Open Mike 08/07/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 8th, 2017 - 209 comments
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209 comments on “Open Mike 08/07/2017”

  1. Ant 1

    Two kinds of poverty plague our schools; one readily observed via images of the students’ home refrigerators towards the close of a week; the second, poverty of self-belief leading to our high suicide rates, depression and bullying. A fertile field for its manifestation is the classroom where the bold extroverts, richly endowed with ego, raise their hand and offer answers with confidence day in and day out at the expense of the shy and the hesitant.

    As in the monetary world the rich in spirit get richer. Each bold and happy answer is reinforced through positive teacher feedback, encouraging in turn ongoing vocal participation. Such students rise in stature, not only through the bolstering of esteem, but also in the eyes of their peers.

    Though numbering perhaps 5 – 10 in a class of 30 their influence spreads to give an overall impression of buzz, participation, progress – warmly acclaimed by ERO as “lively atmosphere conducive to learning”. These kids enter life qualified with excellence in a subject for which there is no tick-box on the record of learning: confidence and self belief. Our school system serves them well.

    Of course there are quiet learners who excel and attain. There are many more who could attain given genuine educational nourishment, but in a class of large numbers there’s just not enough sustenance to go round. The demands of the formal curriculum, pressure of the upcoming assessment, anticipation of ERO’s next visit, the inevitable demands of unruly students and the clamour of the happy extroverts bent on voicing their progress all sap the time and energy of the teacher. And there’s only ONE of them!

    With numbers around 20 (as I experienced occasionally) a whole new world of possibility opens up. There is the opportunity to allow a hesitant student TIME to formulate an answer, to consider it in the light of an earlier contribution from another and to show how both ideas are relevant and valued. Through regular feedback the less confident come to believe they COUNT and the bold begin to note ‘hey, there are others here who know what’s going on.’ The class takes on an identity of its own, greater than a collection of individuals some of whom tend to dominate input. In short the class dynamic becomes a team with all individuals valued for their particular roles.

    “Students who are happy and engaged at school are much more likely to be learning, achieving and better equipped for life after school.” (ERO) But now we are investigating (TV 3 Project, Thursday) whether its weak teachers that are failing to get them “happy and engaged.”

    And National’s research indicates class side does not affect grades. After all grades are the currency, not rates of depression, obesity and suicide.

    • Cinny 1.1

      Ant, I’ve been asking a number of teachers lately how they feel about the education system, all of them believe it is failing kids, and this is why.

      So much effort is being placed on National Standards for reading, writing and maths, some kids will never reach national standards, and if they are no good at reading, writing or maths at primary level then the whole system is loaded against them.

      Teachers are saying that kids are unable to learn, grow and explore if the curriculum is so driven on those 3 subjects. They are unable to find something they are really good at doing, and thereby giving them a sense of accomplishment and the ability to feel good about themselves, which leads to depression, bullying, being withdrawn and in some cases taking their own lives.

      For example a child may be really interested in building and creating, if a child is interested in something, everything else follows. Kids need to feel good about themselves, and if that isn’t happening at home, and they are not able to feel good about the 3 subjects that the education system are hell bent on pushing, one can only imagine the sense of failure going on inside of them.

      Teachers are also sick of the government implementing education systems in NZ that have failed overseas.

      Teachers are crying out for change, and with kids killing themselves is it any wonder.

      • BM 1.1.1

        Biggest pile of bull shit ever.

        If kids can’t read write and do basic maths they’re pretty much stuffed for life.

        Any teachers who let children get through primary without the basics need to be kicked out of the teaching profession, they’re the ones responsible, not the government of the day.

        • Ed

          Troll wakes up, starts typing hate speech….

          • james

            Ed – the man who has to call everyone Troll who he disagrees with.

            Truth is – if you cannot read and write or do basic math – your options in life are very limited.

            Its not hate speech saying that they should be fired if they are not ensuring the very basics are provided to the kids they are trusted to learn.

            There are good teachers and poor teachers. Unfortunately a poor teacher can ruin a kids future prospects. They should be fired.

            • Draco T Bastard

              And more BS from an ignorant RWNJ.

              There are poor teachers but they’re a small minority and it would probably be better and cheaper for the country if we just increased their training and support so that they become excellent teachers.

            • stigie

              “They should be fired.”

              Can’t do that James, they hide behind the teachers union so the poor teacher has a job for life !

              • Draco T Bastard

                more BS from another ignorant RWNJ

                If a teacher is that bad the union will help get rid of them.

                Thing is, I doubt if any of our teachers are that bad and some remedial training and support will do wonders for them and the schools that they work at.

                And doing that will be far cheaper than the RWNJ solution of privatisation that always makes things worse.

          • greywarshark

            You’re right, our trollers must wake up joyfully, with TS to fill their day ahead, giving them something to do with their narrow boneheads and idle minds.

            Another day of delightful trolling for people who don’t care, can’t be bothered to care (about others’ concerns and welfare). Their cleverness shows in ability to wind the handle for the hurdy-gurdy and play the monkey capering around at the same time.

            • Ed

              They really hate being called up on it too.

              • greywarshark

                The music is a bit jerky and repetitive IMO.

              • Siobhan

                It is quite possible they went through an education system that taught them to read and write, but, unfortunately lacked in all other areas.
                As such they are the victims of the very thing we are bemoaning and, in fact, deserve our sympathy rather than criticism.

        • riffer

          I will agree with you that the three R’s are important. You’re failing to understand that the education system is ALL about the three R’s – and nothing else.

          Combine that with too much competitive atmosphere due to too many kids in the class (much like too many players in a market) and the failure rate increases. If we only concentrate on the winners in a skewed market we run the risk of being overwhelmed by the losers.

          Oh hang on – that describes many an aspect of modern society doesn’t it? I see a pattern…

          • JanM

            Children who struggle with the ‘three Rs’ often learn best when they are able to approach them through an interest or ability. Cinny mentioned building – just think about all the maths and literacy skills required for building

            • james

              Yep – but they still have to be able to read, write and do math. Else they dont end up a builder – they end up the guy pushing a wheelbarrow for the rest of their lives.

              • BM

                Or spending most of their lives in prison.

                • Ed


                  ‘In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion,often for the troll’s amusement.


                  • BM

                    Fuck off, Paul, you don’t get to decide who’s a troll and who isn’t.

                    If anyone’s ticking the troll box it’s you with your endless spam.

                    For a guy that got banned for three years, you’re really demonstrating an utter lack of awareness as to why you got kicked off last time.

                    • mauī

                      Its Ed, can you read?

                    • BM

                      Yeah, it’s Ed, Pauls identical brother. 🙄

                    • Wait, BM. Paul was an inveterate poster of vegan propaganda whenever there was a thread about climate change, whereas Ed… oh, I see. As you were.

                    • mauī

                      Exactly completely different and I believe its a breach to identify users.

                    • greywarshark

                      Two questions. Who is Paul? And why do you have entitlement to attack those who speak against the corroding drips from people like yourself? These interfere with the ability to have discussions leading to better understanding of problems and possible future effective policy.

                    • In Vino

                      I sense hypocrisy here, BM. You claim to be concerned about education, but hate teacher unions. Here is an inconvenient truth for you. Teachers get to know and really care about other people’s children. Right wingers like you don’t. Teachers therefore tend towards egalitarianism, which you find evil (leftie)..
                      What are the odds that you sent your own kids to a private school, BM, and by not supporting the state education system, left the other kids to sink? You may retort that all other parents ought to do the same, but the fact is that you are callously abandoning the children of the poor. I see you as a shallow, selfish ratbag.

                  • Andre


                    “Usenet convention defines spamming as excessive multiple posting, that is, the repeated posting of a message (or substantially similar messages). The prevalence of Usenet spam led to the development of the Breidbart Index as an objective measure of a message’s “spamminess”.”


                  • Enough is Enough


                    Disagreeing with your argument is not “inflamatory” unless of course you are very thin skinned.

                    It is you who destroys every thread with your mad “troll” rantings, everytime someone says something you disagree with.

                  • weka

                    BM said,

                    “For a guy that got banned for three years, you’re really demonstrating an utter lack of awareness as to why you got kicked off last time.”

                    Ed, it’s getting close to when I’ll say something in the back end about this. I’d suggest figuring out how you want to be here pretty quick. You know what the issues are.

                    • greywarshark

                      Can’t understand why BM’s pronouncements are wise saws weka.
                      Trolls regularly cut people off at the knees without adding much and yet some seem to think they have some manipulation effect.

                • Molly

                  A better indication of that is the damage done to hearing due to hearing impairments. A study done in NZ back in the 90’s indicated more than 50% of prisoners had hearing impairments. Many a result of undiagnosed glue ear. Which would obviously have impacted on learning ability as well.

                  (Can’t link to the study, was one I read back at the time, but Google has few)

              • JanM

                You know I really struggle to decide whether you are being obtuse or challenged when you continually respond to comments in ways that show that either you do not understand what they’ve said or you are deliberately undermining the conversation

                • Ed

                  He’s just being an internet troll.
                  Personally, I wish these troglodytes were banned so we could discuss topics without their intervention.

                • BM

                  Those type of kids do very well in the charter school environment, shame Labour is willing to throw them back on the garbage heap just to appease the teacher unions.

                  • Ed

                    And that comment is not trolling?

                    • BM

                      State schools work very well for the vast majority of kids, but there is a small group where it just doesn’t work, might be the teaching methods, might be the environment.

                      That’s where charter schools fit in.

                    • Ed

                      The language you employed was clearly intended to get a reaction.
                      It was trolling.
                      And you know it.

                    • Molly

                      For BM.

                      Your comments re charter schools shows a decided lack of knowledge. On a level of four legs good, two legs bad.

                      Charter schools are privatisation by stealth. And we should ensure that every child attending a state school gets what they need in order to learn.

                      That means, making sure that we have a society where they have a healthy, warm home to live in, food to eat and then attend a school where additional assistance is fully funded from central govenment – not operational budgets.

                      Charter schools are not the magical answer.

                      A change in priorities is.

                    • red-blooded

                      Ed, I very seldom agree with BM, but not everything he/she says is trolling. Yes, BM’s trying to provoke disagreement, but he/she isn’t using personal attacks or swerving off the topic under discussion. If anything, you seem to be the one doing this, with the repeated replies about trolling.

                      As for the “do very well in the charter school environment” bs, you need to dig a lot deeper than that, BM. These kids may well do better in smaller classes, often exploring the curriculum through a practical lens, but guess what? State schools can provide these learning environments if they’re given the resources, and plenty of them do even under the funding constraints that they currently deal with.

                      BTW, our schools are not a “garbage heap”. When was the last time you were in a school?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    No they don’t as the real world has shown.

                  • Molly

                    Charter schools don’t have to meet the National Standards if they don’t want to. And receive greater funding.

                    You have identified a couple of the major issues that get in the way of good educational environments.

                  • millsy

                    And handing them over to God-freaks and corporates is going to solve everything.

                    You do realise that if charter schools are allowed to flourish, evolution will be effectively purged from the school curriculum,

                    • james


                      Thats not very polite to rubbish other peoples views like that.

                    • james

                      Gee really??? – lets look at what a certian Labour MP to be (if there are enough votes ) says about charter (partnership) schools:


                      Now remember kids – vote for labour you are voting for a man with views like this – do you really want someone like him in power?

                    • Molly

                      For james:

                      It is understandable that many people see benefits in charter schools, especially when they can see an opportunity to provide assistance and/or support to those who don’t fit the mainstream.

                      Charter schools act as a divide and conquer in this respect.

                      What he says about the delivery for the Maaori students attending is probably quite true. But the fundamental problem for other Maaori students is that within the state school, the deficiency will remain and that is the wider picture that needs to be addressed.

                      Unless you are surrounded by yes men and/or are one of them, it is unreasonable to expect to agree with everything a politician says. Willie Jackson is giving his opinion on charter schools, from his perspective and it is understandable. But I disagree with his conclusion.

                  • McGrath

                    My son is a “square peg” child who the standard school system doesn’t really fit. We are looking at putting him in the Vanguard Military Academy when he is older. Why should Labour deprive parents of educational options when Charter Schools makes up a minuscule percentage of total student numbers?

                    • McFlock

                      Because if the state schools got as much public cash as the charter schools on a per student basis, you wouldn’t have to send your kids to a school that doesn’t have to reach the same standards.

                      BTW, wasn’t Vanguard the one with the sub-par attainment levels?

                    • Molly

                      Agree with McFlock’s comments above.

                      But on a personal note, if your son is truly a “square peg” then Vanguard is probably not the best choice. As McFlock mentioned, they failed to meet their targets (which BTW are lower than state schools), and their expulsion and suspension rate is very high. (I suspect that is the result of some “square peg” students objecting to having their corners rounded off.)

                      A rigid discipline and routine may help your son, if he has issues with a chaotic learning environment, but this kind of approach reinforces extrinsic reinforcement rather than promoting long-term intrinsic motivation.

              • Draco T Bastard


              • Molly

                Most can learn at their own pace. What can get in the way is a focus on learning reading and maths at the pace set by National Standards.

                And the self-doubt that sets in from a very young age because of the failure to meet these arbitrary standards.

                • greywarshark

                  Thank goodness for you Molly your ideas stick to the real point of whatever is being discussed and bring something sound to the

                  • Molly

                    Thanks, I enjoy discussions where I have time to revisit and keep the dialogue going.

                    But also enjoy reading comments from many other commentators when I don’t – including yours.

              • Gabby

                MathSSSSS, jame.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Actually, you’re belief is the BS.

          My nephew left school without SC and did have difficulty with basic maths. He’s now a qualified builder (maths essential).

          He’s a slow learner but not stupid.

          It’s people like this that National constantly throw away with their outdated policies such as National Standards.

          • JanM


          • Enough is Enough

            I think that is the point he was trying to make Draco.

            Different people have different learning needs. It is the learning environment that needs to be stress tested.

            • Draco T Bastard

              The point that BM was making was that people who don’t meet National’s strict criteria should be thrown away like so much garbage.

              • Enough is Enough

                I am not speaking for him, but my interpretation of what he said is that if we allow kids to fail, then they will have a tougher road though life.

                That is a matter of fact isn’t it?

                That is the reason why we need to be flexible when it comes to teaching, as what works for Bill, might not work for Bob.

                Teachers and learning environments need to be conitually assessed to ensure that all learners are being catered for.

                • Molly

                  “Teachers and learning environments need to be conitually assessed to ensure that all learners are being catered for.”

                  Except, the funding goes to the continual assessment – and none at all, to the additional help that is required.

                  Teachers and students already know when they need help, without National Standards.

                  A better use of funding, would be to have that help available to be used. It shows the priorities of our current government. To require report after report, without providing what is needed.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  I am not speaking for him, but my interpretation of what he said is that if we allow kids to fail, then they will have a tougher road though life.

                  He insists that the slow learners fail.

                  That is the reason why we need to be flexible when it comes to teaching, as what works for Bill, might not work for Bob.

                  True but BM is insistent that we not be flexible.

                • BM

                  On the money.

                  • Molly

                    Yet that is not what is happening. It is actually made more difficult by current policy.

          • Cinny

            Nailed it Draco 😀

        • Molly

          Getting help for children who have learning challenges such as dyslexia, dyspraxia is very difficult in our schools. Any help, if offered needs to come out of the operational budget.

          There are also issues regarding nutrition, sleep deprivation, transitional families, and stress that schools do not have the resources to deal with – and students are not even starting their education from a neutral position.

          Children learn in different ways, and if the class size is too big and resources are stretched, then alternative methods of instruction are not able to be given.

          The government of the day sets priorities (National Standards), funding programmes (non-existent to none), class size and teacher numbers. Of course they take a large measure of responsibility for outcomes.

          • BM

            There are also issues regarding nutrition, sleep deprivation, transitional families, and stress that schools do not have the resources to deal with – and
            students are not even starting their education from a neutral position.

            Is that not the sort of stuff cyps should be dealing with? why do teachers think they have to deal with it?

            If a teacher thinks a child’s home life is poor and creating issues then the teacher needs to let cyps know.

            • Molly

              Teachers have to deal with the results of a failure of social policy, which is also a responsibility of the government. Children don’t shirk off those issues as they walk through the school gates, whether you think they should or not.

              As for the rest of your comment: Obviously, your knowledge of CYFS – is as wide as your knowledge of charter schools.

        • Pete

          And what pray tell is the best way for kids to learn those basics? Through integrated approaches using flexibility. Hidebound assessment strictures mitigate against that and cretinous measurement mongrels with little knowledge or sense about how kids learn rabbit on demanding the cretinous approaches.

          They spend half their lives criticising teachers for having ‘one size fits all’ approaches and the other half wanting teachers to measure kids by ‘one size fits all’ standards.

        • Cinny

          Are you an educator BM?

          No one is saying reading, writing and maths are not important, because they are, but if one is not good at those 3 subjects at primary level they are not going to feel good about themselves and the flow on effects are as severe as taking their own lives.

          Do you know of any teachers that use music in their maths class? Makes a massive difference, in their learning especially for the kid who is not great at maths but loves music, all of a sudden that kid is counting the beats and the maths start to flow after that.

          What about the dyslexic child who has a fantastic imagination, but due to large class sizes and under funding no one has picked up on their disability? That child maybe falling in reading and writing, but in drama and storytelling the child shines. Still they are failing at two of the ‘core’ subjects, and as a result their self esteem plummets, no one knows that the child is a great story teller, the child is not given the chance. Meanwhile the child’s low self esteem has lead to them bullying other kids to feel good about themselves and before you know it, it gets physical… another child left behind.

          Are you getting where I’m coming from now BM?

          Re Charter Schools, I’m fiercely against unqualified adults teaching kids.

          • Molly

            “Re Charter Schools, I’m fiercely against unqualified adults teaching kids.
            I’m not per se. I am fiercely against charter schools though, because they take away the focus on delivering diversity and support for all students in state education, while funding private enterprise.

            Children learn from a wide variety of sources, including adults that are not qualified teachers, or other ages.

            I am also against a failure to recognise that a rich, learning environment exists with gifted facilitators and communicators. Current education policy requires delivery and assessments and that gets in the way.

            Agree, with the perspective your example gives above. Our view of success should be much broader and diverse, and recognise the value of all students.

        • Craig H

          Some people never learn maths worth a damn, and some can’t learn to read beyond a basic understanding, because their brains don’t work that way. Should we just chuck them on the scrap heap? Or perhaps find something they are good at and emphasise their strengths?

    • JanM 1.2

      Excellent piece, Ant. It’s not often are given the perspectives of intelligent, sensitive teachers struggling with the system as it is

    • ianmac 1.3

      Ant. That is a good summary.
      If a 30+ size class is to run well it has to be mass organised. Most kids do the same size fits all. If you apply the same organisation to a class of 20 nothing much changes. Hence the claim that size doesn’t matter. Rubbish.

      But in a class of 20 if the organisation is modified, then as you say, ” a whole new world of possibility opens up.” No wonder private schools can afford small classes. Individualised. Special needs catered for. Social tone lifts the behaviour or disruptive kids.

      • Siobhan 1.3.1

        Private schools who cater to those with enough money to make choices are usually very proud of their small class sizes.
        Point in case, Kings College, where I think Max Key attended..class size…18.
        I don’t recall John Key ever bemoaning the fact that Kings (presumably) wastes money by having unnecessary small class sizes.

      • Craig H 1.3.2

        I recall a study of studies which concluded that class sizes of 14 were the maximum for individual attention – more than that means most kids get around 1 minute a day of individual attention.

        • Molly

          Exemption applications for compulsory schooling have to meet “as well as and as regularly as ” state provided education.

          Way back when my application was being made, the benchmark given by a study for individual attention for children in the classroom in NZ was five minutes a week. So I think your recall is accurate.

        • Stuart Munro

          The classroom model with hour periods isn’t based on what we know about attention spans and similar learning constraints – that design is for institutional convenience, not for learning. There are ways of radically improving student outcomes – but charter school funding models don’t have much to do with them.

          • Craig H

            Fully agree – we need to invest in more teachers and their development, and work smarter.

    • gsays 1.4

      well said ant.
      worthy of a post on it’s own.
      then the heartless comments from bm could be moderated and the compasionate adults with an inkling of concern for others can have an adult conversation.

      i am not a teacher, but am involved with youth (scouting) and what you say resonates.
      the confident excell. the ones that show up carrying baggage from home, school or perhaps not prepared to engage (hungry), resort to disruptive or sometimes violent behaviour to get the attention we all crave.

      i am mindful of last election where mana pledged to put a teacher aid(e?) in every classroom. not a solution in itself but a step in the right direction.
      the wages paid to two recently ‘retired’ national mps could have gotten 7 or 8 aides into schools.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.5

      Though numbering perhaps 5 – 10 in a class of 30 their influence spreads to give an overall impression of buzz, participation, progress – warmly acclaimed by ERO as “lively atmosphere conducive to learning”. These kids enter life qualified with excellence in a subject for which there is no tick-box on the record of learning: confidence and self belief. Our school system serves them well.

      I’m not so sure about that. They’ll probably all grow up to vote National because of all that false belief they have in themselves always being right.

      Excessive positive feedback has it’s downsides.

      • Ant 1.5.1

        as I said where all are valued through attention and recognition of individuality the rowdy self-confident become integrated within a new dynamic of inclusiveness.

    • Gabby 1.6

      Hopefully you’re praising the quiet hesitant kids too Ant, not just the figjams.

      • Ant 1.6.1

        “Of course there are quiet learners who excel and attain….”
        “Through regular feedback the less confident come to believe they COUNT….”
        “the class dynamic becomes a team with all individuals valued for their particular roles…..”

    • Tom Pained 1.7

      Young workers on zero hour contracts in UK

      [text excerpt below]
      “A rise in the use of zero hours contracts could be contributing to poor mental health among younger people, a new study suggests.

      Young adults who are employed on the controversial contracts, under which they do not know if they have work from one week to the next, are less likely to be in good health and are at higher risk of poor mental health than workers with stable jobs.

      Researchers from the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at the UCL Institute of Education analysed data on more than 7,700 people living in England who were born in 1989-90.

      A total of 5% had zero hours contracts.

      Researchers found that those employed under zero hours contracts were 50% more likely to report poor mental health than those in more secure employment.

      The unemployed and shift workers were also more likely to report mental ill health.

      Meanwhile, compared to those who were not on such a contract, having a zero hours contract reduced the odds of reporting good health by 41%.

      “More people than ever are working on zero hours contracts in the UK, and this new data shows this to be contributing to poorer mental health among younger workers,” said Craig Thorley, senior research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research.

      “Efforts to improve the UK’s mental health must recognise the important relationship between health and work.

      “Government and employers must work together to promote better quality jobs which enhance, rather than damage, mental health and wellbeing.

      “Without this, we risk seeing increased demand for mental health services, reduced productivity, and more young people moving on to out-of-work sickness benefits.”

      The lead author, Dr Morag Henderson, added: “Millennials have faced a number of challenges as they entered the world of work. They joined the labour market at the height of the most recent financial crisis and faced higher than ever university fees and student loan debt.”

    • Ant 1.8

      An argument I repudiate is that kids need to ‘harden up’ in preparation for the manner in which the ‘real world’ operates. The early years (including teenager time) are highly formative, – a setting in which hardening up will occur naturally at different times for individuals provided the classroom climate is supportive rather than confrontational. No one is without talent, present, emerging or latent.

      Finland, currently rated in the top three for education amongst nations, honours these things and many more. A visiting educator checking out the ‘system’ asked a local teacher “what programs do you have in place for your gifted children?” Surprised, the teacher replied “all our children are gifted.”

      • Molly 1.8.1

        Heads up to BM et al. Finland is not longer teaching compulsory subjects at secondary level.

        Unfortunately, our MoE is looking at this, but missing the point that the whole system is set up completely differently with different priorities, so our education at primary level would need to be completely changed before this was a move that NZ could make.

    • Incognito 1.9

      Thank you for another excellent comment Ant.

      We all know that confidence does not equal competence but that there’s a quality in confidence that makes it appear that way; confidence is attractive, sexy even, and no wonder superbly confident people get an easier ride [no pun] in life.

      Lack of confidence and self-belief or worse, a negative self-image, is fostered during the early formative years and further cemented (confirmed) on a daily basis throughout life. Quiet learners might excel (academically?) and attain (…) but this doesn’t mean they will get anywhere near their ‘true potential’. And, as is often the case, they will always have to compete with the confident or extravert ones.

      You can see this quite well on the sports field where the confident often wins over the more timid one, not because they are technically better or have better team-play and skills, but almost purely because of confidence and self-belief and, dear I say it, the will to win.

      The sad truth is that in this day and age of hyper-individuality our society and education system appear to nurture the individuality of only some, the ‘winners’, and to ignore or even suppress that of a large number of other people who are less prominent.

      Nobody knows for sure what the jobs of the future will look like and what kind of education or training is required. However, it seems likely that there will be a (increased) demand for people with social and emotion skills, people skills (incl. leadership & management), with creativity, with collaborative skills and attitudes, and for people who are flexible and resilient and who are life-long learners who can adapt to the increasing complexities of life and our societies.

      This is what we should be, and should have been, focussing on in education and we need to build a value system to nurture these people for the public good – we also need (different) role models.

  2. Ed 2

    ‘For the many, not the few’ or ”a fresh approach’.

    Which slogan gives a clearer message that the concerns of the working class will be addressed?
    Which slogan gives a clearer message that neoliberalism will be torn down and austerity got rid of?

  3. James 3

    It’s not the slogan that is going to stop labour winning the elections (well labour / greens and whoever) – it’s their people and policies.

    • garibaldi 3.1

      No James , it’s more the bloody media.

      • james 3.1.1

        No garibaldi – Thats just an excuse – read the thread yesterday – even some lefties cannot bring themselves to vote for labour.

        Its the media – geeeze you need a tin foil hat.

        • Robert Guyton

          ” even some lefties cannot bring themselves to vote for labour.”

          It’s going to be fascinating to see how many “righties”, National voters, don’t vote National in Barclay Country this election. Invercargill “righties” will show an even stronger rejection of National, now that the debacle has spread to the city. Sarah Dowie will be anxious.

          • James

            National deserve to lose votes down that way.

            Lucky labour are losing votes elsewhere in larger numbers. 🙂

          • Gabby

            I really hope Dowie mounts a spirited nothing-to-see-here-just-move-on watchoolookinat defence of Wee Toddy. That’ll go down like a cup of cold sick. I’d love to know if there’s a Hishon Barclay family link too.

        • Stuart Munro

          You’re misrepresenting James – the thread yesterday referred to campaigning for them.

          The media are absolute shite – biased and frequently uninformed.

          They still don’t pull Bill up on his ‘strong economy’ piffle.

        • adam

          Again with the ignorance james. It’s no longer FPP, and if you look outside – the sun is shining.

          • james

            I know that its not FPP – but when labour are so low in the polls – the odds of them cobbling something together demolishes as their numbers go lower.

            But I guess if you havnt learnt this in the last few elections – you wont learn after another loss this year.

            • adam

              Poor james ignorance on display again, like our other favorite troll puckish rouge this love and fetish for the polls proves one thing. You ant got anything else.

    • riffer 3.2

      No. A slogan like “for the many, not the few” makes a massive difference, as it conveys a whole ideology in a short sentence. That has far greater cut-through than any range of policies.

      Ultimately, the average voter responds to an idea, rather than people and policies.

      Sure, have those to back up the idea. But the idea is key. It needs to be simple, easily repeated, easily understood – and believable.

      That’s what works in elections. Not explaining. Not laying out detail. Labour have fallen into this trap many times. And National will try it on them again. “Labour have no detail”. “Explain exactly how this works”. “Show us where the money comes from”

      And they will try and explain. And lose the voter in doing so.

      They need to keep it simple. And believable. Let the voter make up their own mind about it, but if the message is clear enough, everything else flows through into that.

      The left need to stop damn explaining everything. The right never do, and it works for them.

      • BM 3.2.1

        If the objective is to take the country in a completely different direction then you better provide some detail and get your salesperson hat on or otherwise you haven’t got a shit show of winning.

        A cheesy slogan and some buzzwords really ain’t going to cut it.

        • riffer

          You would think so, but they actually do.

          Your mates in the Nats have done it for the last three elections.

          And I don’t recall seeing a lot of actual details from them.

          • tc

            Exactly and when I saw labours slogan my first reaction was a WTF moment.

            Zero passion, about as cutting as a spoon. More bs identity politics.

            Its my fault for expecting more from beltway troughers, carrerists and national light pollys expecting a turn at the wheel for showing up

            • Enough is Enough

              I know what you mean. Andrew Kirton talked it up on Twitter as something fantsatic about to be released, something inspiring.

              Then he revealed and…..tumbleweeds.

              A Fresh Approach? WTF

              I am very worried about Kirton’s limitations asthe campaign manager.

        • Bearded Git

          I have a slogan for the Na(sty)tional Party-“For the few not the many”.

    • Ed 3.3

      So why do the Tories run on slogans every election?

      • riffer 3.3.1

        Think I answered that one for you Ed.

        • Ed

          You did answer it very well.
          The question though was posed to James, who is a Tory.

          • james

            You can run a slogan – what I said that you need more than a slogan – like people and politics.

            And people dont seem to want Little or labour / green policies.

            reference poll results for the last 9 years.

            • riffer

              Just checked out National’s policies:

              It’s … a bit light … and I’m not just talking about the colour of the skin of every single person in the pictures.

              Working for All New Zealanders. Yeah, right.

            • Draco T Bastard

              National never runs to detail. Probably has a strong parallel with that admission by John Banks (ex-National MP) that if he actually told people his policies he’d never get voted in.

              If National told people what they really wanted to do then they’d never get voted in.

            • Gabby

              If people don’t seem to want Little or labour / green policie, jame, why do they vote nuttyanal? Do the mathSSSS jame.

    • “People” lose elections for their parties?
      et al.

      It’s allover, Blue Rover.

      • james 3.4.1

        Not over till its over.

        But looking at the poll results todate – trends, and even comments from a lot on here – I’d bet on National winning and not Labour.

        So Id say all over for little and labour if anything.

        • Molly

          Why do you vote National James?

          • James

            because I believe they are the best for the country.

            • Molly

              “You can run a slogan – what I said that you need more than a slogan – like people and politics.” (… policies?)

              I’ll help you out, by telling you where I’m currently thinking of putting my vote.

              I’ll most likely vote Mana because despite wanting a different government to the current, I also want to use my vote to indicate to all politicians of every party what my priorities are. They are not completely in line with my values, but are pretty close (but I don’t expect a political party to be, unless it is a party of one, run by me)

              I also would prefer a coalition government rather than a single party dominated one.

              What – apart from a slogan – makes you vote National, James?

            • DoublePlusGood

              Sure, but why do you believe that?

              • Ed

                You expecting a reply?!!
                Molly asked 4 hours ago and was ignored.
                James only comes on the site for a certain purpose.

                • james

                  I normally come and go – Im not a tragic that needs to sit here all day.

                  Ive already answered the question – There is no requirement for me to go into it any more.

                  I gave my reason – if people dont like it – tough.

                  • Ed

                    You mean “because they are best for the country.”
                    That means nothing. So general a comment , I guess intentionally, that it cannot be understood.

    • Johan 3.5

      James is another troll who has woken up to pass on his anti-Labour vitriol.

      • james 3.5.1

        Sorry Johan,

        You have a pretty slim definition of vitriol. Just because you dont agree with it – dosnt make it wrong.

        • Ed

          Sounds like Johan has defined you quite well.

          ‘In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory,extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal, on-topic discussion,often for the troll’s amusement.’

  4. Ed 4

    Hosking again proves himself to be unfit to be employed by on our public broadcaster, TVNZ.
    He is an outright sexist.

    “When do we stop celebrating women’s achievements?”

    And remember this one?
    “We don’t need a woman, this is man’s time. That’s what we said – man’s time! We’re going to talk about the league,”

    • tc 4.1

      No its a sign tvnz needs a senior cleaning out of nact enablers and jobs for the boys.

      Kendrick called netflix a passing fad the other day. Facepalm.

    • millsy 4.2

      If Fox ever opens a New Zealand channel, gods forbid, Hosking would be the first one signed up as a commentator, along with Leighton Smith,

    • Foreign waka 4.3

      Nothing will be done or changed until people switch off the channel when Hosking is on. Otherwise, its business as usual, bad news will always be listened to, scandals and outrageous behavior seem to be more interesting than any other topic. Proven concept, stupid people abound so a certain no fail and money spinner. In other words, the media outlet has its clown and milk it for all its got.

      • Ed 4.3.1

        I think being on prime time means a certain percentage of the population watch automatically.

  5. Ed 5

    Bill English.
    Delivering for New Zealanders.

    Not these New Zealanders…

    ‘Children suffer housing crisis fallout as rate of low-decile transience hits record
    Transient children have hit record numbers in low-income schools as the housing crisis forces more renting families to move house repeatedly.

    Numbers are still low, but the latest Ministry of Education data shows that 2.8 per cent of children in schools in the poorest tenth of areas moved at least twice last year – the highest low-income transience rate since records began in 2009.”The shortage of rental and social housing has meant that families are often having to move out of where they were,” she said.

    “For example, if you are in social housing, you may find you have to shift out of the area where you were in one part of Auckland and now the housing is available in South Auckland.

    “People at the higher end have more options available. They are usually going to shift within the same area. They have more control over their housing choices than poor people do.”
    Although on average only 0.5 per cent of children moved at least twice in any one year, the data shows that 15 per cent of all children who started school aged 5 in 2011 moved schools at least twice before they left year 6 at the end of 2016.

    And continued transience had a dramatic effect on whether students achieved the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA).’

    Jesse Mulligan: Government delivering to ‘all NZers’? Yeah right

    • greywarshark 5.1

      Your line on Jess Mulligan at the bottom of your comment gives the wrong impression of him and what he said.

      But don’t say this Government is delivering for all New Zealanders when what you mean is that it’s delivering for all New Zealanders except the poor, the homeless, the first-home buyers, New Zealanders suffering from depression and mental illness and the 100-plus young New Zealanders who take their own lives each year.
      Of course, that slogan isn’t quite so catchy.

      Jesse Mulligan is a host for Three’s The Project.

      That’s the end para summarising Jesse’s piece in your link to him. So we can see that he is asking hard questions about government.

      • Red 5.1.1

        paul just spams though a deluded prism of his making , what do you expect, analysis or synthesis

      • Ed 5.1.2

        Yes I knew that.
        I meant that Mulligan’s line is one we could use regularly ourselves.

  6. Andre 6

    For aficionados of hilarious swivel-eyed loon rants, this one from Alex Jones is a real gem.

    • One Two 6.1

      Alex Jones is a trained actor

      You know that, right?

      • Andre 6.1.1

        Noooo … are you telling me the patron saint of anti-vaxxers, 9/11 troofers, Deep State exposers, anti-GMO activists is an ACTOR? It’s all a FRAUD?

  7. Bearded Git 7

    Did anybody else realise TNZ were backed by a foreign billionaire? I knew sponsors such as Emirates and the baby-killing and plastic proliferating Nespresso were involved but this guy seems to have kept a very low profile. From the Herald today.

    “The French turned their backs on Team New Zealand hours after the dramatic capsize….. claims Team NZ’s billionaire backer. In an exclusive interview with the Weekend Herald this week, Emirates Team New Zealand principal, Matteo de Nora…….”

    • james 7.1

      yes – hes been the team principle for ages. Listed on all the websites etc. hardly kept a secret.

      • mauī 7.1.1

        Ozzie skipper too, makes you feel proud… just like Blake.

      • mac1 7.1.2

        Yes, James, he has been the team principle for years (your spelling!) – a billionaire, overseas sponsorship and foreign capital, with bought-in talent, in a ‘sport’ where only the super rich can play, who make the rules and sucker politicians into their service- all in the name of (great) entertainment for the masses.

        Bit like Roman chariot racing really.

        Without the bread!

        • Enough is Enough

          It is the masses who decide whether it is entertainment or not.

          There aren’t many other events, (sporting, political, cultural or otherwise) that gets 80,000 ordinary kiwis out on the streets on a wet misberable winter’s day.

          I am not sure what your problem with it is.

          • mac1

            No problem, at all. I got up and watched some races, after all.

            But, I also put it into a historical and social perspective.

            That which drove bigger crowds into the arenas of Rome throughout the Empire was entertainment provided and vetted by the elite of the day- the billionaires, ruling oligarchy and later the monarchy as well, with religious and social approval.

            The masses attended, and the brutality of Roman civilisation was further inculcated with a diet of executions, public dismemberment and the sport of chariot racing which was also brutal and violent.

            The masses were given their heroes to emulate, the bookies and their owners had the gambling scene sewn up.

            Politicians used such entertainment to make themselves popular with the masses.

            Charioteers, trainers, horses, chariot builders, the whole panoply of Roman technology and organisation, with talent from foreign countries to provide the muscle for the entertainment, willingly or otherwise…….

            Bread and circuses, Enough is Enough, panis et circenses. Tho oldest populist trick in the political book.

            The problem is the parallel between what is actually being served to us in the guise of entertainment, be it Roman games and circuses or The Americas Cup. Not so much the what, but rather the why.

            When will we say “Satis est satis?” indeed.

            • Enough is Enough

              Relax and enjoy the sight of foiling sail boats.

              • mac1

                Oh I did! And enjoyed the sight of nemesis meeting hubris.

                But, after the race is over, and the Cup is put on the shelf? Enjoy some reading of history!

                And for further motivation into something more beneficial to the human masses, there’s a wee matter of politics, where the question of bread for the masses, and housing, and health, and water can be addressed, in the interim, between Cups.

                • Enough is Enough

                  Good to hear Mac

                • gsays

                  i enjoyed and was educated by that mac1.
                  i was mesmorised by the sight of those boats, the beautiful backdrop and the stunning quality of the camera work.
                  slightly bewildered by the drone camera technology too.

                  but back to the bigger picture: commonalities of empires in decline- bread and circuses,
                  large and growing inequality,
                  the elevation of cooks to celebrity status.
                  even as a chef i am puzzled by the allure of the last one.

    • Gabby 7.2

      Better a foreign billionaire than the taxpayer.

    • greywarshark 7.3

      Bearded Git
      You should have checked this out with James to get all relevant info and be uptodate.!@

      • greywarshark 7.3.1

        I think I came up with a good idea. James seems very concerned to get us on the right road in all matters. Perhaps we should use this great resource.
        Can you tell us James if there is a way of cutting off salary for politicians that are under investigation and not carrying out their duties?

        • gsays

          excellent greywarshark.
          another one: should the consequences, for an individual who attempts to intimidate a witness in a police investigation, be harsher if they are high up in the hierarchy of a party that has ‘tough on crime’ as part of it’s dna?

      • james 7.3.2

        Or just read and get informed

        • Molly

          Paraphrasing John Pilger, James? (@7:12)

          That was unexpected.

          • Foreign waka

            Arrogant Kim Hill, unprepared is an understatement. To interview one of the best living journalists and display such ignorance did NZ no favors.

            • Gabby

              The bloody nerve of the woman, not seeing things his way and honouring his preeminence.

              • Foreign waka

                I think your ignorance is breath taking. Really. NZ is far away from everything and it shows.

              • Molly

                You should watch the interview Gabby. I did at the time, and was dismayed at the level of arrogance shown by Kim Hill.

                At a time when all media was in support of the invasion of Iraq, it was refreshing to have someone interviewed that disagreed. His response to her preparation (or lack of) was measured until it became apparent that she was just going to continue sneering at his answers.

                Completely put me off watching Kim Hill at the time.

                • greywarshark

                  I had a look at that link for Kim Hill going back to 2003. It shows John Pilger in lordly rant talking down to Kim because she wants to ask some questions which is what interviewers do. He wants to dominate the time making a statement. I note that he is Australian – famous for being right about everything, and a male which would double the certainty when talking to a female.

                  Pilger has done much through his investigative reporting. But he can’t be right all the time. If he wants to get his message over on television and promote his book, he should try to earn his time by responding to questions, put on behalf of viewers wanting to be informed. To say that Kim hasn’t read the book, is ignorant! She is well known for being informed, all others in the world except Pilger think that, but he would be right. If she did not know something, perhaps she didn’t get the book in time to really study it.

                  And we have ideas about foreigners too waka, and sometimes reserve our opinion if the individuals are not worth even a passing judgment.

  8. gsays 8

    hey bm and james, there is a post up about tories in southland that needs your help.
    maybe pop over there and give us your opinions rather than soiling open mike.

    • james 8.1

      I commented about it before the post went up:

      “Glenda Hughes to be investigated by police.

      the gift that keeps on giving for the left.”

      They are morons down there.

      • gsays 8.1.1

        big ups to the greens then for their oia request then, eh james?

        so what should national do about this?
        something honourable and principled, or wait and see what the polling reveals and decide then?

      • Isn’t Glenda Hughes from up there?
        She’s no Southlander. Bill English is though.
        Is he a “moron” as well, James?

        • james

          Its been handled very poorly – everyone involved as acted like a moron in this circumstance.

          You arnt going to find me sticking up for them.

          Its with the police now – as it should be,

          So I guess we have to wait for facts to come out from the investigation.

          • Robert Guyton

            “Its with the police now – as it should be”

            It was with the police from the start, James yet you’re still happy to “wait for the facts to come out”?

            James; why do you think the police dropped the case? Why did they accept Barclay’s refusal to speak with them as a reason to stop investigating? Does that sound a little odd to you; dropping an investigation just because the accused won’t come in for a chat?

            • james

              I havnt been watching this closely – You may have noticed that my post over the last few weeks have been less – I have been out of the country for a bit of a winter break.

              So just havnt been watching things at home that closely.

              I just know that the entire thing has been a pile of ***** the entire way thru.

              Simple as that really.

          • gsays

            c’mon james, what do you think of the claim of mr joyce that the tape was heard in a non-ministerial capacity?

            there is no shame in acknowledging the prime minister has obfuscated, mislead, diminished his role and potentially outright lied during this debarclay.

          • Cinny

            Knowing some of the facts, I’m very interested in the outcome of the investigation. JS

  9. Draco T Bastard 9

    Kiwi soldiers spreading across the globe

    The New Zealand Defence Force is highlighting the diversity and spread of its international operations, saying 11 percent of Kiwi troops are now overseas.

    “What is significant is the geographical spread of our operations, given the relative size of our defence force,” Major General Tim Gall, the Commander Joint Forces New Zealand, said.

    “We have personnel in six of the seven continents.”

    Some of those deployments I’m in full support of. But many we shouldn’t be going anywhere near.

    • Enough is Enough 9.1

      Which one don’t you support?

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1

        About 230, or 23 percent, of those deployed on operations are based in the Middle East

        For starters as those are mostly based upon the US’s agenda to grab the ME oil for themselves.

        Five are based in South Korea, including two who serve as United Nations monitors along the Demilitarised Zone with North Korea.

        What are the other three doing?

    • greywarshark 9.2

      It’s a crazy thing if we are paying for ourselves to take part in overseas fights that are to advance some other country’s objectives. We should mind our own business which is needing some close scrutiny to see its state of health. Is that a strong pulse or a dying spasm I feel?

      I have been reading about 12th century times in Britain. A lot of the fighting there was with mercenaries, it was a way of making a living for many. The English contender to the throne, Maud, apparently had Flemish forces, the Danes had ships that could be hired etc.

      If we are using our Defence Forces in other theatres of activity I hope we are getting paid! We can’t afford to be somebody’s lapdog and not get nice regular payments and travel expenses!

      What exactly do we think we are in New Zealand? We are just a little country with its main earner being dairy cows, borrowing huge amounts to boost the standard of living for some while others are in poverty. Almost a mirror image of 19th century NZ! We should be uniting with the Falklands, with a regular interchange of people from our fellow islanders down at the bottom of the world.

  10. joe90 10

    Multiple likes for this piece of hate posted in comments over on the sewer.

    (if you have the stomach you’ll need to wash after reading)

    • greywarshark 10.1

      Thanks joe90 for exposing yourself to that germ-ridden place, you’re a stalwart.
      I will follow my usual practice and not go there, I have enough problem coping with the trolls here like blowflies striking vulnerable targets.

  11. greywarshark 11

    Probably someone has already put this up. But a little ray of sunshine on a cloudy day.

    Today at the UN Headquarters in New York, a global treaty banning nuclear weapons has been adopted.

    This is an historic moment: according to the treaty, to possess and develop nuclear weapons is now illegal under international law.

    The treaty will be open for signature by states on September 20th.

    (Activists release peace doves during the Hiroshima atomic bombing 60th anniversary in Japan, 2005. © Greenpeace / Jeremy Sutton-HibbertActivists release peace doves during the Hiroshima atomic bombing 60th anniversary. (2005))

    Over the last three weeks, 140 countries have engaged in final negotiations of the new treaty. The nine states with nuclear weapons (US, Russia, China, France, UK, India, Pakistan, Israel and North Korea) have been boycotting the meeting in an attempt to rob the process of its legitimacy. NATO members have also stayed outside of the negotiations, and on the wrong side of history. Their absence is sadly significant; unless a country ratifies the treaty, it is not bound by it.

    • Draco T Bastard 11.1

      Unfortunately I think we can be pretty much assured that none of the present nuclear weapon holding countries will get rid of them. They’ll simply not sign on the dotted line ensuring that this law doesn’t apply to them.

      This will mean that other countries, even if they sign, will be forced over time to develop their own nuclear weapons capabilities.

  12. gsays 12

    is it a coincidence that the school holidays are here (no sat morn sport) and open mike is fizzing or some other reason?

  13. Draco T Bastard 14

    An economy like this pisses off the business people because it lowers their profits.

  14. joe90 15

    Yup, she went there.

    Trump Gives Speech to the People of Poland, Says 14 Words That Leave Americans Stunned— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) July 7, 2017

  15. Draco T Bastard 16

    National doing the dirty again:

    A new criteria, added on Friday with no press release, requires the panel who consider applications to to take into account whether granting the money will “contribute to impeding or delaying the ability of people and communities to provide for their social, economic and cultural well-being in relation to important needs, including employment, housing and infrastructure.”

    Critics say this change will render the fund useless.

    Working to protect business against the wishes of the people.

    • ianmac 16.1

      So make the protest/appeal process very expensive.
      Then starve access to funds.
      Protest/appeal dies.
      See we the Government know that all the people must have wanted this project or else they would have objected. And they didn’t.
      We are a very clever Government. (Does our Government get these ideas from Fiji?)

  16. Draco T Bastard 17

    12-year-old inventor’s DIY phone hack packs a political punch

    12-year-old Vaanan Murugathas will bring his do-it-yourself spectrometer to this weekend’s Maker Festival to shed light on how anyone hack their phone to measure water quality using just construction paper, a CD, and his mobile app.

    In an interview on CBC’s Metro Morning, Murugathas said he was inspired by hearing host Matt Galloway and Indigenous critic Jesse Wente discussing the frequent and sometimes constant boil water advisories among First Nations reserves.

    “Many [First Nations] reserves don’t have access to clean water and I feel like the government is not doing enough to actually stop this issue,” he said.

    • Cinny 17.1

      That is awesome, switched on young man he is, love his outlook…

      “His mantra: Want it? Make it! “

  17. joe90 18

    A wee something to look forward to.

  18. hardhitting – needs to be known – aussies and aussie lovers need to own up to the truth

    Like children after an old, long-concealed family tragedy, we’ve all been left subtly bruised by the history we’ve repressed. I’m not the only Australian to sense that the brash, cocksure, sun-bronzed Aussie image we love – so easygoing, so delightfully laid-back – also comes with a paradoxical hint of dryness, emptiness, blustering adolescent uncertainty, in our national psyche.

    Why the cultural cringe? The tall poppy suspicions? The strange timidity that has us creeping under the wing of one great and powerful friend or another? Our nation was built on a silent quicksand of wrongs. Aborigines; convicts; White Australia. We’re yet to crawl completely out; yet to turn into fully mature, proper grown-ups. But things are changing. Despite sneers at the “black armband view of history”, most of us now admit that terrible deeds were done, then hidden. Government apologies have elated almost everyone. And where now are those shrill massacre denials?

    One truth, though, is still wincingly hard to face: that most Australians owe our comfortable living first and foremost to the fact that Aborigines used to own the precious land, and now we do. None of us is guilty of those old wrongs: but we have benefited prodigiously from them.

    Unknowingly – and reluctant to probe too deeply – we’ve all lived well and thrived on the proceeds of crime.

    Now, far too late, it really is time to get out those black armbands. And above all, to listen.

  19. mauī 20

    Hoh! halftime ABs

  20. Molly 21

    Just picked up my partner from watching the game at Eden Park.

    I suggested before he left that he should lead a chant of “O, Jeremy Corbyn” and we had a laugh at how that would be taken by his workmates.

    He’s sure that he heard several times during the game a chant very similar to “O, Jeremy Corbyn” coming from the Lions supporters. Could be mistaken, he – like me is getting older, and hard of hearing – but heartening to think the chant is becoming a way of calling out your Britishness to the world.

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    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    2 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    5 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    6 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    6 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    7 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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