Open mike 09/03/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 9th, 2016 - 112 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

112 comments on “Open mike 09/03/2016 ”

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1

      Why so excited then?

      • Cowboy 1.1.1

        Probably because this is the issue that will fell the govt.

        There is going to be major social dislocation in regional NZ and by election time it will be blowing through the cities as well.

        IMHO the govt has made a tactical blunder in trying to downplay this issue. Farmers won’t necessarily blame the govt but they will expect empathy beyond being called ” resilient ” and hearing platitudes about how “very bright” the future is.

        That said, opposition parties need to articulate a credible suite of policies to position NZ inc further up the value chain. Rod Oram has been giving them the template for ages.

        Remember this is MMP and it only takes a small shift to change the guard.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

          The Left love misery and are so eager for it.

          • adam

            That is a ill informed comment on so many levels The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell, it is hard to know where to begin with your obvious gaps in education.

            Next, you will be blaming the left for the failure of capitalism.

            • weka

              He’s trolling.

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                Capitalism is going fine.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Yep, it’s destroying society just like it always has.

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrel

                    Yet, where it had been practiced, poverty has decreased, the rights of minorities have gained growing respect, women are more equal and life expectancy rises.

                    In comparison to every other system ever tried, it is doing fabulously. Which is why record numbers of people are fleeing those other systems to get into capitalist ones.

                    You should try hooking up with the Shining Path, Draco. Bet it disappoints.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      In fact, social democracies and mixed economies have achieved the results you claim for Capitalism. You should try hooking up with Augusto Pinochet Gormless.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Yet, where it had been practiced, poverty has decreased, the rights of minorities have gained growing respect, women are more equal and life expectancy rises.

                      Nope. Where it has been practised we’ve seen growing poverty, decreased human rights and decreasing life expectancy.

                      The only reason why we’ve increases in those over the last century is because of socialism. Now that capitalism is back in force we’re seeing the reversal.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrel

                      OK , Draco. What alternative are you proposing that has worked in the real world. Time and place, please.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Poor OAB. Can’t bring himself to say that those ‘social democracies’ are all based on Capitalist principles.

                      ‘Smash it all down’ eh. And still, after all the discussions I’ve seen here, no one can propose a compelling alternative.

                    • McFlock

                      those ‘social democracies’ are all based on Capitalist principles.

                      Typical semantic bullshit.

                      Every one of them incorporates some capitalist principles, as well as some socialist principles.

                      Not one of them is entirely based on capitalism.

                      Capitalism is a big dog that needs to be trained, restrained and caged while it serves whatever purpose is required. In a social democracy, socialism is the restraint. And democracy is what ensures only the right dog is restrained at the right time.

                    • The lost sheep

                      You me and OAB agree on this much at least then McFlock.
                      Any viable system must incorporate at least some Capitalist principles.

                    • The lost sheep

                      @ Gormless ‘What alternative are you proposing that has worked in the real world. Time and place, please’
                      You will have noticed that none of the ‘revolutionaries’ here ever answer that question, no matter how many times it is asked.

                      But if course, they must have something in mind? You couldn’t get that far in your thinking without having some glimmering of an alternative to the current situation?

                      Why can’t they say it then eh? What’s there to be shy about?

                    • McFlock

                      You me and OAB agree on this much at least then McFlock.
                      Any viable system must incorporate at least some Capitalist principles.

                      I talked about social democracies.
                      You dragged that out to “any viable system”.

                      You really are a disingenuous piece of shit. And that’s when you’re not outright lying.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      You will have noticed that none of the ‘revolutionaries’ here ever answer that question, no matter how many times it is asked.

                      Actually, I have – many times.

                      How an economy works

                      I’ve said many times that we need to get rid of the rich as they are the problem and not the solution. That means getting rid of private ownership of land, homes and businesses.

                      The land would be owned by the state and people would have a lease on it.
                      Homes should be rented from the state with a life time lease. First in, first served. Having a home would be a right.
                      Businesses would be a legal entity that has no shareholders and is run as a cooperative by the people who work there. The monetary reforms above would ensure that they have access to the money necessary to start up.

                      Politics would be Participatory Democracy rather than the Representative Democracy that we have at present that only represents the will of the rich thus making it an oligarchy/plutocracy.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      Lot of “would be”s, Draco. Got an example of that working anywhere in the history of the world ever?

                    • The lost sheep

                      @ Draco ‘Actually, I have – many times.’

                      Yup. I give you credit for that, and that is a very clean and straight forward statement of your alternative thanks. Pity more of those who want to tear the current system down aren’t nearly so willing to state their beliefs so honestly.

                      Of course your system is completely unworkable, because humans beings simply aren’t built like that. You have as much chance of getting humans to agree to live in that manner as you have convincing Great Sharks to go vegetarian.

                    • McFlock

                      another example of sheepy plastering bullshit over their outright lies (“none of the ‘revolutionaries’ here ever answer that question, no matter how many times it is asked”) after the falsehood has been shot down in flames, and hoping nobody notices.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Got an example of that working anywhere in the history of the world ever?

                      Yes. Go read David Graeber’s Debt: The first 5000 years for details.

                      Of course your system is completely unworkable, because humans beings simply aren’t built like that.

                      Wrong. We no longer work on instinct but on intelligence and can choose.

                      Of course, RWNJs tend to choose not to be intelligent.

                    • The lost sheep

                      ‘Wrong. We no longer work on instinct but on intelligence and can choose’.

                      In that case putting your system into place will be very straight forward.
                      All those who share your belief will form a Political Party and put your alternative system to the people.
                      The people will very ‘intelligently’ realise that it is an option they are much keener on than the current system, and so they will ‘choose’ to vote for your Party.

                      No possible flaw in that plan Draco?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      No possible flaw in that plan Draco?

                      Of course there is – it was drawn up by a RWNJ and designed to fail.

                      What we on the Left will do and keep doing is telling and showing people that there are better ways than the dystopia (Yes, that is actually what you describe every time you imply that things are the way things are that’s all they’ll ever be) of the RWNJs. Slowly, but surely, we’ll win out.

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      That explains your unprecedented electoral success.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, over the last 200 years slavery has been made illegal, child labour outlawed, worker safety measures vastly improved, state pensions and benefits introduced, national healthcare systems introduced, the voting franchise extended to women and poor people, the death penalty abolished, husbands no longer allowed to rape or beat their wives, same sex marriage legalised, abortion legalised, capital punishment abolished, unions legalised, the monarchy fading into a constitutional niche, and significant environmental protections and national parks created.

                      Pendulum swings abound from sector to sector, year to year and even decade to decade, but in the long term the times are a’changing.

                    • The lost sheep

                      ‘dystopia (Yes, that is actually what you describe every time you imply that things are the way things are that’s all they’ll ever be

                      As McFlock has pointed out Draco, things do change and thank fuck for that. But If Humans had a natural inclination towards completely egalitarian communal principles and committee based social organisation then under democratic conditions we would be moving towards that.
                      But as democracy evolves Human societies are actually moving in the opposite direction, with the freedom and status of the individual ever more strongly expressed than adherence to a ‘hive’ mindset.
                      That is because we ARE all individuals, and we DO have an individual worldview, and that’s why there is zero support for the kind of system you propose.
                      Thank fuck for that I say. Your system looks like a nightmare to me, and in the highly unlikely event of finding myself in such a situation I would have no option but to subvert it.

                    • McFlock

                      what a load of crap.

                      I talked about the progress over centuries, you’re cherrypicking some areas of the last few decades with no evidence that it’s a change in the long term trends.

                      If you insist on looking at things in terms of recent history, I have two words for your ‘freedom ever more strongly expressed’ bullshit: “patriot act”.

                • maui

                  $57 trillion of more debt put into the system since 2008 to what end? 3rd world countries run by corporations and democracy suppressed. New Zealand runners up to the capitalist big dogs the US in incarceration rates. Rocketing inequality straining society. 300,000 kids with dreams are punished because their parents don’t work 24/7. Nope, it’s tearing itself apart.

          • Cowboy

            Nothing to do with ” the left” it has everything to go with being a farmer and living this reality and knowing how things are affecting my wider community. I am old enough (just) to have been farming in the 80s and know how this plays out. There will be great pain for many and like it or not the govt will be held accountable to some degree. The govt claimed credit when they rode the terms of trade up and they will cop it on way down. This will change the govt.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

              Sorry to hear that, Cowboy. Your point about the government taking credit is well made. It’s a fiction they like to perpetuate when things are going well: we did it. Really, they didn’t (and nor should they).

              • Cowboy

                Judging from English on RNZ this morning he hinted at an enhanced R&D package in budget. The issue is wether it placates the masses or looksike too little too late?

          • Stuart Munro

            We only like your misery fool – payback for all the people who’ve suffered under your vicious and false economic model.

        • weka

          “member this is MMP and it only takes a small shift to change the guard”

          Yes. And we don’t generally give govts 4 terms. Much still depends on Labour appearing competent and the left/centre coalition parties presenting as working together before the election.

        • The lost sheep

          “Remember this is MMP and it only takes a small shift to change the guard”

          You have spotted the danger in this ‘small shift’ idea I take it?
          A similar small shift towards National (1-1.5%) would edge them over the ‘rule alone’ line? A 4th term with a majority for JK and the perfect opportunity for him to put through a few ‘legacy’ projects?

          At this stage of the previous electoral cycle Labour/Greens were sitting on 45% in the polls, but currently they are stuck on the same 40% odd they haven’t been able to shift since the last election.

          Just saying. Maybe it really is time for a change of strategy from the LW?
          (P.S. waiting for events outside your control to happen is not a strategy.)

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Keep it up: perhaps Cowboy will switch sides 😆

          • Cowboy

            “(PS waiting for events outside your control is not a strategy)”
            I agree with that but in reality govts generally get kicked out. The Nats only really need to shed a couple of % and they are in trouble.
            On that I am surprised at Key not feigning more respect for Winston. I watched replay of question time last night and Key mocked Winston mercilessly during an answer. I would have thought Key bright enough to read the tea leaves. Hard to imagine them sitting down and having a reasoned discussion around a coalition.

            • The lost sheep

              We’ve had 4 x 4 term Governments in NZ, so self evidently that can happen again, and as I say, at this stage it looks likely.
              Personally I would think the LW would find that 4th term a wee bit torturous, and would be highly motivated to avoid it.
              But to be honest, I don’t see much sign at all of an urgency to break the current pattern and make the change happen.

              But never a 5th term….so I guess you could say that’s an impossibility. Confident about that? Happy to wait for it?

              As for Winston Peters, JK has known him a long time, and I believe he is perfectly confident that Winston will do the pragmatic thing and join coalition with the Party that gets the strongest mandate at the next election…if he gets the opportunity.
              Anyone who believes that Winston is likely to go into a coalition that involves The Greens is barking mad. Labour yes. National yes. But let me remind you of his comments shortly before the last election…
              Any coalition he was willing to make with The Greens would have to be on terms that rendered The Greens irrelevant, and which they would never accept.

              “If the Greens think they are going to take over the levers of economic management they are assuming that other parties are not watching their record.”
              Peters said there was still a chance for Labour and NZ First to form a government together, claiming that in 2005 the combination delivered the largest surpluses in recent times……
              “Voters need to be disabused of the view promoted by the Greens that we in New Zealand First would stand by whole they promote extremist views in government,” Peters said.
              Peters praised both Finance Minister Bill English and Labour spokesman David Parker as men of integrity.
              “I see both of them as capable of being Ministers of Finance.

    • maui 1.2

      If you saw Country Calendar last week then everything is fine. Guy owned 4 dairy farms and taking on debt was just part of the game and healthy risk taking… I think they said his dad had been through the 80s crash as well and lesson was apparently learnt..

      • pat 1.2.1

        and you believed him?

        • maui

          I probably would have not so long ago, and I reckon since it was being shown by the authority that is Country Calendar that most of the audience would have been fine going along with it too.

          • pat

            I see….my experience is those who were in the industry during the eighties have a much more realistic view than those involved since….even within family.

            it is a generational, life experience difference

    • DH 1.3

      Following the discussion on the Auckland City IT fiasco I saw this article from 2011….

      The bit that took my notice is at the bottom;

      “Council chief executive Doug McKay said the cost of implementing computer systems was scary, but as far as he could tell the transition agency ran a good process.

      The former private sector boss said he had implemented three new computer systems in the past and each time there had been serious cost blowouts.”

      Seems he can add a fourth to his resume, that article was rather prophetic. I can’t help but think there’s something badly wrong when a CEO who’s already overseen three IT cost blowouts lets another happen on his watch. What does a CEO actually do these days?

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.1

        What does a CEO actually do these days?

        Gets a nice, easy sinecure where s/he gets nicely rewarded for no personal risk and gives jobs and profits to the favoured.

      • TC 1.3.2

        Mckay is experienced at watching sap projects blow out from their original bs number to land on what the real cost was always going to be.

        Sap is up to 20 times more expensive than similar packages that do everything it does except look as good on peoples resumes for the next sap trough.

  1. Why Trump is filling stadiums with working class voters (and no, the answer isn’t “bigotry”):

    Tom Lewandowski, the president of the Northeast Indiana Central Labor Council in Fort Wayne, puts it even more bluntly when I asked him about working-class Trump fans. “These people aren’t racist, not any more than anybody else is,” he says of Trump supporters he knows. “When Trump talks about trade, we think about the Clinton administration, first with Nafta and then with [Permanent Normal Trade Relations] China, and here in Northeast Indiana, we hemorrhaged jobs.”

    “They look at that, and here’s Trump talking about trade, in a ham-handed way, but at least he’s representing emotionally. We’ve had all the political establishment standing behind every trade deal, and we endorsed some of these people, and then we’ve had to fight them to get them to represent us.”

    And from the comments thread:

    I was struck how similar Sander’s arguments are to those of Trump. Sanders passionately spoke out against free trade and NAFTA saying shouting “how stupid is that trade policy?” to audience applause. And I’ve noticed in the Republican debates, Trump is the only one who repeatedly discusses jobs. The others never even mention jobs AFAIK.

    We tend to assume the left is automatically the choice of the working class, but history shows right-wing authoritarian nationalism can also be very attractive if the people peddling it focus on making sure the working class has work that pays.

    • chris73 2.1

      I tell you what though hes right about a couple of things in this:

      Enforcing the laws they already have, fixing the mental health system and fixing the background checks will do more to lower gun deaths then anything (reasonably) else

      Mind you its easier said then done…

      • joe90 2.1.1

        Mind you its easier said then done…

        When a major part of your policy relies on a fairly strong circumstantial case….

        A study (really a study of studies) suggests there is “fairly strong circumstantial case for Exile’s impact” on crime rates. But there’s a fairly strong circumstantial case that a program similar to “Exile” worked in Rochester, NY, while the economy was humming along, and then didn’t once it wasn’t.

    • weka 2.2

      If Sanders and Trump are both talking about jobs and the problems of free trade then why are those working class people supporting Trump? Underneath the concern about jobs is something else.

      • Psycho Milt 2.2.1

        There’s nothing inherently left-wing about a voter just because they’re working class. Which means that, given a choice between left and right candidates who are both talking about jobs for workers, there’s no reason to assume workers will all be attracted to the left-wing one. The 1930s demonstrated that pretty clearly.

        • weka

          Yes, I understand that. I was just curious what the rationale was for so many working class supporting Trump, when Sanders is saying the same things re jobs and free trade. i.e. it’s not about the jobs and free trade, it’s about something else. The man quoted above from the Guardian seemed to be arguing that it was about the jobs. I’m not convinced.

        • swordfish

          Ummm, No.

          The German working class (particularly, the urban, industrial working class) were largely immune to the Nazi electoral appeal. Along with the unemployed, they were the Nazis’ weakest demographic, immersed as so many of them were in the SPD (Social Democrat) and KPD (Communist) sub-cultures.

          Only the (non-unionised) rural and small town working class (often working in small handicraft factories with less than 10 fellow employees) moved to the Nazis in appreciable numbers.

          It was the German rural and urban middle class Right and Centre-Right that swung en masse to Hitler.

  2. Petertoo 3

    Wellington’s Labour mayoral aspirant Justin Lester is at it again! This time, he is advocating that a community park should be fenced off, furnished with ‘all-weather’ turf and given to a private professional football club (Phoenix) AT RATEPAYER EXPENSE!!! Where does this guy get off his endless proposals for subsidising the private sector with rates funding that should be used to maintain the city’s sagging infrastructure and public amenities. It is a sad day when Nicola Young, the true-blue candidate for the mayoralty has a better grip on Council responsibilities than the disingenuous Deputy Mayor.

    • Rosie 3.1

      What park is this Petertoo? Phoenix FC is one of his pet projects and one I’m not willing to fund. He’s wealthy, he can sell his Kapai chain and fund them himself.

      Does he have any comment on Illot Green by the way? I haven’t heard anything. Being on the Developers Advocacy Board I should imagine he’s keen to hock it off for the short term gain of raising the $$$ for earthquake strengthening for the council building.

      They could of course scrap the 9 million dollar corporate welfare programme known as WEID and fund the work that way.

      • Petertoo 3.1.1

        Rosie – Martin Luckie Park in Berhampore. The man has no qualms about this well used public space and the kids league team being shunted by the sound of it.

        It is a widely held belief that the thought of John Illott Green being retained as open space is anathema to Lester. It has also been mooted that Pike, the City Shaper has already been talking deals with his surrogate boss, Mark McGuinness who owns much of what is likely to become known the Willis Bond Waterfront when the privatisation progresses further with the Site 10 (& 11?) developments.

        As for the income from the sale of John Illott Green being used to strengthen the Town Hall – it wouldn’t make much of a dent. The land value, based on sites of similar size on Jervois Quay would be less than $6m. Much less than the nearby site that the ratepayers are paying to kick off the Peter Jackson et. al. museum and a Conference Centre. Obviously the ratepayers have much deeper pockets than Mark Dunajtschik who obviously wan’t prepared to pay an over the odds price to proceed with a proposed Hilton Hotel/Conference Centre on the same Cable Street site.

        Obviously, Lester’s short-termism doesn’t factor in the obvious, that a future Council will have to buy and demolish other commercial buildings (like Midland Park at $millions) to provide open space for urban apartment dwellers.

        • Rosie

          Sorry, yes, town hall, not council buildings.

          I’m hoping that talk of turning the park in Berhampore into an all weather ground for the Phoenix is only talk. It would be deeply unfair to push children’s and adults sports clubs off the field – or would they be expected to concede to the Phoenix when ever they chose to practice on it? I have no idea why we have to fund a professional sports team anyway.

          Re the $134 million convention centre/Jackson film museum site that Mark Dunajtschik couldn’t stump up for, for his hotel plans – he’s also on the executive for the Property Developers Advocacy group, alongside Lester. Maybe he said “here Justin, I’m not having it, you can have it”.

        • Draco T Bastard

          It is a widely held belief that the thought of John Illott Green being retained as open space is anathema to Lester.

          Such people find anything public is anathema – especially democracy. They will work hard to privatise everything leaving the rest of us as serfs to the new owners. Democracy will be killed by the simple act of selling off the public’s wealth and thus leaving them powerless.

        • alwyn

          “Nicola Young, the true-blue candidate for the mayoralty has a better grip on Council responsibilities than the disingenuous Deputy Mayor”.
          There. I trimmed of the totally unnecessary words from the sentence. Why on earth do you put “It is a sad day when ” in front of them?
          Are you planning to vote for Nicola then? God help us if we have another term of Wade-Brown and Lester sounds even worse, if such a thing is possible.

          Nearly all our present councillors seem to have this delusion that they are far-seeing business entrepreneurs. Then they stuff things up. It isn’t their money and they don’t give a damn about what they waste. I have always held the view that at least one councillor should have to take a personal financial interest in any of these projects they push on the ratepayer. When any guarantee is requested or some “can’t fail” expenditure, such as the Visitor Centre at Zealandia is proposed there should have to be one of the council who says “Yes, I believe it will work. If it falls in a heap I will return all the money I have been paid while on the council to help make up for the losses”. I bet they would be a great deal more careful then.

          The other problem they, like all politicians, have is that they will never admit that anything they do is a failure and should be scrapped. They would rather just keep throwing other people’s money at it for ever. It is one of the reasons we need to get new people on Governing bodies at regular intervals. New people can throw out things that are useless because their ego isn’t involved.
          It gets the same way of course in Central Government. Only the numbers are bigger. The problem at the moment is that there is no viable alternative Government. The opposition at the moment aren’t fit to be allowed near the Beehive. Can’t Labour have a clean out and get people who are capable into Parliament. They still have the fools who should have been dumped at the 2011 election.

          • Petertoo

            Good point at the beginning of your comment alwyn. Guess it reflects how pissed off some, self included, where when we felt obliged to vote for the city damaging faux-Green Wade-Brown to block Morrison last time round. There is obviously some trepidation as to how neo-liberal Nicola Young might be, but then, could she be more in the pockets of business and the developers than Lester? Now waiting to hear if Paul Eagle does a screeming reverse on the earlier statement of support for Lester’s Mayoral campaign.
            Getting back to the former Cr. Morrison, it was a real bummer to find out that the Mayor and her gang of three paid off him off with a $300 000 unrecoverable ratepayer ‘donation’ to establish his favourite Aussie owned call-centre, a cause that morphed into being his employer. Also, impressed with the idea that you consider Cr. Foster should be liable for some of the Zealandia debt. Didn’t the ACT apparatchik Catherine Isaac had a finger in the Visitor Centre pie too?

            • alwyn

              No I don’t think Foster is liable for the debt. I wouldn’t back date my proposal.
              Also Isaac was never a councillor so it couldn’t apply to her.

              To expand on my view.
              The Council is approached to guarantee a loan, or make a loan for something. The people responsible claim that it will not only be self-sufficient but will be so popular that it will be able to repay the loan. See Zealandia.
              When it all goes belly up the Council claims that they couldn’t possibly have known that it would happen and it isn’t their fault. The ratepayer gets screwed.
              I would argue that before any such loans are made, or guaranteed, ONE councillor must be found who will put his/her money where their mouth is. If it crashes they will have to repay to the Council every bit of money they have ever received, up to a maximum of the money the Council has lost.
              No Councillor willing to do that? No Loan is allowed.
              If Foster had been willing to make the promise he would be out of pocket. He has been at the public trough so long we would get back quite a nice little bit of change. He wouldn’t have done it of course.
              That would take care of the “Loans” for Zealandia or for the Stadium. It would have prevented the guarantees for the Embassy Theatre or for the sinking of that old frigate. We were promised that fundraising would mean that the guarantee would never be called on but they were.
              The Council could still spend money on such activities but they would have to vote the money directly, not hide it away to blow up in the future.

              • Petertoo

                alwyn – yes backdating the proposal would be unreasonable but the comment was meant in the hypothetical. The reference to Catherine Isaac was in a different realm though. It is galling that people are shoulder tapped for roles on a ‘political’ and/or ideological basis – stuff up, then there are no consequences. Strange how this is more apparent in the realms of the higher paid – not unlike today’s expose regarding the Ministry of Health and also applicable with regard to Theo Sperrings.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 3.2

      Frankly it is hard to respect any “professionals” who require extensive funding from debt ridden local councils.

      I’m pretty sure the Ole(!) Football Academy didn’t ask for ratepayers in Porirua to chip in, but they have an awesome field with water views.

  3. Rosie 4

    Yesterday Michael Woodhouse managed to insult those who actively resisted zero hours contracts AND NZ workers with this comment

    “Throw a bone at someone to stop barking at cars – call it a backdown if you wish.”

    So the Labour Party, CTU and Unite are merely annoying yapping dogs he had to shut up by throwing a concession over zero hour contracts and workers are the passing cars causing the distraction for the yapping dogs.

    What a smug little Fwit. He really needs to get a dose of reality, like having a look at the demands from employers on job ads. The extract below from is typical of the type of attitude I see every day looking at job ads.

    “This role would suit someone who is mature and savvy with no other commitments to allow for flexibility.”

    This is a part time customer service role with a stated 18 hours a week over two specified days. The rest of the time you need to be on call to cover shifts as required. If you can’t come into work on call because you’re sick, you’re looking after someone who is sick, and well, you have have other commitments because you know, “life” happens then you’ll probably be fired under the 90 day law.

    Its’ these kinds of employers that have to wake up to their responsibilities and that’s why the zero hour law is so important.

    • Olwyn 4.1

      “Throw a bone at someone to stop barking at cars – call it a backdown if you wish.” My jaw dropped on reading that. I am utterly fed up with the culture of contempt that attends this government. Who does he think he is? Nero?

      And by the way, your link didn’t work for me – possibly RNZ has taken the piece down.

      • ianmac 4.1.1

        Worked for me Olwyn.

        • Olwyn

          Thanks ianmac and Rosie – I tried the link again and it worked – it seems I spoke too soon. 🙂

      • Rosie 4.1.2

        Hi Olwyn. I just clicked on the link and it worked………………..?

        I saw Woodhouse say that on newshrub last night – a jaw dropping moment for me too. You’re right about the culture of contempt. This Government is rife with it. No standards, no professionalism, no manners.

        No wonder we are an international laughing stock.

      • Rodel 4.1.3

        Not jaw dropping- just what we expect from anti-empathetic people.
        That comment’ Throw a bone…etc” typifies Tory caught in the headlights reaction.

    • Instauration 4.2

      I have barked at cars and have subsequently needed screws and titanium thrown at my bones. I happily accept the Zero Hours outcome in this vein – not all bones are meal. The merit of barking prevails.

  4. adam 5

    Watching this was odd, I started thinking this does not apply to Auckland, nor New Zealand.

    Then I remembered all the small towns which are now effectively ghost towns up and down this nation.

    The ever increasing prison system

    and the masses of unemployment.

    I know many here don’t want to see capitalism as evil, and I know many here think it can be reformed, but capitalism itself is it’s own worst enemy. We should not be trying to reform it, because in a few generations – it will do all this again.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 5.1

      What system would you favour implementing, adam? Do you have an example of people flourishing under it?

        • adam

          I’m no social democrat,

          I think reforming capitalism is like keeping pet sharks,

          you canny complain when it bites your face off.

          • The lost sheep

            It’s a fair question Gormless is asking Adam?
            Do you really expect the Workers to rise up and destroy their current situation, if you cannot tell them what you would replace it with?

        • The lost sheep

          The New Deal was a set of policies implemented within a Capitalist system, and in fact is widely credited with saving Capitalism.

          So, no. It won’t be very difficult for Adam to find the system we already have.

      • adam 5.1.2

        Workers of the world awaken. Break your chains, demand your rights.
        All the wealth you make is taken, by exploiting parasites.
        Shall you kneel in deep submission from your cradle to your grave?
        Is the height of your ambition to be a good and willing slave?

        Joe Hill

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

          Workers of the world awaken. Break your chains, demand your rights.
          All the wealth you make is taken, by exploiting parasites.
          Shall you kneel in deep submission from your cradle to your grave?
          Is the height of your ambition to be a good and willing slave?

          No, no, I want you to be a bit less specific, please.

      • weka 5.1.3

        “What system would you favour implementing, adam? Do you have an example of people flourishing under it?”

        Egalitarian cultures seem to do pretty well. Take the power away from white men and give it to the Māori kuia and see how we get on.

        • The lost sheep

          You specify ‘Māori kuia’ rather than ‘Māori’ Weka? Is there a reason for the distinction?

          • weka

            I think they are the group of people most likely to prioritise egalitarianism over power, and the importance of the wellbeing of everyone.

            • The lost sheep

              In the context of this discussion then, is it fair for me to suggest that this is an ideal that might be achieved in the future, as opposed to something that has actually been achieved in the past?

              • weka

                We’ve had egalitarianism as the main organising principle, and those cultures definitely let women have power. How we get from where we are now to that I don’t know, but it does seem sensible to give the power to the people least likely to abuse it and most likely to use it for the good of all.

                If you mean changing from a capitalist system, then I don’t know if that’s ever been done.

  5. Tautoko Mangō Mata 6


    The recently signed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will “dramatically” restrict access to affordable medicine in every country that ratifies it, according to a US law expert.
    Writing in scientific journal PLOS Medicine, Professor Brook Baker of the Northeastern University School of Law in Boston argues the TPP will:
    lead to more patents being placed on new medicines
    extend the length of new patents
    restrict access to clinical trial data
    prevent the introduction of new generic medicines
    toughen penalties for patent infringements.

    “TPP member states can expect an avalanche of IP-related claims from disappointed pharmaceutical companies that think their legitimate expectations of future profits have been thwarted.”
    Instead of helping Big Pharma, Prof Baker says the TPP provisions affecting access to healthcare should be scaled back to guidelines and standards agreed at the World Trade Organization in 1994.
    “Health advocates should convince the US Congress and opponents in other countries to reject an agreement that could so adversely impact access to medicines.”

    but wait, there’s more

    A Dunedin academic is criticising the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade for refusing to attend a community-organised meeting on the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement.
    “I think it’s unacceptable, and it calls into question the genuine nature of this public information exercise,” University of Otago Emeritus Prof Sir Alan Mark said.

    As chairman of the Wise Response society advocacy group, Prof Mark has helped organise a public meeting at 7.30pm on March 14, following the Government-organised, TPP-themed road show presentation in Dunedin.

    Prof Mark said the meeting was designed to be more open than the Government-organised one, which required registration and had a limited number of places available.

    • Pasupial 6.1

      Thanks for your first link, I very seldom look at the TV3 website nowadays (didn’t even know that 7days had started up again). I had read that ODT piece earlier and particularly liked this bit:

      Prof Mark said he and Wise Response secretary Dougal MacTavish had signed up to attend the MFAT meeting on March 14.

      Prof Mark said he would promote the community meeting at the Government’s workshop.

      – See more at:

      Perhaps an idea that should emulated at other MFAT “workshops”?

    • greywarshark 6.2

      WTF –

      Prof Mark said the meeting was designed to be more open than the Government-organised one, which required registration and had a limited number of places available.

      The government is openly showing derision for the people and their right to govern the country, and control the government that has been voted in to work for the people. Aren’t I naive. But I still think that.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1

        IIRC, Don Brash referred to the voters as “the punters out in punterland.”

        It seems to be an attitude typical of the Tories high up in any organisation.

  6. ianmac 7

    The first part of your post should get wider publicity. Serious stuff and one that we should be able to articulate it in the MSM.

    And the second part is much closer to home and should get wider attention as well and beyond the ODT.
    I wonder how to do that?
    Well spotted Tautoko Mangō Mata.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 7.1

      Even more from Stiglitz.
      Forget ISIS, worry about ISDS foreign trade pact clause, economists say

      Giving the keys to the country away

      What is it that has put Stiglitz, a professor at New York’s Columbia University, on the warpath? It is the obscure treaty enforcement mechanism called the Investor-State Dispute Settlement, referred to by those “in the know” as “ISDS.”

      Stiglitz told reporters recently at a National Press Club event (which I moderated) that the ISDS clause within the pact would allow foreign firms in America to sue “when the U.S. government passes a regulation that they think hurts their profits.”

      He notes that American firms would not have this power under the law. Stiglitz calls it “fundamental discrimination against Americans, particularly small businesses.”

      How might this work if Congress were to ratify the trade agreement?

      Stiglitz makes an analogy comparing to what might have happened decades ago when asbestos was found to be a health risk and banned. If “the U.S. government would have to compensate any foreign-owned asbestos company” for future lost profits — as under the TPP — in effect, he says companies would have to be “compensated for not killing people or for not destroying their lives.”

      And that means taxpayers would be on the hook for billions of dollars.

  7. joe90 8

    Just an ordinary guy.

    Ari Melber Verified account

    New: Trump admitted he makes UNDER $500,000 a year in a 2016 tax filing.

    That got him $300 back.


  8. joe90 9

    Blowhards, trolls and rat-fuckers – say it ain’t so.

    And as probability becomes clearer, I’ve been hearing and reading people who profess to be leftists or progressives saying they will never vote for Clinton but might instead vote for Trump.

    Anybody who does that is a freaking numbskull. Anybody claiming to be on the left who votes for Trump deserves not an ounce of respect. Anybody who thinks putting this billionaire bully into the White House makes any kind of sense has none. And anybody who urges people to vote for him is dead to me.

    I have no idea how many actual Sanders’ supporters are considering a vote for Trump if Bernie fails to get the nomination.

    I don’t know how many of the people who are saying Trump is a good option for progressives in November actually are progressives themselves, how many are blowhards and trolls, and how many are rat-fuckers who have all along favored Trump and are eager to exploit our division. Too many, whatever the count.

  9. Rosie 10

    From the “hot headed knee jerk reaction files”.

    The petition to get SAFE’s status as a charity revoked has made it to the DIA

    Glad to hear that SAFE are not feeling threatened by this move, as the believe they meet the criteria for operating as a charity, otherwise that status wouldn’t have been granted it by the charities commission.

  10. amirite 11

    Wholesale spying on New Zealanders and the merger between SIS and GCSB recommended by Michael Cullen

  11. weka 12

    That word again.

    Several Native Americans disrupted the state Senate on Monday to protest Utah’s continued observance of Columbus Day.

    Three men and woman began shouting from the gallery in the Senate chamber just as senators returned to the floor about 2:15 p.m. One held a sign reading, “Abolish Columbus Day. Stop Celebrating Genocide.”

    Protester Charles Aoires said the group came to speak out against Weiler’s words about Native Americans last week.

    “The native population gave the early explorers syphilis, which they brought back to Europe. Blaming Columbus for the extermination of the native population is as fair as blaming the native population for people who die using tobacco and cocaine, which the natives introduced to the Europeans,” Weiler said during debate over SB170, a bill that would have changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day.

    • alwyn 12.1

      Why do people in the USA celebrate Columbus day anyway?
      He never landed in North America, but only on islands in the Caribbean.
      Any refugee from the USA who can explain?

  12. Chooky 13

    ‘Presidential primaries 2016: Americans head to polls in 4 states’

    Michael Moore tweet

    “The choices r a demented billionaire, a democratic socialist, maybe our 1st woman prez who’s “sorry” 4 her Iraq War vote &a Canadian Dracula”

  13. greywarshark 14

    Just looking for the frequency for local community radio and looked on ite called Love NZ which listed all in locality and National Radio genre is Talkback.

    The response to radio on the site is so vacuous that it is automatically regarded as a music service in the main, classic, adult contemporary, feel good, variety, easy listening etc. Rhema is Christian, Sport is sport so that didn’t try their brains much, then there is Community, RADIONZ Concert is listed as Live Concert for goodness sake, as if that is the only concert music they can envisage.

    They have no word that is suitable to describe our peerless feeder of information, thought, culture and news. Except to call national radio, RADIONZ, ‘Talkback’, as if this was the highest intellectual offering they could conceive. Thinking, a bit sterile!
    Video killed the radio star! It certainly dims when it comes to marketing music for profit,
    and not mainly for the musicians either.

  14. ianmac 15

    Ironic given the hole that Kim Dotcom is in over copyright law that:
    “Lawyers for Eminem, National Party back in court.
    In September, spokesman for the publishers Joel Martin said Eminem was never approached for permission to use his work in National’s rowing-themed election ads, which featured backing music similar to the riff of Lose Yourself.”

    • weka 16.1

      Thanks! Useful for me too. I liked the driving to work analogy both in the context of ecomomics but also why thinking about the collective is important in general.

      Hard not to draw the conclusion that it’s that Keynesian or Monetarist economics are wrong, but that all economics is 😉 (or maybe it’s just that the economy shouldn’t be based primarily on economics but other things like well being, the collective good, our place in the environment).

  15. Ant 17

    Our 100 000 Hindu speakers in NZ have no choice on the flag referendum: they are asked to tick the box they want for the new New Zealand flag. Careless mistranslation or devious manipulation?

  16. North 18

    Old Billy Boy Ralston standing for Auckland Council finally broken cover aye ? Been on JohnTheNeolib/ParnellBBQ payroll for however long, one way or another. Finally come clean. Hope his splendid benign pomposity doesn’t grow with this. Could be life threatening.

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