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Open mike 12/06/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 12th, 2015 - 267 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

267 comments on “Open mike 12/06/2015”

    • Paul 1.1

      “I kind of work on the principle that I will be [listened to] at some point,” Mr Key said on More FM yesterday.”

      Another challenging interview with the 4th estate…..

      • vaughan little 1.1.1

        in the context of his phone being spied on, presumably.

      • repateet 1.1.2

        When Key was coming on to Radio Sport this morning I turned it off. I knew he’d be talking about euthanasia legislation, Jerry and the Christchurch convention centre and the TPPA.

        I know those are minor issues and as a sports guru he could probably guest on there simply for his expertise and extensive knowledge in a wide field of sports but those sideline things keep getting pushed his way.

        I’ll accept that he can talk sport on there when lying becomes an Olympic event. Now that is his area of strength.

  1. Saarbo 2

    Who needs WO’s attacks against Labour when you have Claire Trevett of the NZHerald.


    Incredibly unprofessional petty bullshit of an article.

    • Paul 2.1

      And Josie Pagani

    • John Shears 2.2

      Agreed Sarbo

    • b waghorn 2.3

      Add to that paul henry stirring the pagani pot this morn and he told told Grant Robertson that he hates labour .( I know I said I won’t watch him but old habits)*

    • Skinny 2.4

      Phil Twyford won’t be singing LA Woman today…Took a look around see which way the wind blows.

      Claire is so predictable in her style of editorial, one trick pony.

    • Lanthanide 2.5

      Looks perfectly reasonable to me. I only assume you’re objecting to the bits about him ingratiating himself with each new leader – but if that is what he actually did, what’s so wrong in saying that?

      • Saarbo 2.5.1

        Show me an article where she has attacked a National MP in the same style?

        You possibly see it as “reasonable” because these MSM casual attacks against Labour are so ubiquitous. Conditioned.

        • Lanthanide

          How is ‘reporting events’ attacking someone?

          Personally if there was an MP of any party that had some dodgy behaviours, I’d like to know about it. They’re paid a huge amount of money for the jobs they do.

  2. vto 3

    Good news that Christchurch is repairing the Town Hall..

    The city has been ripped apart by nature and by government. It is good for the soul to have a stitch back to our earlier city..

    As for the rest of the central city, watch nothing continue to happen as hapless employee bureaucrats try to be developers – ha ha bloody funny if it wasn’t so serious

    • Clean_power 3.1

      The city has been ripped apart by nature and by government? By nature, yes; but by government? Really? And do you mean local government (Labour) or central government (National)?

      • Paul 3.1.1

        Disaster capitalism
        Read Naomi Klein’s ‘Shock Doctrine ‘

      • Macro 3.1.2

        Labour have only been local government of Chch for the past year or so – after the city got fed up with the incumbent RW Parker and his cronies.. The city was ripped apart by them – Local and National -long before now.

        • Chooky

          +100 Macro…according to many in Christchurch , Brownlee is a contemptible hoon and bully…he even wanted to tear down the Bridge of Remembrance!..it is a great pity he became an MP …he is better suited to the wrecking business on the end of a wrecking ball

      • Tracey 3.1.3

        how long since the earthquake have they had a “Labour” mayor?

    • Chooky 3.2

      +100 vto…one great piece of news that the Christchurch Town hall will be restored!

  3. Morrissey 4

    “I’ve killed a lot of Arabs in my life—there’s no problem with that.”
    Shocking words of Israeli leaders read aloud in Irish parliament

    In this video, Irish lawmaker Richard Boyd Barrett reads out some of the more shocking, violent and racist statements recently made by Israeli ministers and military officials.

    Boyd Barrett was speaking in Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the parliament of the Republic of Ireland, yesterday during questions to Taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny about his visit to Paris earlier this year. Kenny had taken part in a staged photo opportunity with other heads of state and government following the killings at Charlie Hebdo.

    “The world was of course utterly appalled by the killing of 12 innocent people, 10 of whom were journalists, at Charlie Hebdo earlier this year,” Boyd Barrett, a deputy for the People Before Profit Alliance, begins. “I have to ask the Taoiseach about the attendance of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the demonstration he joined in the aftermath of those killings.”

    After he finishes reading out the statements, Boyd Barrett asks: “These are the official statements of several ministers of the current government of Israel. In one case, the genocide of all Palestinians, including children, has actually been advocated and they have been referred to as ‘snakes.’ Does the Taoiseach agree that if we are defining terrorism, that is the language and thinking of terrorists?”

    In a rather muted response to the statements, Kenny says: “On the one hand, I suppose one might say they are all on-message. I find that message regrettable and most unhelpful. I do not agree with those statements. When I met Prime Minister Netanyahu briefly in Paris, I said to him that when I had an opportunity to go to Gaza a number of years ago … I found the situation completely intolerable. I told him that I am a strong supporter of the two-state solution and that peace is always possible.”

    Treat Israel like South Africa
    Later in the debate, Boyd Barrett slams the “double standards” which lead to Israeli leaders being treated “as if they were a normal government.”

    Read more….


    • Chooky 4.1

      shocking alright!…but Hollywood would never expose this side ….it is about time Hollywood was exposed for the propagandist machine that it is…because it is indirectly perpetuating these crimes against humanity

      • Gosman 4.1.1

        Why? Because it isn’t making a big deal of them or because it has hundreds of films showing the Iraaslis in a good mlight? It can’t be the second one because there are hardly any Hollywood movies that even mention Israel let alone make out they are the good guys. If it is the first then the question becomes should they do the same for Russia in Ukraine or China in Tibet?

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Ah yes, Israel, founded on the 1930s and 1940s para-military ethnic cleansing of lands which had hundreds of thousands of Palestinians settled throughout it.

    • Clean_power 5.1

      Is Trotter correct? He writes:
      “Perhaps Labour could be saved if, like the ancient Romans, they were willing to install a dictator to “save the Republic” from its enemies (in the case of Labour’s membership that would be themselves!) someone capable of turning the party into a lean, mean electoral machine.

      Except, of course, Labour’s never going to do that. Which is why so many people are telling me “Labour’s finished” – and why, regretfully, I’m agreeing with them.”

      • Thanks for the concern, troll.

      • Tracey 5.1.2

        It doesn’t matter what question you ask, “Dictator needed” is almost always the answer 😉

      • mickysavage 5.1.3

        The membership are not and never have been the problem.

      • whateva next? 5.1.4

        Was it Billy Bragg who said that cynicism is socialism’s greatest enemy?

      • People have been telling me “That Labours finished for years but we still have the party and excellent governments like the Helen Clark one . We are still benefiting from Labour’s legislations which have often led the world.Tories would love to see Labour finished it will not happen and my advice to anyone who says so Is simple “get stuffed”

    • weka 5.2

      I only read as far as the intro and couldn’t get passed that Trotter seems to be saying that the membership is the enemy. Fucking hell.

      • Yep. He shares that thinking with a few others in Labour with conservative tendencies. It pisses them off that the majority of members don’t and won’t see things their way. Bourgeois sneering at its worst.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          What the fuck would the Labour Party hierarchy know about what the “majority of ordinary members” think?

          When was the last comprehensive opinion survey of the Labour Party membership even done? There’s only around 10,000 of us. The election performance review picked up submissions from a small percentage of those members. What about everyone else.

          • te reo putake

            You answered your own question, CV. The opportunity to comment was there. Nobody can force members to have their say on the review, but at least there was a chance there which many members took. Other members put up ideas through branches and conferences. That’s how democracy works. there’s really no difficulty getting ideas out there, as you well know. Getting them adopted is the tricky bit.

            • mickysavage

              My branch took the opportunity to submit. It was a single submission but was an amalgamation of the thoughts of many.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              You answered your own question, CV. The opportunity to comment was there.

              Well I am sure Labour will hear loud and clear at the next election. Maybe.

        • Visubversa

          Labour obviously hasn’t invited him to sing at their conferences recently. Poor old fella – desperate for the attention.

      • Jenny Kirk 5.2.2

        Yeah – Trotter appears to have joined the trolls lately. Who the heck are his insiders ? Would love to know ….. meanwhile out here in the real world, Labour is by no means dead and buried but intent on resurrection.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          25% is not the electoral floor for Labour, Jenny.

          • McFlock

            do you ever have a positive prediction about anything that’s vaguely good?

            Not everything on the planet that makes life possible and worth living is in inexorable decline, surely?

            • RedLogix

              I can understand that sentiment McF. Yet while CV is more than capable of speaking for himself – it is pertinent to note that Labour has lost electoral share every election since 2005.

              And current polling barely demonstrates anything that looks like a turn-around. And if such a remarkable and wonderful thing is about to happen, Labour have until about the middle of next year to achieve it.

              • McFlock

                In 1999 Labour forms a government with a smidgen under 39%.

                Apparently the line between the start of a nine year term and electoral death is 15%.

                Labour can work solidly, cut the infighting, and tell the more stupid MPs to STFU or GTFO, but the plain fact is that talking about losing or gaining electoral share makes it sound like the parties are the main agents of electoral change. Not in a democracy.

                One reason Labour doesn’t look credible to the electorate is that National still do. That was the basis of the entire rowboat ad campaign. Yes, there is always room for improvement, sometimes a huge amount of room (I’m not arguing Labour or the greens are perfect).

                But when the descent in a time-series slows, it’s only a real pessimist who confidently predicts that at least the vicinity of the nadir has not yet been reached. 25% is probably as near to the floor for Labour as it will get without an Alliance-style caucus schism where the nominal leader nobbles his old party to form a new one.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  I didn’t make my comment based on “the descent in a time series slowing” (sic).

                  I made my comment on the basis of where sea level is, and also how Labour has kept the stick pulled hard back with engines on maximum throttle since 2005 – and 10 years on this is where we are at.

                  • McFlock

                    I know that you did not base your statement on real-life data so much as on randomly-tortured analogies that fit whatever assumptions are going on in your own mind. Please ignore my little meandering digression with RL.

                    But do you actually feel positive or optimistic about anything? It’s all very well to say the world is going to shit, but some things are always on the mend. Adds a little colour to the sea of grey, in my experience, to look at them once in a while.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Well, if you want to feel optimistic and upbeat about NZ then its best not to pay close attention to the direction of NZ politics, is it.

                    • McFlock

                      One or two of the Greens always seem to cheer me up – Turei and Genter for example, Little and Robertson have their moments. I have tremendous joy that humanity can still produce folk like Helen Kelly. And even Williamson’s “Big Gay Rainbow” speech brought a smile.

                • Kiwiri

                  “the nominal leader nobbles his old party to form a new one”

                  Wow!! Will Grant Robertson step out and form a new centre-left social democrat party? Will Ardern, Hipkins, Clark, Twyford and others join him?

                  • McFlock

                    Robertson isn’t the named leader of a party, and he’s not trying to destroy the party of which he is a caucus member.

                    Two factors that make him differ from post-Afghanistan jim anderton.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    They’ll want to take over what’s left of the hulk of the Labour Party.

          • Tracey

            do you agree with Trotter, that Labour needs a dictator?

            • Clean_power

              No, Labour does not need a dictator. What it needs is a true leader, a charismatic person capable of promoting and selling the policies to the Kiwi public. None has existed since Helen Clark’s departure, and Goff, Shearer, Cunliffe and now Little do not have it. It is time for new blood.

              • Tracey

                Clark was hardly regarded as charismatic months after becoming leader of the party.

                • Clean_power

                  Correct. She was not charismatic but had the qualities of a true leader (decisive, determined, desire to lead and eager to win). One cannot compare her with any of her successors. A world sets apart Helen Clark from the likes of Shearer, Goff, Cunliffe and Little, and electoral results reflect it.

                  You are entitled to disagree, of course.

                  • b waghorn

                    Is it possible that you’re adding Little to you’re list just to stir shit and run a national attack line do you think.?

                  • mickysavage

                    I will disagree.

                    I bet back in 1995 you were saying that Helen Clark would never make it as a leader and was not leadership material.

                    You insult our intelligence by running stupid troll lines. You should try to do at least a bit better.

        • adam

          Real world Jenny, you might want to ask the poor and dispossessed what they really think of labour. Most I deal with, put them in the same camp as national. You might not like that, but it’s true – they see labour as much as a problem as national. Mind you, for you labour people that’s OK, because they don’t vote anyway – so who cares – right?

          The Labour in the 21 century, is a bunch of Liberals – that Winston Churchill would have recognised as one of his own.

          My prediction – labour will carry on being a liberal party. And as such, will have no real contact with the real lives of those suffering. Hand wringing and angst – don’t get people feed, jobs, and nor does it inspire confidence.

          I think labour are dead, I think many people are waking up to the fact. I mean the people who would vote for you. You destroyed them, them you act like a bunch of teenagers wearing horse blinders. You all have missed the anger, and more than quite disgust at a labour party who are seen as traitors.

          I think your right te reo putake, Trotter does put it as too much bourgeois sneering, when he should have called labour party what it is. A bunch of craven liberals who have let their parliamentary wing act like the Tory scum – whom they are supposed to oppose.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            I think labour are dead, I think many people are waking up to the fact. I mean the people who would vote for you. You destroyed them, them you act like a bunch of teenagers wearing horse blinders. You all have missed the anger, and more than quite disgust at a labour party who are seen as traitors.

            This is a bullseye.

          • thatguynz

            Spot on Adam.

        • Olwyn

          Given that last week Chris Trotter wrote a piece on the Labour Party reconnecting with its roots, I think he is running a series of thought experiments about possible ways forward for Labour, rather than expressing a firmly held opinion.

          • Tracey

            Essentially last week was move to the working man, this week is move to the dictator.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Trotter is just musing. He knows that Helen Clark was the closest Labour has come to accepting a “dictator” and there is no one else like her in the organisation.

              • Tracey

                I hear you. Its like he is criticising Labour for not being clar what it wants when he isnt sure either.

                BUT I haven’t read anything in a while from him to suggest he is far left or a socialist as wikipedia suggests he is.

                • Grant

                  On the other hand Wikipedia also suggests the Labour Party’s ideological settings include Democratic Socialism which is defined (by wikipedia) as:

                  “a democratic political system alongside a socialist economic system, involving a combination of political democracy with social ownership of the means of production. Sometimes used synonymously with “socialism”, the adjective “democratic” is added to distinguish democratic socialism from Marxist-Leninist Communism.[1]”

                  I haven’t seen much evidence that anyone in the Labour caucus has actually thought like that for thirty years.

                  • Tracey

                    I agree. BUT does Trotter ever have the guts r self awareness to say that the LP he pines for was actually the foundation of the ACT party?

                    • Grant

                      I think you misrepresent what actually happened. A relatively small group of people in the caucus of that Labour Party managed to carry off what amounted to a takeover.

                      I apologise for the long quote (from wikipedia) but it bears being made readily available for reading by those who weren’t old enough to have been politically awake at the time.

                      “When the Fourth Labour government took office, most members accepted the need for some economic reform. Finance Minister Roger Douglas and his supporters felt that a complete overhaul of the New Zealand economic system was required. Initially most of the government supported this, although a number of traditionalists were already suspicious of Douglas. Gradually more and more MPs, including Prime Minister David Lange became alarmed at the extent and speed of the reforms.
                      Those in the government who wanted to slow or stop the reforms found it difficult to do so. This is partially because few of them knew much about economics, and were thus unable to convincingly rebut Douglas’ ideas. It was also because of the structure of New Zealand government. Douglas’ faction, which included Ministers Richard Prebble, David Caygill and Michael Bassett, dominated Cabinet. The doctrine of Cabinet collective responsibility requires all Cabinet members to support Cabinet policy, even if they do not agree with it. Since the Cabinet had a slight majority in the Labour caucus, the Douglas faction was able to dominate caucus even though they were a minority. It was later alleged that Douglas and his supporters had used underhand tactics such as introducing important motions at the last minute, preventing serious debate. David Lange also complained in his autobiography about the “Backbone Club” which was a caucus group supporting Douglas and Rogernomics.”

                      The fact that many party members, tens of thousands in fact walked away from the party claiming ‘it had left them’, demonstrates I think that it wasn’t the party which created ‘the first ACT Govt’ , but a relatively small clique in the parliamentary wing.

                    • Tracey

                      So Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble were not part of the foundation for the ACT party?

                      from Wikipedia

                      “Association of Consumers and Taxpayers, founded in 1993 by Roger Douglas and Derek Quigley, from which the party grew in 1994. ”

                      1996 election[edit]
                      In the 1996 election, ACT fielded 56 list candidates.[12] Richard Prebble won the Wellington Central electorate[12] and with 6.10% of the vote, the party was eligible for seven list MPs”

                      You wrote

                      “I haven’t seen much evidence that anyone in the Labour caucus has actually thought like that for thirty years.”

                      Actually since pre-1984, so more than 40 years, when Douglas and Prebble (one co-founded ACT and one was their first MP) took the LP by the throat and moved it from what you quoted from Wikipedia that LP was.

                    • Grant

                      I’m having trouble understanding why you are conflating the Labour Party at large pre 1987, with the ACT party later formed partly by a vanishingly small breakaway group of ex Labour politicians who suffered some kind of brain-fart one morning and decided to change horses mid-charge.

                      I can’t see why the aberrant behaviour of Douglas et al should make it unreasonable for Trotter (and many others) to pine for their old Labour Party pre 1984.

                      edited to add that it is in fact just over thirty years since 1984.

                    • Grant

                      “I agree. BUT does Trotter ever have the guts r self awareness to say that the LP he pines for was actually the foundation of the ACT party?”

                      And of course Trotter has said precisely this many times over the last thirty years. However he makes a distinction between the Party and it;s membership pre 1984 and those who followed the path beaten by Douglas et al to a greater or lesser extent post 1984.

                    • Tracey

                      maths isn’t my thing as you have just discovered.

                      I am simply trying to understand Trotter, and not just based on his recent two posts but on many since 2008.

                      IF he is pining for pre-84 Labour, he needs to start writing like it…

                      Waitakere Man, and the notion is dated and speaks volumes about the world he might hanker for. In the 70’s Fred Dagg poked the borax at the ordinary bloke who has more recently been replaced by Trotter’s Waitakere Man. For me that “Man” is too encapsulated by one John Tamihere for me to consider it with anything much more than disdain. It’s like those who hate what they call identity politics (and which I call learning to share with others) have created this ultimate identity in politics to encapsulate their hypocrisy. This Waitakere Man.

                    • Tracey

                      “I can’t see why the aberrant behaviour of Douglas et al should make it unreasonable for Trotter (and many others) to pine for their old Labour Party pre 1984.”

                      It doesn’t IF that’s the LP he pines for. Cos today he seemed to be pining for Helen Clark’s LP which is left of 84 but not by a huge amount…

                    • Grant

                      Well you were the one who said that the Labour Party Trotter pines for was the one that “was actually the foundation of the ACT party” so he can’t be simultaneously pining for the party as it was during the Lange / Douglas Govt. and the Helen Clark Govt.

                      Or maybe he can? Maybe he’s just pining for the fjords. I don’t know and this is getting a bit silly eh? 🙂

                    • Tracey

                      Grant, we have both written many things.

                      Trotter wrote a post about the needs of waitakere man, and another about almost needing a dictator.

                      you wrote that wikipedia defines the LP as socialist democratic etc etc

                      and then you said

                      “I haven’t seen much evidence that anyone in the Labour caucus has actually thought like that for thirty years.”

                      So he can’t be advocating for Helen Clark (by your definition) so who is the dictator he is referring to?

                      Trotter is confusing me, as I have stated. So, I posited that maybe the LP he pines for is the one that founded the ACT Party.

                      You have set out to debunk that and you probably have. But, you know, I am no clearer about what Trotter wants from the LP at the end of our discussion than I was at the beginning.

                      disclaimer: I am not a recent LP party voter

                      I didn’t think it was silly, I was genuinely trying to understand where Trotter is coming from, given he has been a pretty damming critic of LP in recent times. You seemed to be offering some insight.

                    • Grant

                      I think CV and McFlock are both onto it when they suggest that Trotter is musing out loud loud or running thought experiments. I agree that if you’re looking for certainties and a fixed viewpoint this can be confusing and annoying. One could also describe it as ‘unproductive activity’ which is what one old fashioned dictionary is supposed to have used as a definition for masturbation.

                      On the other hand we live in bewildering times when many people are very confused about politics. Maybe it’s useful to have someone like Trotter doing weekly columns which allow people who aren’t in the habit of intellectualizing things to see the thought experiments being run so they can try them on for size and accept or reject them.

                      I don’t know and I’m not in a position to analyze Trotter but I’m reluctant to demonize or attack someone who’s spent a lifetime attempting to be a proponent of leftist politics. He’s not perfect and maybe he’s outlived the times and social parameters he’s comfortable with. What’s he supposed to do? Retire early and fall silent? One less articulate voice challenging people to think about where they stand?

                    • Tracey

                      Thanks Grant

                      I certainly don’t think he should “shut up”. I am just trying to work out what he would like to see. I understand now that he is maybe throwing out some ideas to see how people respond and what takes and what doesn’t.

                      BUT what does he really think is the “answer” for LP. That matters too, to me anyway.

                      I may be wrong, but I thought he said last year that the “Left” have to stop sniping at each other, but then he snipes (then and now). I may have mixed him up with others.

                      Thanks for sticking with me and helping me to try and understand.

                    • Grant

                      I’m about the same age as Trotter so maybe understand a little where he is coming from and sympathize with another old fossil. 🙂

                    • Tracey

                      I’m only ten years younger…

    • Scintilla 5.3

      I reckon the LP are down to fighting over who gets to own the brand “Labour Party”. If Pagani & co. dominate, those who seek a return to old school principles will meld with NZF, others will go Green and Mana and leave the Turd Wavers to it.

      NZF press releases, I note, focus on all those issues that used to be Labour’s bread and butter. Education, housing, health, regional development and trade, especially anti-TPP. Tightly focused, to the point, timely. One knows exactly where they stand.

      • Pagani and Co aren’t going to dominate. They’re a whinging minority, with dull axes to grind. I agree with you on the work NZF are doing. Winston’s no fool. However, Little is no fool either, so I think we’ll see him and Winnie working together on some of those areas in the next couple of years. It kind of happened under Cunliffe, too. DC wasn’t afraid to share a platform with NZF and the Greens if the cause was right.

        Disagree about mana though. Nobody’s heading in that direction because there’s nothing there any more.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Disagree about mana though. Nobody’s heading in that direction because there’s nothing there any more.

          Not even the families of 250,000 children living in poverty?

          • te reo putake

            Nope. Mana’s stuffed. They sucked up to a libertarian millionaire and paid a price for it.

            edit, just realised we’re talking at cross purposes. I meant people looking for mana would find nothing there.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Agreed they electorally self destructed under a series of bad political decisions. The main one was Hone not paying enough attention to his electorate and paying too much attention galloping all about the country.

    • Charles 5.4

      Yeah well, people like Trotter who have never been of the Left (see the B-word from TRP) are the enemy, not just of Labour, but the people right now who are living in poverty and being pushed to the margins of society.

      As spectators and voters and influencers of varying degree to the people who read this blog, and in our own circles, we have two choices starting now:

      1) Bring Labour down, with snarky advice they can’t possibly follow. As with other Parties, Labour are like a supertanker – they don’t turn on dime. Only an egoist or a fool would think so. Two years till next election, direction is set, it’s a workable coherent direction, deal with it. Taking shots at Labour will ensure National governments til 2050 at least. And that might be fine for people who have the luxury of arguing all day on the internet because of some personal beef they have, but real people will suffer in real time in real poverty if self-indulgence rules the polls. So go ahead Trotter, bring Labour down and kill someone from afar like the coward you are. The argument of healthy dissent is bullshit in the current climate.

      2) Accept Labour are what they are and that without them neither Greens or Mana or any other Left wing government is going to happen in 2017. No Left wing party is going to go from somewhere around 11% to over 50% of the vote. It’s unrealistic in the extreme. Like most here, I have the luxury of choosing who to vote for. The people who need protecting from the psycho National supporters probably won’t vote, for very practical reasons. So as an act of solidarity my vote isn’t going to who I would vote for, because that would be self-indulgence in the face of a social emergency, and instead it’s going to the Greens because their attitudes are close enough, and they’re able to act on them. If people can’t face voting Green, then vote Labour despite Labour’s flaws; and if they were going to vote Legalise Hooch Party, then instead vote Mana. The responsibility for the protraction of suffering in NZ is in the hands of those who have the luxury to decide.

      The perfect moment to begin isn’t coming. The perfect party isn’t coming. Use what’s already here.

      • McFlock 5.4.1

        tend to agree

      • Colonial Rawshark 5.4.2

        The dead giant oak must first fall before new growth can succeed from below.

      • Grant 5.4.3

        If Trotter is Bourgeois (debatable) then so by definition are all of the political wing of the Labour Party (can’t think of any who wouldn’t be) and a very large proportion of the electorate required to vote for them or ‘parties of the left’ in order to change the Govt. Are all those people enemies too?

        • Tracey

          So what, in your opinion, is Mr Trotter?

          • Grant

            A man of his time and upbringing with all the usual foibles that most of us are born with or pick up as we go along. I sometimes find him a little exasperating myself. I’ll be cheering him after reading one column and shaking my head after reading another. Bottom line, does anyone seriously consider him to be not of the broader left? Really? Do we believe he votes National or ACT or Conservative? Do we believe he’s a secret neo-lib or fifth-columnist for a Pinochet like dictatorship?

            Any one of us who has the benefit of a middle class upbringing and education and who doesn’t spend our lives hewing wood and digging ditches is, by definition, Bourgeois. That must include an awful lot of left wing bloggers and commentators.

            • Tracey

              but you said you could debate he was Bourgeois? Did you not mean you don’t think he is? That is why I ask what you think he is?

              I suspect he the encapsulation of the dilemma of the LP. He is not sure what he wants LP to be. He wants them to win so they can do the good he wants done, but then he doesn’t want them to be just a lite version of something else and, to me, it is no coincidence he refers to mythical Waitakere Man… because although this LP had a very successful female Leader many men in the party still struggle with notions of equality and instead see “other” views getting traction as them being oppressed (rather than having to share), and of course, the mythical Waitakere Man being oppressed too.

              • Grant

                Depends on your definition of Bourgeois. He’s certainly so in the strict sense. As are you and I and many others who are not trapped in a working class or ‘underclass’ milieu. Is he Bourgeois relative to many other of our middle class / chattering class type, probably not.

                • Tracey

                  I know I am.

                  “relative to many other of our middle class / chattering class type”

                  What do you mean?

                  • Grant

                    I mean that if you and I concede we are Bourgeois, then he is no more so than we are, relatively speaking.

                    Would you care to redefine Bourgeois so that it applies to Trotter but not to you or I?

    • McFlock 5.5

      It’s a funny wee column, that: he wants to increase Labour support by overruling supporters (we need to alienate the membership in order to save it), and he then forgets why “dictator” is not a compliment, not even in Roman times after the slight flaw in the concept was exploited by Julius.

      That, and of course the claim once again that only he truly knows what desires lie in the heart of the common man, be they Waitakere Men or, lately, Tongan. All delivered in sonorous tones in order to lend weight to the thin glaze of profundity that disguises more of the same old shit.

      The first thing his desired dictator would do is immediately and violently distance Labour from the opinions of commentators, columnists, and pretentious “think tank” developers, at least until they come up with something useful.

      • Tracey 5.5.1

        Are there two Chris Trotters?

        “Chris Trotter (born c. 1956) is a left-leaning political commentator in New Zealand.[1] He is the editor of the occasional Political Review magazine, and is a regular speaker, orator and singer at left-wing, union and socialist events.
        Trotter has worked for unions and was on the New Zealand council of the Labour Party.[2] He writes the “From the Left” column in the Dominion Post, and has also contributed to the Independent Financial Review. He makes semi-frequent television appearances as a political commentator…

        …In February 2008, he said that Helen Clark should stand down before the election and be replaced by Phil Goff, who he thought may have been Labour’s only hope of regaining ground with struggling families. He has since recanted, arguing that Goff should have stood down in his turn before the New Zealand general election, 2011, arguing that David Cunliffe should replace him.”


        • Karen

          Trotter is a fool and about as left wing as Pagani. I don’t know why anybody listens to either of them.

          • McFlock

            I dunno about pagani, but trotter made his bones back in the day. Know a couple of folks who knew him quite well then.

            Personally I think he’s just found a comfortable wee corner to curl up in, and that involves being a political commentator who doesn’t really challenge much or say that much of consequence, but he can put together a shallowly plausible bite-size chunk of pontificating that will tide the media over to the next commentator without challenging people too much.

            • Karen

              Ill go with shallow and pontificating and throw in a bit of pompous, a touch of racism and a large measure of misogyny.

              I do remember a more left wing version of Chris Trotter, but it was quite a long time ago now. Much of his writing seems like a parody of the old Chris.

            • Tracey

              How did he make hs bones? Was he working class in his younger days or a protester, both, what do you mean?

              • McFlock

                Unions and labour party protests/activism/repping, if I recall correctly.

                • Tracey

                  I would (genuinely)like to hear his views on how the LP can be what the working poor and unable to work poor need them to be rather than always waiting for their (LP) to say something, then take potshots.

    • Puckish Rogue 5.6

      The difference between National’s response to its electoral nadir and Labour’s reaction to its worst result since 1922, is that the former took its thrashing seriously and Labour isn’t. Long before the Review was complete, Labour insiders were already speculating on whether or not it would be big enough to make a passable door-stop.

      National looked upon its defeat as a catastrophic market failure. National Incorporated’s share price had crashed, the Bank was ready to call in its overdraft, and the receivers were hovering. Time was of the essence. The Board of Directors had to do something.

      What did they do? Well, they did what every big business in trouble does. They called in the political equivalent of McKinsey & Co. – consultants in extremis – and ruthlessly refashioned the National Party into a lean, mean electoral machine. National’s review panel didn’t just lop-off the dead wood, they fed it into the wood chipper, mixed it with the blood and bones of several sacred cows, and spread it over their flower beds!

      If nothing else is taken from this then the last paragraph should be implemented as quickly as possible

      • mickysavage 5.6.1

        National’s review cause a corporate takeover of the party to occur with little democracy where members were nothing more than funders.

        Do you really think this is a good model to follow?

        • Puckish Rogue

          National in power since 2008 and likely to stay in power past 2017, you tell me

          However I think that Trotter is right on the money about clearing out the dead wood, thats never bad advice for any party

          • Tracey

            “National in power since 2008 and likely to stay in power past 2017” No, not a good thing because they have overseen a reduction in oversight, transparency and accountability. They may be on the “winning” team as you like to point out, but that doesn’t mean the consequences are positive

      • McFlock 5.6.2

        thanks for your concern.

      • Tracey 5.6.3

        “McKinsey & Co”


        If that is the answer, stop the Earth, I need to get off.

      • Tracey 5.6.4

        did you deliberately leave out the parts about deciding not to tell the truth (cos Hooton said it was a failed tactic), secret machinations to attack opponents at arms length from their new leader and so on? Or do you believe none of that is real despite rooms full of evidence tot he contrary? In short, they resolved to spend time and money getting much better at lying to the electorate and manipulating the message so people like you will

        a. vote for them (even when they represent almost none of the issues you state you care about; and
        b. spread their lies for them

  4. Morrissey 6

    Josie Pagani is starting a “think tank”?
    God give us STRENGTH.

    Josie Pagani? Nick Leggett? Stuart Nash?

    None of these people has impressed me as being particularly thoughtful, eloquent or principled. And now they’re forming a “think tank”….


  5. Clemgeopin 7

    CONTACT ENERGY : An arse hole of an electricity company. Their million dollar earning bastard bosses, along with the cabinet minister in charge of electricity, should be put in jail…for long periods of time in complete darkness with cold frozen food and nil heating.


    • vto 7.1

      Yep. And we are expected and forced to use their product for our winter heating when it is not reliable and too expensive. Fuck electricity – give me wood any day. I will not be exposing my family to the risk of relying on electricity for our warmth. Muppets.

      • halfcrown 7.1.1

        I agree with that VTO Genesis has put up their standing charge from $1.00 in 2013 to 1.769 in 2014 and massive 79% increase and again this year from 1.769 to 1.98 another 10%. total increase in standing charges since 2013= 97%. Of course this does not include GST which would also have increased!
        Fuck I wonder how many small businesses out there that are struggling have a captive market where they can put their rates up by that amount.? They are nothing but fucking parasites and I would like to Nationalise the whole lot no compensation and tell them to fuck off. This increase is on old clapped equipment we have had for years with little or no maintenance that was built by the New Zealand taxpayer.

        I asked a friend of mine after having heated discussions with Genesis why the increase when nothing was being replaced and he said a lot of people are now getting solar panels so they have put the standing charges up to make sure they are still getting their over inflated incomes, as power consumption is falling.
        Put them in jail as Clemgeon suggested is too good for the fucking arseholes.
        Oh I forgot as someone pointed out yesterday “the cash rate had to be lowered as inflation is at 0%. Yeah right.

        Love to win the Blotto though it is going to be very hard as I don’t buy the tickets just to build ourselves an energy self sufficient environmentally friendly house for not only doing our bit for the environment, which we do now, but also to deny these fucking arseholes income.

      • weka 7.1.2

        “Fuck electricity – give me wood any day. I will not be exposing my family to the risk of relying on electricity for our warmth.”

        It’s a concern how many houses in NZ now rely on mains power electricity as their only form of heating.

        We’re probably at peak firewood though, unless we start planting more trees.

    • Puckish Rogue 7.2

      Probably explains why the dividends for my shares are higher then normal

  6. The wrestler Dusty Rhodes has died. I appreciate that the WWE isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but back in 1985 Dusty wrote the template for ringside speeches with his calling out of Rick Flair. At the height of Reaganism, wrestling was a working class entertainment, cheaper than gridiron and baseball, and played in towns that the big sports never went to anyway. Dusty chose to align himself with the early victims of neo-liberalism with his ‘Hard Times’ speech.

    Nowadays, the WWE is all about the bling, but back then, they knew their roots.

  7. Gosman 9

    Looks like Syriza is going back on a number of election promises. Mass privatisations are on the agenda.

    “Publicly owned assets put up for sale would range from the port of Piraeus to the railway network, TrainOSE and regional airports nationwide, he [Greek national economy minister, Giorgos Stathakis] said.”


    • thatguynz 9.1

      Why exactly do you bang on incessantly about Greece Gos? I’m sure its not from the goodness of your heart to “educate” us so what is it?

      • Molly 9.1.1

        It frightens him to think that there are large groups of people who see an alternative – and vote for it. Ditto regarding Venezuela.

        • Gosman

          Because they are hard evidence of how much leftist thinking expressed by many here fail miserably when it comes to trying to implement them. Syriza was adament it would stop Privatisations. It has now backtracked and is selling even more State owned commercial enterprises than the previous government committed to sell. Why do you think it has done this if privatisations are a bad idea?

          • Draco T Bastard

            If Greece is privatising it probably has something to do with the austerity that the rest of Europe has forced upon Greece and nothing to do with it being a good idea which it isn’t.

            • Gosman

              Then Syriza should refuse to do it. They campaigned against it so why are they changing their mind?

              • Blackmail’s hard to deal with, Gosman.

                • Gosman

                  The Greeks don’t have to give in to anything. They are free to choose to tell their Creditors to go screw themselves. Instead they are attempting to negotiate and offering deals where they sell much of the State owned businesses in transport and other areas.

                  • Don’t have to do anything? Really? I never picked you as an advocate of repudiation of debt. Welcome to the revolutionary left, comrade! We knew you’d come round eventually.

                  • Clean_power

                    The Greeks have no choice: Mr Tsipras will eat humble pie, raise the white flag of surrender, and ask the IMF and E.U. for the money his country desperately needs. Syriza and its leader HAVE NO other option. None.

                    Electoral promises were good to take them to power, but economic reality is a different matter.

                    • Gosman

                      I agree with you to an extent although Greece does have the option of exiting the Eurozone and defaulting on the debt. They aren’t taking this option because they know it will lead to even greater hardship than they face now in the short to medium term. This is a something many leftists here can’t comprehend.

                    • Tracey

                      if only they were a company and not a country, they could declare bankruptcy, keep their personal fortunes, and run for president

                      “Trump has never apologized for using Chapter 11 as a business tool — indeed, when he spoke to my FORBES colleague Keren Blankfeld recently, he noted that many “great entrepreneurs” have used bankruptcy to restructure debt, free up capital and improve their businesses.

                      “I’ve cut debt — by the way, this isn’t me personally, it’s a company,” Trump said. “Basically I’ve used the laws of the country to my advantage and to other people’s advantage just as Leon Black has, Carl Icahn, Henry Kravis has, just as many, many others on top of the business world have.”

                      But to those uninitiated in bankruptcy laws, four instances of corporate bankruptcy in a row can seem staggering. “To the ordinary person in the street, it may seem surprising, but certainly not to me,” said Reed Smith partner Michael Venditto, who has represented clients in high profile Chapter 11 cases, including bankrupt airline TWA. “Chapter 11 is how you reshape and restructure a company that has problems. It doesn’t indicate anything nefarious or even bad management.”

                      and then this

                      “…his creditors, he said, knew what they were getting themselves into when they lent Trump money over and over again. “They’re all big boys and girls,” he said. “They’ve all played this game before, in the insolvency space. The company that possessed his name filed bankruptcy because it was overleveraged. What does that tell you? People want to lend him money. He does grandiose things with it.”

                • Tracey

                  the Right never say one thing in a campaign and then do something else when elected…

                  • Gosman

                    I’m pretty confident they do. However Syriza was meant to represent something more. It was meant to represent hope for challenging the prevailing economic orthodoxy and how people could change the system via the ballot box. All they seem to offer instead is asking for a little more lee way in following the policies they have been told to follow.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                It’s what being trapped in a financial and monetary iron maiden by the Euro Group and the IMF does to a nation.

                • Gosman

                  They can leave any time they choose. They will just suffer the consequences by their banking system collapsing completely. However you lot tend to think the Banking sector is a parasitic beast anyway so that surely is a good thing from your point of view.

                  • adam

                    No offence Gosman, but you assertion is wrong. They can not leave. A little treaty called NATO binds them squarely in place. So stop with that particular line please, it’s getting old.

                    If you need help to understand what I mean – look up NATO bases in Greece on you google box – it will give you all the relevant information. Or you could google Souda Bay – that one may interest you. So no Greece leaving – not an option – not going to happen – willingly or otherwise.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      And then there is the reliability of the Greek military Generals. Yep, exactly.

                    • Gosman


                      How is membership of Nato meant to stop the Greeks from leaving the Eurozone and defaulting on debt?

                      If you think the Greek military will stage a coup and the EU will allow them to remain withing the EU you are dreaming.

          • Lanthanide

            “Why do you think it has done this if privatisations are a bad idea?”

            Just because they’re doing it, doesn’t suddenly mean it is a good idea, or is no longer a bad idea.

            They’re taking the best action available to them, out of a very very short list of possible actions.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          The Euro Group and ECB needed to make it clear across Europe that democracy doesn’t rule; the bankster class does.

          • Gosman

            No, the Greek people need to understand they can’t vote for a solution to the problems they created for themselves if it involves relying on other people to bankroll their lifestyles. Syriza should just start taxing people a lot more and not rely on loans from offshore. Of course that will cause massive economic problems as well but at least they will be in control of their own destiny.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              False framing Gos. For instance, if you truly think that Greece has borrowed money irresponsibly and used it irresponsibly, then who who was doing the irresponsible lending to Greece?

              And if you truly believe that the Greeks have been living it high on borrowed foreign largesse – why is it that the ECB and IMF are so keen for Greece to borrow even more?

              Only Varoufakis has explained the way out of this – an end to austerity for the poor, and a Greek Government primary budget surplus of 1% to 1.5%.

              • Gosman

                The Greeks then should just raise taxes and sort their tax collection out so they don’t need to borrow any more money from offshore. I don’t know why Syriza hasn’t done this already

                • KJT

                  Yes, just as New Zealand should raise top tax rates so we don’t have to borrow. Thanks for the support Gossie. I knew you would see sense eventually.

                  • Kiwiri

                    NZ should remove that regressive tax called the GST.

                    Well, ok, if Labour were tinkerers and only wish to make marginal changes to the current system, then how about halve GST and introduce taxes that are fairer to rebalance the economy and urgently address socio-economic inequalities.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      1) Halve GST for most items; increase it to 20% for each dollar an item is over $100.
                      2) Introduce a 49% income tax rate set at 10x the minimum wage
                      3) Apply a 0.25% annual wealth tax on each dollar of asset holdings over $1M.
                      4) Launch an FTT set at 0.1% for each dollar of a financial transaction over $1000.

                    • Clean_power

                      1) Remove GST, and
                      2) Apply a flat tax of 20% across the board.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      20% is too low to maintain NZ government and social services at decent levels. In fact it is a fop to the 1% and to corporations.

                    • Tracey

                      Clean Power

                      Rodney Hide once described ACT thus:

                      “According to the former party leader Rodney Hide, the party stands for “individual freedom, personal responsibility, doing the best for our natural environment and for smaller, smarter government in its goals of a prosperous economy, a strong society, and a quality of life that is the envy of the world”

                      Can you think of 3 things they have done which could be described as “best for the natural environment.”? I ask cos your wish for no GST and a flat tax rate of 20% put me in mind of early ACT “principles”, so I thought ppossibly mistakenly) you might recall their work in this area better than I.

                    • Lanthanide

                      @ CV:
                      1) Suddenly the shops will be full of things charged at $99.99.

                      2) Suddenly there will be a lot of people earning $147.49 / hour.

                      3) Suddenly there will be a lot of asset flight from NZ and a bunch of off-shore accounts popping up like mushrooms.

                      4) Suddenly there will be millions of $1,000 financial transactions taking place.

                • Tracey

                  Doesn’t the rate of interest charged, and the decision to issue a loan factor in the risk of default?

                  • McFlock

                    Personal responsibility and risk applies only to the borrower, never the lender, in our Brave New World.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.1.2

        He’s trying really hard to blame Greece for the failure of his ideology.

      • Colonial Rawshark 9.1.3

        Gos is just proud of how the EU and the ECB has cynically and collectively crushed the hopes and aspirations of a small 12M person country for reasons of maintaining the political power status quo.

        • Gosman

          Greece has the ability to leave the Eurozone and follow it’s own path any time it desires. It doesn’t want to do that for some reason. Perhaps because it knows the middle class will be destroyed as a result.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Wrong Gosman. It’ll actually be the rich that get destroyed and the lower and middle classes that get built up.

            And as to why Syriza haven’t done so is because the population didn’t want them to. Probably has something to do with being misinformed by the rich about how bad it would be if they did.

            • Gosman

              If Syriza was as clever as you seem to think they are then they should know they can just forge ahead with getting out of the Eurozone and taking charge of their own destiny. Instead they are proposing privatising more State owned businesses. Don’t you find that a little bizarre?

              • Kiwiri

                You have wrong-footed this, Gosman.

                Have you actually even skimmed through some of the detail of the privatisation that Syriza dismissed or suspended, and then reworked/reorganised (in the national interest of Greece’s people, not in the interest of banksters, casino capitalism and rapacious thugs), and then are now considering to put on the table?


              • Tracey

                I thought you said months ago they (Greece) had to concede to Germany/EU or leave and yet here they are, a few months later, still “negotiating”… Some might consider the new Government had been savvy afterall.

              • miravox

                Taking charge of their own destiny?

                Greece knows very well it’s destiny is within Europe. If there’s one thing people on the left agree on (even while other disagreements are going on) it’s the value of community. Concessions are an indication of that value.

                The troika are clearly counting on that value. However at some stage the price will be too high for Greece and it seems that stage may be near.

        • miravox

          It’s weird isn’t it how the Germans has forgotten they had the Marshall Plan when they had a destroyed economy?

    • Marvellous Bearded Git 9.2

      @ Gosman
      “The IMF’s decision [to walk out of the talks] followed increasingly sharp criticism from EU officials frustrated at the Greek government’s continued refusal to bow to creditors’ demands.”

      This doesn’t sound like a party going back on its promises to me Gossie.

      • Gosman 9.2.1

        They promised no more privatisations. They have instead offered mass privatisations. How is this sticking to their election promises?

        • Tracey

          Remember when they said they wouldn’t raise GST and then did?

          Oh no, that’s right, that was John Key, doyen of the banking industry and rabid communist.

  8. BigKev 11

    I bet the queen is shocked at this

  9. Molly 12

    Just starting a book picked up from the library, and immediately found resonance on the first page, so thought I’d put it on Open Mike.

    From Danny Dorling’s: All That is Solid (2014)

    If people hoarded food on the basis that its value was sure to go up when others began to starve and would pay anything, we would stop their hoarding. But hoarding is now happening with shelter in the most unequal and affluent parts of the world. Increasingly it is the financing of housing that is our biggest problem: the mortgage or rent, the bills and the inequitable taxes.

    When we talk about our housing and wealth, ultimately what we are talking about is our freedom. When a great disaster looms in housing, so, potentially does a disastrous loss of freedom. We become less free of fear of the future. We become less free in our ability to choose where we live, and less free than those in countries not suffering a housing crisis.

    Lack of access to housing, a growing sense of insecurity over how we are to be housed, is lack of access to the freedom to feel secure; it constitutes a growing restriction on the right of the majority to be free to live a good and safe life.

    In the past in the UK we had greater freedom over where we could live. Fewer areas were too expensive to live in, and there were fewer areas that you would desperately try to avoid living in. Far less of our income was spent on housing, and we did not need to rely on our homes to provide us with financial security in our old age.”

    Link to Auckland Library copies for other Aucklanders.

    As a nation we need to define what is the fundamental provisions we want for all NZers.

    Given that we are currently failing to feed and house them all adequately, are we really saying that spurious economic aspirations and growth are our only goal?

    The government receives money in the form of taxes in order to create a nation that cares for its own and the world it lives in. How far removed from the fundamental provision of adequate and healthy food and housing will we allow them to get?

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      The government receives money in the form of taxes in order to create a nation that cares for its own and the world it lives in.

      This is how it is viewed and taught but that is not the way it should be. the government should be creating money to look after our people and to build and develop our society. It would then use taxes to decrease the money in circulation to prevent excess inflation.

      Nobody in this country should be short of a place to live and food on the table nor should the development of our society be dependent upon the rich making a profit from the work of others.

      • Alan Williscroft 12.1.1

        So it is up to someone else (the government) to create money and provide for us?
        No personal responsibility for making our own way in life?
        No natural discrepancies in how well different people do based on their individual ability and effort?
        No notion of risk and reward?

        • Molly

          What do you think the government should ensure is provided to all NZers then Alan?

          In a country blessed with productive land, – healthy food for all?
          In a country with resources that allow for healthy and affordable housing – accommodation for all?

          What is it that makes a healthy society for you?

          • Alan Williscroft

            My vision for a healthy society is probably not a lot different from yours Molly.
            I believe in taxation in order that the government can provide for those that need help at different stages in their lives.
            I believe that people should be encouraged to make the most of their talents in order that they can provide for themselves and their families.
            I believe in welfare as I think it was first intended, a help along the way in times of need but not a permanent lifestyle.
            I believe that people should see themselves as masters of their own destiny, recognising their own strengths and weaknesses and making their way appropriately.
            I think it is up to us, not someone else such as the government.

            I think there is plenty of direction from the current narrative. Some people will prosper in care giving fields such as medicine and teaching, some will prosper through employment in other peoples businesses, some will prosper through self employment.

            • Tracey

              what do you make of remuneration commensurate with ability and hard work when, say, a GP, working 60-80 hours a week earns less per annum, than say, someone who lobby’s government for a living?

            • Draco T Bastard

              I believe that people should be encouraged to make the most of their talents in order that they can provide for themselves and their families.

              So, completely the opposite of what’s happening ATM.

              I believe in welfare as I think it was first intended, a help along the way in times of need but not a permanent lifestyle.

              Well, if we had an economic system rather than the make a few people rich and everyone else poor system that we have now welfare wouldn’t be a permanent part of peoples life.

              I believe that people should see themselves as masters of their own destiny,

              People exist in a community/society which is necessary to their survival.

              I think it is up to us, not someone else such as the government.

              The people are the government. It’s not separate from them.

              I think there is plenty of direction from the current narrative. Some people will prosper in care giving fields such as medicine and teaching, some will prosper through employment in other peoples businesses, some will prosper through self employment.

              More slogans from a RWNJ.

              Reality shows that most people do very badly in the present system through no fault of their own and the people doing well are, by and large, stealing from everyone else (really, it’s where the poverty of the majority comes from).

            • Molly

              Thanks for replying Alan, but we are very different in how we view a healthy society.

              “I believe in taxation in order that the government can provide for those that need help at different stages in their lives.”
              I believe that everyone needs help at different stages of their life. Government should acknowledge this, and provide assistance for everyone at every stage of their life to live healthy, connected lives.

              “I believe that people should be encouraged to make the most of their talents in order that they can provide for themselves and their families.”
              I believe that limiting your decision making to yourself and your own, has created vast exploitation, and misuse of resources. Climate change and environmental disaster is the result. Some effort and intention on the part of healthy individuals should be towards the creation and maintenance of healthy communities and environment.

              “I believe in welfare as I think it was first intended, a help along the way in times of need but not a permanent lifestyle.”
              I believe in recognising the failure of real life to provide a fair and equitable start for all. The failure of someone to leave school with NCEA Level 2 when they have been required to attend a state schooling system every school day for eleven years is an indictment on the system, more so than the student. If you cannot see that the “level playing field” does not exist in real life, then you have led a life of privilege or been brainwashed – most likely, both.

              “I believe that people should see themselves as masters of their own destiny, recognising their own strengths and weaknesses and making their way appropriately.”
              Once again, a certain degree of privilege allows you to state this with some degree of certainty. I believe that along with our accountability towards our own wellbeing, we also carry a responsibility to a wider health and prosperity. We can quibble over the degree of that perhaps, but I don’t believe our current narrative allows for people to make their own way appropriately unless it is quantified in terms of financial success (or sporting prowess).

              “I think it is up to us, not someone else such as the government.”
              Don’t understand what it you are referring to here. I see families looking after loved ones in hospital, at great expense to their financial wellbeing and security, I see many of our poorer families taking care of their elderly – saving the government subsidies to retirement homes – and never being recognised for it. Family caretakers are still being denied the payment made to non-familial caretakers. Resource consents give businesses permission to override generations of sustainable guardianship in terms of water quality and resources and other environmental stewardship. The list of people taking care of themselves and others is long, and often hampered by governmental policies that focus on other areas.

              “I think there is plenty of direction from the current narrative.”
              So do I. Fastly moving in the wrong direction for the wellbeing of NZers long term.

              “Some people will prosper in care giving fields such as medicine and teaching, some will prosper through employment in other peoples businesses, some will prosper through self employment.”
              Some like vanilla, some like chocolate, others like strawberry – but there are those getting no icecream at all. In a nation of dairy – this is inexcusable. Just as relevant.

              Besides, there are those who are exploited in business, those who are continually denigrated (and Novopaid) in teaching (particularly relevant since most insults are coming from their employer – the MoE), some are prospering through the “hoarding” of housing, some are prospering through gambling concessions and turnover of public land, others through lack of adherence to safety, a singular to the export of live (and dead on arrival) sheep.

              These are not visionary acts of health and wellbeing, they are indicators of a narrative that is only a bedtime story and not to be taken seriously in the cold light of day by a government who should understand that it only exists to serve the public.

              • Tracey

                Thanks for taking the time to write this. I typed several replies and deleted them all. Yours expressed my thoughts more eloquently than I could.

                Thing is, I am sure that Alan is a caring person. Yes, we disagree (he thinks) on HOW to achieve stuff (although he hasn’t posted substance on the how) but he is expressing a personal philosophy which assumes so much of what you said above, and which simply doesn’t exist for many.

                Some people, despite their education and intelligence some folks still choose to believe that the world is for everyone as it is for them. They also tend to overstate how “hard” they worked and work for what they have compared to the working poor and unable to work poor. I know many disabled people for whom the effort (hard work) to get up, get washed, get dressed, and move tot he kitchen is a 2-3 mission. Breakfast and dishes another 1-1.5 hours, and a trip outside the home? A mission for another day. We relegate them to subsistence living until they are “lucky” enough to survive to 65, then we give them a “pay rise” to 65% of the average wage.

                I just can’t see how Alan’s model works for that person. And there are 10s of thousands of those people in NZ

        • Charles

          oh for fuck. You concieved yourself, and before you were born you built the hospital that delivered you, became the doctor that cut your cord, built the ambulance that took your mother to the hospital, and the car that took you home… and the culture you were born into, that was created by you before you were born, your skin colour and set of skills and personality, it wasn’t chance – you decided it because you knew the world would favour one shade of skin and not another, one birthplace and not another – and your general health, all decided by you, before you were born. Really dude, enough with your lack of thinking. Your life is a product of chance, and everything that was here before you, even before you were a sperm, and it still relies on chance and culture. Risk and reward? So you fought off the other sperm did you? Responsibility, individual effort, risk and reward, yeah right, you are so omnipotent.

          • Draco T Bastard


          • Tracey


          • b waghorn

            Superb Charles ,of course al baby won’t get it though.

          • Alan Williscroft

            You are absolutely right, all those things were completely out of my control, but now that I am here, I can take responsibility for myself and my family as best I can.

            • Tracey

              What makes you think that other people are not taking responsibility for themselves and family as best they can? And what percentage of our population are those you suggest are not doing this?

          • Kiwiri

            Thanks very much, Charles.

            I can step away from the computer in a minute knowing that my morning has been well spent because I have read your comment.

            Your comment is most worthy of a post of its own.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Hey Alan, if you don’t believe in Government, or Government services, please don’t use the roads, doctors or your ability to read this month, OK?

        • Draco T Bastard

          So it is up to someone else (the government) to create money and provide for us?

          I didn’t say that did I moran? You’re putting words in my mouth because you’re a fuckwit.

          Obviously, the money created by the government would be paid to people who work.

          No personal responsibility for making our own way in life?

          This may come as a shock to you but nobody can make their way in the world without a community around them.

          No natural discrepancies in how well different people do based on their individual ability and effort?

          All people are different but equal in those differences.

          No notion of risk and reward?

          Well, lets see how that works out in reality. A few years ago a lot of banks and their shareholders took huge risks and got huge rewards but when those risks called due, as they do, the taxpayers footed the bill and the risk takers kept their rewards rather than being relegated poverty as they should have been.

          Yeah, I think you can take your idea of risk and reward and fuck off because it’s obviously a load of bullshit.

        • Tracey

          People who live in glasshouses shouldn’t throw stones.

          A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush

          a stitch in time save 9

          “No natural discrepancies in how well different people do based on their individual ability and effort?”

          What do you for your money that has enabled you to be differentiated for your individual ability and effort? What do you produce?

      • Molly 12.1.2

        I am in complete agreement with your statement “the government should be creating money to look after our people and to build and develop our society”. – my point was, that there is no clear direction for the current narrative such as it is.

    • Charles 12.2

      “…Given that we are currently failing to feed and house them all adequately, are we really saying that spurious economic aspirations and growth are our only goal?”

      In a way, yes, but also in a way it’s not a conscious “goal”. If it were as easy as telling people, “Oh hey, you know that thing you’re doing? Yeah well it’s seriously harming and killing other people” and then the persons stops what they’re doing, the solution would be easy.
      Fucked if I know the answer. “Voluntarily giving up privilege” is my personal answer and it’s hard work, depressing, irritating, likey to end badly for me, and takes balls even at a very low level – if I may say so myself.
      In a world that treats people as objects, no one can teach people soul, no one can teach people self-control, can’t hardly even teach them to use language well enough to articulate their experiences accurately. You know what I found yesterday? A homeless guy who had climbed the social ladder of his world spouting shit that would fit nicely into the National supporters camp. He’d done it all himself, he reckoned (or reckoned he had, using common slogans and a poor grasp of language) while standing slap-fucking-bang in the middle of a homeless shelter that had helped him at every step and at any minute he could be right back at square one. So there’s another Paula Bennet/John Key waiting to happen. Can’t refuse to help just because people are what they are. People don’t want to save themselves or anyone else unless they inherently do. It’s down to us. The word sacrifice sounds bombastic, but the world as it is doesn’t favour the empathetic type. Ironically, the first thing to be sacrificed is politics.

  10. Marvellous Bearded Git 13

    Gordon Campbell is brilliant today:


    “The government was still in denial that a crisis existed, until the Reserve Bank chose to crack down on speculators. Dairy prices in virtual freefall? The extent of farm debt a big concern? The tradeable sector in chronic deflationary mode? The currency over-valued? The economic stimulus and jobs related to the Christchurch rebuild beginning to wind down? For his part, Finance Minister Bill English continues to perform his earnest possum in the headlights routine about all of those issues…”

    “…where is the long term planning for economic development? The substantive responses (a) to child poverty (b) to the shortage of affordable housing (c) to the rising national superannuation costs (d) to a declining health system amid an ageing population, and (e) to the threat and costs involved with climate change? All issues too hard, and politically risky for this government to tackle. Better to throw 20 bucks or so at the poor in the Budget and hope they’ll go away.”

    • Colonial Rawshark 13.1

      “…where is the long term planning for economic development? The substantive responses (a) to child poverty (b) to the shortage of affordable housing (c) to the rising national superannuation costs (d) to a declining health system amid an ageing population, and (e) to the threat and costs involved with climate change? All issues too hard, and politically risky for this government to tackle. Better to throw 20 bucks or so at the poor in the Budget and hope they’ll go away.”

      Where are Labour’s responses? Other than to raise the Super age or to asset test it, of course.

    • Tracey 13.2

      I presume the Government has orchestrated the drop in value of the USD to assist the PI and manufacturing sectors?

      • Kiwiri 13.2.1

        Hmm, how about this Tracey:

        Hey overseas buyers and speculators, you’re winners.
        Now is your time: more for less.

        The NZD that is now lower because it fell to the lowest in years after the OCR drop means that overseas buyers and speculators get to buy more Auckland houses and NZ assets with less of their USD, AUD, Yuan, etc.

    • Morrissey 13.3

      Gordon Campbell is brilliant every day. That’s the main reason he’s been cut from Jim Mora’s light chat show.


    • Kiwiri 14.1

      Good choice of picture. That is a very appropriate photo of Abbott farting. I can almost hear it.

    • RedLogix 14.2

      Abbott is a thug. But like most Aussies, at least you are in little doubt about what he is.

  11. weka 15

    Regarding the personal photos of a journalist being released by one of Slater’s colleagues, can anyone confirm that the photos originally came from Rachinger?

    • I haven’t kept up with all of it in the last couple of days, but I don’t think either Rachinger or the victim have said otherwise.

      • weka 15.1.1

        I think Rachinger did yesterday on twitter. His account is currently not available.

        • te reo putake

          If that’s the case, then somebody else has tried to ruin the woman’s life. Hard to think of anyone that could be that vindictive and petty. Oh, wait …

          • weka

            Two bloggers obviously have an agenda (attacking the journalist and Rachinger). I’ve been trying to get some sense out of twitter peeps about why they consider the photos came from Rachinger, but it’s hard going. It seems likely that it was Rachinger, but no-one is saying why exactly (although it’s partly also that the evidence would mean talking about personal detail).

        • James

          His account has been like that for a while now. I dont believe that there is any evidence that he has denied leaking the pics.

          • James

            Ahh just missed edit window. What I was updating was:

            His account has been like that for a while now. I dont believe that there is any evidence that he has denied leaking the pics.

            EDIT – Looks like the account is now deleted, where before it was ‘private’ – so My comment above re the account may incorrect. Appplogies

            • weka

              He has two accounts. On one of them yesterday he tweeted a lot and then closed the account (I don’t know if it’s deleted or private or what, but it’s not visible). He quite often makes his accounts invisible or unreadable.

    • James 15.2

      Just because I know people like to be pedantic.

      A – There is no proof that they are Slaters colleagues – although many on the left suggest they are, I am not aware of any proof this is the case. If you have some – please feel free to post it.

      B – They were published on that blog (not good IMHO) – but they were leaked before that to many people. The blog just published them, but they were leaked by someone else in order for the blog to get them.

      • weka 15.2.1

        I probably don’t care if that blog is a WO feed or not, but I think there’s been evidence (not proof) posted on ts in the past, esp from Lynn. You could try a search for lprent and the blog name.

        I’m not sure what your second point is about. Obviously the photos were released somehow, and I don’t think the word ‘just’ needs to be in your last sentence.

        The thing I am interested in is how evidence is used or not used on twitter. It’s very different than here. I’m also interested in the wider implications and public interest aspect given Rachinger’s involvement in the alleged payment for hack of the standard as a way of damaging the Labour party. And to be clear, I’m not interested in the personal details at all.

        • Sacha

          Coming so soon after Slater’s butter-wouldn’t-melt ‘statement’, and using exactly the techniques he alleged Rachinger used against him, the LF smear post seems suspect. Let’s hope the police take it into account in whatever investigation they are slowly pursuing.

  12. Morrissey 16

    In Praise of Greece, Birthplace of Democracy and Last Refuge of Democracy

    Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ speech addressing Parliament on the issues relating to the current negotiation
    June 6, 2015

    Madame President,
    Ladies and Gentlemen Members of Parliament,

    I requested today’s meeting because we are now in the final stretch of the negotiations and simultaneously, at the most critical juncture. Therefore, it is necessary to officially inform the Parliament, to inform the Greek people, regarding the status of the negotiations and what we’d like to accomplish going forward.

    Doing so is in accord with my democratic responsibility, not only towards the political parties and the Parliament, but also towards the Greek people. This is why, from the very start, I made it clear that in this process we have nothing to hide nor do we hide from the Greek people. It is on their behalf that we are negotiating; on their behalf and with a sense of responsibly that we are fighting to achieve the best possible deal.

    There is nothing, therefore, that we wish to keep hidden.

    Read more….


  13. halfcrown 17

    Interesting site if you are not aware of it


  14. adam 18

    Who is Scott Morrison and why is he in charge of anything?

  15. weka 19

    The return of the White Man Behind a Desk, on Social Bonds

    “it’s friendly Daniel Craig, it’s friendly Peirce Brosnan”

  16. Puckish Rogue 20


    Can’t disagree with this guy, if Labour do all this they’ll be a shoo-in for the next election

    • McFlock 20.1

      Tory can’t disagree with a tory – big surprise.
      Apparently Labour should avoid new media, avoid explicitly stating principles, and stop pointing out our PM is a callous, lying, creep.

      Ta, both of you, for your concern.

      • Puckish Rogue 20.1.1

        Hey i suppose whatever Labours been doing for three elections has been working perfectly so don’t change anything 🙂

        I’ll just wait for another “the shine has come off John Key” post which has been happening since 2008

      • Tracey 20.1.2

        why do national supporters constantly pretend they know (or care) what will work for Labour Party? PR glibly says cos they want :”competition” to make the “game” more interesting, but that is, at best, puerile thinking.

        Cos Nats didn’t get into power by directly and indirectly pilloring Helen Clark and her husband (including viscous innuendo) , but they did avoid standing for anything… were slow to use new media (other than blogs as a kind of battering ram of gutter nastiness)

        • McFlock

          Basically, if they have a good idea then they know that a fair chunk of lefties would oppose it on the grounds that there must be a hidden pitfall.

          Similarly, if they have a bad idea then some lefties might actually waste a significant amount of time weighing up the merits, or even be convinced of its merit and lobby for it.

          Either option increases division within the left, which is the tory’s main objective.

          But then, anyone who genuinely thinks politics is just a game when our houses kill our babies… they’re the sort of folk who tortured kittens when they were kids, and dabbled in light arson so they could have a wank. There’s a reason that the most right-wing party in parliament also has the highest conviction rate of former MPs.

  17. millsy 21

    Re: the debate above on the future of Labour – there is another option. Make the growing of co-ops of all shapes and sizes the centerpiece of its 2017 manifesto, starting with the left’s answer to charter schools: co-op schools. Do that, and you might have a chance.

    • Lanthanide 21.1

      Good way to be branded as a bunch of hippies by the MSM / right.

      • millsy 21.1.1

        Fonterra, Ravensdown, FMG, EA Networks, Farmlands, Co-Op Bank are hardly hippie enterprises

        • Lanthanide

          You’ve listed 6 companies out of the 544,000 registered companies in NZ.

          What better way for Labour to make themselves look like a fringe party, than by embracing the fringiest fringe around?

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Lanth – please justify your opinion that companies like Fonterra and Farmlands are fringe companies. These are companies with well over a billion dollars in sales per year, and have long old roots which show that they last.

            By the way, how does that compare to the company that you work for? How many decades does the history of your company go back?

            • Lanthanide

              The roots of the company I work for go back to 1983 or thereabouts. In recent years they have been amongst the top exporting companies in the country, and no-one has heard of us (I’m not being more specific, so as to preserve my pseudonymity).

              Fonterra was created by government legislation.

              Co-ops are fringe by the fact that there are very few of them around, compared to regular companies. That is the definition of fringe.

              If the co-op style of ownership had any overwhelmingly redeeming features to it, we would see a lot more of them around.

              • Lanthanide

                For some reason I no longer have permission to edit the above comment despite being within the normal editing window.

                Rather than saying “no-one has heard of us”, replace that with “99.9% of NZers have never heard of us”.

                • Grant

                  the edit thing happened to me earlier this afternoon. Tried to go back in immediately after saving a comment, got a dialogue saying I had no permission to edit. reloaded the page and when my comment displayed it had no edit or delete buttons showing.

                  • Lanthanide

                    Yip, this happened to me too – Lynn?

                    Have had this happen in the past as well.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Between Fonterra, Farmlands and those other co-ops, they put through approx $25B per year and have more than 20,000 employees.

                How many dozen times bigger than your company is that?

                • Lanthanide

                  Many times.

                  But that doesn’t stop them being fringe companies, which again, means something that is uncommon.

                  I’m not denying they’re successful and that the co-op model works for them. I’m simply pointing out that there doesn’t appear to be any inherent benefits from the co-op model. The big four banks aren’t co-ops and they wipe the floor with both Fonterra and Farmlands.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Dude, you really are frustrating to converse with. For instance when you talk about “inherent benefits” from a business model, you fail to articulate “for whom.” At the end of the day, you have to make a value judgement as to whether you want to see a more democratic, more widely held economy, or whether you want to see more of the same mainstream (‘non-fringe’) economic structures where control and ownership is by very small cabals of society, many of whom do not have NZ’s best interests have heart or even live here.

                    • Lanthanide

                      I’m not sure what your point is.

                      You are the one trying to argue with me that a tiny minority of companies, by number, are somehow not fringe, just because there happen to be a couple of behemoths that follow the same business practice.

                      I’m not sure why you’re trying to make that argument, because by the standard definition of ‘fringe’, you’re flat-out wrong.

                      For other points, I don’t disagree.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Dude, just because you are a member of a small minority, why should you be considered with the perjorative “fringe”???

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      I’m not sure what your point is.

                      That’s because you seem to be purposefully ignoring it with the use of the word fringe in a pejorative manner.

                      The question that needs to be asked is: Which of the business models available are the best for the workers and society?

                      I’d argue that co-ops are because workers are empowered, tend to have greater income and IMO can be and will be more innovative because of that empowerment and the fact that they know that they’ll be rewarded for that innovation rather than exploited as the current capitalist ownership model that rewards the owners rather than the workers.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The top 40 co-ops in NZ alone do about $40 billion.

          • Draco T Bastard

            IIRC, about 10% of businesses in NZ are co-ops and I don’t think you can really call that ‘fringe’.

            But even that’s not the issue because what we need to be doing is turning all businesses in NZ into co-operatives and getting rid of the standard capitalist ownership model that works on exploitation of others.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Sheeezus yep, four mates coming together to work and to put $50K each into launching their new tech start up is a “co-operative.”

              • Lanthanide

                I think that’s only a co-op if the 5th employee of the company also has input into decision-making and sharing of profits. If not, it’s simply a company with 4 founding owners.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Ahhh, so now you’re debating the finer points of co-op ideological purity.

                  But why don’t you try and broaden your outlook a tad and see where the generalizable principles lie. 4 owners, 4 workers, self agreed division of labour, 4 equal shares of the profits.

                  • In NZ that arrangement is more likely to be a partnership. But, as Lanth seems to be pointing out, it might be a co-operative if future employees also have the same rights and obligations as the founders.

                    It would really depend on how it was structured, what the founding documentation says about labour/profit etc.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Yep, it would have to depend upon the actual legal set up of the business if it was a co-op or just a standard business.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Millsy – excellent points and great examples. The model works and has built some of NZs biggest and most successful corporates.

        • Grant


          The PSIS reincarnated as the cooperative bank.

          + building societies. Many Kiwis familiar with these and not exactly hippy organizations.

          • Lanthanide

            My point is, the MSM and the right wing would characterise a party that actively promoted co-ops as being a hippy party.

            So far no one has presented any convincing arguments that the MSM and right wing would not use this characterisation. That doesn’t mean that co-ops are for hippies; simply that that is how it would be spun, and personally I think the public would buy that line.

            • millsy

              Well, Labour seems to have two choices. It can either a) set out to reanimate the MOW, NZR, NZED, DSIR etc, which would difficult/impossible, or it can go all Blairite, which means the status quo.

              Or it can try something different.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Well, yeah, but the idea would be to counter that and doing so is really quite easy. Just ask them if they think that the average Fonterra farmer is a hippy.

            • b waghorn

              I think part of labours issues is that that worry to much about how that dirty prick key and his poodles hoskings ,henry and co will portray what they want to achieve. Labour needs to take there position and stand strong.

  18. Paul 22

    Josie Pagani promoting her think tank on the Panel.
    Please Labour Party distance yourself.

  19. Draco T Bastard 23

    Report shows Generation Y increasingly using public transport

    A new report has highlighted the growing trend in Generation Y’s use of public transport – with a prediction that close to 50 per cent of those aged 15 to 35 would be using it in the next five years.

    The New Zealand Transport Agency’s Public Transport and the Next Generation report indicated the age-group’s use of public transportation currently sits at 35.3 per cent, with the numbers expected to sit at 48.7 per cent if no improvements to the system were made.

    These numbers were expected to grow to 53.7 per cent if public transportation was improved.

    So much for National’s Roads of (in)Significance.

    And, yes, the public transport will be improved.

    • maui 23.1

      Maybe when the new and shiny superhighways empty out we can have electric bus lanes put in instead :).

  20. Penny Bright 24

    Gee – I wonder which members of NZ Initiative (rebranded NZ Business RoundTable) stand to financially benefit from these National Government’s proposed experimental ‘Social Bonds’?

    Who are current members of the NZ Business RoundTable?
    (Sorry – NZ Initiative)?

    Just copied this off the NZ Initiative website:
    ” The New Zealand Initiative is supported by some of the country’s leading business people. Our members come from various backgrounds and represent the New Zealand economy in all its diversity.

    From agriculture to manufacturing, from consulting to banking, our wide-ranging membership ensures that the Initiative takes a global view on the issues facing New Zealand.

    Together the members of The New Zealand Initiative form a network of high profile individuals and firms united by their passion for good public policy.

    Air New Zealand
    AWF Group
    ANZ National Bank
    ASB Bank Limited
    Bank of New Zealand
    Bell Gully
    Contact Energy
    Cooper and Company
    First NZ Capital
    Fletcher Building
    Foodstuffs North Island
    Forsyth Barr
    Gallagher Group Ltd
    Google New Zealand
    Hall’s Group
    Heartland Bank
    Imperial Tobacco
    Infinity Investment Group
    McConnell Group
    Microsoft New Zealand
    NZX Limited
    Portfolio Construction Forum
    PwC New Zealand
    Samson Corporation
    SKYCITY Entertainment Group
    Tappenden Holdings Ltd
    Tax Management NZ

    Of course – just as with all the Rogernomic$ ‘reforms’ – these ‘compassionate corporate$’ are not promoting just their own financial well-being – they’re doing this in the ‘national interest’.

    Yeah right …..follow the dollar?

    Penny Bright


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