Open mike 10/12/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 10th, 2011 - 88 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

88 comments on “Open mike 10/12/2011”

  1. AnnaLiviaPlurabella 1

    The leadership vote should be open. if members attend these meetings and discuss it with their MP, then they the members should know how their MP voted. In this current contest we have the old machine that brought-about a 27% Party vote lobbying hard to retain their hold with a new handsome face: Shearer. The members who attended the Leadership Debates around the country have come out strongly endorsing Cunliffe. They are the ones who did the hard yakka that got us 35% of the Electorate vote. Cunliffe is the voice of the members and the one who is ready now to win in 2014. The members will hold their MPs to account.

    • logie97 1.1

      Of course the Nat’s media will trot out the line that Cunliffe is tainted, and damaged goods. (They would do well to examine just how many of the current line-up who are influencing the cabinet are Bulger/Shipley government mps.

  2. The two Davids have just done Dunedin, and in what may be a close vote the two Dunedin Labour MPs could have quite an influence on the outcome.

    “Dunedin North MP David Clark and Dunedin South MP Clare Curran will need to make a difficult decision on Tuesday when they decide who to support as the new leader of the Labour Party.”

    Clark and Curran may well be choosing the next Prime Minister of the country so it is an important decision for them.

    Choosing leadership is bigger than parochial interests, it’s of national importance, but it’s probably difficult to separate personal ambitions and looking for personal rewards.

    • Galeandra 2.1

      Guess you must have agonised and agonised over your decision in the Church of the Holy Follicle. Tell me, did you blow white smoke or black afterwards?

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      So, who are the aspiring future leadership contenders for UF ?

      Choosing leadership is bigger than parochial interests, it’s of national importance, but it’s probably difficult to separate personal ambitions and looking for personal rewards.

      Perhaps you are referring to yourself here?

      • The Voice of Reason 2.2.1

        I imagine Pete’s leadership ambitions might be somewhat knackered by the final vote results. After all the lukewarm wibbly wobbly frothing from the Kiwibog candidate, I think we are going to find that he not only failed to do better in Dunners North than the last UF candidate, he has actually managed to drag the party vote down as well.
         
        If only PG had gone with Winston, eh? He’d be an MP now and given the NZF lineup of no marks, never were’s and numpties, Pete would have been a star!

        • Pete George 2.2.1.1

          It was a punt but no regrets.

          I’d never have tried to go with NZ First, don’t agree with enough of their policies or practiced. I trust Peter Dunne as a leader but not Peters.

          My ambitions haven’t been knocked by anything, they’re on track.

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1.1

            My ambitions haven’t been knocked by anything, they’re on track.

            You personally aimed or expected for UF to get that low a result??? I can’t believe that.

            • Pete George 2.2.1.1.1.1

              No, UF list was a punt, the fickle winds blew the NZF way. Despite that UF still maintained it’s presence and influence in government, so while no improvement the overall result was holding ground.

              My aim in the Dunedin electorates is on target and looking promising. See the right hand article here.

              • pete, you always seemed a little desperate to me, what with all the blogging and comments. Maybe you should consider trying to get on TV as a political commentator or something – get a higher visible profile – nationally. have you ever thought about that?

                • I’m quietly determined, and no, getting on TV as a commentator doesn’t sound like it’ll get better democracy working in Dunedin.

                  • I think you’re being modest – you have built up a lot of skills and knowledge with all the interwebbing – that could be your angle in. You’ve shown an appitude for it – test it out in Dunners or maybe youtube – it might add to your profile and help you get better democracy working in Dunedin. Anyway just an idea, i’m sure you will do what you want and that is the way it should be.

              • millsy

                Might I suggest standing in the 2013 local body elections — either for the DCC or the ORC?

  3. Jenny 3

    Stop State Housing mass evictions in Glen Innes

    Protest March today, 12 Noon, Queen Street

    Meet at Britomart Centre

    10am Meet at Glen Innes Library, Line Road carpark and catch the train together into Britomart

    Contact Marion Peka; 021 123-9525

  4. marsman 4

    ‘We don’t need your charter schools’.    Facebook.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/237491956316493/

    • Those that don’t need or want them don’t have to use them.

      That shouldn’t rule out those who do want them?

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        useless but typical pro-choice argument which ignores charter schools as a blot on good educational sense.

      • prism 4.1.2

        @Pete G 8.31am – Charter schools are supposed to provide for lower income children with few options, and so such parents and children can’t decide not to use them, there is likely to be no other option for a school that is close and accessible. Taking the attitude that it is a matter of choice is just another RWNJ ideological slogan.

        If you are referring to educational planners, politicians etc who want them, one has to ask why and if on reliable, unbiased evidence to be sure that these schools are the best way of spending precious, diminishing money available for education.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.3

        Why would anyone want them when they’ve proven to be an overall failure?

        • Pete George 4.1.3.1

          If that was the case no one would want them, but they haven’t proven to be an overall failure, some have most have either been as good as or better than conventional schools.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.3.1.1

            About half are as good as the prevailing system so the added costs don’t improve anything. Nearly half have proven themselves worse than the prevailing system so all the added costs do is make things worse. A small number have proven themselves better.

            Overall, a failure. We could get better results in tweaking the prevailing system and it’d probably be cheaper.

  5. Symbolic of the attitude of entitlement of the managerial class and symbolic of the country National wants to produce………..I guess for some people there is such a thing as a free lunch (dinner).

    But not for those feckless workers who just wont do what they are told……

    “CMP Rangitikei, which has been involved in a bitter industrial dispute with workers after they refused to take a wage cut of up to 20 per cent, wined and dined 20 of its staff at award-winning restaurant Nero on Saturday, spending hundreds of dollars as employees on the picket line are turning to food banks to feed their families
    Link

    Follow the link above to add your opinion to the poll.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Quoting article:

      “In hindsight, we should have waited until the situation at the plant has been resolved.

      “We’re sorry this happened and we’ll be more aware about this kind of thing in the future.”

      Translated: Well, now that you’ve pointed it out we understand that you’re upset and we won’t do this type of thing again – promise.

    • prism 5.2

      WJoyce – I added a comment about Rangitikei but nothing has gone up since 8 pm 9 December. So nothing happening on the Manawatu rag’s site at present.

  6. Molly Polly 6

    Shearer is unpretentious, sincere…an ordinary bloke. He has good intentions.

    But for the life of me I don’t understand why he agreed to put himself forward for leadership at this stage. My take on it is that the old guard in caucus persuaded him. They shoulder tapped Robertson as well. Two inexperienced politicians (fresh faces) to lead the old guard.

    I have been told by a very reliable source that Mallard is the person directing and leading this charge.

    I agree with ALP – Cunliffe has the backing of the members. He is experienced (but young in age), sharp, quick on his feet, competent. He is on the blocks, ready to go.

    We don’t need to wait for him to have a political/media makeover.

    His running mate is Mahuta. Inspiring choice.

    It’s a no brainer really.

    But I fear that the old guard have already stitched up a done deal…

    Lobby (email) all the LP MP’s you know, not just your local MP. As members that is all we can do. If they are part of the old guard, this is even more important. Tell them what you think even if they do not like it. Public opinion can be very persuasive.

    • Tigger 6.1

      Just done it – I am firmly Cunliffe-Mahuta now – been thinking deeply about this. Not an easy choice. But they sold me on Wednesday night. And anyone underestimating Nanaia’s ability as a deputy should be warned – I’ve seen her in action on the ground and she gets stuff done.

      But wow, having choices as good as these is a very, very good sign. Nats, you’ve got…who?

      • seeker 6.1.1

        Good on you for putting this idea out there MollyPolly and good one Tigger. Am ‘lobbying’ for Cunliffe and Mahuta too.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Anyone here who believes in the Cunliffe/Mahuta leadership combo….please email or call the office of your nearest Labour MPs…let them know exactly what you think and why.

          And do it before Tuesday morning 😛

  7. prism 7

    Background stuff on the British financial and journalistic soup at present. On Radionz this morning here.
    Kim Hill on Saturday
    8:15 Iain Overton
    Iain Overton is managing editor of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in the UK. The Bureau, in association with The Independent newspaper, is currently publishing an undercover investigation into the activities of Bell Pottinger, one of Britain’s top lobbying firms.
    Get over there and listen.

    My unreliable report on info. The BIJ has only been going for 18 months but had 30 front page stories. Lately they have been looking at the revolving door of politicians to lobby firms. 45% of retired pollies go to such firms with their knowledge of people and the maze of power. Then they manipulate for clients benefit. Many are despotic countries that need to counteract the dreadful data about them.
    Then the moneyed classes and their ability to manipulate government which is illustrated this morning in Cameron’s statement as to Britain standing back from all other Euro countries group decision to help stability of their financial system.

  8. ianmac 8

    How to have fun when facing eviction in Melbourne if you are one of the “Occupy Melbourne group.” Wonder if the Auckland group will do this? Police action a far cry from LA overkill.

  9. newsense 9

    John Pagani. head in hands.

    “He will change Labour’s tone. With Shearer we will hear more about Labour’s vision for being the party of New Zealanders’ hopes and aspirations, not just tearing down the other guy.”

    Wait, hang on, didn’t I read just a second before….

    “When we watched the rivals debate on TV we saw a contrast between Shearer’s authenticity, and his rival’s tendency to use words like “complementarity”.”

    I’m confused- is Pagani trying to position Shearer as George W. Bush??? Authenticity is equal to restricting your vocabulary? What a completely bizarre attack.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10772186

    Nothing against Shearer, I like the guy though I don’t know how he’d plan to lead Labour yet. Voted for him.

    But if this is going to be his team it is the complete opposite of the public spin- Pagani isn’t some new fresh faced idealist disconnected from the past any more than John Key is Obama.

    Labour was just beginning to get some momentum at the end of the election campaign. AFTER two years of achieving very very little.

    I thought there was a lot of vision at the last election. I hope that the first statement isn’t code for changing to empty words and neglecting the excellent and popular policy prepared for the last election. It was going to be an enormous ask to win. Let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water.

    • I agree.  I found it hard to reconcile Pagani’s glowing testimonial of Shearer with what was happening.  Particularly the suggestion that Shearer represents a break from the past.  If the rumor is true and Pagani will be offered the chief of staff position under Shearer then nothing would have changed except the person at the top.  

      And if this was all arranged at Hooton’s barbecue then I am concerned. 

      Of course if this rumor is not true Pagani can say so. 

      • just saying 9.1.1

        Pagani is the kiss of death for Labour. If the caucus hasn’t learned that soft blue with a red neck isn’t the answer, they deserve what’s coming.
        Maybe it’s inevitable anyway?

        • prism 9.1.1.1

          Soft blue with a red neck, sounds like the kiss of death. Hope not.

        • Draco T Bastard 9.1.1.2

          It was Pagani that resulted in Labour being an ineffectual opposition for most of the last term. Following his advice truly would be the kiss of death. Even now I can see Labour splitting in two – again – as the neo-liberals head one way and the rest head another.

          • prism 9.1.1.2.1

            DTB
            If the addicts can’t break from their free market/ modish right wing addiction then it is inevitable that the committed Labourites will have to move off or just waste time in endless unresolvable discussion.

  10. There is something rotten in the state of Christchurch (aka Feudal Lands of the Prince of Whales).
    There are jobs for the family….
    $75 dollars an hour + expenses for the family members of EQC.
    Then there are jobs for the old boys club….
    Two former city councillors, Mike Wall and Norm Withers, have been working as EQC assessors at $4500 a week each. A year’s salary at that rate would put them on a similar remuneration as a Cabinet minister.” – The Press
    There are jobs for an Australian recruiting company….
    An Australian private investigation company is making at least $33,000 a week as its margin for supplying staff to the Earthquake Commission (EQC)”The Press
    The jobs pay extremely well….
    The salary bill for the 74 Verifact supplied staff is at least $333,000 a week, or $17.3 million a year.” – the Press
    I wonder if CERA has a similar story. We know Jenny Shipley got a sweetheart deal when she is paid several times the cabinet-set rate (and Gerry lied about).
    The jobs are easy to come by…provided you know somebody….
    EQC appointments without interviews. (apparently they have jobs as “Pod Leaders” – are they here to steal our bodies?).
     
    Meanwhile….

    Predicted (but ignored by National) housing and rental bubble eventuates while Gerry sits at the top table feeding his face and doing fuck all.
     
    While fellow NZdrs who are not on $75 an hour, or are not ex-city council members, Australians, or have family members in EQC, are doing it hard 
     
    People not only have to fear earthquakes but have to fear the dictatorial powers of CERA

  11. joe90 11

    An interesting NYT article on the future of education.

    Death Knell for the Lecture: Technology as a Passport to Personalized Education

  12. dv 12

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10772168

    An interesting article about charter schools.

    One factor I have not seen anywhere is what happened when (if) the charter school goes broke?

  13. joe90 13

    Objective of OLA: Separation of Wealth and State

    A major objective of OLA is to achieve the separation of wealth and state and to redress and resolve grievances related to the abuse of economic power. The current situation has merged wealth and state so that he who has the gold makes the rules. Wealth is the new sovereign as private corporate banks and large corporations have a dominating influence on our government. Excessive and unaccountable concentration of economic power in the hands of the very few has fueled massive system-wide corruption and fraud and has allowed the system itself to be structured in favor of the 1%

  14. On the day we read that Cameron (friend of our beloved leader) takes on the EU Zone to protect the City of London financiers and Banksters from EU regulation, we read….

    Dave Hartnett, 60, will step down as the permanent secretary for tax next summer, a spokesman said . He will leave with a pension pot worth £1.7m.
    Hartnett has admitted that his organisation made “a mistake” when he shook hands on a deal to excuse the US bank Goldman Sachs from paying around £10m in interest charges. His organisation has also been accused of allowing Vodafone off interest charges of more than £1bn. – The Guardian

     
    Mean while, the whistleblower, Osita Mba, is facing disciplinary charges and possible criminal charges.
     
    [cue Louis Armstrong singing “What a wonderful world”]
    So…..again…. the banksters get off….the friend of banksters gets to retire on big bucks (and probably a job in the finance sector)…..and the only person with integrity gets shafted…..
    [fade to black]
     

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    Europe’s disastrous summit

    And yet, inevitably, another half-baked solution is exactly what we got. Which means, I fear, that it is now, officially, too late to save the Eur ozone: the collapse of the entire edifice is now not a matter of if but rather of when.

    Of course, in the real world, it was always a matter of when and not if.

    The fundamental problem is that there isn’t enough money to go around.

    Plenty of money – all they have to do is print it or cancel all debt. Of course, the banksters are trying to prevent either of those from happening so that they can get even more wealth from the European communities.

    The collapse of the Euro was pretty much a foregone conclusion due to the simple fact that we’re using a delusional and corrupt socio-economic system. Hopefully, the world remembers this time and stops capitalism from becoming the ruling religion in the future.

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      The collapse of the Euro was pretty much a foregone conclusion due to the simple fact that we’re using a delusional and corrupt socio-economic system. Hopefully, the world remembers this time and stops capitalism from becoming the ruling religion in the future.

      Unfortunately I suspect that TPTB are going to ante up, not give up.

      • Draco T Bastard 15.1.1

        I’m expecting war and lots of it. TPTB will do what they think is necessary to protect their privilege and everyone else will be the ones paying for it.

  16. I am a doomer but I tend to shy away from the cliff megaquickdeath scenario. Maybe I just can’t front up but the Archdruid’s analysis always rings true for me. I want to thank AFKTT for the various links he puts up, I enjoy Nature Bats Last and the videos of Guy.

    I have particuarily impressed with the last post from the Archdruid – this is the last paragraph but the interconnectedness of his arguement has to read in full to be fully appreciated. The arbitrage aspect of industrial economy is particuarily interesting as I hadn’t thought about it like that before.

    “I have begun to suspect that this will turn out to be one of the most crucial downsides of the arrival of peak oil. If the industrial economy, as I’ve suggested, was basically an arbitrage scheme profiting off the difference in cost between energy from fossil fuels and energy from human laborers, the rising cost of fossil fuels and other inputs needed to run an industrial economy will sooner or later collide with the declining cost of labor in an impoverished and overcrowded society. As we get closer to that point, it seems to me that we may begin to see the entire industrial project unravel, as the profits needed to make industrialism make sense dry up. If that’s the unspoken subtext behind the widening spiral of economic dysfunction that seems to be gripping so much of the industrial world today, then what we’ve seen so far of what peak oil looks like may be a prologue to a series of wrenching economic transformations that will leave few lives untouched.”

    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com/2011/12/what-peak-oil-looks-like.html

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      As we get closer to that point, it seems to me that we may begin to see the entire industrial project unravel, as the profits needed to make industrialism make sense dry up. If that’s the unspoken subtext behind the widening spiral of economic dysfunction that seems to be gripping so much of the industrial world today,

      Shit JMG is good.

      You can see this all around NZ. Places are run until the plant and machinery wear out, and when all the capital is finally run down and the profits aren’t enough to justify renewing the plant, the place is shut down. The aluminium smelter in bluff is on this course right now.

      IMO this is why western capitalists from the early 80’s onwards focussed on building up the financial economy, and let the industrial economy decline. The kinds of real-economy railway and oil profits common in the first 2/3 of the century were becoming harder and harder to achieve, but easy to get by mathematically gaming the financial markets.

      • Tiger Mountain 16.1.1

        Thats right, the importance of finance capital compared to ‘productive’ capital (that makes stuff or provides services) has zoomed up since Karl Marx and Engel’s day. But the tendency for the rate of profit to fall, and the concentration of ownership and control in ever fewer hands continues.

      • marty mars 16.1.2

        True mate

        It is interesting to consider the reversal from mechanical to people as exploited cheap labour forces associated costs down. We close something here because it can be made cheaper there, but the whole artifice is collapsing. The forces are stretched and under too much tension, it won’t take much for something to become the straw that did so much damage to that camel.

        • Colonial Viper 16.1.2.1

          Indeed. We can’t import deflation in the form of cheap foreign made products and then think that we can get away without also importing the lower wages and worse working conditions which produced them.

          Also agree that interwoven and interlocking layers of complexity in the system make it very very fragile.

    • joe90 16.2

      Thanks for that MM but the optimism that a beautiful Saturday bought has just gone out the window.

  17. Bomber Bradbury is calling Waitakere for Carmel Sepuloni and indicates the Greens will pick up a seat at the expense of National.  If this is true today is a wonderful day.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      When are the official results coming out? Waiting…

    • alwyn 17.2

      You may think so but I doubt if Raymond Huo is going to agree.
      If Burns gets up in ChCh I imagine Rajen Prasad will be equally unhappy.

      • mickysavage 17.2.1

        Acknowledged.  It is a good day in that an electorate seat is so vital and a good day that National has now lost its absolute majority but commiserations to Raymond and possibly Rajen.  I expect there will be retirements during the term and I am sure they will be back.

    • weka 17.3

      Nats down one, Greens up one!

      • weka 17.3.1

        Bennett lost Waitakere and Sepuloni is in. By 11 votes. It would have been several hundred more if the Greens hasn’t stood someone in that seat.

        • stephen 17.3.1.1

          And Brendon Burns loses to Wagner by 45 votes and the Green candidate got 2 323. Sigh. He’s been a brilliant hard working electorate MP here, a real loss to Christchurch. Such a shame.

          • gingercrush 17.3.1.1.1

            All the more need for Proportional vote in electorates.

          • prism 17.3.1.1.2

            The Greens can’t afford to play round with voting, standing aside, directing votes to Labour – they need to keep pressing on building their vote, support and finances. Labour showed it couldn’t be trusted to stick to its knitting in 1984, that hand-made stuff was old hat, too working class. Labour moved up in the world to make a world fit for lawyers and professionals with liberal leanings especially towards themselves.

            So don’t mourn Greenies taking votes – it shows that some people are still trying and working for a New Zealand that has good values of community, environment etc. A safety net for the country after the misbegotten policies of Labour high-flyers.

        • Vicky32 17.3.1.2

          It would have been several hundred more if the Greens hasn’t stood someone in that seat.

          That’s why another Green seat is not good news! I absolutely don’t trust the Greens…

  18. ianmac 18

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10772238
    Results of Special Votes. Bennett loses by 11 votes.

    • weka 18.1

      A bit of a worry with the judicial recount.

      • Colonial Viper 18.1.1

        I reckon Waitakere was counted very very very carefully after preliminary results came out on Nov 26. So would be surprised if the result changed.

  19. Hilary 19

    OK Nats now 47.3% and two support party MPs with less than 2% between them. So not a mandate. Now what happens if there is a by-election in either Ohariu or Epsom?

    • gingercrush 19.1

      National or a partner of National would need to win the electorate. Its my understanding that in such an instance, National could put a candidate in that electorate and win without it affecting the rest of their MPs. And as Epsom is a right-wing electorate they’ll get it. I also believe when Dunne retires Ohariu will become a National seat.

      • gingercrush 19.1.1

        Though there is the Maori party and I expect National and the Maori party to resign a confidence & supply agreement. National will actually need to do more negotiations on passing of legislation this electorate term than last tme.

        • lprent 19.1.1.1

          I wish that they would resign before they do agree to a new one..

          National need it, however I’m unsure the Maori party do. So far agreements with the National party just seem to be sending them to the trash of history. On the other hand the news today will probably give them the leverage to get more baubles before retirement.

        • Vicky32 19.1.1.2

          and the Maori party to resign a confidence & supply agreement.

          You mean ‘re-sign’, lol! Yes, they will, because they’re idiots… 🙁

  20. gingercrush 20

    Brendon Burns has lost Christchurch Central and Paula Bennett lost Waitakere. Mojo Majors is in for the Greens. Raymond Huo is out due to Sepuloni getting back in. I think the CHCH East guy is out for Nats.

  21. Hilary 21

    And the election of Mojo Mathers will also be a great boost to our third official language, NZ Sign. Congratulations.

    • kriswgtn 21.1

      +1 totally agree

    • alwyn 21.2

      Why will it have any effect on New Zealand sign language?
      I know it is an official language but will Parliament put in a full time translator there to turn everything said by the other MPs into sign language for the benefit of Mathers?
      Please note. I am NOT suggesting a deaf person shouldn’t be there. I am simply curious as to whether sign language will be brought in for all parliamentary business.

      • Southernrata 21.2.1

        Mojo herself lipreads and doesn’t sign as her native language, as she was schooled in a different system. So the signing would be symbolic, but quite justified, I think.

        • Hilary 21.2.1.1

          Very hard to lipread in the parliamentary environment. But she is a Deaf person and NZSL is theoretically the language that NZ Deaf people identify as their first language.There is a te reo translator in parliament at all times so I would expect there also to be NZSL available. Because there are not many of them this could mean two positive outcomes
          -a boost to training for more NZSL interpreters
          -others making the effort to learn as it is such an appealing and useful language.

          • ropata 21.2.1.1.1

            i learned the sign for “parachute”, wonderfully expressive!

          • Vicky32 21.2.1.1.2

            -others making the effort to learn as it is such an appealing and useful language.

            Useful, yes, appealing – no! I learned some sign when I worked for IHC, and while doing the disabilities course at UofA in 1999-2000. NZSL is in reality, jolly difficult for people like me, with visual issues!

  22. RedBaron 22

    And a good % in favour of MMP. Note the MMP %’s in the Maori seats. North of 80%.

  23. willie maley 24

    You would think that a cabinet minister losing her electorate seat would lead the news, but not on TV3.

  24. Afewknowthetruth 25

    mm.

    ‘I have particuarily impressed with the last post from the Archdruid’

    Greer got quite a hammering from the Natrure Bats Last group a couple of years ago because his time frame for collapse was ludicrous -he was talking in terms of hundreds of years- and his failure to respond didn’t impress anyone.

    ‘John Michael Greer is stunningly learned, with a strong grasp of history and philosophy. So it surprises me that he borrows his online name, without acknowledgment, from the original archdruid (the presiding official at the National Eisteddfod of Wales) and the best-known archdruid in memory (the great conservationist David Brower). And yes, I know he’s the grand archdruid … but still. Although Greer is a doomer, he’s a half-hearted and unfunny one, constantly seeking the “middle way.” As I’ve indicated previously, there’s no half-way with economic contraction and global climate change. According to recent climate projections, we either complete the ongoing collapse in the very near future, or we run out of habitat for humans by mid-century. The notion that we can power down relatively smoothly, over a span of three centuries, is ludicrous. The Long Descent is a fine title, but a terrible idea. So, I give Greer an ironic mid-range score of 5 on the doomer front. Because of his measured approach, it’s difficult for me to evaluate Greer’s level of gloominess, so I won’t try. With respect to controlling the message on his blog, I score him a solid and unimpressive 8, in part because he moderates every comment. Of course, we cannot know what he edits out, but I know he’s purposely deleted comments when a reader sought clarification on issues raised by Greer. Why? What’s the point of claiming to conduct an online conversation if you’re so concerned about rogue comments that you don’t let them into the discussion? All in all, Greer is a great student and also a great teacher, at least for the American system of education (i.e., K-12 concentration camps). But I hate to take a class from somebody who thinks he has all the answers.’

    http://guymcpherson.com/2009/12/fear-and-loathing-in-the-blogosphere-doom-gloom-and-controlling-the-message/

    I have never engaged on Greer’s site but apparently he suffers from radio-talkback-host syndrome.

    I’ve been a bit suspicious of the druid aspect for quite a while. Sure, the Sun is the source of all useful wealth on this planet but actually dressing up in fancy clothes…?

    On the matter of the really big one, it used to be mostly concerned individuals outside the system who gave dire warnings of what is to come. Now the warnings are coming from within the belly of the beast:

    ‘In parallel, the International Energy Agency (IEA), which advises the rich countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), issued an unusually stark warning in its latest flagship report, the 2011 World Energy Outlook. According to the IEA, we have no more than five years to reverse business-as-usual and avoid catastrophic and irreversible climate change.’

    http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2011-12-09/mali-frontline-climate-change

    This follows on from the IEA admission last year that Peak Oil had occured over 2005-6.

    The disconnect between reality and what politiicans (of all persuasions) are saying gets greater by the day.

    At this stage I still postulate that TPTB will do whatever is necessary to hold the system together until after the London Olympics. Once they are over, don’t be at all surprised to see rapidly increasing amounts of brown stuff hitting the rotating device throughout most of the world.

    • marty mars 25.1

      Thanks for that afktt

      Reads like guy had a few issues with him, as obviously do you.

      I’m happy to trust my own judgement based on my reading – like the post I linked to above, and any of his other ones. If I am proved wrong – so be it.

  25. Jenny 26

    The Rena disaster

    Contracting out disaster response

    Before the evacuation of the crew, before the loss of power, and before the break up of the ship in a storm, the grounded Rena sat on the Astrolab reef for four days.

    Documents released to the Herald under the OIA, suggest legal niceties over liability were behind Maritime New Zealand’s refusal to act during the four day window of calm weather that followed the grounding.

    Until the bad weather hit, the crew were still on board, and the ship’s systems were still operational, The pitch of the ship was not extreme and all the containers were intact and safely lashed in place. All the conditions which would have greatly aided the swift and efficient removal of the oil load. All these conditions were missing when the oil removal began in earnest after the weather was clear again.

    Svitzer Salvage who were contractually charged with responding to such disasters, only ran a store front presence in New Zealand. In fact the company who Svitzer list as their local bunkering provider, Adsteam Bunker Services (NZ) Ltd. had been struck off the New Zealand register of companies.

    When the disaster struck Svitzer Salvage did not have the needed resources and personal on the ground locally, having to marshall them from overseas.
    During this time Maritime New Zealand, which had the ability and resources to act immediately, stood idly by.

    The question that has to be answered is this:

    Were Maritime New Zealand who were the agency on the spot with the resources at hand, prevented from taking action to remove the oil from the damaged ship, by contractual red tape that handed over all executive decisions to an overseas based sub-contractor.

    • Colonial Viper 26.1

      The main issue being a total lack of leadership within the organisation and from within the National Government.

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