Open Mike 11/12/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 11th, 2016 - 198 comments
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198 comments on “Open Mike 11/12/2016”

  1. saveNZ 1

    Wolfgang Streeck: the German economist calling time on capitalism

    “Professionalised political science tends to underestimate the impact of moral outrage. With its penchant for studied indifference … [it] has nothing but elitist contempt for what it calls “populism”, sharing this with the power elites to which it would like to be close … [But] citizens too can “panic” and react “irrationally”, just like financial investors … even though they have no banknotes as arguments but only words and (who knows?) paving stones.

    Here he is in 2013, foreshadowing the world of LuxLeaks, SwissLeaks and the Panama Papers and their revelations of a one-sided class war – by the 1% against the rest of us:

    Why should the new oligarchs be interested in their countries’ future productive capacities and present democratic stability if, apparently, they can be rich without it, processing back and forth the synthetic money produced for them at no cost by a central bank for which the sky is the limit, at each stage diverting from it hefty fees and unprecedented salaries, bonuses, and profits as long as it is forthcoming – and then leave their country to its remaining devices and withdraw to some privately owned island?”

  2. saveNZ 2

    “He also gives good gossip. A “power breakfast” with financial policymakers and investment bankers is dismissed as “clueless and so stereoptypical. They complained about the stupidity of the masses who didn’t understand the expertise that someone like Alan Greenspan was able to bring to central banking.” This is the same Greenspan who, as head of the US central bank in the bubble years, believed financiers could regulate themselves.

    On this trip he went to a conference on Brexit. “I was shocked by the unanimous sense of guilt.” One former British ambassador “began by saying we have to apologise to our foreign friends for the vote to leave Europe. I said, ‘You ought to be happy to have sent a warning to the European Union.’”

  3. saveNZ 3

    “You look out here,” He gestures out of the windows of the National Gallery, at the domes and columns of Trafalgar Square, “And it’s a second Rome. You walk through the streets at night and you say, ‘My God, yes: this is what an empire looks like’.” This is the land of what Streeck calls the Marktsvolk – literally, the people of the market, the club-class financiers and executives, the asset-owning winners of globalisation.

    But this space – geographic, economic, political – is off-limits to the Staatsvolk: the ones who fly yearly on holiday rather than weekly on business, the downsized, the indebted losers of neoliberalism. “These people are being driven out of London. In French cities it’s the same thing. This both reinforces them as a political power structure, and puts them completely on the defensive. But one thing they do know is that conventional politics has totally written them off.” Social democrats such as the outgoing Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi are guilty, too. “They’re on the side of the winners.”

    International flows of people, money and goods: Streeck accepts the need for all these – “but in some sort of directed, governable way. It has to be, otherwise societies dissolve”.”

  4. saveNZ 4

    final extract..

    “Those views on immigration landed him in another fight this summer, when he wrote an essay attacking Angela Merkel for her open-door policy towards refugees from Syria and elsewhere. It was a “ploy”, he said, to import tens of thousands of cheap workers and thus allow German employers to bring down wages. Colleagues accused him of spinning a “neoliberal conspiracy” theory and of giving cover to Germany’s far right. Streeck’s defence is simple: “It is impossible to protect wages against an unlimited labour supply. Does saying that make me some proto-fascist?””

  5. saveNZ 5

    How it got so far..

    “Over 40 years, neoliberal capitalism has destroyed its opposition. When Margaret Thatcher was asked to give her greatest achievement, she nominated “Tony Blair and New Labour. We forced our opponents to change their minds.” The prime minister who declared “There is no alternative”, then did her damnedest to extirpate any such alternative. “

    • Carolyn_nth 5.1

      I read this article yesterday. indeed, it is an interesting and useful analysis of where we are now. But ultimately, Streeck has no idea of where the left should go now.

      He does, though, use the Gramsci quote that provides the title for Morgan Godfery’s book on the Interregnum:

      The lecture room is packed, students spread across the floor and peering around the wall at Streeck, absent-mindedly playing with a paperclip and quoting Gramsci: “The old is dying and the new cannot be born. [pause] In this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms can appear.” In the lecture’s interval, a variety of students buy his books and hover about for him to sign them. At the end, a student asks: “what should the left do?”

      Streeck’s only suggestion for a way forward is to do actions that scare the establishment: e.g. the occupy movement when it first started:

      “The authorities were scared shitless. I think more such scariness must happen. They must learn that in order to keep people quiet they need extraordinary effort.”

      No mention of ballot boxes; nor of any need for a bigger vision “because the others don’t have a blueprint”.

      • Incognito 5.1.1

        But ultimately, Streeck has no idea of where the left should go now.

        Yes, this is a very pertinent comment but it does seem to imply that the current situation is one-sided and confined. It isn’t!

        It also seems to carry an unspoken hope (or wish?) that (only?) “the left” will be able to find and administer an ‘antidote’. I doubt it!

        I don’t think Streeck sees himself as the radical or revolutionary thinker who will come up with a solution. He said:

        I needed a new framework, away from wishful demonstrations of the possible to a realistic accounting of the real, to get ahead with the most urgent task for the Left, which is sobering up.

        He’s or has become more of a realist than an ideologist, perhaps not surprising given his age and experience, and lives in the present:

        But doesn’t he want something better than a new dark ages for his grandchildren? “If I am honest, now I am thankful for every passing year that is good and peaceful. And I hope for another one. Very short-term, I know, but those are my horizons.”

        Recently, Monbiot argued that “[P]olitics has failed through a lack of competing narratives” and somewhat presumptuously said “[A] few of us have been working on this, and can discern what may be the beginning of a story”. I call this presumptuous because Monbiot IMO is not one of what Streeck calls Staatsvolk but I could be wrong.

        In my mind the question is not where the collective should be led, how, and by whom, but when and how does the collective wake up and become aware of the fact that they need to do it themselves?

        The collective appears to be an amorphous unstructured mass but I think this is because we have been overlooking the links and connections that exist between each and every individual and all the others, i.e. what binds humanity together and to the world we live in.

    • Tory 5.2

      And how many voters, apart from those in this select and small echo chamber, will even know of let alone read the opinions of this left leaning German Socialogist? Bugger all as he dosnt pay the mortgage, put fuel in the car or pay for the groceries on the table.

      Handwringing from the left in the hope someone reads this relentless supply of criticism from left leaning supporters and starts a revolution. Just look to the UK to see the drubbing that the new left Mesiah is getting in local elections and realise all the left can do is talk the talk and nothing more.

      • saveNZ 5.2.1

        Maybe at Streeck’s age, he does not have all the answers but is at least honest about it and not fobbing his audience off and pretending all is well and the public are just stupid at each fucked up business and political summit.

        He also suggests some answers, such as criticism.

        “And we should criticise them.” The press always talks of a lack of business confidence, he says; now is the time for the voters to demonstrate a lack of public confidence.”

        While many are critical of joe public, in my view they are doing exactly that, using their voter patterns to criticise.

        In NZ Voters boycotted Labour last election due to the infighting and ideas of change around increased taxation of the middle class and workers, while Labour appeared to be championing free trade agreements and global workforce migration and the resulting social consequences in housing and wages in particular. To a lesser extent voters sent a message to the Greens too last election. Many could not bring themselves to support anyone.

        Voter’s sent a clear message in Northland to National that they were sick of the puppet politicians, the corruption and deviance and could change their concervative voting patterns to a united alternative.

        They sent another message to righties in the Auckland council elections, by very low voter turnout against the candidates that all seemed to represent the same neoliberal ideals in different packages, ages, genders and political leanings and again in the Mt Roskill they blanked the National candidate and gave more enthusiastic support to Mike Wood with his local campaign. Interestingly more support as a percentage to ex union tied Woods than more well known neoliberal. Phil Goff.

        So in my view voters are sending pretty clear messages to politicians. And I think Labour is responding well under Little with new ideas and will hopefully win the next election. There are also signs of change and reinvention into the 21st century from some of the union leaders like Mike Treen.

        The right has gained by assimilating their leftie rivals and championing the ‘Tony Blair’ characters, but finally there is movement in the left to understand it and look at ways to fight it.

        However just going to a 20 century taxation model is not working due to the amount of tax laws that benefit the super rich and global citizens. New tax laws being proposed last election by Labour, seem to punish the middle disproportionally to the super rich and tax avoiders with multiple passports, extended families and off shore tax havens.

        Seriously, do politicians really think tax avoiders are going to cough up capital gains taxes when they don’t even pay rents or income taxes and can flit to different resident countries to avoid tax bills or just sent in high powered international tax accountants to fight their corner against the puny IRD? Do NZ politicians feel it is fair to expect NZ tax payers work harder and longer to pay taxes to support corporate welfare such as conference centres, welfare to incoming low paid residents such as accommodation supplements, working for families and health so that their employers can save on wages, and is it fair that the super rich individuals with their political donations can buy policy?

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.2

        At least the Left are looking for solutions whereas the RWNJs are just making things worse. They really are out to destroy society for their own aggrandisement.

        • saveNZ

          Yes, the left must reclaim both their identity and a turn around.

          The righties including right politicians are living like day traders, only concerned with their next short term profit, power grabs and perception, and put the risks and long term issues onto others.

          Similar to the way CEO’s are incentivised to squeeze every last short term profit and run businesses into the ground before moving on and a few years out their handiwork of destruction through lost innovation, bankruptcy and deaths and injuries of workers is exposed.

        • Wayne


          At times you really do indulge in absurdity.

          Do you really think Bill English and his colleagues are out to destroy society?

          Just because they don’t follow your prescription does not mean they are Right Wing Nut Jobs. While I don’t think Andrew Little has the best solutions I don’t think of him as an evil socialist (or some such similar epithet applied the the left).

          About as far as I go is “Hard Left” in my descriptors. Actual insults are unnecessary. John Minto for instance would fall into the hard left category but not Little.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Do you really think Bill English and his colleagues are out to destroy society?

            It’s more that they couldn’t care less. They’re all about enriching themselves and that will destroy society – as such actions have done every time in the past. It’s what destroyed Ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt and it’s what’s destroying us now.

            There’s a reason why every single major religion in the world bans usury and capitalism is nothing but usury.

            Just because they don’t follow your prescription does not mean they are Right Wing Nut Jobs.

            People who follow a delusional ideology such as the one that National espouses really can’t be described as anything else.

          • framu

            what did thatcher and reagun have to say about society?

            its pretty clear that the modern right have abandoned conservastism and now persue an ideology that doesnt even care about society.

  6. Carolyn_nth 6

    And so it begins. A stuff article today, on the state of NZ prisons, pits English against Collins:

    Passing muster: The struggle to fix our sick, bloated, ‘stinking’ prisons

    In an interview with Stuff Circuit (before Key’s resignation triggered the leadership race), we put that quote to Collins.

    She stopped and said: “Well, what do you want me to say?”

    “It is a fiscal failure because we have to pay as taxpayers for what other people have done. As to the moral failure quite clearly the prisoners have failed, morally, because otherwise they wouldn’t be there.”

    Challenged that that’s not what English meant, Collins is not keen to engage. “Well, that’s the way I interpret it.”

    During the interview, Collins showed no sign of softening her stance. “If people don’t want to offend, they don’t want to go to jail, that is the best way to keep our jails empty.”

    English, meanwhile, continues to show no desire to lock up more prisoners.

    It was a stand-off between the two people who could have, would have been Prime Minister, over one of the most troubling social conundrums facing the Government.

    • millsy 6.1

      Garth McVicar has effective veto on penal policy, which is why we are in this mess.

    • The Chairman 6.2

      This six-part Stuff documentary series looks really good.

      It will be interesting to see if it delves into the growing prison industrial complex which is trying to establish itself here.

      • saveNZ 6.2.1

        Just invest in the kids of the future so they don’t grow up and need prison!!

        A healthy society does wonders for crime!

        • The Chairman

          That’s what National are planning to do with their investment approach.

          However, I foresee it will be their private sector administers that will largely prosper.

        • greywarshark

          I remember some journo visiting a small town being driven throught it by a cop who asked him if he had noticed the guys giving a wave from a building site. He said that they had been up before the Courts last year until some investment came to town, now they are happily working and earning, too busy for crime.

  7. Many could see that it was true – the lies didn’t hide much and trump’s loose lips let it out anyway – but still a bit mindblowing to see what innocent russia has been up to. Not sure what the people of that wide and fractured USAland will think of it all – probably that the CIA is lying lol

    “The CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the US electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.

    Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to US officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.

    “It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favour one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” said a senior US official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to US senators. “That’s the consensus view.””

    • Carolyn_nth 7.1

      Glenn Greenwald is sceptical. he says to beware of anonymous claims without any supporting leaked documents.

      Anonymous leaks are no substitute for evidence

    • James 7.2

      Does it matter who leaked them and what their agenda was?

    • Bill 7.3

      If it’s a secret assessment… (sheesh)


      What we got in the grande olde US of A today? The CIA finger pointing the FBI as Russian collaborators? I don’t know whether to howl with laughter or pause to reflect on previous ‘Red Scares’.

      • marty mars 7.3.1

        Secret means confidential.

        Anonymous means no named source

        • Bill

          Jeez Marty. “Confidential” in terms of reporting just means that you get to report what you want to report. No checking or verifying. And “anonymous” just sets another layer of impenetrability before any curious or inquisitive mind.

          Put another way. An honest way to report this kind of shit is to say that someone said something but there’s no way to know if what they are saying is true or not, and no way for you (the reader) to find out if what we (the media outlet) are saying they said is accurate.

          But then, that wouldn’t have the awesome “gravitas” and “edge” some afford the terms ‘confidential’ and ‘anonymous’, would it?

    • Xanthe 7.4

      There is nothing but inuendo at the link you posted marty. Its for people who have already decided what they want to believe, not information_

    • Anne 7.5

      marty mars @ 7

      Clinton never had a chance.

      On the one hand she had the Russian government only “one step” away from a group of Russian citizens who were hacking into Clinton and other Democratic Party emails.
      Of course Putin and co. knew about it and of course they approved.

      On the other hand she had a FBI boss bowing to pressure (from somewhere) famously reopening an investigation into Clinton (an investigation which had already found no wrong doing on her part) using the self same material that had found her not guilty in the first place. And he chooses to publicise the fact two weeks before election day.

      When it comes to Russian and American politics its pots and kettles and a lot of black…

    • Draco T Bastard 7.6

      Giovanni Tiso tweet:

      The Russians have interfered with your election, CIA? I feel so bad for you, knowing how much you hate interfering in foreign elections.

      Perhaps the CIA shouldn’t have been going round interfering in other countries elections and overthrowing governments if they didn’t want the same to happen to them.

      You can only expect honourable treatment if you act honourably – and the USA doesn’t.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 7.6.1

        Bollocks. You can expect fascists to behave like fascists no matter how much you appease them. Whether the US is in a position to go pointing the bone is another matter.

        • Draco T Bastard

          You can expect fascists to behave like fascists no matter how much you appease them.

          Who said anything about appeasing fascists?

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            “You can only expect honourable treatment if you act honourably “.

            Whereas what we have here is the deliberate, calculated erosion of human rights and the rule of law. By Republicans, with some other murderous kleptocrats cheering them on. And the National Party as fast followers.

            Treat them honourably by all means. After they’ve been routed with huge losses.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Don’t see how that can be construed as appeasing the fascists in any way, shape or form.

              Fascists don’t act honourably and so shouldn’t expect to be treated honourably.

              The US is well known for interfering in the political systems of other nations and so they shouldn’t be surprised or offended when it happens to them. They’re the ones that normalised the action.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Nope: invasion, conquest, war: the USA did not invent nor normalise them. “Interfering” is what competing interests always do to one another.

                cf: Sun Tzu.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  One of the things that we’ve been working towards for the last few decades is to stop that interference. It’s actually the main purpose of the UN and is enshrined in it’s Charter in the form of guaranteed self-determination and borders.

                  The US has normalised those actions against the backdrop of international law that is supposed to stop those actions. International law that the US has agreed to.

                  You seem to be arguing that those actions are fine because they’ve always happened.

                  • UncookedSelachimorpha

                    You have a good point – that what comes around goes around. e.g. the utterly immoral removal of President Arbenz in Guatemala by the CIA etc

    • saveNZ 7.7

      Citizens have more to fear by rendition from their own western government’s surveillance state or political interference of the MSM, that the cold war reinvented – reds under the beds.

  8. Paul 8

    There’s one key difference between the Second World War and the Syrian conflict – the rebels of Aleppo are no heroes

    • Bill 8.1

      Robert Fisk’s shift away from the official narrative has been interesting to observe. The first piece that exhibited a shift that I was aware of revolved around interviews he did with people who had managed to get out of east Aleppo. At that point he was still suspicious and ring-fenced his article with qualifiers. Seems he’s gotten over that suspicion now.

      The other person who’s shifted away from the official narrative is Patrick Cockburn, also writing in the Independent.

      Finally, I can’t help but notice Mosul has dropped off the front pages. I’m guessing that even the most loyal stenographer, or their spoon feeders, just couldn’t help but acknowledge that it wasn’t feasible to run ‘Aleppo bad’ and ‘Mosul good’ stories when the only difference between the two was the make up of the forces poised to retake the respective cities.

      So now, I guess in an attempt to regain control of the narrative and colour our perceptions ‘appropriately’, all we get is ‘Aleppo bad’ and a roaring silence on Mosul.

    • There’s one key difference between the Second World War and the Syrian conflict – the rebels of Aleppo are no heroes

      Ordinarily I like Fisk’s work, but this is sentimental gibberish.

      1. Mythologising WW2 as a fight of “heroes” against evildoers is not just stupid on its own merits, it encourages a propaganda approach to current conflict by comparing it against an invented battle of good vs evil. Many of the resistance fighters in France, Poland and Yugoslavia were communists fighting to impose on Europe a totalitarianism as bad as or worse than fascism, but that didn’t make the Nazis the good guys – a little less good guys/bad guys mythologising would serve Fisk better in writing about this conflict.

      2. More to the point, it doesn’t make a scrap of difference whether the rebels are “heroes” or not. The outrage here is over Assad and his Russian patron targeting civilian neighbourhoods and hospitals for aerial bombardment – that remains a war crime regardless of which faction of Syrian rebels believes what.

      • swordfish 8.2.1

        “Many of the resistance fighters in France, Poland and Yugoslavia were communists fighting to impose on Europe a totalitarianism as bad as or worse than fascism”

        What makes you think a pampered little middle-class Blairite ponce like yourself has evenly remotely earned the right to criticise the wartime Resistance ?

        • Psycho Milt

          Er, the same thing that gives everyone else here the right to criticise people they haven’t met – I’m alive and capable of using a keyboard. The fact that you mythologise something doesn’t impose a requirement on others to do it.

  9. Sanctuary 9

    A bit of early morning wake up today meant I had to listen to Wallace Chapman interview Bill Ralston, Jane Clifton and Richard Harman talk about Key’s resignation. Ralston and Clifton are both way past their use by dates, FFS they have been around for thirty years and were out of touch a decade ago.

    Bill Ralston persists on making grand claims on what Auckland thinks, when the pricks lives on Franklin road in Ponsonby and only hob nobs with other aging well off white males and the assorted detritus that hangs around them. Still, the Spinoff thinks he is the shizz so I guess he still has a constituency amongst the economically precarious Peter Pan hipsters who want a secure seat on the white middle class gravy train. SENTENCE: Ten years commuting via PT to a job doing midnight to dawn on a Hindi community radio station.

    And Jane Clifton… Her record of being excessively *ahem* close to politicians is well known, she carries on like parliament is a big jolly boarding school and it is all a good clean jape for the kids on the inside. SENTENCE: Forced to rent in Wainuiomata on a benefit.

  10. John up North 10

    Another “and so it begins”

    The fawning media gaze turns to our 1st “Maori” female deputy of the Nat party, very significant that!

    “Paula Bennett not only has a big laugh and raucous personality, but a back story to rival John Key’s.”

    Read it and weep, one can only guess that with all the practice of printing reams of BS touted as “news” our endearing media talking heads have it down pat as how to present a pigs ear and have us pay for a silk purse.

    First off the rank the loverly Jane Patterson, WARNING the article may cause uncontrollable feelings of nausea, explainable rage, spiking of blood pressure or a tourettes like episode towards the computer screen ( I suffered all 4) —> have a spew bag close to hand.

    • BM 10.1

      Media love people who are characters and have good back stories.
      Gives them something to write about.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.1

        You mean it allows them to ignore all the corruption that’s right in front of them.

        • BM

          No, it gives them stuff to write about that people will actually read.

          Human interest, Bennett has it coming out the wazoo, in contrast, apart from Arden, Labour has none.

          • Draco T Bastard

            I prefer making my decisions on facts rather than hyped up BS. And the only thing that Bennett has that should be in the news is that she’s just as likely to lie, steal and cheat as John Key and the rest of National.

            • BM

              I don’t think you’re really the target audience.

              • Draco T Bastard

                According to you the target audience is those that prefer lies and deceit from their leaders and the MSM rather than the truth.

          • Whateva next?

            Show ponies you mean?

          • Foreign waka

            Mrs Bennett, with her background story ought to know better then to trample on other peoples misery as she has done many times by selling state housing, reducing benefits for the most needy and playing an active part of NZ stats of disgrace – more than 30000 people without home, increase in poverty that attracts even mentioning in the UN. Her character flaw in that respect is in any light reprehensible to say the least.
            Coming out the “whazoo” indeed, highlighting with this word a missing of an expression that would describe such person in today’s political landscape. As we see of late, there are many of them worldwide.

      • Sabine 10.1.2

        that is true.

        where would Paula Bennett be today if she did not have unprotected sex as a teenager and having a child getting her on the domestic purpose benefit in the first place. I mean would she be where she is today if she would not have spend her formative years on the Dole? Or are you saying that it was not her fault?

        So if anything Paula Bennett is the poster child or role model for women who get themselves pregnant to go on a benefit – remember all those women who needed their benefits cut and now need to get jobs!!! Jobs!! . A welfare scrounger. Which fits well in the National Party, cause clearly there is not one MP in the National Party who does not like a tax payer funded hand out.

        So what was that thing again about the women getting pregnant having children they can’t afford and personal responsibility? Oh, it does not apply to Paula Bennett you say? i see.

        • The Chairman

          Old Paula (pull up the ladder) Bennett.

        • alwyn

          Would you have said exactly the same thing if you had replaced the name “Paula Bennett” by the name “Metiria Turei”?
          Or is that “different”.

          • Once was and others etc

            just that one chose to disavow their past (EXCEPT where there was a media advantage in trotting it out)
            whereas the other didn’t make a big deal of it and instead has tried to battle the consequences of that predicament.

            Sometimes you’re a bit slow eh Alwyn.
            Btw – who’s next on the roster?

            • alwyn

              So you are allowed to speak for Sabine are you?
              And how do you know what she would say in such detail?

          • framu

            “Or is that “different”.”

            considering that Turei didnt work to cut the same means of bettering herself, and in fact openly admits that the TIA played a huge part in her becoming a lawyer – then “yes, obviously”

            bit of a lame attempt alwynn

    • saveNZ 10.2

      I could not be bothered to click the link, but laughed just looking – sharp politician beneath the bogan persona. vomit vomit.

      Crosby’s really got their work cut out for them transforming that turnip into something non vegetive.

      • John up North 10.2.1

        You were warned to have a spew bag at hand!!

        Creative writing at it’s best…………….. for all the wrong reasons!

  11. Rosemary McDonald 11

    Heather du Plessis-Allan, in a rather stilted and sound bitey opinion piece in the Herald this morning give Andrew Little clear instructions on what to do to increase the chances of a Labour/Green win in the next election.

    “FYI Andrew, the centre is the voters you need to make your dream come true.

    They’re the voters who aren’t hardcore Labour supporters.

    They’re the people who change their minds from election to election, based on what you guys offer and the plans you have.

    They’re the baby boomers who own homes and the millennials trying to buy their first homes.

    They’re the workers stuck in traffic daily and the parents wondering how much they can afford to spend on holidays for their kids this summer.

    They want you to help the country, by helping them first.

    If you haven’t figured that out, then Key isn’t Labour’s biggest problem. You are.”

    Heather, sweetie, only a blind and deaf sociopath would ignore the New Zealanders who:

    – do not vote because no party has ever really addressed their issues and concerns.
    – don’t own homes, and can never hope to own a home of their own.
    – they earn the minimum wage, work 50-60 hours per week in a job that can disappear tomorrow.
    – they are paying rent on hovels that are making their children sick.
    – they are sleeping in cars, garages, a relative’s lounge(if they’re lucky).
    – they can’t afford medical insurance so have interminable waits to get treatment through a starved public health system. By the time they get to be treated…it’s often too late.
    – these are the parents who are wondering how they are going to pay for the kids’ school uniforms, stationery and fees…never mind a bloody holiday.
    – etc
    – etc
    – etc
    – etc
    – etc

    Heather, clearly you don’t actually read the news…watch telly, listen to the radio.
    Or open your eyes and see past your own little world.

    Appealing to the self interest of the “middle” has been the tactic of every party in every election campaign over the past 20 years…..

    It is way past time for a change.

    • Sanctuary 11.1

      Pffft, what would Heather du Plessis-Allan know? She can’t even keep her own job.

      • alwyn 11.1.1

        ” what would Heather du Plessis-Allan know? She can’t even keep her own job”.

        That appears to be an unusual method of determining ignorance.
        By that standard I suppose we would have to say that Clark, Goff, Shearer and Cunliffe were all pretty stupid, wouldn’t we?
        After all they all couldn’t keep their jobs and therefore don’t know anything.

        • In Vino

          Unlike all the people you quote, Heater du Plastic Allen has managed to consistently quack out cacklemush, whereas the others (Shearer excepted) could argue cogently and coherently. “Shallow as a Puddle” really suits Heater du Plastic.

          • alwyn

            Your reason is, of course an entirely arguable one. It wasn’t even mentioned by Sanctuary though was it?
            It is a shame that the only reason for complaining about her that Sanctuary used was the simple fact that she had lost her job. If that is a reason to call her a fool it is equally valid, by his (her) reasoning to apply the same criteria to the others.

            • In Vino

              Well, I think he meant that vaguely, and you started nit-picking. A favourite occupation of certain types.

              • alwyn

                Yes, nitpicking is a favourite occupation of many blog commenters, such as yourself. Totally forgiven of course if they are on your side of the fence.
                Blip was an authority on the matter. The things he tried to define as John Key’s “lies” were almost beyond belief. I imagine he would have claimed John Key was lying if he had issued a press statement that spelt Paula’s name as Bennet because it really had a second “t” in the name.

          • North

            My thanks for “cacklemush” In Vino.

            Will your wordsmith authorise ‘cacklemash’, ‘cacklewhine’, ‘cacklesmirk’, ‘cacklegroan’, ‘cacklefatuous’, ‘cacklefacile’, ‘cacklestoopid’, ‘cacklewhakama’, ‘cacklefalsequivalence’, and ‘cackleselfimportance’ ?

            I accept that the consent of Mastercacklehenry may be necessary.

            • In Vino

              I actually stole the word from a good English teacher I had back in 1962. He used the word to describe the Readers’ Digest. So I don’t really have copyright…

    • Pat 11.2

      the question is are they listening and will they trust?…..would you bet your future on such a strategy only to find that the same non voting trend continues and leaves you high and dry?

      remember the “missing million campaign” of a previous election was hardly a roaring success and i suspect the disengagement has only become more entrenched…..a rock and a hard place.

      • Draco T Bastard 11.2.1

        remember the “missing million campaign” of a previous election was hardly a roaring success and i suspect the disengagement has only become more entrenched…..a rock and a hard place.

        That happens when the political party who tries for the missing million still fail to address any of their concerns but who still give the corporations exactly what they want.

        • Pat

          as has been noted here already there were plenty of alternatives that were further left of Labour that weren’t taken……while much of that non voting group may directly benefit from a left focused policy agenda it would appear it is not enough for the effort of voting.

          • Draco T Bastard

            as has been noted here already there were plenty of alternatives that were further left of Labour that weren’t taken…

            There were, yes but, as has been pointed out, it can take decades for new parties to get into parliament. Many of those missing million would never have even heard of some of the political parties out there. And that is what happens when political parties aren’t funded to the same level.

            • Pat

              so its all about funding?

              • Draco T Bastard

                If they can’t tell people about themselves, which requires money, then how are people to know?

                • Pat

                  so Internet mana, the greens and the maori party were unknown about?

                  • The Chairman

                    Smaller parties struggle to muster support as its largely perceived they have little chance of winning, thus be able to attain enough power to implement the political changes required.

                    Therefore, they present little hope, hence little incentive for non-voters to race out and vote for them.

                  • The Chairman


                    We may have had MMP for years but smaller parties remain smaller parties with little influence (if they still exist at all).

                    Since MMP, no smaller party has ever won an election.

                  • The Chairman

                    A small amount of influence is not enough to ensure change, thus entice major support.

                    Smaller parties struggle to muster support from those that do vote let alone from those that don’t.

                    • Pat

                      so first there are no left alternatives….then they are unknown about….then they too small……and finally they don’t have enough influence even when in parliament …….and none of this removes the ability of people to vote for them.

                      Sounds like a weak series of justifications to me.

                  • The Chairman

                    No left alternatives and them being unknown was never my argument. Albeit, there are a number that get little to no recognition.

                    Being small, thus holding little political influence resulting in little potential for change was and is my argument.

                    You may find it a weak justification, but the reasoning is totally logical.

                    • Pat

                      if that is the line of reasoning employed by the almost 25% that fail to vote then I would suggest any strategy that relies on appealing to that cohort (as advocated by some) would not be the wisest course.

                  • The Chairman

                    It would be unwise to overlook non-voters, one doesn’t want their numbers to grow.

                    As for a political strategy, I agree it wouldn’t be wise to solely appeal to them, but that doesn’t mean not appealing to them at all.

                    Delivered well, sound policy with far reaching benefits can resonate and appeal to many.

      • The Chairman 11.2.2

        The reason the “missing million campaign” wasn’t a roaring success was Labour did little to entice them.

        With Little now scoffing at the notion of taking the Party further left, it’s a clear indication Labour have largely written these non-voters off.

        Labour have opted for combining the Green-Labour vote.

        • Wayne

          The last election had a bigger percentage turnout out than 2011. Except the “missing” voters voted National.

          • The Chairman

            That increase in voter turnout was marginal (just 3.7%). Over 22% of registered voters still failed to vote that year.

            Overall, from 1984 voter turnout has largely (apart from 3 marginal exceptions) trended downwards.

            • alwyn

              “marginal (just 3.7%).”.
              I suppose we can say therefore that Labour’s party vote in 2014 was equal to National’s in 2002 in the paucity. After all the difference was really only “marginal”.

          • Matthew Whitehead

            Remember, 2014 was the first rollout of universalised advance voting. It would have been incredibly surprising for it not to have had increased turnout, as likely a lot of people who normally intend to vote but don’t make it to the polls on election day will have instead voted early.

            It’s still very likely that there are voters out there waiting to be persauded into the polls. (not necessarily all by the left, but I expect there’s a significant fraction who wants a more authentically Left movement)

            It’s also a really poor example of what a more left-leaning Labour could do as it wasn’t a more left-leaning Labour. It was a left-leaning leader and a bunch of people holding daggers behind his back, refusing to campaign for the Party Vote.

          • Draco T Bastard

            That was a decreased majority for National – not an increased one.

        • Ed

          When did Little scoff at the notion of taking the Party further left?

          If you are referring to his reaction to Nick Leggett – that was hilarity at the notion that Labour had been taken _too_far_ left – which is really hilarious coming from a defector wanting the party to copy National!

          • The Chairman

            Some of us would like to see Labour return to the left. While Little laughing at the suggestion may have appeased the media, it disappointed a number of those that were holding out hope.

            Ponder this:

            Before he defected to National but after he opposed Lester, Little invited Leggett back into the Labour fold, stating Leggett had a large future.

            And to think, Leggett was even being touted as a potential Labour leader at one stage.

            Could this have been the large future Little was alluding too?

            Little was far more accommodating to Leggett (who Little called a right-winger, yet still invited him back) than he has ever been to Hone, which should give you an indication of where Little stands.

            • saveNZ

              I think Little is clearly leading the Labour party left, alliance with the Greens, being against the TPPA, cleansing the righties in the Labour party (Goff, Leggett, Shearer), uniting the party, having new ideas with the ‘future of work’ etc etc.

              What is the point of him moving Labour so far left that he loses votes and just fights for votes with the Greens or Mana and reduces all their share of votes and lets the Natz get back in because the left don’t collectively achieve enough votes as they are competing instead?

              Agree what happened last election with Internet Mana was terrible and stupid, but Little was not in charge then!

              Little is a dark horse that has the ability to transform the Labour party without scaring the centrist voters and actually get them in power again.

              If you don’t agree with Labour, vote Greens or Mana. There is no point posting against Labour as they already have been undermined by the MSM for the last 5+ years and having their supporters also put the boot in, is actually helping the Natz the most.

              • The Chairman

                A number still distrust Little/Labour.

                Although I do respect him standing his ground (and turning Labour’s position around) on raising the age of eligibility.

                I concur a number of the right within are leaving, which does give Little more scope to reshape the party and its direction.

                Another promising hope for change within Labour is Laila has been reported as coming back.

                One benefit of Labour moving more left is it will improve and strengthen their ability to work together with Mana and the Greens. Showing voters they can work collectively, which to date has been somewhat of a stumbling-block

                In regards to working with Mana, while Little was not in charge back then, he’s done little to repair the fallout. Resulting in turning a potential ally into a foe.

                I’m not trying to undermine Labour. I’m providing them with feedback hoping it’s taken on-board and results in positive change.

            • Ed

              Labour is a broad party, with members holding a number of different views; it is quite possible to have some views that are shared by National and still prefer Labour – after all Labour has supported some government bills over the last few years. National is similarly tolerant of people with different views, provided they do not ever disagree with the leader – and a large dose of self-interest is a defining characteristic of any National MP. Labour is better without Leggett.

    • JanM 11.3

      Well said.

    • North 11.4

      “Heather, clearly you don’t actually read the news…watch telly, listen to the radio.
      Or open your eyes and see past your own little world.”

      Be fair Sanctuary. Plastic-Allen IS the news. She IS the fucking news and world famous in her own bubble. Like most of the fellow hacks she’s a carbon copy of. Distinguishable only on account of the smug cocktail party grimace. A protective reflex to conceal the awesome vacuity within.

    • Sabine 11.5

      the non voters that i have met and that i know personally are

      mid 40 +
      self employed
      owner of a property
      father of children

      and no government has ever done anything for them so they can’t be bothered (this too i was told, despite me literally begging them to not vote for ‘their own good’ but the long term good of their kids”

      Maybe we really don’t just want to pretend that it is the poor that don’t vote, cause i met quite a few single parents, unemployed, under employed that voted last time around. They voted for Mana, Greens, Labour, NZ First, Ban 1080, Legalise Aotearoa and so on.

      Granted, these are only my private observations, but i don’t think we should continue the myth that people only don’t vote because they are poor or other wise disenfranchised.

      Was there ever a comprehensive study last time around as to whom did not vote? As a break down by gender, race, location etc? It sure would be interesting.

      • BM 11.5.1

        A non-vote can be a tick for the status quo or just complete disinterest.

        • Sabine

          so you are saying that the white, middle aged, home owning males that tell me “no government done anything for me evers’ are just complete disinterested and their children can get fucked over by any government?

          oh good, thanks for clarifying that. 🙂

          • BM

            Or just stupidity.

            Anyone who votes purely on what the government will give them shouldn’t vote, all that does is encourage behaviour from politicians which is detrimental to the well-being of the country.

            • Matthew Whitehead

              You mean like basically anything the National Party does ever?

              • BM

                Working for families, interest-free loans, both albatrosses around the neck of NZ.

                Clark’s legacy, wow what a PM.

                • I love that you think interest-free student loans are a bad thing.

                  Even from a purely economic standpoint, let’s look at a good example of someone who has taken more radical action on student fees- say, Germany, the economic powerhouse of Europe. Surely they have US-style private loan infrastructure with punitive measures preventing loan defaults to be performing well? No?

                  In fact recently the last of their states joined the consensus on tertiary education, and now they don’t even charge tuition at all, nation-wide, for undergraduate study, even for international students, because Germany wants to attract and retain talented young people. You only need to worry about financing to get a doctorate or masters.

                  I actually agree a little that WFF is bad, but mostly because I see it as a wage subsidy and thus effectively a way to subsidise employers’ costs, who should be paying post-WFF-level wages anyway, and shouldn’t have needed Clark to top things up.

                  If you want to talk giveaways, however, National has done much more to subsidise their rich mates, from gutting the ETS to tax cuts aimed at the wealthy just to name the big-ticket items, you just probably don’t object to those because your worldview says that they deserve government giveaways that they don’t need and that don’t help society in any significant way, whereas nobody else does, even if it’s better for all of us in the long run.

                • dv

                  Don’t forget SCF BM

                  • BM

                    I actually agree a little that WFF is bad, but mostly because I see it as a wage subsidy and thus effectively a way to subsidise employers’ costs, who should be paying post-WFF-level wages anyway, and shouldn’t have needed Clark to top things up.

                    It was a bribe pitched at a group that would be mainly labour voters.

                    to tax cuts aimed at the wealthy

                    The tax cuts that Key gave were a bit of recognition to the people who paid the rump of the money that went toward all of Clark’s social engineering and handouts, nine years of nothing but pay pay pay, people were pissed off.

                    Big reason why Key got the nod and Clark got kicked to the kerb, hopefully, the next left wing government learns from her mistakes.

                • Foreign waka

                  If wages paid would be a fair reflection of the share of the economy that all participating people create and wage earners are able to cover living costs and development of talents, hobbies, sports etc , these top ups would not be necessary. In fact it could be argued that because of it, the wages are suppressed. It would be interesting to know whether any political party has a plan that provides for fair deal that encourages participation not just in the workforce but the community too. The latter not as a beggar if possible.
                  In the way developments are going things will become a lot tighter and there are interesting times ahead as robotics will take hold replacing many manned jobs. Is anybody out there getting off the wagon of laissez-faire and put their thinking hat on?

                  • Molly

                    +100. Future of Work, or the equivalent from any party needs to take those points into account.

                    We also tend to reward destructive jobs with higher remuneration, and often pay those who contribute the most to the wider society the least. (And some we refuse to pay for their contribution, despite court rulings)

                    A bit dated now, but worth a look for those who haven’t read it is the New Economics foundation report (2009): A Bit Rich

                    High-earning investment bankers in the City of London are among the best remunerated people in the economy. But the earnings they command and the profits they make come at a huge cost because of the damaging social effects of the City of London’s financial activities. We found that rather than being ‘wealth creators’, these City bankers are being handsomely rewarded for bringing the global financial system to the brink of collapse. While collecting salaries of between £500,000 and £10 million, leading City bankers to destroy £7 of social value for every pound in value they generate.”

                    Hospital cleaners play a vital role in the workings of our healthcare facilities. Not only do they clean hospitals and help maintain standards of hygiene to protect against infection but they also contribute towards wider health outcomes. The importance of these cleaners is often underestimated and undervalued in the way they are paid and treated. We estimated, however, that for every £1 they are paid, over £10 in social value is generated.

                    “…This report is not about targeting any individuals in the highly paid jobs it scrutinises. Neither is it simply suggesting that people in low paid jobs should be paid more. The point we are making is a more complex one – that there should be a relationship between what we are paid and the value our work generates for society.”

                    This idea of providing value is one that would come into its own with a UBI. Those tasks that create a better society, and that have been performed by dwindling groups of volunteers, actively discouraged by policy, and become even more necessary as communities have been broken up by the pressures of high costs, housing insecurity and failing support systems are more likely to be picked up and used to stitch back the pieces.

                • b waghorn

                  if they are so bad why did the super popular fiscal giant key come up with a better fix bm

                • Rosemary McDonald

                  Hey BM….what about ditching that other expensive little welfare handout….the Accommodation Supplement?

                  Latest official figure I can find for the spend on this Property Speculators handout is from 2008…when landlords pricing rents at way above ‘market’ value received $875million from the taxpayer to help fund their mortgage repayments.


                  The CPAG has ‘Housing Subsidies’ attracting $1.8 billion in the 2015 budget.


                  Surely the rental market should be able to survive without being subsidised by the government…when the rent is too high for most people to afford…then reduce the rent.

      • Rosemary McDonald 11.5.2

        “Was there ever a comprehensive study last time around as to whom did not vote? As a break down by gender, race, location etc? It sure would be interesting.”

        Here….ask and ye shall receive…

        “About a third (32%) said they put a lot of thought into the decision about whether or not to vote, a third (31%) some thought, ”

        Just what I thought….

        • garibaldi

          The wiifm is a huge factor at election time, as we all know, and will be again next year. Hence the sniff of a tax cut and the mantra of “Labour will increase taxes”. Actually I wonder if this wiifm is as big a factor as ‘middle NZ’.

          • Rosemary McDonald

            “The wiifm is a huge factor at election time, as we all know, and will be again next year. ”

            You think?

            I personally think that so many have been negatively impacted by the actions of this current mob that votes for them will decline.

            Votes for the left will rise…only if the Left is truly left.

            Those who stubbornly insist on the wiifm factor guiding their election choices should perhaps consider the ever increasing numbers of New Zealanders who have been marginalised and disenfranchised by successive governments.

            There will come a tipping point, where those with nothing to lose will take action and at least attempt to overthrow the oppressors.

            The wiifm mob might need to factor that into their decision making process.

            • Wayne

              Well Mana/Internet (surely the Left) certainly did not mobilise them, and not for want of money or effort.

              So Rosemary, how left would a party/political activist have to be to mobilise them?

              But in any event, wouldn’t a populist of whatever stripe be more likely to mobilise the non voters?

              Trump seemed to mobilise at least part of the working class who hitherto had good industrial jobs in the American mid west. These folks (and their NZ equivalent) will never be swayed by elitist metro socialists. They want someone more connected to them if not by experience, at least by understanding (and without a hint of sneering).

              • You’re analysing what’s going on with left-wing voters from a right-wing perspective, Wayne, which is likely causing you to miss some obvious answers.

                There is a big motivation gap between left-wing and right-wing voters. The demographics that drive right-wing points of view are also many of the same ones that drive voter participation, (such as wealth and age) so all you really need is a party to exist espousing a certain point of view for Right-wingers to fairly consider it. There’s also not as large a credibility gap, as most politicians espousing right-wing ideas will make a concerted effort to implement them. This actually makes things siginificantly easier for the ACTs of the world in comparison to the Mana Parties of the world. You’ll note that even with allegations that the Internet Party merger made them sellouts and untrustworthy, IMP still did better than ACT in the Party Vote, which would suggest that there’s some truth to the idea that there are untapped leftwing spaces in New Zealand politics, it just hasn’t been done correctly yet.

                As to whether any type of populist does better with non-voters, sure, because populists, even right-wing ones, typically speak the language of left-wing economics, or provide semi-plausible right-wing standins like “the immigrants are taking your jobs.” Trump was excellent at speaking the language of left-wing populist frustration, and is making absolutely no moves to deliver on it, with even his infrastructure package full of corporate giveaways. I fully expect his coalition to have collapsed by 2020 because of the very fact of his entry into government.

                You couldn’t run a Trump-style campaign in New Zealand, though. A lot of the things that worked in his favour would be unsaleable to our electorate, the closest you’re likely to get to that is actually John Key.

              • UncookedSelachimorpha

                The Internet party was left? I didn’t realise that.

              • framu

                “Trump seemed to mobilise at least part of the working class … They want someone more connected to them if not by experience, at least by understanding (and without a hint of sneering).”

                so they voted for a billionaire with a track record of employment disputes?

                All youve done is highlight that people can and do make bad choices – and that powerful people will try an leverage that to their own gain

        • The Chairman

          It’s interesting to note, there seems to be some correlation between the increase in the growing number of non-voters and Labour moving right and to the centre

          • Rosemary McDonald

            Yes. There was a death in the whanau.

            Hope died.

            Without Hope, what’s the point?

            Voting for the best of a bad bunch merely tells who you’re voting for that they are maybe not quite as bad as the other mob.

            Consciously, and with conscience choosing NOT to vote because none offer any real hope is sending a message.

            Do better.

            Be different.

            • The Chairman

              The result of the two main parties moving to neo-liberalism.

              It would send a stronger and more formal message if we allowed the none of the above option.

              • Ed

                Which parties are you talking about? National, United Future, ACT and the Maori Party?

                They are all effectively moving towards neo-liberalism as part of a coalition agreement they are not yet prepared to break.

                Do you have any evidence that any other party is moving to neo-liberalism?

                • The Chairman

                  The two main parties – i.e Labour and National

                  But I agree, a number of smaller ones have also made the move.

                  • Ed

                    Historically Labour did adopt some extreme policies many years ago, and lost office as a result – they have moved sharply away from the sort of neo-liberal policies espoused by National – and part of National not having yet suffered defeat is because they have gone much more slowly in that direction than many of their supporters would like, and have skilfully dressed up many policies to hide the extremism from the electorate. The reality however cannot be hidden forever, and as a good con-man Key knew that it was time to walk away before it caught up with him – he leaves Bill English to carry the can – if he is able to.

                    I asked if you had any evidence for your assertion – I accept that National have never left support for neo-liberalism, but do you have any evidence relating to Labour?

                    • The Chairman

                      Labour has largely failed to overturn (and are currently not offering to overturn) past neo-liberal changes made.

            • Whateva next?

              As long as you accept the consequences of not voting and no-one has to ” earn our votes”, we are given them freely to use.

    • saveNZ 11.6

      Again could not be bothered to click the link, but clearly Granny is so worried about Andrew Little’s chances, they have to get one of the least respected unemployed TV presenters to undermine him by giving their 2 cents worth.

      Don’t click the links on Granny Herald’s spiteful campaign against Andrew Little.

      Send them a message.

      • Incognito 11.6.1

        I seem to remember that the Herald used to put the author’s name below the title-link but no more, which is why I often click and then immediately close the article as soon as I see who wrote the piece; if these are Granny’s pearls I must be a swine. In fact, I’ve become quite paranoid and reluctant to click on these click-bait title-links.

      • Rosemary McDonald 11.6.2

        You’d spoil my fun as well as my education there saveNZ?

        Golly gosh, have you not heard the expression…”Know thine enemy.”?

        Seriously though, there is a very real danger that by making the assumption that the the article is going to be biased/loaded/generally crap simply because it is written by a certain person and/or published in a certain outlet runs the risk of overlooking occasional journalistic gold….or a damn fine belly laugh.

    • Amusingly, I wrote about the same article, although more from a “you’re sending the right message (be cautious of English) but for the wrong reason” than from a purely populist outrage perspective, although that’s a damn valid one to be writing from nowadays.

  12. Morrissey 12

    Great Moments in Broadcasting. NOT.
    No. 5: Chris Trotter puts on a “funny” South American accent

    The Panel, Radio NZ National, Friday 14 June 2013
    Jim Mora, Lisa Scott, Chris Trotter, Susan Baldacci

    SUSAN BALDACCI: Julian Assange is a little bit paranoid.

    JIM MORA: Oh yes? Hur, hur, hur, hur!

    SUSAN BALDACCI: Yeah, he claims that being holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy, he is deprived of his human right of getting enough sun.

    MORA: Is it a human right to get enough sun?

    SUSAN BALDACCI: That’s what he claims! He claims that being not allowed to leave London is violating his “human rights”.

    MORA: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    LISA SCOTT: Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    CHRIS TROTTER: Haw haw haw haw haw!

    SUSAN BALDACCI: He thinks he should be allowed out of his Ecuador embassy hideout to sunbathe.

    MORA: He can get out on the balcony, where he gave that speech!

    LISA SCOTT: Yeah! Ha ha ha ha ha!

    CHRIS TROTTER: Yeah! Ha ha ha ha ha! Or get him a sun lamp! THAT’s what he needs!

    LISA SCOTT: Ha ha ha ha ha!

    SUSAN BALDACCI: He he he he he!

    CHRIS TROTTER: I suspect the ambassador’s just sick of the sight of him! [affecting a high-pitched mock South American accent] “Are you ever going to LEEEEAAAVE?”

    MORA: Sun lamp! Get him a sun lamp!!!

    LISA SCOTT: Ha ha ha ha ha!

    MORA: Back after the news!


    Read the whole thing HERE, if you can bear it…..

    Open mike 14/06/2013

    Great Moments in Broadcasting. NOT is an occasional series highlighting some of the worst moments in our pretty shameful history of broadcasting mediocrity and downright failure.

  13. Rosemary McDonald 13

    “MORA: Is it a human right to get enough sun?

    SUSAN BALDACCI: That’s what he claims! He claims that being not allowed to leave London is violating his “human rights”.

    MORA: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    LISA SCOTT: Ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    CHRIS TROTTER: Haw haw haw haw haw!”

    And here in good old Godzone some people also are denied the right to get outdoors and absorb a little bit of that necessary Vitamin D.

    These are those with physical disabilities who, under the rules set by the Misery of Health, are not entitled to funding to enable them to go outdoors if they need human or mechanical assistance to do so.

    Unless, of course, they are in education or employment….when these, the worthy disabled, can actually have a reasonable expectation of having their funding request accepted. Maybe. Because even if you are a worthy disabled person NOTHING is guaranteed.

    There are no entitlements.

    I must take this opportunity to thank you Morrissey for providing us with these transcripts. Saves some of us the torture of having to listen to Giggles with Mora….the broadcaster who has committed himself to hosting the single most superficially trite and meaningless hour and a bit of publicly funded radio.

    • Morrissey 13.1

      Thanks for your kind thoughts, Rosemary. I’ll post up as soon as I hear these comedians having a laugh at the plight of the physically disabled. I would not put it past the likes of Trotter and Mora.

  14. ropata 14

    After all that happened this week, Heather Du Plessis-Allan decided to use her national platform to launch an uninformed rant against Andrew Little. Who is this vacuous tart? What are her qualifications to be given this high profile gig? Is she just famous for being famous, like half of our supposed journalists? (Hosking, Henry in particular).

    Heather du Plessis-Allan: Andrew Little needs to get a grip

    • JanM 14.1

      She is married to Barry Soper, for heaven’s sake – what do you expect?

      • Once was and others etc 14.1.1

        Many years ago there used to be the stereotype of the newspaper journalist …. and it certainly wasn’t that of the mild mannered Clark Kent of the Daily Planet.
        The whiskey and crass behaviour used to reside at was once “The Fourth Estate Club” above an electrical egineering firm in Hobson St. Auckland. (I guess that folded because we no longer ekshully have a Fourth Estate).
        Raucus, spirit soaked raspy voices abounded.
        Those were the days eh fellas? …. when it used to be ok to get pissed till all hours of the night, bypassing the six o’clock swill. Then you go home and beat shit out of the missus confident in the knowledge it’d go unreported.
        There’d even be crass jokes about ‘carny killers’ and ‘cradle snatchers’ …… guffaw guffaw guffaw.
        Now a good many of them (mainly blokes) just pretend to be half-civilised. One or two of them were also “bloody closet pooftas” as well. None of them have aged very well, which might be one reason they now cluster together in a bubble providing each other with the necessary narcissist support (telling each other how fucking gorgeous each other is)
        /sarc (of course)

    • Ben 14.2

      She makes some valid points, particularly:

      “As tired as we are of listening to and looking at Nick Smith, Gerry Brownlee and Steven Joyce, they’re still a preferable option to the ideas vacuum on the other side.”

      Labour is bereft of new ideas, and if one is even close it is delivered in such a clumsy way that it comes across as half-baked.

      • The Chairman 14.2.1

        +1, Ben.

        And Labour think they are ready to go into the election, what a joke.

        • Stephen Doyle

          Missed the Mt Roskill by election result and effort did you?

          • The Chairman

            Not at all.

            It seems you missed my post in open mike yesterday.

            Interestingly enough, it seems Labour’s Mt Roskill win has erased Labour’s memory of trailing in the polls.

            While Key leaving has no doubt improved Labour’s chances, the question is has it improved their chances enough for voters to now welcome Labour’s policy that they have so far largely rejected in the polls​ to date?

            Sure, it recently worked for Labour in Mt Roskill, but the Mt Roskill by-election is a different kettle of fish compared to a general election.

        • Once was and others etc

          Could be true @ The Chairman’ but I’m looking at a pile of mail after a return from The Whurl.
          In amongst it is a card from Labour with 3 main points
          1 BUILD HOUSES more policy with three ways to get there
          2 CRACK DOWN ON SPECULATORS with two
          and …
          3 SUPPORT PEOPLE IN NEED with four.

          Now I’m the ultimate cynic but it certainly has more policy and an aspirational approach to it than the do-nothing kaka from Natzis over the past 8 years.
          I’m not sure the msm ‘journalist’ could cope with it ‘ekshully’ – which is why we’ve probably heard nothing of it in paper based rags or on hessian screens where auto-cue readers feign journalistic creds.

          • The Chairman


            Dig a little deeper into the policy headlines.

            Labour are going to help property developers (some of the biggest speculators in the market) further cut red tape.

            Sounds disingenuous and rather right-wing.

            Banning foreign speculators from buying existing homes doesn’t prevent them from speculating on land, thus adding to the overall cost of housing as the cost of land is further driven up.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Labour are going to help property developers (some of the biggest speculators in the market) further cut red tape.

              Sounds disingenuous and rather right-wing.

              That’s pretty much about it.

              Banning foreign speculators from buying existing homes doesn’t prevent them from speculating on land, thus adding to the overall cost of housing as the cost of land is further driven up.

              I figure that they’re purposefully missing the fact that the people actually want a complete ban on foreign ownership.

      • Morrissey 14.2.2

        Ben, it would be a fair point if you had simply written that, yes, Andrew Little does have deficiencies and weaknesses. But your argument collapses when you claim that Nick Smith, Gerry Brownlee and Steven Joyce are a “preferable option to the ideas vacuum on the other side.” That’s simply nonsense—the National government, and those three more than any—is bereft of serious and long-term thinking.

        Your words suggest that you are a National Party diehard.

        • The Chairman

          They were Heather du Plessis-Allan’s words. It was a quote.

          She was illustrating National’s high polling indicates voters sill find them a preferable option.

      • Hanswurst 14.2.3

        That’s not a valid point. It’s not even a point. It may well be du Plessis Allen’s opinion that looking at certain people’s faces is preferable to whatever ideas are or are not coming from Labour, but that isn’t a case for there being more ideas in National than in Labour, nor does she make one elsewhere.

        • The Chairman

          No one was saying National have more ideas. Ben said “Labour is bereft of new ideas, and if one is even close it is delivered in such a clumsy way that it comes across as half-baked.”

          The other point being made was National’s high polling indicates voters sill find them a preferable option, despite what Labour have so far offered.

          Yet, Labour think they are now ready to fight and win the next election.

          • Hanswurst

            That wasn’t my point. My point was that du Plessis Allen isn’t making a point. Saying that looking at Smith, Joyce et al is better than Labour’s “ideas vacuum” is like saying that a tomato is better than riding a horse. She may as well just say “National is better than Labour”. It’s an opinion, not a point, but it’s being dressed up as though there were a substantive idea in there, which there isn’t. It’s pure propaganda.

            Ben’s saying Labour is bereft of new ideas is also just an opinion, and a useless one unless the implication is that National has some.

            • The Chairman

              Basically, that’s what she was saying (National is better than Labour) because that’s what the polls show us voters are saying, hence the point.

              As for Labour being bereft of new ideas, it might explain why we are still waiting for them to make further policy announcements.

              On the one hand they tell us there is more policy to come, and on the other, they claim they are ready to fight and win the next election.

              • Hanswurst

                What a dog’s breakfast of a comment. The polls don’t tell us anything about ideas, or about how much people like looking at Nick Smith. There has been enough comment swirling about from all sides suggesting that Key is the reason for National’s polling, and equally nothing to suggest that the wider public are particularly tired of Smith. If Ms. du Plessis Allen simply wanted to say that National are polling in the forties, she should have done so. Instead, she fabricated a post out of opinion and speculation, which she presented as if it were analysis.

                Labour have presented a number of ideas (on the future of work, wages, education and housing, for instance), and msking a point about an “ideas vacuum” would require a lot more than just comparing the ideas to Nick Smith’s mug.

                In terms of their simultaneously saying that more policy will be forthcoming, and that they are ready to fight the election, there is bo contradiction there, since the campaign trail is the traditional theatre for policy releases.

                Much of the criticism and distrust of Labour is justified, but it is ludicrous to state that Ms. du Plessis Allen made any points about it in her vacuous, analysis-free article.

                • The Chairman

                  Announcing a raft of policy on the campaign just before an election risks overwhelming voters.

                  After the last election, Labour claimed voters failed to understand their policy. Therefore, loading voters up with a number of policies on the campaign just before an election suggests they are willing to risk making that past mistake again.

                  The polls are an indication of whom voters prefer. Policy is a main reason why voters opt for one party over another.

                  In regards to listening to and looking at Nick Smith etc… you’re taking her analogy far to literally.

                  What’s she is saying is despite voters becoming tired of seeing and listening to National, the polls show they still prefer them over Labour.

                  Despite their recent MT Roskil win, their trailing in the polls is not something Labour should overlook. There is no denying Labour have challenges to overcome.

                  The vacuum she is alluding to could be the fact Labour haven’t got a full policy format.

                  Or it could be that what’s on offer thus far isn’t cutting it, hence there is a vacuum of new and resonating policy.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.2.4

        Labour has far more ideas than National. That’s why National tends to copy and them even if they do then twist them to benefit their benefactors.

        Still, Labour does need to drop the neo-liberal paradigm with a lot more force. They have to realise that the people are not are not enthusiastic about the FTAs that have been dropping their living standards.

        • The Chairman

          Perhaps if their ideas were more to the left National wouldn’t be so inclined to adopt them.

          From the outside a number of Labour’s policy sounds left, but on deeper digging, their neo-liberalism tends to lay in the details within.

          • Incognito

            I think that Labour’s problem is not unique to NZ and that is to provide a viable real alternative to neo-liberalism capitalism; nobody yet has an answer. In any case, no politician will want to scare the horses and there is no point campaigning with or on a new set of ideas and policies that is so different that it will alienate the voters; people will always vote for the devil they know even when they know there are negative consequences.

            • The Chairman

              Labour’s problem is they are failing (going by the polls) to be a viable alternative.

              Neo-liberalism is far from the perfect model. And when dealing with the masses, there will never be an alternative everybody will deem perfect.

              However, as we all know, Labour doesn’t have to win-over every voter to be seen as a viable alternative.

              I’m not suggesting Labour should alienate and scare voters. I’m suggesting they can gain their attention and win them over while maintaining their core principles.

              Labour recently proposed a youth employment scheme. A short-term scheme providing very basic skills introduced to address unskilled, long-term youth unemployment.

              One would expect something a little more meaty, designed to actually address the long-term problem.

              Moreover, solutions could be designed in a way that they also address and help solve other problems.

              For example, there is a critical shortage of hotel rooms resulting in a loss of tourist dollars.

              Therefore, Labour could propose a policy that would help fill this critical void while also providing the employment and skills learning opportunity (from the building of the new environmentally friendly hotels to the running of them) which would not only help address unskilled, long-term youth unemployment, but would also create a number of other jobs and related business opportunities.

              The goal would be for them to become profit making long-term ventures, providing on-going employment opportunities. With profits attained going on to broaden and increase Government revenue streams, diversifying their reliance on tax.

              This more hands on approach also provides better input opportunities for things such as wage structures, ensuring everybody shares in the fiscal benefits going forward.

          • Hanswurst

            You’re talking way off topic, though. Apparently, Ms. du Plessis Allen was making a good point, but the idea that Labour’s policies should be more left-wing (which I agree with) is exactly the opposite of her thrust.

            That is the danger of mindless opinion pieces öike hers. They peddle shallow, repeated lines like “Labour lacks ideas”, and people like you say, “Good point, Labour needs to grow a pair and move to the left,” National voters think, “Yeah, National have ideas like tax cuts and growing the economy,” and those with little interest in politics think, “Yeah, Labour’s boring; when did André Lytton last mince down a catwalk or wash Max Key’s car on YouTube?” (Note how Ms. du Plessis Allen didn’t compare Labour’s ideas with National’s, but with how much one would like to see them on TV). Ms. du Plessis Allen didn’t make any of those points. Of course not, since if she had made a point, it would have been easier to dismiss without confusion and unwitting (if well-intentioned) obfuscation like yours.

            • The Chairman

              While her thrust may have been the opposite, it wasn’t the point noted above.

              The fact Labour haven’t got a full policy format highlights their policy is lacking.

    • Reality 14.3

      Often watched Story (couldn’t watch Seven Sharp) because of Mike Hosking and his giggling co-host) but Heather DPA was more often than not showing off and wanting the attention to be on her and was as shallow as a puddle. How she qualifies to have own column is a mystery. Don’t miss her one little bit.

      • Once was and others etc 14.3.1

        ” How she qualifies to have own column is a mystery”
        Well it is the NZH ….. a rag that even that overpaid bullshit artist, ringer and soak PH describes as such.
        She’s got to earn a crust I guess and prostitution is not only the oldest profession, but one that’s perfectly acceptable these days apparently
        /giggle giggle

  15. Worked It out.– Gollins told Key that Bronnah said she wouldn’t go to Oconnors wedding unless he resigned.

    • Once was and others etc 15.1

      And we’re ekshully expected to feel sorry for all these cnuts!
      Oh poor poor poor John, and Bronagh, and Mex ‘n’ Stiffy.
      It must have been a rilly rilly tough loif eh? Giving 8 years of your loif to poltiks…. en what thenks do you get?
      Awe. Ya neva saw ya sun groan up, en Stiffy missed eart en near Bronagh is neggin ya ears orf.
      And the media!.
      The poor poor starving kud of a solo mum struggliny along in a State Hess with a torlit in the bek yard….. (when every other torlit was the same and probably not even on a septic tank, but rather “the night cart”

      My fucking heart bleeds – truly it does.

      And what’s worse is the poor poor bugger had to suffer ChCh Boy’s Hoi rather than Christ’s!

      Where’s a woodwork teacher when you need him!!! Oh that’s right, doing his best to fuck over the rest of Chroischuch (unfortunately aided and abetted by that parliamentary consensus that conferred on him the status of Tsar

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    Beyond the Post-Truth Society

    What we can take from this, as it applies to our current politics, is that we’re not in an after-truth moment, but more so a truth-averse one. The “post-” designation isn’t about transcendence or evolution, but rather about ignorance and denial. It seeks to suppress knowledge and replace it with convenient falsities; to deny reality in the name of a dangerous illusion. We can choose to flout human-induced climate change and thus do nothing about it, but that doesn’t actually make the problem go away.

    And that is pretty much where the RWNJs are. Denying reality so that they can continue with the fantasy that capitalism works.

    • Foreign waka 16.1

      Well said, and so today’s discovery is that if all are bereft of an idea the one that tells the best porkies wins.

  17. Penny Bright 17

    How contracting can breed corruption.

    How can you have transparency or accountability without full and accurate written records available for public scrutiny?

    “Claims the relationship between Noone and Projenz was informal and verbal-only during the seven-year duration of the relationship – explaining the total lack of documentation – “defies common sense,” Justice Fitzgerald said.

    Surely it also defies the statutory obligations arising from s.17 of the Public Records Act 2005?

    17.Requirement to create and maintain records

    (1) Every public office and local authority must create and maintain full and accurate records of its affairs, in accordance with normal, prudent business practice, including the records of any matter that is contracted out to an independent contractor.


    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-privatisation / anti-corruption Public Watchdog / WHISTLE-BLOWER’.

  18. Morrissey 18

    Why do they even bother? The dismal standard
    of commentary on RadioLive mimics that on NewstalkZB

    RadioLive, Sunday 11 December 2016, 10:55 a.m.

    Just had the misfortune of straying onto RadioLive for a few minutes this morning. A very angry Clinton supporter masquerading as a “reporter” called Carol Ramos was in full flight, ranting about how Hillary Clinton lost to Trump not because of her own dire record and her foolish campaign, but because of those evil, dastardly Russians.

    I was disappointed but not really surprised to hear host Lloyd Burr swallowing what she said wholesale, and agreeing with everything.

    Hilariously, RadioLive’s current slogan is “YOUR NEWS. YOUR VIEWS.” It should, of course, be changed to: “FALSE NEWS. ILL-INFORMED VIEWS”, but I guess that doesn’t fit on the advertising signs so neatly.

    More RadioLive “highlights”…

    Open mike 06/05/2013

    • Nick 18.1

      The Democrats are the Republicans….Trump is Obama….they are both owned by Wall St, Big Corporations, etc ….same policies, etc…. So how different is Labour going to make itself from the Natzis….

      1. Kiwi Build
      2. Climate Change Overhaul
      3. Drop National Standards / Charter Schools
      4. Small Business massive investment
      5. Health Doctors Budget increase
      6. Open Pike River

      • Morrissey 18.1.1

        I think the Democrats are different from the Republicans. You’re correct that it’s often hard to distinguish between them, just as it often is between National and Labour. But the differences are real, and if Labour has any sense, it will emphasize those differences, rather than trying to minimize them.

        • garibaldi

          Come on Morrissey, I’m sure you know the masters are the same whether you vote right or left in our pretend democracy.

          • Morrissey

            Yes, you’re right to an extent, garibaldi, but I think there are still real differences between the parties. I am continually disappointed and even outraged by the Labour Party, but I would still prefer it in power rather than the National-ACT horror show we have now.

            I’m aware, however, that it’s very difficult to differentiate the parties sometimes. Labour is still recovering from the devastation resulting from Lange’s ceding effective control of the party to Douglas, Prebble, Moore and DeCleene; few people trust anything that Labour says, and it’s made even harder for us to support them when they do things like declaring Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics to be a “distraction.”

            • Nick

              @Morrisey…. Yes I would prefer Labour… In fact they, Greens, NZF are going to win next year imo…… Kiwi build is a great relatable action.

              • The Chairman

                Kiwibuild is a great example of how the left can remain left and win-over the middle (and even some on the right) without Labour having to depart from its core principles.

                Labour require to formulate more of their policy like that.

            • Peter

              I agree, I also would prefer a Labour govt, but the difference is so small between them getting me to vote for them is another thing.

      • Bearded Git 18.1.2

        7. Reinstate cuts to DOC budget
        8. Reverse RMA changes

  19. mpledger 19

    “Trump is appointing people who hate the agencies they will lead”

    Surprise, surprise.

  20. repateet 20

    Loose change?

    “The Herald on Sunday can reveal Gan spent $15 million at Sky City in a 15 month period, as well as making large deposits into her casino account and transfers to other high-roller accounts.

    One of these VIPs was Yingzi Zeng, a mother of two who lives in Auckland’s eastern suburbs, who spent $38 million at Sky City in 15 months.”

    A million every month and the other $2.5 mllion a month. Loose change. Fortunately the Convention Centre is Sky City eh?

    • saveNZ 20.1

      You do realise they use Sky City to launder money don’t you? If IRD asks where they got it – they show the Sky city receipts.

    • b waghorn 20.2

      good for gdp growth figures so our leaders will be all good with it

  21. joe90 21

    First up – drill baby drill and then bomb bomb Iran.

    Donald Trump is expected to nominate ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state, two sources close to the transition process told NBC News on Saturday.

    The 64-year-old veteran oil executive has no government or diplomatic experience, although he has ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. The pick would put to rest weeks-long speculation of who would earn the post as the U.S.’s top diplomat, and would place Tillerson fourth in line to the presidency.

    He will also be paired with former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton as his deputy secretary of state, one of the sources added, with Bolton handling day-to-day management of the department.

  22. Draco T Bastard 22

    If Labour wants to build affordable houses then they should probably look at developing/importing this sort of technology:

    he U.S may soon have 3D printed homes, and a new partnership are claiming they will be created in just one day. Construction company Sunconomy have teamed up with Russian 3D printers Apis Cor and their 3D concrete printer and realize this ambition. Larry Haines, founder of Sunconomy, wants the public to join them on a “revolutionary journey to build affordable, smart, sustainable housing with Apis Cor’s new 3D concrete printer“.

    Get just ten of them and that’s ~3000 houses per year. Just need to look to ensuring supply of resources and preparations for the sites.

  23. joe90 23

    Trump’s pick to head the DEA.

  24. Cinny 24

    Craig Foss to step down, another National Party MP resigns for ‘family reasons’ and does not want to stand down until next year to avoid a by election.

    Told ya’s the National Party is falling apart, most of their MP’s hearts aren’t in the job, but they are happy to collect the salary until next year using the excuse of ‘avoiding the tax payer the cost of a by election”


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    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    7 days ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extinction Rebellion members want to “eat babies”
    If you are not convinced terrorist Organisation ‘Extinction Rebellion’ is very, very dangerous – watch this video at one of their recent meetings. Not only is this obviously mentally ill Woman begging the other terrorists to promote killing and “eating” babies and children, if you watch carefully other members nod ...
    An average kiwiBy
    2 weeks ago

  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    8 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    13 hours ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    15 hours ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    15 hours ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    15 hours ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    16 hours ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    16 hours ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    1 day ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    1 day ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    3 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    6 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    6 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    6 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    7 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    7 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    7 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    7 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    1 week ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    1 week ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    1 week ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    1 week ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    1 week ago