Open mike 11/10/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 11th, 2015 - 150 comments
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150 comments on “Open mike 11/10/2015”

  1. AsleepWhileWalking 1

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-10/biggest-protest-country-has-seen-years-quarter-million-germans-protest-obama-free-tr

    I particularly like the photo of people in wolf masks and suits… how appropriate

  2. The Chairman 2

    When Andrew Little set out the “bottom lines” he objected to the Herald story saying Labour had set out its conditions for support.

    He tweeted the reporter to say “we set out what we’re opposed to”.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11526651

    Matthew Hooton (in his piece: Labour lurches to the extreme left over TPP) has used the possibility of Labour withdrawing from the TPP to scare potential supporters off Labour, undermining the Party’s efforts to build business support.

    Labour would discuss its position on the TPP at its up and coming caucus meeting.

    Audrey Young asks: will Labour be better off supporting the deal than not supporting it?

    Will it be any better off sounding as though it opposes it but supporting it in the end?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11526651

    Thoughts?

    • tc 2.1

      Whatever they do you can bet the likes of hootten and all the other players will spin this in nacts favour so the rehetoric must be simple, short and snappy so it sticks in peoples minds despite the DP treatment.

      Good to see King calling matty over his allegations, the electorate is crying out for a front foot approach to take back the argument to ordinary kiwis and away from the hollowmen and their shills in the msm.

    • infused 2.2

      Problem is, Little puts himself in these predicaments.

      No point attacking Hooton. You should be asking for better from Little.

      At this point he’s fucked which ever way he goes. Kinda like Red Peak.

      • The Chairman 2.2.1

        I wasn’t attacking Hooton, merely highlighting his piece.

        By attempting to appease both the left and right in the manner in which they do, I agree, Labour have largely brought this upon themselves.

        Not having a clear position has allowed Hooton to control the narrative and fill in the blanks.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1

          +1

          Exactly. Labour needs to have a clear position, state that position and then stick to it. We’re getting fucked over by their ambivalence and their compromising with the RWNJs that just sees our country going ever more to the right and thus getting higher levels of poverty.

          • RedLogix 2.2.1.1.1

            Labour are probably being ambivalent about it because the whole damned thing is an ambiguous, deceptive, misleading crock.

            They keep getting suckered by the glossy ‘free trade’ wrapper while refusing to name the stinking mess inside.

          • RedLogix 2.2.1.1.2

            Labour are probably being ambivalent about it because the whole damned thing is an ambiguous, deceptive, misleading crock.

            They keep getting suckered by the glossy ‘free trade’ wrapper while refusing to name the stinking mess inside.

          • whateva next? 2.2.1.1.3

            usual tactic though, distract by focus on Labour (despite the fact they have NOTHING to do with it), why fall for it?

            • Halfcrown 2.2.1.1.3.1

              “usual tactic though, distract by focus on Labour (despite the fact they have NOTHING to do with it), why fall for it?”

              Exactly, and you must remember that it all Labour’s fault whatever it is.

            • The Chairman 2.2.1.1.3.2

              Don’t be so shortsighted. It’s not distracting. It’s encompassing the opposition’s position on the deal.

      • John Shears 2.2.2

        Infused ? In your Opinion

    • savenz 2.3

      Labour should not support TPP. Period. It is very different to the China trade deal.

      Supporting TPP which Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Corbyn etc do not support. There is massive mainstream political and public support AGAINST TPP.

      They don’t have to agree with everything the Nats do in a NatLite way, now is the time for Labour to cut away from the 1980’s and the Clark era, and start looking at what Kiwis want, not want Labour think the country may or may not need. We are in a brave new technological world and the TPP aims to keep us in the past and the current powers dominant with outdated practises. History shows that those in power cling on and try to destroy as they are being replaced because they can’t or will not adapt.

      One of the biggest mistakes Labour is making is sitting on the fence and using ‘confusion’ about it’s position to somehow try to be everything to all people, but instead looking like a completely untrustworthy party than just goes where the tide turns and gets bogged down in details oh I support this in this way but not in this way and maybe in this way, but not in this way (details all missing). Too complicated Labour!

      • The Chairman 2.3.1

        “One of the biggest mistakes Labour is making is sitting on the fence and using ‘confusion’ about it’s position to somehow try to be everything to all people, but instead looking like a completely untrustworthy party than just goes where the tide turns and gets bogged down in details oh I support this in this way but not in this way and maybe in this way, but not in this way (details all missing). Too complicated Labour!”

        +1

        Little is on Q&A now.

        • ianmac 2.3.1.1

          Won’t Labour and everyone else need to see the whole document before stating a position? If Little was to say now that he/they oppose the TPP he would be trounced for being against something unseen/unconsidered.
          Wait folks.

          • Anne 2.3.1.1.1

            Good response. Thanks ianmac.

          • The Chairman 2.3.1.1.2

            Taking into account Labour put forward their bottom lines. Coupled with the breach of their bottom lines (which Little concedes) in the info released thus far, a number expect Labour would oppose it on that alone.

            However, Little says they’re certainly opposed to what they see at the moment, but they still want to see the final text. Which, with that said, implies there’s a possibility they may not oppose it.

            And it is that lack of total commitment that leaves a number questioning why?

            Your average person sees Labour making bottom lines, hears they’ve been breached, thus expects Labour to come out and totally oppose the deal on that basis.

        • Anne 2.3.1.2

          I don’t see any confusion TC. It’s the pro-TPP mob – including much of the media – and the NActs sowing the seed of so-called confusion. Matthew Hooton’s latest attempt to suggest there’s ructions in the L. caucus over the TPP is a good example. Little squashed that load of bullshit once and for all this morning.

          The bottom lines are still there and Little made it clear they will pass legislation to counter adverse effects when they are the government. When posed the question… what if the US (or who ever else) take retaliatory action, he [effectively] said… they can shit themselves as much as they like, but if it’s not in the best interest of our citizens we will not play ball. Good answer. Call their bluff.

          • The Chairman 2.3.1.2.1

            The confusion lays with Ardern saying Labour will face the consequences (implying Labour will refuse to be bound by the TPP) and Robertson saying Labour will weigh up the consequences. Implying if the consequences are to severe, Labour will breach their 5 bottom lines.

            Leaving a number wondering why make bottom lines when you may accept them being breached?

            Hooton did more than claim the Party is divided. He went on to paint a withdrawal from the deal as Labour lurching towards the extreme left. Saying, the lunatics now running Labour’s asylum must never be let near power.

            IMO, Hooton is not only trying to scare potential supporters off Labour, he’s also trying to scare Labour from withdrawing.

            • Anne 2.3.1.2.1.1

              IMO, Hooton is not only trying to scare potential supporters off Labour, he’s also trying to scare Labour from withdrawing.

              Exactly what he’s doing imo.

              What appalling arrogance! He’s a pip-squeak among many other pip-squeaks who have a vastly over-rated opinion of themselves. I may not be able to abide him as a person/ politician, but at least John Key has some legitimacy when it comes to playing these games.

      • Chooky 2.3.2

        +100 savenz

  3. Paul 3

    El Nino is going to cause serious problems for agriculture this summer.

    ‘Federated Farmers Golden Bay president Sue Brown said many farmers were still struggling to cope with last year’s drought.

    If conditions worsened in the coming months, farmers would be driven towards cost-cutting measures like slaughtering surplus stock, Brown said.

    “Farmers definitely feel it in the pocket.

    “They are already getting their heads around alternatives.”

    Orchard manager Evan Heywood said the lack of rain would hurt fruit growers in areas, such as Waimea, where the water supply was limited.

    “If the weather carries on like this, so hot and dry, people will need to look at irrigation.

    “That is unheard of at this time of year.” ‘

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/nelson-mail/news/72861781/El-Nino-set-to-scorch-Nelson

    • savenz 3.1

      The other big problem in farming is that they have been encouraged to expand and have too much stock and then have to buy in supplementary feed which is very expensive and often using Palm Kernel expeller which is imported from Indonesia where it is contributed to massive rain forest destruction and climate change.

      Where is the support for farmers farming in a sustainable way and research to support that from government?

      Do we want to be a low end commodity producer ALL our life as a country or when is someone going to say – lets move up the value chain?

      For example Lactoferrin is approx $500,000 per ton and milk solids $3000 a ton?

      Nutricuticials should be top on the list of where our milk industry is heading not ‘lets produce more milk for less money’.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Do we want to be a low end commodity producer ALL our life as a country

        According to National that’s exactly what we are and should be. It’s why they keep making getting a good education harder and why they keep pushing dairying.

        • The lost sheep 3.1.1.1

          My company manufactures a highly value added product 100% here in NZ Draco, but at the moment that product is effectively locked out of lucrative markets such as Canada, Japan, and the US by 20-30% tariffs that are designed to make our end price uncompetitive.
          If the TPP goes ahead those tariffs will disappear and we would immediately set out on a major expansion into those markets.

          All going well, we would be looking at many new high value NZ jobs and significant flow on benefits down through all the companies that supply us raw materials and services.

          I know several other NZ Made Manufacturers who are in exactly the same situation……
          So everything else aside, I can see some outcomes from the TPPA that would create opportunities for people who are trying to add value to the NZ economy. Just saying, but it ain’t all bad.

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            If the TPP goes ahead those tariffs will disappear and we would immediately set out on a major expansion into those markets.

            Even without tariffs it’ll still cost more to get your products to market in those nations because of the added costs of transporting them. The only way you’d be able to compete would be if you lowered wages.

            As I say. If there’s a level playing field in world trade (Which was the point of the WTO/GATT) then there wouldn’t be any world trade. A manufacturer in NZ cannot compete with a manufacturer in Canada/US/Australia when under the same conditions. That’s physical reality.

            • The lost sheep 3.1.1.1.1.1

              No, no, and no Draco.
              You are completely wrong in all the reasons you give why we would not be able to compete.

              • Draco T Bastard

                No I’m not. As I say – it’s simple physical reality. The problem is that our financial system has been developed so as to deny that physical reality.

          • savenz 3.1.1.1.2

            @ The Lost Sheep, if you can’t make it in NZ or China then you probably are not going to make it in, the rest of the world. The tariffs do not stop trade so the TPP is not going to miraculously make a market for new NZ products. In fact more likely under TPP someone bigger will come along steal your idea and litigate you, so go under. The copywrite laws are intended to be protectionist to the current status quo.

            • The lost sheep 3.1.1.1.2.1

              All wrong savenz.
              Tariffs do in fact stop trade. That is largely the point of them.

              In the case of my business area, removal of tariffs will create huge new markets that we can effectively compete in.
              I’m not generalising a theoretical case here, I’m talking about a specific opportunity that we have spent years investigating and are absolutely certain of.
              That’s good isn’t it?

              • savenz

                Maybe you have a great idea or product but when you look at Dragon’s Den like entrepreneurs – quite a few people are absolutely certain they have some amazing product the world is dying to obtain. But quite often the people are fruit cakes and with or without TPP are going to fail. Not sure if this is you, but NZ is an easy market to get a product out in, and TPP does not actually remove all tarrifs in fact there is only about 10% difference from now in some areas.

                But we certainly DO KNOW under TPP medicine will be more expensive as even Key has said, patents for longer, protectionist measures, etc

                We know NZ can be sued and our government and courts won’t be deciding the outcome but 3 international judges than have never found against the US historically.

                The opposite of ‘free trade’.

                In the US/OZ free trade deal they are both worse off 10 years later.

                So should the rest of the country be worse off, because MAYBE someone is slightly better off, and again corporate welfare. i.e. taxpayers helping business at the expense of the rest of the population who have to pay more individually to subsidise the business?

                • The lost sheep

                  quite a few people are absolutely certain they have some amazing product the world is dying to obtain. But quite often the people are fruit cakes and with or without TPP are going to fail. Not sure if this is you,

                  No. I have very well established growing business that already sells to people throughout the world. So no need to do Dragons Den.

                  So should the rest of the country be worse off, because MAYBE someone is slightly better off, and again corporate welfare. i.e. taxpayers helping business at the expense of the rest of the population who have to pay more individually to subsidise the business?

                  Well, if you believe, as many do here, that our Govt. would deliberately negotiate a deal that guaranteed a negative overall outcome for our country, or you believe that Govt. in NZ pays anything like significant subsidies to business, then you might say that.
                  But I think that is rubbish.

                  Like all the trade negotiations I have ever seen, this one is a result of the compromise process that occurs when every country is trying to stimulate growth, but at the same time trying to gain more access to other markets than they give away in their own.

                  There are opportunities for NZ’ers in this deal, if it goes ahead. My plan is to take maximum advantage of the ones in front of me.
                  I just hope enough NZ’ers do the same to make it an overall positive net outcome.

          • The Chairman 3.1.1.1.3

            There is no denying there will be some benefits, but going from what’s been reported, they’re modest (1% of GDP).

            Moreover, it will only have a direct benefit to less than 25% of all firms (mostly private and some offshore owned).

            Over 75 per cent of all NZ firms have never generated overseas income.

            This is consistent with most small businesses reporting that they either cannot or are not interested in exporting.

            97 per cent of enterprises in New Zealand are small businesses.

            http://tinyurl.com/oa5kzdf

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      Orchard manager Evan Heywood said the lack of rain would hurt fruit growers in areas, such as Waimea, where the water supply was limited.

      This is one of the big environmental problems we face – a lot of people actually think that the water supply we have is unlimited. The reality is that the water supply is limited and we need to live within those limits.

      • weka 3.2.1

        It’s true we have a problem with out attitude towards water (thinking it’s endless). Water’s not the main problem in how to grow food in dry climates though, it’s how we use land. Current agricultural practices, including irrigation, encourage drought.

        Here’s establishing food producing trees in the first year on one of the driest place on earth (on salinated soil). They used 1/5th the amount of water used in that area normally.

        Other examples here,

        The drought

          • weka 3.2.1.1.1

            Thanks! That’s a very good interview (yes, smart people), and has a good explanation of how to manage water differently (at start and then half way through).

            • Rosemary McDonald 3.2.1.1.1.1

              We have had an ‘endless supply’ mentality to H2O here in NZ. Here in the Waikato, arguably the greenest of this green and pleasant land, we now have irrigation booms, a la Canterbury Plains.

              When we were building in the country 18 years ago we designed the house for maximum rain collection and chucked in a couple of BIG tanks.

              Neighbours suggested putting down a bore…plenty of groundwater they said.

              This was because we refused to water the veg plants….(we still got bumper crops) to conserve our house supply.

              Drought of 2007/2008 saw those neighbours’ bores all dry up.

              Local 1000 cow dairy farm had their pump on the lowest point in the area…had sucked the aquifer dry.

              They are the ones with the boom…I presume sucking the water from the river.

              easy come, easy go.

          • maui 3.2.1.1.2

            Sweet, thanks for the interesting small farming links – makes a lot of sense.

        • ianmac 3.2.1.2

          In the 50s isn’t that what the refugees flooding into Israel did to green the desert? (Recently I scooped buckets of beach sand and pebbles to put on a small patch. Weed-cloth then the salt laden beach sand. The weeds grew prolifically!)

          • weka 3.2.1.2.1

            I don’t know ian. Permacuture (which is the design technique used in that video) was invented in the 1970s, but it is based in many existing traditional systems, so it’s possible that swales were used in the situation you refer to.

            Why were you putting beach sand and pebbles in your garden?

            • ianmac 3.2.1.2.1.1

              It was a small patch of ground in which I aimed to grow a lemon tree and a shrub. Since we were seldom there to weed I thought that the salty beach sand would block the weeds, but no.

    • greywarshark 3.3

      This is what irrigation should be used for. A prop at times of drought, and perhaps an aid to encourage an early start to the growing season so as to get crops well on their way before known seasonal weather bringing heat and moisture deficits occur.

    • b waghorn 3.4

      Ad el nino to lack of snow pack to fill up those irrigation dams and it could be very bumpy for some.http://i.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/72589956/worries-of-another-disastrous-summer

  4. Tautoko Mangō Mata 4

    Personally I know several people who will not support Labour precisely because it has not come out definitely against the TPP. Labour is not opposed to free trade agreements per se, but the positive amount of free trade in this agreement for NZ is small compared to the negatives of ISDS, the inability to prevent foreign ownership of land and yet to be revealed final rules on SOEs and other hidden fishhooks.
    Labour seem to be waiting for the final text so that their arguments will be based on fact’
    Here’s Audrey Young:
    “It will be passed by the Cabinet and National has the numbers with Act and Peter Dunne to pass any legislation required.

    But the Government would prefer to pass it with as much cross-party support as possible.

    The campaign against the TPP has shifted the default position of the public from a generally pro-FTA position to neutral.

    In the Herald’s DigiPoll survey in August, only 22.9 per cent said they supported it generally on the basis that New Zealand’s economic well-being depended on increased trade with the world; 31.3 per cent opposed it on the basis of investor-state dispute procedures and 45 per cent had no view.

    Labour has been pivotal in shifting public opinion, shifting its own position last year from a pro starting point to a neutral one.”

    OK Labour. Let’s move it from neutral to NEGATIVE!

    To me, this is the most important sentence. Audrey Young again:
    “My prediction is that Labour will spend the next month sounding as though it opposes the TPP, pointing out where it could have been better, condemning the Government for not getting a perfect deal, but end up supporting it. In the process it will be sending mixed messages.”

    This must not happen. Stop equivocating, Labour. There’s enough info out with the latest leak. You’ll gain more by opposing the TPP. It’s an up or down decision now- liking bits of the agreement is not enough.

    • savenz 4.1

      +1 – Tautoko Mangō Mata

      This must not happen. STOP equivocating, Labour. There’s enough info out with the latest leak. You’ll gain more by opposing the TPP. It’s an up or down decision now- liking bits of the agreement is not enough.

      • Paul 4.1.1

        My vote goes to a party that makes a proper stand against the TPP.

        • Chooky 4.1.1.1

          +100 Paul…at the moment it is going to NZF

          • arkie 4.1.1.1.1

            I know you’ve been anxious to hear an unequivocal statement against the TPP… How ’bout the Greens?

            James Shaw MP on Tuesday, October 6, 2015 – 10:03
            The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) makes it more likely that everyday New Zealanders will become tenants in our own land, while private companies snap up the limited gains of about one percent of GDP, the Green Party said today.

            “The TPPA is a bad deal because the costs will be worn by everyday New Zealanders while the benefits will go to private companies,” Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said.

            “New Zealanders are more likely to become tenants in our own land, because the TPPA slackens the overseas investment rules and takes away our right to limit overseas speculators from buying up our land.

            “It’s becoming clear that it will be harder, take longer, and be more expensive to access next generation medicines in New Zealand and in developing countries.

            “Multinational companies will be able to sue New Zealand if it takes action to protect our environment, for example strengthening the protection for the critically endangered Maui’s dolphins.

            “Trade Minister Tim Groser can’t avoid the fact that the TPPA doesn’t actually break down trade barriers with markets like Canada, and it will be another 25 years before milk powder tariffs in the United States market are gone.

            “Whichever way you look at the TPPA, it’s a bad deal.

            “After five years of talking, Tim Groser and the National Government have failed to achieve an agreement that is in New Zealand’s best interests,” Mr Shaw said.

            https://www.greens.org.nz/news/article/bad-tppa-deal-will-cost-new-zealanders

            Just because MSM doesn’t cover it doesn’t mean it’s not happening.

            • Chooky 4.1.1.1.1.1

              so Greens will repeal signing of TPP?…has Shaw said this specifically or is he equivocating?

              …the Greens are in agreement with NZF then!?

              …so where is bloody Labour?!

              …they should be forming a united front saying “NO” to the TPP when they ALL form the next coalition Government

              If the TPP is bad enough for both Republican Trump and Democrat Saunders to have the courage to stick their necks out and say “NO”!….surely NZ Labour can do the same!….and stop sitting on the fence

              ‘Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump slam Trans-Pacific Partnership deal as ‘disastrous’ & ‘terrible’ ‘

              https://www.rt.com/usa/317718-sanders-trump-candidates-tpp/

              ‘ ‘Extraordinary person’ Donald Trump invited to visit Crimea – as US president’

              https://www.rt.com/politics/318004-extraordinary-person-donald-trump-invited/

              “Trump, a 69-year-old billionaire real estate mogul, entered the US presidential race in June, seeking the Republic nomination. He is currently leading in the polls.”

              • Paul

                I have not heard an unequivocal rejection of the TPP from either Labour or the Greens.
                Statements like “The TPP was not voted in democratically by the New Zealand people. We shall repeal it once we are in power.”

                • Chooky

                  agreed …the Greens, like Labour, have not come out unequivocally against the TPP

                  …if they must fence sit ….why not a NZ referendum on the TPP?….why allow the secrecy and lack of democracy?

                  …if it is good enough to have a referendum on the flag (when most NZers want to keep the existing flag)…it should be good enough to have a democratic referendum on deciding whether to adhere to jonkey Nacts secret deal on the TPP?

  5. North 5

    Groser on Q+A…….’almost inconceivable that anyone will take a case against NZ in “X years”.’

    The man’s dishonesty screams. He purports to tell us something and advisedly tells us nothing.

    • savenz 5.1

      Yes, and lets make it a prison sentence for those that bring it in, if someone does sue us.

      Wonder if the Nats would be supporting it then? If they are personally bought to account for their treachery with a prison sentence?

      • Matthew Hooton 5.1.1

        Why imprison anyone when the revolution comes? Why not just withdraw from the deal?

        • tracey 5.1.1.1

          Why hide it from the people if it’s such a good deal, it can speak for itself, without the need for well placed media megaphones selectively pushing aspects of it?

        • Pat 5.1.1.2

          seem to recall you expressing with complete certainty this morning that once in place no government (in NZ) will leave…are you saying youve changed your mind Matthew?

    • Paul 5.2

      I presume he was allowed to make that statement without it being challenged.

      • North 5.2.1

        Incredibly……no, he wasn’t challenged. Neither by Dallow (who’s surprised ?……Dallow was relating as one would to the AB captain after a successful international campaign)….. nor by Little.

        • Paul 5.2.1.1

          From wikipedia.

          ‘Dallow was educated at Liston College and St Peter’s College. He completed his tertiary education at Auckland University, where he studied law. After completing his legal studies, Dallow practised as a litigation and insurance lawyer in Auckland, New Zealand.
          Whilst on his OE, the 1987 stock market crash occurred, causing him to change careers, as a future in bankruptcy law was unappealing. Dallow then spent the next six years as a tour director in Europe. He returned to New Zealand in 1993.’

          A litigation lawyer before the ’87 crash.
          These people are not independent.
          Dallow’s mediocrity as a journalist and the fact he does not ask any difficult questions of the powerful has ensured his promotion at TVNZ.

          • Morrissey 5.2.1.1.1

            Dallow is incompetent. He seems always to be under-prepared and is therefore nervous and unsure of himself in interviews. He knows enough, though, to side with power, as demonstrated by his outrageously biased performance in “chairing” the discussion with Charles Finny, Helen Kelly and Professor Steve Hoadley on Q+A this morning.

          • Once was Tim 5.2.1.1.2

            Well he was riding on the coat tails of his former wife after all. Not surprising she saw the light.
            God how a pray to be around when the inevitable clean out occurs. It’ll be a therapist’s dream come true. Maybe I should write a few things down.
            I hope when it comes to pass, the very same methods used to implement the culture of a neo-liberal agenda is used to rid us all of it.
            I can think of several ways to cleanup TVNZ for a start and to return it to a form that serves its public (rather than its consumer).
            We should keep it in perspective though – this sort of shit is even infecting that supposed bastion of the Educate Inform and Entertain triumvirate (the Aunty BBC)

          • tracey 5.2.1.1.3

            His father Ross was a local body politico out West, of the Right persuasion. Got Marier Hasler a plumb position in a Sports Trust (which she was ill equipped to do) after she lost her seat in Parliament. She had to be let go after only a few months ith a severance package. Dallow hoped it would further his career.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Hasler

        • Anne 5.2.1.2

          To be fair Groser and Little were interviewed individually and in the case of Little he was confined to the questions asked of him by Dallow. I thought his responses were strong and left no doubt Labour will take action against aspects of the deal (eg. foreign property speculation) if they become the government. At the same time he intimated Labour has to look at the details – when they finally emerge – but my impression is they are not going to budge on their bottom lines.

          He also made it clear the caucus was totally united on those “bottom lines”, so Hooten’s [excited] claims to the contrary were bullshit. I wonder who the insiders were? Pagani et al?

          • Morrissey 5.2.1.2.1

            Little lost any credibility he might have had when he assented, reluctantly, to the Key regime’s snooping legislation. After assuring reporters how unhappy he was, he then assured reporters that would be the last time Labour would cave in like that.

            He has virtually no respect from the government, and it’s all his own fault.

          • Karen 5.2.1.2.2

            Hooton is a spin doctor whose rabid support for the TPP and personal attacks on opponents to the deal suggests it is in his interest that the deal gets passed whatever is in it.

            Has he seen the full text? I doubt it, but that isn’t important for him. The only interest I have in Hooton is finding out who he is working for. Possibly nobody is paying him at this stage but he is hoping for work in the future. Who knows, but in my opinion the acquisition of money and/or power is the main motivator for the actions of those on the right, and I see no reason to believe any thing they say.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.2.2.1

              …the acquisition of money and/or power is the main motivator for the actions of those on the right, and I see no reason to believe any thing they say.

              QFT

            • tracey 5.2.1.2.2.2

              Hooton has chosen 2 particular parts of the agreement to argue. Someone has given him sufficient assurances that he is not on shakey ground pushing those 2 things. He might not have seen the full text but he has been given a very good (and directed) nod and a wink)

          • The Chairman 5.2.1.2.3

            Anne

            I took it Labour oppose the TPP. But opposing the deal means little as Labour’s support isn’t necessary for the deal to pass.

            And to safeguard their bottom lines, Labour are considering legislating against the ordinances of the TPP.

            However, as Labour are talking about facing the consequences of legislating against the ordinances of the TPP, it indicates they don’t plan to totally withdraw from the deal.

            Therefore, Little’s responses were far from strong (taking the middle ground) or left enough.

            • lprent 5.2.1.2.3.1

              Your argument has a whacking great logical hole in it. Are you saying that Labour should not oppose TPPa supporting legislation that gets introduced between now and 2017.

              You sound like an unthinking dingbat. Labour isn’t on the treasury benches. So that is the Only way that can prospectus agreement.

              • The Chairman

                No.

                I’m highlighting, given the opportunity, ( i.e. if they attain power) Labour are indicating they won’t totally withdraw from the TPP.

                Opposing supporting legislation is a hollow effect because we both know Labour doesn’t have the numbers to prevent supporting legislation passing.

                To save face on their bottom lines, instead of totally withdrawing, Labour are considering legislating against the ordinances of the TPP.

                That’s how Little’s comments on Q&A came across to me.

                • lprent

                  Why would they? The problem isn’t with making trade deals. The problem is with making bad trade deals.

                  The last thing I saw from them (in the Herald today?) was that the TPP appears to have failed on 4 out of 5 of their base points, and that is what they want to fix.

                  Ummm http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11527509

                  But…

                  Asked if that includes pulling out of the TPP, Mr Little said his party would always reserve the right to do so.

                  “In the end you know every government’s duty is to act in the best interests of its people, of its citizens and we will do that, and if it means that we would have to do things that would be in breach of the TPP, because we wouldn’t walk out of it, we would do those things. If we have opportunities to renegotiate things that are less favourable to us, we will.”

                  In other words, if this crap deal doesn’t improve a lot then Labour will withdraw from it.

                  For all of the stupidity of this government in getting involved with this idiotic “trade” deal, they have also sunk a hell of a lot of money into trying to do so – probably well in excess of $100 million since 2009 after the US got involved and converted a free trade agreement to a restraint of trade agreement. It’d be good to recover that.

                  But if that isn’t possible and it continues to look like constraining our trade development, then the damn thing should be dumped.

                  • The Chairman

                    Because the deal is pitiful, that’s why.

                    Moreover, it has breached a number of their bottom lines.

                    Thanks for the link to the Herald’s piece. I can work with that (see below).

                    I was going to highlight Little’s comments in stuff, which, like the Herald’s piece, goes on to further substantiate my points and sentiments above.

                    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/72904296/andrew-little-bigger-gains-for-dairy-in-india-and-indonesia-than-tppa

                    Labour won’t be able to fix all the breaches. And Little clearly didn’t commit to walking away, though he implied they may.

                    As I stated above, to save face on their bottom lines, they are considering legislating against the ordinances of the TPP. Which Little has confirmed.

                    However, as Labour are talking about facing the consequences of legislating against the ordinances of the TPP, it indicates they don’t plan to totally withdraw from the deal.

                    Little helps confirm this by not fully committing to withdrawing from the deal.

                    Additionally, the cat was let out of the bag when Robertson said the Party would weigh up the consequences, implying if the consequences are to severe, Labour will back down.

                    So brace yourself for that excuse coming into play later on down the track.

                    Labour seems to be using one of their common tactics. They make a big song and dance opposing something, but in the end, they support it. Which tends to put voters off voting Labour.

                    Though, in saying that, the stuff article tends to lay some foundation (appeasing exporter concern) for walking away.

          • tracey 5.2.1.2.4

            I wonder what Labour will measure the deal on? The $$$ or the people, or both?

            So far Groser’s Pr campaign has been all about the $$$ (and mostly only the claimed increases, less precise about the $$$ losses).

            • Pat 5.2.1.2.4.1

              how can anyone measure future legal action by organisations that may as yet be unformed?….one of the problems for ANY group seeking to quantify the costs/benefits, even after all the text is released is we have no possible way of quantifying the ISDS provisions….on these provisions alone I would walk away but then, im not seeking election.

    • Stuart Munro 5.3

      Vizzini is obviously his role model. “Inconceivable!”

    • Incognito 5.4

      It is worth posting the complete quote here as it appeared in the NZH:

      ’ “I think that is almost inconceivable, given the safe cards our international lawyers have negotiated, that anyone will take a case against New Zealand in the next X years,” he said.’

      In his opinion Timmy reckons that NZ will be untouchable, legally speaking, and even the US Litigation Army will avoid us like the plague because it will be ‘mission impossible’. The fact that all law needs to be tested in court has escaped Timmy.

      Is that meant to be a Roman “X”?

      • tracey 5.4.1

        what international lawyers? Have their costs been included in the Fact Sheets? (rhetorical cos they have not) – Unless our lawyers have been able to change the intent and meaning of the investor relations clauses in the final text, they can’t guarantee anything.

  6. Paul 6

    More TPP propaganda from the Herald/Pravda.
    This time they give air space to an ex-leader of the ACT Party, a party that gets under 1% of the electoral vote.
    Still, it’s nearly appropriate.
    The Herald does represent the views of the 0.01%.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11527183

    • infused 6.1

      He’s been a writer there for sometime, so not sure where the act party comes in to it.

      Maybe you should start writing Paul? I’m sure you’d have lots to say.

      • Paul 6.1.1

        I would.

      • Paul 6.1.2

        And just like you, he has no actual argument to counter the TPPA.
        Simply a personal attack on Jane Kelsey.
        So typical for the extreme neo-liberal ideologues.
        You have no moral or practical argument, so you resort to personal insults.

        The same was done to Mike Joy, Jon Stephenson, Nicky Hager, Glenn Greenwald……

    • Karen 6.2

      I liked this review of Hide’s latest column:

      Matthew R X Dentith ‏@HORansome 1h1 hour ago
      Rodney Hide’s latest column is so bad that if he submitted it as an essay I’d refuse to mark it unless he & I had a meeting to discuss it

      • Paul 6.2.1

        Here’s another.

        ‘And on rolls the NZH’s relentless pro-TPPA propaganda machine. On today’s menu: a quick and dirty hit job on Jane Kelsey. Slap a “Marxist” label on her and be done with it, won’t you Rodney? Actually arguing the points is too much like hard work, isn’t it? Plus one might end up looking a bit foolish, like your friend Mike. She is a law professor after all, and has actually spent a significant part of her life analysing the subject matter. It’s so much easier just to shoot the messenger. Oh, and nice work on choosing that photo, NZH editors. It goes well with the whole Marxist theme.’

        Almost universal disapproval of his view.

      • savenz 6.2.2

        +1 Karen

    • tracey 6.3

      It’s ok. Wayne Mapp’s theory applies here. If you have NEVER opposed a FTA (and Hide has not) then we can discount his opinion as being so heavily jaundiced as to be lacking any credibility.

  7. Tautoko Mangō Mata 7

    “Columnist Pat Buchanan predicted that the debate on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) would be after the “early primaries” and the deal “is in real trouble” on Friday’s “McLaughlin Group.”

    Buchanan said, “These are trade deals put together by transnational corporations and trade ministries to globalize the world economy, basically to enable these powerful corporations to move their factories and plants out of countries where the wages are high, to countries where the wages are low, so they can bring their products back…free of charge into the United States. In the last month, our trade deficit’s running at 600 billion overall this year, and with China at $400 billion, John. But I will you this, the forces that oppose these transnational trade deals are getting stronger and stronger. Not only [Sen.] Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)16% and Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Party, but Mr. Trump in the Republican Party, this deal is in real trouble, and I predict that they’re going to have to throw the deal — the discussion in the House — or the Congress over past — certainly past the early primaries.”
    http://www.breitbart.com/video/2015/10/10/buchanan-tpp-in-real-trouble-debate-in-congress-will-be-after-early-primaries/

  8. Morrissey 8

    Q+A viewers saw Anat Shenker-Osorio this morning;
    Unlike the NZ Labour Party, she spoke forthrightly about the importance of unions.

    She has also had the courage to speak out against terrorism….

    Netanyahu offends every one of my identities: Israeli, Jew, American, mom of draftable sons, human.

    —-Anat Shenker-Osorio, 3 March 2015

  9. Tautoko Mangō Mata 9

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership’s two solitudes: Burman – Toronto Star
    Comparison of TPP and refugee issues.
    Tony Burman writes:
    “In one case, when corporate and political power works in tandem, borders are a detail to be dispensed with. In the other case, when it’s simply about the powerless, borders are to be strengthened and made impenetrable. It all seems to depend on whose interests you value most.”

    http://ustad.science/the-trans-pacific-partnerships-two-solitudes-burman-toronto-star/

    Ain’t that the truth!

  10. RedBaronCV 10

    I really hope I misread this one. Looks like Key goes to an expensive charity bash and then donates taxpayer funds as his contribution.
    John Key donates taxpayer funds at charity bash?

    Shouldn’t it be handled as foreign aid by MFAT?
    Did he ever consider that given a clear choice many taxpayers may not choose to donate to this particular charity to help in this part of the world?

    This is not a post about whether or not people in this region need help – many will.
    Just the question of is this how the government has released funds for it “crony charity?”

  11. Penny Bright 11

    It would be nice to see Key apologise to Stephenson though, or at least have something to say about the Defence Force slandering a journalist.

    Is Matthew Hooton well?

    He is coming across, in my opinion, somewhat ‘unhinged’ as he desperately attempts to ‘spin’ opponents of the TPPA as being ‘extreme’?

    FYI (hopefully Matthew, you will see this either on Kiwiblog – or here?)
    _______________________________________________________
    A belated reply to Matthew Hooton’s (Kiwiblog) post October 9th, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    Gee Matthew!

    For a purportedly experienced ‘spin doctor’ / Media Commentator – that is a rather, (in my view), apoplectic and intemperate response, to my arguably straightforward questions?

    Sheesh!

    You were more pleasant when you were drinking!

    (If you’re stressed, for whatever reason, try Spirulina, those ‘B’ vitamins can really help).
    _____________________________________________________________

    Dear Penny

    1. Would you like to provide any evidence that any of the statements in these unscholarly press statements is true: http://info.scoop.co.nz/Professor_Jane_Kelsey ?

    2. I don’t give a fuck who Tim Groser or Len Brown meet with. But it would make sense for the trade minister to brief the mayor of Auckland on his work from time to time.

    3. Pay your rates.

    4. Check yourself into a mental hospital.

    Best as always

    Matthew

  12. Rosemary McDonald 12

    In the meantime,

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/world/286663/death-toll-up-to-97-in-turkey

    and

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/turkey/11923935/Turkey-Ankara-bomb-kills-30-at-pro-Kurdish-rally.html

    Peace marchers attacked by terrorists,

    so,

    there’s ANOTHER march organised to protest the attack on the original march.

    Respect for those who refuse to be intimidated.

    • greywarshark 12.1

      Respect for those who refuse to be intimidated.
      Or? Amusement at the simplicity who gather together all the principled and thinking people in one spot so they can be conveniently annihilated.

      He that fights and runs away,
      May turn and fight another day;
      But he that is in battle slain,
      Will never rise to fight again.
      Tacitus
      Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/t/tacitus118925.html#hXAax5WE4GjmAOZ0.99

      Guerilla tactics are perhaps the only ones that will work when society descends from reason.
      guerilla – a member of an irregular armed force that fights a stronger force by sabotage and harassment
      guerrilla, irregular, insurgent
      Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.

      Protest in the streets like this can be futile, and destructive to the cause weakening numbers by decimation, and strengthening the triumphant vicious over-riding group. Repeating protests after attacks, should be the last resort. Better if other measures can be planned and the vicious attacked from behind, and through other ways where they have weaknesses.

      • Rosemary McDonald 12.1.1

        “Better if other measures can be planned and the vicious attacked from behind, and through other ways where they have weaknesses.”

        Isn’t that kinda like playing the terrorists/oppressive state at their own game?

        Lowering to the level of the enemy?

        Looking into the abyss and all that?

        But I do get your point…you might end up with only the rights of a few to defend.

  13. joe90 13

    Power at any cost.

    You see, Planned Parenthood has a political action committee called Planned Parenthood Action Fund (hereinafter, PP Action Fund). In the 2012 elections, of the $5,141,216 the PP Action Fund spent on either supporting candidates who supported reproductive rights or opposing candidates who were antagonistic to such rights, the Return on Investment in these races was a flabbergasting 98.1%.

    […]

    The second reason the Republicans tremble when they see Cecile Richards marching toward them in stilettos prepared to walk all over them is that the PP Action Fund is highly effective at getting out the vote, especially the votes of young women who tend to vote Democratic. They did this in the races of Senator Franken and of Mark Dayton (D), Governor of Minnesota. Without their help, Minnesota could have gone to the darkside and Al Franken would be home writing a sequel about the liars he has personally known in Congress

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/10/10/1430345/-Planned-Parenthood-Why-the-Republicans-Really-Want-to-Axe-it#

    • arkie 13.1

      Thanks for this. It definitely explains the willingness of the GOP to look stupid, while pulling out every trick in the book (including out right fabrication and bare-faced lying), to try to destroy PP.

  14. savenz 14

    Good time to watch ‘the fog of war’ and remember the lessons supposedly learned by Vietnam… Parallels to all the other US run occupations in particular around the middle East.

    Iraq, a problem that only existed in the US and UK imagination, but by which they have made a reality of the problem (with many profiting from it, while millions suffer).

    Robert McNamara’s 11 lessons from Vietnam[edit]
    From Robert McNamara’s 1995 book “In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam”.[7]

    We misjudged then — and we have since — the geopolitical intentions of our adversaries … and we exaggerated the dangers to the United States of their actions.
    We viewed the people and leaders of South Vietnam in terms of our own experience … We totally misjudged the political forces within the country.
    We underestimated the power of nationalism to motivate a people to fight and die for their beliefs and values.
    Our misjudgments of friend and foe, alike, reflected our profound ignorance of the history, culture, and politics of the people in the area, and the personalities and habits of their leaders.
    We failed then — and have since — to recognize the limitations of modern, high-technology military equipment, forces, and doctrine. We failed, as well, to adapt our military tactics to the task of winning the hearts and minds of people from a totally different culture.
    We failed to draw Congress and the American people into a full and frank discussion and debate of the pros and cons of a large-scale military involvement … before we initiated the action.
    After the action got under way, and unanticipated events forced us off our planned course … we did not fully explain what was happening, and why we were doing what we did.
    We did not recognize that neither our people nor our leaders are omniscient. Our judgment of what is in another people’s or country’s best interest should be put to the test of open discussion in international forums. We do not have the God-given right to shape every nation in our image or as we choose.
    We did not hold to the principle that U.S. military action … should be carried out only in conjunction with multinational forces supported fully (and not merely cosmetically) by the international community.
    We failed to recognize that in international affairs, as in other aspects of life, there may be problems for which there are no immediate solutions … At times, we may have to live with an imperfect, untidy world.
    Underlying many of these errors lay our failure to organize the top echelons of the executive branch to deal effectively with the extraordinarily complex range of political and military issues.

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    Bank Robbery: Economists and the Banking System

    The activity of banking is issuing more promises than can ever be kept. Bankers’ ‘promises-to-pay’ circulate as money, and for as long as they circulate, the banking system (taken as a whole) never has to pay out on them. Bankers’ ‘promises-to-pay’ are claims on assets that, for the most part, don’t exist and never will exist.

    The law of 1707 made lending a much more attractive proposition. Normally, when someone lends money, they say goodbye for a time to the money they have lent. But if lenders get a piece of paper acknowledging the debt, and if that piece of paper can be freely bought and sold, then lenders may sacrifice little or nothing by lending: they may even make an immediate gain, as Adam Smith notes below.

    So – people were happier to lend. The government began to borrow spectacular amounts of money, to make war in Europe. This began the age of the national debt: nations borrowing off their rich, at no expense to the rich, who are paid interest (and eventually capital) out of taxes on the productive part of the nation.

    This is why we had to sell out power generation, our telecommunications and pretty much everything else. Our banking system is pretty much designed to shift wealth to the few and thus make the rest of us slaves to those few.

  16. Brendan 16

    It’s amazing, frustrating, and terrifying to note the difference in coverage right now between the Radio New Zealand and the New Zealand Herald regarding the horrible terrorist attack in Turkey. It’s been the lead story all morning on the RNZ website but at the NZH website it falls faster than an anchor. The Herald fills their page up with several rugby stories, something about Susan Wood and Chris Cairns before we get to the Turkish story.

    The reporting is strikingly different too. Radio Zealand calls the victims labour activists whereas the Herald calls the victims hard-line Marxists. Basically, for the Herald the attack doesn’t warrant significant outrage because the victims were left-wing despite the attack being conducted by war-mongering flavour-of-the-month ISIL. Anyone who thinks the Herald is balanced and non-tabloid needs to get their head checked.

    • Paul 16.1

      The day after the TPP was signed these were the main headlines in the corporate media in NZ.

      From The Daily Blog.

      ‘Here is what the NZ Herald and Stuff decided was more important than a corporate coup removing NZs economic and political sovereignty the day after the TPPA was signed.

      Sports gamblers panicking that the All Blacks won’t win the Rugby World Cup.
      A porn renovation TV show might make some more money than they first thought.
      A boat falls off a trailer.
      A bad bus trip.
      The world didn’t end after a religious prophecy
      A radio host wears the same togs as Kylie Jenner.
      An Apartment that got flooded by a fish tank was sold.
      Government spends $600 000 on flowers
      A dog gets put down.’

      http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/10/08/why-the-tppa-is-a-corporate-coup-and-stories-the-nz-mainstream-media-thought-were-more-important/

  17. Paul 17

    More propaganda from the Herald as they publicise the US media’s attempt to shut down Clinton. The corporate media are working overtime to ‘seal the deal’, aren’t they?

    ‘Clinton is wrong on the Trans-Pacific Partnership’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11526439

  18. Tautoko Mangō Mata 18

    Jane Kelsey on Tim Groser who was trying to justify the secrecy of TPP in the interview this morning, Tim said he was “very pleased” tobacco control measures exempted from Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions and “I can almost guarantee you that if we had made that public, we would not have got it”

    “Farce of TPPA secrecy must end, Groser must stop misleading statements” – Kelsey – See more at: http://foreignaffairs.co.nz/2015/10/11/farce-of-tppa-secrecy-must-end-groser-must-stop-misleading-statements-kelsey/#sthash.q0CCAIhJ.dpuf

    The tobacco carve out was one of the few bits of the TPP that WAS publicly discussed way back. In 2013.
    “The United States and 11 countries bordering the Pacific Ocean had been engaged in the latest round of negotiations over a treaty intended to lower tariffs and other barriers to commerce. One of the issues was whether tobacco should be included in such a treaty or “carved out” so that health considerations could take precedence over expanded trade. The issue pits health advocates against the tobacco industry and other commercial interests.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/01/opinion/sunday/the-hazard-of-free-trade-tobacco.html?_r=0

    and in 2014 Reuters
    “U.S. floats cutting tobacco from part of Pacific trade pact -sources”
    “Dropping tobacco from the investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, section of the Trans-Pacific Partnership would prevent tobacco companies taking action against any TPP government under those legal protections, for example over health care measures.”
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/21/usa-trade-tpp-idUSL2N0SG1WO20141021

    Another issue: Tim believes ISDS wouldn’t stop NZ introducing a policy like plain packaging for fizzy drinks; “I believe you probably could as long as you had a good health-based case and you’re ready to defend it”
    Does being ready to defend that mean in an “inconceivable” ISDS tribunal?

    • tracey 18.1

      But lying is what the Right does… seemingly even when the argument for the TPP is so obvious and compelling they still lie…

  19. ScottGN 19

    Toronto’s newspaper The Star has released a poll which has the Liberals under Justin Trudeau within reach of a ‘strong minority’. The Liberals are at 37% versus Harper’s Conservatives on 31%. Mulcair and the NDP are trailing at 23% which is an extraordinary turnaround from their frontrunner position going in to the campaign.
    http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2015/10/10/liberals-within-reach-of-majority-poll.html

  20. North 20

    What alot of shit that canary suited ‘has-been’ gargoyle Hide talks –

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11527183

    For a start, yesterday/today…..the sun shines…..blah blah blah. Who knows what’s in this deal ? Sovereignty’s hardly a thing “gone by lunchtime”.

    Then pulling the ‘Commie Card’ re Jane Kelsey.

    OK…..with as much ground for it I’ll pull the ‘Traitor Card’. Which is the canary suited has-been gargoyle aka Mr Love-Perks-Hypocrite Extraordinaire. And honours for Jane Kelsey.

    • Rodel 20.1

      Don Brash was right about only one thing. Hyde being toxic.Still is.

    • tracey 20.2

      interesting about his sun shines comment. Same was made by one of our regular righties when it was signed…

      The fact that the treaty is not yet in effect doesn’t seem to stop the ideologues chirping away…

    • Srylands 20.3

      I think he was stating the obvious. Her communism means that she opposes markets and globalisation. She has been doing so for 30 years. Her Wikipedia entry which she could edit if she wants reads like a horror story.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 20.3.1

        Too funny: Rodney Hide’s opinions are “obvious” to S Rylands.

        S Rylands thinks that editing ones own Wikipedia entry is a good idea, whether or not it mentions “communism” (Kelsey’s doesn’t at the time of writing).

        No wonder S Rylands reacts with “horror”: conflict of interest much?

  21. Mike the Savage One 21

    There have been accusations and counter accusations about who is siding with which side in the war in Syria. There is sufficient proof that the FSA (Free Syrian Army), supported by the US and some Gulf states have been fighting alongside Al Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda associated group.

    As it is going, I hardly see a problem with that, given that the murderous Assad has been siding with Hezbollah and Iran, who have their own human rights issues.

    We see a situation in Syria, that deserves more scrutiny and effort to get all parties around a table to discuss a hopefully peaceful solution to the civil war, but bombings from the air by either the US or the Russians will hardly assist such a process, it will only fuel the situation and war there.


    that is just the inevitable evidence of organised opposition fighting, maybe the US want to come clean on Al Qaeda!?

    • tracey 21.1

      Who is siding with the innocent civillians? No one. No fucking One

      • Mike the Savage One 21.1.1

        You ask a completely valid question. The sad truth is that the fronts are so hardened and there is such hostility, there will only be some prospect for peace if one of the sides puts the other under so much pressure that they will be prepared to negotiate. I doubt whether it is such a good idea by Putin and the Russians to keep Assad in place, that solves nothing and will only escalate and prolong the war there.

        In the meantime refugees will flow into Europe and elsewhere and can only hope that the situation in Syria will somehow be resolved over future years. Not a great prospect, as also refugees face increased pressures and hostility in the places they have fled to. In Germany there have already been arson attacks on refugee homes, there are protests and the government is cutting benefits for refugees.

        The EU is planning to fast track sending back hundreds of thousands that are presumed to rather be economic refugees.

        The world is not a great place at present, for too many to live in.

        • tracey 21.1.1.1

          ” I doubt whether it is such a good idea by Putin and the Russians to keep Assad in place, that solves nothing and will only escalate and prolong the war there.”

          I share your doubts.

          Sadly, recent history also teaches us that over-throwing the selected undemocratic leader doesn’t solve the problem either. God forbid we look for a completely different solution rather than trying the same old failed ones over and over and over. I say selected because Saudi Arabia gets to be very undemocratic but untouched by Western superiority.

  22. Mike the Savage One 22

    How can peace be achieved with these forces stating so clearly their issues?

    Most are dreaming in NZ about peace long lost.

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