Open mike 08/09/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 8th, 2023 - 36 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step up to the mike …

36 comments on “Open mike 08/09/2023 ”

  1. bwaghorn 1

    Carbon markets are a bogus solution!!!


  2. Sanctuary 2

    This comment by Advantage – – to my mind touches on the reason for such widespread disinterest and disillusion in the upcoming election. Despite the media deciding that "Labour hasn't delivered" is going to be their cynical zombie fact de jour (what they actually mean is Labour hasn't delivered for aspirational middle class white people like them) things like fair pay agreements and the covid response are solid achievements.

    But that isn't enough for an electorate that can sense the nation is at a fin de siècle moment in it's economic and political cycle. But how to actualise this Gramscian turn in our psychology of our political and economic fortunes? MMP was adopted precisely to prevent the birth of the new. The system of elite cadre parties with tightly managed lists of approved candidates who are reliably invested in the system and a strong barriers for rebel parties and candidates is doing an admirable job of protecting the existing establishment neoliberal consensus against all comers.

    Conventional wisdom has it that neoliberalism is over. The schitzophrenia in the neoliberal consensus between the need to contain political challenges to late captialism and protecting the interests of the resultant rentier crony capitalist class is becoming unmanageable. I guess we shall see – at least perhaps we are in an interregnum. But whatever your view is of what stage of it’s lifecyle neoliberalism is in it remains deeply entrenched at the top of politics and in the politicised technocratic/managerial class that operates in w seamless, semipermeable membrane between the top of the public service and the quasi-private sector, of which professor Neil Quigley is the current éminence grise de jour. This is why all the interventions, say to support wages or help businesses through covid, have been carefully designed as short-term, reversible actions. The entrenched neoliberal elite is determined to preserve the status quo, even if it is at an enormous cost to the system's dynamism.

    In relation to the election, none of the major political parties wish to threaten the wealth of the owner class. None of them want anything to do with nationalisation. So at the moment nothing on offer to electorate amounts to solutions that will even come close to addressing the scale of the problems facing NZ. No one, for example, is saying the obvious answer to our housing problems would be a return to mass construction of housing by the state.

    Thus it is that our current political environment is characterised more by incrementalism, paralysis and incapacity than by bold ideas and and initiative. It operates in a constantly febrile atmosphere of anticipated crisis, stoked by an equally exhausted MSM media model that exists in a state of semi-permanent hysterical amnesia. Whoever wins the election is going to inherit a very brittle status quo over the next decade where neither centrist party will be spared an unravelling from which one, or both, may not emerge intact.

    • AB 2.1

      I do recall saying when Labour won in 2017, that no matter how much I admired Ardern's considerable personal qualities, I still thought her Labour Party represented an ideological dead-end. If National win this time, the resulting vulgar, excited spree from business and the spivs and wide-boys lurking in the corners of the economy might look like something new. But it will just be a rewind of the Key playbook and will terminate in the same way as people recognise again the long-term damage it stores up.

      What breaks the stalemate? Do enough of my generation need to die out and then do younger generations have to not trend to the right as they age? Meanwhile the climate is rapidly closing the window on us – the time we have left to make such a change is not unlimited. If eye-wateringly expensive climate-induced infrastructure damage repeatedly occurs within a neoliberal economic and political structure, then the preferred 'solutions' to it might be very nasty for most people.

      In the short-term it means not giving up though.

      • Kay 2.1.1

        Breaking the stalemate can only begin when there's a turnaround in the dramatic decrease of voters, of whom many are in the younger demographic, as well as lower-socioeconomic, and whose voting bloc could swing an election.

        For the former, once again the case for civics education in schools comes up. For the latter group- so beaten down by the system and in survival mode that voting doesn't register for many. And if it does register, then why bother? One side won't do anything to improve matters vs the other side will make things worse.

        It would be fascinating to see the results of an election where the Greens were the dominant party, with Labour the support party. And it would even be feasible if the non-voters voted. But the system – here and in other countries- is designed to indirectly disenfranchise those who would.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 2.1.2

        If eye-wateringly expensive climate-induced infrastructure damage repeatedly occurs within a neoliberal economic and political structure, then the preferred 'solutions' to it might be very nasty for most people.

        yes Many people who are comfortable thanks to neoliberalism believe environmental degradation and climate-induced damage won't be "very nasty" for them personally.

        Events closer to home may erode that belief, but it's tough to change tack – if only the deck chairs had been rearranged 50 years ago. Still, don't give up – hope for the best.

    • Anne 2.2

      My goodness, that epistle is worthy of Paul Buchanan. He has confessed to lurking here from time to time so I hope he sees it.

      I bow to your superior knowledge Sanctuary- and indeed Ad's – on this subject. To have it explained so succinctly is helpful.

      I cannot help but wonder why the Labour government is not prepared to spell it out to the populace in a manner that leaves them equally cognisant of the reasons behind the problems we face. It is almost as if they are too scared to rub certain powerful individuals and the media up the wrong way. Why bother to take that into account when they know that swathes of the mediocre media are going to dump on them anyway. If I am right then they deserve time-out to not only lick their wounds but to contemplate their timidity and recognise the part it played in their demise.

      Helen Clark was a good example of someone who not only stood up to the rich and powerful, but she knew how to put the media in their place when it was required. I think Hipkins has got it in him to do the same but there's not much time left!

    • adam 2.3

      You need to get out of your bubble Sanctuary.

      Organised more food parcels than ever this morning alone.

      More people living in cars, than ever.

      More kids living in poverty, than ever.

      Hospital emergency room effectively falling apart in this city

      Waiting for doctors if your in the bottom 25% of income, are at least 3 weeks in this city – worse in other places.

      Inflation still pushing prices up of basics.

      Incremental progressive changes don't mean shit when your life is hellish.

      So yeah for working folk, the line Labour have not delivered, is not middle class wishful thinking – but a reflection of the life of the poor and hard working people.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.3.1


        Labour has done almost nothing to address inequality and disadvantage. Because they deeply believe in doing nothing serious about it.

      • roblogic 2.3.2

        Despite all that the voters seem to respond to bold leadership that has a vision. Kiwis can put up with a lot, if there is a good reason for it and the government promises change. That was Jacinda all over. In 2023, the only candidates eliciting similar interest are Winston and Chloe Swarbrick.

  3. Tiger Mountain 3

    All good points.

    The artificial electricity market, as per your link, has a lot to answer for. Basically hugely significant working class and taxpayer built power infrastructure handed over to the parasite class. Power price gouging makes many lives more miserable than they need to be.

    Monetarism and neo liberalism are long embedded in the NZ State and Parliament now–so what is the circuit breaker? Well it has to be grass roots community organising and direct action which is not an easy route. If the NActFirst lot attain office look out, it will be negative and destructive, but it will stimulate fightbacks galore, and hopefully finally encourage generation rent to unite and stick it to the man in a suitably 21st century manner.

  4. Belladonna 4

    This is not a good look for the government.

    The increase in teacher numbers (moving from 1 teacher for every 29 students to 1 teacher for every 28.5 students) which was announced for 2024 – has been pushed back to 2025.

    They've already burned through a heck of a lot of credit with the teachers over the pay negotiations. Now, to have one of the few policies which will make a difference, pulled out from under schools with no notice – makes them look even more out of touch.

    Tinetti's defence that the money has gone on teacher salary claims – just makes her look weak and incompetent.

    And, to be clear, this is 'with no notice' – schools are doing the staffing plans for next year, right now; and principals have been planning their staffing while factoring in the new ratios.

    • AB 4.1

      They've already burned through a heck of a lot of credit with the teachers over the pay negotiations

      I wouldn't portray teachers as hapless victims here. They appear to have a political strategy: vote Labour and then push like hell for pay rises because Labour are sympathetic; when you've exhausted that well, vote National to get a tax cut in the knowledge that they won't give you a pay rise; rinse and repeat.

  5. weka 5

    Historically, how common is it for public servants (eg teachers, nurses) to go on strike under a Labour government?

    • Anne 5.1

      Over-all more common. Labour are far more sympathetic to workers including public servants and always have been. Muldoon did his best to totally destroy the unions movement, including the PSA, during his three terms in office. It is what led to the Trades Hall bombing in 1984. He set the scene for widespread hatred towards them.

      That mindset still exists in NAct today even if it is not expressed in such draconian terms. Hence teachers and nurses and related professions know they have more chance of success under Labour governments.

  6. Ngungukai 6

    NZF will be 7-8% on Election night, with out doubt unless Winston does something stupid again or another Court Case arises as it invariably does b4 an Election

    • Bearded Git 6.1

      I doubt it because at this election Winston has made it clear he will not go with the Left. This reduces his potential pool of voters

      • Jack 6.1.1

        Or does it increase his pool of voters by garnering voters who are realistic about the left’s prospects at this election? Those who see it as the only viable way to constrain some of the rights more radical policies. The classic hand break argument.

        • Bearded Git

          That is faulty logic Jack IMHO. Or perhaps you are trolling?

          Winston has always leaned to the Right. By far the best result for the Left would be if he got 4.9% or less. If you want a Lab/Gr/TPM coalition a vote for Winston is madness.

          You seem to be saying Labour has no chance of winning given the polls, in which case you may receive a ban from TS for negativity.

          • UncookedSelachimorpha

            " By far the best result for the Left would be if he got 4.9% or less"

            actually 4.999% and no electorate seat, would be best.

          • Jack

            Winston has always leaned to the right

            Have you been living under a rock since, say 2017?

            More seriously, there must be a point at which even the most ardent Labour supporter concedes the chances of them becoming the next government are slim. The exact point will vary by the individual. However, if a poll came out with Labour at say 23%, that may do it for many IMO.

            • Bearded Git

              Too simplistic-you do not seem to understand MMP. A poll with Labour 23 Greens 16 TPM 4 and NZF 4 would still leave the Left in with a good chance of winning the election.

              Again I say you are needlessly being very negative and flirting with a ban from TS.

        • AB

          Winston's best chance of being a handbrake is if he takes votes from NACT – enough to ensure that NACT doesn't get a majority. Then he grinningly tells Luxon to leave Seymour out of the tent as a bottom line for getting NZF support. Seymour is then in a constant state of spewing with resentment – which would be fun in a grim sort of way.

          The point is – Labour voters switching to NZF would not be a huge factor in making him more likely to become a handbrake. He can be a handbrake only if NACT is around 44-45% tops. (Though I guess most people considering voting NZF wouldn't think this through)

          • PsyclingLeft.Always

            Yea I kinda see the Peters vs Seymour match…as a future NAct nightmare. Hopefully for them. And not for all of us !

            • Ngungukai

              Spoke to Seymour in the Pub one night about Winston, he was very scathing on him and quoted “he was a little Māori Boy from Northland who had done good 👍 “ ???

          • lprent

            Then he grinningly tells Luxon to leave Seymour out of the tent as a bottom line for getting NZF support. Seymour is then in a constant state of spewing with resentment – which would be fun in a grim sort of way.

            I suspect that is NACT can't get over the 50% pole line, but can with NZF, then that is exactly what Peters will do. He does have form for it with the Greens in previous elections.

            Especially since Act has said that

            Act Party leader David Seymour is ruling out working with New Zealand First if the party is given Cabinet positions, but will not say whether Act would accept any other arrangement NZ First was a part of.

            However, Seymour has confirmed he will answer those questions if Winston Peters’ party polled at or over the 5 per cent threshold multiple times, and that he wants National leader Christopher Luxon to rule out giving NZ First Cabinet positions if he holds that authority after October 14.

            It’s a clarification of Act deputy leader Brooke van Velden’s comments to journalists today, which included her stating, “We are ruling out working with New Zealand First.”

            I haven't seen anything much since from Act despite recent polling for NZF.

            The problem for National is that I have a impression that Seymour is likely to not want to provide a confidence and supply if they aren't in coalition with National and NZF is.

            In which case National would probably try to form a minority government with two parties on C&S. Possible, but usually pretty unstable.

            In any case, National has form in the Shipley govt for trying to split another party (NZF) and in the Key governments for flogging policies from coalition and C&S parties to pull vote in. They really haven't managed to get into the idea of having viable other parties competing with them.

            If NACT is capable of getting over the pole position, and the coalition with Act happens, then I suspect we will see a repeat of previous whittling of Act support. Especially since Act appears to have a full-blown contingent of nutbar single policy voting groups in support – which makes it easy for National to do. They either don't implement insane policies like issuing semi-automatic weapons to nutters, or condemning many vaccination programs, or they do it more badly than they usually do and let the blame for the fuck-ups fall on Act. The 3 strikes, 90 day employment, and piss-poor Auckland super-shitty were all Act policy as I remember it.

  7. PsyclingLeft.Always 7

    Industry leaders horrified at National Party plan to scrap Workforce Development Councils

    Representatives from a range of sectors told RNZ the councils were a big improvement on the industry training organisations they replaced.

    Penny Simmonds, Nat MP, "reckons" they werent connecting. Seems a pretty wide range say they do….

    Would so like Labours Liz Craig to beat her…

  8. Mr Nobody 8

    Horrifying to read that Dunedin Hospital has lost accreditation to train cancer doctors and perhaps more horrifying it seems accreditation loss may occur at other locations and in other specialty's.

    Has this ever occurred before in a NZ Hospital?

  9. Bruce 9

    Here is an interesting development in wind power. Apparently a little expensive, but early days, may need some number 8 wire.

    • Bearded Git 9.1

      Making it virtually soundless….yeah right.

      In the meantime a huge landscape wrecking wind farm has just been given fast-track approval near to lovely Kariotahi beach near Waiuku.

      I have just been travelling in Australia and seen solar and wind power sites side by side. The landscape effects of solar are considerably less (and noise is non-existent) and solar is only slightly more expensive and getting cheaper rapidly*.

      * some people argue the maintenance needs of wind, especially the regular need for new gearboxes and turbines, makes solar cheaper.

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