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Open mike 13/02/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:56 am, February 13th, 2014 - 142 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

142 comments on “Open mike 13/02/2014”

  1. Pasupial 1

    This Saturday Noon (15th Feb), all around Te Waipounamu/ South, is a time to head to a beach and protest against Deepsea Oil Drilling:

    http://www.getfree.org.nz/banners/

    However, this does mean that it’ll be another week that I don’t make it to the Bandstand to participate in the Many Voices discussion. Also, the Oil Free Otago guest speaker I’d been arranging to have in the vicinity (lawn or pagoda depending on weather) won’t be happening until 2pm the next Saturday (22nd Feb; unless of course, further action intervenes).

  2. has shane jones been ‘punked’..?

    phillip ure..

    • Te Reo Putake 2.1

      Nope. During the Progressive lockout in 2006, many suppliers to the supermarket donated food and goods to the workers as a protest against the way the company was screwing them down. Growers, for example, were told that they had to cut their already low prices by arbitrary percentages if they wanted to keep their contracts. As we have a supermarket duopoly, they had little choice but to comply.

      edit: a pretty good summary of the blue here: https://libcom.org/history/progressive-lockout-class-struggle-aotearoa-new-zealand-2008

      • Ad 2.1.1

        Great site, excellent article fully worth the read.
        Thanks TRP.
        Great to see Jones stepping in.

        • phillip ure 2.1.1.1

          ..it would seem either jones has been punked..

          ..or countdown have done a seriously fast u-turn..

          ..and are lying..

          ..phillip ure..

          • phillip ure 2.1.1.1.1

            my questions have been answered..

            ..jones was punked..

            ..idiot..!

            ..phillip ure..

            • Te Reo Putake 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Answered? By whom? Punked? Who by? I think you may be jumping the gun a tad, Phil.

              • @ trp..

                ..i dunno ‘who’ punked him..

                ..(he is disliked by so many..the list of possible suspects is a long one..)

                ..but someone did..

                ..and i guess we will know soon who is reading this right..

                ..eh..?

                ..and if wrong i will issue a suitably grovelling apology..

                ..and don’t get me wrong..i wanted jones to be right..

                ..(if he were..it wd fit perfectly into my ‘partial-nationalisation’ idea that i am trying to bring to life/push.(where the state takes a 51% controlling share in key industries..food supplies being one ripe for pn…)

                ..but when i first heard it i thought it didn’t ring true..

                ..and now i am certain..

                ..phillip ure..

                • moderation..?

                  phillip ure..

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Yeah, that’s not very convincing, Phil.

                  Nothing’s changed since you posted at breakfast time, except the story seems to be taken seriously by the media and the minister Craig Foss. And I see there was limited backing from Katherine Rich from the grocers organisation. As I noted about the lockout, this alleged behaviour is consistent with Woollie’s attitude to its suppliers, so I’m in the no smoke without fire camp till actual evidence confirms it one way or another.

                  • more no-show-evidence from jones..

                    http://whoar.co.nz/2014/new-zealand-parliament-list-of-questions-for-oral-answer-thursday-13-february-2014/

                    (excerpt..)

                    (ed:..i am making the call that jones has been punked..here is his chance to prove his case/me wrong..)

                    ..it’s foss-the-hapless..!..his first turn for the year…!

                    ..jones is making a horses’-arse of a job with his questioning..

                    ..and that was it..?..that’s all jones has..?

                    ..no evidence..just mangled/repeated questions..

                    ..i stand by my claim that jones has been punked..

                    ..and is now just fulminating/thrashing about in despair..

                    ..see shane fly..see shane crash..

                    (cont..)

                    phillip ure..

                    • fender

                      ..todays..

                      ..bhoar..

                      ..you to tears word is..?

                      (excerpt)

                      ..”punked”..

                      🙁

                    • Jilly Bee

                      Phil – I find your comments difficult enough to read and comprehend – now this word ‘punked’. Please – what does it mean?

                  • Ad

                    Key now requesting Commerce Commission investigation. Go Jones! Hope it’s stinkier than Simunovich! Key will as ever look like a softcock when it comes to doing actual political work.

      • DavidW 2.1.2

        And the response of the Government of the day to the Progressive lockout was?

  3. North 3

    What an absolute stench that ShonKey Python should be demanding answers about what everyone else says/knows about/to/of KDC !

    Punkarse variously preening/sneering/obfuscating/narcissistic/exceptionalist/giggling/effete banker boy…….the question has been live for months and months and months………starting at the very start ShonKey…….where were/are you at/with/about KDC ?

    Answer that question before launching interrogatories at everyone else !

    How paradoxical that the guy we’d most like to have a beer with (mythically) is emblematic of the type who’d qualify for a quick crack in the mouth in most of the places where a beer might be had.

    • Tiger Mountain 3.1

      John Phillip ShonKey has a lot of front demanding to know what others have had to do with Mr Dotcom.
      • Given the proximity of the KDC spread to the PM’s electorate office.
      • Given his refusal to even read the Police report on what Banksie had to do with KDC.
      • Given his being minister for the official snoopers (NZSIS, GCSB) that know a lot more about the KDC affair than they are so far willing to let on.

      The populist nature of Mr Dotcom perhaps indicates the reptilian Prime Minister should write an official letter to everyone asking what they have had to do with KDC?

      • andy (the other one) 3.1.1

        So all the political Editors are running the John Key lines “going over the top of the Justice system” etc, but no single one has asked Key where he got his information to form his allegations.

        Question to Key, is very short and simple. Who told you Winston went to Dotcoms Mansion 3 times and what evidence do you have?

        Who told you Norman went two times and was ‘selling questions’ to Dot Com, and what evidence do you have of this?

        It would be nice if they did the job they are paid to do not the bidding of Key by repeating his accusations without question. They are all trying to out ‘Gower’ Patrick Gower in the gotcha contest this includes the shooting from the hip and missing like Gower contest .

        • Chooky 3.1.1.1

          +100…..and ironic Reptile Key is so paranoid about the visits

          ….it must really gall him that Winston, who he needs to form a coaliition, has been visiting Dot Com….Key is probably feeling quite desperate in fact…..

          …of course he is attacking Norman rather than Paters

          ….while Norman is putting up a good defensive fight …the fight should be on the offensive

          • andy (the other one) 3.1.1.1.1

            Another question for Key: Is the GCSB/Police still monitoring DotCom and is this how you became aware of Winston’s 3 visits to the Mansion.

            • Tiger Mountain 3.1.1.1.1.1

              These are the questions our pussycat media should be asking. But we (posters and bloggers) will do it for them as usual.

            • bad12 3.1.1.1.1.2

              The answer to that would i think be an emphatic No, think SIS, and the question that might need to be asked of Slippery the Prime Minister is the SIS maintaining a 24 hour watch on Kim DotCom or perhaps Slippery as the Minister in charge has them watching Russell Norman and Winston Peters…

              • PapaMike

                Perhaps the Police and SIS are keeping tabs on Kim to see he does not abscond quietly before the extradition trial.

  4. dv 4

    Well well look at this.

    Mr Hodge said some of the salaries at Vanguard, in Albany, were about $16,000 more than his school could offer.
    New Zealand’s largest secondary school lost five teachers after a charter school was established nearby which could offer better salaries.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11200998

    • BM 4.1

      There’s a bit of a glut when it comes to people with teaching degrees.

      At least it gives some one else an opportunity to get into the teaching profession.

      Growing the pie = good.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        What bullshit

        Funnelling government money into private sector schools may “grow” private sector profits, but it does fuck all else.

        Idiot.

        • BM 4.1.1.1

          I disagree

          Dickface

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1

            There’s no “growth”; just funnelling of money from public schools into private hands.

            Point out where the “growth” is, if you can.

            • Blue 4.1.1.1.1.1

              The growth will be in the kids success.

              • Colonial Viper

                if you rate farming kids as cash cows for private school owners.

                • Blue

                  I think its immaterial how kids are educated, as long as it produced results that ensure they can be contributing members of society, pursue their ambitions and enjoy the experience. If you judge the efficacy of an education on purely where it was gained then you’re an idiot.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.2

        It’s only “growing the pie” because the government is spending additional money on these schools. That’s where the salaries are coming from.

        So, instead of the government spending $XX million on charter schools to “grow the pie”, they could have simply spent that same $XX million on state schools and “grown the pie” by the same amount.

        Duh.

        • BM 4.1.2.1

          Who sort of kids are going to these charter schools?

          From my understanding it’s all the kids who are struggling, the 10-20% who fall through the cracks, the ones that tend to go on and feature significantly in all the bad statistics and cost the tax payer a ton of coin.

          Mainstream schooling doesn’t work for them for what ever reason, so take them out of that environment and see how they go in another enviroment.

          Great for teachers and pupils at mainstream school as these kids are normally a major distraction and a huge drain on the teachers time usually at the expense of the other kids in the class.

          This is the ambulance at the top of the cliff, a win win for every one.

          • s y d 4.1.2.1.1

            BM – two cliches a day, please explain?

            You cannot grow a pie. If you bury a pie in the ground it will not sprout new pies or make the buried pie larger. You have to make a pie. If you want a bigger pie you need to use more ingredients.
            Now if the kids at the charter schools are getting more pie, where is their pie coming from.

            An ambulance at the top of the cliff is next to fucking useless – all the hurt people will be at the bottom and how will the ambulance get down to help them?

          • framu 4.1.2.1.2

            “From my understanding it’s all the kids who are struggling, the 10-20% who fall through the cracks,”

            thats not an understanding – thats you repeating the salesmans spiel

            your whole comment is essentially a cut and paste from the advertising!

          • bad12 4.1.2.1.3

            BM, you understanding of who will feature as the pupils of these charter schools is either a lie because you choose to behave so or a lie because you are simply stupid,

            Please provide us with some evidence of the assertion that you have made, what you will find is that a small % of pupils at such charter schools will be those in the demographic who fail in a normal educative program,

            What you will also find is that one or two of this small % of those who will fail in a normal educative setting will receive intensive help in an effort to raise their standard of success who will then be held up to be the poster children of the charter schools scam,

            For the others from the small % of those who would fail in a normal educative setting who do not receive such intensive help such charter schools will simply protect their NCEA results by showing them the door early on in the piece…

            • BM 4.1.2.1.3.1

              What a load of kaka ow.

              If the charter school doesn’t make the grade it gets closed down.

              Give it a chance it may make all the difference for these kids who would probably otherwise end up in prison or on a bene living in state house somewhere in NZ scratching out some sort of depressing existence.

              • bad12

                The comment of an empty-head, containing none of the ‘evidence’ asked for in my first comment to you,

                Not deserving of the pixels required of a further reply…

              • Tracey

                Fascinating given we don’y close public schools which this govt says are failing children, cos some of them must be failing the kids BM, for the charter schools to be deemed “the solution”

                “Give it a chance it may make all the difference for these kids who would probably otherwise end up in prison or on a bene living in state house somewhere in NZ scratching out some sort of depressing existence.”

                So about .01% of those being failed get a chance through a charter school? That sounds about right for a national supporter….

          • Tracey 4.1.2.1.4

            h a charter school just opened? You could do an OIA on them BM and find out the truth.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2

      So, when the Charter schools close, a bunch of scabs teachers who perhaps found that they couldn’t work well with the majority will become job seekers.

      Bonus!

      • tinfoilhat 4.2.1

        How are those teachers scabs?

        i happen to know each and every one of those teachers and they are all excellent people as well as superb teachers.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.1.1

          Just not intelligent enough to figure out that Charter schools are part of an ongoing campaign against education which manifests in part in relentless attacks on teachers’ unions? Just not intelligent enough to figure out that supporting ACT policy is an attack on their colleagues?

          I’m sure they’re all lovely people.

          • Richard McGrath 4.2.1.1.1

            True to form, the left’s prime concern is for the teachers and their unions. School pupils come a distant third.

            • McFlock 4.2.1.1.1.1

              That whooshing sound was the point going over your head.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.1.1.1.2

              Oooh! Ooh! I’m representative of the Left! Yee-ha! Hail, the conquering hero! Wait a minute…Wha? You’re saying you think my hyperbole is representative of the Left? No?

              Your point is what? That children come a distant third on my list? Um sure, I admit it, I think that pedagogy relies more on the adult environment than the juvenile, but then juvenile seems to be your domain.

            • Tracey 4.2.1.1.1.3

              at least kids make the Left’s list.

        • Ennui 4.2.1.2

          Well said tinfoilhat, there seems to be some emotion re the idea of a lack of “solidarity” amongst teachers. My fear is that the “excellent” teachers drawn away to Charter Schools will diminish the teaching standards of state schools (by way of their mentoring etc of their colleagues). The added insult here is that our taxes are funding this ridiculous experiment and ending up in private bank accounts.

          As a private sector employer I lose staff when I fail to match competitors salaries etc, People will always go where they get “more”. Teachers are no different. As for “solidarity” amongst teachers it might pay to reflect on the lack of solidarity that secondary teachers have shown to the support staff in schools whose terms and conditions have been constantly eroded. In looking after (very successfully) teachers terms and conditions their Union has in effect created a closed shop mentality with substantial collateral damage to other staff.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.1.2.1

            No context missing from that analysis or anything? Nothing to say about the fact that sympathetic industrial action was made illegal in one of those relentless attacks I mentioned?

            As you rightly say, people will go where the money is, but like freedom of speech, freedom of association has consequences, and one of the consequences of associating with the 0% party is the word scab.

            • Ennui 4.2.1.2.1.1

              You are 100 percent correct about context: the industrial relations area has been deliberately made to move away from sympathetic action. My comment about the teachers union is made from the direct personal observations and experience of my partner. What is obvious to her is that the context of the industrial relations environment has not prevented (through some sense of collective security or cooperation) the teachers union looking after its members even when it is obvious that others suffer diminished conditions as a consequence. Maybe the word “scab” applies to that. Or maybe we might just drop the word “scab” because ultimately the consequences of not being a “scab” include being disadvantaged by your fellow workers.

              PS if you check the record of my comments on TS, they are consistently that I would prefer my employees to be in a union simply to try and get them some equity with one another, and to make dealings with them collective.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Acting against their interests probably does include being “disadvantaged” by your fellows. Hardly surprising, really.

                If we call them fluffy bunnies instead of scabs I don’t think that’s going to change.

            • Richard McGrath 4.2.1.2.1.2

              A scab is a sign of healthy wound healing. Appropriate in this case, I would have thought.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Once the scab falls off.

                There is strength in numbers, Richard. You righties have your henchmen, we lefties have our freedoms of expression and association.

                That’s just the way things are.

                • Richard McGrath

                  Freedom of expression – yeah right. From where did political correctness originate then?

            • Richard McGrath 4.2.1.2.1.3

              A scab is a sign of healthy wound healing. Appropriate in this case.

          • Tracey 4.2.1.2.2

            People do not “always” go where they will get more. I have no doubt some do but don’t assume all do. many pereople are working in jobs that pay less than they can get elsewhere for a number of reasons. Charities are full of such people.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      He said state and state-integrated schools received average funding per student of about $7000, but Vanguard received funding of $19,664 per student this year.

      And that’s the bit that’s actually important. The simple fact that charter schools will be costing us more while making a profit.

      • ianmac 4.3.1

        Notice the teacher pupil ratio at Vanguard?
        Vanguard Military School
        * Students: 108
        * Number of teaching staff: 9
        * Principal: Rockley Montgomery.
        Ratio 1:12. Now that would be attractive to any teacher!

        • Tracey 4.3.1.1

          yup, we are creating an overt lottery for our children…. Get the small chance of a place in a charter school, or swim with the sharks. Step right up, everyone has a chance. That’s equality, National/Act- style

    • DavidW 4.4

      I could well understand that someone going up to HOD from plain teacher might raise their salary and would be attracted to if their future was blocked by a shiny-arsed tired seat warmer of long standing.

  5. karol 5

    New Statesman article by David Runciman.

    On how real political change is thwarted by scandals (individualised, personalised, fragmented, diversionary), drawing people’s anger.

    A fresh angle on recent political history. e.g. this:

    Like most scandals, Watergate constituted a diversion rather than a decisive break with the past. American democracy absorbed the shock and moved on. The properly significant change occurred later in the decade, during the Carter administration, when a structural shift took place from the remnants of the New Deal economy to the finance capitalism that ultimately let rip in the Reagan years. At the end of the 1970s, Wall Street took over from main street as the dominant force in US political life, a position it has occupied ever since. Watergate provided some of the cover for this to happen. It generated first outrage and then a widespread feeling of disillusionment, once it became clear how little of substance had changed.

    Is Dotcom’s prevalent media prescence providing similar cover: a diversion from a strong focus on deep political failings, and a diversion from widespread, game-changing, political change?

    • Jan 5.1

      Of course – bread and circuses!

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.2

      Yes and no. Dotcom’s case encapsulates many issues – privacy, freedom of expression, restraint of trade, governmental contempt for the law. Fundamental motivators of opposition to the current economic paradigm, especially as represented by the current government.

      Sure there’s a bread and circuses element too, but the airing of views expressed at select committee level, for example, generated a lot of momentum.

      • Jan 5.2.1

        I agree with you, OAB, it’s not the issues themselves – it’s the treatment of it by Key and the press that is the diversionary circus

  6. Chooky 6

    Shane Jones fighting like a Maori warrior against Australian supermarket exclusion of NZ products and produce….also the ruthless,predatory price downgrading by Australian supermarkets and their exclusion of producers who don’t comply by bringing their prices down to bankruptsey levels…..eg Countdown

    I think i will be shopping at New World in future…and maybe consider boycotting Australian products/produce ( which i usually go to when I cant buy NZ)

    • Puckish Rogue 6.1

      He comes across well and speaks a language most people in the middle can understand

    • Ennui 6.2

      We try and buy only the items we cant get elsewhere from supermarkets and it makes a substantial saving. We go to a butchers factory shop or other butchers, I buy veges at the market to substitute my own. The real key is to stop buying processed food where ever possible and buy ingredients such as flour in bulk. Having said that the supermarket still seems to cost a fortune.

      • Chooky 6.2.1

        Farmers markets in New Zealand should be encouraged ie fruit , veges, handmade goods…and NZ wine and alcohol should be included (at the moment many small boutique growers are going to the wall with supermarket grinding down prices) ….this would cut out the Australian supermarket middle men rorting everyone……Greens support this!….Good for tourism too!

    • ianmac 6.3

      My guess is that New World has the same tactics. Competition you know.

      • Chooky 6.3.1

        at least New World and Pak’nSave are New Zealand owned

        …..and Raewoods has now been bought out by Australian owned Countdown

      • Rosie 6.3.2

        Hi ianmac. I’ve been waiting years for the dodgy way supermarkets deal with their suppliers to come to light and to be challenged.

        Although Jone’s allegation that Countdown has been pressuring suppliers to meet the shortfall in profit when a line doesn’t “perform” is a bit out there, I’d fully believe it (and look forward to the truth coming out) going on my my experience working for a supplier to Foodstuff’s.

        I have a feeling Foodstuff’s will be packing themselves right now, just a little………

        Just a couple of example of lose/win scenario’s:

        Suppliers pay all freight costs to get their goods to either the supermarket or distribution centre

        Suppliers carry the cost of item’s specialed

        Suppliers pay for putting in a display end – the space at the end of an aisle is rented to them for the time they carry their stock there, usually a week

        Suppliers are often obliged to provide privately contracted poorly paid casualised merchandisers to fill the shelves when the order comes in – the supermarket keeps costs down on the cost of hiring permanent shelf fillers. (I’ve also gone on about the the disadvantages of merchandising, many times before so no need to repeat)

        I can’t prove this or provide a link – it’s just from my experience of dealing with grocery buyers. All of the above is considered standard practice and Countdown does it too. But at least they aren’t actively engaged in Union busting and do have reasonable collective agreements in most stores and of course the distribution centres (covered that one last week)

        Countdown is the enemy at the moment because of the Australian connection but were we to look into Foodstuff’s practices I wouldn’t be surprised if there were similarities in their way of doing business. Either way I hope investigations lead to recommendations to make it a more level playing field for suppliers and workers and ultimately to regulation to ensure it.

        I do shop at New World to support our local suppliers and keep NZ profits on shore but really it’s the better of two evils. Otherwise I try to purchase some goods at our local organic shop which charges much less for some items.

        • cricklewood 6.3.2.1

          Its pretty cut throat if you’re a grower of say broccoli, you’re crop is ready at a certain point when progressives come along and say we are going to pay 20c less a head this month you’re left with very little option sell it to recoup something or plow it in and no doubt get blacklisted. If you do the math around a selling point of $ 1.50 a head there is bugger all in it for the grower that takes the risk on planting the crop.

          • Rosie 6.3.2.1.1

            Yes, exactly! Pity the produce growers! Campbell live once had an article about how screwed down the growers are – as per your example above. At the mercy of unreliable season’s and a bully for a customer.

          • bad12 6.3.2.1.2

            There is tho an easy solution to this, the growers need form co-operative from which all their produce can be marketed,

            IF the supermarkets play hardball with the prices such a co-operative only need sell its goods to any remaining green-grocers left operating here, sell direct to the consumer at markets, and assuming that demand will always be there for fresh vege it would be simple to find warehouse space for such a co-operative to directly sell to the public cutting out the supermarkets…

            • cricklewood 6.3.2.1.2.1

              Excepting that there will always be one who will take a little less and sell to a big chain. Bit like scab labour.
              The whole thing is vexed, a lot of people in nz by purely on cheapest price and there always seems to be someone who will do it for less. As with anything its cheap for a reason either the producer’s getting nothing or staff are paid dirt or shortcuts get taken… Its a race to the bottom in NZ and plenty of moaning that either the service isn’t up to scratch or if it is to expensive.

            • Rosie 6.3.2.1.2.2

              Hi there bad. Wouldn’t that be fantastic! But in terms of the supermarkets, the poor ol’ produce growers are only one set of suppliers who suffer. I’m more interested in them and small local producers of non perishables than I am of the fate of the big boys (multi national food groups, eg. unilver)…….who are the ones that will be cautiously coming forward to the Commerce Commission to make a complaint.

              However, what happens in a market that is disconnected from it’s suppliers? While in some centres around NZ we have weekend markets where cheap vege is sold, whether it be fancy -smancy -twee -farmer’s market’s or no -questions -asked- sold- off -the -lorry markets, our 6 days a week a green grocers are fastly disappearing. As you say “any remaining green grocers left………..”

              Three long term green grocers in this area have closed down in the 8 years within the time of my return to Wellington – ones I used. In that time 2 new supermarkets have opened, and 3 others have had major upgrades and their produce is crap and expensive, unlike the green grocers that were there previously, whose quality and price was good.

              And yes, locally, we have warehouse space up for rent so for your idea to work the will of the all important “consumer” would need to “demand” it. (aren’t we are so “demanding” now days). Could be done?

              BTW, interesting to see that what I was talking about above in terms of Foodstuff’s and their demands of suppliers did in fact run a parallel to the experience of Countdown suppliers, as reported on Campbell live tonight.

              • Herodotus

                This was on tv last week or so. How the supermarkets are managing the supply chain in Britain.
                http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FyFeuJ9unUg&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DFyFeuJ9unUg
                But at least govts ( be they led by national or labour) can crow about maintaining low inflation and wages keeping up with living costs. But what price ?

              • bad12

                Rosie, just an idea off of the top of my head, the vege co-operative method of vege sales that is,

                What is missing now from the New Zealand food selling market is the actual permanent markets where the retailer sold form what was barley ‘a building’, the one that used to be down Tory street in Wellington i remember from my younger days,

                Using a warehouse in such a fashion where the produce sellers can hire a space for a day, week or year would probably work, but, like you say ‘things’ would have to get so bad for the producers in their dealings with the supermarkets that they all decide to directly sell to the public,

                The other little inkling in the back of my mind is that food being a necessity of life the Government should own it’s own supermarket chain providing direct competition with the other markets…

                • Rosie

                  “The other little inkling in the back of my mind is that food being a necessity of life the Government should own it’s own supermarket chain providing direct competition with the other markets…”

                  I wonder if other countries do this……….

                  The other thing is they need to do is take GST off food, being a necessity of life and ‘all. Tax on food is immoral.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Spain and Turkey in midst of economic/financial/political crises

    So what do their elite decide to do? Build an AIRCRAFT CARRIER of course!!!

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-12/surreal-news-du-jour-spain-turkey-jointly-build-aircraft-carrier

  8. Not a PS Staffer 8

    “The near-death experience of the world economy was an open goal for lefties: indeed, it was a gaping empty net with the goal-keeper missing. And still they managed to hit the ball wide.”

    “We seem, still, to prefer the anonymity of market forces rather than trust people or our flawed institutions to make the key economic decisions. “

    See the article, a European perspective on the response to the left’s GFC by Chris Johns in the Irish Times. Elements translate into NZ’s situation.

    http://www.irishtimes.com/business/sectors/why-has-the-left-failed-to-exploit-the-financial-crisis-1.1687497

    Cunliffe has to convince the NZ public that his vision is different from both National’s and the 1980 -2013 Labour Party. That vision must be centered on reducing inequality while driving economic growth.

    • (this is relevant to the link from not ps..)

      http://whoar.co.nz/2014/why-the-three-biggest-economic-lessons-were-forgotten-comment-there-are-none-so-blind-as-the-ideologically-blind/

      (excerpt..)

      ..(ed:..this is a classic case of ideological-blindness..

      ..where the right refuse to/can’t see ..

      ..that the fastest way to kickstart an economy back into life..

      ..is to increase the incomes of the poorest..

      (cont..)

      phillip ure..

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        Why were the three big lessons forgotten? Because a few people wanted to be immeasurably richer than they were and the only way to do that was to take more from everyone else. On top of that they wanted a return to feudalism as them as the aristocrats which is what we’ve got it’s just that their power is now hidden behind the politicians and the economic hypothesis that privatisation is better even though it didn’t work last time resulting in the English, French and Russian Revolutions.

        • Ennui 8.1.1.1

          For a good critique read http://cluborlov.com/ on “American exceptionalism”.

          Reichs 3 reasons don’t stand scrutiny when coming from a man who is Prof of Public Policy. At no point does he mention the inbuilt propensity of capitalism to go hand in hand with property rights that exclude competition A good example is the intellectual property laws that keep us sending cash to Bill Gates rather than putting his software into the public domain. At no point does Reich like most commentators question the basic tenet that capitalism is meant to push wealth up, it is fekkin good at it. No amount of public policy is going to change that. What Reich is actually saying is “capitalism is good, it just neds to go back to the consumer based Keynesian prescription and it will all be good”…..and it wont.

          By the way, those revolutions, yes they challenged absolute rule and the aristocratic hangers on, then voila, meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

    • Enough is Enough 8.2

      Hear Hear,

      Now is the time to change direction and reject the failed policies of the last two Labour governments (which have been Tory with a shiny red badge).

      The failed policies of sucessive governments since 1984 can been seen in the small minority of filthy rich pricks loving life while the vast majority live in abject poverty.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1

        +1

      • Richard McGrath 8.2.2

        “[T]he small minority of filthy rich pricks loving life while the vast majority live in abject poverty.”

        Rubbish. Median wage in the June 2013 quarter was $575 per week, with GDP based on purchasing power per capita $30,804 per annum. That is not abject poverty.

        Zimbabwe, whose GDP by the same measure is $589 p.a., or Liberia at $716 p.a., now that’s abject poverty.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 8.2.2.1

          Median, Wormtongue? Tell me more. Oh please, tell me more, unbiased one, bringer of stuff that is not partisan at all.

        • Colonial Viper 8.2.2.2

          Are you making excuses for the filthy rich McGrath?

          Have you no common decency?

          • Richard McGrath 8.2.2.2.1

            How the hell do you get that? I’m talking about abject poverty. And why shouldn’t someone be allowed to become rich if it is by honest effort and free exchange, or is that not allowed in your world?

        • McFlock 8.2.2.3

          how about somalia, libertarian paradise?

          • Bill 8.2.2.3.1

            You’re aware that the monies (according to some sources anyway) from all the piracy goes straight back to communities that have been severely fucked over by activities of western actors eg – dumping of industrial waste off the coast, foreign vessels over fishing etc?

            Who do you think the pirates are? Anyone other than desperate and impoverished fishers etc?

            I’m not saying I’d want to be there, but when times get desperate….

            • Colonial Viper 8.2.2.3.1.1

              As opposed to the corruptly legalised and officially sanctioned piracy/highway robbery carried out by corporations.

            • McFlock 8.2.2.3.1.2

              Well, a chunk. But then fisheries management isn’t part of the libertarian govt purview, either…

              • Bill

                Oh – as a libertarian, I think it’s safe for me to say that fisheries management would be as high on the agenda as any other resource management – ie, high. But then, I’m talking libertarianism as a democrat and not as a corporate/fascist fuck who has appropriated the term and twisted new meanings into it. 😉

                • McFlock

                  ah, true, my bad 🙂

                  • Bill

                    Time to start calling out these pseudo libertarians for the fascist/corporate fucks that they are. I believe there’s been success with other terms that were formally, falsely appropriated?

          • Richard McGrath 8.2.2.3.2

            Sorry, no rule of law there so not a libertarian society, more anarchic. But you already knew that.

            • McFlock 8.2.2.3.2.1

              I also know that a government that fails to provide social structures other than law will be replaced by a number of smaller, local, social structures that will eventually rise to enough strength to confront the power of the government. As seen in Somalia.

  9. karol 9

    I am having a problem writing a post – I can no longer save changes. Keep getting a message saying saving disabled as connection with the server has been lost – on firefox.

    • Bill 9.1

      You write posts from within ‘ts’? Why not type them up on ‘word’ or whatever on your own computer’s system and then ‘cut and paste’? It’s what I do.

      • karol 9.1.1

        Yes, usually. It’s easier to do the formatting as I write. But I ended up finishing that post on Word when I couldn’t save some of the last edits.

  10. Penny Bright 10

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/countdown-rejects-shane-jones-extortion-claim-labour-mp-gets-tacit-backing-rich-ck-151788

    FYI – (My comment – yet to be published …)

    Do these ‘demands’ for cash payments from Kiwi suppliers for “past losses”, and threats that that if they did not make the payments, they faced permanent exclusion from the shelves, and further threats of ‘blacklisting’ if they told anyone about the demands – constitute ‘bribery and corruption’ under the NZ Secret Commissions Act 1910?

    http://www.justice.govt.nz/policy/criminal-justice/bribery-and-corruption/legal-framework

    Bribery and corruption offences

    New Zealand’s criminal offences relating to bribery are contained in the:

    Crimes Act 1961
    Secret Commissions Act 1910.
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Crimes Act 1961

    The Crimes Act 1961 part 6 (external link) contains criminal offences related to, amongst other things, the corrupt use of official information and the corruption and bribery of:

    the Judiciary
    ministers of the Crown
    members of Parliament
    law enforcement officers
    public officials.

    Penalties include terms of imprisonment of up to 14 years for the most serious cases.
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Secret Commissions Act 1910

    The Secret Commissions Act 1910 (external link) contains bribery and corruption-style offences relevant to the private sector.

    Penalties range from $2,000 to two years imprisonment.
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1910/0040/latest/whole.html#DLM177664

    2 Interpretation

    In this Act, unless a contrary intention appears,—

    agent includes any person who is or has been, or desires or intends to be, employed by or acting for any other person, whether as agent, servant, broker, auctioneer, architect, solicitor, director, or in any other capacity whatever, either alone or jointly with any other person

    principal includes any person by whom an agent is or has been, or intends or desires to be, employed, or for whom an agent acts or has acted, or intends or desires to act

    consideration means valuable consideration of any kind; and particularly includes discounts, commissions, rebates, bonuses, deductions, percentages, employment, payment of money (whether by way of loan, gift, or otherwise howsoever), and forbearance to demand any money or valuable thing.
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Penny Bright

  11. tricledrown 11

    Penny not so bright whu can’t you just make the point without all your added self important polava.
    Less is more you haven’t figured that out yet .Especially in the modern sound bite era.
    Catherine Rich looked like she was swallowing a very large dead rat when she backed up Shane Jones accusations with evidence.

  12. fender 12

    Puckish Rogue…

    Is this the KDC you were referring to in your childish attempt at diversion on the “Smirks and inversions” post?

    What was your point? Do you want Bennett & co. to go swimming with the whales?

    • @ fender..is that true..?

      ..does bennett really ‘swim with the whales’..?

      ..whoar..!

      ..’holy disturbing-imagery..!..batman..!”

      ..phillip ure..

      • fender 12.1.1

        Was hoping Puckish would share the knowledge regarding whale watching other than the land-based usual suspect. You raise another serious issue though, I’d hate to see the Kaikoura whales chased away.

  13. lprent 13

    Annoying I forgot to fix the db query cache after doing some edits last weekend. Caused an outage. While I was on the bus..

    Fixed and rebooted.

  14. coolest bit of vid for a long time..

    ..it came at the end of campbell live..

    ..and is footage of mila the elephant seeing/meeting/trunk-wrapping with another elephant..

    ..for the first time in 40 yrs..

    ..and if susceptible to that sort of thing..

    ..it is tissue-material..

    ..phillip ure..

  15. Colonial Viper 15

    Open letter to [US Oligarch] Sam Zell: your statements are delusional and dangerous

    It’s fine to want to make money, and it’s also fine to just want to be comfortable, content and fulfilled in what you do. I’m not making a judgement call here. What I am saying is that people like you, who are constantly surrounded by people that think just like you, people who obsess 24/7 about how to make more money on money, you think that everyone thinks just like you. Sorry to break it to you, they don’t.

    So this is where your delusion begins. You think everyone that has issues with you oligarchs and how the 0.01% is destroying our economy and society is simply envious because you assume they think like you do. Certainly, if you were poor you would be envious of the the rich. You’ve made that clear. However, that is not the primary motivation of the anger and resentment swelling up from the underclasses.

    http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2014/02/06/an-open-letter-to-sam-zell-why-your-statements-are-delusional-and-dangerous/

  16. Colonial Viper 16

    Deutsche Bank rates NZ housing market as 3rd most over valued in the industrialised world

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-12/did-canada-just-pop-its-housing-bubble

  17. greywarbler 17

    I noticed this from CV s link which seems important:

    Canada has been very open to foreign investors, which means that in an age of unprecedented global liquidity cash-rich wealthy individuals who are looking for places to park their excess funds can do so in its housing market.
    Until now… As SCMP reports, Canada’s government has announced that it is scrapping its controversial investor visa scheme, which has allowed waves of rich Hongkongers and mainland Chinese to immigrate since 1986.

    My Bolding.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      There have been reports of Chinese officials taking fraudulently obtained funds offshore and investing in foreign property as a “back up plan” in case they need to leave China in a hurry some time in the future.

      It looks to me like the Chinese government has put pressure on the Canadian govt to end this loophole.

      • greywarbler 17.1.1

        I wonder if anyone has a finger on that dyke here, (referring to the folk Netherland tale of the boy and the dyke.)

        And that piece about Chinese officials or their families going abroad. It seems to me that is the old externalities deja vue. Make money, cause problems, pocket money, leave the people living in the mess and seek better climes. Though the clim-ate will catch them.

    • joe90 17.2

      Rats and ships.

      Why the exodus among families who have benefited most from China’s rise?

      Aside from education, another obvious motivator is pollution. China’s toxic air and poisonous water are regular topics of complaint among the wealthy (as well as ordinary Chinese).

      A less obvious factor is the crackdown on corruption.

      Over the last year, Chairman Xi Jinping has overseen investigations into some of China’s wealthiest and most powerful party figures, including those who have profited massively from the state-owned oil industry. He has vowed to take down both “tigers” (top bosses) and “flies” (local officials).

      In January, Xi stepped up his campaign by forbidding the promotion of officials who have spouses or children living abroad. These so-called “naked” officials are seen as especially prone to corruption.

      “They belong to a high-risk group for corruption,” a party official told the state-run Xinhua news agency. “Around 40 percent of economic cases and nearly 80 percent of corruption and embezzlement cases involve naked officials.” In China, crimes like fraud, bribery, and embezzlement are referred to as economic cases.

      This designation covers a large group. According to a report by the Hong Kong newspaper Oriental Daily, a majority of members of China’s 2013 National People’s Congress were “naked officials.”

      http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/140131/war-corruption-ramps-china-s-wealthy-flock-america

  18. weka 18

    Quick question re the NSA and data storage. Are they storing content from all phone calls, or is it just the meta data?

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      My assumption would be that they are storing everything; listening to what Jacob Appelbaum and others have to say, I think that is a pretty safe bet.

      • Tracey 18.1.1

        but they will only admit metadata and therefore only ever be forced to cough that up.

        • weka 18.1.1.1

          Thanks. I had assumed it was everything, but when I looked online there was a lot of contradictory information.

  19. greywarbler 19

    So the spies and snoops will probably have their favourite focus picked out from meta-data, to be monitored by drones, only nano-ones, like the one in the Harry Potter book. One of the nasties there has shape-shifting genes and can turn herself into an insect and literally be ‘the fly on the wall’. And she happens to be a jonolist I think, so gets lots of stuff that’s not fit to print.

    Lots of opportunities for the use of technology to hurt society and the individual.

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