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Open Mike 10/09/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 10th, 2016 - 119 comments
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119 comments on “Open Mike 10/09/2016”

  1. Paul 1

    A government doing its job would never have allowed these practices to occur.
    Our housing system is being played to launder dirty foreign money and to satisfy reckless speculation.

    1. Property laundering

    someone elses text

    Police research concludes a loophole is seeing lawyers, accountants and real estate agents being increasingly used to launder $1.6 billion in dirty money annually – including into New Zealand’s booming property markets.Lawyers, accountants and real estate agents being increasingly used to launder $1.6 billion in dirty money annually – including into New Zealand’s booming property markets.
    “Recent police investigations have exposed the fact that professional services and the real estate sector are closely linked to organised crime and drug offending,” officials said.
    That research, sampling freezing orders obtained to seize the proceeds of crime, found 26 per cent of cases involved unpicking the work of accountants and lawyers, and more than half (56 per cent of cases) involved property deals where “offenders were ultimately successful in integrating criminal proceeds by purchasing real estate”.
    Reports released under the Official Information Act – and only provided to the Weekend Herald following a complaint to the Ombudsman – show Justice Minister Amy Adams was briefed last June about police concerns but substantive policy work to close the loophole was only begun a year later.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11706741

    2. Auckland speculators flipping homes on same day of purchase.

    With the average Auckland house price now tipping $1 million, frenzied property speculation is helping drive up prices and locking thousands of Auckland families out of home ownership.
    But one investor who buys and sells Auckland properties – sometimes on the same day – has defended the practice, labelling it “easy money” in a rising market.
    “If you can swing a property deal once a week and make 20 or 30 grand, why would you not do that?” said seasoned Tauranga-based investor Ian Stevenson.
    “Big money is chasing good profit here but it’s the market’s rise that’s driving it because they’re not fixing the Auckland problem.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/news/article.cfm?c_id=8&objectid=11706163

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      “If you can swing a property deal once a week and make 20 or 30 grand, why would you not do that?” said seasoned Tauranga-based investor Ian Stevenson.

      Because it’s detrimental to society which is why such speculators used to be hung. After all, they’re not actually doing anything for that money (as he said) which essentially makes it theft.

      Personally, I’d got 110% tax on anything that’s turned over that fast, makes a profit that big and does nothing to develop the economy.

      • Paul 1.1.1

        Stevenson symptomatic of what is wrong with capitalism and its virulent strain neoliberalism.
        The system is based on money, not people.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1

          The system is based on money, not people.

          And it ignores resources and development which means to say that it’s not even remotely economic no matter what the economists and politicians say. Which, of course, means that it actually does need to be banned/regulated out of existence.

          • Paul 1.1.1.1.1

            And the perpetrators and facilitators need to be tried.

            • Red 1.1.1.1.1.1

              We get it we don’t need a to be reminded of your views day in day out, capitalism bad, Neo liberalism bad, fiat money bad it’s all going to end in tears, Revolution good, Stalinist reckoning good, we got it, ok

              • Colonial Viper

                I think the specific example was about damaging fraud and hyper-speculation in the Auckland property market.

                Which I am sure you agree needs to be stamped out.

                Unfortunately no political party is taking this issue seriously.

              • Paul

                I sense you do need to be reminded.

    • Bearded Git 1.2

      If you elect a currency dealer (speculator) as PM what do you expect?

      • Leftie 1.2.1

        Exactly right Bearded Git. New Zealand most certainly got what it voted for, didn’t it?

        • mosa 1.2.1.1

          Leftie i got what i didnt want thanks to those selfish arses who voted for these morons ! three times in a row and will vote for them again in a years time.
          Thats dictatorship with a smile and an easy going manner.

          • Chuck 1.2.1.1.1

            Then mosa I assume you are going to volunteer your time next year for which ever party you want to support, so to maximize that parties vote? its called democracy.

            Win the hearts and minds of the voters, and you will have your wish…its that simple.

            • mosa 1.2.1.1.1.1

              yep Chuck i will give it my time and energy.

            • Leftie 1.2.1.1.1.2

              Is it that simple Chuck, when National use dirty politics and an equally dirty msm to cling to power?

              • Chuck

                Yes its that simple Leftie.

                Forget trying to blame so called dirty politics…they all do it left or right.

                Why do you think the attack line of Labour for so long has been to try and dig up dirt on John Key?

                Hager timed his book for the last election, thinking it would cause a massive landslide against National. The public looked and then voted, giving Hager the middle finger.

                • Leftie

                  Obviously not that simple at all Chuck. There is nothing “so called” about the dirty politics National rely on to stay in power. Maybe you should stop using the false meme of “they all do it too” since no party has used dirty Americanized politics like its puppet John key.

                  There is plenty of dirt on the compulsive liar & traitor John key, whose only interests are to abuse his prime ministerial position, build tax havens for the off shore elites, to launder dirty money by making our own people homeless, and to harass and abuse a young waitress at her place of employment. Key has been fortunate to have such a gutless, compliant and complicit msm on board.
                  History will not look kindly on John key, who will go down as the worst self serving PM this country has had the misfortune to have.

                  National et al has never proved Nicky Hager wrong, and I think the public are taking more notice now, it’s getting harder for the arrogant Nats to hide it’s obvious disdain for this country and its people.

                  • Chuck

                    Leftie properly the only thing we can agree on is that is disagree!

                    “There is plenty of dirt on the compulsive liar & traitor John key, whose only interests are to abuse his prime ministerial position, build tax havens for the off shore elites, to launder dirty money by making our own people homeless, and to harass and abuse a young waitress at her place of employment. Key has been fortunate to have such a gutless, compliant and complicit msm on board.”

                    How then can you explain the wall to wall coverage given by the MSM on “ponytail gate” or when they brought in the “big gun” Hager to lead a team of MSM journos on the Panama papers?…every voter in NZ was exposed to these stories…and still National is polling around the vote they received in the 2014 election.

                    Its easy to blame others…the left need to look in the mirror and realise they need to lift there game big time.

                    • BM

                      They can’t because they believe they’re right and every one else is wrong.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Not just that everyone is simply “wrong” but that they are ignorant, uneducated, greedy, self-centred, cruel, racist, woman hating, red necks, etc.

                      It’s a real effort to win friends and influence people.

                    • b waghorn

                      ”and still National is polling around the vote they received in the 2014 election.”

                      that doesn’t actually prove that the nats aren’t scum , it just proves that people either don’t care , don’t believe it or think it’s ok to climb into the gutter to win,.

                    • BM

                      @ CV

                      And that attitude sticks out like dog nuts.

                      I just don’t get it, politics is all about selling concepts and ideas, yet the left makes no effort to actually sell or convince the voter that what they’re offering is good.

                      It’s all “This is what is good for you silly voter person, do what we say”, then look all confused when the voter tells them to fuck off.

                    • Leftie

                      None of which was in the headlines for long before National’s attack bloggers and msm kicked into gear with excuses and victim blaming. Since you obviously believe in opinion polling, I guess John key’s most preferred/popularity plummeting from the unrealistic heady heights of 63% down to 36.7% in such a very short space of time pretty much shows he’s on the way out.

                    • Leftie

                      @BM All John Key has sold NZ was lies and deceit. You have actually described John key and his supporters like yourself. Remember, John key said he was right and the Law Society, Privacy Commissioner and the Human Rights Commissioner were all wrong.

                    • framu

                      “I just don’t get it, politics is all about selling concepts and ideas,”

                      then why did national feel the need to resort to running a secret hit squad?

                      i mean if their ideas are sooo amazing why did they need to engage in deceit of that level?

                      the fact is national arent really that honest about their ideas

                • framu

                  so when exactly were labour running a secret hit squad out of the leaders office?

                  getting sick of this repetitive deliberate ignorance that tries to pretend that openly digging for dirt like every party has done forever is the same as running a secret campaign, that sailed pretty close to illegality, out of the leaders office

                  its bullshit chuck

                  • Leftie

                    +1’s on both of your comments Framu.

                    “the fact is national arent really that honest about their ideas”

                    That’s right, National are so dishonest and secretive, that they don’t tell the public what they really intend to do at all.

                  • Chuck

                    “so when exactly were labour running a secret hit squad out of the leaders office?”

                    Since long ago…if they want to do a “hit” on say a Nat MP they can tap a journo on the shoulder and feed them the story.

                    “getting sick of this repetitive deliberate ignorance that tries to pretend that openly digging for dirt like every party has done forever is the same as running a secret campaign”

                    Not much will be done in the “open”. It defeats the purpose to a large extent.

                    “that sailed pretty close to illegality, out of the leaders office”

                    Nothing illegal was done end of story. However that’s not the case for whoever stole Slaters emails…

                    The voting public gave their verdict on the day of the election…end of story.

  2. Paul 2

    A government doing its job would never have allowed this to occur.

    Kiwi mother of five shares struggle with homelessness after addressing MPs.

    A Wellington mother of five spoke to MPs this week about her family’s years-long struggle to find a home. SAM SACHDEVA spoke to Sarah about going back and forward between cars, friends’ houses and “squished into one bed”.
    The family’s unstable living conditions have taken a toll in many different ways.
    Sarah’s family have all had pneumonia – one son nearly died and had to be hospitalised – along with constant colds and other illnesses.
    They’ve suffered emotionally too: all but her youngest son have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress and anxiety disorders.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/83941349/kiwi-mother-of-five-shares-struggle-with-homelessness-after-addressing-mps

  3. Fustercluck 3

    More proof the Auckland market is a dumping ground for illicit cash.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11706741

    The tiniest bit of enforcement will chase this source of buyers away in a second.

    And then this tidbit about flipping properties in a day:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/news/article.cfm?c_id=8&objectid=11706163

    When the bubble goes pop it’s going to be spectacular.

  4. Bearded Git 4

    Andrew Geddis has done a fine job (OIA needed again) working out how the ridiculous Airport Authorities (Publicising Lost Property Sales) Amendment Bill. came to be in the members ballot.

    It turns out Simon Bridges was behind it, and it is clear the bill was included in the ballot to help keep the opposition from getting a bill in the ballot that might actually do something.

    Geddis notes the reaction of a Ministry of Transport Official:

    “What the hell is going on here? This is a completely stupid thing to do! If we’re going to the trouble of having an entire review of the legislation with an Amendment Act to follow, why on earth wouldn’t we include this incredibly trivial, easily made change in it? Honest to God – sometimes I despair of the morons who run this place and the petty political games that they are always playing. If this ever comes out in public, they are going to look like a bunch of right royal nitwits who deserve all the ridicule that will follow.”

    So Bridges is a moron who plays petty political games. But we knew that.

    It’s all here:
    http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/worser-and-worser

  5. Chooky 5

    More corruption associated with this John Key Nactional Government

    ‘Chinese tour drivers had no licences, police allege’

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/84044806/chinese-tour-drivers-had-no-licences-police-allege

    ‘A 50 tonne bomb on the road fully loaded’ – alleged licence scam extends to truck drivers’

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/50-tonne-bomb-road-fully-loaded-alleged-licence-scam-extends-truck-drivers

    This while young New Zealanders struggle to get their drivers licenses ….the fees are exorbitant for a young person or a working class family….and the testing is very very rigorous

    …three levels of competency for a NZ drivers license

    ( which many young New Zealanders can’t complete for lack of money or for failing the tests which are nit-picking in the extreme)

    1) theoretical knowledge of driver safety and road rules

    2) learner licence..practical skills 6 months only driving with a licensed adult

    3.) restricted license…can only drive by oneself or with a passenger with a license

    4.) final full license ( very hard for a young New Zealander to get and many don’t)

    ….and to be without a licence is often to be without work and education opportunities in many cases

    ….condemning young New Zealanders to desperation, alcohol and drugs …the scrap heap Jonkey kindly talks about

    (Bus driving in New Zealand should only be by New Zealanders…We should not be exporting our tourism jobs to Chinese or other foreigners who are unqualified…especially when New Zealanders are unemployed)

    • Patrick Cummoskey 5.1

      +100

    • If you bring in Third Worlders, they bring the Third World with them. That’s inevitable, because we’re all products of our cultures. Call these scams “deliberate government policy,” because that’s what it amounts to.

      • RedLogix 5.2.1

        @PM

        Just come into Auckland for a few days after another work trip into SE Asia. Absolutely true.

        While Ak still retains a layer of pre-colonial European heritage, it’s rapidly being overlaid by the exactly the architectures and behaviours I recognise from before I got on the plane in Asia.

        Especially the driving.

        • Paul 5.2.1.1

          Especially those driving the top of the range Audis and Porsche Cayennes.
          We are being colonised by an uber rich elite from China.
          There are also big US and European tycoons buying up NZ at an alarming speed.
          We are being colonised.

          • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.1

            +1

            And it will be just as bad as the last colonisation that occurred here. Need to stop it before it gets that far.

            • Paul 5.2.1.1.1.1

              One upside.
              Pakeha may gain some empathy and start to understand Maori grievances.

              Actually, I think this colonisation may be worse.

            • Paul 5.2.1.1.1.2

              It is more likely you’ll hear the words neo-liberalism ( and its condemnation) from NZ First than the Greens or Labour.
              Why?

              60% Of Migrants Not On Skill-Shortages List – Why John Key REALLY Wants More Immigration

              The twin obvious justifications for why National continues to allow in thousands of migrant labourers who aren’t on the long-term skill shortages list thus ought to be plainly obvious.

              It’s because our Government are working hand-in-glove with their economically exploitative employment-offering mates to attempt to artificially depress both pay and conditions in the broader New Zealand labour market – for everyone, not just migrant workers.

              Ever since the roll-out of the Rogernomics economic “reforms” in the 1980s, take-home pay in real terms has been declining for workers in New Zealand. We have also witnessed ongoing attempts by successive Governments to corral and constrain Union power. But while they have evidently accomplished oh so much economic devastation for the ordinary person through direct legislative instruments, since the halting of the ‘mainstream’ Neoliberal ‘revolution’ in the mid-late 1990s following the running out of steam of Ruthanasia etc, more insidious means to further the same broad objectives have had to be pursued.

              http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/09/09/60-of-migrants-not-on-skill-shortages-list-why-john-key-really-wants-more-immigration/

              • Naki man

                Paul anyone who watched Nigel latta, the hard stuff from last tuesday
                on immigration, will know that you are telling porkies, but you probably know that too.

                • Paul

                  I didn’t watch it.

                  • Naki man

                    Well you should watch it, it was a surprise to me, we are being fed a lot of B/S about immigration and you are helping spread the B/S.

                    • mauī

                      I saw a lot of it and Nigel asking someone high up from Immigration New Zealand to see if we have got immigration policy settings right isn’t exactly investigative journalism.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The only BS about immigration that we’re seeing is from the RWNJs.

                • framu

                  he was actually making some pretty major errors. It wasnt all it was cracked up to be

                  (though that doesnt mean i disagree with SOME of what he had to say)

            • Psycho Milt 5.2.1.1.1.3

              And it will be just as bad as the last colonisation that occurred here. Need to stop it before it gets that far.

              You’d think we, of all people, would be able to figure that out. But I guess that, as the beneficiaries of that last colonisation, many White NZers struggle with the concept that it was a bad thing. At least most Maori get it, for obvious reasons.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.3

      Bus and Coach Association New Zealand chief executive Barry Kidd said most companies were “meticulous” in checking licences.

      “I think it’s an isolated incident.

      No, it won’t be an isolated incident. There will be several such places around the country.

      • Chooky 5.3.1

        and the police don’t think it is an isolated incident

        “Police prosecutor Sergeant Grant Neal said: “These residents of China have come over without driver’s licences.

        “They are operating as tour operators, driving without New Zealand driver’s licences and producing other residents’ driver’s licences. There are several prosecutions in relation to the one company.”

  6. Patrick Cummoskey 6

    Given global warming and traffic congestion isn’t it about time we as a nation reintroduced carless days? It would encourage more use of public transport and there would be fewer cars on the road.

    Come on, comrades! We simply can’t rely on the general public to voluntarily give up their cars!

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Diesel and petrol powered road transport volumes do need to be slashed. There are different ways of doing this.

      I had the pleasure of commuting across Auckland by car in peak traffic recently. That hundreds of thousands of vehicles do this every day, over and over again, is mindboggling.

      • gsays 6.1.1

        Hi CV.
        I, too, have spent a bit of time in aucks traffic recently.
        1 person per car seems to be the norm.

        I agree with the carless day idea with a subtle difference; us choosing to have a carless day, or other such sacrifice.

        Far more powerful and effective than any legislation.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2

        That hundreds of thousands of vehicles do this every day, over and over again, is mindboggling.?

        Yep. Just walked through Henderson at a greater pace than the traffic going through it.

        Really can’t understand why these people can’t see just how idiotic that they’re being. Public transport for going to work and getting stuff delivered instead of going shopping is a much better option.

        • Paul 6.1.2.1

          Agreed.
          We should make all public transport free, make bus lanes on all motorways and place a pollution and climate tax on fuel.

          • Siobhan 6.1.2.1.1

            For certain folk on this site who may roll their eyes at that idea….It’s a thing already in these cities…https://farefreepublictransport.com/city/

          • Chuck 6.1.2.1.2

            “We should make all public transport free”

            Ahh the sure sign of a hardcore left minded person!!

            It’s not “free” someone has to pay for it!! I will give you a glue…anyone on PAYE or that pays tax foots the bill.

            Nothing is FREE

            • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.1.2.1

              Sure it is, you jump onboard and you get to use it without paying. That’s what “free” means.

            • Chuck 6.1.2.1.2.2

              Before Vino or OAB has a go at me…

              I misspelled clue (used glue).

              • In Vino

                Chuck – you could have said,”Before Vino or OAB get stuck in to me…”

                • b waghorn

                  that will of gone so far of chucks head he won’t even be able to see the con trail

                  • In Vino

                    “will of” ??? Please – will’ve. No such thing as ‘will of’ !!

                    (Short for “will have”.)

                    Just cannot help myself…

                    • b waghorn

                      I will have to work on it, and it will have ruined my point making such a grammatical error.

                    • In Vino

                      Not so sure about that – Chuck is the one with the terrible history… You generally shine forth like a beacon in the darkness for all to behold.

            • Draco T Bastard 6.1.2.1.2.3

              It’s not “free” someone has to pay for it!!

              Wrong.

              Or, to be more precise, it’s a question of available resources against the peoples priorities.

              Public transport uses up less of those scarce resources, including personal time, than private transport does.

              Nothing is FREE

              And yet the RWNJs still think that it’s possible to make a profit.

              If we had an economic system connected to reality there’d be no profit and no private transport.

            • Paul 6.1.2.1.2.4

              You should note that lots of successful cities have free public transport.
              So we pay for free buses and trains by changing our whole financial system.

    • corokia 6.2

      Carless days (as it was done in the 70s) not the way to reduce fossil fuel use. People with more than 1 car were able to get round it. Also led to stupid things happening, like a friend in a V8 driving to collect my mum because she wasn’t allowed to use her little car 1100cc. There was no public transport alternative she could use.

      Better public transport has to be in place to encourage people to use it.
      That and a carbon tax and dividend scheme.
      And maybe rationing fossil fuels.
      And where ever there is a rail alternative already, get those huge trucks off the road and get their cargo onto electric trains.

    • alwyn 6.3

      Carless days are an extremely effective means of bashing the poor without really affecting the better off in any way at all.
      If your family owns one car you are going to have to walk or take public transport on your carless day. If you own several cars it becomes only a very minor inconvenience. There is always another car you can use.
      It also means that older cars are kept on the road. They are usually less safe and pollute more than modern vehicles. It would be nice if they could be scrapped but people will keep them around as a spare vehicle. Because they are there they will probably continue to be used by other people so that fuel consumption will rise.
      I know several people who bought a second car when they introduced carless days in 1979. They could afford it and it was a real pain for some of them not to have a car available every day.

  7. joe90 7

    We wuz tricked!

    Trump campaign spokeswoman says that they thought Larry King interview was going to be on King's podcast — not RT.— Kevin Cirilli (@kevcirilli) September 9, 2016

  8. Leftie 8

    Auckland house sold three times in one day

    5:00 AM Saturday Sep 10, 2016

    A tiny two-bedroom West Auckland cottage sold three times on the same day with speculators cashing in on nearly $80,000 profit in less than 24 hours.

    The Real Estate Agents Authority (REAA) is investigating the frenzied series of transactions and the original seller has lodged a formal complaint.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11706831

    Auckland speculators flipping homes on same day of purchase

    “New data released exclusively to the Weekend Herald by free property valuation website homes.co.nz identifies about 30 properties that were re-sold on the same day of purchase in the last 17 months – often by ruthless investors chasing quick bucks.”

    “However the Weekend Herald has identified other same-day transactions and the actual number is likely to be higher.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/property/news/article.cfm?c_id=8&objectid=11706163

    [Quotation shortened and block quote added. Something being in the public domain doesn’t mean there is no copyright. The link clearly has the copyright established at the bottom of the page. Even for websites that given permission e.g. Creative Commons licences, on The Standard it is generally expected that people will quote a section rather than the whole thing, provide a link, and usually say why they are posting it. It is also better to use tags or other marks to show that the words are not yours – weka]

  9. Incognito 9

    The NZ National Party and The Real Housewives of Auckland have something in common IMO.

    No, it is not the money or the egocentric characters showing sociopathic and narcisitistic traits.

    Martin van Beynen wrote a rather insightful piece on the TV show Real Housewives: We all share in the shame.

    The article, in a subtly recursive and mise-en-abîme fashion, suggests, I think, that not only the media but we all are complicit in this drivel being made in the first place and forced upon us, as if we are innocent bystanders or victims.

    The same could be said about the NZ National Party and how’s this for a title: NZ National Party: We all share in the shame? It sounds pretty accurate, doesn’t it?

    The question has to be asked as to why this is even happening and there are many possible answers that address the complexities of human behaviour. However, one answer might be that there seems to be no viable alternative, at least in the eyes of the people who make these decisions. Put differently, if there was a different ‘market’ out there it would lead to a different ‘product’ or vice versa the ‘market’ would respond and be attracted to a different ‘product’. [please note that “different” does not imply “better”]

    So, why do so many (apparently) watch Real Housewives? Partly because there is nothing better to watch. I think this is also one of the reasons why politicians such as Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn get as much ‘attention’ as they do; they do offer and represent something new and different to the people. Ironically, both men are not the youngest and the values and ideas they stand for and advocate are by no means ‘new’ either!

    If we want a change of Government in New Zealand – and there’s no doubt that we need a change – then there has to be an alternative worth getting interested in and voting for. It is here where we individually and collectively have to speak up and take control of our own lives and destiny and become the people and nation we want to be and the society we want to live in and share with others. As van Beynen puts it:

    None of us should pretend we are not complicit in preparing the ground for the invasion.

    The logical consequence of this is:

    We all have a role to play in preparing the ground for a change. [my words]

    It is quite simple really …

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      ^^ Guest post

      Partly because there is nothing better to watch.

      The problem with having a few rich people choose what’s available for the populace rather than having the populace decide what should be available.

      • Incognito 9.1.1

        Thanks and be my ‘guest’!

        The problem with having a few rich people choose what’s available for the populace rather than having the populace decide what should be available.

        The problem is far worse! In general, some sections of the populace are trying to compete with and even shut out other sections. In fact, I have a comment ready for submission that also touches on this but given the late time and the AB game I will try to post on OM tomorrow.

    • Ad 9.2

      There are far better reasons why both Real Housewives of Auckland and the National Party are so attractive. And they aren’t for comfortable reading, because the left have no idea how to counter them so far.

      – People like aspiring to be rich. Because it’s liberating. And more interesting than the quotidian life of the proletariat. There’s a certain thrill in thoughtless waste and vain squabbles.

      – People like aspiring to be powerful, especially when it is made easy through being rich. Getting to power through the left is ugly and fraught with unnecessary and distasteful micro-coalitions.

      – The self-reinforcement and replication of class is actually fun as well as fraught for the rich. The right schools, right partners from the right families, riding and fencing lessons, right holidays – it takes quite a bit of work to orchestrate and plan. Good drama.

      – People like aspiring. Society is geared to wanting, and wanting so easily slides into aspiring for more and better.

      – Desire itself is seductive. For glamour, for beauty, for the thrill of getting into the image economy where you might get close to a power-couple. The new and powerful cars, the clothes, the suits, the champaign. It’s just one Party fundraiser after another.

      The two are popular because of the nature of modern desire itself. If the left want to try and get elected just through the negative campaigns of more crises, and more hopelessness, they are going to struggle to get there.

      • Incognito 9.2.1

        Hi Ad,

        I didn’t go into the reasons why Real Housewives or the National Party are “so attractive”. Rather, I argued the opposite that they are unattractive and pondered one reason why they are (still) around like a bad smell that one doesn’t try to or cannot shake off.

        You made very sensible points but I’d like to provide a counter-view nonetheless – I believe you and I are actually closely aligned but let’s just see.

        People like aspiring to be rich. Because it’s liberating.

        No, materialism and consumerism are not liberating; on the contrary, they are trappings.

        People like aspiring to be powerful, especially when it is made easy through being rich.

        Power comes from (internal & personal) strength; buying ‘power’ and (political) influence are neo-liberal and capitalist (proverbial?) wet dreams.

        The self-reinforcement and replication of class is actually fun as well as fraught for the rich.

        Myopic and incestuous vicious circle; runs counter to Natural Selection.

        People like aspiring. Society is geared to wanting, and wanting so easily slides into aspiring for more and better.

        I think you have this back-to-front. We all need to aspire to something, and that something needs to be ‘higher’ and always (!) just out of reach or else we become self-indulgent, lazy, and complacent. To “want” something is like handcuffing your ego to it; it seems that many are into this kind of S&M.

        Desire itself is seductive.

        Yes, external desire is seductive and leads to wanting and the associated pain and suffering. On the other hand, intrinsic desire or purposeful motivation leads to ‘enlightenment’ or Maslow’s self-actualisation and self-transcendence – take your pick.

        If the left want to try and get elected just through the negative campaigns of more crises, and more hopelessness, they are going to struggle to get there.

        I couldn’t agree more here! To campaign on a negative, on the absence of something, is not a viable strategy!

  10. joe90 10

    Interesting read.

    A brutal Russian verdict on Syrian army: unable to reform, gets others to win its battles, unworthy of further help https://t.co/IfTGhoCJ58— Mark Urban (@MarkUrban01) September 9, 2016

    https://citeam.org/here-s-why-assad-s-army-can-t-win-the-war-in-syria/

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      The Colonel may very well be right; having said that the Colonel has not stated what will happen to the security of Russia’s ‘soft southern underbelly’ when Islamist flags get run up over Damascus.

      • Henry Filth 10.1.1

        I rather think that the Russians fear their neighbours, and their neighbour’s neighbours, to the south.

        Hence the desire to keep the action in Syria going for as long as possible. And to export it even further, to Libya, possibly Nigeria.

  11. AmaKiwi 11

    @ Paul

    “Reports released under the Official Information Act – and only provided to the Weekend Herald following a complaint to the Ombudsman . . .”

    EVERY government tries to conceal its misdeeds by blocking public access under the Official Information Act.

    One of the essential demands of overseas anti-neoliberal movements is transparency: the government MUST NOT be allowed hide official information from its rightful owners . . . the people.

    This putrid stream of parliamentary corruption will never end until we take away parliament’s power to conceal our information from us. Electing a different party will NOT solve the problem.

    Transparency: the people’s right which parliament cannot block.

  12. Leftie 12

    TTIP: have we won?

    “We thought it might never happen. But in the last few days, leaders in France and Germany have said that TTIP — the European equivalent of TPP — is over.
    The French trade minister said “France is demanding the pure, simple and definitive halt of these negotiations.” In Germany — the biggest backer of TTIP — the Vice-Chancellor said “TTIP has failed, but nobody wants to admit it.”
    For three years now, SumOfUs members have been a part of a huge, worldwide push to keep dangerous trade deals like TTIP at bay.
    It was a truly global effort — and it worked. We can be pretty confident TTIP won’t come back.
    Together, the SumOfUs community all around the world bought ads in Brussels, signed petitions, lobbied the European Commission, and spoke up to our leaders. Members in the USA sent messages halfway around the world for members in Germany to carry at one of the biggest protests against TTIP ever.
    It’s great to have a breakthrough on a campaign this important, and we should take a moment to celebrate.
    Now, we’re riding off this amazing breakthrough and stepping up the fight to defeat TPP, as well the things that make global trade deals so dangerous.
    Just last week, the media exposed the terrible consequences of secret courts that corporations use to sue governments for laws that protect people and the environment, but hurt profits. This is allowed under a clause in many trade deals called Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS).
    Check out our plans so far — we’re already working to:
    Push big corporations to tell the truth about where they stand on trade negotiations, instead of hiding behind their lobbyists;
    Support communities fighting the worst impacts of trade deals that have already been signed;
    Back organisations in countries all over the world that challenge the trade agenda;
    Make sure SumOfUs members know the facts about other dangerous trade deals, like TISA, CETA, and TPP, and find ways to stop those deals from happening where we can.”

    TTIP has failed – but no one is admitting it, says German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel

    <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/ttip-trade-deal-agreement-failed-brexit-latest-news-eu-us-germany-vice-chancellor-a7213876.html

    France to call for an end to EU-US free trade talks

    <a href="http://www.dw.com/en/france-to-call-for-an-end-to-eu-us-free-trade-talks/a-19512025

    US to blame for trade talks failure: French minister

    <a href="http://www.cnbc.com/2016/08/29/us-to-blame-for-trade-talks-failure-french-minister.html

  13. Ad 15

    I went to the big Art and Object art auction this week. That’s the one where the McCahon work went for $1.35m + GST + Buyers Premium i.e. about $1.6m or so.

    If you ever want to get in a room with a very specific brand of white people and inhale a really rarefied vibe, check it out. They are in professional classes e.g. judges or accountancy partners, they think hard about national identity and have a few degrees between them, they have really well decorated houses with big walls, and they aren’t necessarily National supporters. There’s a core as far as I could tell that still go with Labour (or at least donate), but plenty that float around considering elsewhere beyond National.

    There’s a few lowly lecturers and ratty-looking Masters students getting a freebie art history expose, and of course the vendors and their family and friends, and the auction-house staff. Quite some evening when the bidding goes into full frenzy.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Seems like both parties are going to be perfectly happy staying the fuck away from each other. Win-win.

      • Chooky 16.1.1

        lol…that guy looks like a real pill !…a fat ginger with glasses…if he thinks he is attractive and has sex appeal to most women (feminist or not ) he is deluded …most women would prefer to stay home with their cats rather than date him! (he is about as attractive as a Slater or Farrer )

        “Men’s Rights Activists have taken flight with a new philosophy called “RED PILL” which aims to point out how derogatory, hypocritical and vindictive third-wave feminists can be.”

      • joe90 16.1.2

        oblivious and excellent snark, I reckon

    • I can’t decide whether that was hilariously funny or just gross. I love this bit:

      Men’s Rights Activists have taken flight with a new philosophy called “RED PILL” which aims to point out how derogatory, hypocritical and vindictive third-wave feminists can be.

      That’s what it aims to do, huh? I guess that aim must have been too subtly expressed for me when I went there and read “HumanSockPuppet’s Guide to Teasing Bitches,” and learned I should “Talk to women as though they were children, because emotionally they are.”

      I wonder which pseudonym on there is Hon’s…

  14. Bruce 17

    What’s the connection between Paul Foster-Bell and the Len Brown scandal?

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