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Open mike 08/09/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 8th, 2020 - 155 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

155 comments on “Open mike 08/09/2020 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Update on the German Greens: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/sep/07/german-greens-well-placed-for-share-of-power-despite-covid-setback

    In spite of the coronavirus, the Green vote in polls has only dipped and not collapsed: most surveys still show the party at 17-20% of the vote, second behind the CDU, which is a vast improvement on the meagre 8.9% at federal elections in 2017.

    The German Greens, who have been continuously represented in parliament since 1983 and formed a government with the centre-left Social Democratic party (SPD) between 1998 and 2005, have renewed their profile and electoral hopes over the last two years.

    Under the leadership duo Annalena Baerbock and Robert Habeck, in charge since January 2018, Die Grünen have sought to do away with the image of a stubbornly single-issue protest party in favour of that of a pragmatic consensus-builder with expertise in steering society through not just the climate crisis but wider societal and demographic shifts.

    So they're way ahead of our lot, who are still hamstrung by sectarianism.

    The co-leader Habeck’s pitch, put forward in his 2016 book Wer wagt, beginnt (Who Dares Begins), is that the old left-right axis is making way for a new scale of open and closed political systems, and that the Greens are best placed to address challenges that fall outside orthodox creeds of political faith.

    This return to source ethos is the way to go. It provides a basis of authenticity. The Greens can present as both radical in thinking and pragmatic in practice. James would no doubt argue that he's been doing this combo, but the recent abject apology suggests he's surrounded by those unable to see the big picture. Nonetheless I remain hopeful that our common interests will prevail over narrowmindedness.

    • Sabine 1.1

      You can't actually just speak of the 'Die Gruenen' as a monotlithic block considering that they did their split in to 'Fundis' and 'Realos' about 20+ odd years ago.


      a bit of history here, then you need to admit that the all parties of the German Government inclusive the conservatives under CDU/CSU have more 'green' thinking int their small finger then pretty much most parties in NZ in their combined hands.

      So essential 'green' building standards (something for rich private schools only in NZ) in Germany have been legislated into the building code, i.e. double glazing, insulation, water reducing measures etc are standard now. Cycling lanes here still something worth of upset and frothing at the mouth in Germany is common place and are being build with every road. No-one other then the one who wants to build a carpark is entitled to one, people park and then walk a few minutes to their house doors. These are just a few very small things that in NZ are still pie in the sky things.

      So really, as i said many many years ago here on the Standard my opinion is that the Greens NZ will split with the 'realos' such as James Shaw surviving at the cost of the fundamentalists. It will then also mean that hte 'realos' given the right cirumstances will work with other parties then just Labour, after all they do like to be in Government.

      But the Green Party of Germany at this moment is a very different beast then what it was in its inception and that needs to be acknowledged and is as far removed from the Greens in NZ ideologically (and ideology has no meaning if it can't be achieved) as geographically.

      Also their name is Alliance 90/The Greens.
      and they have been in Government a few times namely in 1998 – 2005 .

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        Thanks for that, Sabine. Nothing provoking me to disagree. Perhaps I do see the prospect of a split here as less likely, however. It's happened twice already!

        First time was in the Values Party, mid-1970s. Then there was a three-way split in the early '90s in the current party – provoked by the looming spectre of the Alliance.

        The Green Society was a small New Zealand political party dedicated to environmentalism. It was established in the spring of 1994 by former members of the Green Party, including Hans Grueber, Chris Marshall, and Peter Whitmore. They opposed the decision by the Green Party to become part of the Alliance, a broad left-wing coalition – they stated that this "abandoned a long tradition of being an independent green political force", diluting the group's pure environmental focus.


        At the same time, they were critical of another Green Party off-shoot, the Progressive Green Party, for being too close to the right and therefore not independent either. The Green Society described itself as the only truly "green" party in the New Zealand political environment.

        Correctly so, in principle. However, I saw the big picture and supported us joining the Alliance. The left & the right wings of the establishment had both gone neoliberal so it was the only viable opposition.

    • Gabby 1.2

      What would he make of fossilised fogeys who bang on about lefties and what all lefties think?

      • Dennis Frank 1.2.1

        Buggered if I know. Why do you ask? If you really believe those who were banging on about Marxism are fossilised, why not say so? Humans moving in elliptical mental orbits are a worthy group for sociological analysis. One can focus on the gravitational pull of whatever causes each focus (of the ellipse).

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      …surrounded by those unable to see the big picture.

      Very few people can actually see the Big Picture. That's why individualism, which focuses on the individual without taking into account anybody else, always fails.

  2. Andre 2

    Here's an interesting thought on the thorny topic of allocating the first covid vaccinations: along with frontline staff, vaccinate potential superspreaders first, in preference to the most vulnerable.

    The idea is that the specific transmission patterns of this specific virus mean better results will likely be achieved more quickly with source control than by allocating scarce protective resource to the most vulnerable.


    • Barfly 2.1

      So ……. Church congregations first?

      • Andre 2.1.1

        Yeah, that's a reasonable logical conclusion if the idea is valid.

        • Incognito

          Who else is using your account to post comments here?

          • Andre


            If there's anyone trying to post comments using my e-mail it would be some kind of malicious party. Nobody else has access to any of my devices.

            If that's a hint about my commenting behaviour or anyone else's, it's gone over my head.

            • Incognito

              No, not the e-mail address that you are using, but your ISP account/connection with the same IP address.

              I thought it was odd and decided to check with you. I’ll leave it for Lprent to look into further. I don’t want to cause unnecessary panic and there is probably a perfectly logical explanation for it …

              • Andre

                Thanks for the heads up.

                There shouldn't be anyone or anything else trying to connect from my house.

                I'll try reboots of everything and run an antivirus scan. If it keeps happening I'd be grateful to know.

                • Incognito

                  It is going over my head too. This latest comment of yours @ 8:36 AM has a slightly different IP address associated with it than your other comments this morning!?

    • Sabine 2.2

      If you want to target 'super spreaders' then you need to vaccinate kids first. They ar the ones most likely to be aysmptomatic, only have a mild case (to them) and then go home and infect the parents, who then infect people at the supermarket, the gas station, the church etc etc etc.

      How many anti vaccers will throw a hissy fit?

      • Rosemary McDonald 2.2.1

        …you need to vaccinate kids first. They are the ones most likely to be aysmptomatic, only have a mild case (to them) and then go home and infect the parents, who then infect people at the supermarket, the gas station, the church etc etc etc.

        You have a citation for that Sabine? Actual unequivocal scientific proof that children are spreading Covid 19? I know its a theory, but has it been proven?

        In the meantime…I say vaccinate any adult who's keen to be a guinea pig.

        Panic vaccines are not necessarily the best for our children.


        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Found these US-based online pages. Alas I can't vouch for their accuracy – the advice may simply be precautionary, although as Covid-19 is a novel virus that we’re all still learning about, a precautionary approach would be prudent, IMHO.

          "We know at this point that children can catch coronavirus, and also that they can spread the disease, even if they don’t have symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control suggest that children as well as adults keep a 6-foot distance from others outside their household, if possible."

          "An important guiding principle to remember is that the more people children interact with, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread. While children may be spending time with other people as they return to daycare or school settings, it is important to remember that exposure to additional children and adults outside of daycare or school should be managed to decrease risk."

  3. PsyclingLeft.Always 3

    Road Transport Truckers whining again….And yet :

    A Road Transport Forum analysis of NZTA figures, highlighted the "unparalleled increases" in heavy vehicles on the roads.

    Since 2010, the maximum truck size has increased from 44 tonnes to about 63 tonnes under special permits.

    "The level of adoption by commercial heavy vehicle owners exceeded forecasts rendering initial predictions of impact as obsolete," the analysis said.

    Most of the truck growth had been since 2014, which the analysis said was illustrated by the number of heavy vehicle kilometres travelled rising from 1.6 billion to 2.5b in 2020, a 56 percent increase.


    Put it on RAIL. COASTAL SHIPPING. Been "talked" about for years. Pisses me off….



    • gsays 3.1

      I found myself having a one-sided arguement with the tranny this morning.

      Trucking lobbyists bleating for even more subsidies from the state.

      In the RNZ article you have linked to the reason for ruined roads is obvious:

      Since 2010, the maximum truck size has increased from 44 tonnes to about 63 tonnes under special permits.

      "The level of adoption by commercial heavy vehicle owners exceeded forecasts rendering initial predictions of impact as obsolete," the analysis said.

      Most of the truck growth had been since 2014, which the analysis said was illustrated by the number of heavy vehicle kilometres travelled rising from 1.6 billion to 2.5b in 2020, a 56 percent increase.

      Followed by:

      "The new highways – the Wellington one, the Waikato Expressway – we've just come up that this morning and there's potholes, digouts, repairs already and this is a new highway.

      "It's not built to the heavier standard. The left-hand lane is rough as guts where the heavy traffic travels, the right-hand lane is not as bad – that tells me there's not enough substructure when they build them."

      Road safety, Climate Change, roading bills, carbon neutrality, pollution from rubber and diesel exhaust all point to getting the freight off the roads.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 3.1.1

        The Greens’ confidence-and-supply agreement with the Government raises the prospect of tapping the National Land ­Transport Fund for rail infrastructure, prompting a hostile response from the trucking lobby. Ken Shirley, chief executive of the Road Transport Forum, calls the policy a “kick in the teeth” for road users who pay for the fund and says it displays “contempt for the user-pays integrity” of the system. “Using it as a slush fund to pay for other transport modes will breed a high level of resentment.”


        BS…If the farker Truckers paid the ACTUAL amount that they should for the damage they cause…instead of being subsidised by NZ Tax/Rate payers…then we would have a level playing field. Fkn Ken Shirley…an ex Nat

        • Barfly

          yes very true

        • Draco T Bastard

          If the farker Truckers paid the ACTUAL amount that they should for the damage they cause…instead of being subsidised by NZ Tax/Rate payers

          The truckers aren't subsidised by the tax payers although they are by the rate payers. NZTA roads are maintained by charges to vehicles while local roads are maintained by rates.

          But, due to the total screwing of the charges, this means that truckies are heavily subsidised by the other road users, primarily the personal vehicle users.

          Actually, wasn't there an article a few months ago about how the covid lockdown was impacting funding for roads as no one was driving anywhere?

          We were still getting goods to stores which means that a large amount of trucking was still happening but the personal vehicles on the road would have dropped precipitously.

    • Most of the truck growth had been since 2014, which the analysis said was illustrated by the number of heavy vehicle kilometres travelled rising from 1.6 billion to 2.5b in 2020

      Coincidentally, I've been driving pretty much monthly from Palmerston North to Rotorua and back since 2014, and both the growth in truck numbers and the effect of that on road quality have been obvious. Those pricks should be paying a lot more in road user charges, preferably so much that it discourages long-haul trucking wherever there's a railway or ports available.

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 3.2.1

        Hell Yes…


        Here the US subsidy revealed…NZ will be similar…

        "In other words, one fully loaded 18-wheeler does the same damage to a road as 9600 cars. According to the American Trucking Associations (ATA), the trucking industry represents 11% of all vehicles on the road in the US, while paying 35% of all highway taxes. But if trucks represent 11% of vehicles, their heavy loads cause them to do 99% of all road damage! [2] The trucking industry paid $35 Billion in highway taxes in 2005, according to the ATA. Since most of the $100 Billion in highway taxes paid goes to maintenance (and US infrastructure maintenance is far behind), this implies that the trucking industry receives a $60 Billion annual subsidy from other drivers."




        Enough talk aye. No more farkin around. Time
        for Action

        • Andre

          It's kinda hard here in NZ to figure out what's really happening with the funding. I've looked a number of times and never found anything that explicitly details out NZTA's cost allocation model.

          I have seen puff pieces where NZTA claims the cost allocation models basically attributes almost all repair and maintenance cost to heavy vehicles, and the funds collected from light vehicles in petrol excise tax and RUC only go towards shared expenses such as land used for roads, signage and markings etc.

          That has an element of plausibility, since a lot of the vast expense on roading in cities is driven by the simple space taken up by cars.

          But even taking those stories completely at face value, it still appears light vehicles are being stung for enormously expensive new road projects that are driven entirely be demand from the trucking industry, such as the Mt Messenger bypass or new Saddle Rd. Light vehicles are just fine with what is there now, it's heavy vehicles that find it problematic. Furthermore, a lot of the high expense of new projects is driven by the trucking industry's need for gentle grades and curves, needing vastly more construction expense.

          • PsyclingLeft.Always

            The Nats…(and the neolib "Labour", who I will NEVER absolve ) each did their best to screw our NZ Rail and Coastal Shipping.. Needs Action .

            The Fuel Efficiciency alone is reason let alone all others..




          • Draco T Bastard

            I've looked a number of times and never found anything that explicitly details out NZTA's cost allocation model.

            I found it once. Haven't been able to find it again.

            But, from what I recall, their own figures disproved their claims that the charges were proportional. Heavy trucks were getting a massive subsidy from cars. IIRC, cars were being charged $1 per kilometre and heavy trucks ~$400 but when those trucks really needed to be charged $9600 (using the car amount as the base) that meant that the trucks were being massively subsidised.

            • Tiger Mountain

              Government Departmental online presences are “liquid” to say the least. I have been following MBIE Covid employer wage subsidy info, and the content can change by the hour. As do others, like MSD were talking about removing the option to include partners in National Superannuation, but that seems to have been dropped too–just as well really!

    • Byd0nz 3.3

      Totaly agree, if you want good roads, upgrade the railway, gauge as well and put the freight back where it belongs.

    • Gabby 3.4

      Oddly I don't think I heard one of them urging an increase in road user charge, nor any interviewer suggesting it. Just haven't got round to that yet, I guess.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.5

      The solution to trucking is the pricing mechanism of the market properly applied. In this case it means shifting everyone to RUC and dropping the road taxes on petrol and other fuels. The GHG taxes would remain.

      Road funding is from road taxes on petrol and RUCs for diesel. The is then ring-fenced so that that money can only be spent on roads. But the taxes are applied in such a way so that commercial trucks get a massive subsidy from personal cars (probably another reason why National doesn't want public transport as increasing use of public transport would decrease the subsidy to trucks from private vehicles).

      Damage to roads goes up by mass:

      A study by the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) determined that the road damage caused by a single 18-wheeler was equivalent to the damage caused by 9,600 cars. (GAO: Excessive Truck Weight: An Expensive Burden We Can No Longer Afford) The study seems to have based its calculations around the number of axles per vehicle. The study found that essentially, road damage was related to the 4th power of the relative loads. That means that if one vehicle carries a load of 1,500 pounds per axle and another carries a load of 3,000 pounds on each axle, the road damage caused by the heavier vehicle is not twice as much, but 2 to the 4th power as much (2x2x2x2 = 16 times as much road damage as the lighter vehicle).

      How the RUCs would work is by charging on a mass per axil basis and based upon the maximum load of each vehicle so as to get as close to that 2^4 damage increase as possible.

      This is not how its done ATM:

      As you can see, the charges aren't going anywhere close to the 2^4. The lowest RUC listed is two axils up to 3.5 tonne @ $72/1000km. In the same two axil category the not more than 9 tonnes vehicles are only charged slightly more than twice as much when they should be charged more than 16 times more. And that's still pretty light weight.

      The 18 wheelers, instead of being charged several thousand times more as they should be, are charged a measly $329/1000km.

      This represents a massive subsidy from the lighter vehicles to the heavier and that's just within the RUC. Estimating the subsidy from petrol fuelled vehicles to trucks is even more complicated but we can assume that its huge.

      The market only works if the pricing is correct.

      And the pricing has been very definitely screwed.

  4. Andre 4

    Could it be he's setting up to follow the well-worn trail of fleeing fascists? Here's hoping.


  5. The Stalinist show trial of the century

    Democracy at work folks!

    "I have seen the future and it's murder."…Leonard Cohen


    Just as the geomagnetic poles flip, something similar happens between the East and the West

    The West now more resembles the Soviet Union .Everything bad that happens (Trump) is the fault of foreigners

    The post modernist cultural revolution around sex and gender

    The Soviets were vilified for their "godlessness"

    Now Russia is vilified for it's religion , and religion in general is a BAD thing in the West

    This interview of a Canadian journalist who has lived in Russia for the past 17 years , comments on this flip , whereby the West has become more like the Soviet Union

    Interviewed by Aaron Mate he doesn't exactly play ball with all of Mates gambits

    He is rather damning of Putin, but astonished by the acceptance of Russiagate in western audiences, and comments on his treatment in Russia .Apparently Russians fall about laughing at the idea Putin controls Trump when he cant even control his own country.

    • RedLogix 5.1

      Just as the geomagnetic poles flip, something similar happens between the East and the West

      That insight has some alignment with a speculative comment I made a few weeks back.

      The other is that when one mode dominates it tends toward it's extreme, and that in reaction to this we see a flip to another mode. Conservatism yields to liberalism, then to socialism and then repeating in a slow generational cycle.

      In other words the Russian reaction to the extremism of the Soviets, has been to move toward conservatism flipping around the end loop of sequence I described above. What you describe in Russia is good empirical evidence to supporting my suggestion.

      It would also align with why, during the 90's after the fall of the Soviet regime, that western liberalism so totally failed to take root in Russia.

      My other intuition about this is that as long as we treat politics as a power game between the three modes, and as a result one mode dominates or even goes through periods of extremism, we will inevitably see this cycle perpetuate itself in increasing rounds of instability.

      I've no idea of how universally true this triplet model cycle is, or if it's useful in any real sense, but it's an interesting curiosity.

      But otherwise yes, I rather agree with much of you comment. Aaron Mate should be good; people who actually live in country often bring interesting insights to the table.

    • RedLogix 5.2

      Good interview, well worth the time. yes

  6. Adrian Thornton 6

    Good morning Francesca, good interview there, Grey Zone (with Push Back) is turning out to be one of the most consistently good serious sources of critical world news around at the moment.
    The Russia hysteria whipped up by western media (especially since 2016) and brought into lock stock and barrel by so many smart people on the Left is an embarrassment and shameful. As I have mentioned many times on this site it only goes to prove Lefties are just as easily herded around and manipulated by their media as any tea party idiot

    I notice that while media around the world barely mention Assange's outrageous lack of access to his lawyers this (link below) goes on with barely a murmur from this same bunch of hacks…"Ghislaine Maxwell had a face-to-face visit from her lawyers that was THREE TIMES longer than usual with double the attorneys"https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8698663/Ghislaine-Maxwell-got-visit-lawyers-THREE-TIMES-longer-usual.html

    Assange extradition hearings begin: the future of a free press on trial

    • francesca 6.1

      Thanks for that

      If this was happening in Belarus or China or Russia ,the western media would be hyperventilating

      I really want to take to the streets over this but I live in a one horse town, and I don't want to frighten the horse

  7. KJT 7

    When are the "centrists" going to renounce Christianity?

    Resulting in monsters such as Pope Innocent 3, Queen Ann, and supporting Trump.

    That encourages violence against, “non believers”

    Surely supporting a dogma that has resulted in so much death, destruction, totalitarian control and blocking of human progress, is giving them a bad name.

    Something for the right wing to attack them with. 🤣

    Even now we see the "Holy Crusade" against the "Godless" in which they include, strangely, Islam, continuing.

    • francesca 7.1

      Commenting on the "flip" KJT

      What was once sacrosanct is now verboten

      and both attitudes , from the past and present ,fiercely and passionately and emotionally defended

      The old orthodox thought becomes crazed and crank, what was considered outlandish now becomes the new "correct" and on it goes

      Cook was a hero, now he's scum, tomorrow who knows

      We're not in a linear state of progress, more of a loop, and I take it all with a large grain of salt

      The Canadian journalist in the link was pretty even handed I thought, neither a huge fan of modern Russia , nor hugely condemnatory

      In our haste to denounce others who don't share our values we lose our sense of shared humanity

      At the risk of being labelled a christian…oh horrors, I rather like the text

      Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye;

      and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

      The World English Bible translates the passage as:

      You hypocrite! First, remove the beam out of your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.

    • RedLogix 7.2

      When are the "centrists" going to renounce Christianity?

      The old institutional churches became irrelevant to the political process a century ago.

      With perhaps the exception of Catholicism (which in my view has yet to come to terms with it's 'extraordinary history'), Christianity has been entirely marginalised out of the political process.

      But for what it’s worth I'm on record here for vigorously repudiating religious fanatics, fundamentalists and assorted religious bigots over the years. And the odd libertarian whose arrived here (anyone remember Redbaiter?) has been confronted as well. It's not just marxist's that we need to recognise as 'out of bounds', it's any ideology that goes to extremes that we need to guard against.

      Once we recognise the need for limits, this (as DtB usefully mentioned the other day) raises the question of exactly where the boundaries ought to lie. That conversation strikes me as a whole other barrel of fun. devil

      • KJT 7.2.1

        We will ignore the influence of the Brethren, Catholicism and the US evangelist "prosperity gospel" on the National party as we speak, then.

        Much as I dislike Collins lack of ethics and morality, at least it is somewhat of a counter to "Christians" who bend it to their own end, of justifying their own wealth.

        • RedLogix

          You missed the opportunity to challenge me the most difficult question; if the old institutional churches have such a compromised history, what then is the possible role of religion in the future?

          The answer is yes, if faith is to play any legitimate role in our evolving social and political fabric, we do need to understand where historically it went too far into extremism and fully repudiate that. In essence I believe this demands a complete renewal and recasting of what we think religion is.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.2.2

        It's not just marxist's that we need to recognise as 'out of bounds', it's any ideology that goes to extremes that we need to guard against.

        Capitalism is one of those extreme ideologies as it steals from the majority to enrich a few while they provide little to no benefit to either those they steal from nor society in general.

        And, no, it wasn't the shareholders being entrepreneurial. It was the people who came up with the idea which, more often than not, was an employee.

        • RedLogix

          Capitalism is one of those extreme ideologies

          Concepts such as private ownership, money, markets, companies, banking and credit creation are going to around for a long time yet. Capitalism as perhaps first properly described by Adam Smith, is not so much a political philosophy, but an ancient collection of economic and social practices that were refined by the Dutch and English during the Enlightenment era into a tool that has during the past 200 years massively reduced human poverty and suffering almost everywhere.

          It is of course true that the modern neo-liberal conception of capitalism has it's own extremist expressions, especially when it co-degenerates into the libertarian code of absolute individualism usurping all other considerations. By all means pay attention to when capitalism gets it wrong (and it does, often quite badly), but not at the expense of also selectively ignoring the enormously beneficial impact it has brought to humanity. It would be much more useful to start thinking about where this boundary lies, than the absolutist anti-capitalism you've been espousing here for ages.

          In rejecting the entire concept of capitalism you make the same category of mistake that right wingers do when they reject all socialism because of the excesses of marxism. You're doing the equivalent of the "Reds under the Bed" scaremongering that KJT was bitterly railing against.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Concepts such as private ownership, money, markets, companies, banking and credit creation are going to around for a long time yet.

            Yes but that doesn't mean we need capitalism which is the means of production being privately owned and controlled rather than being a legal entity not owned at all but enforced by the nation and controlled by the people who work there with the rewards also going to those who work there and not shareholders (because there wouldn't be any).

            Capitalism as perhaps first properly described by Adam Smith, is not so much a political philosophy, but an ancient collection of economic and social practices that were refined by the Dutch and English during the Enlightenment era into a tool that has during the past 200 years massively reduced human poverty and suffering almost everywhere.

            Did they?

            Nomadic tribesmen, even today, don't consider themselves to be in poverty. They have everything that they need. Whereas, in capitalist countries, many people don't have what they need. They don't have the heating, the food, the healthcare, and many other things all of which are needed.

            Your mistaking correlation with causation. Capitalism happened and now we have less poverty thus it was capitalism that decreased poverty.

            Thing is, we can probably point out that there was an increase in poverty before there was a decrease and that increase could have been directly attributed to capitalism. The poverty created by the East India Company comes to mind.

            The decrease to Enlightenment values and then outright socialism in the early to mid 20th century as the New Deal and its cousins propagated around the world.

            And now were seeing another increase in developed countries as 19th century mores come into play again in the form of neoliberalism.

            It would be much more useful to start thinking about where this boundary lies,

            It lies in property. The absolute ownership and control of companies/businesses that indirectly owns and controls people for the benefit of those owners.

            Get rid of that ownership, make all businesses coops with a legal mandate of profit sharing and responsibility. How a coop runs would be up to the people in it although still needing to meet safety laws. Wages would be set by them although they would still need to meet the minimum wage.

            We get the benefits of companies without the bludging of the shareholders and thus we'd likely see more innovation and less poverty.

            Society is an extension of that cooperation and so we have a central administration supplying healthcare and numerous other essentials that everyone needs decided democratically.

            • RedLogix

              make all businesses coops with a legal mandate of profit sharing and responsibility.

              During the 80's I worked seven years for a mid-sized USA corporate that did a 20% annual profit share among all the non-C, non-commissioned staff. Worked very well; I have very fond memories of it.

              Point is it can be done without necessarily eliminating ownership.

              As for the rest of your comment that essentially romanticises the ‘noble savage’ … forget about it. I used to believe that tosh too.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Point is it can be done without necessarily eliminating ownership.

                No it can't as the owners will always step in and grab the lion's share – and then they'll grab more. This is why we keep having recessions and depressions, poverty keeps increasing and resilience goes out the window.

                As for the rest of your comment that essentially romanticises the ‘noble savage’

                No, it really doesn't. There is a very real question there: Was there actually poverty before capitalism started 5000+ years ago?

                Tough times? Sure

                Could bad weather wipe out an entire tribe? Yep

                Was there poverty within the tribe? Probably not. Any one of the ~200 people in a tribe being weakened due to poverty would endanger the entire tribe.

                • RedLogix

                  No it can't as the owners will always step in and grab the lion's share – and then they'll grab more.

                  Why? You are assuming all owners are always by nature greedy arseholes. This isn't true at all, in many SME businesses the owner treats their long term, productive employees almost like family.

                  Of course as businesses go public the legal requirement to put shareholder interest ahead of everything else is an extremist feature of neoliberalism, but it's not inherent to capitalism. The rules could easily, and indeed often are, reshaped to encompass the interests of a much wider range of stakeholders.

                  A relatively simple law change is all that's needed to ensure businesses comply.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    You are assuming all owners are always by nature greedy arseholes. This isn't true at all, in many SME businesses the owner treats their long term, productive employees almost like family.

                    Yes it is and no they don't.

                    I've worked in small businesses. Biggest waste of space ever.

                    Of course as businesses go public the legal requirement to put shareholder interest ahead of everything else is an extremist feature of neoliberalism, but it's not inherent to capitalism.

                    Yes it is. We've seen it throughout history.

                    A relatively simple law change is all that's needed to ensure businesses comply.

                    1. You need to get the law change through and make sure it sticks. Last couple of government have proven that that's not likely to happen.
                    2. You need enforcement as well and NZ law doesn't really do that. The people need to complain first and they can't afford to.
                    • RedLogix

                      Biggest waste of space ever.

                      That's odd, my experience was quite the opposite.

                      And your assertion that the mere act of owning a business is enough to turn a normal person into an amoral greedy arsehole is quite bizarre really. I'm sure there are some who are, it would very odd if there were not. But if you only ever encountered just this sort I have to say you were very unlucky.

                    • McFlock

                      And your assertion that the mere act of owning a business is enough to turn a normal person into an amoral greedy arsehole is quite bizarre really.

                      Not really. It's a pretty old concept. Sure, one can quibble about the degree to which this occurs, or whether it affects every business owner. But the motivation do commodify personal interactions exists.

                      Anyone looking for a decent explanation of the mechanism of how and why this occurs especially under capitalism can do a lot worse than read up on Marx's research and comments on alientation.

                      But in general, small business owners are as self-absorbed as farmers. I've almost never seen a farmer happy about the weather, and I've almost never seen a small business owner happy about foot traffic or council bylaws. Some might think they regard their employees as "family", but that's easy to do when the staff have to put up with your crap or else they lose their only income source. That's just another form of alienation.

                    • RedLogix

                      The marxist framework proposes that the world can be neatly divided up into classes of oppressor and oppressed, with labels of evil and virtue permanently affixed to each.

                      But while Marx proposed that whenever you find a relationship between a more powerful group and a weaker group that the relation will always be one of oppressor and oppressed. This proposes that every hierarchical relationship is just another version of the very worst exploitation and enslavement imaginable.

                      But in most cases, hierarchical relationships are not enslavement. Thus, while it is true that kings have normally been more powerful than their subjects, employers more powerful than their employees, and parents more powerful than their children, these have not necessarily been straightforward relations of oppressor and oppressed. Much more common are mixed relationships, in which both the stronger and the weaker receive certain benefits, and in which both can also point to hardships that must be endured in order to maintain it.

                      Marx by contrast reduces all relations to one of power and exploitation of the lowest possible nature. And that a violent revolutionary overthrow of the oppressors is necessary because power is never relinquished voluntarily. And then when the formerly oppressed class obtain total power, all class antagonisms will magically disappear. Why this should occur is never explained.

                      Yet the most cursory examination of real human relationships show how much more complex and varied they are than Marx’s cartoonish depiction of them.

                    • JohnSelway

                      " Yes it is and no they don't."

                      What a fucking pile of horseshit.I've worked in a number of SME's and have been treated very well indeed. I currently work in an office consisting of 4 people – accounts, legal/HR, Ops Manager and me, Marketing and Sales Manager. The owner is very hands off and trusts us to do what we need to do. I've only been there 2 months of a 12 month maternity cover and feel connected to my team. The business is a family owned business, having been run over 2 generations, and I feel very much like a part of the organisation, as well as part of the extended family at large.

                      You know where I have been treated the worst? Treated as a mere functioning robot and warm body to make up the numbers? The fucking government. I've held 3 government jobs in my time and never again will I do it.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      And your assertion that the mere act of owning a business is enough to turn a normal person into an amoral greedy arsehole is quite bizarre really.

                      I didn't say that owning a business turned them into it. I was saying that they started off that way. Although I'm sure that some decent people who started business also ended up that way.

                      It's like the research that showed financiers were just as sociopathic as murderers. It's possible, in fact probable, that they didn't start out that way but they certainly were when the survey went through.

                      That tends to be the result of a sociopathic culture – it produces more sociopaths.

                      I'm sure there are some who are, it would very odd if there were not. But if you only ever encountered just this sort I have to say you were very unlucky.

                      I'd say that was the norm.



                    • RedLogix


                      You remind me of a man I once worked with who had been married seven times (seriously) … who complained how unlucky he was to have met so many gold digging crazy bitches.

                      (And this while swigging on a bottle of Wild Turkey at 6:30am …)

                    • McFlock

                      Relationaships can be complex. But refusing to laugh at your bosses' crappy or sexist jokes is an easy way to lose your job, income, home, and food. Unless capitalism is diluted to some extent by socialism.

                      Slavery is literally the endpoint of unrestrained capitalism, be it plantations or sweatshops, pimps or dealers. OSH regulations are written in blood spilled by capitalism.

                • RedLogix

                  Was there poverty within the tribe? Probably not

                  You are confusing absolute poverty with relative poverty. Hunter gatherers could only live in very low population densities, in small groups, at very low levels of resource use. In favourable environments they might enjoy a relatively chill lifestyle, but lethal hazards of accident, disease, violence, bad weather and famine still dominated their fates. Infant mortality was always fairly high, and while some fortunate individuals might live to an old age, the average life expectancy was much lower than we enjoy now. For much of our pre-history there was probably fewer than 10 million humans on the entire planet.

                  Of course such a low ceiling on development meant that inequality was low because everyone was more or less equally poor.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    You are confusing absolute poverty with relative poverty.

                    It's not a question of relative or absolute. It's a question of society looking out for each other or a small clique oppressing the rest for their own aggrandizement.

                    Under capitalism, we have the latter and so we have poverty that shouldn't exist. Poverty that holds us back from even better results because the resources are held by the few and not given to the development that the many could provide if they had access to those resources.

                    Profit, that funding given out to shareholders who do nothing of value, really is a dead-weight loss.

                    • RedLogix

                      who do nothing of value

                      Ask anyone who tried to run a business with inadequate capital exactly what the value of it is.

                      The reason why your analysis of capital is so very narrow is that you seem to have no appreciation of how time, entropy and risk are all related. Shareholders might not be digging ditches and bending steel bars with their bare hands, but they're playing an equally vital role all the same.

                      I spent much of my working life in and around heavy industry, designing, building and commissioning all manner of productive systems. Among many things this exposed me to the workings of some very serious capital indeed. Perhaps this colours my view on the matter.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The reason why your analysis of capital is so very narrow is that you seem to have no appreciation of how time, entropy and risk are all related. Shareholders might not be digging ditches and bending steel bars with their bare hands, but they're playing an equally vital role all the same.

                      No they're not.

                      Capital can easily be provided by loans at 0% from the government. Especially when you consider that the resources being used belong to the government in the first place.

                      Then consider this: When shares are bought on the share-market the money goes to the previous shareholder and not the company.

                      And don't talk IPOs either as they're systematically listed below value meaning that the original 'investors' manage to make a 100% profit in a week or so. Where does the money come from to pay it back?

                      So, no, shareholders aren't providing anything vital that can't be provided in a better way that by passes the dead-weight loss of profit. We cannot afford the rich and it really is us paying for them to be rich but we really don't have any choice in the matter as it stands.

  8. KJT 8

    @Sabine 1.1.

    "So essential 'green' building standards (something for rich private schools only in NZ) in Germany have been legislated into the building code, i.e. double glazing, insulation, water reducing measures etc are standard now".

    As the have been in the NZ building code since the previous Labour Government.

    After our Green party pushed for them.

    • Sabine 8.1

      is that why we push for air cons in rental houses to get them warm?

      In germany these standards were legislated in the 90s, and retrofitting of all other properties is law – enforced by government.

      Here it is a do something by 2021 – please pretty please, and if the landlord dos nothing the tenant can 'negotiate' with the landlord and when that 'negotiation' does amount to nothing much or results in the tenant losing his/her rental they can go to the tenancy tribunal for 'mediation'.

      This is my main issue with green minded people in NZ, they are so easily satisfied with little to nothing but 'feel good' and 'lookit we are doing something'.

      And then the government changes and it can be revoked by lunch, because at the end of the day what has yet to happen is a rethink of society by the population as a whole and by all of the parties. and that has not happened yet, and the Green Party is not driving this change.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1


        The government needs to enforce compliance and not wait for those affected by the non-compliance to complain and then, maybe, do something about it.

  9. KJT 9

    @Francesca. 7.1.

    Christianity, Islam, Marxism and many other is'ms have at their core the same moral code, and underlying desire to make peoples lives better.

    That power hungry arseholes subverted the message later to "oppress" the "masses" often bloodily, does not invalidate the message.

    Should the French repudiate Liberté, égalité, fraternité Because, Robespierre?

    I share the abhorrence for armed revolutions.
    To often it ends up in the same sort of arseholes at the top.

    However we did have a non-violent revolution in the 30’s to 50’s that resulted in a much better life than previously for most people.
    Which contrary to Ads history rewrite owed as much to enlightenment thought, economic thinkers, including Marx, and others, as much as Christian ideas of relief of oppression and redistribution. (Which bear a remarkable similarity to Marx. Which some commentators should actually, read, before spouting US anti communist McCarthyism).

    • francesca 9.1

      Couldn’t agree more

      Violent revolution and chaos and it’s the opportunist arseholes who grab the reins and hijack the whole movement to a better society

      • Dennis Frank 9.1.1


        is a hindsight label. At the time, lawyers. Robespierre & Danton. History's lesson: watch any lawyer who enters politics extremely carefully! 😉

        We dodged a bullet with Lange. He just sent the Rainbow Warrior bombers back to France so Mitterand (fellow socialist) could release them & stick medals on them…

        • greywarshark

          Don't play with facts DF because it pleases you and makes for a more lively discussion. Lange did not send the RW bombers back to France, NZ was not powerful enough to wield strictures over that feisty, thorny and often corrupt country. They paid some reparation and then put their people into an 'isolation hotel' on one of their South Pacific colonies for a while, and then found excuses to repatriate them. An act of contrition – I don't think. https://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/about/our-history/bombing-of-the-rainbow-warrior/the-bombing-of-the-rainbow-warrior-fact-file/

          By the way an interesting interview with Keith Ovenden this morning about his new book 'Bill and Shirley'. He referred to the RW, commented unfavourably on the running of the SIS, and said that actually there were about forty French operatives here, with stolen passports etc. Lovely stuff for the intelligence officials to grab and suck information from. Which should have been their mission, but they didn't know how to accept it!


          • Dennis Frank

            Yeah, you're right about that. I just glossed it in my memory. At the time, I couldn't believe he'd trusted them!

          • francesca

            That was such an interesting interview Grey!

            Sutch's reputation has been pulled this way and that over the years

            • greywarshark

              Thanks francesca. I have read and thought about Sutch and what Ovenden has said and written about him is helpful in my understanding of him. He was very confident and dismissive of others opinions apparently and probably because he actually did know better and comprehended the situation and likely future moves in a well-informed way.

              I remember reading about a USA woman (was Russian) called Faith Popcorn who set up an agency where she advises business on likely future trends in the minds of consumers. https://faithpopcorn.com/

              Sutch would have been doing similar with the good of NZ in mind, and would want to check and renew his knowledge about Russian doings and get it straight from the horse's mouth and not through USA influenced sources. I reckon he understood far more about world politics and our place in them. I think he wanted to talk to the Russian guy and find out what was going on and chose open air, without bugs to pick up a conversation that would go beyond the anti-commie version that USA has promulgated.

          • Shanreagh

            Re the Ovenden book my Dad was at university at the same time as Bill Sutch and they graduated together. My Dad was always amazed at the 'shock, horror' expressed later about Sutch's views. His view was that Sutch had never changed his views, had never hidden them and it said nothing good/intelligent about the establishment that they were not able to recognise this and decide whether they (the establishment) were going to be concerned about them vis a vis his government roles.

            Sutch was a very bright person married to another very bright person in Shirley Smith.

    • RedLogix 9.2

      Christianity, Islam, Marxism and many other is'ms have at their core the same moral code, and underlying desire to make peoples lives better.

      True that is the superficial appeal, but marxism is the odd man out here for several reasons:

      One is that it is an entirely materialist philosophy that describes all social phenomenon in terms of oppressor/oppressed power relationships. And all modern 'critical theories' that lend so heavily from Marx still use this model; indeed extend it into places Marx never dreamed of.

      And as a consequence of this, because power is assumed to never give up it's privilege voluntarily, the marxist framework has the idea of violent social reconstruction baked in. Even when neo-marxist movements try to distance themselves from this, it has a bad habit of creeping back in when the rubber hits the road.

      Religion by contrast has at it’s heart the idea that all power is in reality located with the divine, and that in relationship to this, all humans are but servants. This recasts the inequality question into an answer that says, “yes all people are different, but we are here to be of service to each other out of respect, fear and love for our creator.”

      • PsyclingLeft.Always 9.2.1

        AKA : The Flying Spaghetti Monster


        And of course…."Intelligent Design" (Pseudoscience)


        I actually think Jesus existed……but not as a son of "god"

        He was depending on where you are in Time…a Terrorist or Partisan/Freedom Fighter….. : )

        There is a song by Jello Biafra….but I wont link it

        • RedLogix

          What makes you think I am a Christian? Your sneering mockery of the Christian faith is noted and deplored, but it misses the target.

          • PsyclingLeft.Always

            lol….Methinks you doth etc….Anyway…I think I posted no Sneer…or Mock. Whassamatter? Not like my analogy?

            • RedLogix

              No it's you who started this exchange, are you wimping out on me now?

              • PsyclingLeft.Always

                LOL are you super defensive….ALL This started from me calling out a mass murderer who became a born again christian. (and that was only a SIDE comment ) But you bit hard…SLURS you railed. christianity demeaned. lmao Get over yourself : )

                [Have a good look in the mirror. You seem to take issue with people’s religious beliefs and with Christianity in particular. That by itself is not an issue but the way you go about it and word your comments is problematic as they come across as slurs, mockery, and insults. Please lift your game, thanks – Incognito]

                • RedLogix

                  Nah, you thought you'd take a cheap shot on Christianity, I called you on it.

                  Now you're trying to gaslight your way out of it with some very familiar tactics.

                • Incognito

                  See my Moderation note @ 1:46 PM.

                • PsyclingLeft.Always

                  Check out Redlgix comments…you know for BALANCE an all : )

                  [I believe my Moderation note was addressed to you, about your commenting behaviour and style, yes? Please don’t assume you can tell Authors and Moderators what to do here, as that tends to really piss off those who help run this site in their free time – Incognito]

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Jaysus, hope you don't think I'm a Marxist. Most of what I know about Marxism I learned from you, but now I’m wondering if I should check out Wikipedia – you know, for a bit of balance. wink

            • RedLogix

              Jaysus, hope you don't think I'm a Marxist.

              No I don't, very few people formally use that label these days. But the left is generally populated by people who are attracted to exploring ideas and novelty, which also means that we have more difficulty than most in drawing lines in the sand. We tend to think all non-conventional ideas must somehow be good ones, when in fact most are not.

              It would help if the left was a bit more clear eyed on this.

            • PsyclingLeft.Always

              : )

  10. ianmac 10

    This is a very sobering report about dodgy activities within Parliament. And there is a strong sense of credibility.

    In this personal essay, former Alliance MP Phillida Bunkle reveals the ugly underside of funding, power and bullying during her time at Parliament

    Eighteen years after I left Parliament in 2002, little, if anything, has changed to make the parliamentary work place safer. There is currently a meltdown across Parliament involving five Serious Fraud Office Investigations into the funding of political parties and an escalating number of complaints concerning serious personal abuse…..


    • greywarshark 10.1

      From Bunkle that is a warning to listen to. One of my concerns about the Serious Fraud Office is that they won't take cases to Court unless they consider they will win, I think it has to be a dead cert. So things can be bad quite close to the surface, and if the perpretators are careful they stay unscathed.

      (Picture those insects than can walk on water, not breaking the meniscus.) Water striders! Or Water Spiders. We are up against some smart opponents in trying to preserve what is left of a pretty good society.


      • ianmac 10.1.1

        I rather like/admire spiders, perhaps more so than the unscrupulous type of Parliamentary worker. I know a woman who worked recently inside the system, but who is signed up in the Secrecy act. She indicated without saying a word that there are some pretty awful stuff going on in there.

  11. gsays 11

    If you like your humour near the edge and we'll written, there is some new Frankie Boyle on University Tube:

  12. greywarshark 12


    Bugger this Covid-19 – it takes away the right of people to have a long period of experiencing everything in their body giving way and losing their ability to take any pleasure in life. It's so unfair for Covid-19 to act so quickly and now people who suggest that people should have the right to have a shorter period of incapacity through other illnesses are pushing for the same affect.

    It's wrong this euthanasia – everyone should have to suffer every possible minute of their living and breathing – it's our density, sorry I mean destiny. We should actually not take any medications at all because that means we are interfering in our destiny, really, don't you think. Why should we let people go a little bit earlier? Make them go right to the end in their bodies and their minds and really we shouldn't give them medication to help with pain, that is interfering with destiny too.

    The mentality of people who say they are concerned about others welfare and so no change can be made is questionable. It just reflects NZrs common inability to make decisions about anything important in a rational and compassionate way.

    • Muttonbird 12.1

      Vicki said she didn't want to see people suffer, but felt the End of Life Choice Act was not watertight.

      The Act includes a provision that allows doctors to stop the process if they believe coercion is happening.

      But Vicki's greatest fear is that people will feel pressured to end their lives earlier than they need to.

      "The coercion thing is one of biggest concerns for me about this bill, people say it wouldn't happen – well we already have an elderly abuse problem in this country," she said.

      Coercion is going to happen, directly or indirectly. Doctors won't stop it, or will be blind to it.

      There was another article last week about a young girl and her father who treasured the 5 extra years they had together which wouldn't have been if euthanasia was available.

      People in their lowest moments won’t be able to weigh up what extra time with family means.

      • greywarshark 12.1.1

        What about the family in their lowest moments. Can't other people mind their own business and let families be, to reach their own decisions with legal controls. There is so little concern about young and old people suffering terribly overseas with bad conditions of life and death which is continuous. Getting all concerned and compassionate about people dying here doesn't show compassion, it shows a lack of real morality and a retreat to sentimentality.

        • PaddyOT

          Under this Act , family do not get a say in any discussion nor have to be informed.

          • greywarshark

            Thanks PaddyOT – Of course it would be better if they were there at the bedside and knew all about what was happening, it would be expected if they were able to be present. In the end this is about listening and following the wishes of the dying person.

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.2

        There was another article last week about a young girl and her father who treasured the 5 extra years they had together which wouldn't have been if euthanasia was available.

        Why would having euthanasia available not allow them to have those 5 years?

      • PaddyOT 12.1.3

        An important view Muttonbird. I am not sure how many people actually understand the specifics underlying the Act of Law this referendum will enable when voting.

        The vote is also not about a family at all rationalizing a choice to end a life, as no other related party to the recipient of a lethal dose has any say or needs to be informed beforehand.

        No independent witnesses are required to confirm it’s the eligible person’s own choice and the Act does not require independent witnesses to be present for any stage of the process.

        Interesting quiz on the, " End of Life Choice Act: Think you know what you’re voting on?"


        On the site is also a video link to Grant Illingworth QC. He points out the uniqueness of this Referendum because voting is for the first time to enact an Act of law that is already finalised.

        " This means that every New Zealander is expected to ‘think like a lawyer’ to understand the implications of this specific law when they vote. "

        • Draco T Bastard

          " This means that every New Zealander is expected to ‘think like a lawyer’ to understand the implications of this specific law when they vote. "

          That indicates a major problem with the law in that its not understandable by the majority of people.

          • PaddyOT

            True that. Not my quote. But when people believe that families will have discussions, or that a doctor is present at that moment before death to stop it, illustrates that the public may not be fully informed of specifics of an already decided on Act of Law that they cast their vote on.

            One simply heads off to a doctor, who needs no other history or conversations with others, other than a confirmation that within 6 months you're dead, a lethal dose prescription is dispensed, within four days a person can choose to die wherever they please on their own. It's not euthenasia as some think either.

            I do not particularly have an issue with having an end of life choice bill; there are already some legal options. Rather, a concern that sectors of the public do not get input into an already done deal, what the 'culture' of death means for their loved ones is omitted.

            • Draco T Bastard

              One simply heads off to a doctor, who needs no other history or conversations with others, other than a confirmation that within 6 months you're dead, a lethal dose prescription is dispensed, within four days a person can choose to die wherever they please on their own. It's not euthenasia as some think either.

              Well, its certainly not how you think it is.

              Euthanasia Act:

              11 Second opinion reached to be given by independent medical practitioner

              (1) This section applies if the attending medical practitioner reaches the opinion described in section 10(2)(a) or (c).

              (2) The attending medical practitioner must—

              (a) ask the SCENZ Group for the name and contact details of an independent medical practitioner; and

              (b) ask the independent medical practitioner for their opinion on whether the person requesting the option of receiving assisted dying is a person who is eligible for assisted dying.

              (3) The independent medical practitioner must—

              (a) read the person’s medical files; and

              (b) examine the person; and

              (c) reach the opinion that—

              (i) the person is a person who is eligible for assisted dying; or

              (ii) the person is not a person who is eligible for assisted dying; or

              (iii) the person would be a person who is eligible for assisted dying if the person’s competence it were established as described in under section 12 that the person was competent to make an informed decision about assisted dying.

              (4) The independent medical practitioner must—

              (a) complete a prescribed an approved form recording their opinion; and

              (b) send the completed form to the rRegistrar; and

              (c) send a copy of the completed form to the attending medical practitioner.

              That's the bit saying that, after the first opinion is reached, a second independent doctor is called in and needs to reach the same same opinion independently.

              There's also part of the legislation laying out when a third opinion is needed.

              You should probably read the bill rather than listen to people spreading misinformation.

              I'll still be voting for.

              • PaddyOT

                I did read the Bill , you have stated what I said. A person heads off to a doctor and their choice is signed off.

                My point was that there is no consultation or considerations of family and beliefs as people may wish or think. You twisted what I wrote inferring that this is about your vote or mine.

                I expressed a concern about a Bill that has the potential for doctors to overide unique circumstance and sensitivities around a person's death where values and responsibilities that 'family' believe are theirs towards the dying person, can be dismissed.

                Harete Hipango was one of the submitters on this aspect. Maori greatly affected disproportionately through having a terminal illness earlier in life.

                It is not the Euthanasia Bill.

                The Bill also includes,

                * "the self-administration by the person of a lethal dose of medication to relieve their suffering by hastening death"

                * "Welfare guardians have no power to make decisions or take actions under this Act".

                No other related parties such as family need to be informed or consulted with, only the form fillers signing off. So already a blurred area determining if there is coercion when the client chooses to keep the decision confidential, the doctor does not then have family contact to determine this.

                The recipient can chose any doctor, when and where they die and can die alone. No independent witness is needed either for example to say whether the recipient rescinded their wish and changed their mind at those last moments.

                " * No person may make public in respect of any death to which this section applies—

                (a) the method by which the medication was administered to the deceased:

                (b) the place where the medication was administered to the deceased:

                (c) the name of the person who administered the medication to the deceased, or the name of that person’s employer. "

                I did not DTB say how anyone should vote. I have two siblings who have died horrible deaths in the last few years struggling to their deaths in their 40s . I have another with a short time left, ironically none personally wanted to advance time of death nor did their end of life decision not include family.
                However for what it matters my own vote is yes to an individual's own choice.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I did read the Bill , you have stated what I said. A person heads off to a doctor and their choice is signed off.

                  But that's not what happens. After the first doctor signs off there is a second, independent consultation required and perhaps a third.

                  My point was that there is no consultation or considerations of family and beliefs as people may wish or think.

                  I don't wish for family consultations – its none of their business and its likely when the family will be most manipulative.

                  where values and responsibilities that 'family' believe are theirs towards the dying person, can be dismissed.

                  It's entirely up to the person dying. The family don't have a say no matter what they believe unless the person dying allows them.

                  "Welfare guardians have no power to make decisions or take actions under this Act".

                  I think you'll find that, if a person has guardians, then the third opinion instantiates. You know, the one that's a psychologist who's job is to determine if the person is of sound mind. If they're not, which the existence of guardians may indicate to be the case, then they don't get to take the drugs.

  13. Editractor 13

    Jacinda Ardern visits Broxh, who livestreams wood carving on Twitch.

    A small glimpse of the person but also interesting that she is appearing on perhaps not so well known platforms. Or maybe you just like to watch wood carving.

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 13.1

      Ah cool Cheers. Judith might visit some Kauri Karving…

      (rough cut with a chainsaw for Export..by some ; )

    • PaddyOT 13.2

      That's an awesome video Editractor. I enjoyed the profile presented of Broxh too. A guy who is very humble but in this video is a special reminder of what should lie at the heart of governance, being a caretaker of people's rights "to be".

      Aunty's visit and when she speaks to him, she validates him and lifts up his 'unpaid' work to a prominence it deserves.

      I like the way she is humble too, when she has taken time to understand and considers 'tapu' , asking if she is not treading on protocols. Her deferring to other's expertise, knowing it's Broxh's place to stand, not hers, is not often seen in power hungry politics.

      At the end is Broxh returning to his shed, after he has left the camera livestreaming across the world; he is blown away by Aunty visiting him yet it's Broxh who's a leader in his own way.

  14. Muttonbird 14

    FFS. Four more cases in the community. I'm convinced the 'close contacts' are not isolating and that is why we are continually getting these new cases. What is being done to ensure close contacts are isolating properly? Will some journalist please ask that question!!!

    People are selfish and they just aren't going to do it on their own. This is the issue with L2.5 – people don't give a shit.

    These community cases will never end if what's described above is happening, and Auckland will forever be at L2.5 and kids' sport will be fucked for months.


    • greywarshark 14.1

      Muttonbird Some people haven't ever lived an isolated life. They have been brought up in crowded dwellings. They are used to feeling sick if they are sick. They have the need to attend to things for each other, it may be in the culture that it is wrong to shut people up in rooms away from others – like sending someone to coventry in English custom. So not too much of the being selfish, there are conventions that prod people into behaving certain ways – hard to change.

      • Muttonbird 14.1.1

        I don't give a monkey's if they've never lived an isolated life. If they have been told to isolate they should isolate, for the greater good. There is supposed to be support around them.

        Listen, I am going to go proper mental if this crappy Level 2.5 isn't lifted next week.

        I'll be firing off angry letters to journalists, and MPs left and right alike! I'll vote for whoever gets this city out of the castrated life we are living because a few selfish/ignorant people can't/won’t do what they are told.

        How the hell does a positive case roam around Countdown New Lynn 4 weeks after a Level 3 lockdown?

        Something is not working here.

        • greywarshark

          I keep noticing the evangelical church attendees being infected. It's a coincidence that I have just got a book about the Eyam people in England in the 1600s when that village got hit by bubonic plague. There were two different ministers in town, one that had been the Puritan man, and a later one reverting to pre-Puritan.

          The Puritan one was strong on the idea that the infection came to those who had sinned in some way and prayer being beneficial. The other was more to keep yourself safe and behave sensibly – also to pray and take steps to help yourself and keep an eye on neighbours, but not mingle. He set up systems to follow so they didn't all go to pieces. Only about 80 were left of about 350 in this small village that had sealed itself off with food coming from the nearby Lord's farm.

          The idea of prayer alone and belief in retribution for past sins and punishment so you can't change anything yourself takes away courage and agency.

    • mpledger 14.2

      I'm sure people do care about their loved ones and not passing it on to them.

      The thing is that people learn about keeping themselves safe from causal relation – if I do A then B happens.

      But in this case there is chance involved and people find it really difficult to perceive the true risk – a little hug won't hurt, he only likes the food I cook etc.

    • Treetop 14.3

      I dreaded the day I would read that there is a positive case of Covid – 19 in a school. West Auckland St Dominic's. Read on stuff news 20 minutes ago.

  15. Professor Longhair 15

    …that someone is credible by using words such as "renowned" – they're [sic] not.

    ???? Are you suddenly talking about two people? no

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  16. Peter 16

    "Judith Collins says prospect of Labour-Green government should 'scare the bejesus' out of NZ"

    Well that's a headline I didn't expect to see! Wow, that's an approach from Collins I didn't expect to see.]! The woman is as predictable as she is nasty.

  17. Robert Guyton 17

    "Fifty million-plus dollars thrown at the racing and gambling industry – no one bats an eyelid.

    Twelve million to be spent on a school – and people lose their minds."

    Frank gets it right.


    • mpledger 17.1

      If it had been a green farm rather than a green school then noone would have battered an eyelid. But they are both businesses earning export dollars. And of course there is horse-trading – that's the whole point of MMP – people use leverage to get the things that are important to their party.

      Of course, I would like more money to be spent on making every school a great school. Rather than all those big Auckland schools getting mega resources through economies of scale.

    • PaddyOT 17.2

      What if the media is the tool whereby ignorance is strategically manufactured as a successful ploy by Judith ? Follow the Big money promises on another National project.

      Let's apply an agnoto-epistemological approach to critiquing National's idea to make YOUR power companies bow down to save a giant private company, Rio Tinto's Tiwai.

      Ask the hard questions, ( Does Tiwai need saving ? Why, what's the evidence and at what cost? What profits does NZ benefit from? Whose magic money will Tiwai be given? What's the dark side of saving Tiwai , both here and at the mine face? ).

      Follow ALL the money trail and convert it's inherent impacts to a monetary value across all sectors. The long term costs out of taxpayer's pockets may make horse racing and green schools monies into small change, including counting the cost of job loss.

      From the outset ,Tiwai , unlike the 2013 situation, is not operating at a loss. This is a greedy Rio Tinto having a 'boohoo!' moment that they did not, at this time of extreme hardship, make ENOUGH profit on $78 Million this year ! Yet others have gone under.

      So what better time than an election to engage Judith's brain to create another 'bejesus we're doomed!' crisis. Particularly obnoxious when Judith is mythologizing on ignorance and playing with people who are frightened and vulnerable at this time; the true knowledge of the near future in this Covid world is still an unknown, yet that evil play on public fears will be swallowed by the masses.

      The media lacks accountability as it is also the tool for perverting knowledge and truth and this election especially playing a large part in promoting "truthiness", exploiting a data void. Neither Judith nor the media present any validated information to uphold many claims.

      National's deliberate deployment of nonknowledge and ignorance to seed fear is repugnant, but oh so MAGA like.

  18. greywarshark 19

    Trucking firms build bigger heavier trucks that pound the roads, then the roads deteriorate faster, then they demand more repairs. Just get the trains on the go, and put up the odometer tax each year like the tax on tobacco.

    Trucks are bad for the environments health. Reduce our dependence on them for long haul and boost rail. There would still be trucks but let's have real co-operation with businesses near to rail, perhaps removing wagons and having a method of running the railcar to the business where it can be unloaded.

  19. Sabine 20

    Is it normal and legal for local mp's to advertise on the back of city buses? The national contender for Rotorua has his mug on the back of buses. I have never seen that type of election advertising on buses in Auckland.

  20. PaddyOT 21

    The issues of concern are not about having NO "end of life" law nor with the intent or purpose of the Act ie. to give choice to individuals to die by suicide. The concern is with what is seen as weaknesses in addressing the wider culture of assisted suicide, the shortcomings of unacceptable risk and legal loopholes of these laws in their current form.

    • " I don't wish for family consultations – its none of their business and its likely when the family will be most manipulative."

    That the dying of a family member is none of a family's business that is your right of choice, a truth for you, so be it for you.

    For many it is not only a legal issue, but a cultural and spiritual issue as well.

    A doctor is required to advise the patient to consult with family but cannot breach confidentiality. This is just one of the flaws the Medical Association has with this Bill. Resting the decision squarely on the doctors judgement is that they do their best with no evidence, knowing nothing about the family or situation.

    (My own doctor wouldn't have a clue who my partner and children are and knows buggar all about me outside of his practice ! )

    Another flaw concerning doctors is that a coerced family member whether by bullying , " undue influence” by psychological abuse and/or other pressures such as " economic duress" is more likely to NOT disclose this pressure to the doctor ( as is the case with many suffering abuse). That there is no ongoing formal assessment process investigating the client's claim to be the truth leaves open a 'wrongful death' conflicting with the " Crimes Act". The issue is that no concrete safeguards against coercion exist in the Act in it's current form.

    That doctors face making a final decision that their client WILL die within six months is under the law a matter that is also open to legal challenge of being a 'wrongful death' when the diagnosis of longevity with particular diseases is not a definitive certainty.

    • A " Welfare Guardian" is a Court appointed person who acts for a person "who is totally unable to make or communicate decisions about their own care and this welfare guardian must not have a conflict of interest."


    Hence, the very person who is the only legal voice of a client is omitted. In this case, a multitude of people do not get past doctor number one. No matter their suffering their choice is gone. The sufferer's rights are gone.

    It should concern people voting on a referendum, that is already a done deal law , if those laws are then deficient.

    "A lack of safeguards, no real consultation with medicine, no real consultation with nurses or pharmacists who are also named in the act."

    Just because something is written as a law does not automatically make it good law for everyone and many people over time have been victims of poor written law. ( Homosexuals, prostitutes, DV and abuse victims…)

    It should also concern people that the NZ Medical Association does not support this final form of the Bill and, " The fact that 98% of palliative care professionals and most doctors are opposed." That 90 percent of the submissions to the Justice Select Committee were against the Act. Of the 600 doctors who wrote in, 93 percent were opposed.


  21. KJT 22

    In Vino.

    It seems RL is against overthrowing oppression, by retaliating, no matter how bad or deadly it is. That is too "Marxist".

    The French were supposed to have just continued to "eat cake", the Russians to put up with serfdom and poverty under the Tsars, Chinese to continue to be subjected to whatever warlord was most ruthless, Vietnam to continue under French control, BLM to refrain from anything except the odd march while black people are still murdered by cops, the 1951 strikers to allow themselves to be peacefully beaten up by Masseys Cossacks.

    As Ghandi said, not in the same words, but, the largely peaceful transfer of power, resulting from his movement, in India, was only possible because the British people had a conscience.

    How did obeying the law work for European Jews in the 1930's and 40's?

    Sometimes, as Marx observed, not advocated, revolution is the only way out.

    Unfortunately as we have observed, the victor is not normally the people, as Marx wanted, but simply the "warlord" that can muster the most guns, (or support from outside such as the many violent overthrowing of democratic Governments by the USA) The most ruthless arsehole. Like Hitler, Stalin, Bolsanaro, Pinochet, et al.
    Yes. Revolutions often result in swapping one oppressor for another.

    • RedLogix 22.1

      It seems RL is against overthrowing oppression, by retaliating, no matter how bad or deadly it is.

      Well yes I am. For two main reasons:

      One is that retaliation usually destabilises society to the point that the resulting chaos results in more oppression. In other words the cure usually turns out worse than the disease.

      The other is more subtle. In any hierarchical system there will be differences in capacity, talent, authority and rank … but marxism narrowly reduces all these relationships one of oppressor/oppressed, always couched as the basest exploitation imaginable.

      Of course it's perfectly possible to overthrow any hierarchy, but it's replacement inevitably involves a new one to take it's place. Which under marxist thinking permanently locks society into a cycle of 'revolutionary reconstruction' and destabilisation. And in the ensuing chaos of course, the body count just keeps rising until finally everyone sickens of it.

      So why is it that when I point out the fatal, and proven flaws of marxism that immediately it's presumed that I must also be against addressing injustice?

      Why does the marxist framework have to have a monopoly on left wing thought? Why is it the only means of addressing inequality that we are allowed to talk about?

      Why is it that the socialist left has so little confidence in it's ability to effectively address real problems, without waiting until they are so intolerable and entrenched that "revolution is the only way out"? We need better tools and better ways of getting results, than an obsolete political schema that has a whole pack of bad presuppositions embedded at it's core.

      • Ad 22.1.1

        There's plenty of instances of the socialist left getting into government, addressing real problems, and not waiting until things were intolerable.

        Most European countries from the 1950s did that.

        • McFlock

          Thing is, Marx predicted that, too. Basically arguing capitalist-dominated systems would introduce concessions to the working class when the discontent became serious enough even for them.

          But these actions out of self preservation would only delay the inevitable – revolution would eventually occur. Not all revolutions would be successful, though.

          The trouble is that Marx was methodical and precise when describing the shortcomings of capitalism, but essentially made a vague template of woo in predicting what would happen.

          Which leaves two shortcomings: no timetable or real prerequisites for this successful revolution; and no way to demonstrate the false nature of failed revolutions until after the fact.

          So really, the Marxist-communist is a bit like someone awaiting the first/second coming of christ: no idea if it's a year or a thousand years after first prediction and with no clear way to rule it out, so the dude in the robe might be the messiah, or he might be a very naughty boy who's starved Georgia and the Ukraine and sent millions to death in the gulags.

          Democratic socialism, of course, can accept the Marxist description of the problems with capitalism without accepting the inevitability of revolution.

          But even if revolution occurs (and it is always a risk at any time), a description is not always an endorsement. Realising that if shit keeps going this way without systemic change people will end up against the wall is subtly different from trying to bring that eventuality about.

      • Draco T Bastard 22.1.2

        So why is it that when I point out the fatal, and proven flaws of marxism that immediately it's presumed that I must also be against addressing injustice?

        Because you're always in favour of perpetuating that injustice.

        Why is it that the socialist left has so little confidence in it's ability to effectively address real problems, without waiting until they are so intolerable and entrenched that "revolution is the only way out"?

        The problem there isn't the socialist Left but the people who get voted into power on a socialist ticket and then fail to implement socialist policies.

        As Labour just did – again.

  22. KJT 23

    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable".

    Or as that well known "Marxist" Nick Hanauer stated, the pitchforks are coming unless we reduce inequality.

    • Pat 23.1

      Got it in one…good link. We even get a mention in one of the articles.

      "Here’s what I say to you: You’re living in a dream world. What everyone wants to believe is that when things reach a tipping point and go from being merely crappy for the masses to dangerous and socially destabilizing, that we’re somehow going to know about that shift ahead of time. Any student of history knows that’s not the way it happens. Revolutions, like bankruptcies, come gradually, and then suddenly. One day, somebody sets himself on fire, then thousands of people are in the streets, and before you know it, the country is burning. And then there’s no time for us to get to the airport and jump on our Gulfstream Vs and fly to New Zealand. That’s the way it always happens. If inequality keeps rising as it has been, eventually it will happen. We will not be able to predict when, and it will be terrible—for everybody. But especially for us."

    • RedLogix 23.2

      And what makes you think I disagree with this? Maybe it was where I stated earlier "we are on the cusp of a global crisis" that confused you?

      Maybe it was the literally hundreds of comments on the centrality of the gross inequality problem I must have made over the years that misled you?

  23. KJT 24

    RL. In your fixation with "Marxism" you are continually missing the point.

    Time to move past the US exceptionalist meme of Capitalism/”Freedom” good, Socialism, Communism, Marxism, bad.

    I doubt if anyone on the "Left" is solely informed by Marx.

    We all have many influences on our thinking.

    The “socialist left” has advanced in thought way past, “Marxism”. I gave one example, of the communist party in Portugal, who are happy with supporting a moderate democratically elected “socialist” Government.

    Isn't Hanuaer saying much the same as Marx, about revolution?

    The “socialist left” far from advocating revolution as you appear to claim, are working on incremental improvement to and within our political system.

    • RedLogix 24.1

      Maybe this is true, but it's very odd how whenever I point out the fatal flaws of marxism and the political framework it proposes, just how many people here leap angrily to it's defense.

      As if I was attacking their core identity or something?

      • Ad 24.1.1

        It would also be helpful if the left started engaging with your own reasonably complex amalgam of beliefs and influences, rather than expecting you to accept some ill-defined Marxian framework.

        That would amount to dialogue.

  24. KJT 25


    "Why does the marxist framework have to have a monopoly on left wing thought? Why is it the only means of addressing inequality that we are allowed to talk about?"

    It doesn't.

    You appear to have missed decades of "left wing thought".

    And even “Marxist” thought. Try reading Marx. Instead of repeating US Mccarthyist ideas of left wing thought. Until you do, you are arguing from a “strawman” perspective. No one, not even “Marxists” hold the views you think they do. People are not “defending Marx”. They are arguing against your view of the “Left”.

    • RedLogix 25.1

      You appear to have missed decades of "left wing thought".

      All well and good, yet when pressed far too many left wingers still insist on that Marx is the central and essential figure. As evidenced by the heated defense I encounter when I suggest that maybe it's time we retired the old bugger.

      And the exhortation that I must read his works chapter and verse. Are we not allowed to have some thoughts of our own?

  25. KJT 27


    "nut picking refers to intentionally seeking out extremely fringe, non-representative statements or individuals from members of an opposing group and parading these as evidence of that entire group's incompetence or irrationality.[16]"

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  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
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  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
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  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
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  • Government backing Māori landowners
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  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
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  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
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  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
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  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
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  • Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability
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    1 week ago
  • District Court judge appointed
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  • Approval given to Commercial Film and Video Production Proposal
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  • Supporting a thriving wānanga sector to benefit Māori learners
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  • Economic data highlights impact of Auckland moving out of Level 3
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  • Join the one in a million reo Māori moment
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  • Education initiatives add to momentum of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2020
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