Open mike 10/05/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 10th, 2015 - 86 comments
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86 comments on “Open mike 10/05/2015”

  1. Gosman 1

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/05/10-delusions-about-labour-defeat-watch-out

    Much of that can be applied to what people here state about why the left in NZ is not doing so well.

    • it’s a pile of rightwing-shite/puffery – except for reason number six – which is a valid one..

      (loved this tweet on that front page tho’..)

      ‘the scots voted to boot out the english – the english voted to work 80 hrs a week in the call-centre while pics of royal baby projected onto their eyeballs’

      heh..!

      so thanks 4 that chuckle there – chuckles..

  2. on the replay of the nation – you can get to see m. hooten having one of his super-dickhead moments..

    ..it’s about/around houses vs. apartments..

    ..and his snarl at the gen-zero spokesperson – is his ‘moment’..

  3. Paul 3

    A better synopsis of the British Election.

    ‘It’s a result that was made possible by a sheeplike, frightened and rancorous population that appears increasingly disposed to believe all the lies that it is told by its vile newspapers. It is an irrational, stupid and fearful vote by an electorate that doesn’t even recognize its own self-interest, let alone the interests of others, that has abandoned any commitment to even the most elementary principles of social justice; that didn’t couldn’t even see that Miliband’s tepid, focus-group-manufactured One Nation ‘fairness’ was still preferable to the dismal social cruelty that the government has already inflicted and which is certain to intensify in the next five years.

    In doing so the English have demonstrated extraordinary political cowardice. Lacking the gumption to challenge the powerful, they have preferred to elect a government that victimizes the powerless. This is a population that prefers to doff the cap than bite the hand that it thinks feeds; that expresses its digusts with politicians by voting in the worst of them; that drapes itself in the Union Jack and doffs its collective hat to its masters in the hope that it can be like them; that would rather blame the Scots who want to fight austerity than fight it themselves.’

    http://infernalmachine.co.uk/election-the-horror/

    • Gosman 3.1

      See my comment at the top. This has combined a number of the left wing nonsensical excuses for their failure to convince the electorate to vote for them.

      • Paul 3.1.1

        And yet the SNP put forward more left wing policies to end austerity, tax the rich and protect the welfare state and got 56 out of 59 seats.
        The turn out in Scotland was higher.

        Offering Tory lite is not the solution. As a Tory yourself Gosman, you want Labour in NZ to come to the conclusion that they should simply mimic National Party policies.

        The election results in Scotland and England prove you wrong.
        Bland imitation of Tory policies by Labour in England resulted in electoral disaster.
        Bold anti -austerity policies by the SNP resulted in a landslide.

        • tinfoilhat 3.1.1.1

          I think the SNP’s ‘scottish wash’ of Scotland had far more to do with the first word in their party’s title and the rise of Scottish Nationalism than anything else.

          • phillip ure 3.1.1.1.1

            it wasn’t only that tinfoil..

            ..i found the echoes between scotland and northland to be potent..

            ..both regions had been neglected by successive tory and labour govts..

            ..and both are regions where poverty/inequality bites hard..

            ..that explains why the strong anti-austerity policies from snp went down so well..

            ..labour here cd do worse than take those policies as homework to be done..

          • felix 3.1.1.1.2

            “I think the SNP’s ‘scottish wash’ of Scotland had far more to do with the first word in their party’s title and the rise of Scottish Nationalism than anything else.”

            If only there were some way of measuring the actual level of support for Scottish nationalism…

            oh wait

            • tinfoilhat 3.1.1.1.2.1

              @Felix – turnout was particularly high in the Scottish seats I do not find it surprising that the SNP did so well to piggyback on the strong Scottish nationalism that is running through the country.

              I find it strange that so many seem to believe that Labour in the UK only had to come out with more left policies to get over the line when my preferred party in the UK was well to the left of Labour and only secured a single seat.

              I believe the first step to change in the UK is to reform the voting platform to make it more representative, however, the last time it was put to the public over there it was voted down convincingly.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                when my preferred party in the UK was well to the left of Labour and only secured a single seat.

                6.4M votes – a quarter of all votes cast in the election – were taken by the Lib Dems, Greens and UKIP put together. And between them they got just 10 MPs out of 650.

                The DUP got a measly 0.18M votes and received 8 MPs.

                That’s utterly fucked.

                So to my mind Left and Right politics has relatively little to do with it; the unproportional UK electoral system is totally undemocratic.

                Of course, UK Labour won’t support the move to a proportional electoral system because they’d lose a couple dozen more seats than they already have.

                • tinfoilhat

                  @CV When you’re a member of the political elite it matters not whether you’re to the right or left, more that you protect the rights and privileges of the political elite and maintain your nose in the trough.

                  As an example just take a look at our higher salaries commission and annual speakers tour junkets.

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.2

          Offering Tory lite is not the solution. As a Tory yourself Gosman, you want Labour in NZ to come to the conclusion that they should simply mimic National Party policies.

          QFT

          The Left would get better results if it showed courage and commitment in it’s own policies rather than just trying to be slightly less to the right than the Political-Right. It is this latter that has had our society becoming ever more unequal and now collapsing under the weight of corruption in both government and private circles.

    • Gosman 3.2

      See my comment at the top. This has combined a number of the left wing nonsensical excuses for their failure to convince the electorate to vote for them.

    • and this one details what the tory-shites will do now..

      open warfare on the poor..

      ..both the unemployed and the working-poor..

      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/may/08/tories-conservatives-12bn-welfare-cuts

      • Draco T Bastard 3.4.1

        open warfare on the poor..

        ..both the unemployed and the working-poor..?

        Oh, I think you’ll find that they’ll be attacking the middle class outright as well so as to induce even more fear in the electorate and lower wages further. The end result being even more working poor and further enrichment of the already rich.

  4. Tautoko Mangō Mata 4

    System failure, Gossie.

    London Protests: Violence Feared As Anti-Tory Demonstrations Meet Police
    http://www.ibtimes.com/london-protests-violence-feared-anti-tory-demonstrations-meet-police-1915527

  5. tangled_up 5

    Labour has proposed withholding state support such as tax credits and Working For Families from people who are not enrolled to vote.

    Mr Barnett said the submission was from the party, which did not set policy, and wanted the committee to investigate the idea – not necessarily recommend it.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11445759

    Maybe these submissions from “the party” need to be “investigated” in private. There always seems to be at least one terrible idea for the herald to run with. This just makes Labour look like politicking hypocrites.

  6. Jim Johnson 6

    Labour lost because people have realised left wing silliness for what it is.

    • you’ve clearly been doing some deep thinking/analysis there..eh..?

      ..heh..!

      (..rightwing and dumb as a sack of hammers..that one..)

      welcome..!..we need as much humour-factor as we can get..

      (..and a good name if thinking of becoming a blues/country-singer..

      ..’jimmy johnson plays/sings the blues’..

      ..as political-analysis/commentary clearly hasn’t worked out that well for you – can you hold a tune..?..)

    • halfcrown 6.2

      “left wing silliness for what it is.”

      And what is that then sunshine?

  7. all praise the herb..!

    jamaica has legalised pot..

    http://www.alternet.org/drugs/jamaica-set-roll-out-green-carpet-pot-tourists

    and while i am at it – there were some cool pot-stories while i was away..

    http://whoar.co.nz/?s=marijuana

  8. paula bennet giving a skin-crawling interview on q & a..

    • b waghorn 8.1

      Good to see one of the panel reminded everyone that she pulled the ladder up on other people in her situation.

  9. Not Arandar 9

    [lprent: someone hijacking a email address. Adding to permanent bans. By the look of it some kind of arsehole from Lauda Finem ]

      • weka 9.1.1

        Holy shit, hadn’t seen that before. Is the content style and dog’s breakfast design meant to mimic LF, or is that just how it is?

        • Natwatch 9.1.1.1

          No idea really, but it seems to me a similar quality of “reporting” to LF.

        • lprent 9.1.1.2

          I checked out a few bits of what looked like hard info on that site that proved to be moderately accurate when I back checked them.

          The people associated with the site are accurate. Phillip Raymond Nottingham was in court when Cameron Slater won his journalism appeal, and lost his ability to protect his sources. From the position of on of them, he was the arsehole who illegally took some photos of me in court that went up on Lauda Finem. I noticed him when he was commenting about how well Cameron Slater was doing, when in fact Slater was making a fool of himself with half baked irrelevant arguments. Apparently the other Nottingham brother was there as well but I didn’t notice him.

          I did see Phillip Nottingham talking animatedly with a group of the other supporters of Cameron Slater to the great man himself. Which kind of points to the lie that the Lauda Finem authors don’t know him.

          For instance some of the more coherent posts appear to be moderately accurate once you look at the verifiable facts. For instance…

          https://laudafinemscam.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/dermot-nottingham-habitual-criminal-recidivist-troll-blogger-known-scammer/
          https://laudafinemscam.wordpress.com/2014/08/23/dermot-nottingham-conman-on-international-scam-site/

          Some of this stuff I’ve checked out over the years, and it appears to be quite accurate at a company level. The companies office runs a great site, and most bankruptcy information is available if you know where to look for it.

          However the author of the LaudaFinemScam site appears to be someone with some severe anger issues directed at these two brothers running Lauda Finem. I also suspect that they spend considerable time looking at these two.

    • They can’t even get Keith Ng’s first name right (or spell Matthew Dentith or Alastair Thompson correctly) so that should be a big hint as to the quality of their information.

    • weka 9.3

      Very interesting read today from Laudafinem, very little to do with politics but a lot to do with an old “friend” of The Standard.
      Has The Standard just been used to facilitate a conspiracy? Was the whole Rachinger thing just a beat-up to conceal a fraud?
      Fascinating read about the underbelly of Auckland “business”.

      Why are you taking LF seriously, Arandar?

      [lprent: We had an identity hijacker astroturfing this morning – probably from Lauda Finem ]

    • mickysavage 9.4

      Ever notice Arandar how LF attacks the same people Slater attacks?

      [lprent: We had an identity hijacker astroturfing this morning – probably from Lauda Finem ]

  10. ianmac 10

    Scoop has published the transcript of the interview between Lisa Owen and Simon Bridges re Auckland transport.
    Lisa is a great interviewer isn’t she? Simon fluffs a great deal when you read his words rather than just listen. It does seem that the Government is blocking progress for Auckland perhaps to wait for a mayor like Banks or some other Right wing nut.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1505/S00101/the-nation-transport-minister-simon-bridges.htm

    • it was one of her best..

      corin dann also does well in his interview of bennett..(mainly by asking ‘just what is the problem you are trying to solve?’..)..

      ..and showing how that policy also is ideologically-driven..

      • phillip ure 10.1.1

        and robertson..in the main..is just spouting aspirational-shite..

        ..and yes..the bone has been well and truly pointed at the capital gains tax policy..

        ..robertson pours a bucket of blame on it for losing two elections..

        ..(how reassuring/comforting it must be for robertson/labour to have such a handy scapegoat for their collective-failures..eh..?..

        ..no mention of how toxic the raising super age policy was..what a vote-killer that was..)

        ..and he’s just killed the sth island vote..

        ..threatening to send coloured-folks/’furriners’/immigrants their way..

        ..they like being/staying ‘white’ down there..

        ‘johnny foreigner’ causes sth islanders to just narrow their eyes..

  11. les 11

    another column from Eric Watson in the NZH ,about Mothers Day this time.Is he trying to reinvent himself as some kind of kind,caring human being and if so…why!

  12. Chooky 12

    Tony Blair’s Toxic Legacy ?

    ‘The Fuller Picture – 2015 UK Elections: Voters abandoning parties or parties abandoning voters?’

    (Currently a Research Associate at the INSYTE Group, Dr. Roslyn Fuller has previously lectured at Trinity College and the National University of Ireland. )

    “Labour leader Ed Miliband is currently reaping what his predecessor Tony Blair sowed when he sold everyone down the river with the idea of ‘New Labour’ in 1997. New Labour, which Margaret Thatcher would one day wittily name as her greatest achievement turned out to include jumping into a neocon planned war in Iraq, pushing through privatization of public infrastructure, introducing tuition fees for university students, reorganizing the NHS to run like a private company, and giving the Bank of England full operational independence vis-a-vis the nation’s finances.”

    http://rt.com/op-edge/256481-uk-elections-voters-parties/

    ( Lessons for the New Zealand Labour Party?)

    • ianmac 12.1

      New Labour was just an extension of Thatcher’s Conservatism. And here in NZ after Douglas we have just carried on in the same Douglasisms but with different labels. No wonder some voters are apathetic.

      • Chooky 12.1.1

        +100 agreed….and I think that the Blair ( friend of the Pope and Israel and Bush ) intervention in the Middle East … the “neocon planned war in Iraq” was particularly devastating for the British Labour Party

        ( Britain is largely secular and its people want peace..it was not their war…but a war imposed upon them)

        …it was a BETRAYAL of democracy by a leader of the Labour Party into a war the British people did not want or believe in!…how could they EVER trust a Labour Party leader again after that !? ( better NOT to vote than vote Labour)

        …and the British dont easily forget the consequent bombings of British civilians in retaliation in London…the buses and train…Blair brought carnage back on his own British people!….the sooner Blair is tried for crimes against humanity the sooner the wounds will heal …and the British Labour Party can move on…but only if they have a leader who truly represents them…and whom they can trust not to betray them again

    • Colonial Viper 12.2

      the rightwing in UK Labour are going to use this defeat to push Labour Blairite again. The unions are discredited now as Red Ed was their choice and their failure.

      • millsy 12.2.1

        Oh for sure. That is why I am picking Chuka Ummana for the leadership. One of the prominite Blairites.

        The irony is that there was still a lot a Blairite influence of the party’s policies. Somee of them even went further than Blair went.

        • Colonial Rawshark 12.2.1.1

          Seems like the light blue pseudo-tory party in the UK is about to become slightly deeper blue.

          You have to admire how effective the right wing are at this game.

          • Draco T Bastard 12.2.1.1.1

            +111

            It’s just amazing that the executives in the Left parties don’t see it or perhaps they do and are helping it along.

  13. stever 13

    Interesting take-down of O Winfrey….as a neolib shill…and perhaps pertinent to the way elections go here and in, topically :-), the UK

    http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2015/may/09/oprah-winfrey-neoliberal-capitalist-thinkers

  14. philip ferguson 14

    Israeli journalist Amira Hass has been doing a small speaking tour of NZ, speaking about dissidence in times of Bantustanisation. A fascinating talk. There’s a report on her Auckland meeting here:
    https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/05/08/amira-hass-israeli-jewish-dissidence-in-times-of-bantustanisation/

    • Chooky 14.1

      +100…Yes and this is a good article too

      ‘The Israeli architecture of destruction – and the ‘hidden violence’ against Palestine’

      By Dr David Robie

      – See more at: http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/05/09/the-israeli-architecture-of-destruction-and-the-hidden-violence-against-palestine/#sthash.k9BMljSw.dpuf

      • Philip Ferguson 14.1.1

        Hass was in Australia so I think some folks here were quite onto it and got her across the ditch.

        However, it would be great to have a speaking tour with more time to prepare. She deserves a big audience and with more time could probably get one.

        At the same time, we need Palestinian activists doing speaking tours – otherwise it looks like they’re helpless victims who need others to speak for them and the only legitimate critics of Zionism are Jewish critics.

        Phil

        • tc 14.1.1.1

          +100 the Palestinian side is one full of bravery in a mighty struggle up against the might of Israeli and it’s backers.

          They give the bird to all and sundry who challenge it’s right to continue expansion into occupied territory.

  15. millsy 15

    Some good news for a change – Auckland Council has voted not to reduce libarary hours and Eastern Bay Energy Trust looks set to become 100% shareholders in Horizon Energy buying out the 23% of share not in its ownership.

  16. Philip Ferguson 16

    Baltimore socialists on the anger in Baltimore:
    https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/the-anger-in-baltimore/

  17. Arandar 17

    FGS! The comment above is not me! I’m not happy that it’s possible for someone to use my name and photo to say what I’d not say – ever.

    [I see you have had some difficulty in the past. Do you have another email address you can use? – MS]

  18. Arandar 18

    Thank you Lynn. Appreciate your prompt attention.

    • lprent 18.1

      No problem. They have obviously picked up your email from somewhere else and used it.

      I’ve just been going back through the comments and tagging the ones that are clearly not yours. Since they have been consistently either astroturfing to Lauda Finem posts or running the Whaleoil/Lauda Finem lines, it wasn’t that hard to do.

      I have also been putting the emails and IP numbers of the person I think is probably responsible (based on IP and what they are writing) for my personal attention.

  19. greywarshark 19

    Paula Bennett is a machine. She is a programmed puppet. Listening to her fast breathless delivery of her latest hypocritical fudging of cruel, inadequate policies that continue the downward slide in conditions for NZ citizens who don’t have good money to provide their every need makes me ill.

    And so does weaselly Nick Smith. They are just two examples of the willing foot soldiers of the economic movement that is taking us back to the poorhouse days, and those of the consignment of any who annoyed the wealthy to some harsh destiny.

  20. Apropos of nothing, can I make a shout out to RDU, Chch’s student station? They’ve just moved into their new studios after years of slumming it in temporary accommodation, post earthquake. It’s taken a lot of work and a lot of hours from volunteers.

    RDU is one of the things that makes it great to live in Christchurch and the Sunday arvo trifecta of Vintage Cuts (retro show), Throwing Shapes (americana -sort of) and Dubwise (uptown top ranking reggae and dub) is stonking radio.

    http://www.rdu.org.nz/

    There’s a live link on the main page and they’re also on Tune In and Mixcloud. Apparently you get bonus points for being the magic 100th liker of the Throwing Shapes fb page! https://www.facebook.com/throwingshapesradio?fref=ts

  21. Arandar 21

    Hi Mickey, yes, I’ve deleted the old one and created another. Feckin nuisance. So many sites associated with the old one. But now, it seems, someone can continue to use it. I thought I’d stopped that by deleting it from my end but clearly not. As I said, I barely know which way’s up technically. Feels like I’d theft to me. But again, it’s only being used here as far as I know/hope. Arsehole. As LP said.

    • lprent 21.1

      You should go back to gravatar on that email key and change the picture to something like this

      Do you want me to change the email on all of your comments to your new email? Then when you put in a gravatar on that email all of your comments will update.

      • Arandar 21.1.1

        I guess changing to the new email would help as long as this bastard doesn’t get hold of it too. And I think Greywarshark’s suggestion that I take a new name/avatar would help too. If I knew how to change the pic/gravatar I would do but I don’t have a clue… will see help from a grandchild or someone else who does!

    • greywarshark 21.2

      Arandar There is another way – you could use another name as your signature. It is allowed. I started using one, which then was used by an occasional commenter. I decided it was confusing and changed, which made a number of changes over years.
      Your name is your identity, and can’t be changed all the time for that reason. People come to know your thinking and know whether to respect you or be irritated by you, sometimes getting a surprise! So it might be better to change your name/pseudonym if someone else is using it, nuisance as it is.

  22. greywarshark 22

    I forecast that if the social conditions continue to be degraded as at present, the cruise ships that now house thousands of tourists with discretionary cash (up to 6000) will be the jails of the future. The British housed their miscreants in hulks before they were sent to Australia and also to the USA as convicts.

    It is estimated that some 50,000 British convicts were sent to colonial America, representing perhaps one-quarter of all British emigrants during the 18th century. The State of Georgia for example was first founded by James Edward Oglethorpe by using penal prisoners taken largely from debtors’ prison, creating a “Debtor’s Colony”…
    The British also would often ship Irish and Scots to the Americas whenever rebellions took place in Ireland or Scotland, and they would be treated similar to the convicts, except that this also included women and children.
    When that avenue closed in the 1780s after the American Revolution,
    Britain began using parts of what is now known as Australia as penal settlements. ..
    (Between 1788 and 1868, approximately 162,000 convicts were transported to the various Australian penal colonies by the British government
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Convicts_in_Australia)

    Bermuda, off the North American continent, was also used during the Victorian period. Convicts housed in hulks were used to build the Royal Naval Dockyard there, and during the Second Boer War (1899-1902), Boer prisoners-of-war were sent to the archipelago and imprisoned on one of the smaller islands.
    In colonial India, the British made various penal colonies. Two of the most infamous ones are on the Andaman Islands and Hijli. In the early days of settlement, Singapore was the recipient of Indian convicts, who were tasked with clearing the jungles for settlement and early public works.

    The list of countries that have had penal colonies is large. Some were for prisons to isolate criminals from society. Some were places to send dissidents, activists or enemy citizens during a war. Some were sources of free labour for building infrastructure.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Penal_colony

    And this will be accepted as it was then before someone with a Name made a sacrifice of time, pleasure and money to work for change. It took a huge effort which I don’t know that can be replicated – I don’t know if now there is a sufficiently large moral group that believe in the nobility and worth of other human beings that would mobilise to do the same. Now it’s go with flow, complacency, self-involvement as presented by that great all-encompassing religion, Neo-Liberal Economics. We need to stop now the greedy, careless, inhuman philosophy that goes against everything we have lived by and the lives our parents worked (and died) to achieve, which they thought was established as a basis of life for ever.

  23. Charles 23

    Observation #1

    Dunno if anyone’s noticed, but there’s no similarity whatsoever between elections here and in the UK. None. Zip. Scottish Independance issues are not in any way the same as Maori Sovereignty initiatives. What’s the eagerness to suggest connections between two dissimilar populations, histories, and cultures? Might as well say that oranges are just like the Labour Party, and tins of beans are like National, and then argue about how it could be that people buy more beans than oranges. The sheer enormity of facts and influences you’d have to ignore to suggest England’s people are the same as New Zealanders, is staggering.

    Observation #2

    Anyone alive today saying that “the left should move right, or, the left should be the right” is effectly lamenting their inability to crawl back up their father’s urethra. No one alive who considers themselves in any way materially successful hasn’t benefited from socialist government programs of constructive change. None. Zip. To say they haven’t is pure ignorance, to say they’ve suffered, is pure ignorance bordering on delusion. You can’t profit from selling a state owned asset unless the state once owned it. You can’t spring-board off state subsidies unless the state first subsidises your industry.

    Observation #3

    The availablity of cheap imported goods was outside the reach of the hoi polloi during the Muldoon era, and I was having a hard time tying down what has become better since we can now access cheap consumer technology. So far, I personally have gained from being able to buy a dishwasher. The idea of hand-washing dishes again, although there may be an undefined ecological or spiritual element over the period of a lifetime that I can’t yet appreciate, isn’t something I’d like to return to. Outside of that, pretty much everything is either the same, or worse, mostly worse – or at least the opportunites to follow alternate paths has been lost. When will we give up the idea of “getting ahead”, measured by material gain?

    You may disagree.
    #Idontcare.

  24. vto 24

    observation #lastone:

    the reason for the surprising ongoing support for conservative parties here and overseas is due to the state of fear and uncertainty people feel like they are in

    • Colonial Rawshark 24.1

      And the inability of other parties to get serious about concrete change which addresses peoples economic fears and uncertainties.

  25. Arandar 25

    So ‘Arandar’ over and out. With thanks to all who leapt to help and advise.
    Back one day – a new/old me. Cheers.

  26. lprent 26

    A third of the way through the RAID rebuild. It was a bit hairy for speed over the last hour as the RAID system rebuilt the disk array under the running database. Slowed down entering comments and most admin functions quite a lot.

    [code]
    # cat /proc/mdstat
    Personalities : [raid6] [raid5] [raid4] [linear] [multipath] [raid0] [raid1] [raid10]
    md0 : active raid6 sda[10] sdf[8] sdc[6] sdd1[2] sdb[3] sde[7]
    7813523456 blocks super 1.2 level 6, 512k chunk, algorithm 2 [6/5] [UUUU_U]
    [======>…………..] recovery = <b>33.5%</b> (656097088/1953380864) finish=1097.8min speed=19694K/sec
    bitmap: 4/15 pages [16KB], 65536KB chunk

    unused devices: <none>
    [/code]

    Incidentally that bit of bash reporting was inserted using the short codes for https://wordpress.org/plugins/syntaxhighlighter/

    I think it should work for everyone.

  27. Clemgeopin 27

    Attention Auckland!

    Re the coming housing bubble:

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CEmAwhSUUAAxjiL.jpg:large

    Sharon Murdoch ‏
    The #housingbubble explained. @SundayStarTimes

  28. Philip Ferguson 29

    Veteran activist Don Franks on Tim Barnett’s proposal to punish people for not registering to vote:
    https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/05/10/labour-party-obey-or-starve/

  29. Michael 30

    https://www.yahoo.com/politics/why-obama-is-happy-to-fight-elizabeth-warren-on-118537612596.html
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/10/us/politics/obama-calls-elizabeth-warren-absolutely-wrong-on-trans-pacific-trade-deal.html?_r=0

    Obama is publicly fighting with Elizabeth Warren over the TPP.

    “The president’s rebuttal of Ms. Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who came to national prominence in part through her work with the Obama administration, underscored the schism within the Democratic Party over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation trade deal.

    Ms. Warren, a former Harvard law professor, has become an outspoken leader of those Democrats who argue that the agreement would cost American jobs.

    Mr. Obama’s comments came after he delivered a speech at the Nike headquarters in which he lashed out at liberal critics of the agreement, arguing that they were fighting an old fight even though he was negotiating what he called the most progressive trade deal in history.

    He seemed most irritated at Ms. Warren’s suggestion that the trade pact could be used as a vehicle to undercut the financial overhaul that Mr. Obama signed in 2010 in response to the Wall Street excesses that led to the recession.”

    ““The truth of the matter is that Elizabeth is, you know, a politician like everybody else,” he said. “And you know, she’s got a voice that she wants to get out there. And I understand that. And on most issues, she and I deeply agree. On this one, though, her arguments don’t stand the test of fact and scrutiny.”

    This is remarkable stuff for Obama. All presidents are forged, in a sense, by the moments at which they come to public life. Obama entered politics during Bill Clinton’s presidency, when urban liberals were growing disgusted with the president’s strategy of “triangulation,” popularly interpreted as the idea that you can win broad support by picking fights with the ideologues in your own party. Obama has always been reflexively averse to anything that might be construed as him pushing back against his friends to score political points with everyone else.

    Throughout his presidency, Obama has mostly avoided public feuds with what his first press secretary, Robert Gibbs, liked to call the “professional left” — even when it’s meant sidestepping important disagreements on policy. Democratic politicians and interest groups, in turn, have been cautious in their criticism, offering only muted resistance when Obama stepped up the war in Afghanistan, or when he nearly negotiated a deal that would have restructured entitlements.

    But like a marriage in which the spouses pretend to be happier than they really are, Obama’s polite alliance with the populist left appears to be suddenly crumbling under the weight of free trade. The more Warren and Senate colleagues like Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown attack the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, joined by big unions and environmental groups, the more liberated Obama seems to feel in portraying them as reckless and backward-looking, much as Clinton might have done. He evidences none of the self-doubt or conflicted loyalty that seemed plain when they criticized him for being too cautious on Wall Street reform or health care.”

  30. Weepus beard 31

    Sad to see 8 die on our roads in a single day at the end of “Road safety week”.

    “Road safety week” is about as effective as the 101km/hour fine stunt the cops pulled in summer when the road toll climbed significantly because drivers were distracted by their speedometers.

    Solution: Upgrade the roads instead of running ineffective marketing and revenue gathering campaigns.

  31. Weepus beard 32

    Anyone else think this story is an acute and vivid snapshot of the struggle in Auckland?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/home-property/68324088/good-samaritan-investor-takes-pity-on-young-auckland-buyers

    The startling quote for me was this…

    “To me I wasn’t really emotional on it, but I thought it was a good buy. When I saw that couple, especially the girl burst out crying, I felt really really terrible.”

    This story will have no impact whatsoever on the right, on the John Key voters, aside from the reality TV feel-good factor in the same vein that Stuff had framed the article.

    To me however it screams out loud the dominance of the speculator in the market at the expense of real people and it screams that said speculator ordinarily could not give a shit about real people until one of them sees the distress first hand.

    This story, the story that ordinary folk who want to buy are being outbid by speculators and Chinese with cheap money has been told for several years now.

    John Key and Blinglish will call it the price of progress.

    • Draco T Bastard 32.1

      John Key and Blinglish will call it the price of progress.

      They’ll call it anything except what it is – a housing bubble. And they’ll have to do that because to do anything else is to admit that the economy is in recession and that the housing bubble is probably the only thing keeping us out of a deflationary spiral.

    • greywarshark 32.2

      @ weepus beard
      I heard on Radionz last week, a man who is a recent resident in NZ, who had wanted to be in the running for a $400,000 residential land purchase. People queued up at the site sleeping in their cars and eventually were handed numbers to show their priority, but this man had missed out as his wife had to take their car and drop the children to school. Not being in a car he was left out of the priority list apparently. He was terribly upset. It is so hard in our competitive society to get a living and secure a home.

      Another man said that he and another from his family had waited all night to ensure they were in the running. It seems the way in the NZ and the neo-lib western world that those who have the time and means can advantage themselves further while those who are struggling get locked out.

  32. JeevesPOnzi 33

    Auckland housing bubble. I don’t get that its a bubble…..

    I know fuck all about economics- but I did read a couple of things over the years about house prices which stuck with me-

    Thing one- Irish bubble was created by irish people frenziedly selling Ireland to themselves- and using the ‘profits’ to leverage huge loans to outbuild the imaginary demand- like a self designed Ponzi scheme.
    Thing two- a quote I heard- ” The bubble must burst? Ask anyone with property in Manhattan NY if the bubble must burst? It’s been going for a hundred years!”

    So can I respectfully offer the following statement-
    The Auckland housing crisis is not a bubble- because the demand is driven by NEW/fresh money coming in from Asia- I mean if everyone in China wanted a house in Auckland they’d be selling for a Billion each. As long as the Chinese are willing to pay more- then the bubble will grow- but it will never burst, until we build more houses than the Chinese need.
    The logical end for how things are going is that Auckland ends up a ChinaTown full of Billionaires, and we end up with a country full of multi-millionaires who sold their Auckland houses to the Chinese- but its still not a bubble…

    Aucklanders being ‘priced out’ of the market is nothing new- it happened in Ponsonby, Epsom, Tamaki, ( fuck- even Ranui, Swanson, Riverhead!! )anywhere in fact where the house prices are high. And it was Aucklanders who did it to them.

    Am I wrong?

    • greywarshark 33.1

      All I know is that there have been other housing bubbles in NZ which have cost people an arm and a leg. They may have ended up living in a camping ground while they paid off a mortgage for a property they know longer owned because it had been sold at the new lower valuation by the bank when the bubble burst.

      We must realise that we are living on borrowed money. Our economy is like a ponzi scheme. We keep getting foreign investment, and it is not just Chinese, but it is they who at present seem to have most of the new money. And not only is foreign investment in houses, its businesses also. This puts money into our economy but is virtually a loan, and the profits are repatriated back to the investors preferred tax haven. So we have to make exports increase to ensure that we can balance the outflow of profits from NZ, and to pay for all the imports of dross and heavy machinery and cars that we borrow money from Australian banks to spend our money on. The government is borrowing all the time to make up the shortfall in our exports to meet the payments required of us overseas.

      If there is a spanner in the works for even a short period the house of cards is likely to topple, a depression start and credit would be withdrawn and the whole thing collapses. Pop! That is the bubble bursting. Houses used to be regarded as desirable investments for ordinary people and cost about four times the average annual salary or something like that. If the average salary is $70,000 as I read today, then that would be $280,000.

      Houses can’t be considered as playthings for the rich. They can spend their bloody excess money on Picassos at $64 million or such, but it is wrong for people to have lose ability to have a home by outbidding by high-flyers from overseas or in NZ. The rentier financiers are screwing up our basic financial system to line their own pockets, making up their own laws and systems as they go.

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