Open mike 12/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 12th, 2012 - 151 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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

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

Step right up to the mike…

151 comments on “Open mike 12/08/2012”

  1. Beryl Streep 1

    [This comment moved to open mike from weekend social. r0b]

    New Zealand wins two Olympic gold medals and you lot are banging on about shovelling horse manure and growing siberian tomatoes.

    No wonder we’re perceived as out of touch with mainstream NZ. I’m a leftie too but I find the participants of this site are too self-flagellating to bother with.

    Come on folks, get with the program and cheer the fuck up. How can we hope to win the next elections with you sorry lot as our activist base?

    • locus 1.1

      the name of this thread is a clue beryl.

      i for one would love to be out digging the garden but couch potato-ing the olympics instead 🙂

    • rosy 1.2

      Beryl, maybe you should try a spot of gardening yourself. It’s good for the soul. 😉

    • felix 1.3

      “How can we hope to win the next elections with you sorry lot as our activist base?”

      And your suggestion is that we do less gardening and watch more television.


    • Rosie 1.4

      Your comments a a bit harsh for the friendly social pages. These pages help move us from the occassionally conflict driven discussion of the week to more easy going socially orientated crac.

      You do however raise a point. It is political in its nature and perhaps belongs more on Open Mike. After the unpleasantness about cheering the fuck up you go on to say “How can we hope to win the next elections with you sorry lot as our activist base?’

      Its that question that I spend alot of time thinking about and despairing of (apologies for not being cheerful)

      To break it down and first and foremost I don’t think the authors and commenters here are a sorry lot. As an outsider I see intelligent and well educated contributors who are quite often leaders in their own feild and who have a sound knowledge of NZ and international politics. They have a strong sense of history and therefore a keen grasp on current movements in our socio political world.. Not a sorry lot at all. I visit this site to read rational well constructed argument and to add to my learning.

      Secondly: Does contributing to a blog constitute activism these days? Please pardon my ignorance, it mostly likely does and I just don’t know that. My political activity has usually involved marches, picket lines, writing to MP’s and other assorted activities.

      Thirdly: “How can we hope to win the next election……….” Putting aside your comment regarding the Standard, I’d like to know where is the unified and strong green/left activist base? Where is the nation wide collective of people from all walks of life and of all status’ that are committed to working together to bring change? Yes, we’ve had marches, we’ve had petitions and yes we do have have groups of people who refer to themselves as activists but where is the cohesion in all this? I guess the only reason I’m here online as that I’ve given up with the vacuum, or the void where fighting back once was. I also got sick of humourless, small world view groups with idelogical blinders on: the “ists” and the “isms”. Oh, and the aloof elite vibe of such groups was always tiresome – seeing them interact with the actual people they pontificate about was interesting. Their politics was all in the head and confined within their own ego’s. So thats my grumble about the lack of desparetly needed activism and in a way it mirrors your questioning on how are we ever going to win the next election.

      So how are we? Maybe thats something to talk in another column. This is the social page. Now is the time for a cup of tea.

    • prism 1.5

      This blog thinks and argues about important matters to try and reach an understanding of what why and how we should do things. If you can’t understand that it is different from a human horse race like the Olympics which has simple rules and outcomes then you shouldn’t bother about visiting here.

      I haven’t heard of sportspeople who have gone into politics who are successful at finding a balance between all the competing concerns they face. Dick Quax for instance always sounds so right wing and always looking for budget cuts. And making policy that affects people’s lives along with the competition from needy people, speculators who want to scoop it up etc.requires skills different from running, jumping and rowing for a medal.

      • Rosie 1.5.1

        Yes, and Dick Quax thinks Destiny Church setting up a charter school is a great idea. Theres a whole lot of wrong going with that statement

        • prism

          A good business decision though and builds the church numbers with young people coming on. Then into a strong position as the religious players in the very holy USA have found. Some of these churches with leaders who are media personalities have congregations of hundreds up to a thousand I think. And of course one of the holy and sacred rules is that religious groups get tax holidays from the government.

          Or they used to. I think Sanitarium have got busy lately defending their tax free position – Seventh Day Adventists I think. Do you remember the name Reverend Moon – very holy in the USA. Had his followers give up their money and the church set up enterprises, and became the biggest employer in one small town which was awkward as it upset the money flow and the local economy.

          Then of course there was the Jones debacle. He moved his followers to somewhere in Africa and when a USA senator went on a fact finding trip to visit the site, his guards shot the man. After that they got their people to take poison and die and go to heaven. That’s a worst case scenario. But the whole thing is unpleasant and I don’t really like religious schools being expanded. It’s a bad decision but the thinkers at the top, have had blinkers surgically implanted.

  2. Carol 2

    What is wrong with this picture?

    . A Families Commission report last week showed steady decline in two-parent families since 1976, and an almost tripling of solo-parent families between 1976 and 2006.

    Nine out of 10 one-parent families earn well below the median household income, and their children have significantly higher poverty rates.

    Nearly half of all births in 2010 were to unmarried women, compared with about 10 per cent in 1964, and research from the United States suggests half of unmarried parents living together at a child’s birth split up within five years.

    The push for women to get educated has made it harder for women like Faithfull to break out of the solo-parent trap.

    Instead, educated, well-off people are marrying, widening the gap between rich and poor families.

    New Zealand is becoming a society of family haves and have-nots, with marriage and its benefits increasingly confined to the prosperous.

    It seems to me something is very rotten in the state of income inequality. It seems to be that those families with two parents with formal education qualifications have a comfortable lifestyle. It used to be that a family, with or without formal post-school education qualifications could live reasonably well on one income.

    This is part of the story of income inequality. The system needs to change so that more people are working, for less hours (20 hour week as standard?), and with everyone earning a wage that provides a comfortable living – and less people earning way more than they need.

    And with nearly half of all births being to unmarried women in NZ, the government should be doing everything in its power to provide financial, social and emotional well-being of a significant tranche of future generations. But instead, they demonise solo mothers and do everything to make life harder for them.

    • rosy 2.1

      Half of the births are to unmarried women is equated to solo parents? Is the Families Commission taking a moral line and subtly pushing marriage instead of acknowledging that births to unmarried women does not equal solo parents? More that half of all legal marriages end before 14 years. Suggesting that many solo mothers gave birth while within a relationship. It would be interesting to know how the lives of these women and their children work out. Then maybe we can also check education levels of young solo parents too, and maybe see if it’s being a solo parent or being an uneducated, young solo parent that makes the difference.

      It would help an awful lot of DPB-dependent women if the money their children’s fathers paid was at least shared with their families rather than going entirely to Social Welfare. Committing to the child sends the correct moral message, yeah? It might even encourage women who give birth outside of a relationship to name the father and fathers to pay and take a little bit of extra care in their sexual relationships in future.

      • Carol 2.1.1

        I agree, rosy, that the article appears to be promoting marriage, but is ignoring the underlying issues that the report indicates, largely by omission. The evidence is there in the contradictions and reasonable conclusions that can be drawn from the evidence if you look at the bigger picture. The problem is income and social inequalities.

        rosy said:

        instead of acknowledging that births to unmarried women does not equal solo parents? More that half of all legal marriages end before 14 years. Suggesting that many solo mothers gave birth while within a relationship.

        But also the article says

        research from the United States suggests half of unmarried parents living together at a child’s birth split up within five years.

        We don’t know if this is also true of NZ, but the article is implying it is. But, even if true in NZ, they don’t consider how low income impacts on relationships.

        • Pete George

          But, even if true in NZ, they don’t consider how low income impacts on relationships.

          Or that lack of relation ships impacts on income. I’d say that is more of an cause.

          Having children without having a stable relationship is a precursor to many financially deprived families.

          • KJT

            Actually the evidence shows it is the other way around.

            Didn’t have all these disadvantaged kids living in poverty when social insurance was enough to live on.

            PG. The radical ring wing apologist who still likes to think he is middle of the road.

            And. If you are so worried about teenage mums breeding for a living, how about giving them better options.

            Instead of an uncertain future in casualised Mcjobs. Or none.

            • Pete George

              You seem to be suggesting that the DPB should be a generously provided choice for teenagers. If so I’m sure there will be far more than radical right wingers who are very against this.

              DPB originated as a helping hand for mothers who were left in the shit by circumstances, most often by failed relationships. Few would argue against that.

              Many would argue against young women (and girls) choosing or allowing to have babies without any educational or relationship security. David Shearer knows this.

              • KJT

                O fuck off.

                As usual Pete you have NFI.

                If you cannot understand what the grownups are saying.
                Keep quite.

                • Vicky32

                  Keep quite.

                  Surely a grown up should know the difference between quite and quiet, KJT? Just saying…
                  (My point is, that rather than a sweary heap of mis-spelled insults, you’d be better off telling him why you believe he’s wrong. That would be the grown up thing to do! 😀 )

              • KJT

                Less than 8% on the DPB are teenagers.

                Most were in what, they thought, was a stable relationship before having children.
                Leaving less than 3% who may, possibly, be breeding for the DPB.

                Statistics were from WINZ/MSD. Which for some mysterious reason appear to have disappeared off their websites recently.

                The overwhelming majority on the DPB are older mothers whose husbands/partners left.

                The hordes of teenagers breeding for a business is a right wing fantasy.
                Which brings into question their attitude towards teenage girls and sex.

                As is the idea that you can solve child poverty and disadvantage by making their parents poorer.

                How about some discussion about the wealthy men who abandon their wives and kids, then put their money in trusts and other tax dodges to avoid paying their share. I know 3 women personally who that has happened to recently.
                One has to pay for her children’s lunches when they go and visit their Dad, despite him living with his trophy wife in Whitby.

                • The only claims I’ve seen of anyone trying to make parents poorer are from left wing fanatasists.

                  • KJT

                    As apposed to right wing fanatics who have managed to take our country over and make almost everyone poorer. Especially parents.

                    The ones YOU support. PG.

                  • David H

                    Jesus you really are a brainless moron are’nt you petey? The only ones cutting wages, cutting jobs, cutting support are the NACTS, well supported by the Hairdo. Now I have gone against my vow not to answer anything this mindless link whoring T:roll: posts.

                • RedBaron

                  “How about some discussion about the wealthy men who abandon their wives and kids, then put their money in trusts and other tax dodges to avoid paying their share. I know 3 women personally who that has happened to recently.”

                  Rich white boys win again. Dumping their children on the unsuspecting taxpayer.

                  There are currently some 230 child support cases before the courts and 90% of admin reviews are about paying parent income not being taken into account
                  Most court action revolves around wealthy parents dodging their share as there is no point in litigating where there is no money to be had.

                  So a minimal estimate is some 200 parents avoiding paying some $25,000 p.a. each.

                  Taxpayer subsidy $5,000,000 per annum minimum over say 10 years $50m.
                  But this will be only the tip of the iceberg around 10%, based on income statistics so closer to $500m.
                  Doesn’t Nact want to get 20,000 women off benefits- no they’d rather attack her.

                  Do the courts care ?
                  No they make statements like ” he may love his children but he doesn’t want to pay her” and cut the amount back 90%.

                  No sign of statements like “she may love her children but she should not be expected to provide free childcare to him”.
                  What century are we in ?

                  Time to change the law and for the Chief Justice should boot some of her judges off on “equity courses” so they find out the depth of their own prejudices.

                  • I agree that there are problems with (usually) men across all incomes who actively avoid paying for the care and upbringing og their children.

                    And in my opinion those who can afford to provide for their own children and actively avoid doing that deserve more condemnation than deadbeat dads at the other end of the income scale.

                    Doing the best for your own children is not just a social responsibility, it should be the top priority for any parent.

              • Descendant Of Smith

                Don’t rewite history Pete. DPB wasn’t introduced for the reasons you say. There was a Royal Commission that made reccomendations about a comprehensive welfare system that quite clearly was driven by the need of the person not how they ended up there. This was then put into place. The moralising bullshit that you, your fellow right wingers and your religous mates spout was not part of the thinking at the time.

                This from 1977.

                Take note of the last sentence:

                MAIN FEATURES OF SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM—The present system cannot be characterised according to any single principle, theory, or formula. It has evolved from changing needs and experience in dealing with them. For example, it looks like a form of community insurance, but is not financed, funded, or administered on an insurance basis. It is contributory, because it is financed from taxation; it acts with the progressive income tax structure in redistributing income. But a person’s benefit bears no relation to his tax contribution, While basically income-tested and selective as to need within classes of benefit, it is also universally applied without regard to other income or means in three main cases (superannuation, family, and medical benefits) and in the lesser miners’ benefit. It transfers income from the more to the less affluent mainly on the basis of greatest help for those in greatest need. It reflects the traditional humanitarian, egalitarian, and pragmatic approach of New Zealanders and, most importantly, reflects acceptance of community responsibility for social welfare.

                The main features of the system are:

                Eligibility for benefits (other than emergency) is based on residence for varying qualifying periods and not on the amount of tax paid.

                Benefits (other than family, miners’, superannuation, and medical benefits) are subject to an income test with the amount of benefit being reduced if other income is over a prescribed level. Emergency benefits and supplementary assistance are subject to tests of both income and property.

                In paying superannuation and family benefit without any tests of income or need it is assumed that for everybody over 65 years and for all families with dependent children, a community-financed income supplement is necessary and desirable, irrespective of actual financial need or resources. Miners’ benefit is not income tested, on the accepted assumption that if a person is disabled by disease arising from mining he needs to be compensated for losing income and enjoyment of life and that the income loss does not require to be established or tested.

                The concept of the family as the fundamental economic and social unit is recognised by the payments made in respect of the otherwise ineligible but dependent wife and children of a beneficiary; and the taking into account of the income of the husband or wife (legal or de facto) of a beneficiary when assessing the amount of those benefits subject to an income test.

                Contribution under a graduated income tax system and payment of benefits at a flat rate irrespective of contributions (that is, taxes paid) distinguishes the New Zealand system from many of those of other countries.

                The cash and medical benefits give a comprehensive coverage of need.

                Beneficiaries are given incentives to self-help and to work. From the start, amounts payable from standard benefits have been set below the average wages of low-earner groups; and small incomes, and most property, have been disregarded in assessing an individual’s benefit. Conversely the income-tested age benefit for men over 60 years and some women over 55 years, superannuation for people over 65 years, and the benefits for widows with dependent children or over a prescribed age recognise these people’s right to stop working if they want to.

                Contribution through taxation is compulsory. The right to “contract out” on the grounds that the individual may not need, or qualify for, public aid is denied in the community interest, as it is with other State services such as education, defence, police.

                The Social Security Commission has wide discretionary power to grant, withhold, or reduce benefits, and a general power of direction is given to the Ministers of Health and Social Welfare (who are often the same person).

                With certain exceptions no person is entitled to more than one analogous benefit from either New Zealand or overseas.

                Standard rates with supplements, rather than differential rates according to the class of benefit, relate benefits to need rather than to the cause of need.

                [lprent: I would have linked and reduced the quote. But I found the only match at which made my safari on the iPad fall over. Put quotes in. ]

                • “Beneficiaries are given incentives to self-help and to work.”

                  “…relate benefits to need rather than to the cause of need.”

                  Most debate is over ’cause of need’ versus ‘choice of want’.

        • rosy

          Sorry my link didn’t go to the correct place… Why did they use the U.S. de facto stats? Instead they could have referenced NZ legally married stats where more than half of all marriages split up before a potential child of that marriage has grown up. How is that different from de facto relationships in NZ? I’d like the Families Commision to tell us. The mix-up of un-related facts in that article … *sigh*

          I hope we both agree that education and income probably have a lot more to do with positive outcomes for a child than whether they were born to a single parent or not.

          • Carol

            Yes, rosy, I agree with that, rosy, but also would add the way the system is stacked. So a couple who are both working and have an educational advantage (probably themselves coming from a family on a comfortable income) will be doing nicely.

            One income, while also having to manage childcare without a partner, is a major disadvantage in today’s context. But it’s not the solo parents that are the problem, but the fact that one income is no longer enough to support a family.

            • Te Reo Putake

              Spot on, Carol. The driving down of incomes over the last thirty years is the single biggest reason for the rise in poverty and the phenomenom of the working poor. And, of course, the lack of respect for women in work generally and working mothers specifically.
              As we move to a world of casualised, precarious work, parents, and their kids, will bear the cost.

            • rosy

              yes, it’s absolutely stacked against solo parents, but a well-provisioned single mum can do so much more than 2 parents on the minimum wage working odd shifts, imo. You’re right that a wage should support a family. It doesn’t. Poverty is about class/income, not marital status.

              However, in this Pete’s point is also important – well-off women can be reduced to poverty when the marriage breaks down and the husband either disappears or can afford to structure his affairs to avoid maintenance payments. Poor women? Well they just don’t get a break.

              Which brings me back to the point of the Family Commission report – what was it again? 😉

              • well-off women can be reduced to poverty when the marriage breaks down

                Yes, that happens.

                But also many girls who begin poor destine themselves to lives of financial hardship by starting motherhood absent any fatherhood beyond a bonk.

                Sensible family planning would avoid a lot of problems.

                • rosy

                  Oh Pete you were doing ok there for a minute. Now you have to go and get all off topic, pejorative and everything.

                  • It’s not off topic, it’s the crux of a major part of the problem – mothers having babies before they’re in a financial or social position to give their children the best possible chance.

                    • Jackal

                      So your argument is that woman should put their biological clock on hold until their financial situation improves. What if it doesn’t improve… Are you saying that poor people should simply not have children?

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Pete we’re biologically designed to have children young. Waiting til your financial situation improves actually means, in the particularly low wage shitty economy, waiting until you are what 35 – even then that wouldn’t satisfy people of your ilk.

                      Waiting that long also means that you are less likely to have children, more likely to miscarry, more likely to have a child with Downs Syndrome.

                      What you are saying is that only the wealthy, who can afford to pay for their children, should have children young.

                      You also deny reality which is that young people do and have always had sex and that sex results in babies. This won’t and will never change, no matter how much you wish it to go away.

                      It’s how we make sure that those kids grow up in the best possible enviornment that matters.

                    • Colonial Viper


                    • What you are saying is that only the wealthy, who can afford to pay for their children, should have children young.

                      I didn’t say that. In New Zealand you don’t have to be wealthy to afford to give children a decent upbringing.

                      But it helps your chances – and your kids chances – if you at least wait until you’ve got a decent start of an education, and possibly a start of a career.

                      And it sure as hell helps if you have got a relationship that has a chance of providing dual parent support and income.

                      You also deny reality which is that young people do and have always had sex and that sex results in babies.

                      You also deny the reality that it’s never been easier to use contraception and have abortions.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      You also deny the reality that it’s never been easier to use contraception and have abortions.

                      You are an abhorrent, ugly individual.

                    • felix

                      Sure Pete. How about this part of Jackal’s question, which I happen to think is the interesting part:

                      So your argument is that woman should put their biological clock on hold until their financial situation improves. What if it doesn’t improve…

                    • Felix, the Jackal is making up assumptions again. I’ll put a counter question back at you and him.

                      As soon as a woman is biologically capable of breeding should she let nature take it’s course? Or should she plan her family to give her and them the best chance of a decent upbringing?

                      The article that started this thread suggests that those who plan are far more likely to have more to provide.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Pete George, you need to get your abhorrent, sick head out of womens vaginas and uteruses.

                    • CV, do you think females should start breeding at puberty? Or would it be wise for them to wait until a more appropriate time of their life?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      CV, do you think females should start breeding at puberty? Or would it be wise for them to wait until a more appropriate time of their life?

                      I should have added to my previous comment: Pete George get your sick abhorrent head out of the vaginas and uteruses of underage girls too.

                    • Jackal

                      Pete George

                      As soon as a woman is biologically capable of breeding should she let nature take it’s course? Or should she plan her family to give her and them the best chance of a decent upbringing?

                      You’re advocating for sexual abuse as puberty usually occurs in girls between 9-14 years of age. I would prefer you didn’t change the subject into your usual stupid trolling PG… But I guess I’m hoping for too much.

                      I think the optimum age for woman to have children is between 20 and 35. That’s when the biological clock is best set so to speak to give a child the best start in life. By saying that economics should dictate when a woman has children, you are simply promoting more problems.

                      It’s true that people should plan their lives to ensure that offspring have the best chance in life, and in my opinion a woman and not the state is the best person to make such a decision. Poverty should not mean people aren’t allowed to procreate. How exactly do you propose to ensure woman only procreate when they are rich enough to?

                      Procreation is a human right, and in a supposed developed country, people should be able to have children when they chose to irrespective of their social economic condition.

                    • felix

                      Hey Pete. Seeing as I asked you first, let’s hear your answer then I’ll respond to your q.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      The women of New Zealand are indeed fortunate to have Pete George there to tell them all about their fertility decisions.

                      Creepy old man.

                    • rosy

                      Your fixation on mothers, instead of parents, particularly teenage mothers is troubling.

                      And you’ve made an ill-informed sneer at people like Paula Bennett and Metiria Turei (and me). We, and our children, are not the exceptions to teenage parenting (i.e. we and our children can all read, hold down jobs and not end up in prison) – which is one of the reasons I truly despair of Paula Bennett pulling the ladder up after her.

                    • weka


                      As soon as a woman is biologically capable of breeding should she let nature take it’s course? Or should she plan her family to give her and them the best chance of a decent upbringing?

                      Most teenage mums don’t get pregnant when they first start to menstruate, so lets leave that aside. But in general I have no  problem with teenagers having children, provided that they are suited to that. Some women make good mothers at that age, some don’t.
                      So, make abortion freely accessible (it’s not currently), make contraception freely available (it’s not currently), teach sex-positive values in high school alongside gender equity, so that teenage women have more say on the kinds of sexual activity they engage in, including the self empowerment to say no, and then for the small number of women that get pregnant and carry to term, offer them a range of supports including income, social support, childrearing support etc, as well as support for the wider whanau.
                      Cultures that breed young have better developed social and family systems. Women that have their first children in their teens will (eventually) be part of a family that has multiple generations from great (great) grandmothers to great (great) grandchildren. This means that elders get looked after better, because the load is spread, and children do better because there are more retired adults around to help with childrearing.
                      For a culture like ours, where women are leaving nuclear family marriages in droves once financial emancipation was available since the 70s, having a taboo against teen mums is an idiocy beyond belief. The problem isn’t when women have babies, it’s whether they want to at that time and whether they are capable of doing so.
                      As for the idea that women should wait until they are in a good financial situation… the rearing of children is the responsibility of the family and community, not women alone. I think we are probably the only culture in history that has deliberately condoned the idea that a woman should raise a child on her own. I’m not talking about the DPB here, that’s actually a stunted form of community responsibility. I’m talking about the idea that women without a husband can only legitimately raise children if they are independent financially and in other ways. It’s anti family and anti community, as well as misogynist and anti child.

                    • rosy

                      Weka, that comment of yours is far too logical. 😉

                    • weka

                      ooops, sorry 😉

        • prism

          We genuflect in NZ to whatever comes out of the USA. But that’s nutty. For one. the states are not united, and what comes out of one may be stuff from sources that sound as if they have just come out of the trees. Or they may have been carefully collected, collated by business, religious, half-educated, right-wing foundations, left-wing foundations that aren’t etc.
          We should know which state and which university and which professor, and what limitations were put on the study – before we take any notice at all. And the Families Commission or anybody should give us all the info instead of just quoting ‘authority’.

          I read that somewhere – perhaps in the gold lettered certificate I got from that mail order, short order, overcooked university I sent money to. Very honest – I got my cert just as they promised. Or I would expect to if I had entered into that sort of farce which I understand is rife there. But then perhaps I should quote my authority for that!

    • This seems to be missing the obvious.

      It’s easy to see how two parent families will have better employment and financial opportunities. Income equality is related to relationship inequality.

      Career mothers are likely to be only a small part of the problem. Especially when compared to the number of fathers shirking their parental responsibilities.

      Fathers who piss off – or are never a part of the family – are responsible for a lot of mothers left holding the baby, destined to struggle financially.

      And more kids will be raised learning absent fathers as their normal, to probably repeat.

      • Te Reo Putake 2.2.1

        Morning, T 🙄

        • Pete George

          You’re the one that keeps trolling, not a good look for your chosen pseudonym, is it. lprent claimed recently”we do moderate just pointless abuse” which is hard to see in practice.

          When he said “I have tolerated your posing and continual whining quite a lot”, if he was not “too much of a git ” and “very short on understanding or detail” he would see that would more honestly apply to te whiner.

          Once again I’m simply making a point, I won’t rise to bait and will refrain from your futile flaming.

          [lprent: the key word is “pointless”. It is like some people with no sense of humour, those who are the butt of the point are often oblivious to it. You’re a good example. ]

          • Te Reo Putake

            T 🙄 is t 🙄 ing.

            • Pete George

              You’d know all about that, you’ve been trolling me for a year now. Hard to see it anything other than a personal campaign of attack that fails at everything apart from being a major disruptor of threads here.

              You call yourself Te Reo but that’s a joke, you try and shut down the speech of anyone you decide you don’t want speaking here. You’re a piss poor advertisement for the blog, the party and for the Maori that you try and portray yourself as. Unless, I suppose, any of them want to be seen as associated with your sort of behaviour. The flagshit of the left?

          • Vicky32

            lprent: the key word is “pointless”. It is like some people with no sense of humour, those who are the butt of the point are often oblivious to it. You’re a good example.

            Okay, maybe I have no sense of humour, but I don’t think the constant babyish attacks on PG are at all funny. I don’t agree with all he says, but neither do I disagree with all he says (somewhat to my surprise) but it seems to me that your moderation is pretty one-sided.
            BTW, please, before I give up and die, could you answer even just one of my frequent emails in which I plead with you to know why approximately every third one of my postings ends up “awaiting moderation”? A reason would be nice, even if you don’t solve the problem, and I can see where you wouldn’t – after all, by the most popular people here, I too am a troll…

            [I’ll try and draw this to Lynn’s attention… r0b]

            • lprent

              r0b did eventually get my attention (it has been a hard day to date).

              If you ever have a close look at the moderation I have done with PG, most of it has consisted of him saying how he thinks things should be done here or telling us how we should run the site. As you’re probably aware that isn’t something that we tolerate a lot of. The basic rule is that those who put in the effort of running the site make the rules of the site because we’re the people who have to put in the work and who’d have to enforce them. We’re not comfortable with backseat drivers because we had far too many of them in the first years of this site and learnt that putting up with them just makes more work than any return.

              As for the attacks on PG. I’d agree that they have descended to a childish level. But the reason that they have done so is because his responses to more considered questions about his ideas has been as well. He mostly ignores any challenges and avoids debating them. When he does answer, the majority of the time he drops very rapidly into a victim mode of “people are being so mean to me” rather than debating the issues raised. That is the point of most of the now childish responses to his comments – they are pointing out that he sucks as a debater and merely pontificates mostly without interacting (apart from his victim mode).

              I too am a troll…

              Who isn’t. With some anti-social exceptions, I really don’t care what people call each other. I only care that there is a debate and discussion going on. If a word gets overused then I auto-moderate it (r0b is saying that I need to review the file). But we’re looking at behaviour far more than we look at words. The behaviour that we want to encourage is robust debate – it says so in our docs. I interpret that as largely being a two-way exchange of points and arguing about them.

              But a lack of debate is not something that I associate with you. Sometimes I think that when you and QoT get into debates that it’d be less noisy if you and her had fewer and more considered points. However it is definitely two way, frequently many way, and you and those you’re argung with/against spend a lot of effort defending their ideas. But that is what the site was set up for – robust debate.

              I consider that PG doesn’t debate in anything like a two-way manner because he doesn’t defend his ideas. Most of the time I get the impression he hasn’t even thought about them beyond the slogan and most debates with him tend to consist of people pleading with him to defend or even explain them.

              It has now gotten to the pointless stage, so I’ve finally decided to yield to my first instincts when he started commenting here and ban him permanently.

              BTW, please, before I give up and die, could you answer even just one of my frequent emails in which I plead with you to know why approximately every third one of my postings ends up “awaiting moderation”

              Moderation is a pretty automatic system. Unless stated, it isn’t directed at anyone in particular and we deal with messages in moderation as soon as we can. But after words (which you don’t usually get trapped on), the main moderation reasons appear to be IP addresses and address ranges that put out a lot of spam. It happens infrequently on broadband connections in NZ, but seems to happen a lot on some dialup systems. Presumably the reason is that a lot of spam is sent on dialup often as a result of viruses. I think that is the main reason you get caught so often.

              The reason that we have moderation is the same as why I don’t answer e-mails repetitively – I work, and almost every comment, moderation, or e-mail cuts into that work time (and therefore indirectly into my earnings). So we have automatic moderation systems because they drop out the one in five comments that is from a machine spamming us (and the one in two attempts). I don’t have a ‘whitelist’ facility so I can’t exclude you from those lookups. The best I can suggest is that you login which may reduce your incidence.

              I try to minimize the moderation on humans, and just last week finally managed to exclude NZ IP’s from the cloudflare security. But it is never going to be perfect. It is however better than having the site filled with ads for penis extenders.

      • Descendant Of Smith 2.2.2

        You’ve got it arse about face Pete.

        The growth in DPB in the 80’s was as a direct result of the reducing of wages, the loss of penal rates, the loss of jobs, high interest rates on mortgages, etc.

        In short the inabilty to raise a family on one income.

        I grew up working in that period and raising a family and the pressure financially was enormous – particularly as I had kids with disabilities which restricted the ability to have two incomes.

        My parents generation often made ends meet because they did get things like penal rates for weekends and extra hours. Good employers who looked after their staff were competitive on services and quality of products and were not driven out by those who simply paid the lowest wage.

        The ability to raise a family on one income has been replaced by state subsidies to employers.
        Not only do employers pay their workers less, employers now pay less tax and then in return effectively get their tax back by instead of paying higher wages having the state support their workers through WFF and AS. Sick pay and holiday pay has been replaced by contracting out as has the responsibilty of employers to provide much vehicles and equipment – this cost often now falls on those who used to be employees.

        When jobs are there some of the DPB reduction is not in sole parents going back to work but in reconciling with their partner who now has a job.

        We reap what we sow and the lack of employment, the low pay and the poor working conditions that many, many people now have, the lack of money staying in local communities and being siphoned off by banks and overseas / out of town owners all contribute to where we are today.

        If we said 30+ years ago what will happen to families if we reduce wages so that most people get paid the minimum wage or thereabouts, that we would take away penal rates and over-time, that we would make fewer people work longer hours rather than share the work around, that those longer hours would only mean that you earned what you did before on shorter hours – how would our families look? I think you’d pretty much get what we have got.

        • prism

          DoS Waste of time talking to Pete G – your pearls of wisdom will melt in his vinegary response. But I think your comment is very informative and insightful myself – not wasted.l Another point – what would have been our reaction to not being able to save for a house, and that house prices have been encouraged to spiral, with subsidies being paid to landlords through the Accommodation Benefit which was up to $100 a fortnight. There used to be first home subsidies and transferrable family assistance and low interest rates to get started with. People were encouraged to be on the ladder to self supporting good stable happy citizens. Once! Why not again???

          But DNFTT. Just give him a cute face to acknowledge him IMO is best. :grin :
          :razz : :shock : :wink : and to make them work put the colons against the word each side

        • rosy

          I really appreciate your informed comments on this DoS, and this, in particular:

          The ability to raise a family on one income has been replaced by state subsidies to employers.
          Not only do employers pay their workers less, employers now pay less tax and then in return effectively get their tax back by instead of paying higher wages having the state support their workers through WFF and AS. Sick pay and holiday pay has been replaced by contracting out as has the responsibilty of employers to provide much vehicles and equipment – this cost often now falls on those who used to be employees.

          This leaves workers precariously positioned and taking a punt that they’ll have the resources required to raise a family.

    • prism 2.3

      Thinking along lines brought up early in morning about unmarried mothers etc. Such as rosy at 7.48am. I seem to have been pushed so far down the page I’m almost in the next paddock.

      Young people like to do something in their lives while they wait for their big chance to use their education and get a job that pays for their lives and gives them some time to enjoy it. If they remain unemployed it’s very demanding on their psyche. Young women are likely to get pregnant as while they aren’t planning on getting pregnant, they aren’t able to plan to do anything constructive in their limbo lives.

      Give people jobs and they will soon have all sorts of projects planned, trips to Oz or further, learn how to create fashion and art, go mountain bike riding, things that it takes money to do. Meet someone else who is employed and start building a stable relationship and planning round that.

      But in the absence of money, buy pizza and watch DVDs or play video games where you channel yourself into an avatar. And attend workshops where you will be taught how to behave like an avatar to an employer who hasn’t a clue about what he wants, and might even like to check out your teeth. You may have to fill out numerous forms about whether you are a team player who will be a clone of the company’s favoured image. And then get offered part time casual work that won’t pay enough to live on and won’t give regular set hours to rely on and won’t allow you to plan your life with certainty at all. That’s what present governments are leading our young people into doing, becoming shadows of their selves which lie dormant and diminishing. Some have sex and get pregnant. Some find it all so distressing that they commit suicide and that can be understood when you look at the sort of opportunities and the cant and can’ts that they are faced with.

      • locus 2.3.1

        I’m in your paddock Prism…

        Providing realistic family support so solo parents can work without disadvantaging their kids, and ensuring a fair wage are not in this government’s interest.

        Demonising solo mums and the unemployed is their modus operandi. nact plays to the frustration of ‘poor overtaxed NZers’ by spouting that there are ‘plenty of jobs out there if you’re willing to work’ and that solo mums on dpb and the unemployed just need a jolly good dose of ‘incentivising’. In the meantime they’re happy to provide welfare payments to employers.

      • rosy 2.3.2

        In some cases you’re right prism, having a baby might be the only positive decision that a woman can make – I’d still hazard a guess that for many poor women in no-hope places (emotional, social and geographical) a level of fatalism occurs – rather than a positive decision to actually go out and get pregnant. And it very well can be a positive experience – just the spark to begin to look forward and make positive moves to improve their lot. Just as easily it can exacerbate the existing spiral into hopelessness and depression. The mental health and suicide statistics are not good for people in the hopeless situations you describe, including those for young parents.

        • prism

          Yes rosy You are very right. And I’m not saying even that the woman made a definite decision to have a baby. I’m not suggesting that there was a plan. Also I’m not criticising the fact that she didn’t prevent the pregnancy. We humans are so fertile, and sex can be so warm and cheering and enjoyable. It is meant to be that way – nature has us on a bit of a string and we have to be determined if we’re going to avoid it while we study, train etc.

          Having a baby should be regarded as a huge step for a young woman who then receives a lot of help, counselling to see if her partner and she can be a viable couple and she would have training in parenthood, also he if he wishes, which results in a NCEA credit. The whole thing done properly and carefully and considerately for all. Now teenage mothers are being educated and their babies accommodated, only it should be universal.

          And young dads who want to be part, can be included in the training and possibly the two can find genuine affection and ways to work through the remnants of their childish attitudes to make a committed, happy relationship that works for both of them. Now that would be good too.

          This would work instead of the disdainful moralistic sneering and denigrating attitude taken by so many and which is the driving attitude apparently in our social welfare systemm, in the workers, their managers and the minister. Who doesn’t attempt to minister to and respect the needs of the mother and child and the boost to the country of encouraging these families and their innate abilities and potential input to help themselves and the country to flourish.

  3. Carol 3

    Whao! Matt McCarten has his knives out for the whole of Labour’s front bench, including Cunliffe. He says Shearer’s not the problem for Labour, but an under-performing and MIA caucus is:

    Labour’s problem is not its leader, it’s the caucus. The Green Party in Parliament is less than half Labour’s size yet day after day they prove how lacklustre our main opposition party is.

    With the exception of Shearer and his deputy Grant Robertson, do we hear anything much from the rest of Labour? What sense do you have of their finance spokesman? It’s David Parker, if you’ve forgotten.

    I assumed David Cunliffe would have been a better pick. But Shearer did appoint him to target Key’s right-hand man, Steven Joyce, the Minister of Everything.

    Cunliffe must have a secret plan he’s not sharing with us because he hasn’t initiated one attack on Joyce for more than a month. He’s awol.

    …Nanaia Mahuta … You’d think with all the fallout from National Standards and charter schools she’d be a household name. Yet in over a month, according to her own website, she’s put out a total of three press releases.

    Even the new blood such as Jacinda Ardern, at No 4, can’t seem to lay a hand on Paula Bennett as she goes about kicking the poor. The most attention Ardern got was when Maggie Barry made a nasty remark over her not having a child.

    And so on….

    But why is McCarten so pro-Shearer?

    Surely it is the leader’s role to set the framework and provide the motivation for the caucus to fire? Labour doesn’t seem to me to be short of talent. And McCarten has totally ignored Cunliffe’s excellent series of speeches.

    I have been impressed with some of the Labour performances in the House: eg Little, and Ardern hasn’t done to badly. Sue Moroney has made so good speeches in recent years, but been pushed into the shade under Shearer.

    It’s the cut-through to media and public awareness that’s the problem. If the problem is team-wide, then surely the problem is with the leaders, the agenda, the strategies and PR people?

    • Olwyn 3.1

      Matt wants to see Mana’s percentage increase, and in an earlier column welcomed Labour’s move to the “centre,” arguing that the parties on the left would get more votes by covering a wide spectrum between them. Trotter disagreed with him at the time, and argued that the largest centre-left party moving to to the right legitimises the right wing narrative and thus makes it harder for everyone on the left to gain traction.

    • lefty 3.2

      McCarten, like everyone else on the left who thinks about it, knows that Labour must be destroyed before there can be shift away from neo liberalism and the growth of a political movement that believes in a more equal society.

      Shearer offers the best hope for Labour destroying itself reasonably quickly. Otherwise we might have to wait another generation or so.

    • Dr Terry 3.3

      Matt has a good column on the whole, but sometimes he does not get it right (like today). Even he seems to have it in for Cunliffe.

  4. BillORees 4

    McCarten is trawling so so hard to find something negative to say about Cunliffe that he accuses him of being AWOL?  Cunliffe has been on holiday with Family for a month!  That is the best McCarten can do!  

    “Cunliffe must have a secret plan he’s not sharing with us because he hasn’t initiated one attack on Joyce for more than a month. He’s awol.”

    I had been hoping (silly me) that the Garner article was just the combination of two drunk MPs and a lazy journo on a slow news day. But on re-reading Armstrong’s piece from yesterday in conjunction with Garner’s and McCarten’s, the baseless rubbishing of Cunliffe is a consistent theme. While McCarten is attacking many in the Caucus he is still supporting the current National-lite and small-target strategy of Shearer/Robertson.  And dissing Cunliffe.

    Nearly five years after the loss in 2008 and after six months of unpopular and badly executed policies from the Key government, Labour still is lower that at that election.  Indefensible. 

    • BillORees 4.1

      And if Shearer was not aware that his people, while doing the normal necessary positive briefing stuff on journos, are using every opportunity to dump on Cunliffe: he is aware now!  

      Let us see his leadership at the NZ Coincil meet and the Caucus meet.  

    • Socialist Paddy 4.2

      If you want a real shock Cactus Kate has written on the subject and I find myself in the unusual situation where I do not disagree with just about everything she said.

      What was really worrying was this comment:

      I found a copy of Shearer’s speech after his brag link on twitter and gave it a little pool read today and the whole thing was non-original, same-same, nothing new, nothing invigorating and I am actually sure I have heard plenty of the speech before only under the guise of ACT when it started. Most telling was the opening, just how Roger Douglas or Richard Prebble used to start one, with a narrative about bludgers to grab the attention of the audience. 

  5. muzza 5

    The Syrian rebels would be immeasurably weaker today without al-Qaeda in their ranks.

    Al-Qaeda is not sacrificing its “martyrs” in Syria merely to overthrow Assad. Liberation of the Syrian people is a bonus, but the main aim is to create an Islamist state in all or part of the country. Failing that, they hope to at least establish a strategic base for the organization’s remnants across the border in Iraq, and create a regional headquarters where mujahideen can enjoy a safe haven. If al-Qaeda continues to play an increasingly important role in the rebellion, then a post-Assad government will be indebted to the tribes and regions allied to the Jabhat. Failing to honor the Jabhat’s future requests, assuming Assad falls, could see a continuation of conflict in Syria.

    Ed Husain
    Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies

    Council on Foreign Relations

    • Te Reo Putake 5.1

      Yep, that’s the fear, muzza. Here’s the hope.

      • Huginn 5.1.1

        Unfortunately, there is a great deal to be afraid of here:

        ‘ . . . the spin in Tel Aviv is that Israel is able to “control” the swarm of hardcore Wahhabis and Salafi-jihadis now infesting Syria. Even if that is manifest nonsense, one juicy point is clear; Israel is in bed with al-Qaeda-style Islamists.

        What this means is that the Not Exactly Free Syrian Army (FSA), crammed with Muslim Brotherhood diehards and infiltrated by Salafi-jihadis, is following the agenda not only of their financiers and weaponizers – the House of Saud and Qatar – but also Tel Aviv, alongside Washington and its trademark poodles London and Paris. So this is not just a proxy war – it’s a multiple, concentric proxy war.

        Qatar and Saudi Arabia are taking no prisoners. No one in Washington seems to be looking back to post-jihad Afghanistan before making a decision. By the way, this is the 1980s Afghan jihad all over again – with Saudi Arabia and Qatar playing the role of Pakistan, the FSA as the glorious mujahideen “freedom fighters” and Obama as Ronald Reagan; the only element missing is Obama approving a “memorandum of notification” to his initial intelligence finding, authorizing Washington to weaponize the freedom fighters and introducing a swarm of drones. ‘

        Pepe Escobar

        • Vicky32

          Unfortunately, there is a great deal to be afraid of here:

          Excellent post Huginn!

  6. millsy 6

    We probably should be grateful our Labour Party’s not like their Australian counterparts, with a federal Labour govenment openly urging privatisation of electricity networks.

  7. Te Reo Putake 7

    Interesting comment from Matthew Hooten on the stupidly named Q plus A programme*. On National’s poodles and their prospects at the next election, Hooten volunteered ‘ACT and United Future; they’re finished’.
    He also bigged up the Conservative party’s chances , but reckons it’ll be a National/NZF government next time round.
    *First time viewer, only watching ‘coz of the rain delay in the golf.

    • Hooten volunteered ‘ACT and United Future; they’re finished’.

      He’s probably right, it’s most likely a matter of if, not when.

      Bruce Edwards made a more pertinenbt point – our system of MMP supports incumbent large parties, that’s how it was designed and that’s how the MMP review is likely to leave it, albeit with some tweaks.

      Since we’ve had MMP no party has emerged and succeeded from outside parliament. All current parties have relied on MPs breaking from other parties. The only possibilities are to hang in there with an established MP presence, or fade and die – unless you can start with an existing breakaway MP.

      • felix 7.1.1

        “He’s probably right, it’s most likely a matter of if, not when. “

        Which? If he’s right, they’re finished. So when you say he’s “probably right” that means you think they’re probably finished.

        If on the other hand it’s “a matter of if, not when” then there’s no certainty whatsoever that they’re finished, so he’s wrong to say they are finished.

        You make two diametrically opposed statements in a twelve word sentence and you wonder why people don’t take you seriously.


      • KJT 7.1.2

        Bollocks. Which Green ones broke away from other parties?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Well, the Greens joined up with the Alliance before being in parliament and then stayed in parliament after the Alliance split.

          • McFlock

            didn’t they split around 1996, when MMP gave smaller parties a realistic shot?      
            I wouldn’t call it “splitting” – the Alliance started as an alliance, but a lot of people liked the blend of issues and stayed after mmp.

            • Draco T Bastard

              The Greens were still part of the Alliance in 1996 when the Alliance won 13 seats, they split from the Alliance in 1997 and then contested the 1999 election as a separate party.

              I wouldn’t call it “splitting” – the Alliance started as an alliance, but a lot of people liked the blend of issues and stayed after mmp.

              The Alliance was exactly that, an alliance of parties. NLP, The Greens and a few others. They were supposed to be able to go their own way when ready which the Greens did but after that it was a single party but still with factions that caused the 2k2 ructions which saw the Alliance almost destroyed as a party. They certainly haven’t had any electoral success since. I’m sure if they pulled finger and worked up a base they could become a successful party again.

              • McFlock

                As I recall the “factions” were “most of caucus following Anderton” and “almost everyone else in the party”.
                Lessons in that for every party. 

    • Jackal 7.2

      Matthew Hooten just shows how redundant he is as a political commentator. Asked if he trusted Peters, Key has previously said:

      “I don’t think you can rely on Winston Peters.”

      “I don’t get in to personality attacks, but I have tried to say to New Zealanders up front, this is who I can work with, this is who I can’t.”

      Key has recently back flipped about working with Peters after realising National will likely not have its preferred coalition partners available after the next election. It must have been a bitter pill to swallow.

      Winston Peters thinks National is highly dysfunctional and ponders as to whether the current government will even make it to the next election. Consider Keys comments about Peters’ support base dying off, and then tell me these guys can work together.

      Act has almost completely imploded and UnitedFuture will not gain enough support because of Dunne’s pre-election lies concerning asset sales. The Maori party have been insulted by Keys government on numerous occasions and would not need much impetus to jump ship. Nationals desperation will mean that any coalition agreement they do manage to arrange will be fraught with problems.

      The slow decline of the centre right and rise of the left will hopefully mean an end to the neo-liberal agenda… Depending on what side of the centre Labour choses to position itself.

      • prism 7.2.1

        Matthew Hooten said that he isn’t into “getting in to personality attacks” . WTF. Can he be objective about anything including himself?

        • North

          That stunted Young Nat Hooten buggers it up every time with his natural cattiness and the sour smirk offered after his every attempted shriek-down episode.

          Go Helen Kelly ! You mince him up for professionalism (and brains).

      • Dr Terry 7.2.2

        That squarely hits the nail – “Depending on what side of the centre Labour chooses to position itself”. At this time, the answer to that is perfectly clear.

        • prism

          Dr Terry
          I have a vision of a drunken man trying to walk along the centre line in the middle of a busy road – which isn’t one of those of National Significance.

      • Pete George 7.2.3

        Jackal, you don’t seem to have a affinity with facts.

        Key has recently back flipped about working with Peters

        Really? He doesn’t have to work with Peters this term, and it’s far to early to have to indicate what he might do next term. I guess you can’t back that up.

        Dunne’s pre-election lies concerning asset sales

        That’s a sour grapes smear repeated too often here to be though ignorance so must be plain lying. It’s factless, and without any support beyond a few bitches of blogs.

        • felix

          “it’s far to early to have to indicate what he might do next term”

          And yet he has done. Peters is back in the mix.

          • Pete George

            Your say-so is unreliable, you’ll have to prove that one to be taken seriously.

            • felix

              Sure, believe what you like. I don’t think anyone else is in any doubt though.

              The facts are that for several years, whenever asked, Key said Peters can’t be trusted and he won’t work with him, even going as far as saying that he’d rather give up the PM gig than work with Peters.

              Now when he’s asked he doesn’t say any of that stuff anymore. At all. And when asked if he would rule out working with Peters he has declined to do so.

              Make of that what you will, but like I said, everyone else seems to know exactly what it means.

              • And when asked if he would rule out working with Peters he has declined to do so.

                Make of that what you will, but like I said, everyone else seems to know exactly what it means.

                Yes, it’s kinda obvious it’s far too far out from the election for any leader to commit to anything like that. And Peters won’t commit until after the election.

                But I realise some will take ‘no comment’ as an opening to make up any shit they like.

                • Jackal

                  Key has previously ruled out a coalition with NZ first saying he doesn’t trust Winston Peters because he is unreliable. However in June this year, 3 News reported:

                  Prime Minister John Key is not ruling out working with New Zealand First in the future, saying he will spell out potential partners ahead of the next election.

                  So what exactly has made Winston trustworthy and reliable in Keys eyes in the interim? Obviously it’s the evaporation of Act and UnitedFuture as viable coalition partners.

                  That’s a sour grapes smear repeated too often here to be though ignorance so must be plain lying. It’s factless, and without any support beyond a few bitches of blogs.

                  UnitedFuture’s pre-election video stated:

                  So we say there are three key assets that should never be sold; Kiwibank, Radio New Zealand and our Water… and that we also need to keep New Zealand Control of all our other assets.

                  Much of our water is being privatised in Nationals Mixed Ownership Model Bill, which Peter Dunne has supported. Clearly Peter Dunne lied to his constituents prior to the last election.

                  It’s a pity you continue to argue from a place of ignorance and display a complete lack of humility when proven wrong Pete George. My question stands, have you ever thought about getting some professional help?

                  • Clearly, you’re wrong, still, after having the facts pointed out to you already.

                    During the campaign Dunne made a clear differentiation between energy companies and supply of water. It wasn’t disputed then. You seem to be the only one trying to dredge it up now. Ignorance or deliberate lying?


                    • felix

                      “During the campaign Dunne made a clear differentiation between energy companies and supply of water.”

                      Which you’ve never been able to find a record of.

                    • I have, that’s what the link is for.

                    • felix

                      That’s a link to your own website Pete. Very authoritative I’m sure.

                      Dunne said he’d never support privatising the supply of water. You know that. I don’t think anyone has ever disputed that that’s what he said.

                      If you disagree, it’s on you to show that it’s not the case as you’d be 180 degrees opposed to the commonly accepted version of reality.

                      So good luck selling the hydro stations without a water supply, dick.

                • felix

                  Pete you’re a dunce. It’s nothing to do with anyone being committed to any decision this far out.

                  But Winnie was off the table and now he’s on the table. It’s that simple. Just like you.


                  • Nothing’s on the table. You made a claim and you can’t back it up. That’s how simple it is.

                    • McFlock

                      You’re on super-fuck form today, pete.

                      august 2008: “National Party leader John Key has ruled out Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters having a role in any future National coalition, unless he can provide an explanation on the Owen Glenn saga.”
                      february 2011:” Prime Minister John Key says he would rather lose power than work with NZ First leader Winston Peters.”
                      but now:” Prime Minister John Key is not ruling out working with New Zealand First in the future, saying he will spell out potential partners ahead of the next election.”

                      one of these things is not like the others, one of these things is not the same….   


                    • Colonial Viper

                      Pete George still hasn’t got the hang of Google searches, has he?

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, he does okay on the few occasions reality is vaguely on his side. Finding obscure phrases in old peter dunne speeches is his speciality.

                    • CV, I asked felix to back up a claim and he couldn’t. Why do you diss him on his Googling inabilities?

                      McFlock, yes, one of those things is not like the other. You’ve given quotes from Key leading up to the elections in 2008 and 2011. And a non-commital quote from this year, not an election year. Thanks for confirming that.

                      “Not ruling out” putting something on the table in the future is not “on the table” now. One of those things is not like the other.

                      We’ll probably have to wait to see if he puts it on the table in 2014.
                      And on past experience, as highlighted bt McFlock, it seems unlikely that Peters will be back in the mix.

                    • felix

                      Pete, if you haven’t picked up a newspaper, listened to the radio, watched the news, followed parliament, read news sites etc over the last 6 years…

                      … not my problem.

                      Do your own fucking googling. Find one serious political commentator saying the opposite of what I’ve said.

                      Fucking moron.

                    • Calm down felix. No googling required. Here is what TV3 said about it.

                      Prime Minister John Key is not ruling out working with New Zealand First in the future, saying he will spell out potential partners ahead of the next election.

                      National banned post-election deals with New Zealand First in 2008 and 2011 but Mr Key did not rule out working with the party after the 2014 election in an interview on The Nation this morning.

                      “I don’t know the players in 2014,” Mr Key said.

                      He said he had been the “most upfront” of any party leader on the issue of potential coalition partners.

                      “I’ve spelt out very clearly before every election… and I’ll be doing the same in 2014,” he said.

                      He said New Zealand First leader Winston Peters was “tricky” and there were a range of issues relating to him.


                      I can’t find any serious political commentator who describes that as ‘on the table’ now. I (still) doubt whether you can either. History is against you, and no facts support you.

                    • felix

                      There you go moron, it’s in the first sentence you quoted.

                      Prime Minister John Key is not ruling out working with New Zealand First

                      Ruled out for 5 years. Consistently. Whenever asked. Would rather lose the job than work with him.

                      Now no longer ruled out.


                    • Key hasn’t ruled out a lot of things. All that means is he hasn’t ruled them out. You have a habit of taking a non-definitive statement as an excuse to claim any possibility you like. Doesn’t make it a fact.

                      Key hasn’t ruled out taking you seriously. That doesn’t mean he ever will. Are you Winston Peters?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Do not feed the t 🙄 . After a few weks of intelligent debate sans Pete we are back to the Standard being the PG show, at least on this thread. Ignore the Tory weasel, he’s only here to drag the Standard down.

                    • felix

                      And that would be a fair enough observation if it was the same position he’d always held, but it isn’t.

                      Previous: I will never work with Winston.
                      Current: I might work with Winston.

                      It’s not a lack of a statement, it’s a positive statement affirming that Winston could be in the mix.

                    • felix

                      mkay Te Reo, sorry. Dunne now.


                    • Current: I might work with Winston.

                      Your words. Not what Key said.

                    • Colonial Viper


                      Prime Minister John Key is not ruling out working with New Zealand First

                      you know that people can scroll up on a webpage to read earlier posts, right PG? Using a “mouse” or “arrow keys”?

  8. prism 8

    Right now there is a great interview on Radionz with Dr Jim Flynn. What an interesting guy, we all ought to be reading his stuff so our arguments have even more punch. I picked out one comment for its uniqueness – his father loved words and reading and had real all of Charles Dickens books to James by the age of four! – It will be available for audio after 11am probably.
    10:06 Ideas: Jim Flynn
    Jim Flynn is arguably New Zealand’s foremost moral philosopher. His pioneering work on IQs has changed the way we think about intelligence. Professor Flynn reflects on his life and influences and talks about some of the individuals and thinkers who have shaped his unique outlook on the world – a list which includes such diverse figures as Plato and the American socialist organiser Eugene Debes.
    Recent books by Jim Flynn include: Are We Getting Smarter (Cambridge University Press); Fate and Philosophy (Awa Press); and The Torchlight List (Awa Press.)
    Presented by Chris Laidlaw
    Produced by Jeremy Rose.

    Polish Pride
    This could be of real interest to you as you work through your ideas of what system would work for our better future. Also I was thinking that you might think of looking at collective groups that live together co-operatively, like in Nelson region the Riverside Community and there is one in Takaka called the Tui collective.

    • Bill 8.1

      I looked at those two communities some years back. I guess they are still funadamentally the same.

      Tui had common ownership of land but individual ownership of the structues on the land. Therefore each person had to generate their own income. In other words, they had created a suburbia in a nice spot. Nothing more. (And yes, I’m aware that a small number now (or did) work together producing Tui Beebalm etc. But that doesn’t overcome the obstacle of internal market relations that they created)

      Riverside was far more interesting and different to the other communities I’ve checked out in NZ insofar as both the land and the structures were collectively owned. And that opens up the possibility to move the internal relationships away from market based dynamics. But Riverside was essentially a community inspired by Christian faith and therefore kind of narrower than it might have been in its focus.

  9. captain hook 9

    ipredict mathew hooton is schizophrenic.

    • Vicky32 9.1

      ipredict mathew hooton is schizophrenic.

      I predict that if you ever have a relative who’s schizophrenic, you’ll grow out of using that as a term of abuse.
      At least it is to be hoped!

  10. gobsmacked 10

    Recently there has been some criticism on here about the Labour leadership.

    This is most unfair. Our leaders (servants) have been very busy and focused on … watching sport on telly –

    Good to know they’re sitting around on the couch, unlike those overpaid Sickness Beneficiaries, out painting the roof.

    Seriously … what goes on in the head of the Labour Deputy Leader when he thinks “I know what Labour supporters want to hear from me today – the Olympics!”

  11. NickS 11

    Bless the elder things for the eXiled for reminding us about one of the many rotten things with Ayn Rand’s philosophy:

    • mike 11.1

      Scary stuff that.

      “But with Rand, there’s something more pathological at work. She’s out to make the world more sociopath-friendly so that people like Ayn and her hero William Hickman can reach their full potential, not held back by the morality of the “weak,” whom Rand despised.”

      Robert Hare has concluded that at the base of a psychopath’s pathology is the desire to reshape their world so it corresponds better to their own selfish value system. This is a fundamental motivation for their behaviour. Ayn Rand has done more than any other to shift people’s values towards psychopathic thinking – might is right, the weak get what they deserve, etc.

  12. prism 12

    Out of 99 comments 18 from PG. 18%.

    • just saying 12.1

      Yeah. will make an effort to do the rolleyes when ever I see him blatantly trolling. About two percent of his comments are not trolls imo, but he may be using these as an ‘in’.

    • fatty 12.2

      you’d think at that ratio at least one would be readable…but no

  13. captain hook 13

    ayn rand put the indian sign on alan greenspan too.
    he got pussywhipped by a ballbuster!

  14. xtasy 14

    My demand to Labour AND National is:

    Explain the introduction of Principal Health Advisor and Principal Disability Advisor in 2007;
    explain their intended roles from a ministerial and political point of view, please,
    explain the introduction of Regional Health Advisors and Regional Disability Advisors in your 13 regional WINZ or MSD admin offices, please, and why the roles were created and are not publicised;
    explain the introduction of Health and Disability Coordinators, the purpose of their introduction, the roles they were intended to play, and why they were allowed to lobby, influence and go “chatty” with general practitioners, whom were also “groomed” and selected to perform “designated doctor” roles by “assessing” or “examining” sickness beneficiaries or invalid’s beneficiaries supposedly “independently”, while Dr David Bratt, as Principal Health Advisor, was “training” them to conduct their services in line with the Ministry of Social Development since 2008, PLEASE;
    explain to the public, please, why Medical Appeal Boards are advised to take a hard line and also are made up of medical and/or rehab professionals that do not necessarily match the kind of professional expertise and qualifications for the kind of cases with conditions that they to hear, but have no experience with;
    why are there now thousands of invalid’s beneficiaries, with serious, documented physical and mental health conditions, forced to attend reviews, designated doctor examinations (MSD “trained” GPs doing this!), while their usual doctors have in most cases given substantial information on their health and disabilities, specialists also having been involved, yet the WiNZ designated doctors (selected by applicantion and recruiting processes) can over-rule all previous medical reports and assessments and suddenly make totally different decisions?

    Can you please confirm the “savings” achieved through this illegal, hard line approach for MSD, please;

    Now, dear Paula Bennett, nobody else in Parliament or public has the guts to ask you, why does this happen, and is it happening within the law! I have just a new report from Southland, telling me it DOES NOT! I am sure you will face further challenges soon, because you are acting outside of the law!

    Thank you, dear readers, there is much more available on this.

    Good night!

  15. Vicky32 15

    Pete we’re biologically designed to have children young. Waiting til your financial situation improves actually means, in the particularly low wage shitty economy, waiting until you are what 35

    Tell that to the wealthy ladies competing with my daughter in law for IVF *, or rather tell them when they’re 25, and deciding to wait to have children until they’ve bought and sold at least one house, and hubby has his boat!
    Your posting’s very strange, coming from you! Normally, you regard children as a great burden on the environment, n’est pas?
    I had my children at 18, 22 and 33, and in 1988, when the 3rd of mine was 18 months old, met a lot of women who were 33 to 38, at the pre-school, all urging me to hurry up and have my second child, all of them gob-smacked and disapproving when I told them I’d already had my first and second… and they all told me “that’s why you’re a poor solo DPB mother! You should have waited like we all did”.
    This was in the 80s, before wages were so low, but these ladies and their husbands/de factos, all part of the chattering classes, decided to wait… and had Downs’ babies (yes, they did – intellectual disability in the upper classes! I am sure it’s well hidden, I lost touch with these people when we left Welly). 
    * My working class Maori daughter in law didn’t want to wait – but has no choice. She and my son have fertility problems, they’d have loved to have a child as soon as they got married, 11 years ago. She told me in tears, about missing out on publicly funded IVF in favour of those who’d chosen to wait until they were comfortably off.. and well, I’d better not say the rest, just suffice it to say that there’s a reason identity politics honks me off)

  16. Vicky32 16

    You also deny the reality that it’s never been easier to use contraception and have abortions.

    You are an abhorrent, ugly individual.

    And yet, he’s right! So what’s your point? IMO, abuse “an abhorrent, ugly individual” etc, is a piss-poor debating tactic, as are all the DNFTT and rolleyes smileys. How’d you like it when mad Jenny was doing the same to you?
    Man, sometimes I feel as if I am the only grown up here..

    • McFlock 16.1

      Thought you were antiabortion?
      And yet you’re in favour of financially-forced abortion, given that no contraception is 100%.
      Or maybe you just think that if someone has sex, they deserve to be poor and the child deserves to be brought up in a deprived environment?

      Man, sometimes I feel as if I am the only grown up here 

      Indeed, there is no limit to some people’s self-delusion.

      • Vicky32 16.1.1

        Thought you were antiabortion?

        It’s called being pro-life, and yes, I am. That’s because I don’t despise children and pregnancy, maybe that’s why I’ve had two, count ’em two children in the circumstances in which you would advocate abortion.

        And yet you’re in favour of financially-forced abortion, given that no contraception is 100%.
        Financially forced abortion? That’s when the guy says to the woman “I’m not supporting your kid, I wanna find a woman I like better, here’s $400 for the clinic, bye, don’t let the door hit you on the butt on the way out!  No, I am in favour of women making sure they’re in a real actual relationship before sexing like there’s no tomorrow.

        Or maybe you just think that if someone has sex, they deserve to be poor and the child deserves to be brought up in a deprived environment?

        A particularly asinine remark, given that if you’d paid any attention to any of my posts, you’d know that I brought my son up in exactly the deprived environment you’re on about. In favour of it? Do grow up. I am one of those women who thought she had a solid relationship – until he said the above – except that instead of offering me $$ for the clinic he just said “Look on the bright side, maybe you’ll have a miscarriage?”
        So don’t be such a juvenile abusing bar-steward, m’kay?

        • McFlock

          The point being that Pete’s comment basically was implying (but of course he was too duplicitous to explicitly say) it’s the woman’s own fault for not having an abortion if she couldn’t afford a kid. That’s one of the many things that makes pete an “abhorrent, ugly individual”.
          Personally, I’d call him a fuckwit. In fact I probably have. But each to their own. 
          And you might very well have a story of hardship. But then so might Paula Benefits. So let’s work on why you supported Pete’s statement, shall we? 

          • Vicky32

            And you might very well have a story of hardship. But then so might Paula Benefits. So let’s work on why you supported Pete’s statement, shall we?

            How dare you compare me to Paula Benefits? What statement of Pete’s did I support? That abortion and contraception are easy to get? Well, of course they are!
            Further, it’s abortion on demand, not legally, but in fact.
            Contraceptives are available everywhere, and are handed out by schools – my son was weirded out to get given condoms with his ball tickets, in year 13. He wasn’t going to the school ball in order to have sex, and was disgusted to think that the school deans thought so little of their students as to assume that’s why everyone was going…

            • McFlock

              And yet, he’s right!

              Looks like a supporting comment to me.
              Abortion and contraception should be freely available.
              That’s not the topic of discussion.
              The topic of discussion is whether any woman should be forced to choose between an abortion  and financial security. That is the only implication of bringing the availability of abortion into a discussion of DPB provisions. And if you support that implication – which you did – then comparison with Bennett becomes quite simple.
              Is my logic or interpretation incorrect? 

              • Vicky32

                The topic of discussion is whether any woman should be forced to choose between an abortion  and financial security.

                What male thinking! Only a man could think that’s even a question. I know to a male, a baby’s existence is only provisional until about a week after it’s born, when he’s had a chance to decide whether he wants its mother, but pregnant women can’t/don’t think that way.

                Is my logic or interpretation incorrect?

                Not even remotely. Are you so freaked out by the idea of a DP beneficiary who didn’t even want an abortion, that you have to deny that I ever was a DP beneficiary?
                I recommend looking for the 3rd option.. (there almost always is one). Make sure you’re actually in a solid relationship before having sex! I wasn’t so careful, result, 18 years on the DPB, and as today’s events show, on-going abuse even 7 years after it – all because I don’t conform by my views, to your idea of how a DPB woman should think! Newsflash, McFigo, I’ve met more fellow DP women who agree with my view, than I have the anti-child, pro-sex people you evidently mix with! (There are sufficient women on DPB that you can’t expect us to all think alike)

                • McFlock

                  “Only a man could think that’s even a question”
                  That was pete’s implication. You supported it. I agreed with the statement that the person who made that suggestion was abhorrent. What else was he saying, injecting abortion into a dpb debate?
                   I know it would be great if nobody had sex until they were in a financially stable relationship for the next 20 years, but that doesn’t happen. So do you think that someone who does have sex (and the contraception fails) should be forced to choose between poverty and an abortion? Because that’s the logical implication of what pete said. And you said “but he’s right”. 
                  By the way, I’m not denying any of your life experience. I’m just looking at what you’re writing.

  17. Vicky32 17

    You’re advocating for sexual abuse as puberty usually occurs in girls between 9-14 years of age.

    Er, speak for yourself! (Or, probably your neighbours, or friends’ grandchildren).
    Puberty at 9 is still an indication of, probable environmental pollutants… 
    You’re being abusive and trolling yourself, as PG didn’t advocate any such paedophilia.

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    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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