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Open mike 09/03/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 9th, 2013 - 72 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

72 comments on “Open mike 09/03/2013 ”

  1. Dr Terry 1

    Can anybody explain Patrick Gower for me? (I found his recent piece glorifying Key very tiresome and nauseating). But am I misunderstanding him on the basis of this single and seemingly sycophantic column? I hope that working for TV 3 he is at least reasonably impartial in his views and prognostications, and perhaps on the whole he is – I simply do not know.

    • Boonman 1.1

      I think his grand plan is to create issues or crisis where there is none. Remember, he did learn his craft from Duncan Garner who often loosely disguised his commentary as ‘news reporting’.

      • infused 1.1.1

        Pretty much. From what I’ve seen he’s neutral. He does the same shit to Labour.

    • The Al1en 1.2

      “Can anybody explain Patrick Gower for me?”


    • tc 1.3

      Working for any MSM is pretty much toeing the Govt line or you get Bovver Boy Joyce visiting you. recall mediawonks enjoyed a tax free loan and Stevie Wonder was also a shareholder not so long ago so Gower is as impartial as Garner still isn’t.

  2. Morrissey 2

    The following article is recommended to those people on this board who self-describe as “liberal” because they recycle whatever the self-described “liberal” organ the Grauniad says about anything and everything….

    Why does the Guardian hate Chavez so much?

    Yesterday on facebook , James O’Nions asked why the Guardian hates Chavez so much?

    Today’s coverage drives home the hatred. The editorial, Rory Carroll’s coverage from Caracas, Martin Kettle’s narcissistic ruminations (which led him as they always do back to his starting point: the necessity of a rejection of the left), and worst of all Phil Gunton’s obituary, the most slanted I have ever read in the Guardian.

    According to Gunton, the process of democratisation in Venezuela, which is incomplete but whose advances are demonstrable, has been nothing other than a steely march to dictatorship. It’s a remarkably demonic account of history, in which the people of Venezuela are merely dupes.

    When Blair goes, you can be sure the Guardian will run a respectful, “balanced” obituary and a “measured “ editorial. Some faults and failures will be acknowledged, but he will be handled with kid gloves. Yet Blair is guilty of a range of crimes which dwarf anything that can reasonably be attributed to Chavez.

    One of Chavez’ political errors was to embrace repressive regimes simply because they were on the US’s bad side. But unlike Obama, he did not arm dictators and he did not strike at his foreign enemies with lethal violence, which Obama does week in week out. Yet the Guardian elite treats Obama with a respect and a kind of (spurious) collegiality that they would never extend to Chavez.

    Chavez’s achievements cannot be acknowledged because to acknowledge them would be to concede ground the Guardian elite cannot bear to concede: that the poor and working class can shape their own destiny and mould their own leaders; that effective democratic leaders do not have to conform to the Guardian‘s sense of decorum; that the inflated world of political calculation and positioning as the Guardian elite know it is itself marginal; that in the end the makers of history are not people like themselves.

    The Guardian elite sneers at Chavez’ “populism” – i.e. his popularity among what is assumed to be an emotion-driven uncritical lumpen mass. Policies that prove effective in alleviating poverty and improving social conditions are dismissed as “populist”, as a form of electoral bribery, just in case anyone gets the dangerous idea they might be more broadly applicable.

    Is there another example of poverty-alleviation on the scale seen in Venezuela since 1999 anywhere in living memory (or even beyond)? You might think that this achievement alone would give pause and make the Guardian rethink its Chavez narrative, but no. The facts are just too awkward to be assimilated. They undermine not just a world view but a world view in which these people have a personal stake.

    What’s vital to their self-perceptions is a sense of being cognisant of and playing a role within “the world as it is”. It’s this that makes them feel superior to others, especially others who persist in seeking radical change. In most cases subscribing to “third way” politics and its evasions is what got them where they are. Had they resisted the neo-liberal tide, they would not have progressed as they did. They have a vested interest in “the world as it is” and so they cannot afford to acknowledge that “another world is possible.”

    I specify the Guardian elite because many people who work there do not share these views and values. There is a battle inside the Guardian but in the end the elite prevail. After all, it’s not a democracy or a cooperative.

    Do not underestimate the self-regard of this elite. Their wildly misjudged support for the Lib Dems in 2010 was partly driven by the desire to be “players”, “king-makers” in the political game. Far from being inveterate oppositionists, the Guardian elite resent being excluded from the power and prestige they believe they deserves. One of the thorns in their side is their readership, which they would if they could happily exchange for another – less left wing, less critically minded, and certainly richer.


    • Murray Olsen 2.1

      Good article, Morrisey. Thanks for that.
      Funny how if the poor like something, it’s populism. If the rich and their wank tanks like it, it’s sensible and stable politics. Far too much of our thinking has been moulded by the rulers of the world. When some of us think that it is more important that a family which has raped a country for centuries keep their dishonestly obtained television station than that even one poor family have food and a roof over their heads, something is badly wrong. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who has their priorities so mixed up should stick to WhaleSpew’s cesspit.

    • infused 3.1

      The two food companies spending cash to stop each other? Who cares.

      • RedLogix 3.1.1

        Who cares? Surely all that cash being spent trying to shut each other down could have been used to … pay some of their suppliers better prices, or keep food prices down?

        Just saying.

      • geoff 3.1.2

        It’s one of the supermarket duopolists engaging in anti-competitive behaviour so obviously a lot of people would care about this. Hence why stuff is running the story, linked from its front page.

        [RL: Deleted.]

        Honestly, I can’t imagine spending time hanging around on political blog that I didn’t agree with, waiting to say some snide, thoughtless comment.

        [RL: Deleted. Not needed.]

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3

        There are better things to do with the time and resources that these two entities are wasting.

    • tc 3.2

      They’ve been doing this for a long time, thank Paula Rebstock for it.

      Woollies is applying the pressure on the Oz govt as Aldi has started to bite into the near duopoly they have with Coles.

  3. Morrissey 4

    Lyin’ Lady statue is on the way

    8 March 2013

    Former Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher will have a statue erected in her honour in her home town of Grantham in Lincolnshire. A plan to raise more than £200,000 for a statue and renovation project at the Grantham Museum has been unveiled.

    Labour councillors had called for a town centre statue after the Conservative-majority authority voted against the move last week.

    Grantham Community Heritage Association (GCHA) is behind the latest plan.

    Read more, if you can bear it, HERE….

    • Daveosaurus 4.1

      I’d be in full support of that plan, as long as they buried her under it first. Alive or dead, doesn’t really matter. And then the statue could be called “The tree of liberty”.

    • Populuxe1 4.2

      I can’t say I like the woman, and she was a horrible PM, but there are one or two things I admire about her, particularly her stance on Hong Kong and her resolve in the Falklands crisis.

      • Murray Olsen 4.2.1

        Oh yes, rah rah. For a couple of months she made Little Britainers think that they still had an empire. Stirring stuff, much better than any Latinos are capable of. If only Venezuela had had a leader with her resolve!!

        • Populuxe1

          Ah, no. Tacky jingoism aside, the Falklands (uninhabited at the time of European discovery) have been a British territory almost as long as the modern state of Argentina has existed. The Falkland Islanders are all adamant they want to remain British, and in recent years Argentina has made it as easy as possible for Falkland Islanders to take up Argentinian citizenship with very few takers. Given that it was Argentina who without provocation and quite illegally invaded a self-determined British territory, I think it’s fairly clear who was the more imperialist in that instance. That’s a bit like saying the US was perfectly justified in invading Iraq because it wanted the oil.

          Also, Argentinians aren’t “Latino” – that is an exclusively US term. They are Latin Americans if you like, but like most South American countries they are multiracial.

          • Draco T Bastard


            Personally, I’d go with the inhabitants wish to remain British. Of course, that may not be possible in another 20 or 30 years no matter what they wish.

            • Colonial Viper

              If the Argies had stuck with it for another 2 weeks the Brits probably would have had to give up and go home.

              Today, the Brits would be fucked. No way to get military aircraft into a conflict there – no aircraft carriers left.

              Cost cutting you see.

              • Populuxe1

                They’re building two of the new Queen Elizabeth class to be completed in 2016 band 2018. And as far as I’m aware, the HMS Illustrious is still in service as an Assault Ship.

                • Colonial Viper

                  That’s true but those are sea trial dates IIRC; I don’t think that the first carrier will become fully operational until 2019/2020.

      • Morrissey 4.2.2

        I admire particularly her stance on Hong Kong and her resolve in the Falklands crisis.

        Hong Kong and the Malvinas Islands. Two outrageous examples of British imperialism, condemned by liberals and democrats from the very moment of their appropriations.

        Did you also admire Stalin’s resolve during the Kulak crisis?

        • The Al1en

          “Two outrageous examples of British imperialism”

          Don’t be dummy.

          One given back in accordance with the 100 year lease.
          One taken back in accordance with international law.

          • Morrissey

            The only “dummy” here is you, my pitiable friend. At least Populuxe1 is aware that he’s spouting nonsense. Your “100 year lease” howler shows nothing more than gross ignorance.

            • Te Reo Putake

              Why’s it a howler. Moz?

              • Morrissey

                1.) It was far more than one hundred years.

                2.) The fool seemed to be implying it was a straightforward business deal between two consenting parties. If it was that, then so was the Anschluss in 1938.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Well, no, not longer, it was 99 years, actually. And no question that the UK had the upper hand in the negotiation, thought the fact that it was a lease not a purchase suggests that the imperial power was on the decline. But, as Al1en correctly notes, the lease is an historical fact.

                  • Morrissey

                    Sorry, you and Alien are technically correct. My apologies.

                    But my point still stands: the British control of China’s jewel lasted for far longer than one hundred years. The 1898 lease was an extension of the “lease” Britain granted itself in 1842. So China suffered the humiliation for 155 years.

                    Generally Chinese diplomats sat stoically as the likes of Thatcher and Chris Patten lectured them about human rights, but as the 1997 hand-back approached, the Chinese increasingly expressed their impatience with, and contempt for, those hypocrites.

        • Populuxe1

          And today Hong Kong enjoys considerably more democracy and freedom than the mainland largely because of Thatcher’s posturing at China, and how exactly is one nation acting to defend it’s previously uninhabited and self-determined colony against another nation “imperialism”. By the way, where do you think Argentina came from? Here’s a hint, they’re also a colonial power. Are you actually defending the right of countries to invade sovereign territories whenever they feel like it? Interesting.

          • Morrissey

            You know, even for you, that was a masterpiece of convoluted, surrealist thinking.

            Let us know when the Space Shuttle comes back to earth, will you?

  4. Its still International Women’s Day

    Socialism, women’s liberation and the working class women’s movement we need today

  5. Tim 6


    …. on RNZ National 9am news bulletin this morning, Key when speaking to a group of business leaders in St America:
    attempting to counter the idea that FTAs contribute to unemployment key said
    “…. there’s no evidence to support those facts”

    He’s so accustomed to spin now that actual FACTS are meaningless to him when it comes to pushing his barrow.

    Actually what he said was:
    “snow evdince sport those fex”, but I’ve learnt how to translate.

    • Tim 6.1

      Update 10am bulletin …. RNZ News took the liberty of translating Key to push that barrow, rather than rebroadcast what he actually said. Classic!

  6. North 7

    Kim Hill this morning on RNZ with a clearly knowledgable John Lee Anderson re Chavez:

    “Chavez is going to be enbalmed so you’ll be able to see him when you go back there…..which is a bit of a worry in itself isn’t it ?” – or words to that effect.

    Oh, really ? Hints of a wealthy, eurocentric, taking-the-piss sneering there Kim.

    Removed I acknowledge but in principle not unlike the widely evident sneering half-smiles here in New Zealand in reaction to Maori tangihanga.

    As one commenter has insightfully remarked on TS in the past few days, it would pay us to have a look at the everything of it through the eyes of the vast numbers of grindingly poor Venezuelans whom Chavez has lifted, before we rush to judgment.

    In short darling, kick off your loafers acquired from somewhere smart in Lambton Quay and slip gracefully into some moccasins. For God’s Sake, they carve Founding Fathers’ faces on mountains in some places. Rush’ Less not ‘More to judgment.

    • Morrissey 7.1

      I heard the interview too, North. Like you, I was a little perturbed to hear Ms Hill’s slightly sardonic tone in a couple of her comments, but overall it was a fair and intelligent discussion.

      • North 7.1.1

        Yes it was. Simply cautioning against assessing others’ world view through eyes which know nothing of that world.

        The soul-less Monique “Angel” seen on TS yesterday spewing “Chavez billionaire bastard ” talk has probably smashed her wireless.

    • Colonial Viper 7.2

      Founding Fathers??? How awful and patriarchal. And the alliteration gives me a headache 😀

  7. kiwi_prometheus 8

    The Yanks demonize anyone who doesn’t play their game.

  8. johnm 9

    The Artist Taxi Driver on the betrayal of their constituency by the Lib Dems who sold out the students and disabled. Don’t forget key and Campbell are chums.
    The U$K ME SOCIETY and the Welfare Reform Bill, which victimises the disabled.

    “Libdems; everything that’s wrong with humanity”


  9. idlegus 11

    “”However, Key rejects Chile as a serious rival to the 100 per cent brand – pointing to their booming extraction industries.” ha! he argues against himself, such a hollowman


    • idlegus 11.1

      sorry about the weird link, couldnt fix.

      • Tim 11.2.1

        Yea! Dr Terry opened by asking where Gower is coming from. In the same vein, I have to ask where Espiner is coming from. There all basically egotists I know (albeit Geee-on being a shyish sort of one), and all Garner worshippers, but I’m wondering whether they’re starting to realise the time of Key worship is almost up (that emperor has no clothes, and long term he’ll be damaging to one’s health – let alone credibility)

        • Tim

          Internet hang
          “There all” should read ‘They’re all”. (above – not that anyone gives a shit)

  10. RJLC 12

    Any comment on the MRP TV propoganda catchphrase implying that pre registration is all about “sharing” ?


  11. Colonial Viper 13

    Private health provider gets the profits, public system picks up the pieces


    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      Well, yeah, that’s what they do. Need a law that says that any private health that requires social health care response and the private health insurer will be picking up the tab.

      An Invercargill teenager who was vomiting blood and losing consciousness had an hour-long wait for an ambulance this week, despite being less than a 10-minute drive from Southland Hospital.

      Ambulance service obviously needs better funding so that they can hire the necessary people to do the job rather than rely entirely upon volunteers.

      • Murray Olsen 13.1.1

        I was told that the ambulances are directed from a call centre in Auckland, which obviously has no local knowledge as far as addresses go. This causes all sorts of problems and delays in remote areas. Rural GPs hate it, but no doubt some idiot with an MBA has shown it’s more efficient.

        • Draco T Bastard

          According to the article the wait was because both ambulances were out initially and the reason why they had so few was because of the lack of volunteers.

      • millsy 13.1.2

        Not taking anything away from the volunteers, but I think we need more paid fulltime ambulance staff, and we need to have the ambulance services run a government agency, not a charitable trust. The Fire Service seems to me to be a logical choice to run it. Kinda like the FDNY, they also run an ambulance service (or used to?).

        This would free up St Johns to be medics at events and sports games, etc.

  12. Draco T Bastard 15

    Exploring the future with models

    Mental models – most commonly expressed as philosophies, beliefs, or worldviews – are built intuitively through time, drawing on many sources (such as parents and peers) and guide our participation in society, our decisions and actions. They are not required to be internally consistent. In contrast, scientific models use scientific understanding of real world processes (such as physical laws of mass and energy) to require internal consistency.

    The complexity and interconnectedness of the modern world means that now more than ever it is important to use internally consistent models that can evolve with new understanding. Scientific models can be used to spot what is plausible and what is not and to identify futures that are both desirable and possible.

  13. dan1 16

    Provincial hospitals will face increasing pressure on services. The recent meeting in Blenheim indicates worries re downgrading of services.

    There was good coverage in the local newspaper.
    One quote that was missed was: “This electorate has supported the National Party for many elections. It is time the same loyalty was shown in return”. The meeting was called by National party activists so that it is going to be an interesting few months as to whether the incumbent Colin King will be the candidate in the next election.

    And I hear along the grapevine that planners are working for one hospital board for the whole South Island. Can someone confirm or refute.

    • millsy 16.1

      Deja vu all over again. Hundreds of hospitals were closed by National in the 1990’s to pay for Bill Birch’s tax cuts (with Bill English, as CHE/Health minister leading the charge). Now Bill has more tax cuts to pay for, and the rest of the hospitals to close…

  14. Populuxe1 17

    Posted by Clare Curran on Faceberk today (one couldn’t help but guffaw at the hypocrisy)

    “I heard today that news presenters of radio shows across our land are being told from on high not to raise big issues of the day in their on-air patter such as “Syria” “Iraq or “Hugo Chavez”. Rather to focus on matters of moment such as the Kardashians or the Royal baby. I guess that’s all we deserve really! Apparently it makes things easier for the advertisers”

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