Open mike 08/01/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 8th, 2016 - 108 comments
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108 comments on “Open mike 08/01/2016 ”

  1. The Chairman 1

    The movie the big short is well worth a look

  2. Pat 2

    looks like the same motivation for Hollywood as the subject matter

  3. Sacha 3

    Still getting problem where Commenter Name loads with two stray quote marks in front. If not edited out, comment just disappears when submitted, with no message. Any progress on a fix @lprent?

  4. weka 4

    Germany builds awesome bike roads as a way to lessen car traffic. NZ builds bike tracks for tourists and increases car traffic.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      …and kills cyclists.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        The director of the trucking company said his driver was traumatised and would be off work for several weeks.

        He said the driver was experienced and the company had not been involved in an accident like this before.

        “It’s subdued everything around here.

        “There’s no reason for it to happen, it’s a mystery. It’s very hard on the driver, that’s for sure.”

        No mystery at all – he cut too close to the cyclist probably while being angry at her.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          It certainly isn’t a mystery – NZ road design ensures that these sorts of collisions will occur. Insofar as trucking companies fund right wing incompetence, they are responsible for it too.

          • weka

            And yet it is possible to drive a truck safely on NZ roads. I think the time pressure on truck drivers from employers is more of an issue, plus the culture of using stimulants and aggression to keep going. Where the cyclist blogged about the speed and aggression from truck drivers matches my experience.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Mine too, and I’m conscious that what feels like aggression probably has far more to do with turbulence, momentum, and options.

              I think the solution is to have separate traffic flows, as per your link, and as you also said, that’s a political problem.

              • Draco T Bastard

                IMO, in this case the solution is to get the trucks off of the main highways. They really shouldn’t be there.

                • weka

                  I agree, there’s no good reason for so much freight to be transported like that. Won’t solve the routes that don’t have rail though.

                  OAB, I noticed that she said she got a lot of horns being blown at her. That’s either her doing stupid shit (and I’ve seen cyclists do that), or aggression from the drivers.

                  I think the speed issue is passive aggressive. No-one has the right to put someone else’s life in danger because of job pressures, but here we are.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    By law, you blow your horn to alert someone to your presence, so clearly, not all horn blowing is intended to be threatening.

                    Personally I think the design of NZ roads makes this behaviour inevitable, whether truckies all have National Party values or not.

        • weka

          Or something else happened. I would guess speed was a factor. There is fuck all you can do in a vehicle that big if you come across something on the road and there is no room to manouevre. Or she wasn’t very visible. Or the driver was distracted or tired. Or as you say, he was just too close and angry.

          I googled to see if there was a follow up report but couldn’t find anything. I guess the police make a report on the cause of accident and that’s it, but it doesn’t necessarily get reported publically.

          • Draco T Bastard

            There is fuck all you can do in a vehicle that big if you come across something on the road and there is no room to manouevre.

            Quoting article:

            The cause of the crash, which happened about 11.50am last Tuesday in a passing zone on State Highway 3 in the central North Island, is still under police investigation.

            Pusch was about 4km north of Bulls and heading towards Wanganui when she was struck by a truck and trailer heading in the same direction.

            So the truck driver could have put an entire lane between him and the cyclist.

            One important thing that they can do is slow down. The reason why you have to stand back at train stations is because passing trains can suck you on to the tracks while it’s passing. A truck passing at speed has the same effect which means that cyclists get sucked into the wheels.

            Another is to give room and don’t pass if it’s unsafe to do so.

            • weka

              “One important thing that they can do is slow down”

              “Another is to give room and don’t pass if it’s unsafe to do so.”

              Quite. Hence my point about speed, and then the one about how the industry creates the accidents by putting unrealistic time pressures on drivers. The reason truck drivers are going so fast is that they lose too much time if they drive safely (the loss of momentum and time in slowing down and then getting back up to speed). I have a class 2 licence and it used to freak me out driving a medium sized truck and having those big rigs pass me at speed. If something goes wrong there is not a lot that can be done because they’re just too big and too fast. It’s astounding that they’re allowed to drive like that and it’s no surprise that we have so many truck accidents in NZ.

              I was thinking that about the cyclist being sucked under the truck too. Pity I can’t find a later report.

              • greywarshark

                The object of having roads and engine driven vehicles is to be able to cover distances fast. The speed limits are set rather high for NZ roads I think, and in some places too low. They need to be looked at. But to slow down from 80 or 100 to a cyclists speed, for how long, can result in traffic going at a crawl.

                Less road traffic and favouring rail, with high road charges for large trucks would be sensible and save lives, money, government costs on roads. But ex-Labour and ACT MP Ken Shirley is an advocate for the roading companies and they lobby hard. (Since July 2010, he has been the chief executive of the Road Transport Forum (RTF), representing road transport interests….He has previously served as ACT’s deputy leader, and in 2004, he was one of four candidates to seek the party’s leadership after the retirement of Richard Prebble.)

                This report about the driver and the lack of response from him and his company indicate a dour unconcern for others and their lack of care when driving. Which I think is a reaction from many males to others needs in the present. (Remember when a woman was shot at an outdoor hut while brushing her teeth. The shooter will just excuse himself and so will all his buddies and that fraternity.)

                A 66-year-old Wanganui man was today charged with careless driving causing death and was due to appear in Marton District Court on May 5. (2010)…..

                Ms Pusch, who arrived in New Zealand last October, described the perils cyclists in New Zealand faced in the final entry of her online blog on December 30.

                She referred to Kiwi truck drivers as “beasts” who “[drive] permanently at a phenomenal speed in a race against time.”

                ”When one is a cyclist on New Zealand roads, one is not only torn from one’s daydreams by diving-bombing magpies but is more often threatened by a more nasty species that really requires more attention: truck drivers,” Ms Pusch wrote.

                ”They swerve past the cyclists who are struggling under their own steam at break-neck speed mainly within only a half-metre to a metre gap, all the while aggressively honking their horn.”

                Later – A Whanganui truck driver whose vehicle struck and killed a German tourist near Bulls has been disqualified from driving for 12 months and ordered to pay $5000 reparation to the dead woman’s family for emotional harm and suffering.

                ($5000 would not even pay for the family’s costs of coming to NZ or getting the body or ashes returned, or whatever they wanted to do to gather their child to them and commemorate her, so not enough there to recompense for harm and suffering!

                The driver is still allowed to drive after 12 months? The driver who killed a young woman cyclist in Christchurch about 2013, was in his 70’s. When they are that old and having these sort of accidents they should not be allowed to drive again. Maturity should make for better driving practices and when they cause death, they obviously have gone past their peak and into the decline of old age.)

                • b waghorn


                  I hear this trucks don’t pay their way for roads story a lot on
                  “the standard ” but at 33c per k j for ruc the amount of tax paid for trucks plying rural nz roads must far outweigh the money spent back onto roads , I would suggest that rural nz is subsidizing all those flash city roads.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    All those flashy city roads are paid for out of rates. The highways are paid for out of a combination of petrol taxes and RUCs.

                  • ropata

                    Trucks have effectively been subsidized by petrol vehicles who have paid far higher net road tax per tonne for far too long. Any government that seeks to equalize the road taxes is subject to howls of rage from the trucking lobby

                  • Andre

                    Every time I’ve looked into it, the proportion of RUC and petrol excise tax collected in the Auckland region is a lot greater than the proportion of transport funds spent in the Auckland region. On the basis of that data, Auckland is subsiding transport networks in the rest of the country.

                    Two counterarguments I can dream up, but have never seen any data for: Aucklanders filling up in Auckland before and after trips outside Auckland, companies headquartered in Auckland buying RUCs for operations outside Auckland.

                    Actual considered engineering opinion based on trials, is that the proportion of wear and tear caused by heavy vehicles is a lot higher than the proportion of transport funds paid by heavy vehicles, ie light vehicles are subsidizing heavy vehicles. Let alone that the cost of engineering a road to be able to carry heavy vehicles is vastly higher than if it just needed to carry light vehicles.

                    • b waghorn

                      When considering the cost of repairing the damage that heavy vehicles do to roads, is the gst getting paid on the diesel the PAYE getting paid by the driver and the economic “grease” that the industry brings with it considered? (I’m very pro rail BTW)

                    • Andre

                      Never seen any argument or data around GST on fuel and RUC, or PAYE and company tax for transport companies properly going back into transport. The general view seems to be that GST and PAYE and company tax properly go straight to the general government accounts. Hell, it was a big deal when all of the petrol excise tax was put towards transport, instead of diverting some of it to the consolidated fund. Look up “full hypothetication”.

                    • b waghorn

                      “Although Auckland generates a high proportion of the road user revenue, it may be generating a
                      higher proportion of the worthwhile projects. At the same time regions that are not experiencing
                      growth are still paying hypothecated revenue yet may need little in the way of transport expenditure
                      other than road maintenance.”
                      The above is from a PDF on nzta site about hypothecated revenue.

                      That would suggest that you might be wrong about Auckland raising more then is spent on its roads and what not, especially if you chuck things like the kopu bridge and the northern holiday highway in which are for Auckland’s benefit.
                      Cheers for the link.

                    • Andre

                      It’s been a while seen I took a close look at the data, and the Waterview tunnels are very expensive…

                      Don’t EVER mention the holiday highway again or you’ll never stop me going on and on about what a waste that is.

            • joe90

              Quoting article:

              Ms Pusch was cycling up hill in the slow vehicle bay and although I can’t find anything online I do recall something about the truck driver being reported about his behavior earlier that day.



            • McFlock

              Don’t feel like you need to wait for details, charges or the coroner’s report to start laying blame, eh.

              Maybe the truckie was in the left lane because of a queue of cars that were passing on the uphill section. Cyclist hits pothole at wrong time, you’re lucky the truckie even noticed someone got squashed. There was one like that in Dunedin a year or two back, the truck ended up being pued over in Oamaru for the guy to be told what had happened: driver in a parked car had opened their door into the cycle lane after the truck cab had passed the cyclist. That was the last one in a series of similar deaths on that stretch of road, and the DCC finally made cycle lanes about half as much wider again and I haven’t read of another accident since.

              My point is that the truck driver is only one factor in any crash. Environment, road design, road quality, etc…

              • Draco T Bastard

                Don’t feel like you need to wait for details, charges or the coroner’s report to start laying blame, eh.

                Driver found guilty of careless driving causing death

                Maybe the truckie was in the left lane because of a queue of cars that were passing on the uphill section.

                The driver of a vehicle has two reasonable options when approaching a cyclist:

                1. Go wide so as to pass safely
                2. Slow down and stay behind the cyclist until such time as they can do 1

                That’s it. Almost no driver in NZ will do that and some will actively go closer to the cyclist to frighten/abuse them.

                And some truck drivers I’ve seen haven’t got a friggen clue as to how trucks actually behave when driven. I saw one take off the front bumper of a parked car while going around a bend. He simply didn’t seem to realise that the back wheels go inside the front wheels during a turn. Had a truck/trailer unit pass me a few weeks ago and although his cab went wide I had to slow down so the back wheels of the trailer didn’t get me.

                There was one like that in Dunedin a year or two back, the truck ended up being pued over in Oamaru for the guy to be told what had happened: driver in a parked car had opened their door into the cycle lane after the truck cab had passed the cyclist.

                And so the car driver should have been charged. You always need to look before opening the doors but many people don’t.

                Cycling in NZ is dangerous because the vehicle drivers are bunch of fucken idiots.

                • McFlock

                  you do realise that charged is not the same as guilty, right? You still know absolutely nothing of note about the case.

                  And yes, in most of the dunedin cases that spring to mind the door-openers were charged and found guilty of carelessness, etc. But the point is that a small change in the cycle lane width has markedly reduced the problem.

                  As for your options for motorists passing cyclists on a hill, option one restso on subjective assessments of how wdie is safe (the only objective test being a confirmed negative whenever anyone was hit). Option two simpy shows how selfish cyclists can be.

                  You can blame drivers all you want, but the fact remains that cycling, particularly on the open road, involves balancing very squishy humans on two wheels and then placng them, even at the best of times, in close proximity to several tonnes of fast-moving steel. But because it’s a “road” and not an enclosed workplace, somehow that’s regarded as fine.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    you do realise that charged is not the same as guilty, right? You still know absolutely nothing of note about the case.

                    Dude, he was found guilty and disqualified for 12 months and ordered to $5000 reparation.

                    As for your options for motorists passing cyclists on a hill, option one restso on subjective assessments of how wdie is safe (the only objective test being a confirmed negative whenever anyone was hit).

                    1.5m is the recommended space.

                    Option two simpy shows how selfish cyclists can be.

                    And the motorists whinging shows just how selfish they are. Pausing for a short while to save a life isn’t the problem – being impatient and causing death is.

                    But because it’s a “road” and not an enclosed workplace, somehow that’s regarded as fine.

                    My preferred option is the removal of open roads. Want to go faster then take a train.

                    • McFlock

                      You need to read your link again. Hell, the poor woman has only just did. How quickly do you think the legal system works?

                      1.5m is the recommended space.

                      Recommended. Not compulsory, and probably not 100% safe, either.

                      And the motorists whinging shows just how selfish they are. Pausing for a short while to save a life isn’t the problem – being impatient and causing death is.

                      My vehicle travels significantly slower than most vehicles on the open road. You know what I do if someone’s behind me? I pull over and let them pass. Because I expect normal human beings to have all the imperfections and frailties of normal human beings.

                      Even if no cyclist were ever the cause of their own demise, any system that requires people to be more accurate, alert, controlled and disciplined than normal people is doomed to failure. And if you want a genuinely safe system, you assumethat all users are performing significantly worse than normal people would. That is why particularly robust and reliable systems are termed “fool proof”.

                      Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians all blame each other, and you leapt onto that bandwagon with both feet. But as long as people obsess over one part of the problem, the problem will never be solved.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Hell, the poor woman has only just did.

                      She was killed in 2010. The driver was found guilty in 2010.

                      Recommended. Not compulsory, and probably not 100% safe, either.

                      Which is why cycling organisations have been calling for it to be compulsory.

                      You know what I do if someone’s behind me? I pull over and let them pass.

                      Difficult to pull over further when you’re already on the shoulder of the road.

                      Even if no cyclist were ever the cause of their own demise, any system that requires people to be more accurate, alert, controlled and disciplined than normal people is doomed to failure.

                      It doesn’t require them to be “more accurate, alert, controlled and disciplined than normal”.

                      Ms Pusch wrote.

                      “They swerve past the cyclists who are struggling under their own steam at breakneck speed, mainly within only a half-metre to a metre gap, all the while aggressively honking their horn.”

                      It does require them to not be arseholes though.

                    • McFlock

                      She was killed in 2010. The driver was found guilty in 2010.

                      fuck me you’re right. Missed the date line that it was five years ago. Just went with the use of the present tense by the original linker. Apologies.

                      Recommended. Not compulsory, and probably not 100% safe, either.

                      Which is why cycling organisations have been calling for it to be compulsory.

                      Great, so now drivers end up needing a tape measure. All that would do is make it easier to ascribe blame, it would do nothing to address the issue.

                      You know what I do if someone’s behind me? I pull over and let them pass.

                      Difficult to pull over further when you’re already on the shoulder of the road.

                      If you were already on the shoulder, traffic that is on the road wouldn’t hit you. That’s exactly why I pull over.

                      Even if no cyclist were ever the cause of their own demise, any system that requires people to be more accurate, alert, controlled and disciplined than normal people is doomed to failure.

                      It doesn’t require them to be “more accurate, alert, controlled and disciplined than normal”.

                      Yes, it does, because normal human drivers are hitting cyclists because of inattention, frustration, faulty judgement, or whatever. The system is not fool-proof, it is not even “regular person doing the same job for years” proof.

                      Ms Pusch wrote.

                      “They swerve past the cyclists who are struggling under their own steam at breakneck speed, mainly within only a half-metre to a metre gap, all the while aggressively honking their horn.”

                      It does require them to not be arseholes though.

                      Sadly, there is no legislation against being an arsehole. And even if there were, it’s normal for some people to be arseholes anyway – much more reliable to change the design so arseholes don’t endanger other people so much.

              • b waghorn

                “road design, road quality, etc…”
                I personally would not ride a bike on open roads in nz and I would try to persuade any one dare to me not to either.

        • James

          Since you list it as a matter of fact – anything to back it up – or are you just making up stuff and presenting it as fact?

          • Draco T Bastard

            She’s dead from being hit by a truck on a straight piece of road. That could only happen if he got to close and hence then being found guilty of careless driving causing death.

          • Grant

            Since you mention facts, have you got a citation to prove your claim that Andrew Little is in the top 1% of New Zealand’s wealthiest individuals by net worth? Or are you just making stuff up?

  5. Pat 5

    Andrew Little belatedly making noises about TPP……pressure starting to tell?

    • weka 5.1

      That’s pretty consistent with what he was saying last year, but he does sound clearer and is able to express it more clearly now, presumably because they’ve worked through the actual document. And caucus has had time to pull its head in 😈

  6. Vaughan Little 6

    in related news, I live how that article about the woman who’d had her teeth smacked out for speaking Maori was quickly followed up by one that said she’d been telling porkies. I mean, gee, bar staff, cops, you’re spoiled for choice about sources for corroboration.

    [lprent: Off topic – to OpenMike ]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      The article offers no evidence of the initial cause of the subsequent alleged assaults.

      I ‘like’ how you live it.

    • weka 6.2

      What article and what does that have to do with this post?

    • Brutus Iscariot 6.3

      Two words:

      Video footage.

    • Brutus Iscariot 6.4

      I like how your nuttiness has been exposed along with OAB. Implying a conspiracy between a random Howick bar owner,staff, eyewitnesses, and the Police to cover up a video-recorded assault on an individual of no note, has to be a new high for him.

      No doubt we are about to hear some ridiculous angle about a Government plot to suppress Te Reo and cow its speakers into submission with random bashings.

      • ropata 6.4.1

        You’re putting words in other people’s mouths.
        The original piece with the race angle was debunked, and the verbal evidence is only hearsay.

        with this kind of conclusion-jumping, are you a Herald reporter?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.4.2

        No conspiracy alleged you idiot, just pointing out that words were exchanged before blows: the article offers no evidence of what those words were. Something started it.

        No, before you trip over another witless notion, I’m not condoning violence, nor apportioning blame.

  7. esoteric pineapples 7

    This interesting article relating to the upcoming peace accord between the government and rebels in Colombia discusses how 50 years of conflict has engendered a strong relationship between violence and masculinity that will be difficult to undo – something that applies to other conflicts as well.

    • ropata 7.1

      that seems to be the default when there is no effective government.
      life is cheap, and we revert to a macho tribal “honor” based society.
      people try to find security by association with a “strongman” figure.

  8. katipo 8

    An interesting read…..

    Want to know how to turn $10m in to $520m in less than two years? Just ask Anchorage Capital. The private equity group has pulled off one of the great heists of all time, using all the tricks in the book, to turn Dick Smith from a $10m piece of mutton into a $520m lamb.

  9. alwyn 9

    “Joyce in box seat to become deputy PM ”

    A headline from the Australian newspaper this morning.
    Then I read further and discovered it was about a likely change of leadership in the National Party of Australia (junior partner in the Government) and that they were talking about Barnaby Joyce.
    Everyone may now relax.

    • Ad 9.1

      No Stephen Joyce as Deputy would be as interventionist as Sutch: all kinds of interesting deals would get cut with all kinds of industries.

      Happy free loans would fly out the door to any media organization you liked.
      Legislation would just be some hand-operated printing machine you could tweak at will.
      Mines would be built on whims and new roads built on the smell of whims to service mines, which would of course go bust as fast as something out of The Lorax.
      And we could get rid of all our global warming problems by just exporting all our animals for slaughter to Saudi Arabia.
      With Joyce we’d be back to making televisions in Waihi. …. back in the day …

      • alwyn 9.1.1

        Now you really are trying to give me nightmares.
        Luckily it is the Australian fellow they were talking about, isn’t it?

      • greywarshark 9.1.2

        Sutch shouldn’t be put in the same basket as Joyce. He was looking at how NZ could develop without getting into the straitjackets of TPPA agreements. But we did have to do something and government would need to be up there just as they are now. But Sutch wasn’t picking winners for his personal gain.

    • weka 10.1

      Is that true that they’re allowed to come and go as they please? wtf?

    • greywarshark 10.2

      That rawstory page has somthing for every leftie – all the people you love to hate. As for the ‘militiamen’ they seem upset because someone disagreed with having women and children on the protest site when they were planning a gun battle. What a spoilsport. Then he went and spent some of their money on drink. I think he may have a reasonable excuse after reading their opinions. Why don’t they get dragged off, and ordered to go and get a job which is the usual response to anyone who steps out of the square?

  10. Rosemary McDonald 11

    Black border around this please…

    In her words:
    Below is a selection of quotes from Ida Gaskin, published between 1983 and 2013.

    “I knew people who were in concentration camps. I saw my mother unable to go out because the uppers of her shoes had worn through; she didn’t mind that the soles had worn through; no one could see those.”

    “I remember reading The Tempest. The teacher used to get us to act and I was the drunken butler. I just loved being the drunken butler.”

    “I like young people. My beloved seventh-formers, they are who I miss the most since I gave up teaching.”

    “It’s a duty and a privilege to pay income tax. That’s why I am a Socialist.”

    “I am interested in politics because I am interested in people.”

    On winning Mastermind: “I thought ‘My God, I’ve done it’, and then there was the sense of relief it was over.”

    “I would hate to outlive my mind. I don’t mind the ‘sweet, tormenting body’ thing, but I should hate to outlive my mind.”

    RIP Ida.

  11. acrophobic 12

    Labour and National both use dirty politics. Politics is a filthy game played by grubby people. Or do you think Helen and Heather played by the rules all of the time?

    [lprent: Ok this thread went well off topic and into follish territory. Probably not a deliberate diversion, so to OpenMike. ]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      Clearly you don’t think they did, and yet you again offer nothing but your flaccid borrowed opinion as verification.

      • acrophobic 12.1.1

        Oh I KNOW they did. Politics is dirty. Labour used to be god at it.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Nothing you say has value. If someone credible says it and you agree, their credibility is thereby diminished.

          Perhaps you’re doing your best to validate Hodson & Busseri. Give it up: you lack the competence.

          • acrophobic

            OAB, unbelievable naivety is not very becoming in you.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Your word ain’t worth shit. Either provide evidence of your assertions or have them called for what they are.

              • acrophobic

                2005 election funding. The pledge card specifically. Dirty politics. They used ot be good at it.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  They were the only party who were caught out by the AG’s ruling, eh. No, wait, you’re being selective with your account.

                  I call that lying. What do you call it?

                • acrophobic

                  “They were the only party who were caught out by the AG’s ruling, eh. No, wait, you’re being selective with your account.

                  I call that lying. What do you call it?”

                  There’s nothing selective about it. I’m simply demonstrating that Labour are as bad as National, maybe worse, and by invoking the ‘all in it’ argument you seem to be agreeing with me. Did National rort over $400k in spending? I think not.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    You are demonstrating nothing of the sort. A long term arrangement that all parties had benefited from was ruled illegal, money was repaid.

                    If you think that’s the equivalent of the Prime Minister’s ratfucking operation your moral compass is broken, or perhaps you’re too stupid to do anything but plagiarise other people’s attack lines.

                    Which is it?

                    • acrophobic

                      “A long term arrangement that all parties had benefited from was ruled illegal, money was repaid.”

                      Oh, that’s a beauty. Labour rorted this to the tune of $446,000. They got caught out.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Twist and turn all you like, you alleged willful and deliberate theft, then cited an article that stated the opposite.

                      Why do you tell so many lies?

    • Leftie 12.2

      That false meme of “Labour did it too” doesn’t wash. John key’s dirty politics is in a league of it’s own.

      • acrophobic 12.2.1

        Ah, nah.

        • Sacha

          Feel free to list instances of Labour systematically and covertly working back channels to subvert media coverage – citations/links to sources other than sewerblogs required. And please name their equivalent of Jason Ede.

          • ropata

            acrophobic – under Labour
            – how many news programmes were silenced?
            – how many journalists were raided?
            – how many academics subjected to vicious smears?
            – was there any secret funding equivalent to the Cabinet Club?


            instead we got a herald campaign saying “democracy under attack” for a few weeks in 2008. where was the outcry against National’s “dirty politics” in 2014 ?

            • acrophobic

              “– how many news programmes were silenced?”
              National haven’t closed any new programs, nor, do I recall did Labour.
              (Forgotten Helen Clark’s rant about John Campbell after ‘Corngate’ have we?)

              “– how many journalists were raided?”
              National haven’t raided any journalists, nor, do I recall did Labour.

              “– how many academics subjected to vicious smears?”
              That’s a regular occurrence by both parties.

              “– was there any secret funding equivalent to the Cabinet Club?”
              The Cabinet Club wasn’t ‘secret’. Besides, Labour raise money in all sorts of similar ways. Ever heard of the $1250 paid by supporters at its party conference for time with MPs?

              But here’s the doozy of them all. Labour’s regular and wilful breaking of electoral laws. Remember when Labour stole $840,000, then passed retrospective legislation to prevent a High Court challenge to their thieving?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Of all the things the NZLP can be criticised for, it is telling that the best this plagiarist loser can come up with is other people’s zombie lies.

              • ropata

                TVNZ7, 3D, Campbell Live just mysteriously stopped?
                Mihi Forbes, Nicky Hager, John Campbell, Bradley Ambrose, HDPA are just random victims of circumstance?
                You think it’s BAU to smear academics and ignore their studies?
                National just happens to be always flush with cash (because of their impeccable virtue) while opposition parties barely scrape by?

                I’ll remember this next time you make a comment: that you are an amoral snake with no regard for journalism, democracy, or honest debate.

                • acrophobic

                  re you seriously suggesting that somehow National is able to influence the employment of Mihi Forbes, John Campbell etc etc? You are deluded.

                  National is flush with cash because they are popular. Labour is broke because it is irrelevant.

                  • whateva next?

                    National is flush with cash because they are greedy and have no conscience, simple.

                    • acrophobic

                      That could be true, but they are also immensely popular. Labour are hopeless at fundraising….nah let’s leave it at Labour are hopeless at everything.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Hopeless at everything…except running surpluses. And reducing unemployment. And not paying bribes to Saudi troughers.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Since when is selling ministerial access and acts of parliament “popular”?

                    • acrophobic

                      Since when is raising funds for the public to meet with cabinet ministers any different to raising funds for the public to meet with Labour MP’s?

                    • ropata

                      i am not sure how a few opposition MP’s can offer legislation for hire, but from the Government benches it’s probably quite easy

                  • ropata

                    National is flush because they are no longer a political party (as evidenced by our jokey non-politics PM), they are a PR organisation sponsored by foreign banks, corporations, and oligarchs.

                    • acrophobic

                      Yeah, yeah, keep believing that. Meanwhile, the left gets smaller and smaller and smaller…..

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Since when are ACT “the Left”?

                    • ropata

                      I don’t need to “believe” anything I can just open my eyes and see.

                      Golf with Obama, deals with Warners and SkyCity, bizarre Saudi sheep farms, Oravida, Rio Tinto, Donghua Liu… etc etc etc.

  12. fisiani 13

    Labour cannot keep dropping support surely?
    Think again

    Does that graph engender hope or instead point to increasing irrelevancy?

    • ropata 13.1

      does your comment enlighten, or is it typical RWNJ snark?

      Perhaps NZ has seen a few demographic changes over the 100 years since Labour was formed. A century of progressive reform is something to be proud of. It has made NZ a better place to live for 4 generations.

      Does your side have anything to boast about? A grinning clown for a PM perhaps? Yeah he’s good for a laugh I suppose, but deep down we all cringe whenever the idiot opens his mouth.

      • fisiani 13.1.1

        The graph shows what looks like a terminal and inevitable decline in Labour polling. If it continues on then Labour could poll say 30% in 2017 and then 22% in 2020. 25% in 2023 and 18% in 2026. 21% in 2029 and 14% in 2032. Labour were relevant in a cloth cap society as they could address the interests of the working populace. Now they are just a collection of fringe interest activists, trade union functionaries and insipid bench warmers. Rehashing policies from the 1970’s will not work. Cheering on the SAS in Syria might be popular for a while. Face the evidence. This century will be centre-right.

        • ropata

          your “evidence” is a bunch of wild extrapolation.

          existing “centre” right politics lead to financial crises and destruction of the middle class. if the current trajectory continues the top 10-20% will vacuum up too much of the wealth and then things will turn ugly.

          the 21st century will experience a slow and painful decay of the entire western empire as debt rises unsustainably and energy crises cause increasing shockwaves to the global economy.

          are you happy to follow the neoliberal lies to the very end?

  13. Olwyn 14

    This is unbelievable! Apparently schoolkids are to get to vote in the flag referendum.

    Desperate measures – the teachers whose classes make the “wrong” choice will no doubt be duly noted.

    • Anne 14.1

      Ever since it became clear in the weeks leading up to Xmas that the current flag was likely to be retained in March, I’ve been wondering what dirty trick Key and co. would get up to in order to get their National Party coloured flag over the line.

    • acrophobic 14.2

      Did you actually read the article? No, didn’t think so.

      “Students can choose between the preferred alternative flag from the first referendum and the current New Zealand flag, and compare their results with the results of the real referendum.”

      This is in the very first paragraph!

      • Olwyn 14.2.1

        OK – I concede I was a bit quick. But I still wonder if the flag project teaching units will press teachers toward showing support for a flag change. Key’s government does tend to put its finger on the scales.

  14. Penny Bright 15

    Has the SYRIAN Government – led by President Assad – asked the New Zealand Government to assist in fighting ISIL in Syria?

    If not – New Zealand should BUTT OUT, in my considered opinion.

    Syria is a sovereign Nation State.

    End of story.

    For those who are interested in the International ‘Rule of Law’ aspects of this matter – you may find the following VERY interesting?

    “If there was any lingering doubt about the illegality of coalition activities in Syria, the Syrian government put these to rest in September, in two letters to the UNSC that denounced foreign airstrikes as unlawful:

    “If any State invokes the excuse of counter-terrorism in order to be present on Syrian territory without the consent of the Syrian Government whether on the country’s land or in its airspace or territorial waters, its action shall be considered a violation of Syrian sovereignty.”

    Yet still, upon the adoption of UNSC Resolution 2249 last Friday, US Deputy Representative to the United Nations Michele Sison insisted that “in accordance with the UN Charter and its recognition of the inherent right of individual and collective self-defense,” the US would use “necessary and proportionate military action” in Syria.

    The website for the European Journal of International Law (EJIL) promptly pointed out the obvious:

    “The resolution is worded so as to suggest there is Security Council support for the use of force against IS. However, though the resolution, and the unanimity with which it was adopted, might confer a degree of legitimacy on actions against IS, the resolution does not actually authorize any actions against IS, nor does it provide a legal basis for the use of force against IS either in Syria or in Iraq.”

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

  15. Draco T Bastard 16

    New Jersey high schooler accused of violating bullying laws for making anti-Israel tweets

    When Koval was called down to the principal’s office, she began documenting the situation on Twitter.

    “I’m about to be exposed for being anti-Israel. Pray for me,” she tweeted.

    A few minutes later, she tweeted that the administrator threatened to “file a bullying case” against her.

    “It’s against state law to express unpopular political views on the Internet, now.”

    Yeah, I don’t think that there’s anything I can add to that.

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