of which are small in size.

                      In other words community driven policing is already a strong feature of US law enforcement and this is the less than wonderful outcome.

                    • McFlock

                      Yes and no. How many US police officers are actually responsible to the communities they police, or live in those communities?

                      But then we might start looking at why that is, and the roots of US policing vs the roots of the London Met. Both developed to respond to two very different labour problems in the defense of the ruling class.

                    • RedLogix

                      How many US police officers are actually responsible to the communities they police, or live in those communities?

                      Well in the majority of these smaller law enforcement agencies it's my understanding that the senior officer, typically a Sheriff, is an elected position, directly accountable to the community.

                      As for the ordinary police officers I have no direct link for this, but again I believe that there has been a real movement toward hiring an ethnic diversity of officers in recent decades. And it would only be logical to think the majority would live locally. Happy to see evidence to the contrary.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, apparently not.

                      Edit: note the double-whammy that most officers are white, and white officers are the ones most likely to live outside the jurisdictions they “serve”.

                    • RedLogix

                      OK so in reviewing your responses it's clear that you have rejected any political reform process, and by implication are supporting the full disbanding of all police forces as demanded by BLM and many other liberal left voices at the moment.

                      Or if you have any other alternative ideas you really have failed to express them.

                      All well and good; you'll get to punch nazis to your heart's content.

                    • swordfish

                      YouGov Poll:

                      Despite calls by activists and protesters to defund police departments, most Americans do not support reducing law enforcement budgets

                      65% of all respondents opposed cutting police force funding (just 16 % of Democrats and 15 % of Republicans supported the idea)


                      Defunding Police Depts:

                      Crosstabs: Views by Ethnicity:

                      ………….. Oppose … Unsure ….. Support

                      White ……. 75% ………. 13% ……….. 12%

                      Black …….. 36% ………. 31% ………… 33%

                      Hispanic . 42% ……….. 40% ………… 17%

                      Other …….. 68% ………. 14% …………. 17%

                    • McFlock

                      It's not my role to determine what replaces a force of occupation. That's for the people being occupied to decide.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              RL, would traditional police systems be part of your vision for a future hyper-energised global world order? You seem to have imagination to burn when it comes to making giant leaps, but a poverty of imagination wrt small steps.

              A 2014 article on "alternatives to the modern police system", for open minds.


              More food food thought here:

              Let’s talk about policing the way we too often don’t. The underlying problem with policing isn’t just the lack of oversight policies, more training, and better procedures. While radically changing these three areas remains essential for harm reduction, the problem itself is more insidious.

              The core problem is modern policing itself. The original sin of policing in this nation is its attachment to the nation’s first and most devastating sin: chattel slavery. Modern police forces in this country can be traced back to slave patrols used in Charleston, South Carolina. From their inception, police have been tasked with protecting power and privilege by exerting social control over Black people.

              • RedLogix

                What you completely omit from that narrative is that European and American societies were the first ones to outlaw chattel slavery. They are the societies that invented industrialisation that made slavery obsolete, and then had the great internal debate (and in the case of the USA a very bloody Civil War) to end it.

                This is an extraordinary achievement. Slavery in many forms, was a standard feature of virtually all societies since the invention of agriculture.

                Evidence of slavery predates written records and has existed in many cultures.[3] Slavery is rare among hunter-gatherer populations because it requires economic surpluses and a high population density to be viable. Thus, although it has existed among unusually resource-rich hunter gatherers, such as the American Indian peoples of the salmon-rich rivers of the Pacific Northwest Coast, slavery became widespread only with the invention of agriculture during the Neolithic Revolution about 11,000 years ago.[42]

                In the earliest known records, slavery is treated as an established institution. The Code of Hammurabi (c. 1760 BC), for example, prescribed death for anyone who helped a slave escape or who sheltered a fugitive.[43] The Bible mentions slavery as an established institution.[3] Slavery was known in almost every ancient civilization and society.[3] Such institutions included debt bondage, punishment for crime, the enslavement of prisoners of war, child abandonment, and the birth of slave children to slaves.

                Ending such a deeply embedded institution was not just a simple political and legal matter. It had strong cultural roots that have taken generations to wither away. In the USA abolition was just 150 years ago, the restoration of full civil rights just 60 years ago. The growth of a strong black middle class is another remarkable feature of this period, culminating in the election of a black President in this past decade.

                In the face of such undeniable progress, to pretend the USA is somehow unique in it's 'original sin of racist slavery' is nothing but a perverse fruit of indentity politics run to a toxic eruption.

                [Auto-Moderation triggered by too may links]

                • arkie


                  You're only supposed to lick the boot, not deep throat it.

                • McFlock

                  Actually, China seems to have been the first to outlaw slavery. Chattel or otherwise.

                  • Mark

                    You are quite correct. Both Ming and Qing rules outlawed it respectively, but slavery was never on the level of that which Europeans practiced in the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Nor did it rise to the same evil level of dehumanisation as the trans-Atlantic trade.

                    'Slavery' of course in terms of indentured labour into the 20th century in China. It was in fact indentured labour often called slavery. While morally reprehensible, it is different in nature from chattel slavery practiced in North America.

                    The British and French used vast amounts of forced labour in their colonies in the 20th century – is that slavery?

                    And if we categorise forced and indentured labour as slavery, as the white right do when it comes to non-Western cultures, then we should apply the same to the US —chain gangs, prison labour etc, then some have said that what was in essence slavery (to a far greater extent than what occurred in China say), persisted in the USA right up until WW2. Excellent documentary 'Slavery by Another Name"


                    • RedLogix

                      As I said slavery was deeply embedded in all societies, stretching back over at least 10 millenia, therefore it would be very surprising if it had come to an absolute end everywhere all at once, in every conceivable form. Your own reference to the Chinese experience demonstrates just how many times it was outlawed, and yet how persistently it reappeared.

                      But since industrialisation, the US Civil War and the emancipation movement, the rejection and trend away from slavery, toward a full and permanent recognition of it's evils is undeniable.

                  • RedLogix

                    If you read the reference fully it seems various Chinese dynasties repeatedly attempted to abolish slavery … the final date reads:

                    The Hongwu Emperor abolishes all forms of slavery,[5] but it continues across China. Later rulers, as a way of limiting slavery in the absence of a prohibition, pass a decree that limits the number of slaves per household and extracts a severe tax from slave owners.[23]

                    Still it is fair to say that while slavery was a very common feature of pre-industrial life, most people recognised it as a very undesirable state to fall into. It's history is, like most things, way more complex than we imagine and at various times it was abolished by more enlightened rulers, only to reappear later.

                    It was industrialisation that ensured it's suppression from modern life, by making it obsolete.

                    • McFlock

                      Except that prison slavery is still a decent chunk of the domestic US economy. So one wonders exactly how much the system has changed.

                    • Mark

                      It was industrialisation that ensured it's suppression from modern life, by making it obsolete.

                      That is true to an extent. One can say that for civilization to advance beyond the hunter gatherer, there needed to be a group of people who did the shitty work, and allowed others to philosophize, create, paint, sculpture, and design. Such as the case in feudal Europe and Asia, and ancient Greece and Rome.

                      However one could still run a pretty much pre-industrial society without the form of chattel and heritable slavery seen in the Americas –China is one example.

                      Yes, agree, it was a very unfortunate position to be, whether a galley slave of Ancient Rome, a Russian serf, or a Chinese peasant in pre-revolutionary China.

                • Mark

                  "European and American societies were the first ones to outlaw chattel slavery. w chattel slavery"

                  There is a wide spectrum relating to the level of dehumanization, when it comes to 'slavery' in all of its many historical forms. There is the Greco Roman type, the indentured servitude type that use to be found in China, the Islamic type, indentured labour in the South Pacific, 'blackbirding' in Queensland, Chinese coolies in the US, and the type of slavery practiced in the ante-bellum US south.

                  The last one on the list above was by far the most dehumanising and racist and hopeless for those enslaved, for a whole host of reasons. That dehumisation has continued right up through the past 150 years through Jim Crow, lynchings, the indignities of segregation, and police brutality.

                  Whereas, say, for Chinese indentured servants such as mui tsai etc, they could well have married into the families they worked for and their children and definitely their children's children seamlessly become part of the mainstream without any stigma attached to them. In most other cases slaves were still considered human, not sub-human

                  Even conservative US Christians make this point and draw distinctions when try to mitigate Paul's apparent defence of it ( Epistle of Paul to Philemon for example). That it was vastly different in nature to that which existed in the ante-bellum Southern states. And they are right.

                  • RedLogix

                    If slavery in ancient times was so very benign why did various dynasties see fit to try and outlaw your 'Chinese indentured servants’ ?

                    Oh look, maybe because Chinese slavery was just confined to gentile 'household work'. For instance, the Grand Canal wasn't dug by the fairies.

                    In order to link North China and South China, the Yuan rulers ordered the expansion of the Grand Canal, and it took almost 10 years for over 4 million slaves to finish the project.

                    Your efforts to whitewash slavery in China is understandable, but scarcely supported by even a brief overview.

                    As for slavery in the ante-bellum US, there is no quibble it intensified into an especially dehumanised version. In the early part of the industrial revolution technologies like deep water navigation and the advent of rapid economic growth in Europe resulted in an especially toxic period. Yet it was never sustainable in any sense of the word … it came to an end most abruptly with the cost of many lives in a bloody civil war.

                    But somehow pretending this period was categorically uniquely evil, and that by comparison the slavery of millions of humans stretching back millenia was justified and benign… is a ridiculous confection.

                    • Mark

                      The Yuan rulers were Mongolian

                      Forced or indentured labour (call them slaves or whatever) have been used by every civilization and country in history.

                      Of course it was never justified and benign. That is why you had events such as the Chinese and Russian revolutions. 'Slaves' of a sort overthrowing their 'masters' and exacting violent revenge. So yes, it would have been crap otherwise why the violence in overthrowing it.

                      But chattel slavery of the form that happened in the ante-bellum South was something unique in its level of dehumanisation based on race – as you admit. Even more so than perhaps the South American variety. And it carries on through the biologically —status is biologically inherited.

                      Nevertheless it can be argued that this has made Americans uniquely sensitive to race and racism and aware of it. There is probably far less of the sort of overt 'casual' racial stereotypiing in Anglo Saxon founded countries than in other countries. This is both a good and a bad thing.

                    • RedLogix

                      South was something unique in its level of dehumanisation based on race – as you admit.

                      Actually we have no way to know that. The intense darkness of that period is apparent to us because we have access to modern records of it. And indeed in the USA that period has often been close to the centre of their public debate.

                      But history rarely records the experiences of slaves. For example what do we really know of the lives of the 4m who dug part of the Grand Canal? Time has obscured our view of them, but there is no reason to conclude their experience was any less 'dehumanising' than that of the ante-bellum South.

                      This is the fatal idiocy of identity politics, it degenerates into an oppression Olympics, when in reality all peoples have their legacy of trauma.

                    • Mark

                      For example what do we really know of the lives of the 4m who dug part of the Grand Canal?

                      Of course in terms of actual individual experience of and suffering your point is obviously true.

                      But then you could argue a Kenyan who suffered in the British Gulags in Kenya or was one of the thousands hanged in the 1950s by the British, suffered as much as a Jewish person under Nazi rule. Or those persecuted and then beheaded by French imperialists in Vietnam suffered just as much as those in the White Rose resistance movement under Hitler, in terms of individual experience (losing one's noggin)

                      However few, including myself, would argue, that on this basis, British or French imperial rule was anywhere close in terms of moral evil to Nazi rule.

  13. observer 14

    I won't put this on the Covid-19 thread because he's not important enough to dampen a celebration, but …

    Team Todd screwed up yet again. He spoke live to the media while Ardern and Bloomfield were still speaking. Guess how many carried his press conference live (clue: it's the same number as Covid-19 cases in NZ).

    Not the media's fault. It's scheduled invisibility. Genius.

    • Incognito 14.1

      No, you misunderstand. The strategy makes perfect sense because on current internal polling National will do a deal with ACT and get into Parliament on ACT’s coattail. They don’t want to rattle the Epsom electorate and need to massage and soften them up slowly and gently because they’re so used to not voting for that Māori fella with the Pākehā name. We may even have an overhang of one seat!

    • ScottGN 14.2

      Do you think Hoots is finding the going a lot tougher than he thought it would be?

  14. newsense 15

    My distrust of Espiner largely stems back to his writing about Shane Jones during the Labour leadership contest.

    Looking at what has happened recently and considering his lengthy years in the gallery he's definitely a connected guy. Interesting that these two stories came out today. But they suggest perhaps desire to promote his podcast and create sensation, or perhaps some intelligence community flexing rather than any serious move against the government.

    Quite carefully, neither of the other countries involved exist any more. Wanting to know about the S.I.S. and others in the last 30 years, well, wait another 30 years I guess.

  15. Eco Maori 16

    Kia Ora


    They only care about the 1%.

    I agree we have to have a great defence at our borders to keep the virus out of Aotearoa.

    Its having positive effects in Aotearoa to.

    Ka kite Ano.

  16. Eco Maori 17

    Kia Ora

    Te Ao Maori Marama.

    I hope Maori Media is given the support they deserve.

    That's cool $20 million invested to make North land roads safer.

    Its good to see the Palmerston north council working with the local tangata whenua.

    It didn't take to long for Maori to be able to greet Maori with a Hongi. again

    Ka kite Ano

  17. Eco Maori 18

    Kia Ora


    I think planning for the future is great we need to invest in green low costs energy I. E. lower our exporting NZ dollars for carbon I have read green energy will provide heaps of jobs.Education and training is logical .

    Ka kite Ano.

  18. Eco Maori 19

    Kia Ora


    The bad state of our hospital buildings show that A government that puts money first is not fit to run our country.

    Compassion and emperthy are excellent quality's to have.

    One wonders if the staff are national supporter

    That'sis cool using drones to help in conversation of turtles.

    Ka kite Ano

  19. Eco Maori 20

    Kia Ora

    Te Ao Maori Marama.

    Its was published that the Gisborne DC was consulting Iwi and tangata using the media to pedal their lies.????.

    Times are changing.

    Te Orca are Awsome.

    I didn't see Te Maori party championing all Maori problems in fact life for most Maori got extremely hard when the Maori party was at Te tepu.

    Yes remember those reggae lyrics they speak the Truth.

    Ka kite Ano.

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