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Open mike 09/05/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 9th, 2012 - 75 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…

75 comments on “Open mike 09/05/2012 ”

  1. Act’s biggest donor shows there is no correlation between wealth and intelligence.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/6872418/ACTs-biggest-donor-unfazed-by-scandal

    • tc 1.1

      Our own deep south, the line ‘ do something about the Maoris ‘ is so incisive, intelligent and just loaded with juicy constructs upon which we can build that brighter future.

      What is the act slogan anyway……I’m white, I’m rich, I’m right, I’m paying to get what I want.

  2. Jenny 2

    Japan goes nuclear free, and becomes the test bed for how a major modern technological society handles a huge 30% cut in energy generation.

    The sort of power down that will be required in all societies if we are to prevent runaway climate change.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=nuclear-free-japan-braces-for-sever

    How will they cope?

    Will there be hardship?

    Will Japan find that they can get by on much less energy use?

    The whole world watches with awe and wonder, will this be our future?

    How Japan gets by will be an indication of how other societies could cope with post peak oil, or climate restricted fossil fuel use.

    Interestingly for us, by the same proportion 30%, our electricity is generated by fossil fuels.

    If Japan can get by with this huge cut and possibly, with imagination and drive get by in style. This will show the feasibility of huge cuts in fossil fuel use, particularly coal, for other societies.

    • tc 2.1

      Interesting contrast where the jap govt will drive and back this move.

      Here in hydro land we have an fossil fuel loving and anti sustainability govt wrecking the power sector through privatisation..again.

    • Bob 2.2

      I wouldn’t celebrate to much, having shutdown their nuclear plants they have increased usage of their gas and other plants to the tune of $100 million per day in additional gas. The nuclear plants are not being decommissioned, they are being tested and many will be restarted. Even with the extra gas generation they are still some 20% short of what they used to have, when rolling blackouts and failures start to bite they will start up the reactors again.

      • Bill 2.2.1

        “…they are being tested and many will be restarted.”

        Nuclear plants in Japan can only be restarted with the consent of the local populations. And they aren’t giving that consent.

    • Bill 2.3

      When all but five of the nuclear plants had been shut down and amid screeches of how there would be brownouts, blackouts and all the other consequences of an energy shortage if plants weren’t put back up and running, (December from memory) Japan ran a 6% energy surplus.

  3. A bill has been introduced for the Child support system to get a “huge overhaul”. This passed the first vote with most parties supporting it by 106-15 (who would vote against it?)

    The bill proposes changes which fall into three categories:

    – a new child support calculation formula that reflects changed social and work realities faced by New Zealand families today
    – secondary changes to update the child support scheme more generally, and
    – amendments to the payment, penalty, and debt rules for child support.

    Reports and details of then proposed bill: Child Support reform

    • felix 3.1

      Sleep in?

    • QoT 3.2

      Dear Pete,

      No one clicking on a link promising details of a proposed law want to end up at your blog. No one wants to end up at your blog at all.

      Trying to trick people into reading your blog using a quote-and-link format more commonly used to direct people to actual news or announcement pages is at best slimy and at worst deceitful.

      This is why no one likes you.

      Love,

      The World

  4. vto 4

    Oh look over there … more welfare for business. Fancy that, the amazing “wealth creators” need the money of the ratepayer and taxpayer to make their amazing business schemes work. They need the money of the pensioner struggling to pay the rates on a pension. They need the money of the young family surviving on a single income.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/6884952/Selwyn-likely-to-lend-5-1m-for-irrigation-plans

    They cannot make their business stack up in the marketplace

    They cannot make their business stack up in the marketplace

    They cannot make their business stack up in the marketplace

    They cannot make their business stack up in the marketplace

    • Chris 4.1

      Could be wrong but wasn’t the Central Plains Water thing set up by the Christchurch City Council?

      • Zorr 4.1.1

        Does that make it any less welfare for business?

        • Chris 4.1.1.1

          Well yes when the loans from the Selwyn District Council have market interest rates paid on them (which they do according to the 2011 annual report).

          Also it seems any borrowings that don’t come from Environment Canterbury or SDC need to be approved by the CCC so they will obviously use borrowings from those two entities first 

          • Armchair Critic 4.1.1.1.1

            The main advantage of funding it via local government is that the interest rates are usually lower.
            If the scheme is funded at market interest rates, why not just go to the market for finance? That way the risk of failure does not lie with the ratepayers.

            • Chris 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah sorry just realised I didn’t actually answer the question. According to their website:

              The CPW scheme is not a private scheme – it is a public scheme for community and regional benefit. The consents for the scheme will be owned by the CPW Trust, which is a charitable trust established by Christchurch City Council and Selwyn District Council.  

              • vto

                Chris, don’t get sucked in. It says that on thee website because that is the way it was set up – it allowed the farmers to become a statutory requiring authority, which was one of the biggest rorts to go down in Canterbury in recent times. Note in particular that the structure referred to was for its setup. It is no longer like that. The fact is that it is a simple business exercise with solely private gain – unless you want to claim trickle down makes it a public benefit, in which case all of us in business will be off to the the Council for cheap loans.

                It is welfare.

                Let them go to the marketplace if it such a good business model – that is where tha great and the mighty strut their stuff. Why aren’t they getting the money from the marketplace instead of from pensioners struggling to pay their rates?

                Quite frankly it is disgusting.

                Oh, and don’t forget that this government has earmarked another $400million in welfare for these amazing farming businesses that can;t come up with a free market solution.

                Pathetic and hypocritical isn’t it. These almighty business folk need some form of welfare contraception because they are stuck to them like an umbilical cord.

              • Colonial Viper

                All we know for sure is some business people get a break from justifying their scheme to bank lending standards, and instead get ratepayers to subsidise their business activities.

                And what if those particular business people lose money or go out of business and cannot repay the loans, who is it that carries the risk there? Ah yes, the public does.

                Privatise the profits, make the public carry the risks.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      More environmental destruction and more pollution passed on the excuse for jobs while all it will really do is make a few people richer.

  5. james 111 5

    mods i havent been banned please free up

    [lprent: Looks like a ban to me. ]

  6. Instead of putting women on birth control we should create a Serial Delinquent Impregnators List and toast their gonads with xrays. These guys are the hidden factor in the debate.
    If you father a child that needs to be funded by the state, when you already have another child being supported by the state, then you get your bits removed.

  7. Uturn 7

    I would like to see anyone who is thinking of doing a business degree or similar, or employers in general, (and especially those parents who are thinking about the career of their kids before they’re even conceived) put on compulsory state contraception.

    This would eliminate the likelihood of massive state money bailouts for their future failed companies in the free market; or the economic terrorism of fraudulent finance companies. The reduction in corporate welfare costs would be huge! We can’t afford to have criminally insane rich people exercising their free choice to take our money. It’s intergenerational breeding for business.

    Of course, such a large pogram… um, sorry I mean… program would be quite costly, so I have negotiated a tentative deal with the Ginsu Knife Company. Since long term contraception for women can be risky, a quick flick of the wrist should tidy up the matter for most men.

    We performed 1,000 of our now patented contraceptive proceedures in early testing and the Ginsu will still cut through a lead pipe!

    But wait, there’s more!

    Place your order for Free Choice Contraception today and you’ll recieve a pocket sized pokie machine for only $29.95!

    This offer is not available in stores. Usual tax dodges apply.

  8. captain hook 8

    just finished listening to colin craig who rnz is giving air time to.
    slater and lusk must be paying them!
    most of it was pontificating over the morals over young girls.
    he doesnt seem to wonder why our society encourages unlimitd sexual behaviour in private but abhors the results.
    he says its a matter of choice but who is supplying the choices.
    there are no morals or ethics left any more.
    watch telly and its all killing people and rooting anything that moves.
    thats what ya get these days.

    • joe90 8.1

      Did Craig mention that a clamp down on gateway sexual activity is the solution?.

      • ianmac 8.1.1

        Yep. Don’t you know that if you just wait till you are married before sex, all will be well. No touching there! And definitely no sex education or family planning!

        • Tigger 8.1.1.1

          Oh my god, I’m here to defend Colin Craig. He’s been slammed for saying NZ women are the most promiscuous in the world. Just saw John Key, Tariana Turia, Judith Collins and Paula Bennett calling him out on 3New (Paula Bennett especially was disgusted about it, Turia thought it was an outrageous remark).

          Only problem is, he had a fairly reliable source. http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/22444/Kiwi-women-most-promiscuous-in-the-world This wasn’t research he or his faction undertook so he can’t be accused of a lack of independence here.

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m not defending the research as the most rigourous ever undertaken. I’m not defending what Craig thinks about promiscuity. But Craig made a statement based on a fact that came from a fairly reasonable source. He at least made a comment based on some, unlike so much of what Key does which is based on, well who the hell knows really.

          So does the government feel like sucking its ‘shock’ and doing something about it? Kiwi women may very well be the most promiscuous in the world. What a good reason to provide free contraceptives for all women. And if the goverment can’t swallow that I suggest they do some of their own research on it… But holding up your hands in ‘horror’ is pathetic.

          • Carol 8.1.1.1.1

            It’s the value judgement in the word “promiscuous” that’s a problem. The research shows that NZ women have, on average, more partners than women in other countries. Now, even if they had sex with these partners at the same time, or in a non-monogamous way, that’s no reason to use the word “promiscuous”.

            But, at a guess, I would think the majority of kiwi women are monogamous and are into serial monogamy.

            And that research says nothing about how often they use contraception compared with people in other countries.

            Kiwi men have, on average, quite a few partners compared with men in other countries. Are they “promiscuous” too?

    • millsy 8.2

      Yet another reason why I do not want the CP near the levers of power, or even having a seat in Parliament. Their desire to kick down the bedroom doors of consenting over 16’s must be brought to heel. They will inflict untold misery on thousands of people to return to their rose tinted version of society that never really existed,.

    • ianmac 9.1

      Still their form of conforming to National Standards has nothing to do with Science fading off the radar – has it? It represents good (?) reasons for us to follow the USA model – doesn’t it?

  9. BLiP 10

    AN OPEN LETTER FROM LAWYERS TO THE NEGOTIATORS OF THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP URGING THE REJECTION OF INVESTOR-STATE DISPUTE SETTLEMENT

    8 May 2012

    As lawyers from the academy, bench and bar, legislature, public service, business and other legal communities in Asia and the Pacific Rim, we are writing to raise concerns about the Investment and Investor-State dispute arbitration provisions being considered in the on-going negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement.

    We have diverse views about the TPP generally. However, we are united in our view that the foreign investor protections included in some recent Free Trade Agreements (FTA) and Bilateral Investment Treaties (BIT) and their enforcement through Investor-State arbitration should not be replicated in the TPP. We base this conclusion on concerns about how the expansion of this regime threatens to undermine the justice systems in our various countries and fundamentally shift the balance of power between investors, states and other affected parties in a manner that undermines fair resolution of legal disputes.

    We are encouraged to note that the Government of Australia has said it is unwilling to submit to Investor-State dispute settlement powers under a TPP and other future trade agreements, and urge the TPP negotiators to exclude the Investor-State system for all countries, not just Australia.

    As lawyers, we believe that all investors, regardless of nationality, should have access to an open and independent judicial system for the resolution of disputes, including disputes with government. We are strong supporters of the rule of law. It is in this context that we raise our concerns.

    The ostensible purpose for investor protections in international agreements and their Investor-State enforcement was to ensure that foreign investors in countries without well-functioning domestic court systems would have a means to obtain compensation if their real property, plant or equipment was expropriated by a government. However, the definition of “covered investments” extends well beyond real property to include speculative financial instruments, government permits, government procurement, intangible contract rights, intellectual property and market share, whether or not investments have been shown to contribute to the host economy.

    Simultaneously, the substantive rights granted by FTA investment chapters and BITs have also expanded significantly and awards issued by international arbitrators against states have often incorporated overly expansive interpretations of the new language in investment treaties. Some of these interpretations have prioritized the protection of the property and economic interests of transnational corporations over the right of states to regulate and the sovereign right of nations to govern their own affairs.

    Increasingly decisions issued under this system see foreign investors being granted greater rights than are provided to domestic firms and investors under the Constitutions, laws and court systems of host countries. In several instances, arbitral tribunals have gone beyond awards of cash damages and issued injunctive relief that creates severe conflicts of law. For instance, a recent order by a tribunal in the case brought by Chevron against Ecuador under a U.S.-Ecuador BIT ordered the executive branch of that country to violate its constitutional separation of powers and somehow halt the enforcement of an appellate court ruling.

    This is not a unique case. The scope of government actions that arbitral tribunals have previously considered they may subject to review for possible violations of investor rights includes a ruling on jurisdiction in the Loewen v. United States case under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in January 5, 2001 that ‘measures’ include the function of a domestic court and the standing rules of civil procedure. The arbitral tribunal concluded that a jury decision in private contract litigation constituted a government measure that was subject to NAFTA’s investor rules.

    Investors are also seeking to avoid the deliberate decision of governments to require investors to pursue remedies in the domestic courts of the host nation, at least initially, by invoking the most-favoured-nation rule. Subsidiaries of Philip Morris International are seeking to circumvent a requirement in the Uruguay-Switzerland BIT that they must attempt to litigate their objections to Uruguay’s new tobacco labelling laws through the domestic courts for eighteen months before pursuing international arbitration by invoking a provision from a BIT between Uruguay and a third country that does not have that requirement.

    Moreover, the design of the Investor-State system tribunals allows lawyers to rotate between roles as arbitrators and advocates for investors in a manner that would be unethical for judges. The system also excludes the right for non-investor litigants and other affected parties to participate and fails to meet the basic principles of transparency, consistency and due process common to our legal systems. Investment arbitration as currently constituted is not a fair, independent, and balanced method for the resolution of disputes between sovereign nations and private investors.

    It is of particular concern that, rather than being an option of last resort, the use of this regime is increasing exponentially. BITs with Investor-State enforcement have existed since the 1950s, but between 1972 and 2000 only about 50 disputes were resolved. Since 2000, under the World Bank’s international arbitration arm, the International Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), alone 173 cases have been resolved and an additional 128 filed.

    To put this in perspective, as recently as 1999 only 69 ICSID cases had been launched. Today, there are 370-plus such cases underway, an increase of 436% – and that is only the number of Investor-State cases at ICSID. Over $675 million has been paid out under U.S. FTAs and BITs alone, 70% percent of which pertained to challenges to governments’ natural resource and environmental policies, not to traditional expropriations. Tobacco companies have also used Investor-State dispute settlement to challenge government tobacco control policies enacted to implement obligations under the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

    The current regime’s expansive definition of covered investments and government actions, the grant of expansive substantive investor rights that extend beyond domestic law, the increasing use of this mechanism to skirt domestic court systems and the structural problems inherent in the arbitral regime is corrosive of the rule of law and fairness.

    WE THEREFORE CALL UPON
    all governments engaged in the TPP negotiations to follow Australia’s example by rejecting the Investor-State dispute mechanism and reasserting the integrity of our domestic legal processes.

    http://tpplegal.wordpress.com/open-letter/

    • vto 10.1

      Good effort BLip, this is the most important issue facing New Zealand at the moment.

      This is bigger than giving women the vote. (big call but its true)

      • BLiP 10.1.1

        .
         
        I agree and greatly appreciate the effort of the legal community to bring these matters to the attention of the public. National Ltd™ is the perfect vehicle for the corporations – King John The Clueless of Charmalot and his band of merry jesters have no qualms about handing over responsibility for government to the corporations.  And the public just doesn’t give a fuck as, right in front of them, their rights as citizens are being given away as they are transformed into mindless consumers.

        RAEG!!

    • ianmac 10.2

      We have trust in our Government that they will act in our interests. If they say it will be a good thing that companies in other countries can sue us for millions there must be a good reason for it. Trust them? Not.

    • muzza 10.4

      The TPP is all about is foreign governance, and making sure that corportations can legally challenge, and potentially undermine sovereign governments, is a key step in dissolving NZ!

      Expect very bad things to come from this!

      • Reagan Cline 10.4.1

        Show me a corporation that fucked up on the scale of Bill Birch’s “Think Big” disaster and the Roger Douglas sellout.

        Corporations have shareholders and banks on their backs as well as sovereign government legislation and populist stir-mongering.

        All the NZ cabinet has to think about is ramming enough legislation favourable to their mates through in 3 years before the minority of citizens that bother voting might turf them out.

        • BLiP 10.4.1.1

          ENRON.

          • Colonial Viper 10.4.1.1.1

            Lehman Bros

            Bear Sterns

            TEPCO

            Exxon

            BP

            • BLiP 10.4.1.1.1.1

              .

              Washington Mutual

              WorldCom

              General Motors

              CIT

              Conseco

              Chrysler LLC

              Thornburg Mortgage

              Pacific Gas and Electric

              Texaco

              Financial Corp. of America

              Refco

              IndyMac Bancorp

              Global Crossing

              Bank of New England Corp.

              Golden Growth Properties

              Lyondell Chemical

              Calpine Corp

              New Century Financial Corp,

              United Air Lines

              Delta Air Lines

  10. joe90 11

    About that ambitious plot to blow up an airliner foiled by the CIA. Well surprise surprise, the alleged perpetrator was, apparently, a double agent.

    Officials said the agent, whose identity they would not disclose, works for the Saudi intelligence service, which has cooperated closely with the C.I.A. for several years against the terrorist group in Yemen. He operated in Yemen with the full knowledge of the C.I.A., but not under its direct supervision, the officials said.

    The agent is now safe in Saudi Arabia, officials said. The bombing plot was kept secret for weeks by the C.I.A. and other agencies because they feared retaliation against the agent and his family.

    • muzza 11.1

      LOL – yes I just saw that now….

      So let’s get this straight.. The US “intelligence” operations are saving the world from terror, while manufacturing “terror threats”…

      Synthetic Terror, you can call that!

      How truly shocking, /sarc

    • Vicky32 11.2

      Well surprise surprise, the alleged perpetrator was, apparently, a double agent.

      Oh yes, I have been hearing that story all afternoon on the BBC WS. He’s described in glowing terms as a super hero! 😀
      It all inspired me to write a short story for the flash fiction competition at
      http://www.nationalflash.wordpress.com
      about the thoughts of a double agent making good her escape. Well, it’s all fiction, innit? 😀 😀 😀
       

      • muzza 11.2.1

        What this story tells me is that the propaganda is now entering the beyond farcical stage, where TPTB no longer care to do anything other than take the mick in plain sight!

        The creation of the “real life” double agent will now be used as the standard MO to “foil terror plots” around the globe. This fits nicely with all the tv shows that people have been watching over the years, and so they are able to form a mind map to this situation, “real terror plot foiling super hero’!

        The realm of fantasy has been with us for quite some time, and this story has upped the level of blatant deceit which so many are capable of digesting as reality, just like the tv programmes tell them eh!

        This is a disturbing turn IMO!

    • Te Reo Putake 11.3

      I’m a bit puzzled why this guy is referred to as a double agent. Was he spying for Al Queda as well? Or do the news agencies just not know what a double agent is?

      • Carol 11.3.1

        Yes, he infiltrated the Al Qaeda group and was carrying a bomb for them…. read the article linked above. It’s weird that they have disclosed this to the press, although apparently some US intelligence people are said to be angry that this was all made public.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/09/world/middleeast/suicide-mission-volunteer-was-double-agent-officials-say.html?_r=1

        • Te Reo Putake 11.3.1.1

          That’s what is confusing me! If I remember my Bond and Get Smart correctly, a double agent spies for both sides, but favours one. That doesn’t seem to be the case with this guy. Though, I suppose ‘agent’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘spy’. Anyhoo, good on him. Looks like he has saved a lot of lives, though whatever technology is used to prevent terrorism, there will always be a bad guy looking for a workaround.

          • Colonial Viper 11.3.1.1.1

            You guys still believe a rag tag outfit called AQ actually exists??? Pulled off one humongous op on 9/11 and then nothing of consequence ever again on US soil???

            This is all distraction shit. When’s the Presidential election? Oh yeah, this year, of course.

            • Carol 11.3.1.1.1.1

              I’m just quoting the article. I think the whole thing sounds a bit dubious. I thought Al Qaeda was just a term for a loosely linked network, including some wannabees who like to associate themselves with the name.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Sort of, yeah.

                They are tighter linked than Anonymous, for example, but similar in that it’s a banner that nearly anyone can raise. AQ declared Jihad against “the crusaders and the Jews” and outlined a strategy and said that they would be leading it. Terrorism is a tactic within that strategy. The ‘Crusaders’ are not just the west though, nor are they the ultimate target. The sauds and the other ruling arab states were declared apostate. they are also crusaders in AQ reasoning. they are the crusader states, vassals of the west, and so on, etc.

                So, people that agree with their analysis of what’s wrong in the ME, ie buy into the crusader state narrative, are told they have a duty to join the Jihad. Signing up to AQ, is signing up to their strategy for that Jhad. If you call yourself AQ, you are algining yourself with the crusader state narrative, and the strategy that AQ promotes. If the AQ leadership then recognises you, and accepts your oath, you’re in basically.

                Which is how it differs from Anonymous, which really is “If you call yourself it, you are it”

          • Pascal's bookie 11.3.1.1.2

            But he wasn’t ‘spying’ for anyone.

            If you running a double agent spy, then you need him to be feeding info to your opponents in order to maintain his cover

            According to the story, AQ wanted to use this guy as a bomber, so you want to make him look like he has nothing at all to do with western intelligence. But he’s still a double agent. AQ thinks he’s there’s, but he’s not.

            That’s the story as I see it.

            I’m guessing they are publishing it to make AQ look stupid and compromised. The story being that their flash new weapon design to be used around about the anniversary of OBL’s death was busted due to AQ being hopeless.

            • Te Reo Putake 11.3.1.1.2.1

              Gotcha, but this guy sounds more like Huggy Bear than George Smiley. An informant that got lucky, rather than a plant. But, as its all made up, it doesn’t much matter 😉

              • muzza

                “But, as its all made up, it doesn’t much matter”

                —Now you’re catching on Voice, great stuff. It is all made up, except that real people are dying and what people used to know as their freedoms are being taken away from in front of them under legislation. So there are real consequences to the whole fantasy , that is the “war on terror”

                The more people that start to catch on, then the more voices of dissent there are. As opposed to meek scared people, cringing under the fear of AQ….Look out there is some over there….

                The real war is by the intelligence services, govt and the military, and corporations, and its against ordinary people of the world..

                Glad you are starting to see that!

          • Vicky32 11.3.1.1.3

            Looks like he has saved a lot of lives

            That’s if you believe the whole story! (I, for one, do not.) 😀 😀 😀

  11. In what I think is a bit harsh and premature, a Liberation critique of Labour’s current leanings and leadership – John Moore: The Cunliffe Conspiracy

    David Shearer is a dead man walking. That is, his failure to reconnect a cynical electorate with Labour means that his continuation as party leader is untenable. So, is David Cunliffe once again vying for the big job?

    And with his recent ‘anti-Shearer’ speech calling for the party to more strongly differentiate itself from National, do we have a full-blown conspiracy in our midst? Are a group of Labour insiders planning to take hold of the organisation and push it to the left? In this guest blogpost, John Moore speculates on plotting against the Labour leader, and asks what this all really means for the trajectory of the party?

    I don’t think it’s a done deal for Sheare, he still has time to show his authority and genuine vision – but he won’t succeed without more obvious support from the Labour ranks.

  12. McFlock 14

    meh – among all the functions of government, at least they’re doing one thing right.
             
    Or the Maori Party get their annual policy payoff, anyway. 

    • McFlock 14.1

      Although I found this little vignette at the end interesting:

      “How many of you want to be Prime Minister?” he asked.
      Hands shot up across the room.
      The way things were going at the moment they could have the job, Key joked.  

  13. BLiP 15

    .
     
    Interesting perspectives on a new blog I’ve recently stumbled across.
     

     . . . Here in New Zealand the government witters away about a high growth, high wage economy and practices an industrial relations policy that will lead us in exactly the opposite direction. As the long grind of the Great Slump takes its toll on families and people become more desperate for work, any job will do. Even if it’s part-time, casual and involves jollying along Woolies’ Australian customers. The government has stated its goal is to enhance New Zealand’s competitiveness, and its plan for this seems to be building roads, cutting welfare and providing the conditions for employers to secure cheap labour. It’s an odd sort of competitiveness for a government that bangs on about knowledge and skill. The reality is we’re setting ourselves up to be a low-skilled precariat, vulnerable to global economic booms and busts . . .
     

    • muzza 15.1

      What most seem incapable of understanding is that there is a fine line to tread, when delivering a sovereign nation into servitude!

      The balance is in preventing too many people catching on to what you are actually up to, and then confusing those who are scratching their heads. There are various strategies, although most are transparent if you pay attention.

      Failing being able to control the balance, you go rip shite and bust as hard as you can, knowing that the next government will continue the work you have done, in a slightly altered fashion, allowing the sheep to disconnect again, thinking they have played theor part in democracy!

      NZ is being taken offline a piece at a time, and anyone who thinks this is not true, is complicit in allowing it to happen!

      • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1

        Yep, if you look at what NACT are doing and the policies they are implementing it becomes obvious that the only possible outcome is that most people (>90%) in NZ will be living in poverty, a few percent as a middle class (effectively selling themselves to the owners) and the rest will be lapping it up in luxury provided by the 90%. As it’s the only possible outcome then it must be being done on purpose.

        NACT are not here for the benefit of NZ and, as Labours follows in NACTs footsteps, neither are they.

        • muzza 15.1.1.1

          Thats right B.

          Where my disappointment for our country comes in, is the many who simply just don’t involve themselves, for various reasons, and I do understand that. The problem is that people do have all the power, which is why the sytem continues to attack us. Divide and conquer has hardly been more obvious, and those you refer to as “effectively selling themselves to the owners”, will come the time realise that they are not the owners, and be discarded in the same fashion to those we are seeing discarded right now!

          The I’m ok jack attitude will be responsible for their own, and everyone elses pain!

  14. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 16

    Lockwood has a new haircut. Sharp.

    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 16.1

      So sharp Julie Ann Genter is flirting with him.

  15. ianmac 17

    Julie Ann Genter looks very “approachable” which is to me unusual in a MP.

  16. Jackal 18

    No defense for oil industry cowboys

    Chief Executive of PEPANZ David Robinson has an article in the increasingly rightwing Dominion Post today, in which he promotes the oil and gas industry in New Zealand as being clean and green. What a load of rubbish!

  17. risildo 19

    Hello all.
    I am new here but have been reading this site for about 2 months.
    I was afriad to post here but I feel on this matter I must

    I have been back in New Zealand after many years living in Sarre, Aosta Valle Italy

    I find New Zealand is heading down a dangerous path of which we cant afford to go.

    I was given this link on my facebook and I havent yet seen it discussed here…maybe I have missed it I do not know

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10804415

    Why is this so secret?

    • just saying 19.1

      Welcome risildo.

      I read that earlier today and have followed the issue for a while now.
      Frightening.
      I wish I could come up with a more useful response, but am feeling pretty demoralised on a whole lot of political fronts just now.

      Hope you return to talk some more…

  18. Draco T Bastard 20

    Saw this one last night.

    Driverless cars will soon be a reality on the roads of Nevada after the state approved America’s first self-driven vehicle licence

    Been thinking about it since. See, the thing that’s most expensive for PT and trucking isn’t the vehicles but the drivers and now we don’t need them either. Now, I’m actually all in favour of this and think the government should be pushing to get such technology integrated as fast as possible because it’ll free up even more people for R&D and other stuff. Unfortunately, what will happen is that the capitalists will take all the benefits and leave the country with even more poverty.

    • Bill 20.1

      Freight trains?

      • Colonial Viper 20.1.1

        Skynet.

      • Draco T Bastard 20.1.2

        Actually, I’m amazed that trains still have drivers. They’d be much easier to make computer controlled than cars.

        EDIT: Why do I seem to be dropping in to moderation all the time?

        [lprent: Beats me. But the hardware and software heads off to Germany for certification testing at the end of the week. I start to get more free time to think about such issues. ]

  19. Paul 21

    Interesting to hear about Fukishima on ‘The Panel’ this afternoon. Have read some comments on this website about this and it is good to hear it making the MSM. Anyone hear it?

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