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Open mike 09/09/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 9th, 2012 - 69 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…

69 comments on “Open mike 09/09/2012 ”

  1. Morrissey 1

    The Westpac Evening With Al Gore


    Anybody else interested in going to this?

    Me neither.

    • fatty 1.1

      Outside of the US, everyone hates democrats. People from the left know that the Dems are neoliberal idiots, and idiot right-wingers think they are liberial/progressive.

  2. RedLogix 2

    On the other hand I am going to the Steven Keen Wellington session tomorrow.


    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Wish I could make it. Would love to see a report from you on what you think.

      • Poission 2.1.1

        There is a nice e book on Minsky and his instability theory and application to the GFC by the Levy institute.


        • Colonial Viper


          • Poission

            One of the important signal from the paper is the symbiotic relationship between regulators and institutions.Rather then simplify the regulations they have added unnecessary complexity, which prevents regularity intervention.

            The second main point is that large financial organisations that are too big to fail,are also too big to manage,and a substantive reorganisation may be necessary eg such as telecommunication.

            Overemphasizing a number of these issuers was the second lecture by Niall Ferguson on RNZ this afternoon,where he used the Darwinian analogy and ecosystem behavior a new paradigm in economic system analysis eg Robert May.

            Link here at BBC


            Fantastic analysis,

      • Jenny 2.1.2

        And yesterday, sounding very tired after returning from reporting on the front lines in Syria, Anita McNaught is interviewed on Radio NZ by Toby Manhire. (Saturday Sept. 8, 2012)

        Anita McNaught has reported for TVNZ, TV3, CNN, and the BBC, among others. In recent years she has been with Al Jazeera. Reporting from around the region on the extraordinary events which have come to be known as the Arab Spring.

        Recent attention has chiefly been focused on Syria where an estimated 25,000 people have been killed in the last 18 months……

        Anita joins me now from the UK where she is enjoying a bit of a holiday before returning to her base in Turkey.

        Good morning, kia ora Anita.

        Anita: Good morning Toby

        Toby: The euphoria of the early days of the Arab Spring spreading into Syria, sort of feel quite distant now, the rebellion has appeared to have morphed into a civil war?

        Anita: It does….

        Essential listening…

        McNaught as an eye witness to events in Syria, gives an in depth account that puts ‘lie’ to the claims by a few on the left that the revolt in Syria is “a proxy war on behalf of foreign powers”.

        Click on the link and listen in full to Anita McNaught’s informed and insightful analysis of events in Syria.
        [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/sat/sat-20120908-0815-anita_mcnaught_syria-00.ogg" /]

        • Bill

          For crying out loud Jenny. Even McNaught is talking of foreign jihadists being ‘an irritant’ to other armed factions of this stupidly mis-named Free Syrian Army – of armed gangs moving across the border into Syria – and of covert support flowing to them and others from the west. Oh. And bemoaning the fact her perspective is from one side only because Al Jazeera journalists are non-grata in Syria. And mentionng that Lybia has been ‘contained’ is a bizarre thing to say. And that’s only at nine minutes in!

          • Colonial Viper

            because Al Jazeera journalists are non-grata in Syria.

            And that would be because Al Jazeera is Qatar based and funded, and Qatar is supporting the overthrow of Assad.

          • Jenny

            Good grief! Do I have to do a full transcript to walk you idiots through it.

            • Bill

              No. You just need to apply a bit of critical thinking to things you hear and/or read so you can move beyond the black hat/white hat bullshit that you seem to think constitutes analysis and understanding.

        • Morrissey

          Anita McNaught is an unreliable reporter. That was obvious many years ago when, in an interview on National Radio, she vapoured on and on about the “formidable learning” and “brilliance” of her colleagues at British state television.

          This raises two possible options:

          1.) She had never actually heard anything by these “formidable” and “brilliant” colleagues;

          2.) Anita McNaught has about as much judgement as THIS GUY….

          • prism

            Aren’t you a bit lordly Morrissey downing Anita McNaught.? Because she made a mistake or you didn’t agree with her doesn’t mean she’s a no hoper. She sounded okay to me and must know something to be in her job. Are you well-versed and know it all so you can tell when she’s stuffed up?

            • Morrissey

              She sounded okay to me….

              I thought she did too.

              ….and must know something to be in her job.

              Yes, but that doesn’t alter the fact that her encomia of her BBC colleagues were vacuous and naïve.

              Are you well-versed and know it all so you can tell when she’s stuffed up?

              I thought her analysis yesterday morning was fine. But her empty-headed praise of state television drones gave me pause for thought.

    • Morrissey 2.2

      Now that’s one guy who IS worth going to see.

  3. Hehe, Malcolm Tucker on the UK’s recent cabinet reshuffle.  Well worth a read and a chuckle.

    Some exerpts:

    “And why is “Gorgeous George” so unpopular? (I use “gorgeous” ironically. And “George”, for that matter.) Is it because he has the shifty look of a sex pest caught rubbing himself over the buffet at a funeral? Or is it that he’s a millionaire who is doing to the economy what Russell Brand likes to do to granddaughters? Hard to say. All we know for certain is that since DC introduced his “happiness index” it has told us that George Osborne is the main thing responsible for our unhappiness. I’m not a believer in f***ing signs or portents but it can’t be a coincidence that his initials are GO.

    Cameron’s Government is so catastrophically incapable that this reshuffle is less like rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic and more like rearranging Titanics on a f***ing Super Titanic. And while the Titanics on the Super Titanic all head towards each other and the inevitable catastrophic conclusion he is parachuting in a team of expert ship scuttlers to speed things up. Meanwhile, despite the fact that a large amount of money has been spent on deckchairs, G4S have just announced that they will not be able to provide enough people to rearrange them.”

    And this pearler …

    “The problem for the Conservatives is this: somehow, Christ alone knows how, the acceptable face of the Tory party is Boris Johnson. Yes. You read that right. Boris titting Johnson. A man who looks like he ate a scarecrow and sicked it up on himself. But he is also the only popular Tory. And the one and only Tory they can’t shuffle into the Cabinet.”

  4. Stephen Doyle 5

    See where the Labour Prty will ensure Reading Recovery will be available in all schools.

    There is more sense in that than all the Nats education policies put together.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      This is a great policy and a must-do but it’s still nothing but tinkering from Labour. The best way to ensure kids get a good education is to ensure that their parents have a decent income.

      • prism 5.1.1

        Cv 5 1
        Tinkering from Labour – yes. Band aids are useful but preventing the wound is best.
        Let Labour make the good economic environment and have the band aids too for the unfortunates who still need them.

    • Lanthanide 5.2

      Seems reading recovery isn’t a sexy policy, like bootcamps or national standards are. Yet it works.

      Re-posting my previous comment on this:

      Turns out when I was in primary school, I was pretty bad at reading/writing but not quite bad enough to meet the official criteria for reading recovery. My teachers felt that really I would benefit from it, so they essentially put me through it anyway. I got a 7.4 GPA at university, I’m 28 and have paid off my student loan and am earning in the top tax bracket.

      How much of that would have happened if I hadn’t had the teachers with the flexibility to put me in that programme?

      • Jackal 5.2.1

        I think many New Zealanders can credit such programs to their later success. In my opinion, this is the type of area where higher levels of funding should be allocated. Although funding has increased overall, the allocation of education funding as a total government expenditure was 18.6% in 2007 under Labour. It has dropped to 17.5% in 2011 under National.

        After slashing adult community night class funding, enviro school funding was also cut and low decile state schools are seeing serious reductions in their budgets. National did however increase funding for private schools and other costs, but after accounting for inflation the net effect is less funding going to the areas where it’s needed the most.

        This ultimately means that less Kiwis will be able to tell similar stories as yours Lanthanide. Which isn’t just bad on a personal level, it’s bad for the country as well.

  5. weka 6

    Coming up shortly on Nat Radio

    10:06 Ideas: Fairness in the Welfare System
    In 1898, New Zealand became the first country in the world to introduce an old age pension; in 1926 it became the first to introduce a family benefit; then in the 1940s we led the way in introducing a universal family benefit. And each of those pioneering innovations was under-pinned by concepts of fairness. An historian, economists, and someone who works in the sector discuss the search for universal fairness in the welfare system. 

    • Descendant Of Smith 6.1

      I still like the description in the 1977 yearbook as a historical overview:

      MAIN FEATURES OF SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM—The present system cannot be characterised according to any single principle, theory, or formula. As already stated, it has evolved from changing needs and experience in dealing with them. For example, it looks like a form of community insurance, but is not financed, funded, or administered on an insurance basis. It is financed from general taxation; but a person’s benefit bears no relation to his tax contribution. While basically income-tested and selective as to need within classes of benefit, it is also universally applied without regard to other income or means in three main cases (superannuation, family, and medical benefits) and in the lesser miners’ benefit. It transfers income from the more to the less affluent mainly on the basis of greatest help for those in greatest need. It reflects the traditional humanitarian, egalitarian, and pragmatic approach of New Zealanders and, most importantly, reflects an acceptance of community responsibility for social welfare.

      How far we have moved away from those ideas – how much we need to return there.


    • alwyn 6.2

      I have no idea whether your dates are correct for New Zealand but if the old age pension one is New Zealand was not the first country to bring it in.
      Germany introduced an old age pension scheme in 1889, ie nine years earlier.

  6. Coolas 7

    Is it true Key watched the rugby with Putin in Russia?
    And at half time Key said, ‘Shit we might loose this. What would you do Vlad?’
    ‘Take charge, Johnny, that’s what I’d do. Don’t pussy around.’ Putin smiled. ‘Make a call. Get the lights cut off?’ he’s reported to have said. (sorry no links)

  7. It seems that Lockwood Smith is off to the UK next year and there will need to be a replacement speaker.

    Tau Henare has indicated that his name is in the ring.  The other contenders are Maurice Williamson and David Carter.

    Slater is running the mischievous line that if all the opposition parties supported Tau then with his own vote he could be speaker.

    I think that Labour, and particularly Mallard, would struggle with this proposal however.


    • Pascal's bookie 8.1

      They should totally do this.

    • Treetop 8.2

      Too much for the Nats to suggest a woman to be speaker.

      • chris73 8.2.1

        As long as the next female speaker isn’t as biased, one-sided and screechy like Margret Wilson I’d have no problems with it…

        • Te Reo Putake

          Nice fact free misogyny, Chris. Your mum must be so proud of you.

          • chris73

            A pox on your comment.

            She had a screechy voice and was terribly biased (Labour ministers only had to “address” the question) Lockwood Smith has been one of the best speakers in living memory the house has had.

            • HalfCrown Millionare

              I go along with your first comment about her being screechy, but cannot agree with your second about Lockjaw Smith.

        • Treetop

          Which woman National MP would you choose?

          • chris73

            Hekia Parata speaks well, not sure about any of the others

            (well Judith Collins but shes quite effective where she is)

            • Pascal's bookie

              Yeah, ACC is going great guns on her watch.

              • chris73

                I’d have left her with police.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Yes, because a Minister of Police who believes citizens shouldn’t criticise the Police for breaking the law is something every democracy should want.

                  • chris73

                    Better than trying to repel the three strikes law.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Lol. Forgot about that.

                      The Minister of Justice should have been fronting that, as sentencing has nothing to do with Poice. The Minister of Police therefore should not have been fronting it. Any guesses why she fronted it and the Minister of justice, who was responsible for sentencing, distanced himself from it?

            • Treetop

              Parata gets flustered, granted that she does not screech when not rattled.

              Collins to me is not effective where she is, more ongoing systemic failures on 60 Minutes tonight re non independent ACC medical assessors.

              The women who have been failed by having their breast biopsies mixed up and having an avoidable amputation, I just hope that ACC can process their claim with the respect and sensitivity that is required without delay.

            • Mary

              She sure is. We need her stay there so she can stuff things up for the government as much as possible. She’s such a destructive force within National – just what they need.

            • mike e

              Hekia parata is ;ike a bad teacher no one listens to her.

    • tc 8.3

      Wtf, I’d like a year off and still get paid. How is he allowed to do this?

  8. Te Reo Putake 9

    Mitt Romney goes to a Nascar race and channels John Key:
    Fan: who’s your favourite driver?
    Mittens: “There’s a lot of drivers I like”.
    He also noted that he had “some friends who are NASCAR team owners.”
    Much like his campaign, the race was a washout, with heavy rains delaying the start. The latest poll has Obama 4 points up and heading for a solid win and a second term.

  9. Bored 10

    Free food…has Labour been listening to us? This is fantastic.


    A little assistance from us in the wider community and this could go a long way.

  10. Te Reo Putake 11

    Some desperate spin from the Rugby Union hard on the excellent news last week that more kids play football than rugger.

    • Morrissey 11.1

      …that more kids play football than rugger.

      I think you mean soccer, my friend. How much have you had to drink?

      Anyway, it’s been the case for generations that more kids play soccer than rugby. Doesn’t change the fact that most of those soccer-loving kids also love rugby and simply idolize footballers. Rugby footballers, that is.

    • tc 11.2

      No he means football as in a game played with the foot run by football associations.

      Soccer is what’s its known in areas where it’s not a dominant code, like the US so perfectly accurate.

      • Professor Longhair 11.2.1

        “No he means football as in a game played with the foot run by football associations.”

        And what about heading of the ball? And the goalkeeper? And maybe it has escaped your notice, but rugby football also involves a lot of kicking of the football.

        “Soccer is what’s its known in areas where it’s not a dominant code, like the US”

        And New Zealand, and Australia, and Canada, and Japan, and Korea….

        • Carol

          Ron Palenski in his well-researched book, The Making of New Zealanders, is interesting on the rise of rugby in NZ. he says that the story of William Webb Ellis starting rugby by suddenly picking up a football and running is a bit of a myth – or at least an exaggeration. There initially wasn’t that much differentiation between what came to be recognised as “Association Football” or “soccer” and what came to be recognised as “rugby”.

          In England various versions of the game were originally played locally. He says:

          Football… moved from the villages, where it had been a game of few rules and much violence, onto the more controlled, and controllable, spaces of village greens and purpose-built grounds at the schools and universities.

          – p.245

          In NZ in the 19th century, various forms of “folk football” were played, until “Rugby Rules” were eventually adopted nationally in 1870.

          • Professor Longhair

            “There initially wasn’t that much differentiation between what came to be recognised as ‘Association Football’ or ‘soccer’ and what came to be recognised as ‘rugby’.”

            The games are obviously related, which explains the insecurity of soccer fans in this country, like this fellow Te Reo Putake. It’s internecine resentment on the part of the weaker relation.

    • fatty 11.3

      Maybe its the people I spend time with, but rugby seems so boring and irrelevant.
      Spending millions on a covered stadium in Christchurch is a real kick in the guts to a city that has genuine needs. I am sporty, and can watch most sports, but I just don’t understand scrums/lineouts, and don’t understand why rugby needs funding if it is as popular as we are always told. Its not the 1950s anymore, people have other sporting options, rugby is dead. Give me an Arsenal match any day.
      We won the troaty last year, it cost us millions, since we won it was an excuse to get pissed, if we lost it would have been an excuse for violence, whipdy do.

  11. newsense 12

    Labour heading to the land of the moral high ground!!

    Bennett= cynicism and feed the hungriest and most starving children during a child poverty crisis. A contest of ideas begins

  12. Mary 13

    Good to see Labour putting another nail in the coffin of welfare as we know it – taking us back to 19th century poor law thinking – the same failed ideas from which our current welfare system was born and that Labour has been out to destroy since 1999:


    Where the hell is Labour getting its advice from? Who the hell is in charge of its research unit? Are they really so blind to see that the problem is lack of income? -that benefit levels haven’t increased in real terms since the 1991 cuts and that Labour reneged on reversing nearly 21 years ago? Where is Labour’s analysis? Where is their appreciation of history? Are they nasty, ignorant or just stupid? Perhaps all three? For many within Labour I’m sure that’s the case. They just haven’t got a clue. I used to support the Labour Party. Now the thought of them makes me want to vomit.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      Actually, I’m all for free food in all schools for the children.

    • Mary 13.2

      If it wasn’t driven by poverty and was simply seen as part and parcel of a free and inclusive education system then perhaps. But this is Labour’s response to the fact families can’t afford to feed their kids. If this is all that Labour can come up with, a policy that feeds into the Nact agenda of moving the responsibility for social welfare from government to the community and eventually private charity then all I can say is that Labour are just a bunch of unthinking and shortsighted twits.

  13. chris73 14


    Maybe children aren’t eating breakfast because they’re trying to stay slim…hoping this isn’t representative of the Labour caucus in general

    • RedBlooded 14.1

      Was it Tariana and Anne Tolley who used public money for stomach stapling? You’d be all for that then aye. PS you are aware that clip was Apr 2008 and that today’s date is Sep 2012. Glad you don’t live too far in the past. I agree though looking forward to the Natz Brighter Future is pretty scary, perhaps we should all be like you and look back with nostalgia to a better government, or even better look forward to a better future once this train wreck of a government is truly buried.

      • chris73 14.1.1

        Actually I wouldn’t mind seeing bariatric surgery being subsidized, might mean less money spent on health problems down the line.

        Its funny you say this is from 2008 yet on here John Key gets stick for his stance on the springbok tour over 30 years ago (mind you I suppose for some of the lefties it was probably the highlight of their lives)

        So Parekuras views have changed then and hes now on board?

        • Draco T Bastard

          ts funny you say this is from 2008 yet on here John Key gets stick for his stance on the springbok tour over 30 years ago…

          He doesn’t get stick about his views from 30 years ago – he gets stick for saying today that he can’t remember what his views were (and then he went and said what a great run that John Walker had in the 1976 Olympics and he was on the edge of his seat about it).

  14. Draco T Bastard 15

    India celebrates its 100th launch

    Scientists in India are celebrating the 100th launch of their space mission.

    India is one of the few developing countries with a space programme and the government has spent billions of dollars on the project.

    But this is the bit that shows dedication:

    The project has been a milestone achievement for the Indian Space Research Organisation which was established with resources so scarce that some scientists had to operate out of a cow shed.

    Thankfully, the Indian government in the video, in response to the stupid economists, said that they need to look after their people and do the technological research.

  15. Ed 16

    A good analysis of the electricity market by Rod Oram in the Sunday Star Times :
    Search on “The Jig is Up”
    Is Bertram’s paper available online?

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