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Open mike 08/04/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 8th, 2016 - 72 comments
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72 comments on “Open mike 08/04/2016 ”

  1. Murray Simmonds 1

    From RNZ news:

    “MPs have been given just five days to consider hundreds of submissions on the controversial TPP trade deal after the timeframe was drastically cut from four weeks.

    The select committee was originally give a month to write its report and present it back to Parliament. Opposition MPs were furious at the sudden change and they called it an attack on democracy.”


    Either the Government has just woken up to the fact that Global Financial Crisis 2 is just around the corner and is in PANIC MODE . . .

    or its intended to provide a distraction from the Panama Papers and NZ’s status as a tax haven.

    Or both.

    I can’t see any other reason for shortening the time-frame for TPP submissions.

    • Paul 1.1

      They don’t care for people’s opinions?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      IMO, They realised that all of the submissions were going to be against the TPPA and so they decided that they weren’t going to bother to read them as they were simply going to ignore them anyway.

      And, yes, GFC2 isn’t far away and they know that as well. When it hits it’s going to highlight, yet again, just how badly modern capitalism and ‘free’ markets fail.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        Both major parties in Parliament have committed to keeping the TPP regardless of public opinion.

        So why waste time on consultation theatre?

        That’s the state of our “democracy” for you.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 1.3

      [email protected] Murray Simmonds. I listened to some submissions yesterday in which
      there were good practical solutions to some of the obvious shortcomings about the TPP. Chairman Mark Mitchell is just acting as timekeeper. I was appalled to hear him suggest that a submitter was “anti-trade” after a submission had been made pointing out some serious omissions in the TPP text.
      These submission should have been listened to BEFORE the document was signed. The whole process is a farce, the outcome of the select committee process has been predetermined. Key is shoving this through as quickly as possible because the public are waking up. The small protest group outside the venue for submissions were receiving a massive number of car toots. Their support is appreciated. These people are not rent-a-mob, they are committed activists.

    • Penny Bright 2.1

      Will UK Prime Minister David Cameron be the next to resign?


      ” …After three days of stalling and four partial statements issued by Downing Street he confessed that he owned shares in the tax haven fund, which he sold for £31,500 just before becoming prime minister in 2010.

      In a specially arranged interview with ITV News’ Robert Peston he confirmed a direct link to his father’s UK-tax avoiding fund, details of which were exposed in the Panama Papers revelations in the Guardian this week.

      Admitting it had been “a difficult few days”, the prime minister said he held the shares together with his wife, Samantha, from 1997 and during his time as leader of the opposition. They were sold in January 2010 for a profit of £19,000.

      He paid income tax on the dividends but there was no capital gains tax payable and he said he sold up before entering Downing Street “because I didn’t want anyone to say you have other agendas or vested interests”.

      But the interview appeared unlikely to end scrutiny of Cameron’s tax affairs.

      The Labour MP John Mann, a member of the Treasury select committee, said the prime minister should resign, claiming that Cameron had “covered up and misled”.

      Cameron also admitted he did not know whether the £300,000 he inherited from his father had benefited from tax haven status due to part of his estate being based in a unit trust in Jersey.

      Penny Bright
      2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

      • Wayne 2.1.1

        Smacks of sins of the father being visited upon the children.

        The PM can hardly be held to account for the fact that his father operated Jersey and other funds. What his father did in his business life, is what he did, not what the PM has done.

        If the only direct involvement is the investment that PM sold in 2010, he will not be in any difficulty.

        It is a bit hard to ping him for the inheritance which relates, it seems, to his fathers actions.

        It is very different situation to the Iceland PM, who effectively effectively bet against the very banks he was bailing out.

        • ScottGN

          As usual though it’s not the crime so much as the cover-up that gets you. Downing Street has totally fucked this up and now they are panicking.

        • Anne

          Agree with Wayne. As someone who was once directly affected by the sins of her father (although in his case it was wrongful suspicion based on insufficient facts), I have empathy for any person – no matter who they are – who finds themselves in such a situation. If his only involvement was to sell the investment in question, then I can’t see how he can be made accountable for his father’s actions.

          • ScottGN

            He’s not being made accountable for his father’s actions, he’s been held to account for benefitting from his father’s actions and then subsequently misleading the British public about that.

        • Penny Bright

          Will David Cameron have to resign following the revelations
          of the Panama Papers?

          More news on this from The Independent……


          On whether Mr Cameron should resign, Mr Watson told Sky News: “I think it’s too early to tell. He may have to resign over this but I think we need to know a lot more about what his financial arrangements have been, why it’s taken three days for him to answer legitimate questions from journalists, why he didn’t come clean when he heralded in the new age of transparency, and what other shareholdings does David Cameron have or has had since he was a Member of Parliament.”

          It was not too early for John Mann, a Labour MP and member of the Treasury Select Committee, who said the Prime Minister should quit. He wrote on his Twitter account: “Cameron has been less than honest. He should resign immediately. Most decent people would expect nothing less.

          “So during the 2010 general election campaign Cameron failed to declare offshore shares. Get out now hypocrite. Cameron has had six years to be honest with Parliament and the people. He failed to do so. Get out now hypocrite…Cameron issue is simple. He covered up and misled. How he got his shares is irrelevant. He has no choice but to resign.”

          Mr Cameron also faced questions after it emerged he personally intervened to try to prevent EU transparency rules affecting offshore tax trusts.

          The Prime Minister was forced to respond after it emerged that he sent a letter to the European Council president Herman van Rompuy in 2013 arguing for trusts to be treated differently from companies in anti-money laundering rules.

          …. ”

          Penny Bright

          2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

          • Wayne

            But Cameron actually sold his interest in 2010, so did he in fact have anything to declare?

            It seems pretty unlikely to me that he will have to resign, it takes rather more than an Opposition MP calling for the PM’s head for that to happen.

            Taking three days to clarify something is almost never an issue. Helen Clark always took her time, and generally that is how it works. Although Watson asks the question about whether there are other undisclosed shareholdings, that is simply an assertion.

            Cameron would know that he has one shot at disclosure, so it seems pretty unlikely there are other financial skeletons in his cupboard.

            If there are , then he really would be in trouble.

        • One Two

          David Cameron has the blood of millions of human beings on his hands, as well as the misery and poverty of tens of millions more

          Cameron has his own sins to pay for, and how payback returns to him will not make a blind bit of difference to those he has killed, maimed and impoverished

        • Sabine

          well, as this lady here says, he is not responsible for the sins of his father, but neither are the children of those he deems to be lazy unemployed, disabled, sick and otherwise undeserving of government help.


          Quote: So David Cameron’s dad didn’t pay his fair share of taxes. The sins of Cameron’s dad are not his fault. True, but the Government are no strangers to damning the children of people who they think aren’t doing their bit for society. Barnardo’s, the Child Poverty Action Group and many others have all said that the Conservative Welfare and Work Bill will make poor children poorer. Policies such as only paying tax credits to the first two children in a family directly penalise children for the decisions of their parents. So in Tory Britain poor kids are paying the price for the actions of their parents but David Cameron doesn’t have to?

          The Tories want taxpayers to hate people on benefits and be annoyed that we are paying for their lifestyle, I think it was IDS referred to as, “a direction which divides society”. To use the words of the Prime Minister, ‘let me be clear’: The sins of Daddy Cameron were not illegal but they are utterly disgusting. They are worse than the sins of fathers up and down the country who can’t find work, even the most feckless amongst them.

          People who don’t pay their taxes are robbing from us all. The Camerons may well have forked out for education and health services, but it was my money that trained the doctors, nurses and teachers they used. Without the taxpayer the posh who jump the queue would just be sitting in a rather nicely decorated room without the staff to actually deliver the service. Every time Cameron Snr drove his car on a public highway, every time he could see on the street because of a streetlight, every day when there was a pavement outside his house and a regular bin collection, he took money from you, the nation’s honest taxpayers, without seeing fit to put his hand in his pocket. And while the Camerons had a bob or two I doubt very much they funded their own private police force and army. I mean the Eton set are a bit old fashioned but think the acts of livery and maintenance is a step to far even for them. So they got the security we all enjoy but it was you footing the bill, not daddy darling.

          What makes it worse is that they got the best of everything while you paid the tab. They reaped the benefits of your hard toil, and because they had money to spare they got the best education, smaller class sizes, better service. Their kids got privilege that you paid for but never benefited from.

          So David Cameron doesn’t need our praise for paying his tax. He’s not a very clever boy, he’s a very average boy who used privilege rather than brains to get where he got. Perhaps we could all buy our babies a better life if only we weren’t burdened with being decent human beings.Quote End.


          and this applies very well here in NZ too. AS here too the children of the poor are paying the bill for the country that does not care and is happy to not pay taxes if they can avoid them.

    • Rosie 2.2

      “Is David Cameron fucked?” With any luck. He should follow Iceland’s example and resign. Now the people of Iceland are protesting again and calling for a snap election. Hopefully the international escalation of public outrage might eventually rub off on our “whatev’s” PM.

      He is BOUND to be hiding something, aside from the fact he literally shrugs off such morally corrupt behaviour.

      • Puckish Rogue 2.2.1

        He is BOUND to be hiding something, aside from the fact he literally shrugs off such morally corrupt behaviour

        – Well that’s good enough for me, hes definitely guilty of something then

        • Rosie

          He’s guilty of plenty of things. Not telling the truth is one of them.

          He’s the bloody south Pacific version of Silvio Berlusconi for gawds sake. And he gets things mixed up on purpose all the time, you know, like thinking assaulting a woman is “horse play”. That kind of thing. So what makes you think his word can be trusted?

          On Planet Key, advice given by lawyers and accountants to their clients on tax avoidance is a good thing because it netted $24 million for those companies. On Planet Normal People that would be considered morally corrupt. If Key has been using offshore tax free trusts (and I’m not accusing him of that, it’s a hypothetical suggestion) I would expect him to come up with some sort of Father Ted “It was just resting in my account” excuse and you’d believe it.

  2. Jenny 3

    April 7, 2016

    “They need harsher penalties for people like that who put greed and money over human life.”

    TOMMY DAVIS, who lost his brother and son and his nephew in the UBB coal mine disaster.

    Disgraced coal baron Don Blankenship received the maximum possible sentence Wednesday for his misdemeanor conspiracy conviction, in a criminal case spurred by the Upper Big Branch disaster that killed 29 coal miners in West Virginia in 2009

    Blankenship was acquitted in December of three felony charges over his direct personal responsibility for those deaths. But he was convicted on conspiracy to violate federal mining safety standards. And yesterday, federal judge handed down a sentence of one year in prison, plus a year of probation and a fine of $250,000 for Blankenship’s crimes.


    2009, Twenty nine coal miners killed at the Upper Big Branch Coal mine in 2009 due to safety lapses.

    2010, Twenty nine coal miners killed at the Pike River coal mine due to safety lapses.

    Two eerily similar disasters, two very different outcomes for those responsible.

    Why are managers and politicians prepared to take such risks with other peoples lives?

    As well as greed, Don Blankenship shares something else in common with John Key, who’s government weakened mining safety regulations before the Pike River disaster, in particular banning worker chosen, check inspectors.

    Blankenship had briefly tried to re-insert himself into the debate over energy policy briefly after his indictment, remaining among the ranks of climate-deniers. “Record low temperatures are freezing the Global Warming movement,” one of his most recent tweets, from November 2014, reads. “Hope @BarackObama notices that Climate Science is not settled.”


    “I’ve seen a lot of leaders get up and say that this is potentially the biggest threat to mankind. Well that may be true, but my point really would be it’s not going to get there.”

    Newstalk ZB, Wednesday, 16 December 2015, 10:00AM


  3. Murray Simmonds 4

    Winston Peters in reply to the Speaker of the House challenging him regarding his question-asking technique:

    “Ive been in the House longer than you, and I know how to ask a question.”

    Brilliant reply!

    It may have got him thrown out of the House for the second day in a row, but Peters definitely won this spat by retaining the moral high ground.

    That man is quite often worth his weight in Gold-Cards.

  4. Paul 5

    RNZ 7 a.m. news headlines

    It’s official.
    RNZ thinks Health and Safety issues at a private school’s drama production is more important than the Panama Papers.

    • odysseus 5.1

      And is it just me, but we seem to be getting more and more bloody sports news on this RNZ bulletin? Idle curiosity an’ all.

    • TC 5.2

      That is no surprise really in the nat controlled RNZ.

      Watch them bring in some experts like hoots, dave etc (maybe brash even) to explain theres nothing really to see and its not shonkys fault anyway, happens all the time, we just did as told etc etc

      Watch how the deep pockets influence behind this govts and its sellout agenda plays out

    • greywarshark 5.3

      Don’t too hard on RadioNZ They will follow up the Panama Papers but it’s not new news. Now if they could give us less news about Trump, and all the other card-playing USA politicians – ‘Every move you make, every breath you take, I’ll be watching you’. (Which is actually sung by the Police, the band so aptly named for that song.) It is a sort of advertising for the USA Empah!

  5. Incognito 6

    Brian Fallow: When work isn’t working. A good read on UBI, CGT, etc.

  6. Logie97 7

    Remember this interview with John key in 2008

    Key: “I just followed what was in my diary”

  7. greywarshark 8

    Budding journalist, researcher, fact magician (secret or unseen rabbits pulled out of hats before your wondering eyes), then take note, an award might come to you to help with your exertions.

    Bruce Jesson Awards – http://www.brucejesson.com/
    The grants are unique in New Zealand because they fund time and research costs of up to $4000 in advance.

    Applications for the 2016 grants and student journalism prizes are now open, and close on Friday 9 September….
    Applications and nominations can be submitted online through the Jesson website or by mail.
    Grant applicants should submit an outline of their proposed project and explain how it meets the criteria set out the Jesson website http://www.brucejesson.com.
    It is usual to submit references and/or examples of previous work, and a budget for the project.

    The separate Emerging Journalism Prize for student journalists offers $1000 for “outstanding recent work by New Zealand print journalism students.” It is nominated by the heads of New Zealand journalism schools or journalism programme leaders for work by student journalists published between the closing date of last year’s award, 18 Sept 2015, and this year’s closing date 9 Sept 2016.

    Entries for both awards will be assessed by members of the Bruce Jesson Foundation’s Journalism Sub-committee: Simon Collins (convenor), Joe Atkinson, Bryan Bruce, Geoff Kemp and Nicola Legat. The committee’s convenor may be contacted here.

  8. For those of you interested to learn more about the work of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 truth here is week 1 of their 4 week webinar program.

  9. ianmac 10

    Remember the publicity when Mt Puna was arrested at the airport for Student Loan overdue? Thanks No Right Turn:
    “Mr Puna lives and works in the Cook Islands. The Cook Islands along with Niue and Tokelau are dependent territories. This means that those who are citizens of these countries are also citizens of New Zealand, and that MrPuna was never an overseas based borrower to start with.

    IRD have belatedly acknowledged this – his alleged $120,000 loan was reduced to $30,000, now further less the $5000 he was forced to borrow from his family in order to be released from his imprisonment at the airport.”……

  10. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 11

    Anyone yet found that mention you all assumed Key would have in the Panama Papers?

    Keep me informed, will you?

    • maui 11.1

      Oh well, might just be a slow burner instead.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 11.1.1

        So long as we’re all clear that he’s definitely involved.

        I will check back periodically for news.

        • Bill

          Mossack Fonseca isn’t the only firm involved in this kind of shit. There are at least three other, larger firms, that have their client data in tact.

          I’d be very surprised if John Key doesn’t have something squirreled away by one of them….very surprised. He’s worth, what? 50 million? And banging money away in off-shore accounts is just normal, everyday stuff for peeps with that sort of money.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

            And banging money away in off-shore accounts is just normal, everyday stuff for peeps with that sort of money.

            Got a link for that? Or is this pronouncement as a consequence of personal experience?

            • McFlock

              here you go

              • BM

                I just had a look, haven’t been that interested

                Just have to say, what the fuck are the left going on about NZ being this massive tax haven?
                Christ, we’re not even in the top 10, which makes us less of a tax haven than the UK! and going by the graph shown the UK barely even rates.


                Starting to seriously smell like KDS.

                • maui

                  Obviously didn’t look at the graph further down the page, where NZ is listed as one of the 21 countries Mossack-Fonseca uses “for tax purposes”.

                • BM

                  New Zealand appears once on that page.

                  I’m assuming you’re talking about the graph with the title

                  From the Caribbean to the Pacific: tax havens used by Mossack Fonseca

                  Other countries and states on that graph are

                  BRITISH ANGUILLA
                  BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS
                  COSTA RICA
                  HONG KONG
                  ISLE OF MAN
                  NEW ZEALAND
                  RAS AL KHAIMAH
                  UNITED KINGDOM

                  According to that graph we are so small in the scale of tax havens they didn’t even bother plotting us on the graph!

                  KDS rides again !

                • McFlock

                  Not in the top ten out of 200-odd countries?

                  You tories have a low threshold for acceptable standards. But then we already knew that – especially Northlanders and Southlanders…

      • Chooky 11.1.2

        yes Panama Papers have not been revealed yet…only a tiny select titivating skewed selection thus far…here is to hoping someone is sweating

        ‘Panama Papers: WikiLeaks’ Kristinn Hrafnsson calls for data leak to be released in full’


        • logie97

          UK’s Cameron has made statements to the effect that he disposed of his shareholdings prior to his becoming PM in order to avoid any accusations of “conflicts of interest”. Key apparently simply created a Blind Trust in which to move all of his investment portfolios to remove any suspicions.

          Trusts … mmmmm.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Key apparently simply created a Blind Trust in which to move all of his investment portfolios to remove any suspicions.

            And yet he still knew that he owned shares in a winery despite the fact that those shares were, IIRC, held by the ‘blind’ trust.

    • adam 11.2

      Spin spin spin, I love how you fishing for the new spin. Here it is folks.

      The National Party shortly after coming into office tweaked the laws, created a de-facto tax haven for criminals, and people who think it is sport to avoid tax.

  11. Descendant Of Sssmith 12

    Aye giving land back to the people. Hopefully next they’ll give copyright back to the people as well.


    The package of changes, contained in the 2015 Land Reform Bill, defines land as a finite resource that must be protected in law for the common good and in the public interest.

    The third stage of a detailed, 10 part Bill passed in March and paves the way for a new Land Register to ensure greater transparency of land ownership and improvements to community rights to roam common land.

  12. Reddelusion 13

    Strangly very little comment on this site on Government proposed changes to CYFS, general feedback across the board has been very positive, It is an unusual policy for a Proto fascist government that is just there for the rich, what next passing on the first benefit increases in 20 years, raising the minimum wage, who would think ?

    • McFlock 13.1

      The sales brochure sounds good, but I think many people are waiting to see how this crowd fuck it up.

      Probably by letting the new central organisation privatise shit. Was trying to find some home help support for an acquaintance with a chronic condition, got referred to an office at the other end of the country because that was who won the DHB contract 🙄

    • ianmac 13.2

      I think the funds are to be taken from other agencies. According to Tolley on Radio National yesterday. Robbing Peter to…

      • McFlock 13.2.1

        well, if the money from the other agencies was only for children, and the new single agency gets all that money, and it’s sufficient for the job, and if the single agency closes all the cracks that currently exist between different organisation without creating new cracks when it contracts for services, then it might be better for the kids.

        That’s a lot of “if”s ‘twixt Tolley and triumph, however…

  13. Reddelusion 14

    Ok until otherwise you agree it’s a good policy, that’s a start

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 14.1

      Waiting for National to say the special dividends from the Kiwibank sale will fund it.

      Politically that would be as funny as the benefit increases.

      (It would still be theft of money that government shouldn’t be touching but it would be funny.)

  14. Reddelusion 15

    Strange again the kiwi bank idea came from a legend of the left, just irony after irony in our little south pacific proto fascist state for the rich Also sort of struggling how government prioritising between its own capital and expenditure is theft, if it does as you say and use special dividend to support social services (oops not another Proto fascist state contradiction)

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      Strange again the kiwi bank idea came from a legend of the left

      Got any proof of that?

      Cullen may have announced but where did the idea come from?

      • Reddelusion 15.1.1

        He admitted as such on Paul henry this week, plainly ask who idea was it, he quite proudly said it was his

        • Draco T Bastard

          Well then, Cullen just went down in my estimation and it wasn’t that high to begin with.

          • Reddelusion

            Fair enough

            • logie97

              From memory, and it is proving to be less reliable these days, Jim Anderton dragged Cullen kicking and screaming to fall in behind the creating of KiwiBank in the first place. So it would not be a surprise to see him working with the asset sale brigade…

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 15.2

      I can’t see any irony at all.

      “A number of historians regard fascism either as a revolutionary centrist doctrine, as a doctrine that mixes philosophies of the left and the right, or as both those things. Fascism was founded during World War I by Italian national syndicalists who drew upon left-wing and right-wing political views.”

      “Some scholars consider fascism to be right-wing because of its social conservatism and authoritarian means of opposing egalitarianism”

      Not sure why you would suggest such a thing.

      You do get that when I call national fascist it’s colloquial rather than literal and to counter balance the left being referred to so often as communists (when most are far from communists).

      There are of course fascist approaches within the National Party that make such colloquialism appropriate:

      1. The spying on it’s own citizens and the increase of surveillance powers
      2. The use of nothing to fear, nothing to hide as a justification
      3. A strong emphasis on nationalism
      4. The notion that an election gives me the leader mandate to do whatever the fuck I want
      5. The links between the elite and the party – from fundraising, to law changes, to the taking over of elected bodies
      6. The attacks on notions of egalitarianism and the promotion of individualism
      7. The demeaning of the poor as undeserving and responsible for their own misfortune and the racism that this exudes both in political aspects and in the general populace.
      8. The promotion of work for the disabled and the ill as the means to salvation.

      Also sort of struggling how government prioritising between its own capital and expenditure is theft.

      Cause neither the ACC money nor the pension money is theres to expend in that way.

      • Reddelusion 15.2.1

        Understanf your points but I suggest most governments would be considered facist based on your criteria, ie you could apply to any government and find some evidence of such? I think degrees is important here, calling national facist is absurd where the benchmark is Mussolini Italy and Nazi Germany

        Re your last point the ACC and Superfund have simply traded one asset for another, while nzpost has traded and asset for cash and are paying a special dividend to thier shareholder, I can’t see the problem if all parties see the deal as a win win of which they obviously do based on thier respective strategic direction

  15. Reddelusion 16

    More from this is a strange week file

    why is a Proto fascist right wing government for the rich promoting a true ( and deserved) legend of the left and a feminist to boot as head of the UN

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