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Open mike 09/10/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 9th, 2015 - 155 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 …

155 comments on “Open mike 09/10/2015 ”

  1. Paul 1

    From the Daily Blog, Bomber Bradbury writes.

    ‘Here is what the NZ Herald and Stuff decided was more important than a corporate coup removing NZs economic and political sovereignty the day after the TPPA was signed.
    Sports gamblers panicking that the All Blacks won’t win the Rugby World Cup.
    A porn renovation TV show might make some more money than they first thought.
    A boat falls off a trailer.
    A bad bus trip.
    The world didn’t end after a religious prophecy
    A radio host wears the same togs as the Kylie Jenner.
    An Apartment that got flooded by a fish tank was sold.
    Government spends $600 000 on flowers
    A dog gets put down.

    That’s right folks, the single biggest erosion of our political and economic sovereignty for US corporate interests has to struggle to get any attention amongst a sea of Sports gambling feeling depresses, porn renovation TV shows, boats falling off trailers, bad bus trips, world not ending, radio hosts wearing togs, flooded apartments, spending money on flowers and dogs being put down.
    This is why we are a nation of sheep.’


    • vto 1.1

      Agree it is exactly why so many people really are ignorant of important matters that go on around and without them

      Most people really have no idea

      Why does the Herald do this? Would it happen to be owned by a foreign investor perhaps? ….

      The NZ Herald – conflicted to hell

  2. Paul 2

    WikiLeaks – The US strategy to create a new global legal and economic system: TPP, TTIP, TISA.

  3. Paul 3

    Anne posted this excellent synopsis from Paul Buchanan on Key’s trip to Iraq on Daily Review yesterday. Worth reposting.


    ‘Although all of the coverage was vacuous, that of a print reporter from Wellington takes the cake for most ignorantly obsequious. Among other gems, she claimed more than once in her reports that the PM as well as herself where outfitted in “full body armour.” Photos of the visit suggest otherwise, since Key is seen on base in a flak jacket, shirt, pants and a baseball cap. Most of the military personnel around him were dressed in basic uniforms with no armour or helmets, save Iraqi recruits running drills and his personal protection force (30 “non-deployed” SAS soldiers, which is a bit of overkill when it comes to that sort of thing and makes one wonder from where they were sourced since 30 is a significant chunk of the unit). There is even one photo of Key walking along with some guy in a suit.

    According to this particular reporter, her “full body armour” consisted of a flak jacket and a helmet. I reckon that she needs to be briefed on what being fully body armoured entails. And the guy in the suit may want to consider his status if everyone but him in the entourage were given helmets and flak jackets.

    The entire gaggle of NZ media regurgitated the line that the NZDF was making a difference and the training was a success. This, after a day at the base and, judging from the tone of their reports, never talking independently with anyone on it (the NZ media were accompanied by “minders” at all times).

    In any event what is clear is this. With the complicity of major media outlets, Mr. Key has added troop visits to his pandas and flags repertoire of diversions. ‘


    • tracey 3.1

      The coverage has been an excitement-fest of giddy reporters effusing over their perceived life threatening trip.

      • ropata 3.1.1

        Trending …

        Pablo on the PM's Iraq visit: "This was a PR exercise/photo op/sound bite exercise of the first and crassest order." http://t.co/NWtahR1VfI— Lew (@LewSOS) October 8, 2015

      • ropata 3.1.2


        Pablo on the PM's Iraq visit: "This was a PR exercise/photo op/sound bite exercise of the first and crassest order." http://t.co/NWtahR1VfI— Lew (@LewSOS) October 8, 2015

        • Anne

          I am reminded of Helen Clark’s visit to the Middle East in 2003. We were told in advance she was going but not given details of the itinerary. There was one film clip showing her strolling with the then Defence Chief, Bruce Ferguson and some of the soldiers. No “full body armour” or even flak jackets – just dressed in fatigues as was appropriate. No breathless spin or side issue stories – just a straightforward factual account of the visit.

          What a difference.

          • McFlock

            this government has mastered the art of wearing as much protective equipment as possible in order to make viewers think they’re actually doing something. All the fluoro vests at ChCh post-quake press conferences, for example.

            Really, if they need to wear any of that shit they shouldn’t be dicking around in front of cameras in that place.

    • left for deadshark 3.2

      Paul you would have thought that many security staff, with hangers on, would be more dangeress Just goes too show , he’s not a donkey, but a show pony.

    • Mrs Brillo 3.3

      This would be the same reporter from Wellington and Key fangirl who, when Key came to our town, explicitly instructed her accompanying photographer not to take any photos which included the sizeable protest crowd who had also turned up to greet the PM.

      Hero images only of Dear Leader, please.

      And so public opinion is manipulated, right under our noses.

  4. vto 4

    Just so nobody forgets …..

    The TPP will deliver a 1% gain in 15 years time …..

    ha ha


  5. The Chairman 5


    Ardern said Labour will face the consequences.

    Robertson said Labour will weigh up the consequences.

    King said Labour had made it clear it would not support the TPP if it did not meet their bottom lines.


    Why the inconsistency?

    • Nigel Gregory 5.1

      I can only conclude they are waiting to see detail of the deal, which obviously leads to the conclusion it’s possible Labour will support the TPP.
      Leadership is lacking sadly.

      • The Chairman 5.1.1

        Then why not state that rather than making inconsistent comments?

        The inconsistency in the statements being touted are far from the united, competent, professional look they are trying to portray. Leaving a number questioning their credibility and where they actually stand?

        • Puckish Rogue

          Just curious but what has the leader of Labour said? We’ve heard from the others but whats Little saying?

          • tracey

            He’s on holiday with his family. Stephanie posted this when I begged him to front the newly merged Union…

            Key leaves the country for a photo Op and Little is on hols.

            • Puckish Rogue

              Well its important to get your priorities right

              • KK

                Oh piss off, the leader of the opposition works 18 hour days and never gets to see his family. It’s a brutal, relentless job. Let the man see his bloody wife and kids.

          • Nigel Gregory

            Yes it’s been awfully quiet on such an important and long ranged deal…basically taking us forward a generation in policy.
            I’m not filled with confidence.

        • weka

          “Then why not state that rather than making inconsistent comments?”

          From what I can tell Labour internal structures allow MPs to speak to the public without talking to each other or having a coherent plan. They have a great deal of independence in terms of expressing their own opinions. We’ve seen this many times with Labour (remember Shane Jones running off at the mouth about whatever he wanted?).

          It seems odd to me. I don’t know the exact structural details but it’s rare to see the Green Party presenting this kind of inconsistency, they generally have a clear message and channels for communicating it. I can’t imagine a GP MP thinking that their own personal opinion was more important than communicating what the party had decided. It’s not that it hasn’t happened but it’s rare, whereas for Labour it seems to be their base line of operation.

          • The Chairman

            Peeni Henare is another of late that comes to mind, publicly announcing support for a particular charter school.

            Labour need a far more coordinated front. So much for dealing to the perception (which National depicted so well in the election) of them rowing in different directions.

            Labour can’t even get their own party to tow the line, let alone show they can work in coalition.

            They really need to up their game. The clock is ticking.

            • weka

              “Peeni Henare is another of late that comes to mind, publicly announcing support for a particular charter school.”

              Indeed, although from what I remember it wasn’t so much a public announcement as him going to a fundraiser for the local iwi initiative. Someone in the MSM got up to mischief and Labour fell right into that trap with a few days of contradictory statements from Henare and Little. It’s like they’re not in the same room and can’t have a conversation about how to present to the public something that is intended to damage Labour (the MSM story) before they leave the room. So the sorting out the message happens in public and leads to those things you name about perception.

              I really don’t get it but it does tie in nicely with that idea that people won’t vote for Labour because they look incompetent irrespective of the policy.

              “They really need to up their game. The clock is ticking.”

              Some of us have stopped expecting them to change 😉 When Cunliffe was leader there was a saying on the standard, just give them a few more months and they’ll sort themselves out. It was entirely sarcastic.

    • AmaKiwi 5.2

      Does the Labour caucus have any plan at all about TPP?

      I asked my Labour MP at the last LEC meeting. I was NOT impressed with the answer.

      How many Labour MPs are not firmly opposed to TPPA?

      In a vacuum there is only silence.

    • KK 5.3

      I don’t see what’s inconsistent.

      It is possible to say you will not support the TPP in opposition, and in government refuse to be bound by it. In each case you’d have to weigh up your options, which is what Robertson was saying. This is Labour’s position. None of this is inconsistent in any way. I heard Annette give an interview on the radio where she outlined this clearly.

      Sure, media will report different bits. People here just seem desperate to attack Labour over the TPP because, like other parties actually, they’re not declaring their opposition yet to something they haven’t seen the detail of.

      • The Chairman 5.3.1

        “It is possible to say you will not support the TPP in opposition, and in government refuse to be bound by it.”

        Yes. However, the inconsistency lays with Ardern saying Labour will face the consequences (implying Labour will refuse to be bound by it) and Robertson saying Labour will weigh up the consequences. Implying if the consequences are to severe, Labour will breach their 5 bottom lines. And therefore support the TPP

  6. The Chairman 6

    More details about the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement have been released by the Government

    Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/govt-releases-tppa-details-2015100817#ixzz3o0HOYSWM

    • tracey 6.1

      So why not the whole thing? Because they are deliberately building a particular and slanted viewpoint of the deal, otherwise they would release the whole thing.

      • The Chairman 6.1.1

        Part of team Key’s charm offensive?

        • tracey

          I just read the IT fact sheet. It refers to additional costs but no detail and that are offset against the benefits of the TPP. IT is a PR Fact Sheet. Groser must know broadly speaking what the costs will be, just as he can say what the benefits will be (financially).

    • tracey 6.2

      Is this misleading to readers?

      “Under the agreement, which still needs to be passed by each respective country’s Parliaments,

      Does that make it seem, to an ordinary reader, that if Parliament doesn’t approve, it doesn’t go through?

      Interestingly the Fact Sheets don’t suggest any downside. That seems slightly odd in a large scale negotiation.

      I see that manufacturing gets savings of $10 per year, one of the lowest savings and the lowest when measured against income generated.

  7. tracey 7

    Does anyone else read the Sunday Star Times?

    A few weeks ago I got a note from Fairfax explaining the price was going up. I have stuck with it because it has always enabled me to spend a good leisurely w hours on a Sunday, relaxed and reading through all kinds of interesting articles.

    The last few weeks the news section has been tiny. 12 pages last Sunday, 4 of which were full page ads and another page was rugby reporting. 3 more half page ads.

    It’s the incredible shrinking newspaper, with a higher price tag.

    • Nigel Gregory 7.1

      It’s interesting to read the TPP views being peddled by the other signatories to the deal.
      Each is playing the propaganda game and I would expect that.
      What I also expect is my party, a party of the left, to have a view that reflects that, not this constant vague and ill defined language.
      Surely we have seen in Britain how people are looking to the left for answers to a clearly under performing world economy and war without end.

      • tracey 7.1.1

        Agree, all countries are on PR offensive, ours included. They have the luxury of 30 days unfettered opposition. It’s a Godsend i am sure.

        • AmaKiwi

          One genuine problem is that in the rush to finish a deal, any deal, many details are unclear to the countries themselves. This alone is sufficient reason to reject this deal until there is full clarity.

          • tracey

            Yes, the Fact Sheets released by Groser are pre pared (obviously) and part of a well-planned charm offensive. VERY hard for opponents (including LIttle) to oppose without the potential to have egg on their faces ( which I think National is hoping for) when the final detail is released.

            National will have released those Fact Sheets to selected people before today so they are ready and primed with supportive noise

            • Puckish Rogue

              In that case Little should be praised for learning, remember when John Key played down the last budget and Little said how bad it would be and oops a daisy suddenly some benefits were raised…Little fell right into that trap so at least hes avoiding this one

          • Nigel Gregory

            I think this is a perceptive remark in that a soft deal is signed, that is acceptable publicly, and then the work of a death by a thousand cuts begins.
            I simply don’t believe Pharmac is acceptable over the long term within a deal like this.
            I suspect most people know that.

            • Puckish Rogue

              You’ve got lefties saying its the end of democracy (it clearly isn’t) and you’ve got the right saying its the best thing since sliced bread (its probably not) so the end result will be somewhere in the middle where the gains outweigh the losses, not by as much as hoped but by a decent amount and in the next few years people will be wondering what the big fuss was about…if they remember it at all

              • vto

                they wont remember it because it will only deliver 1% gain in 15 years

                it is the most useless business deal I have ever seen

                1% in 15 years is a frikkin’ joke

              • Nigel Gregory

                I think perhaps you are underestimating the serious economic deficiency worldwide over the last seven years.
                We have a tremendous deflationary bias going on, not to mention war without an end in sight.
                The end of the world is hyperbolic and illustrative, but serious difficulties is accurate.
                Workers and the poor bear the brunt.

                As an aside democracy always has limits and those limits are fluid. Greece as an example.

              • tracey

                Not all the Right PR. That’s the thing about this. Republicans in the USA (who are not left by any standard) do not like it either. So when Wayne Mapp says, all self righteously,that it is only the hard left that disapprove, he is not quite right. Now, the reasons for opposition may differ between the two groups but mostly it’s the lawyer in me, never agree to something unless you have read it.

                I know Key and Groser have read it but even Key’s supporters say they like him but they don’t believe things he says…


                So, if it were as easy to undo as Hooton is suggesting whenever he can (based at present on a 2005 version of the draft), then I wouldn’t be as oppositional.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Well I get the feeling that a lot of the dislike to the TPP in America is more dislike of Obama

                  Much like whatever Key announces in NZ is immediately disregarded by the left in NZ simply because its Key saying it

                  • tracey

                    and yet it’s not just the left who don’t “believe” what he says PR.

                    If you read below you will see that Kelsey (who Mapps says is just a hard left FTA hater, praises our IT negotiators.

                    The Republicans are protectionists PR, always have been. They want to be able to trade with other countries but keep USA free of competition from outside, that is why they oppose the TPP

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Just curious tracey but based on the little thats been released and not on anyone lese conjecture, do you think the this deal will (even if its not by very much) be of net benefit to NZ?

                    • tracey

                      I don’t know PR. I am only today having time to read the stuff that is coming out from other countries to get an idea of content. I have read all Timmy’s Fact Sheets but they are not all that elucidating due to the obvious focus on $$$ gain and when loss is noted, not figures are given.

                      I have two work deadlines today (not that you could tell from my posting here 😉 ) – Have just finished one, and maybe this weekend if the sun doesn’t shine I can read much more.

                      The thing is, to me it cannot be just about adding the money columns. Impacts are always more than just the spreadsheet and that is less tangible and harder to judge.

                      Despite what some think I WANT the TPP to be great for all NZers. I don’t want it to be a flop that hurts us. But how do we judge it? It can’t be just by GDP because GDP has been predominantly great for over 30 years and yet our disabled citizens (those born that way) are surviving on handouts and subsistence level welfare. Hardly the measure of a thriving society.

                      So that’s where I come from, how will this benefit our vulnerable, and when.

                • Matthew Hooton

                  It’s not a 2005 version of the draft, its the ratified TPP treaty between NZ, Singapore, Chile and Brunei.

                  • Paul

                    There are many examples of corporations suing countries using the Investor-State Dispute Settlement procedure.

                    ‘Since the mid 90’s, however, the ISDS has been increasingly exploited by multi-national corporations to bully governments who are trying to protect their environment or people, like Australia. In the early nineties, there were hardly any ISDS cases filed; today there are nearly 60 cases filed annually and over 500 are currently in arbitration.’

                    ‘For example, The Renco Group, owned by U.S billionaire Ira Rennert, filed an ISDS against the government of Peru after they shut down a metal smelter in the town of La Oroya because the company had delayed environmental improvements. La Oroya has been listed as one of the most polluted towns in the world, which has proven harmful to its citizens, especially children. Renco has used the ISDS as a bargaining tool, and as of 2012 got the Peruvian government to allow the smelter to restart its zinc operations.’

                    ‘Another recent example comes between Germany and Sweden. After the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, the German government, well known for its renewable energy programs, decided to shut down its nuclear power plants to focus on clean renewable, something that every government should be doing for the futures sake. Vattenfall, a Swedish utility company that had operated two nuclear plants in Germany, has sued for compensation through an ISDS provision.’

                    For more, look here Matthew.
                    And please. Stop spinning.


                    • Matthew Hooton

                      You quote the Daily Kos and ask someone else to stop spinning???
                      Do you have a good reason why Vattenfall shouldn’t be compensated after all the commitments given to it by the German government?

                    • Replying to Matthew Hooton (11:33am).

                      Do you have a good reason why Vattenfall shouldn’t be compensated after all the commitments given to it by the German government?

                      Yes. A democratic decision was made by the German government based on reconsideration of the energy environment and the consequences for public health which meant it was beholden to embark upon a change in policy direction in the public interest. That change in policy direction meant that the German government set a course to phase out the nuclear power plant industry.

                      I’m assuming, further, that at no time did the German government say to Vattenfall that it would – and had the power to – suspend its national sovereignty to ensure that the commitments would be met into the distant future.

                      Unless Vattenfall had not done due diligence about the concept of national sovereignty they surely should not have been surprised that such a risk existed? Or were they naive about the concept?

                      Almost everyone else is entirely familiar with the concept of national sovereignty but, who knows, maybe the board and managers of the company have lived a sheltered life in blissful ignorance of it? If so, it sounds like the company needs a better board and better managers.

                      All services actually delivered, I presume, will be paid for.

                      Interestingly, The Economist didn’t seem too keen on these ISDS provisions back in 2014 (I see the article has been linked to by tracey too):

                      IF YOU wanted to convince the public that international trade agreements are a way to let multinational companies get rich at the expense of ordinary people, this is what you would do: give foreign firms a special right to apply to a secretive tribunal of highly paid corporate lawyers for compensation whenever a government passes a law to, say, discourage smoking, protect the environment or prevent a nuclear catastrophe. Yet that is precisely what thousands of trade and investment treaties over the past half century have done …

                  • Paul

                    The examples are verifiable, Matthew.
                    Will the examples provided by the Guardian suffice?


                    • Matthew Hooton

                      Yes, I am aware ISDS exists and is used. Why do you think it is a bad thing that companies can seek compensation when governments mislead them into making investments and then change the rules? Domestic companies can seek compensation under those circumstances.

                    • tracey


                      “Companies have learnt how to exploit ISDS clauses, even going as far as buying firms in jurisdictions where they apply simply to gain access to them. Arbitrators are paid $600-700 an hour, giving them little incentive to dismiss cases out of hand; the secretive nature of the arbitration process and the lack of any requirement to consider precedent allows plenty of scope for creative adjudications.”


                      Like when a government considers a zone change to schools due to growing numbers of pupils in certain areas. Those with money and access to talking heads can get that stopped while the poor with no money and no heady netowrks to engage have to accept decisions made for them.

                  • Paul

                    Interesting you take the side of the mega- corporations of the world.
                    I guess they have the deepest pockets and as a mercenary, you’ll spin for them then.

                    • Matthew Hooton

                      I’m not taking sides. But why shouldn’t, say, Zespri, be able to sue the US Federal Government if it regulates to restrict kiwifruit imports from New Zealand for no good scientific reason? You need to make a case why that is wrong. You may also not be aware that the ISDS provisions in TPP require the three adjudicators to be appointed by agreement by the countries in dispute, from countries not involved in the dispute, and for the hearings to be public. What is wrong with this?

                    • Paul

                      From the al-Jazeera article.

                      ‘First, only investors may sue governments in ISDS tribunals; the reverse is not possible. (If Australia wanted to sue Phillip Morris for public health expenses due to smoking-related cancer, for instance, it wouldn’t be able to do so in ISDS courts.) “ISDS sets up a parallel judicial system available only to foreign corporations,” said John Hilary, the executive director of War on Want, a British anti-poverty organization.

                      This amounts to special rights for investors, according to Scott Sinclair of the Canadian Center for Policy Alternatives, who studies ISDS cases brought under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). “Why should foreign investors have the right to bypass ordinary courts, which have been evolving for hundreds of years as part of our democratic system of justice?” he said. “Investors can win, but the best that governments can do is avoid paying damages.” (Sinclair found that the majority of ISDS claims against Canada under NAFTA have been over environmental protection regulations.)

                      ISDS courts, unlike normal courts in most democracies worldwide, are for-profit institutions in which practicing lawyers and industry experts, not professional judges, sit as arbitrators. This means “for-profit arbitrators decide whether public policies implemented by democratically elected governments are right or wrong,” said Olivet.

                      According to Van Harten, ISDS arbitration thus “lacks all safeguards of independence and impartiality … The penalty could cripple a country economically. That a government would face so much unpredictability with so much public money — you have to understand the power of it.”

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’m not taking sides. But why shouldn’t, say, Zespri, be able to sue the US Federal Government if it regulates to restrict kiwifruit imports from New Zealand for no good scientific reason?

                      Don’t be an ass Matthew, the ISDS tribunals are under no compulsion to consider”good scientific reason.”

                      NZ is going to be on the losing end of this; further Zespri doesn’t have the resources or expertise to take effective ISDS action. Only billion dollar trans-nationals have any hope.

                    • Paul

                      This transatlantic trade deal is a full-frontal assault on democracy
                      George Monbiot.

                      ‘he purpose of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is to remove the regulatory differences between the US and European nations. I mentioned it a couple of weeks ago. But I left out the most important issue: the remarkable ability it would grant big business to sue the living daylights out of governments which try to defend their citizens. It would allow a secretive panel of corporate lawyers to overrule the will of parliament and destroy our legal protections. Yet the defenders of our sovereignty say nothing.

                      The mechanism through which this is achieved is known as investor-state dispute settlement. It’s already being used in many parts of the world to kill regulations protecting people and the living planet.’

                      ‘Investor-state rules could be used to smash any attempt to save the NHS from corporate control, to re-regulate the banks, to curb the greed of the energy companies, to renationalise the railways, to leave fossil fuels in the ground. These rules shut down democratic alternatives. They outlaw leftwing politics.’

                      ‘Here’s what one of the judges on these tribunals says about his work. “When I wake up at night and think about arbitration, it never ceases to amaze me that sovereign states have agreed to investment arbitration at all … Three private individuals are entrusted with the power to review, without any restriction or appeal procedure, all actions of the government, all decisions of the courts, and all laws and regulations emanating from parliament.”‘


                    • tracey


                      Re: no good scientific reason. Please define. And in your definition take account of the current debate about climate change. TIA.

                  • tracey

                    so it’s not even the treaty being discussed?

                    • Paul

                      Hooton is paid by the multinationals to do their dirty work.

                    • Matthew Hooton

                      It is the original TPP. Helen Clark then got the Americans to agree to negotiate to enter it. Negotiations began on this basis. It would be astonishing if the withdrawal procedures have been changed, but we shall see.

                    • tracey

                      well, stuff has changed Matthew. Admittedly mainly in the areas where stuff was leaked and the public and experts were able to mount challenges to it. Makes you wonder… if it hadn’t been leaked at all.

                      And the parts that you are choosing to pin your colours to are interesting. Almost like you feel you are on very safe ground making some of your assertions cos the final text will support you.

                    • tracey

                      10 years seems a long time but as you have decided to hang your hat on this very point I tend to think you have good reason to be on strong ground… not that I am suggesting you know anything more than, say, I do. God forbid, right Matthew? (rhetorical)

                • Matthew Hooton

                  Good Morning Tracey

                  I have some good news for you.

                  I am reliably informed that the TPP will allow for unrestricted, unilateral withdrawal by any state with six months notice, just like the original TPP.

                  So if, for example, a future Labour government were to find it could not block land sales to foreigners, or the ISDS process was getting out of hand, New Zealand could send a letter to the other countries and we would be out six months later.

                  Hope this satisfies some of your concerns.

                  • Matthew Hooton

                    I should add, the provision for unrestricted, unilateral withdrawal by any TPP member with six months notice lasts forever, so even in 100 years a New Zealand government could choose to opt out of the new treaty for any reason.

                  • Tracey

                    reliably informed.


              • Colonial Viper

                You’ve got lefties saying its the end of democracy (it clearly isn’t)

                Hey dickhead, since when was rule by the corporate 0.01% against the wishes of the bottom 99% “democracy”?

                Your comment clearly shows you have no fucking idea what “democracy” is so please stop talking about it.

                • Paul

                  Wish Hooton would actually read Monbiot’s article.
                  It’s obvious, even to a simpleton, that the TPP is not democratic.
                  But then, Hooton gets paid for his opinion.
                  And who pays him?

                • Tony Veitch

                  One of the interesting aspects of ISDS is the chilling aspect it has on legislation – where governments hesitate to enact laws because of possible consequences. Is it true that our own legislation to introduce plain packaging on cigarettes has been allowed to lie on the table awaiting the outcome of Phillip Morris vs Australia? If this is so, then ISDS is already having a effect on this country – and can we expect this to increase in the future?

                  • Paul


                    ‘The health select committee last year supported the bill but the Government has delayed bringing it back to the House pending the outcome of the challenges against the Australian law by the tobacco industry.’

                    ‘Canberra is defending its law in two cases: before World Trade Organisation adjudicators in a case brought by tobacco-producing countries including the Dominican Republic, and at a United Nations commission’s Permanent Court of Arbitration in a case linked to Hong Kong and tobacco firm Philip Morris Asia.

                    Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell rejected the Government’s waiting on the legal challenges. “Waiting for the World Trade Organisation decision means more people die or are sick from smoking-related illnesses. We’re tired of standing at the graveside of loved ones who have had their lives cut short from this highly addictive and poisonous drug.”‘


                • Puckish Rogue

                  You don’t like what the present government is doing well tough there was a lot the last labour government did that I didn’t like and a lot of others didn’t like as well and eventually we managed to get enough seats to take power

                  You’re typical of the left in general in this country and thats whinge, moan and complain when you don’t get your own way

                  Suck it up

                  [lprent: I distinctly remember the right doing a “whinge, moan and complain when you don’t get your own way”. I had to listen to the idiots not only before the change of government, but also for many many years afterwards.

                  I strongly suspect you were one of them. I really don’t like people being hypocrites – so suck this up. 2 day ban.

                  Always remember the Gosman rule and its derivations. ]

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Thanks for proving that you don’t understand or give a shit about “democracy” so stop talking about it.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Hey fuckhead my comment was about your lack of understanding and appreciation of democracy, of how ruling in favour of the corporate 0.01% is NOT democracy; it was not about this shitty government.

                    Learn to read.

                    [lprent: Cool down. ]

                    • tinfoilhat

                      Hi CV

                      It’s good to see you back as I hadn’t spotted you around here for a while and was a bit worried.

                      Are you OK ?

                      I don’t tend to visit here much anymore as I find it a very depressing angry, shouty place with so many talking over each other and making very little sense – perhaps start your own blog ? i promise to visit !

                    • Colonial Viper

                      you are most kind; just busy organising work and life, thank you for your supportive comments 🙂

                  • tinfoilhat

                    While not wanting to draw the ire of the moderators, if bans are now going to be handed out for hypocrisy the site will be like a ghost town by the end of the day.

    • alwyn 7.2

      I thought you were talking about the SST until you said this.
      ” reading through all kinds of interesting articles”.
      Has there ever been anything interesting in that rag?

      Every so often I get offered free delivery of the SST for periods ranging from about 6 weeks to 6 months. I always accept as it makes a good lining for the neighbours cat litter trays.
      After the trial period they always ring up and attempt to persuade me to take a paid subscription. My response is quite consistent. I tell them I will if the subscription is what the paper is worth. Then I add that what I have been paying, nothing, is the appropriate amount.
      I don’t know why they keep offering these trials. Can’t they just mark my Dom/Post sub as not being one to promote the SST too?

      • tracey 7.2.1

        I’m getting old Alwyn, it could be a few years since it was any good 😉

        BUT I definitely could read one page articles of proper reporting on soft and hard issues.

        I also accept the Herald’s free issues offer so that when they ring to say would I like to sing up I tell them exactly why I won’t.

        Online is no better, in fact online both publications are now nothing more than “Entertainment Tonight”. A programme I don’t watch but am aware of.

        • alwyn

          I suggest you take out a subscription to The Economist.
          A 3 year sub is currently $1,020 so it would be about twice the price of the SST but it is well worth the money.
          If you only want 1 year it is about $400 and there is a 12 week offer for the digital edition at about $30 at the moment I believe.

          Most of the articles are around a page and they are all superbly written. It keeps me informed for most of the week. I just pick it up, read an article and put it down again.
          You might want to ignore what they say about Corbyn, but they can be just as harsh about Cameron on occasion.
          There is very little about New Zealand of course but it covers the rest of the world.

          The first thing I read is the obituary on the back page. I would love to know how they pick the person (or creature) covered.
          The last few were
          Claus Moser, statistician and culture lover
          Max Beauvoir, biochemist and high priest of Haitian voodoo
          Jackie Collins, novelist of Hollywood
          Yogi Berra, champion baseball player and unwitting philosopher.
          A couple of months ago they had one on a cat that was the honorary station master, and vice-president, of a Japanese Railway company.

        • Visubversa

          I accepted 2 weeks of The Herald free a while ago. It took them 3 days to stop delivering to my neighbour instead of me. I acquired all the cat box liners I needed and when they rang to ask if I wanted to continue, I asked them if they still had the copy of the letter I wrote when I cancelled the sub several years ago.

      • Molly 7.2.2

        They offer the trials so that they can up the circulation figures to give to advertisers.

        If they relied on purely paid subscription figures, the charges would be considerably less. So they operate a rolling – free trial period – and provide free copies to educational facilities, libraries etc and voila! a higher circulation number.

  8. Nigel Gregory 8


    How ironic.

    [lprent: Generally you need to say why. Doing a raw link with a uninformative teaser is a troll pattern. In this case it appears to be a diversion from the post. Moving to OpenMike.

    Read the policy and consider yourself having had your warning about diversion commenting. ]

    • Gabby 8.1

      It did look a little “Nice muslim minority you got there Russia – shame if something happened that stirred them up.’

  9. Tautoko Mangō Mata 9

    TPPA deal may jeopardise access to new generic medicines – See more at: http://foreignaffairs.co.nz/2015/10/09/tppa-deal-may-jeopardise-access-to-new-generic-medicines/#sthash.Ib8i33gG.dpuf

    • tracey 9.1

      Jane Kelsey and others are beginning to release some analyses.

      Also, Ms Kelsey and I share a common beef. We both wonder why we can’t see the Government’s cost/benefit anaylsis on the TPP now, and months ago. They ad one, right?


      “The request notes that ‘Given that the negotiations have concluded New Zealand’s position could not conceivably be jeopardised by its release; it is not information belonging to any other country in the TPPA negotiations; and the government is currently citing these figures in the current debate on the TPPA but not has not publishing the study on which it is based.’

      The Minister’s office has acknowledged the request.

      She has also repeated an earlier Official Information request made in January 2015 for ‘any cost-benefit study, impact asessment or similar analysis or evaluation of the proposed agreement as a whole, of specific provisions, or impacts on particular sectors or policies that have been conducted by or for the New Zealand government.’

      In February the Minister refused to release any such information. It later transpired that this includes an NZIER study on the Labour Market Effects of TPP. The Ministry said its release during the negotiations would prejudice New Zealand’s ability to get the best outcome, a rationale which Professor Kelsey notes no longer applies.”

      Nothing to fear, nothing to hide

      • tracey 9.1.1

        and to those who say Kelsey is nothing but a knee-jerking naysayer, peek at this

        “New Zealand’s patent laws also apparently meet the final threshold set in the intellectual property chapter. While the transparency annex affecting Pharmac’s processes is problematic, it is not directly enforeable.

        ‘All that is good news for New Zealanders, although not some other TPPA countries. It will be a massive relief to the public health community and patients, although we still need to know the areas where the Minister says some additional expense will be incurred’.

        However, other barriers to health policy remain, especially with investor-state dispute settlement. Even the weak public health exception does not apply to the investment chapter, and the tobacco exception appears to apply on a case-by-case basis only to certain kinds of investment claims, if a government chooses to invoke it, and not to the whole agreement.

        Professor <b.Kelsey paid tribute to the pressure brought by doctors, the Australian government’s determination to fight on biologics, and New Zealand’s intellectual property negotiators .”

        emphasis mine


    • tracey 9.2

      Also a piece written by Jane Kelsey which links to releases made by other countries. Japan’s is the most extensive but is, understandably, in Japanese.


      Ironically, Wayne Mapp and others will now be reading Kelsey to find out more detail, cos our government settled for PR driven Fact Sheets.

  10. maui 10

    Reminds me of the report launched in the investigation of MH17 shot down over Ukraine. A small group of victim countries were all involved, the Netherlands, Malaysia and Australia, as well as Ukraine. Russia was stonewalled out. Its a bit like getting a murder victims family to run the murder investigation. Worst of all they have the suspect, the Ukraine, in the investigation!

    [lprent: Moved to OpenMike as diversionary. You know the policy. ]

    • maui 10.1

      oops, a bit diversionary, that’s not an opening to have a debate on MH17!

    • tracey 10.2

      That the USA did not sign up to Protocol I in 1977 makes me think they didn’t want to have their actions in Vietnam independently investigated, and sadly, they seem to have adhered to that view ever since.

      Rightly or wrongly, two family members (now deceased) who served int he Pacific in WWII used to say that they fear the US forces far more than the “Japs”.

  11. Rosemary McDonald 11

    There was some discussion about protests, demonstrations and activism in general the other day.

    This…http://www.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503450&objectid=11525657 article from The Northern Advocate is about a bunch of activists from Kaikohe fronting up to the Boobs On Bikes porn peddlers

    “Police would not let the group march on the road, so they walked down the footpath ahead of the bikes.

    Mr Shaw said they copped some abuse from “smart alecs” in the crowd but most people were positive and open to discussion.

    “People asked us, ‘What’s wrong with boobs?’ We’d explain it wasn’t about boobs, it was about the normalisation of pornography and the harm it causes.” ”

    Very clever. Keep the message simple.


    • weka 11.1

      Thanks for that Rosemary.

      “About 50 people took part in the protest – as many as, or more than, participants in the parade.”

      “He said the protest was a success because the group were able to take their message directly to a target audience of young men, who made up most of the people lining Queen St, to challenge their way of thinking.”

      Good for them.

    • tracey 11.2


      • Rosemary McDonald 11.2.1

        And more activism from Bryan Bruce….


        It is way past the time when Mr. Bruce cared what would become of his reputation if he speaks out against the establishment.

        ” Like me, Key went on to study at Canterbury University where our tuition fees were paid for by the state. When he finished his degree, he left university, as I did, largely free from debt.

        Those things, in themselves gave both the Prime Minister and I a huge boost in life.

        Yet today John Key leads a government that thinks of tertiary education as a commodity not a right and that social housing is a burden to be palmed off onto the Australians.

        Why is it that our Prime Minister, who benefited hugely from the welfare state, no longer thinks the Government is morally obliged to do for today’s young people what it once did for him? And why is it that I, on the other hand, think we have betrayed our children and our grandchildren by denying them what we were once freely given?”

        More, please.

        • tracey

          Yes please. I know people like Mr Key. They have convinced themselves that it is by their own hard work and intelligence that they have succeeded. They have managed to convince themselves they did it all independently. That is a a falsehood which is self evident to anyone with self awareness.

          • Anne

            Take stock of today’s media. With a few exceptions, they come from the generation affected by student debt, yet their parents were given a debt-free education. You would think on that basis they would be well aware of the gross hypocrisy of Key’s (and other’s) argument as outlined by Bryan Bruce but no, they’re happy to go along with it and let this government off the hook. Why? Because each and everyone of them knows their continued employment and comfortable life-style is dependent on following the government line. Anyone who dares to step ‘out of line’ will eventually get the chop. The latest developments at the NZ Herald are testament to that!

  12. The Chairman 12

    Prescription drugs the third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer?

    • Paul 12.1

      Very interesting

    • The Chairman 12.2

      The number of people taking their own life is rising to a record, even as more effort is put into preventing suicide.

      Jacinda Ardern says “the statistics show the Government’s programmes aren’t making inroads.

      At the moment it seems we are not joining all the dots… a more comprehensive focus on the links between suicide, deprivation and family violence/childhood abuse is called for.”

      Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/suicide-prevention-not-working—labour-2015100705#ixzz3o1SyknyE

      Has she considered looking at the affect of antidepressants (which apparently are becoming more widely used) and their impact on the suicide rate?

      • maui 12.2.1

        Our societal values that are pushed by politics and the media don’t really help either. We’re encouraged that earning more, getting the top job, getting into massive debt through education or a risky business, the flash house and car, going to the mall are the crucial things in life. Then we punish the people who are the furthest from this ideal. Anyone involved in any sort of crime, has mental illness, beneficiaries and generally anyone struggling in life – as in poor people are punished in our society. I don’t have facts to back this up, but if it was measurable we might fiind the costs of this culture are huge.

      • tracey 12.2.2

        I had a discussion on a boat recently (a ferry) with someone in the know within Health. She commented that being on anti psychedlics (or similar, cant recall exactly) was shortening people’s lives by 25%? I did google at the time and maybe that is now outdated but what a choice…

        Chronic mental illness or a shortened life-span.

        • joe90

          Huffpost on how despite knowing how unsuitable their product Risperdal was for some uses the evil pricks said fuck it, we’ll pay the fines, and pushed on pushing it.


        • northshoredoc

          Antipsychotics Tracey, and your ‘someone in the know’ doesn’t have the foggiest idea what they’re talking about. Honestly that’s the kind of scaremongering I’d expect from the anti vaccinations lobby i honestly thought you would think twice before posting it here.


          “Comparing data from year to year, the researchers found that among those patients who had 90 percent or better compliance with their medication schedules, the risk of death was 25 percent lower compared to those who were less than 10 percent compliant. Over the decade-long study period, taking medication did not increase the risk of death and there was a trend towards reducing the mortality rate. In addition, the researchers found that each additional visit per year to a mental health professional was linked to a 5 percent reduction in risk of death overall.”

          • tracey

            well you should know the someone in the know is involved very high up in writing a report about the future of our DHB’s Doc.

            Did you miss this rider

            “I did google at the time and maybe that is now outdated but what a choice…”

            Like you I can also google (I note that the study you refer to is about number 4 on the googled items)

            Colton, C. (2006). Congruencies in increased mortality rates, years of potential life lost, and causes of death among public mental health clients in eight states. Preventing Chronic Disease 3 (April).
            Joukmaa, M.; Heliovaara, M.; Knekt, P.; Aromaa, A.; Raitasalo, R.; & Lehtinen, V. (2006). Schizophrenia, neuroleptic medication and mortality. The British Journal of Psychiatry 188: 122-127 http://bjp.rcpsych.org/content/188/2/122.full (link is external)
            Caplan, P.J. (2011). When Johnny and Jane Come Marching Home: How All of Us Can Help Veterans. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

            The Hopkins researchers “did not rule out all links between increased mortality and antipsychotic drugs. For example, researchers found that people who took high doses of first-generation antipsychotic medication daily (1,500 mg or greater chlorpromazine equivalents) were 88% more likely to die. She says mortality rates possibly increased in this group because first-generation antipsychotics have been associated with cardiac disease risks, and among those who died while taking the larger doses, 53% died of cardiovascular disease.”

          • Bill

            So what is that psycho-tropics act on there nsd? Often serotonin, yes? The uptake of it and what not. But, serotonin (and therefore its effect) has never been measured and cannot be measured. The whole brain candy/ happy pill industry was built off the back a throwaway line that was never intended to be anything beyond ‘thinking aloud’ – mere speculation.

            Meanwhile, what about all those psychotropics that leave people feeling suicidally depressed or dead? Or the ones that come with warnings about prescribing to given age groups? Or the ones that are more or less impossible to come off? Or the suggestion that the side-effects for some people who attempt self withdrawal can be a ‘looping out’ with the most dire of consequences, both for themselves and sometimes for who-ever else happens to be ‘in the wrong place at the wrong time’?

            And then we might move on to the so-called trials that would Volkswagen test technicians blushing at their own comparative inadequacy.

            Or we might consider the history of the quackery that became modern psychiatry – you’ve got a thing about those things you consider quackery after-all, no?

            Want to run through the list of ‘new diseases’ that the psychiatric ‘profession’ would have pills dispensed for these days? Y’know, things such as ‘moving house syndrome’ – not the actual terminology, but regardless, moving house sits in a distinct category now; one requiring medication.

            • tracey

              Then there is the debate about whether the anti-psychotics cause brain shrinkage

              Interesting article here


            • northshoredoc

              Tracey made a comment that antipsychotics mortality by 25%. I refuted this with data to suggest that it is exactly the opposite situation.

              She then goes on to quote from the same paper regarding 1st generation antipsychotics which were unpleasant medication with fairly vile side effects these have been replaced over the last 20 – 30 years with 2nd and 3rd generation products which have far less severe and lower numbers of side effects.

              To suggest that serotonin and it’s effect cannot and has not been measured is drivel.

              Regards your other points I agree that their has been an over medicalisation and treatment of normal life situations most especially in western society, however we were discussing antipsychotics which are used for disorders with related psychoses such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorders – Bill I suggest you go back to reading your L Ron Hubbard and manuals on how to make strawmen and defending quacks like your mate from Dunedin.

              Frankly I expected far better from Tracey

              • Bill

                To suggest that serotonin and it’s effect cannot and has not been measured is drivel.

                Really!? Okay then. Point to the studies or the literature or the tables indicating serotonin measurements having been taken from living, functioning brains.

                  • Bill

                    First link – “Direct post-mortem research demonstrated…” (my emphasis.

                    All the others are imaging transporter proteins or whatever. None of them measure – and none claim to measure – actual amounts of serotonin.

                    • northshoredoc

                      Bill your original comment was

                      “But, serotonin (and therefore its effect) has never been measured and cannot be measured.”

                      Which is drivel as you may or may not know, you then change the rules to “Point to the studies or the literature or the tables indicating serotonin measurements having been taken from living, functioning brains.”

                      I have provided a number of search results which I have not read which i would think would show that serotonin activity and receptor responses can be shown despite that not being your first question and you changing the goalposts.

                      Rather than continuing playing this game on a Friday evening when I’d prefer to sit down with a beer perhaps you could get to your actual point instead of feebly attacking your keyboard.

                      Edit from the first link

                      “These results are in keeping with 5-HT2A binding studies in depressed patients and impulsive animal research. Interestingly, both an increase and a decrease in 5-HT2A binding index seem to normalize with SSRI treatment.”

                    • Bill

                      Rather than continuing playing this game on a Friday evening when I’d prefer to sit down with a beer perhaps you could get to your actual point instead of feebly attacking your keyboard.

                      You missed the point previously made. The fixation on serotonin comes from a piece of speculation that has (as far as I know, and for the reasons mentioned – eg, direct measurement) no empirical evidence to back it up.

                      The ‘imaging’ in your previous links is akin (in my mind at least) to mapping the movement of cars as though that could tell you anything about numbers of occupants or why said occupants were traveling.

                      Of course, if you’ve already decided that each car is carrying two passengers and they are all traveling for a specific predetermined reason (eg – supermarket shopping), then the mapping can claim to show all that you want it to show.

                      Hope you enjoy your beer and don’t fall prey to any inadvertent urinary dribblings.

                    • northshoredoc

                      Psychiatry is not my area of expertise Bill, however the clinical and scientific evidence for SDAs in the treatment of psychoses and mood disorders is pretty comprehensive as is the science of serotonin and dopamine receptors in mental health disorders.

                      I’d point you back to the beginning of this thread and the throw away comment regarding a 25% increase in mortality, this is a very poor thing to say in a public forum when there is no evidence to back it up and when the readers of such comments may be on such medications themselves or relay the information to others who are on such medications – I am sure you will accept that the consequence of someone stopping medications such as these without being under medical supervision might be disastrous.

                      Regarding your other comment – unfortunately benign prostatic hyperplasia is part of the territory at my age.

              • Colonial Viper

                hey NSD, i come across a lot of people who hate swallowing the pills they are prescribed, hate the effects the pills have on their lives and cant wait to find ways to get off the shite.

                Just sayin’.

                • northshoredoc

                  Well the fact that they’re visiting a chiropractor suggests that a change of lifestyle may assist with lowering or removing the amount of prescribed medication they are on.

                  Just sayin’

              • tracey

                When you know as much about my areas of expertise as me, then I will endeavour to live up to your expectations in your areas of expertise.

                Actually I won’t. The information is coming out via this post and that’s good. I don’t profess to know everything about everything (hence I put the rider in my comment which you chose to ignore)

    • Rosemary McDonald 12.3

      There is also a rather horrific connection between Big Agrichemical and Big Pharma.

      When I’ve time I will dig out some aging articles….if the Corporations of Death have not had them expunged from the google.

  13. Paul 13

    Another piece of propaganda in the Herald shilling for the corporate coup, sometimes known as the TPPA.


    Here is the author.
    John Ballingall is deputy chief executive of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research. Make your own mind up if he’s got vested interests.

    • Paul 13.1

      This comment below is typical of the ones replying to the neo-liberal ideologue Ballingall.

      ‘Another uninformed article, and so many all at once in the Herald? This all seems part of a government drum-beat to imprint the idea things are good before they can be properly seen. Any person of sense will regret such an ethic, even if that is perhaps consistent with the kind of thing of the discredited prime minister models for innocent citizens.
      At any rate one laments the subservience of a newspaper to its proprietors’ party interests. That road turns a journal into a party political organ.’

      It would appear many NZers aren’t falling for the spin.

      • greywarshark 13.1.1

        ” the discredited prime minister models for innocent citizens.”
        I suggest that innocent is not the right word. On looking over past decades and our slide downwards it has happened because of ‘neglectful’ citizens. We did not watch our assets, and now we have to watch our asses. Or someone will be biting us in the bum to put it crudely but truly.

  14. Paul 14

    The Herald tries to pretend it is balanced.

    But observant readers notice their spin. This was one of the best comments to the anonymous Herald editorial.

    “By and large, the Government has a good tale to tell about the TPP agreement. For the few disappointments, especially dairy access to the United States, Canada and Japan, there are strong gains in other areas”.

    You just spent the entire article telling us that we don’t know whats in the fine print and then you say there are strong gains.

    How can you say this if we don’t know whats in the document.
    Even Hillary Clinton is against this deal.

    More spin from the National Party’s media outlet the NZ Herald.”

    • tracey 14.1

      The Herald has read the Fact Sheets, assumed they contain all the facts, and regurgitated them. For example in one Fact Sheet it states there will be losses (or costs) but doesn’t state how much. Funny they don’t know that number, just the “good” ones.

      The Government is manipulating the information. Otherwise they would follow Japan’s lead and release summaries of all chapters running to 36 pages. If it is such a great deal, release everything, including the cost projections and cost/benefit analysis our entry was based on. But no, Groser is still refusing to release this.

  15. Puckish Rogue 15


    Mr Ruffin also asked the defendant why he had not used money from living costs to pay for the experts he claimed he needed.

    “If I wanted to be homeless and sack all my staff and kick my kids out of school I could’ve done that, yes,” Dotcom said.

    Quick someone set up a givealittle page for Kim!

    • tracey 15.1

      Alex Swney is in prison for 5 years for his fraud on IRD and Heart of the City. He paid back a few hundred thousand (less than 500k I understand) and yet his children still attend a private school in Auckland and live in an expensive home in Herne Bay…

      Allegedly Swney threw a party the night before his sentencing and some of the very well heeled of Auckland attended.

      It’s not just DotCom with this mindset PR, it is an affliction shared by many of the wealthy in this country.

      • Puckish Rogue 15.1.1

        At least Swneys in prison though

        • tracey

          He’s already been moved to the new Wiri prison where he lives in a house and has had indications he will be out in 8 months on home detention…and could afford a QC at $800-1000 bucks an hour

          • Puckish Rogue

            Well my view would be people do the full length of their conviction but thats just me

            • tracey

              My view is we review

              1. How we treat Remorse expressions in terms of sentencing. Accepting letters, in my view, is problematic. Making defendants speak to their remorse in Court and to scutiny of that remorse by the Judge;

              2. Offering reduction in terms if involved in a Rehabiitation programme

              3. Offering more rehabilitation programmes and increasing availability of the programmes proven to reduce recidivism.

              Recidivism costs us tens of millions (or more) a year.

              4. Even with Home Detention orders a minimum of 1 month serve din a medium security prison should be a pre requisite to the Home Detention

  16. Bearded Git 16

    Liberals 127 Conservatives 124 in latest Canadian averaged poll.

    • ScottGN 16.1

      One of the interesting things about this is that the Liberal rise first showed up in the Nanos daily tracking polls which were conducted by person-to-person phone calls. All the other automated/online polls were slower to record the shifting voter sentiment.
      And in fact, up until yesterday they were all suggesting a Cons minority government or even a possible majority for Harper.
      According to the Gobe & Mail today 67% of voters want a change of PM for Canada. The Liberals have made sizeable gains in both Ontario and Quebec where enough seats are in play to determine the outcome of the election.
      Mr Trudeau has confounded the pundits by performing much more strongly than expected in the campaign and debates (the Munk debate on Foreign Policy was at a level we can only dream about in NZ). The Liberals have also out-played the NDP in the way that they have been able to articulate the desire for change. They broke with economic orthodoxy at the start of the campaign and pledged infrastructure spending that would result in modest deficits for 3 years, contrary to both the NDP and Cons promises to balance the budget at all costs. It seems to have paid off.

    • Puckish Rogue 17.1

      I have to admit that, at the time, I wasn’t Helen Clarks greatest supporter but with the benefit of hindsight and whats come after we’ve been fortunate in NZ that we’ve had Clark/Cullen followed by Key/English

      Great frankly for that alone we should be the envy of the world

      • McFlock 17.1.1

        Unless, of course, you’re a kid growing up in post-rogernomics poverty.

      • tracey 17.1.2

        The Right and its supporters demonised Clark. They essentially stalked her sexuality and that of her husband, they used epithets like HelenGrad and some called her Alan Clark. her appearance was mocked

        To say that you feel fortunate to hae had her as leader puts you at odds with those people who are only now singing her praises because they are using her to be a proponent for the TPP (privately I am sure none of them regret the constant direct and indirect attacks. It also makes me wonder how susceptible you are to the PR the right throws about (they’ve only been applauding her for a few days yet here you are)i

        Lest we forget PR, to be doomed to repeat.

        • half crown

          Well said Tracey, The same way Abbott and the right and their fellow travellers did the same misogynistic crap on Julia Gillard in Oz. I like the way Julia Gillard tackled Abbott in their parliament over this. It would be one of the best parliamentary speeches I have ever seen.

          Didn’t she make Abbott look the prat he is.

    • Anne 17.2

      What a turnabout. Eight years ago she was the devil incarnate. Now, they can’t wait to get a photo with her. Could they be hedging their bets in case she is the new Secretary General?

  17. greywarshark 18

    Interested in what is happening in RW Canada? Tommorrow with Kim on Radionz.

    8:12 Heather Mallick: Stephen Harper
    Heather Mallick is a staff columnist for the Toronto Star, and has published two books: a diary, Pearls in Vinegar (Penguin), and a collection of essays, Cake or Death (Knopf). Her piece on Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, The Nixon of the North, appears in the latest issue of Harper’s magazine.

    • ScottGN 18.1

      It’s starting to look more and more likely that Harper’s going to be turfed out as PM of Canada on October 19. Harper has said he will resign immediately if the Conservatives aren’t the largest party in the Commons on October 20th. Current polling suggest the Liberals are edging the seat count.
      Nobody in NZ seems to be paying much attention. But it’s instructive for us nonetheless. Like other Westminster parliaments voters in Canada seem to have hit the 10 year fatigue level where they start to look for change. Also Harper was the first of the four conservative Commonwealth leaders to be elected in 2006. His time is up. Guess who’s next? Key was elected in 2008, Cameron in 2010 and Abbott in 2013.

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