Open mike 11/05/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, May 11th, 2014 - 133 comments
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openmike Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step up to the mike …

133 comments on “Open mike 11/05/2014”

  1. karol 1

    Well stated Wanganui Chronicle article on National and Key’s tough week.

    And they say trouble comes in threes – the revelation of the regional “Cabinet Clubs” – where paid members get access to MPs at events around the country again sends the message that for the Nats, money talks.

    Some claim “that’s just politics” and maybe some other parties have undertaken similarly marginally-appropriate fundraising efforts, but there is a pattern here of the Nats putting how much money you have at the heart.

    Whether any of these situations are within the sometimes-pliable rules isn’t the point – the message is clear: If you are wealthy, you appear to get privileged access to and support of ministers and MPs under the Nats. That’s not right.

    I don’t buy into these examples being mistakes either – these are experienced politicians. They are simply reflecting the culture and values of their organisation – unfortunately it is our Government!

    Some may bandy around the word corruption – while others would take great offence at that because at least they are being open about their approach and priorities, defending them even. I guess it depends on the definition of corrupt – these may not literally be examples of bribery but it is still a lack of integrity.

    Yep. Integrity, and the Nats’ pattern of a primary focus on money, especially big money..

  2. Paul 2

    It’s really disturbing how ACT’s agenda finds the media regularly.
    Watch as stories of the cost of healthcare drip feed into the news to create their narrative.

    Grant sounds like a hired gun working for private health. Presently ripping up the NHS in the UK and invited over here by the private health industry to recommend cutting public health cover.

    “Imagine a world where every time you get a taxpayer-funded health treatment, such as at a hospital, you are handed a “statement” of what it cost.
    One who finds that easy to picture is Oamaru-born Sir Malcolm Grant, the chairman of NHS (National Health Service) England.
    Actually, the dapper New Zealander said it wouldn’t be hard to do and there have been conversations about putting it into practice in Britain.
    The rationale for such a move is clear: countries like Britain and New Zealand need to address rising healthcare costs. There’s an argument people should be educated about the cost of their ill-health, especially in cases of disease caused by what might be termed “lifestyle choices” like obesity.
    Grant was in New Zealand to speak at a conference organised by health insurer Southern Cross on healthcare affordability. Under discussion was setting policies to drive wellness gains and therefore reduce healthcare demand.
    “The question of personal responsibility is very problematic,” Grant said, but interventions could be justified.
    The British and New Zealand health systems have much in common and face similar cost pressures, said Grant. He believed New Zealand could learn some things from the reform taking place in cash-strapped Britain under his watch at NHS England, a public body which oversees the budget, planning, delivery and day-to-day operation of health services in that country.
    “Another lesson might be to depoliticise healthcare.”
    “A Massey University survey of 32 health experts participating in the conference found the biggest perceived barriers to change were political. MPs were accused of failing to grasp issues, ignoring others, and being unwilling to promote unpopular solutions.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/10028462/NZ-healthcare-costs-rising

    Philippa Whitford is an NHS surgeon from Ireland, working in Scotland. She describes what is happening to public health in England and posts it as a warning to the Scots.We should heed her message here too.

    • DH 2.1

      “It’s really disturbing how ACT’s agenda finds the media regularly.”

      You’re not the only one who’s noticed that.

      I’ve been idly wondering if a case can be built to have the Herald prosecuted under the Electoral Act. That may sound a bit far fetched at first thought but I find the Herald editorials such blatant & shameless defences of the National Party (and possible coalition partners) I think the free advertising they’re giving National, Act etc, needs to be declared as political donations. They’re getting $millions worth there IMO.

      For those who don’t know; The editorial is the view of the newspaper **, it’s identified by the title ‘Editorial’. Commentaries from individuals like Fran O’Sullivan and John Roughan are the personal view of the writers, not much can be done about them so long as the ‘paper also presents alternate views. The commentaries can be biased but the editorials, however, can’t be. It’s their Achilles heel.

      ** that’s not an opinion btw, it’s a fact. The editorial has a powerful influence on public opinion because it’s a statement from the neutral (sic) press. For those who doubt; somewhere in the Herald site they clearly state it’s the view of the ‘paper, a quote from the Herald editor here;

      “shayne.currie

      The editorial board meets daily, and we tackle each issue on a case-by-case basis. There’s a robust discussion, and often the editorial writer will be coming up with a piece that they don’t necessarily agree with. It’s the paper’s view.”

      It wouldn’t be easy to prove press bias but I’m pretty confident if someone with the time was to research all the Herald editorials of the last few years they’d find a very noticeable pattern to them that might reach an evidential threshhold. I find the Sunday Herald editorials to be far more balanced and more likely to criticise National so they need to be separated & can also be used as a comparison.

      The useless press council would never do anything but maybe, just maybe, there’s a chance to restore some press neutrality before the election via the Electoral Act. Even a failed attempt would wake them up a bit & perhaps force them to tone down their interfering in our democracy.

      • Paul 2.1.1

        The Herald’s other consistent target…..teachers
        Our Health and Education sectors are the only two that foreign corporations haven’t got their hooks into.

      • anker 2.1.2

        This is a very good idea DH re the editorial og the Herald.

        I too would be unable to do this but if someone else can, it is one idea from this site, that should be considered.

    • Foreign Waka 2.2

      It is a perception trick – keep the focus on the story about the corruption of the law and order lady and create demand for more responsibility with an iron fist. Nothing works like purpose directed public anger. But how many kiwis will look through that?

    • greywarbler 2.3

      Depoliticising health care Grant says. That sounds like the specious argument that sport shouldn’t be political. What dark agent of dictatorship gave him his nighthood?

      Take the political out of politics I say. It just interferes with the clear practical measures required to run the country. Ultimately perhaps we could be as unpolitical as North Korea!!

  3. Clean_power 3

    I await Peter George’s first comment and subsequent hijacking of today’s debate. Unfortunately I can see it coming.

    • wyndham 3.1

      No ! No ! Please ! Anything but Pete George this beautiful Sunday morning.

    • karol 3.2

      Where he keeps asking others to produce evidence, while producing little of his own. Thus giving everyine the run-around, leading the agenda. Meanwhile others put the time into finding evidence, and he just keeps producing a string of comments, attempting to lead the discussion, while failing to engage in producing is own arguments in good faith. Also involves PG keeping on moving the goalposts, and slipping from one topic to the next when he is called out on his practices.

      • greywarbler 3.2.1

        I hate the word absolutely as it is too commonly used, but it does indicate perfect agreement so I use it to agree with you here karol.

        It was clever of him to get into Politicheck – it seems a back door for him to get his nose into everywhere and everything all the time. Sigh surely not?

    • rhinocrates 3.3

      Candyman, Candyman, Candyman…

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.4

      Ladies and gentlemen, let’s hear it for auto moderation 😀

      I hope Pete lifts his game. I expect him to fail.

      • Pete George 3.4.1

        Will you lift your game?

      • weka 3.4.2

        “I hope Pete lifts his game”

        Except you know he will lift only just enough to get out of moderation, but not enough to make much difference to the way the comments section of ts functions.

        • I think (hope) it will make a difference simply because other commenters will be able to get a word in and develop some conversations before the inevitable derailing begins.

          • weka 3.4.2.1.1

            Oh I completely support PG being moderated. I just wasn’t keen on OAB’s idea that this might lead to PG lifting his game. I expect that once PG is let out of moderation, the inevitable will happen.

  4. millsy 4

    The drumbeats are starting. Our healthcare system (along with the pension) is the last bastion of our welfare state that hasn’t (completely) fallen to the hordes of user-pays, even though it came close in the 1990s. And from the looks of it, those who admire the US way of doing things have regrouped and are ready to pounce once National have won a 3rd term. Though Labour could do their dirty work for them…..

  5. q & a is coming down to a matter/question of ‘perception(s)’…

    ..and my perception is that joyce and boag have just main sturdy contributions to the general perception that this govt is both uncaring and corrupt..

    ..there’s nothing like boag laughing at the very idea of poverty..

    ..of it being just a matter of how you look at/read statistics…

    .(‘you silly people!’..)

    ..to help cement that in..

    • and i hasten to add..both joyce and boag also made ‘sturdy contributions’ to the idea of re-electing this govt –

      being as appealing as acquiring as a fungal-crotch-infection..

      ..well done..!..those two..!

      ..undecided voters should watch them on loop..

      ..until they run screaming from the room..

      ..the odious-right…

      ..their flagrant contempt of the rest of us..(should we call them non-cabinet club members?..)

      ..being flown like a flag…

      ..once again..well done..!..those two..!

      • Jackal 5.1.1

        Boag was certainly given far too much airtime for Q+A to be considered unbiased. In fact I had to mute the TV because of all her shrill right wing commentary that just went on and on. Simon Wilson was particularly talked over and closed down by the overbearing Boag. What a disgraceful display.

        • karol 5.1.1.1

          That’s a Nat MO. They aim to silence any views opposed to theirs. Nat MPs look to have done training in that.

          • phillip ure 5.1.1.1.1

            farrar has had the same training..

            ..they all work on the premise that the more you talk..the more of the allocated airtime you eat up..

            ..thus opposing arguments don’t get a hearing/airing..

            ..it’s a tactic brilliant in its’ simplicity..

            ..and it certainly seems to work..

            ..but for real wading thigh-deep thru a swamp..

            ..try the interview dann did with (muldoon-impersonator) joyce..on q & a..

            “..no..no..that’s not right corin..!..”..)

            • Jackal 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I thought the bit where Joyce said; “you better be careful” to Corin Dann was telling. Instead of actually producing some evidence to show Dann’s statement was incorrect, Joyce simply threatened him.

              As a professional journalist that sort of alpha male bullshit must really get under your skin, especially when the facts and figures being used are for all intents and purposes correct.

              This National government certainly does have a lot of contempt for any statistics produced by it’s own ministry’s that highlight its failings, and disdain for the so-called fourth estate.

  6. Jenny 6

    “Climate Change Affects All” upcoming New York September 23 Global Summit

    Solutions exist. The race is on. My challenge to all political and business leaders, all concerned citizens and voters is simple: be at the head of the race. Don’t get left behind. Don’t be on the losing side of history.

    Ban Ki-Moon Speaking from the Abu Dhabi “Climate Change pre-Summit Ascent”

    Let’s listen to the UN Head Bank Ki-Moon.

    Let’s not be on the wrong side of history,

    Let’s Dump Denniston,

    Let’s Ditch Deep Sea Oil,

    Let’s Finish with Fracking,

    Let’s Hasten Huntly Shutdown,

    Let’s Fastrack Hauaru Ma Raki.

    As we did over universal sufferage,

    As we did over nuclear weapons,

    As we did over Apartheid Sport,

    Let’s Lead the World Again.

    Let us not be like John Key and tell future generations we couldn’t remember where we stood on climate change, in 2014.

    • that would make quite a good anti-nact billboard..

      ..”.national..on the wrong side of history..’

      ‘..act..on the wrong side of history..’

      …and whenever thinking about act..one must never forget jamie whytes advice as to what we should do to address the issues around climate-change..

      ..”..just do nothing..!..”

      ..i see a market/need for attack-billboards…

      • Jenny 6.1.1

        Unfortunately Philip we will never see billboards like this, as it would require the opposition parties to have a different position to the government.

        As the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party David Parker says Labour’s position is “close” to the government, and as Lynn Prentice says The Green and Labour Party’s position is “remarkably the same.”

        • phillip ure 6.1.1.1

          yes..there is that…

          ..it does depress me a tad that the co-leaders of the environmental party..

          ..have not yet evolved to the point where they can recognise their continued eating of animals..

          ..makes them part of the problem we are giving to the future..

          ..and on that issue..they are meant to be the best of the bunch..

          ..and as an example of the walking oxymoron..

          ..it’s hard to go past the carnivorous-green..

          ..a shade of green so faint/pale..it has a pink/blood-like tinge..

      • Rosie 6.1.2

        phillip and Jenny, re your billboards idea. Just do it. Erect People’s billboards in public spaces, don’t wait for Party billboards.

        For the last 10 months People’s Power Ohariu has been making billboards to highlight Dunne’s voting choices (Sky City, Asset sales, and GCSB) as well as other Dunne related themes that affect us all, as a way of publicly holding him to account and raising awareness. These are placed around the neighbourhoods of his electorate.

        Your “billboard” above Jenny has a nice flow and a strong positive message. It would look great in a pedestrian area, where people can stop to read it. It’s election year and the time is ripe to spread the word.

    • freedom 6.2

      this has been presented as the official word from Washington
      (and is suitably baffling in its navigational operations and its functionality as a research tool 🙂 )

  7. anker 7

    Q and A…………..Latest spin, it’s mud wrestling when the opposition challenge National re corruption…………

    Boeg, spinning……………..and is she on drugs??? withdrawing from legal highs? She looked incredibly agitated. Why is she even on the programme.

  8. Foreign Waka 8

    Just watching Q&A and have a question on my own: who has elected Mr Joyce? He is saying that there is wage growth despite statistics showing a different picture. Mr English commented – reported in the news yesterday – that NZ wages will grow to 62K in the next years. I bet the checkout operator, gas station attendant, health worker etc will be pleased to hear that. Mr Boag makes noises about poor Mrs Collins and that she will be disappointed that her image suffered (????) She also seem to be missing the point when talking about pay for access to politician. The fact this is going on so long is no excuse for the fact that this undermines democracy. If wealthy people can influence policy than the average person would not have any possibility to sway anybody, vote or not. So if National is saying that they are advancing NZ interests, whose interest is it they advance?
    Michelle Boag is in denial about all the negative impacts in the community and it is my feeling that she is too old to grasp the needs of a NZ economy and its people for the next 20-30 years. Mind you, why would she with a taxpayer funded income for the rest of her life.
    On a positive side, BNZ commentator Alexander Thorburn gave a very good interview that is both showing the positive sides and the concerns looking 10 or more years ahead. By what I understand, he rightly states that Kiwis are not “hungry” enough to succeed and confirms that the average wage is too low. This is connected to education and having the right skill set. Expectations when setting out need to be understood as a start not the peek of a carrier. Housing is an issue, especially with the tax incentives in place. Why do we have such great people here and we hardly ever get some comments to hear from them?

    • Foreign Waka 8.2

      And then there is Marilyn Waring, enough said.

      • phillip ure 8.2.1

        i liked waring saying she would like to see a list of cabinet-club donors..

        ..matched against a list of govt appointments to troughing-positions..

        ..(it’s called ‘kickbacks’..)

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      By what I understand, he rightly states that Kiwis are not “hungry” enough to succeed and confirms that the average wage is too low.

      When you’re struggling to survive on poverty wages developing the next Best Thing is way down the list of Things To Do with your limited income. Little things like food and rent come first.

      Lift everybody out of poverty rather than just reward the already rich and we’ll see innovation increase. Make it so that people can collaborate in trust and have access to the resources necessary to develop that innovation. Do that and we’ll see innovation in NZ soar.

      Basically, close to the exact opposite of what we’ve been doing for the last 30 years.

    • Mary 8.4

      Labour needs to capitalise on what Whyte has said ACT would do. It needs to use it as a warning of what National will do if elected. Labour needs to hammer what a third term will mean, highlight the lies and likelihood of u-turns and how National’s agenda by-stealth in reality is identical to ACT’s the only difference being timing. Labour could so easily do this because the material for telling the truth is all there laid out for it. This is what Labour must do, but of course they’re too stupid to so it won’t happen.

      • Paul 8.4.1

        Too scared and too compromised

      • anker 8.4.2

        @Mary re Labour capitalizing on what Act are saying. I think this is a good idea. How about you at least give Labour a chance to see if they do it?? I think their strategy is going well at the moment. Target Colins, bring Trev in as attack dog, then move on to Woodhouse……..Ping Key for letting ministerial standards slid.

        Good policy on reserve bank act, well released.

        • Mary 8.4.2.1

          “How about you at least give Labour a chance to see if they do it??”

          Because giving Labour chances doesn’t work. We’ve learned that’s the case since they said in 1991 that they’d ditched rogernomics. Since then Labour’s done nothing except kick us in the guts. I’m sick of giving Labour a chance. They don’t deserve any more chances. Giving Labour a “chance” is akin to saying “keep going you lot, we like what you’re doing.” We need a new strategy which can’t be about sitting back in the belief that Labour is “better than the other lot”. We need to start telling Labour that it can’t take its support for granted. Therein lies the problem. Giving Labour another “chance” is the last thing we should be doing.

          • James Thrace 8.4.2.1.1

            Well then the best thing to do to create the impression within Labour that they’re not as well loved as they think they are is to Vote Green.

            I renewed my membership fees last year solely to vote Cunliffe. Haven’t done so this year as my values and ethos are becoming more reflected in Green party policies.

            Ideally, Labour on 30% and Green on 20% would be pudding proof.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.4.2.1.2

            +1

          • anker 8.4.2.1.3

            @ Mary …………That of course it your choice not to give Labour another chance and I understand that choice, having made it too in past elections. I merely mean’t on this occasion, re how they respond to Act.. But you don’t have to give Labour a chance at all. That’s cool.

            It will be interesting to see what they do about the Act thing…see Ad’s comments below.

            • Mary 8.4.2.1.3.1

              That’s precisely what I’m saying. I don’t think Labour has the guts to respond to ACT in that way because they sense it’d be seen as a display of weakness to whatever they think the middle ground is = sellout.

          • phillip ure 8.4.2.1.4

            ..@ mary..

            “.. We’ve learned that’s the case since they said in 1991 that they’d ditched rogernomics. Since then Labour’s done nothing except kick us in the guts..”

            many more than 1..

            • Mary 8.4.2.1.4.1

              I guess I was thinking more about rogernomics as like an octopus that sucked the life out of everything it possibly can. Like we have now. Although for this government it’s about doing it over time and in a way that changes thinking in a cultural way. It’s probably how ACT see it too, but the idea is that ACT is the Huntaway barking at the rear.

              • Mary

                It’s about chipping away at values and culture. It’s our thinking that’s under attack so that we give support to the ideas that destroy us.

      • Ad 8.4.3

        Offering dire warnings doesn’t work. Labour and Greens went hammer and tongs against what National would do in its second term, but the result was not enough people got out to vote, and the election was lost. (National then went and did precisely what the public had been warned they would do).

        Negative is not what is needed right now. TV3, the NZHerald, and the Christchurch Daily Press will do that for the opposition most days of the week now.

        Inspiring is what is needed now. What Labour needs to do is what Cunliffe is launching on this site tomorrow: a fresh and clear approach to rebuilding New Zealand in the interests of everyone.

        • Bearded Git 8.4.3.1

          Ad-National won by 10-15000 votes last time. Scraped in.

        • Mary 8.4.3.2

          “What Labour needs to do is what Cunliffe is launching on this site tomorrow: a fresh and clear approach to rebuilding New Zealand in the interests of everyone.”

          Okay, you win. I’ll give Labour another chance. Guess we’ll know some time tomorrow, then. I’m very open minded.

    • Jackal 9.1

      Probably the same scientists who claim that algae blooms aren’t mainly caused by petroleum-based fertilizers often used in conventional farming.

      • weka 9.1.1

        +1. I would guess that didymo is a consequence of multiple factors, including industrial farming.

        If NZ really cared about the environment, or even water, beyond how we can use it, we would have shut down human ‘use’ on all rivers until we knew what we were dealing with. When didymo first arrived in NZ, we already knew that once it got into a catchment there was no way to remove it, so why did govt scientists take several years to study it before doing anything, and then only did something half arse like telling fishermen and boaties to wash their gear?

  9. i think i might start referring to joyce in/at what will inevitably be his post-politics career..

    ..as a muldoon impersonator..

  10. q & a was also interesting for being book-ended by joyce/muldoon..

    ..not only could they be twins/brothers physically..they also both said the same things..

    ..muldoon just a little more slurry than joyce..

    ..the simplistic-themes..

    “….steady as she goes..troubled-times..the opposition are crazy..”

  11. greywarbler 12

    A poignantly brave story of an escapee from North Korea who needs support and a hearing as he speaks on behalf of his fellow escapee who was caught in China (they allow North Korea to search for their escapees there and the authorised thugs may break all their prisoner’s limbs and then ship them back to NKorea in a coffin and I don’t know whether they care whether they are alive or dead when they get put in.)

    Heard on Radionz this a.m. talking about his book Dear Leader, readers might like to buy it, published by Random House, and show solidarity and give some money to help him to live and evade capture. He is speaking at the Auckland Writers Festival on Friday May 16

    10:06 Jang Jin-sung – Secrets of North Korea
    Jang Jin-sung defected after having served as a counter-intelligence officer, and poet laureate, for North Korea’s former dictator Kim Jong-il. In his memoir Dear Leader he gives insights into the workings of one of the world’s most oppressive regimes, and he talks to Wallace about the fate of his country, and what drove him to reveal its secrets.
    Jang Jin-sung is appearing at the Auckland Writers Festival on Friday May 16. His new book, Dear Leader (Random House) is published to coincide with his visit.

    Auckland Writers Festival
    History, Politics and Global Events
    Memoir
    The versatile Jang Jin-sung defected to South Korea having served as a counter-intelligence officer, and poet laureate, for North Korea’s former dictator Kim Jong-il. In his newly published memoir Dear Leader he gives unparalleled insights into the workings of one of the world’s most secret regimes, about which we periodically receive news of executions, widespread repression and nuclear ambition. In discussion with John Sinclair, and with a translator.
    Supported by the Asia NZ Foundation.

    Speaker Bios:
    .John Sinclair
    Jang Jin-sung
    Friday 16 May 2014
    05/16/2014 11:30AM —
    05/16/2014 12:30PM
    ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre
    50 Mayoral Drive Auckland New Zealand
    $20.00 Earlybird
    $25.00 Standard
    $15.00 Patron
    $12.50 Student
    Get a discount on earlybird/standard tickets if you include this event in a 5 or 10 ticket Concession Pass

    Also on North Korea
    The Orphan Master’s Son: Adam Johnson.
    Friday 16 May 2014
    05/16/2014 10:00AM —
    05/16/2014 11:00AM
    Is truth stranger than fiction when it’s focussed on that strange and secretive land north of the 38th parallel? Join American novelist and Pulitzer Prize winner Adam Johnson for a discussion of his exquisitely written satirical novel The Orphan’s Master’s Son, in which protagonist and party factotum Jun Do tries to get on in Kim Jong-il’s North Korea, while falling for an actress called Sun Moon. In conversation with Simon Wilson.
    (Many other nationals were kidnapped by North Korean agents including a famous actress and that is one of the bases for this book’s content.)
    Supported by Platinum Patrons Gerard and Carol Curry.

  12. greywarbler 13

    I think I might be wrong in something I said about the North Korean escapee, I thought he fled to China and was being hunted there but I think he could have been somewhere else I think in Asia, perhaps in South Korea. I have to listen again to check.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday

    Also there was a report on Wallace Chapmans program this morning on the way that Sweden has a widening gap between rich and poor, and has ceased making individual stands for good governance in the world and offering mediation etc. since the neo lib tide washed over them. It is very forward in the armaments industry and works well with the USA.
    9:40 Wayne Brittenden’s Counterpoint
    In the light of new leads in the case of the mysterious murder of Swedish Prime Minister Olaf Palme in 1986, Wayne looks at the heyday of Swedish social democracy, and the decline of Sweden’s once independent, neutral and powerful voice in international peace and justice. Wallace follows up with Maj Britt Theorin, Palme’s Ambassador for Disarmament.

    • Once was Tim 13.1

      yea …. that was a very interesting piece. What interested me was the question posed … ‘when did Sweden turn?’. The response basically when it joined the EU. Reminds me then of a comment I made the other day about Labour and Nats in Brit/Oz/elsewhere ‘feeding off each other’ – but also how we used to put Sweden up as an example (regardless it seems of the direction). Looking at what’s happening overseas by political equivalents is oft used as a justification for local policy WHETHER OR NOT its relevant to NZ. It also shows a degree of a lack of ideas or originality*. The march of 3rd Wayism and neo-liberalism. As Maj Britt Theorin seemed to show – it hasn’t worked!

      At the very least, Parker’s latest is a refreshing break from that (not that I’ll give Labour my party vote again – YET)

      • greywarbler 13.1.1

        Once was (and is) Tim
        +1 How many times do we hear about it being done overseas (never stated where or when or by whom to what effect) as a reason for introducing some new or changed measure?

        The ultimate in crass other-country worship and cultural cringe with an automatic put-down of our own initiative and capability. Basically its laziness. Instead of getting bespoke home-made policies to fit our needs, you buy in cheap policies and measures as off the shelf programs (cheap because the policies have been formed overseas which has carried out the hard work of designing them). It is done with buying computer programs, and our whole national commerce and economy is based on buying other people’s produce, trying for cheapness and immediacy.

        • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1.1

          The ultimate in crass other-country worship and cultural cringe with an automatic put-down of our own initiative and capability.

          And there’s a hell of a lot of it going around.

          It is done with buying computer programs, and our whole national commerce and economy is based on buying other people’s produce, trying for cheapness and immediacy.

          Yep. NZ has become very very cheap over the last thirty years as we swallowed the BS that the neo-liberals spewed out about being able to get things cheaper. We’ve lost the understanding that things cost and that you can’t get them any cheaper.

          • blue leopard 13.1.1.1.1

            …and if you do the sums – are these things really cheaper? They wear out quicker…..

  13. “..12 of the Biggest Myths About Marijuana Debunked..

    The arguments against legalization simply don’t hold up.

    For decades,cannabis opponents controlled the messaging around the popular plant –

    and cultivated any number of lies about its effects.

    This built up a powerful stigma against marijuana –

    the effects of which have not worn off..”

    http://www.alternet.org/drugs/12-biggest-myths-about-marijuana-debunked

    • ‘sunday’ tonite is a must-watch..

      ..it is on the healing-properties of cannabis…

      • phillip ure 15.2.1

        the campbell live interview with the scientist who invented legal-highs..was also interesting..

        ..he said they were never designed to be used by humans..his work was for research purposes only..

        ..that they are very addictive..and that they should be banned..

        ..and..his solution to the current/ongoing legal-high addiction problem…

        ..is to legalise cannabis..

        ..(in part for scientific-reasons..because cannabis is complex..and some components of it act as counters to those untramelled addictive-qualities found in these legal-highs..)

        ..and it is kinda funny..(not ha-ha!)..that dung has been allowed to ride his false meme of ‘mr commonsense’..for so long

        ..whereas on this issue especially..(but not only..)..the ‘common sense’ of legalising cannabis..)

        ..he is a total outlier..

        ..more ‘mr barking-mad/table-leg-chewing reactionary fucktard’..

        ..and given the total trainwreck his legal high regime has been..both in fostering and execution..

        ..surely basic self-respect should see him seeking the exit door..?

        ..and only worthy of being pointed and laughed at should he dare to make any pronouncements at all on this topic..

        ..surely..?

  14. Morrissey 16

    “Hard Clay”–remaking Afghanistan in “our” image
    by David Edwards, Media Lens, 28 April 2014

    Last month, we reviewed the mind-boggling contrast between corporate media coverage of the January 2005 election in Iraq and the March 2014 referendum in Crimea.

    Whereas all media accepted the basic legitimacy of an Iraq election conducted under extremely violent US-UK military occupation, they all rejected the legitimacy of a Crimea referendum conducted ‘at [Russian] gunpoint’.

    It was not difficult to guess how the same media would respond to the Afghan presidential election of April 5 under the guns of Britain and America’s occupying force.

    The Daily Telegraph had welcomed ‘the first democratic elections’ in Iraq (Leader, ‘Mission accomplished,’ December 6, 2004) and dismissed the Crimea vote as ‘an illegal referendum conducted at gunpoint’. As for Afghanistan: ‘The sight of millions of Afghans defying the Taliban to vote in their country’s presidential election should induce genuine humility. We might take democracy for granted; they emphatically do not.’

    Democracy it was, then. Had the editors forgotten that the vote was taking place under US-UK military occupation? In fact, no: ‘The idea that the Taliban are waiting to sweep back to power as soon as American and British troops depart has also taken a knock. If this poll continues to proceed smoothly, the country should have the inestimable benefit of a legitimately elected leader.’

    The election was thus declared both democratic and legitimate. As in Iraq, the delegitimising effect of military occupation was ignored – ‘our’ occupations are simply accepted as legitimate and uncontroversial.

    A Sunday Times leader hailed ‘democratic elections’ in Iraq, noting only that they were threatened by ‘terrorists’ – Iraqis, not the illegal foreign invaders who had wrecked the country with war, sanctions, bombing and more war (Leader, ‘Send more troops,’ October 10, 2004). By contrast, The Times claimed that the Crimea referendum was made absurd by Russian troops ‘massing on their western border’. (Leading article, ‘Russian Pariah,’ March 17, 2014)

    But The Times found nothing absurd about the Afghan election: ‘We should honour and celebrate the resolve of these voters, their commitment to the democratic process.’

    To be sure, military involvement had been a problem: ‘The Taleban has been malignly active in the run-up to the election, attacking foreigners in restaurants and showering death threats on democratic activists.’

    What about the occupation? ‘As US and British troops ready themselves for withdrawal by the end of this year, the Afghans are evidently eager to take command of their own political destinies.’

    And yet this was impossible in Crimea, although Russian troops were not occupying and fighting, merely said to be ‘massing’ on the border.

    For the BBC, the Iraq election….

    Read more….
    http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2014/762-hard-clay-remaking-afghanistan-in-our-image.html

  15. joe90 17

    That popping sound, it’s fundy heads reacting to the St Louis Rams drafting the NFL’s first openly gay player.

    http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/may/10/michael-sam-gay-nfl-player-draft-st-louis-rams

    https://twitter.com/MikeSamFootball/status/465269464477356033/photo/1

  16. Penny Bright 18

    Keeping the BLOWTORCH on corruption!

    http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/public-divided-over-whether-judith-collins-should-stay-minister-5968582

    Public divided over whether Judith Collins should stay as minister

    Published: 10:38AM Sunday May 11, 2014 Source: ONE News

    Do you think her behaviour has been damaging to National’s level of public support, or do you think it will make no difference?

    50% Yes, it has been damaging

    42% No, it won’t make any difference

    9% Don’t know

    Oh dear ………………….

    Still waiting for SOMEONE in mainstream media to focus on the failure of Minister for CORRUPTION Judith Collins to introduce her ‘Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill’ into the House – so NZ can ratify the UN Convention Against Corruption?

    (Still waiting for an acknowledgment from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet to this OIA request to Prime Minister John Key:

    7 May 2014

    ‘Open Letter’ /OIA request to Prime Minister John Key :

    “Why has New Zealand STILL not yet ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC)?”

    Dear Prime Minister,

    Please be reminded that according to the 2013 Transparency International ‘Corruption Perception Index’, New Zealand, (along with Denmark) is ‘perceived’ to be the least corrupt country in the world.

    http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2013/results/

    However, New Zealand is still one of a handful of countries which has STILL not ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).

    (UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC)

    http://www.unodc.org/documents/treaties/UNCAC/Publications/Convention/08-50026_E.pdf

    (Signatories to the UN Convention Against Corruption

    https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/treaties/CAC/signatories.html

    In a letter to Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ), dated 7 August 2013, your Minister of Justice Judith Collins stated:

    “New Zealand ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption

    Thank you for your correspondence of 31 May 2013 to myself, Hon Murray McCully, and Hon Tim Groser regarding New Zealand’s ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.

    Like you, I also believe that ratifying UNCAC would be advantageous. Ratification of the Convention is important to ensure New Zealand retains its international reputation for transparency, integrity, and trustworthiness, which can have flow-on economic benefits for the country.

    It is for these reasons that I have announced a package of legislative reforms that will allow New Zealand to ratify UNCAC. the reforms will be progressed as part of an Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Bill which I intend to introduce into Parliament later in 2013.

    As you may be aware, it is the policy of the New Zealand Government that binding treaty actions such as ratification is not taken until New Zealand’s domestic law is compliant with the treaty obligations. As you state in your letter, only minor amendments are necessary to bring New Zealand into compliance with the UNCAC obligations.

    The Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Bill will contain the required amendments. After the Bill is passed and the changes are enacted, officials will promptly take steps to deposit New Zealand’s instrument of ratification of UNCAC.

    Yours sincerely,

    Hon Judith Collins
    Minister of Justice.”

    NZ Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill

    http://www.transparency.org.nz/docs/2013/Hon-Judith-Collins-Minister-of-Justice-Letter-to-TINZ.pdf

    Your Minister of Justice Judith Collins’ press release of 18 October 2013:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1310/S00301/bill-supports-zero-tolerance-for-organised-crime.htm

    Bill supports zero-tolerance for organised crime
    Friday, 18 October 2013, 10:03 am
    Press Release: New Zealand Government
    Hon Judith Collins

    Minister of Justice

    18 October 2013 Media Statement

    Bill supports zero-tolerance for organised crime

    Justice Minister Judith Collins says the Government’s comprehensive approach to fighting all forms of organised crime will help safeguard New Zealand’s economy, international reputation and public safety.

    This month a number of international bodies are evaluating New Zealand’s compliance with international standards related to financial crimes – including the OECD, which will report on New Zealand’s compliance with an international convention to combat bribery of foreign public officials.

    “I welcome the release of these reports.

    This Government takes all forms of organised crime and corruption very seriously,” Ms Collins says.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/New-laws-to-fight-organised-crime/tabid/1607/articleID/317781/Default.aspx

    New laws to fight organised crime
    Friday 18 Oct 2013 10:33a.m.

    The Government will bring in a bill before the end of the year to strengthen laws against money laundering, identity theft, human trafficking and corruption.
    Justice Minister Judith Collins says she intends to have a comprehensive set of laws in place to fight all forms of organised crime.
    “It’s important to consider bribery and corruption within the big picture of organised crime, which undermines public safety, national security, economic development and good governance,” she said today.
    “This bill will help ensure New Zealand maintains its reputation as a responsible international citizen and that our domestic law enforcement agencies have the tolls they need to fight all forms of organised crime.”

    Unfortunately, it is now May 2014, and your Minister of Justice Judith Collins’ Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Bill, has STILL not been presented to Parliament:

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/legislation/bills/?Criteria.Keyword=Organised+Crime+and+Anti-Corruption+Legislation+Bill%2C&Criteria.Timeframe=&Criteria.Parliament=-1&Criteria.DocumentType=&Criteria.Status=&Search=Go

    Legislation
    Bills
    This section lists bills before the House and its committees, and provides access to more detailed information about each one. You will also find the schedule of divided bills and progress of legislationhere. To find out more about bills before select committees, see the committee business summary.

    Close Bills search

    No documents were found

    OFFICIAL INFORMATION ACT REQUEST:

    Please provide the information which explains why Minister of Justice Judith Collins’ ‘Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Bill’, has STILL not been presented to Parliament.

    Yours sincerely,
    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

  17. Mary 19

    Once upon a time in New Zealand it used to be only transient single men for whom housing was chronically difficult. It’s good to see we’re keeping up with overseas trends:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/10028756/Caravan-park-outcasts

    • @ mary..

      ..that open sore was also running for the nine years of labour…

      ..it is the sewer-pipe outlet of neo-liberalism/randism…

      ..we don’t need to go to third world countries for our poverty-tourism..

      ..just a quick spin up the nth-western motorway will do the trick..

  18. Draco T Bastard 20

    Just in case you missed it, this is worth reading.

    • blue leopard 20.1

      Yes, that is rather fascinating, am going to keep an eye on that BlogSpot!

  19. Where does key get off saying that he thinks that the “pink traditional Native American headpiece” worn in his daughters art project is not culturally offensive.

    ” Key denied any claims it was culturally offensive.

    ”I’m personally very proud of her,” Key said.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/10032883/John-Key-defends-daughters-art

    It is typical to reframe it to mean something else – guess what key we know that you are proud of her, good on you – now back to the point please.

    Art, fashion and sport are in constant contact with this issue of misappropriation of cultural aspects of, typically, indigenous groups – and it is a source of much discomfort.

    • newsense 21.1

      Being PM is a full family gig.

      Distraction Distraction Distraction

      PC dog whistle, minor issue, getting the snip, planking etc etc.

  20. ianmac 22

    Today’s Colmar Brunton poll also showed 50 per cent of people believed Ms Collins’ behaviour had damaged the National party’s level of public support. Forty-two per cent of those surveyed disagreed, and said her behaviour had not made any difference…..
    ….showed 42 per cent of those surveyed supported Ms Collins maintaining her ministerial portfolios. The same amount of people believed her resignation as a minister was in order, with the remaining amount unsure of what she should do. (was in order???)…
    Three in four of those surveyed said Ms Collins’ Oravida conflict-of-interest affair and the debacle resulting in Pakuranga MP Maurice Williamson’s abrupt resignation from the party would not have much influence on their voting choice.
    ” (Not important ? or is it that voters are sure of who to vote for. Thus a Nat diehard would not switch but nor would a diehard Labour voter.)
    Wonder how big the poll was. Of course the fact that a poll was even taken points to a wide spread concern.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11253156

    • Jackal 22.1

      Considering the bias often displayed by these types of polls, the information that’s not being divulged is telling. It must be panic stations over on National’s sinking ship. Depending on how many rats actually decide to jump, we might never see the Tories in power again. Good job!

  21. anker 23

    Anyone know what the polls said in terms of % for the parties? Very curious to know if Nats have dropped since Oravida etc? Most of the reports including this mornings Q and A focused on opinion about Judith C, not voting intentions.

  22. tv3 have revealed that the govt plans to sell off thousands of state houses..

    ..many thousands..

    ..this is one of nationals’ secret post-election plans..

    ..should they be returned to power..

    ..and one they planned to keep secret until after the election..

    ..(labour found this out through an o.i.a..so good on them..!)

    ..and this shocker just raised the question:..

    ..seeing as they clearly plan to privatise the state housing stock..(but not tell us about it..before we consider voting for them..)

    ..what else have they got fucken planned..?

    ..eh..?

    ..these rightwing/randite arsewipes must be thrown out of office..

    ..if they are let back in..they will know they have a snowballs’ chance of a fourth term..

    ..so they will go fucken gangbusters..

    ..it will be scorched-earth..up and down the land..

    ..there will be little left..by 2017..

    ..they will have privatised the lot..

    ..they are fucken ideology-driven kleptomaniacs..

    • karol 24.1

      So it’s something actually revealed by Phil Twyford from an OIA request. Nats plans being to sell off loads of state housing in provincial/regional areas, plus build some in South Auckland.

      Nick Smith claims that’s an out of date piece of info, and that Nats have plans for more “social housing” – which actually isn’t necessarily state housing. And it’s not clear with the new Nat state houses will be the same amount as now, or less.

      • Draco T Bastard 24.1.1

        National’s idea of ‘social housing’ is that private landlords provide it and get a government guaranteed income forever. Really, it’s just more socialism for the rich.

        • vto 24.1.1.1

          Nationals idea of social housing is a student flat.

          • ScottGN 24.1.1.1.1

            National’s idea of social housing is a crazy expensive, overcrowded, flood prone, structurally unsound, privately owned (but subsidized by the taxpayer) house in Christchurch full of beneficiaries that they’ve bribed to move there in order to massage the unemployment stats.

  23. Maki man 25

    The state houses that are being sold have been empty for years.
    Don’t be a retard Phillip these houses have to be sold to free up capital so new state houses can be built in places like Auckland where people want to live

  24. Draco T Bastard 26

    Biggest Gambling losses

    1 Australia
    2 Singapore
    3 Finland
    4 NZ

    So, so good for the economy – NOT!

  25. karol 27

    Thanks, Lynn, for this.

    LOL at some of your techniques. I do prefer to leave most moderation to the main moderators (you?) as that makes for more consistency. But sometimes it’s better if I get onto developing derails as they happen.

    • lprent 27.1

      Have a look at what is in the Settings / Discussion comment moderation. The basics are simple enough for a simple auto-moderation. That is enough that you can catch them most of the time before their comment goes live.

      There are a pile of subtleties with dealing with the persistent people like d4j used to be.

      • karol 27.1.1

        Under Settings – there’s a moderate selected posts option. Clicking on it brings up a blank page. I see no option anywhere for automoderating all of one commenters comments within one or all of my posts.

        • lprent 27.1.1.1

          Umm. That is a different option to allow a single post to be fully moderated – like I will be doing for Cunliffe tomorrow. That means that every comment goes to moderation for that post.

          Nope you should be able to see it. Dashboard / Settings (on left) / Discussion. The moderation os about halfway down the page. If you can’t see it, I’ll set AncientGeek as an editor and test it like that. It’d mean some kind of change in wordpress 3.8 or 3.9 that I wasn’t aware of.

  26. Naki man 28

    Does Draco think it is a good idea to have empty state houses in rural towns where people don’t want to live while there is a housing shortage in South Auckland?

    • karol 28.1

      On TV3, some of the state houses that are in line to be sold have people living in them – and they don’t want to move. So, how do you know any of the others are where people don’t want to live. the TV3 News report pointed out that probably many of the unoccupied ones had been left empty because the Nats were plannign to sell them.

    • Draco T Bastard 28.2

      No, I think we should be looking reinvigorating outlying areas so that people stop crowding the main cities.

    • Jackal 28.3

      These house aren’t empty because nobody wants to live in them, they’re empty because the criteria to be eligible for a state house was made harder and there is widespread dysfunction from within Housing New Zealand.

      Even with the harsher criteria there are over 5000 priority applicants on HNZ’s waiting list. It’s not that these people have turned down living in these houses, (because if they do that a few times they’re automatically no longer eligible) it’s that they’re not being offered to them in the first place.

      Instead thousands of state houses are being abandoned by a dysfunctional government so that people are forced into renting in the private market. This inevitably degrades the communities where state housing is located, because empty houses are often vandalised.

      The mess that this National government is leaving our state housing stock in will take a long time to fix. The social implications such archaic policy creates might never be remedied, even with a more progressive government in place.

      People who believe that the government is building anywhere near the amount of houses being demolished are simply ignorant!

  27. geoff 29

    I did enjoy this line from Tim Watkin’s article on Judith Collins:

    And Key must be kicking himself for letting it come to this. If he’d be tougher initially, he wouldn’t be having to endlessly spray air freshener on the stench around Collins.

    The whole article is fairly good, here’s the ending…

    Yet Collins stubbornly refuses to get the implications this, publically at least. Very early on, her line to media was that as a minister it was her job to champion New Zealand businesses overseas. Key repeated that line at the time. But Collins also asked, with her usual brashness, if journalists were really saying that just because her husband was a director and her friends ran the business that she shouldn’t visit this company and help them along? It was her job to help ALL New Zealand exporters, regardless, she said.

    Except that the correct answer to her bravado question was simple. “Yes”. Yes, if your friends and family are involved, you shouldn’t visit. Yes, you should stay away. You shouldn’t get involved. Other ministers can work for them and you can work for the dozens, maybe hundreds, of other New Zealand companies struggling in China. But if you go out of your way for a company that you and yours benefit from financially, then yes you’ve crossed a line.

    But she chose to attend the dinner and cross the line. And that wrong decision tshould have been enough to convict her months ago. This week’s documents are ultimately irrelevant. By endorsing Collins’ behaviour from the get-go, Key dropped the ball. And is now paying the price.

    http://pundit.co.nz/content/why-the-collins-case-is-about-then-not-now

    • McFlock 29.1

      so, basically, Collins was so blatantly corrupt that not even a forex trader expected it…

      • joe90 29.1.1

        Collins was so blatantly corrupt that not even a forex trader expected it…

        Perhaps….

        “Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts… perhaps the fear of a loss of power.”

        John Steinbeck

  28. A VOTER 30

    National should change the name of their party to the Spin Party its seems thats all they are good at cause there aint much truth in any of what they try to get us to believe

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