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Open Mike 08/09/13

Written By: - Date published: 9:39 am, September 8th, 2013 - 123 comments
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123 comments on “Open Mike 08/09/13 ”

  1. ak 1

    Murdoctopi Global proudly presents:

    FARCETRALIA – open for Business

    “A comedy tour de farce in the hilarious tradition of “Tea Party”; Abbott and Keystello follow the Shonkey Python road to wherever the ailing Oz god beckons next”

    “Audiences will be mesmerised, leaving all progressive hope at the door. You’re not in Godzone any more, Dorothy, and boy does Rupert let her know it! Not to be missed. By anyone.”

  2. Saarbo 2

    Counties wins the Ranfurly Sheld, awesome. Well if you want to see a microcosm of free market failure versus a regulated success then you don’t have to look any further than our rugby National Provincial Competition(NPC). Between the time that rugby went professional in 1996 to 2005, the NPC was a free market winner take all f%$#en chaos . The big unions, Canterbury, Auckland and Wellington were completely dominating, overall crowd numbers and interest was dropping and the All Blacks couldn’t win a World Cup to save themselves. Small Unions were driving themselves into insolvency trying to match the big unions. The whole competition was incredibly unfair, the bigger unions were getting bigger and the smaller unions were dying.
    In 2005 the competition was regulated (A process headed by Brian Roche now NZ Post CEO). The large unions complained loudly that this would be the end of NZ rugby as we know it. The regulation of the competition was to create FAIRNESS and EQUITY within the competition so that ALL teams had a chance of winning and stay financially viable. The big unions reckoned that FAIRNESS was not good for NZ rugby because their financial strength (a consequence of their unfair dominance) meant that they could look after the All Blacks, bugger the smaller unions, the big unions needed to stay financially dominant (Sound familiar?).
    Anyway fast forward to 2013, the NPC competition has been regulated for a number of years, it is clearly much more EQUAL and the overall consequences are interesting. Most Unions are now prospering, both on the field and off the field. The AB’s have never been stronger also. In 2005 Counties were nearly insolvent struggling in the second division, now they are on top of the world. The Free Market certainly failed New Zealand rugby.

    • alwyn 2.1

      And it isn’t fair at all! As a Hawkes Bay boy I think that fairness would have required that the Bay should have been allowed to hold it for at least three years.
      As the old joke goes though, even after Hawkes Bay lost I slept like a baby last night. I slept for two hours, then woke up and cried for two hours, slept for another two hours etc. etc.

      • chris73 2.1.1

        As an Otago boy I don’t really have a great deal of sympathy for you…

        Having said that the last couple of weeks have been great for NZ rugby but nows the time for Counties to hang on to it for a little while

      • Treetop 2.1.2

        Look for the diamond shape of how the shield has travelled.

        Will Taranaki have a challenge?

    • tc 2.2

      Strength and depth comes from a broad base and tribalism in backing your union, great to see the smaller unions back on track.

      great players come from all over we must ensure they still can.

  3. ak 3

    And at a theatre near you….

    VIAGARANA JONES – Quest for the Lost Libido

    “Our sallow sleazemeister pulls it off again: grimace with glee as the portly prince of pomp chases the tory vote for a Labour prize! Hold you sides as the hapless scribes fawn at their creation’s crotch: “All hail the fat lazy brown wanker of our dreams!” Limited season.

    • interesting how the panel on q&a reported a poll showing cunnliffe far and away in the lead..

      ..and then spent all their time talking about/up shane jones..(and largely ignoring that clear leader)

      ..(mike williams..who has pimped jones from day one..even resorting to waving magazine-photos of his favourite around..)

      ..jones must be the rights’ last desperate hope…


      ..and seriously..as others have noted..should beltway-grant play the numbers-game well enough to rebuff that wave of popular support for cunnliffe..

      ..and despite running last..snare the job..

      ..the labour party will explode..

      ..and the green/mana votes will leap..

      ..phillip ure..

      • phillip ure 3.1.1

        and of course..convergant with that push for jones from the right..

        ..comes the attempt to rip away what support robertson..(their previous favourite)..has..

        ..so that (hopefully) flows to their new-right-hope..

        ..how to do that..?

        ..easy..!..run that vid of robertson lying about alf being in the pub..

        ..and all curl lips in unison..

        ..done..and dusted..

        ..that was the right..throwing robertson to the wolves..

        ..and chief of their wolf-pack..?..

        ..one shane jones..

        ..phillip ure..

  4. Clement Pinto 4

    David Shearer speaks exclusively to Q+A
    Today, September 8 at 11am.

    Could be interesting to see body language and to read between the lines.

    • Craig GlenEden 4.1

      Shearer still blaming others for his poor performance. David as I told you at the meeting at Auckland University you simply are/ were never ready to lead the Labour Party. The fact that you put your hand up showed what a huge ego you have, perhaps it is time for you to concentrate on being a good local MP!

      • phillip ure 4.1.1

        favourite/most telling quote from shearer:..his barely concealed contempt/curled-lip wrapping around this beauty:

        “..those in the party who want to take labour to the left – whatever that means’..

        ..(’nuff said..?..)

        ..phillip ure..

        • Clement Pinto

          I am guessing that Mr Shearer is/was not too fussed about labels such as left, right or centre but was more keen to do the stuff that mattered most for the betterment of all sections of the people and the country. It is true that he did not convey/communicate this well.

          It is, in my opinion, silly and wrong to base or look at all policies and all solutions purely in terms of only one direction, left, right or centre. Different problems need different solutions that WORK and produce the desired just aspirations and results. Some issues need a ‘left’ socialist perspective, some issues need a right ‘capitalist’ perspective and some social need a ‘middle’ ground. Labour party is a very broad representative organisation encompassing a diverse membership.

          What IS important is that there is justice, fairness, equality of opportunity and prosperity with everyone, that can, working and paying their fair share back to society in order to reduce the ever widening income gap and make NZ a just, independent and happy place.

          P.S :
          In the present time, my desire for Labour party is…..

          * Leader : Cunliffe [He will need to be true to his vision]
          * Co-Deputy leaders :
          Shane Jones [He will need to tone his ways]
          Jacinda Arden [She will need to learn on the job]

          That I believe will be a wise and winning combination.

          • Draco T Bastard

            some issues need a right ‘capitalist’ perspective

            If capitalism is the answer then you’re asking the wrong question.

            • Clement Pinto

              I believe in interventionist/state controlled free market/capitalism where the capitalists that enable the creation of most jobs, goods and services also pay their fair share back to society. I don’t advocate state controlled communism masquerading as socialism. Doesn’t work anywhere, not even in China, which is no longer a ‘socialist’ state.

              • Hi Clement Pinto,

                re “the capitalists that enable the creation of most jobs”

                Have you seen this clip of a banned TED talk?

                It argues against the idea that business people are ‘job creators’. Apparently, it was ‘too controversial’ for the TED talks founder, Chris somebody or other.

                • Clement Pinto

                  Thanks for that educational video. I partly agree with what TED says.
                  Without customers, demand and consumers, there is no business or profits or jobs. True enough.

                  However, I still stand by my statement that without the business people who are the actual economic risk takers, investors and entrepreneurs, goods, income and jobs cannot be produced.

                  The problem lies in letting them earn and keep uncontrolled amounts of wealth disproportionately, particularly because, their wealth, not withstanding their own initiative, enterprise and risk taking, has come from society, from the consumers. People and services in society need government assistance for a civilised just society which should not allow ever widening gap between the wealthy and the rest.

                  That means,

                  (1) the government has to be interventionist through controls, laws and progressive taxation. Higher the income, higher the tax rate.

                  (2) Free market should not mean free license for anyone to make and keep excessive amounts of wealth in comparison to the median income. Government needs to claw back the siphoned income.

                  (3) I am in favour of a set wage ratio of Min to Max of 1:20 in all organisations to bridge wage gap and help wages to go up equitably. The only way the top wages can go up is if the bottom wages go up correspondingly.

                  (4) I also advocate lowering CST to 10% or 12.5% as it affects the poorest most. Instead bring in estate duties and CGT for everything including property and all kinds of investments.

                  To coin a new term, it is Socialised Ethical Capitalism!

                  • Clement Pinto

                    I would tell TED that it is a symbiotic relationship between business and consumer: One can’t do without the other.
                    (And Goverment needs both and needs to take care of both)

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Business and consumer need government as well. Without government, there is no value to money, and no rule of law for economic transactions to occur within.

              • Draco T Bastard

                capitalists that enable the creation of most jobs, goods and services

                That’s just it though – they don’t no matter how much they want you to believe otherwise.

      • Chooky 4.1.2

        Craig GlenEden +1….and Grant Robertson despite his politicking talents is not a match for John Key…nor is Shane Jones with his ‘smoko charm’.

        ….Time to let David Cunliffe have a clean run and the Labour Party to unite behind Cunliffe …. ready to take on Nact and win in 2014!

        ….then form a coalition with the Greens and really look after this country and ALL NZers
        ….There is a lot of talent in the Green Party which must be utilized in the next government.

    • Clement Pinto 4.2

      I was very impressed with Mr Shearer. In this interview he came across as potentially a good PM that NZ has missed out on. His sincerity, goodness and good character came across very well to me. Wish he was as clear, as articulate and as open to the public, the caucus and the media during his ‘reign’ as he was today. During his ‘reign’, what he had lacked was some help/training to improve his communication and public speaking skills.

      He will be a very loyal and exemplary Labour member and an excellent MP/Minister.

      Those who missed out on the interview, see it on ‘On Demand’ to get the measure of the man.

      • gobsmacked 4.2.1

        He didn’t lack media training, he had plenty.

        He lacked judgment. In taking the job, and in doing the job. You can’t train that.

        • Craig GlenEden

          So true gobsmacked. In Shearers interview played this morning on Q and A he was most confident when talking about the Syria situation however his lack of judgement in why he failed as Labour leader was quite shocking. I thought it particularly telling when he couldn’t own up to the fact that he was not good at communicating a message via the media and then blamed members and other people for continually raising it as an issue.
          The guy is in Noddy land seriously and he believed he was making headway at the begging of the year! OMG.

      • chrissy 4.2.2

        I saw the interview and was also impressed. He spoke well and sincerely and honestly and from the heart. I am pleased to hear he will be staying on and hope to see him back as PM sometime in the future. I to think that we have missed out on a potentially good Leader if he does not stay on for any reason. I’m not too happy with the three running for leader at the moment but would have to go with Robertson if pushed.

        • Clement Pinto

          Shearer was a good guy and I think he would have made a honest and great PM, but it is the general voting public that should be convinced of that and they were not because of lack of clear communication as well as the media mischief and inside lack of openly displayed loyalty or support.

          Look at the National party. They show great unity in public. Labour party MPs and members need to learn that very essential lesson. I admired Mr Shearer when he said, he will give absolute 100% support to whoever becomes the leader now. Hats off to him.

          • Colonial Viper

            Shearer was a good guy and I think he would have made a honest and great PM

            You have to be able to make it to your first election as leader to get a shot at being PM.

            • Clement Pinto

              True. I so wish that he had communicated with the media and the public, as well and as effortlessly and as straight up and affable way as he did today.

              Your 9 September 2013 at 12:26 am comment does not have a ‘reply’ link. Wonder what happened!]

              [lprent: On desktop versions of the site, the comments will indent to a maximum depth of 10 and then the reply will disappear (gotta stop at some point). The mobile theme doesn’t have threaded replies. Working on that. ]

              • miravox

                “I so wish that he had communicated with the media and the public, as well and as effortlessly and as straight up and affable way as he did today.”

                Probably he needed to have a greater belief in what he was saying to do that.

    • Clement Pinto 4.3

      Here is a brief summary from TV3 of the TV1 interview :

      Outgoing Labour leader David Shearer says he will not publicly endorse any of the candidates vying to replace him, but will back whoever is chosen 100 percent.

      Mr Shearer told Q+A the biggest issue the party faced was disunity.

      He wouldn’t reveal who he planned to vote for or publicly endorse a candidate.

      “Certainly from my point of view, whoever wins this competition, I will give them 100 percent support, and I don’t care who it is. Well, I’d say I do care who it is, but if that person wins, then we get in behind them … because if we don’t do that, then we won’t win.”

      Mr Shearer said, as leader, he had not felt the party was united behind him at all times.

      “At the beginning of this year, for example, I felt that we had a real head of steam up. But there’s a group that obviously had been supportive of me before and moved away.”

      Mr Shearer, who worked for the United Nations for more than a decade, said he felt more comfortable in war zones than in politics.

      “I mean, obviously in politics you’re getting sniped at from all directions. In a war zone, you can generally tell who the good guys are and who are the bad guys.”

      Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Shearer-mute-on-choice-for-replacement/tabid/1607/articleID/312356/Default.aspx#ixzz2eGc68Ze2

  5. Tracey 5

    does anyone know when polls began the march toward replacing thinkng and fact as the founation of our democratic system…

  6. Tracey 6

    interesting that shearer says the previous labour voter who walked away was white male and middleclass.

  7. David H 7

    Brian Edwards on The Nation, having a go at TV3 for a “piece of Shameless Publicity for Shane Jones.” re the 3rd Degree piece last week.

  8. Tracey 8

    mind you he is for cunliffe and didnt think there should be a leadership contest

  9. Anne 9

    David Shearer gave his best ever interview on Q&A. He looked relaxed and rested. Some interesting comments re- the infighting within caucus and the party. I had the impression he is not happy with certain caucus members who originally gave him support and then pulled it (presumably when they thought the time was right for them?). Contrary to Shane Jones’ supporters claims, he has not and will not reveal who he would like to see win the contest. He is adamantly opposed to NZ joining the US in unilateral action against Syria and for all the right reasons.

    • Neoleftie 9.1

      One wonders if shearer has cut a deal for the foreign ministry.

    • gobsmacked 9.2

      Shearer perfectly demonstrates why he could be Foreign Minister. He talks about Syria – he’s engaged, informed, reasonable.

      He also perfectly demonstrates why he should never have been Labour leader. He doesn’t like opposition politics, it’s too negative, but … what? He had no choice? Trev told him to do it? He was the leader, for crying out loud. Take some responsibility for your own decisions, man.

      Plus another sideswipe at the “blogs”. Sad.

      • Blue 9.2.1

        Not liking the ‘pettiness’ of politics is exactly why he should never have aspired to be Labour’s leader. The party leader NEEDS to thrive on the cut and thrust of politics. That’s what makes the papers and captures the interest of people who are not interested in politics.

        It’s an absolute requirement and Shearer is as thick as two bricks if he doesn’t understand this. It still makes me incredibly angry that he sought the leadership when he clearly had no idea what he was signing up for.

  10. johnm 10


    This continuing disaster has so far no foreseeable resolution: We need to begin sampling of all seafood coming to market for radiation. The sooner the better. E.G. I’ve seen fish from Alaska being sold. Also where does most of our tuna come from? Radiation testing would reassure the Public that fish, so far is still safe, hopefully. Fukushima is becoming the most epic environmental disaster of all time except may be Climate Change.

    For continuous updates on Fukushima go to: http://www.rense.com/

    • infused 10.1

      Continuous updates on adverts…

    • Bill 10.2

      Hilary Clinton came to a ‘won’t ask, don’t tell’ arrangement with Japan just under two years ago. But since tuna are top of the food chain, I’d say there is an inevitability regards their contamination. How much? Any tasting is kinda cursory…check for gamma. So that misses ‘hot particles’ and strontium amongst a host of other things.

      meanwhile… that mutton bird you have in your freezer? I wouldn’t.

      For non-advert saturated updates from qualified nuclear engineers and other suitably qualified scientists etc, try this http://www.fairewinds.com/

      • Greywarbler 10.2.1

        Tokyo will be a bit stretched to attend to life changing nuclear problems, which need government intervention not letting the players make up their own game rules. They have just now got the go-ahead for some olympic or other major world event there which will probably cost lots and bring far more people over to the country that they will have to provide safe non-contiminated food for, as well as for their own people and those in particular need in their own ‘Red Zone’.

        It’s such a downer having a nuclear disaster and destruction and death. Reminds me of the cartoon of middle class people chatting with friends about their recent trip to Africa. It hadn’t been a great success. “They had a famine all the time we were there” they said sadly. (Forgive me if I’ve told this one before. It keeps on being relevant.)

    • Treetop 10.3

      The olympic games will be held in Tokyo in 2020. Money over the environment.

    • alwyn 10.4

      There will be neglible amounts of radiation in the ocean caused by the Fukushima station except in the immediate vicinity of the place where it enters the water. It will very rapidly get diluted in the ocean.
      Fish from Alaska aren’t going to be affected.
      As far as Tuna goes isn’t it a deep water, rather than a coastal, fish and if so it is also unlikely to be affected by the comparitvely small releases of radiation into the sea.
      If you are really worried of course, are you aware that there is an estimated 4.5 Billion tonnes of Uranium in the world’s sea-water?

      • johnm 10.4.1

        Hi Alwyn
        Thankyou for your concern. What do you think of this?
        “Death of the Pacific? Radioactive Bluefin Tuna Caught Off California Coast (Study shows Fukushima nuclear pollution becoming more concentrated as it approaches U.S. West Coast Plume crosses ocean in a nearly straight line toward N. America Appears to stay together with little dispersion)”
        Monday, August 26, 2013 16:4


        • alwyn

          I have just come back to look at this so I’ll briefly comment here.
          Headlines like “Death of the Pacific” and pictures of comedy movie villains don’t really strikr me as very good science.
          However to some numbers.
          The pictures illustrating the article you are quoting would appear to me to cover an area of about 3,000 km by 2,000 km. Assuming that any pollution has been spread through an average depth of 1 km, This would represent a volume of about 6 million cubic kilometres.
          This is therefore 6 million billion cubic metres or 6 billion billion litres.
          Accepting the comment below that there are about 30 million litres of polluted water you discover that it has been diluted by a factor of about 2 hundred thousand million times.
          Am I worried by concentrations like that? No way.

      • Foreign Waka 10.4.2

        Your comments show a great deal of ignorance, that is equally shocking as the silencing for a long time of a disaster worse then Chernobyl.

        “Yet in April 2012, fish caught more than 120 miles from Fukushima showed extremely high levels of contamination with radioactive cesium traceable to the failed nuclear plant. That same month, a report from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution showed cesium-137 in ocean eddies 180 miles from Fukushima at levels hundreds to thousands of times higher than expected to occur naturally.”

        “TEPCO has stored enough radioactive water in its weak, faulty tanks to fill more than 130 Olympic-sized swimming pools. The government ordered the company to transfer all the water held in those tanks to more reliable tanks with welded seams” (1 pool hold 2.5 million lt of water – that is 32,500 000 lt of contaminated water that is currently stored in leaking tanks)

        Just to give you something to read up on, see below. Cesium 137 is one of the compound found in fish off the coast of Alaska after the leak.

      • Greywarbler 10.4.3

        Oh okay, no worries then. Business as usual. Don’t know why people are getting concerned.

        • alwyn

          I suggest that you see my comment above about the level of dilution that might be expected.
          As I said. Apart from the area near to the spillage the dilution is enormous and I wouldn’t worry.
          Comments about the wild life, and people, getting ill in Hawaii from the radiation are rubbish.

    • johnm 10.5

      Will Key be selling his house in Hawaii? I think he probably will. Here is a report based on geiger counter readings that Hawaii is already contaminated by Fukushima: includes beaches.

      There are accusations the military have used live depleted uranium rounds in Hawaii which they deny.

      ” Hawaii; Paradise, or Nuclear Radiation Contamination Zone?”

      Quote: At the 9th minute paraphrase: Anyone going to Hawaii now is committing suicide. The narrator says Hawaiians already sick increasingly.

  11. Tracey 11


    and the media, including dann, will be oblivious to their part in presenting him as someone other than the man we saw on tv today. ds did well to resist danns constant desire for ds to turn on lp, and did well not to point the finger back at dann.

  12. Greywarbler 12

    Mike Williams after looking at the Oz results warns that it shows that voters will punish a party for disunity. This is true. But the risk has to be taken to change something and upset a status quo that is defunct. Or more of the same.

    Free market excesses do not now result in bankruptcy and resetting of rules for financials and business. So more of the same!

    Roger Douglas said that first the pain and then the gain was the slogan. Now time to return the compliment with complementary meth.

    There was a talk with 88 year old communist on Radionz.
    Ideas for 8 September 2013 – Communism ( 46′ 03″ )
    10:06 In the latest of our occasional Lived Philosophies series we’re taking a look at
    communism. Dr Kerry Taylor will tell us about the history of revolutionary socialism in New Zealand; and
    Max Wilkinson, the son of one of the founders of the New Zealand Communist Party, looks back on a life of social activism. Produced by Jeremy Rose.

    Max Wilkinson commented on the way that free market is nursed and nurtured in times of trouble by government. I notice this is not so for the poorer members of the community in hard times. And the wealthy getting state assistance tend not to pay back the government with large lumps of taxes from their profits if they ever return to profit. So if government is going to risk its resources on possible failures in the business world, why not put its resources into the poorer world and boost the economy from the demand side??

  13. Greywarbler 13

    Don’t miss this very great Oz satire on elections.
    Aussie election a game of polls

  14. Jon 14

    In the current contest for the Labour leadership, both David Cunliffe and Grant Robertson have positioned themselves against neoliberalism. That is to say, against the dominant form capitalism has taken in the past 30 years. A form defined by deregulation of markets, withdrawal of state intervention in the economy, low tax rates, and so on.

    A potential problem with speaking about neoliberalism is that it obscures the real problem, capitalism itself. Capitalism goes through different forms in response to the particularities of the situation of the day, it takes on new forms to survive and grow.

    In fact, today we can see capitalism in the process of developing a new post-neoliberal form. It’s no longer all about freeing up markets and removing state intervention. In the context of the financial crisis, and the beginnings of a rise of anger by people bearing the brunt of capitalism, we are seeing new post-neoliberal experiments taken on by governments.

    One of the watch cry’s of this new form is ‘partnership’. For instance we have the ‘public private partnerships’ experimented with by both the current National government and the previous Labour government. Rather than a pure neoliberal retreat of the state from the market, we have the state working alongside capital to help capitalism maintain itself. The partial (rather than full) asset sales are another example of the tendency this new form is taking.

    It’s important at this moment to remember that the root cause of the problems facing humanity and the planet today are based not in a particular form of capitalism (eg. neoliberalism), but in the general system of capitalism itself, a system in which decisions of any import for the future of people’s lives and the health of the planet are not made in the interests of humanity and the planet, but in the interests of a tiny minority whose real interest is the accumulation of cash.

    We should watch then with dismay, as David Cunliffe and Grant Robertson, whilst they begin to push political discourse to the left, fall into the trap of this tendency toward a new form of capitalism, a form which will no doubt be stronger than neoliberalism. The recurring theme of ‘partnership’ enunciated by the Labour leadership contenders in a recent Q and A episode (http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a/2013-09-01-video-5551750) shows that there is still a long way to go in shifting political discourse beyond capitalism itself.

    • Anne 14.1

      Thanks for that summary Jon. Excellent.

      All I can say is that David Cunliffe and Grant Roberston could be a start in what will hopefully be the right direction. I want to see David win because he is further advanced in his political preparation and experience and he is right ready for the role. But I would see Grant Robertson as his natural successor in a future leadership role after some cabinet experience under his belt. If they are both genuine about their need to see a much more hands on approach – and I believe they are – then I see no reason why together they couldn’t succeed in changing the course of this country for the better. I see others with obvious talents – eg. David Parker – adding their weight and once again NZ could become a world leader in innovation and good democratic procedures as did the First Labour government.

      Pie in the sky? Well we did it before so we can do it again.

      Oh, and lets not forget the Greens who also have some very talented MPs.

      • Greywarbler 14.1.1

        A really good discussion on radio nz I think in the weekend had the interviewer talking about good nz companies innovating and then selling to someone overseas. The reply was I think that this could be okay if we had the economy bouncing. I think that was the general tone of the reply. And I think it was a discussion of the book Get off the Grass which Sir Paul Callaghan was involved in. It was interesting – worth going to radionz and looking up.

        • Neoleftie

          Too offen offshore investors poach our best startup companies.
          Time the state either directly invested too or created some mechanism to partnership our start up innovators.

        • Puddleglum

          I think what the person (a scientist) was saying in the interview was that it mattered less to him that companies got bought up so long as New Zealand kept the people – as that was where the innovation came from.

          • Greywarbler

            Ah yes that was it. For his argument that is sufficient.

            But then if one adds in the current /ac problems exacerbated by foreign investment owning an increasing bulk of NZ profits, we can’t improve that no matter how well we do, following his ideas.

            It becomes like a ponzi scheme except it’s new businesses being created and going into the mix to make up for the ones already sold off. Or perhaps it’s like farming, we are growing businesses to maturity and then selling them on so that other owners themselves utilise and profit from the product. Similar to the government selling off all or part of our assets into private hands.

    • Sable 14.2

      Correct Jon. The language of capitalism is all National and Labour seem to understand. This shows how far Labour have moved from their roots and I believe its the primary reason they are not popular with voters who would traditionally gravitate towards Labour.

      • Colonial Viper 14.2.1

        Oh don’t be so hard; Labour was always a capitalist political party, has been since the First Labour Government. Plenty of the labour movement split off from Labour around that time because they felt betrayed over the issue.

    • Ad 14.3

      If you thought shifting discourse was hard, shifting policy is harder, shifting a country so hard it’s unlikely. A progressive policy as simple as making Working for Families benefit available to beneficiaries was resolutely shouted down by the electorate last time.

      We are never ever going to be Bolivia. Thankfully.

      • Rogue Trooper 14.3.1

        Achtung Baby ; Until the end of the world.

      • srylands 14.3.2

        “A progressive policy as simple as making Working for Families benefit available to beneficiaries was resolutely shouted down by the electorate last time.”

        WFF is an in work tax credit. Making it available to those on welfare is ridiculous. Even Helen Clark got that. It will never happen. Unless the incoming government wants to be a one term government.

        • felix

          “Elections are one MAN one vote. It would be ridiculous to extend them to women.

          It’ll never happen.

          etc etc ad tedium”

          Said every conservative about everything ever.

        • Greywarbler

          Don’t you know we can think of six ridiculous things even before breakfast? /sarc

        • felix

          Also, WFF is not the same thing as the In-Work Tax Credit – that’s the name of the credit you get if you’re working and don’t have kids, making you ineligible for WFF.

          Once again srylands proves that he doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about because he has never had anything to do with NZ.

          Just fucking give it up and go back to your old username you dildo.

          • weka

            Why can’t non-employed people get an in-work tax credit? Apart from an arbitary distinction about where one’s income comes from (and apart from neoliberal stick is better than carrot ideology), what is the difference between someone on a wage and someone on a benefit?

        • Macro

          So on one hand you welcome a universal income – and on the other you would deny it to around 1/4 million children, who through no fault of their own, have parents who (for what ever reason – disability, lack of jobs, at home supporting young/older family, etc etc) are unable to work?

      • miravox 14.3.3

        “If you thought shifting discourse was hard, shifting policy is harder, shifting a country so hard it’s unlikely”

        Shifting NZ country has been done many times. Some examples:
        – universal suffrage
        – the welfare state
        – state housing
        – anti-apartheid movement
        – environmental movement (Manapouri and the Values Party)
        – nuclear free New Zealand
        – homosexual law reform
        – neo-liberalism

        It’s one of the things the struck my partner when moved to NZ – an idea streams through the country rapidly, at a guess because of the small population. It’s the will to attempt it that’s lacking.

    • karol 14.4

      The term “partnership” and PPPs seem to me to be just a continuation of neoliberalism, and, for Labour parties, a soft version of neoliberalism.

      I don’t see either Robertson or Cunliffe making a major shift away from that without a lot of pressure from activists and others: both a change in discourse and a shift in policies.

      But, in the short term, I want to see a government that works to lessen the inequality gap, strengthen worker-friendly employment laws, stop bennie bashing and improve social security provisions – and also hopefully start working towards an environment friendly steady state economy that provides necessary and life-enhancing jobs and services.

      • srylands 14.4.1

        “But, in the short term, I want to see a government that works to lessen the inequality gap, strengthen worker-friendly employment laws, stop bennie bashing and improve social security provisions – and also hopefully start working towards an environment friendly steady state economy that provides necessary and life-enhancing jobs and services.”

        So to translate – you want a government that increases tax, increases welfare payments, while reducing economic growth to zero? How do you think that is going to go down? You think a government that adopted those policy targets would get a second term?

        • KJT

          Eventually some Government is going to have to bite the bullet and do it. preferably before it is forced on us by AGW and resource depletion.

          As for increasing tax and welfare payments, our Governments part of GDP is half that of many more successful countries, so we have plenty of room to move.

        • Macro

          “So to translate – you want a government that increases tax, increases welfare payments, while reducing economic growth to zero? How do you think that is going to go down? You think a government that adopted those policy targets would get a second term?”

          Reducing economic growth to zero is essential.

          Simply growing the economic pie does not ensure that everyone gets a bigger slice.

          The ideology that states that growing the economy is essential to ensure better outcomes for all is simply the lie that is constantly fed to the unknowing voter by the politicians and their minions the media. Economists of the neo-liberal school – who regrettably have held the ear of government for far to long perpetuate this myth. And it is a myth as, any decent examination of this unfortunate experiment of, the past 3 decades would demonstrate.

          Following the Depression and during the War years knowing what the Nation produced and growing that, was an essential target. However developed economies have now reached a stage where continued growth is being pursed with diminishing returns. We have reached the point where for some commodities further growth is “uneconomic”. We should not be surprised by this, Smith predicted this in his “Wealth of Nations”.

          Furthermore and much more pertinent to the welfare of voters is the unfortunate fact that for the vast majority, they have experienced a decline over the past 3 decades in their relative net worth. For instance in the UK, personal debt as a % of GDP has risen from 60% to over 100% in just 15 years – and continues to increase, while savings as a % of disposable income has fallen from 11% to nothing in the same period. Meanwhile, employment conditions have deteriorated, and while the uber rich get super rich, the rest get poorer.

          A sensible government that understood the need to change our economic direction would in the first instance begin a nation wide education programme and discussion forum in which every adult and young person was encouraged to participate. Nation wide hui’s up and down the country in every town and across every city, where the the desires and aspirations of everyone was considered. The results of the past presented the ideas and possibilities of new and exciting future pathways discussed and at the end of the day the move towards a more fairer and equitable economy would be possible, because then the people would be involved.

          • Clement Pinto

            That is such a good idea.
            May be the Labour Party should organise and start this during the next 10 months through locally organised meetings, through postbox leaflets, through internet/facebook, newspaper articles, blogs, YouTube videos, TV ads etc. Worth the cost, effort and time to create a new social and economic exciting revolution.

            • Macro

              Exactly. Unfortunately the conventional wisdom – as expounded by S’lands and others holds sway. The god of our nation is GDP, if it falls the nation morns, newsreaders frown and the general populace fidget, yet GDP measures earthquake repairs and other natural disasters, spending on cancer and other terminal illness, spending on prisons, and a host of other undesirable expenditures. I does not measure the technical prowess that enables NZ to compete in a world class event such as the Americas Cup, although some of the expenditure is. But the off shore expenditure does not count. It does not include the value of our National Parks or the beauty of our shorelines, or the pricelessness our our kiwi, or the cultural heritage we as NZ possess.
              We need a new measure to assess our economic progress, one that encapsulates all that makes us who we are, and what we wish to become.

      • Neoleftie 14.4.2

        If one is in a partnership arrangement then that partner has a fair amount of control or influence, don’t you think carol.

        • karol

          that partner

          It takes more than one to make a partnership. Which partner are you thinking has that “fair amount of control and influence”?

          • Neoleftie

            Oh Karol…we sing from the same song book one thinks.
            Here goes.
            Next way….PPP could provide direct state intervention or control at private sector board level in a meaningful manner.
            Say govt invested cash and infrastructure in a particular sector or business um forestry but conditional on union awards, pays rates conditions and well anything…govt bring to bear its influence to bring about change in the private market.
            Why not all a combination mixed model…private, state and ppp businesses.
            Now ppp could also be collectives too. Worker state ppp sharing profits etc. ( my fav).

            • karol

              Oh Karol…we sing from the same song book one thinks.

              I don’t think so. PPPs are to me a third way thing, not a “new way”.

              • Neoleftie

                Define new way then please?
                Third way ppp were simply state giving away our money with little involvement or influence.
                I favour direct meaningful involvement in the private sector to bring about change and betterment for workers etc in a real and timly manner.

                This is beyond the failed third way and neo lib consensus.

                • karol

                  You’re the one talking “new way”, so why would I have a definition of it?

                  The state does have involvement in PPPs.

                  If the state is directly involved in private sector enterprises, to the point of having dominant control, it would no longer be a private enterprise.

  15. AIPAC pushes for action in Syria.

    The influential pro-Israel American Israel Public Affairs Committee will deploy hundreds of activists next week to win support in Congress for military action in Syria, amid an intense White House effort to convince wavering U.S. lawmakers to vote for limited strikes.

    Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Sep-07/230402-pro-israel-us-lobbying-group-sets-major-push-for-syria-action.ashx#ixzz2eGxWETd7

  16. chris73 16


    – Is this Mallard calling in favors because he knows he’ll have some explaining to do when Cunliffe wins the leadership?

  17. Rogue Trooper 17

    Excellent to see Two more of the unions behind David Cunliffe.

    [lprent: I adjusted your excess bold. ]

    • felix 18.1


      edit: let me help. Which stupid case would you like to make?

      stupid 1. taxi drivers in Melbourne are richer than chimney sweeps in Albania so why are they complaining, or

      stupid 2. a barman poured me a beer in 30 seconds and charged me 10 bucks, therefore bartenders are on $1200 per hour.

  18. joe90 19

    A letter from the Syrian American community.


    • Rogue Trooper 20.1

      ahhh, yes, that was it. While skedaddling through Feb’s New Scientist , as you do, I noticed the library’s subscription to Creation magazine, $7.50 Australian you’re not going to need in the ‘promised land’.

    • weka 20.2


      What, you think the New World Order can’t comandeer a few eagles?

  19. JK 21

    “I hear that Trevor Mallard threatened to resign if David Cunliffe won. Folks, that’s a two for one special that no one can turn down. ” This is from Martyn Bradbury on The Daily Blog.

    I wish !

    • weka 21.1


      Most see that in Mallard: the bruising, fiery frontrower who deals out the rough stuff and sometimes goes too far (think of his brawl with National MP Tau Henare or select committee stoush with policeman Mike Bush). In contrast, he sees the ultimate utility player, a team man who helps wherever he can. Whoever emerges victorious from the leadership battle (he’s backing Grant Robertson), Mallard – despite the longevity of his parliamentary career – wants to continue in the engine room.

      “It depends on whoever wins, whether they want to use my talents or not – that’s up to them, I’m not pushy.”



      • Murray Olsen 21.1.1

        Did he define those talents? I haven’t noticed much except stupid sideshows and closing schools, plus foundation membership of ABC.

  20. xtasy 22

    Exploratory and interesting music from a Chilean group in concert in Chicago, really worth looking at:

    El pueblo unido jamas cera vencido!

  21. xtasy 23

    Dear Tangata Whenua, this is “spiritual” and “enlightening”, I suggest to take a listen and view, as this is YOUR way also, to go, to assert your culture, and your collective interests:


    Excuse me, I am just an observer, but see this as important.

  22. xtasy 24

    Like in Chile, or other places, whenever questions of “power” arise, the forces diallowing free speech and democracy are right there and HIT us, it is the actual breach of international laws, that is intimidating most. It is a criminal organisation, based in the US and even US dominated UN that keep us locked into dependency and servitude.

    It is time for ALL NZers, and sadly most are wage and salary “slaves”, to take a bloody stand now and get rid of this corrupt, lying, self serving government.

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