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Open mike 13/03/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 13th, 2012 - 76 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…

76 comments on “Open mike 13/03/2012”

  1. Two recent posts on David Shearer are not very illuminating.

    Gordom Campbell seemed frustrated at the lack of substance in many vague responses in an interview.

    And yesterday here Anthony Robins tried to add to the coming out of the new Labour leader, and the lack of support from the strong Labour contingent here was very noticable.

    This week there’s an attempt to show David Shearer emerging? But is he shunned too much by his own?
    A successful leader needs to have followers who believe in him.

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      A successful leader needs to have followers who believe in him.

      Hence Peter Dunne is by definition a “successful leader” because you “believe in him” lol Hey is that kool-aid in the fridge?

    • A successful leader needs to have followers who believe in him.

      It is actually more important for a successful leader to at least have followers.  How is United Follicle’s polling Petey?

      EDIT: Bet me to it CV!

      • Pete George 1.2.1

        Morning troll duty Greg? Will you pledge enthusiastic support for Shearer? Or avoid that one?

        • mickysavage 1.2.1.1

          Ha Petey you are such a laugh!  

          I actually think Shearer is doing pretty good and he has gone up in my estimation since his announced support for MUNZ.  It is all good stuff.  There ya go.

          Should I take your failure to respond to CV’s and my criticisms of the follicled ones as an act of treachery?  Planning a coup d’etat Petey?

  2. muzza 2

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10791657

    To be fair its seems Shearer is not helping himself much!

    • Jackal 2.1

      To be fair it seems New Zealand isn’t helping itself much either.

      Was it his typo muzza? There’s a very big difference between a couple of minor mistakes that have been picked up and intentionally fucking New Zealand over like what John Keys party is up to.

      National are selling off our future at a loss to foreign owners that will be stripping our country bare. They’re gutting our public sector workforce, increasing unemployment, reducing wages and people’s rights… but all that is A OK because John Key can have a little scoff at the opposition leader and it becomes news.

      I wonder if the NZ Herald gave PoAL a discount on those full-paged adverts they’ve been running?

  3. just saying 3

    http://werewolf.co.nz/2012/03/waiting-for-the-man/

    An extended interview of David Shearer by Gordon Campbell. Pretty sure there will be a post about it later on, but for the delectation of impatient political junkies….

    edit: I see Pete Squirrel has linked to this above. But I’ll leave the link because I find linking via the linker’s website/blog is the worst kind of link-whoring, and always pisses me off.

    • rosy 3.1

      Thanks JS, that was the first real insight I’ve had into Shearer’s ideas. I thought it rather interesting and on the whole, positive.

    • Uturn 3.2

      That interview could be titled: “Dude, where’s the Labour Party?”

      Right now, Labour would have a better chance of re-election if they switched David for Darien, without so much as a thank you bye, and let her rant free-reign over the airways. Hell, make it a co-leadership between her and Twyford – the only two Labour MPs who have either consistently publicly voiced representation for Labour’s roots over the past year or behaved in a manner that supported it.

      I don’t know who Labour are any more, especially when the leader shy’s away from stock standard industrial disputes with a Len Brown-esque explanation and by saying that they will respond with the standard opposition model to National’s debate agendas.

      “A moderate response”? “The “struggling middle classes”?

      David Shearer knows this is rubbish and his personal fire comes out when he’s talking about real life. How can you come from an Iraqi or Somalian refugee camp and seriously look someone in the eye and talk about the idea of the “struggling middle classes”? No wonder he burbles. Having to swallow that shit must be intolerable. If people don’t know NZders live two families to a garage, how the hell can they comprehend the social conditions of a refugee camp, then compare it to their decadent lifestyle, describing themselves as “struggling”. What it describes is a population completely devoid of awareness of life on earth. These people need a wake up, not a to be tucked into bed. Ignorance and denial will cost the disadvantaged, not the gobblers at the table. If Shearer’s upcoming speeches are officially reigned in for the good of the party, they’ll be the dishwater they are described to be.

      So, my advice, since he enjoys getting it: Find two co-leaders representing Labour’s roots… maybe Fenton and Twyford. Set to work nationwide filing the airways with no nonsense hard talking, actions and vision, based in those roots and give NZ a spearhead for a united Left that people can see is different – not moderated National Lite. Unite the LEFT David, don’t sell Lite Right. The public perception of the Labour brand is that they are the leaders of the Left. Where they go, the minor partys follow. Use that advantage – even if it is complete bollocks. Because no party will, or ever will, move Left once in power to help the poor and disadvantaged if they spend all their electioneering time imitating a “compassionate” Right. Everyone always moves right.

      And just for the record: NZ didn’t “inherit” the more disgusting features of our culture. We built them, one excess at a time. Credit where credit’s due.

      Why and how would Labour want to please everyone across the whole spectrum? Are they competing for Young Oxymoroner of the Year? Listen, there are no “compassionate, hard-arsed liberals”. People largely live a sub/cultural norm, regardless of their personal thoughts on a matter. They may know a thing is wrong, but they will act to preserve their cultural identity, even if it means doing the wrong thing, reluctantly, apologetically; explaining they had no choice, that they were under orders; and finally bursting forth with abuse to protect the abberation and reconcile the irreconcilable. There may be rare exceptions, but casually blending a word with an opposing adjective doesn’t make the result possible in real life.

      It isn’t a matter of pleasing everyone, it’s a matter of creating a legislative base that does not allow wide cracks to open for people to fall through and restrains those who will not curb their misanthropic tendencies in industrial relations, social relations and in economic arrangements. You can’t do that by being afraid to scare someone – someone who has more than enough to bear it.

      • prism 3.2.1

        @Uturn
        You get me wondering – what do Labour people believe in these days? What do lawyers, such a common group for aspiring candidates, think gives them insight into the aspiring upper lower class? It seems that when personal circumstances improve, altruisim and respect for all at whatever their level disappears.

        • Uturn 3.2.1.1

          That’s a large and difficult question to answer – I don’t have that kind of specific information. All I have is the history of Labour being a working class socialist party, the transitional Douglas and Clark years, and now finding they are not – even though they still try to associate with it. What does it say about a party that falls apart when its leader resigns? Where was its vision? What did it stand for? Were the beliefs and values grounded in human truths or were they manipulated cynical political expediencies?

          The idea that comfort (read, excess) propagates self destruction is recorded throughout history. I would suggest that those who are prone to forgetting the values of their party – of not living their values – never truly held them to begin with. It’s popular for people to be encouraged to wander around full of nice ideas about fairness, social etiquette and manners, but how they arrived at those ideas – through a projection of their own issues, a ticket into social identity, or an understanding of who they really are – makes an large difference. If someone is expressing who they are, they cannot then forget it and trade it in. If someone adopts nice ideas without self awareness, as they are influenced by the responses their actions bring, they will change into something else. Their values were a temporary development. These people are not visionaries or leaders.

          For example, how is that John Key can hold up his upbringing as evidence of compassionate insight, turn around and make a career in money off other people’s misery and attack those who were like him?

          How can Shearer say he was enlightened on the back of a truck with a handful of orange peels, and then turn around and protect the people who create a system that would have our own children running after a truck for food scraps?

          After just 6 years and two examples, NZ’s affair with “look at me I understand life” type candidates has gone stale.

          If the lawyers I have met are anything to go by, they are adept and useful administrators, sometimes exceptionally well versed in the way humans behave and when “on stage” excellent communicators. It is a good idea to have sound laws underpinning society, but what those laws are and which direction they proceed should not be decided solely by lawyers. Once again, the appearance of certain useful traits and skills does not mean a person will be a good leader – unless their understanding of people and the law was incidental to their overall arrival as a true leader or visionary. They need something inside them that does not change; if not a genuine charismatic streak, then an archetypal spark, or soul, something that unavoidably constructively connects them to other people, humanity, call it what you like.

          Sooner or later, a person has to face what they are, realise the price to be paid and not betray themselves or those who rely on them. Both Key and Shearer can sit on the back of that metaphorical truck and throw stones at the children chasing, and I’ll not condemn them as frauds, if they admit that is what they truly are. If one of them is not like that, then not much good will come of being scared of what you are.

    • (reply to ‘just saying’..)

      do you use any mainstream news-aggregation websites..like..i dunno..huffington post..?

      ..where a lot of their material is links to other material from other sites..?

      ..it’s called ‘news-aggregation’…just saying..a new media-model..and is what i also do at whoar..

      ..but hey..!..you just stick with yr te kuiti bugle..eh..?

      ..and a question for you…

      ..dosen’t the quality of the information outweigh some delivery ‘piss-off’ in yr mind..?

      ..one that is just ‘in yr mind’..?

      phil-at-whoar.

      • just saying 3.3.1

        ...it’s called ‘news-aggregation…

        Don’t really care what it’s called. The Huffington Post (which I don’t read) isn’t a commenter at the Standard. If it was, I’d expect it to start or contribute to discussions on sites like this, as a commenter, not as an advertiser for its own wares. I don’t like to be forced to contribute to the visitor numbers at a blog I’m not voluntarily visiting. It’s not just an information way station, it’s your personal blog. If you want to talk about something in discussion fora like this one, link to it directly. I’m sure many like me very seldom follow links to somehwere else via a commenter’s blog, so indirect linking hinders convesration, as well as being bloody annoying.

        I don’t think you do yourself, or your blog any favours by indulging in this kind of “marketing” behaviour.

        Just, you know, saying…..

        edit afterthought. It’s the kind of thing I expect from Pete

        • phillip ure.. 3.3.1.1

          so what was the headline in the te kuiti bugle today..?

          where do you get yr ‘news/information’ from..?

          ..the herald..?

          phil-at-whoar.

          • just saying 3.3.1.1.1

            Herald and information in the same sentence without the words ‘false’ or ‘misleading’ -lol.

            • phillip ure.. 3.3.1.1.1.1

              seriously..where do you get yr news/information/new ideas from..?

              indulge me..

              phil-at-whoar.

              • just saying

                Philip, I did read a very interesting article about a possible link between schizophrenia and inflammation in the brain, and a large trial of an antibiotic which seemed to have significant therapeutic effects in some cases, at your site. So the technique does increase visitor traffic in some cases. In that instance it would have likely taken a bit of time to find the article elsewhere.

                But if you are talking politics on a political site, linking to political aticles elsewhere in the net, via your site, probably antagonises more potential readers than it procures.

                In my opinion.

                Listing the internet sites I visit for news and information would be time-consuming and embarrassing. – proving I spend far too much time in front of this screen. For your satisfaction there are “aggregation” sites amongst them, but as far as I know, they don’t link-whore at the Standard.

  4. burt 4

    Only in a monopoly;

    Stuff: Privacy breach on 9000 ACC claims

    Senior management at ACC were told three months ago that they had possibly made the biggest privacy breach in New Zealand history, but they have made no effort to investigate or contain the breach with the recipient.

    The board was given an example of a branch medical adviser who covertly communicated with an ACC assessor providing false information to manipulate a medical report in ACC’s favour.

    Well, I guess we should be expecting the senior managers to be getting a big “stress” bonus !

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      What’s that got to do with a monopoly?

    • ScottGN 4.2

      Meanwhile as usual the relevant Minister (Judith Collins in this case) has refused to front.

      • Jim Nald 4.2.1

        Here’s yet another congratulation to be offered to the lady and John Key for the new ministerial standard of not fronting up.

    • Campbell Larsen 4.3

      A timely example of why wholesale information sharing between Govt departments should not go ahead – the risk of serious breaches of privacy is just too great.

    • Kevin 4.4

      @burt
      I am of the opinion that the “leak” of sensitive personal information from ACC is far from accidental. As of late and showcased in the Herald, ACC have been militant in the manner in which they treat claimants in an effort to cover up the billions of dollars lost in financial transactions in failed investment companies offshore.
      ACC have morphed from an institution that was once considerate in it’s approach to claimants, to an organisation that is openly hostile towards claimants.

  5. Bored 5

    Walking home yesterday I was listening to National Radio’s The Panel featuring (in a poverty stricken manner) no less a luminary than Stephen Franks (ACT candidate and misanthrope extraordinare). Stephen in his gormless simple minded manner made the assertion (backed by surveys no less carefully filtered by himself) that people on the “right” were generally happier than those on the “left”. Of course he did not get challenged….maybe the experience of being the host of one of these programs leads to the development of a “what the fuck, just let it go” attitude, a form of sanity preservation technique?

    So for all those RWNJs who think that I am less happy than them, well yes I am (breifly) every time I realise that short of a well tested totalitarian technique I have to share the planet with you. That thought passes rapidly as I return to my usual cheery liking for my fellow citizens and our joint welfare.

    Happily I will now stroll off to work with the joyous thought that I was fortunate enough to be born me and not a Stephen Franks with a blinkered mean nasty little world view. My generosity of spirit flies like a lark, singing……..the “left’s” joy knows no boundaries.

    • stephen franks was also talking actual factual-crap..

      ..conservatives are by their very nature very scared..afraid of a lot…

      ..but most of all..of change…

      phil-at-whoar.

    • I listened to the same interview .where the hell did Franks get that idea

      from. most of the great comics throughout the world have been people of the Left.Chaplin, Elton ,Warris and even Vic Oliver , the list is endles .
      Most of the London East End
      Jews are know for their wonderfull sense of humour he vast
      majority being supporters of the political left many from the far left. Its interesting I have heard Franks often on Mora”s progamme I have never once heard him laugh .

      • Puddleglum 5.2.1

        I think he got his talking points from this. I presume he didn’t mention that, in that survey,

        (a) more people identified as ‘left’ than ‘right’
        (b) the best way to improve happiness was found to be a better work-life balance (i.e., work less)

        People with higher incomes in a society tend to score higher on ‘happiness’. But, for ‘developed’ economies, and over time, increments in GDP do not correlate with Subjective Well-Being (SWB – the technical definition of ‘happiness’ in the psychological literature).

        Interestingly, SWB is a composite measure that includes measures of positive and negative affect (feelings) and Life Satisfaction. As this study found, economic prosperity seems to affect SWB through ‘Life Satisfaction’ rather than through positive feelings.

        That is, wealthier people pat themselves on the back for successfully acquiring life’s luxuries, conveniences and status symbols. Some studies have found that they actually have less positive affect than their less wealthy compatriots – possibly because they work longer hours and it is a consistent finding that people have less positive affect at work than elsewhere in their life.

        The same study found that positive affect (what we usually think of as ‘happiness’) was correlated with better quality social relationships and the development and use of skills.

      • yeah..yr right..

        ..he gives every impression of being a miserable bastard..

        ..but if you want sad looking bugger..

        ..you can’t go past banks as he fights the urge to nana-nap during questiontime…

        ..i sometimes wonder if he is wondering w.t.f. is he doing there..

        (..as are many others…)

        ..he is rich..he is getting on in years….

        ..he dosen’t have to do this any more..

        phil-at-whoar.

  6. alex 6

    I was listening to The Panel on RNZ yesterday and Stephen Franks was saying how those on the left aren’t any fun because they are only ever ‘against’ things, rather than ‘for’ things. I wrote a post on this remarkably stupid statement and invite people to come and add to the list of things that those on the left are ‘for’.
    http://afinetale.blogspot.co.nz/2012/03/for.html

    • You must admit there isn’t oodles of joy oozing from a leftish place like this.

      • Willie Maley 6.1.1

        There are three certainties in life; Death, Taxes and Pete George talking shite.

      • alex 6.1.2

        Why should there be? The left isn’t in government and hasn’t been for some time. Should there be oodles of joy oozing from a community that is watching their country being ruined? Get the left back in government, then we’ll start seeing some good news.

        • Pete George 6.1.2.1

          You’re sort of illustrating Frank’s point. You seem to be destined to have no fun for another three or six years.

          You may not have noticed, but despite claims of doom the country hasn’t been ruined by past National (or Labour) governments. Not everyone gets the policies they prefer but most people manage to survive our democracy.

          Look for the positives in Shearer – you do have hopes for what he can do don’t you? Or are you just an envy shade of Green?

          • alex 6.1.2.1.1

            Well I’m not sure that is a fair assessment Pete, the 4th Labour government (not a left govt) did tremendous damage to our society and began a process of widening inequality that is starting to bear fruit today. The further down the road of enriching the wealthy we go, the less our society will resemble ‘egalitarian New Zealand’.

            Shearer? I hope he wins back some swing voters in the middle.

            An envy shade of green? What a terribly clumsy sentence. Little wonder that your oratory didn’t manage to get you elected.

          • McFlock 6.1.2.1.2

            and of course the tories were a bundle of joy under Lab5 – not bitching about gay conspiracies or social engineering at all, were they…

      • Pete 6.1.3

        And yet leftist humour is inherently funnier than that of the right.

      • as opposed to say mr oils’ place..?…at the penguins..?

        ..do point out a ‘fun’ rightwing site for us all there..p.g..

        ..and it also feeds into the given..that ..with very few exceptions..

        ..rightwingers usually come with their requisite sense-of-humour-byepass at birth..

        ..i guess it must be difficult to be permanently scared..and funny…

        phil-at-whoar.

    • Morrissey 6.2

      This is an assertion I have also heard on the Panel from the mouth of David Farrar. As with Franks’s little tirade, nobody challenged him either.

      Foolishly, the self-styled “leftist” Chris Trotter said the same thing on one of his Panel appearances. He had gone to watch P.J. O’Rourke speak at a function organised by Farrar, and he was brimful of enthusiasm for the “camaraderie” and “bonhomie” he reckoned he experienced in the room full of right wingers. “I doubt very much,” he intoned with deadly gravitas, “that you’d ever get the same degree of cordiality in a left wing event.”

      Perhaps even more objectionable than Franks’s rancorous slur on yesterday’s programme was the pathetic response of Jeremy Elwood. “I have to agree,” he purred, desperate to win the approval of the cadaverous SS member.

      • Pete George 6.2.1

        There could be some validity to the argument.

        I’ve commented for a long time at Kiwiblog, most of that as an outsider, and for quite a while here. The degree of and incessant bitterness of attacks here is a noticable difference. However I don’t know how much of this is weighted by the fact that it’s always been while National are in government and Labour have struggled.

        I’d previously been on Aardvark (probably more right than left,) for a few years, and while there was quite a bit of moaning there was far less vitriol and personal attack there too.

        Try looking for and working on positives more.

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.1

          Try looking for and working on positives more.

          Dunne could have an attack of conscience over future generations of NZers and vote against asset sales. But that’s more in the realms of fantasy rather than reality.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1.2

          I’ve commented for a long time at Kiwiblog, most of that as an outsider, and for quite a while here.

          You’ve never been an outsider on the RWNJ sites.

          • Pete George 6.2.1.2.1

            You obviously don’t have any idea. For at least the first year I was active there I was very much an outsider and experienced gang attacks and heaps of vitriol and personal abuse. That gradually changed to acceptance of me as a lefty who was prepared to stand up to the crap. I still have strongly contested debates there, much more on the issue than personal attack than it ued to be.

            I often prod righty debate there as I prod lefty debate here.

            So I’m thinking that after another year or two here I might be grudingly accepted as an alternative view, apart from by a few inevitable resident troll attacks (I still get that at KB).

        • Bored 6.2.1.3

          I take to the attack with positive gusto, much strong and positive vitriol and extremely strong positive personal attacks on any negative bastard like Dunne who attempts to negatively rob me and my fellow positive citizens of their positively hard earned belongings like SOEs. Thier negative thinking and nasty negative larceny deserves a positive thrashing.

        • phillip ure.. 6.2.1.4

          you talk utter shit p.g…

          ..the trolls/bottom-dwellers at both oils’ and penguins are beyond virulent…

          ..and all they have is shouted cliches/slogans and ad homs…

          ..and the level/degree of both is far far worse than i have ever seen at any lefty-blog…

          ..you know that..

          ..this is yet another of yr many faces is it…?

          ..i have this mental image of you ..p.g…as this jelly-like chameleon….

          ..constantly changing/morphing into something different..dependant on where you are..

          ..and your words utterly meaningless..

          ..as they also change with each morphing..

          phil-at-whoar.

        • s y d 6.2.1.5

          sSome things in life are bad
          They can really make you mad
          Other things just make you swear and curse.
          When you’re chewing on life’s gristle
          Don’t grumble, give a whistle
          And this’ll help things turn out for the best

          ok Pete?

          • prism 6.2.1.5.1

            You sing, I’ll whistle. And always look on the bright siide of life, dum dum dee dee

        • Kevin 6.2.1.6

          @Pete Georg
          Personal attacks and abusive comments are routine on KB, it’s all part of the culture of commenting on blogs and frankly it’s best to ignore it and just carry on as per normal. Don’t take it personally is the motto.

    • Bored 6.3

      Good one Alex, I happily agree with you, with much pleasure and joy, I stand for all those things, all positive and user friendly to everybody except the usual parasitic RWNJs.

      • alex 6.3.1

        Thanks, feel free to add some of your own, the left is a broad church and we don’t all necessarily stand for exactly the same things.

  7. Jim Nald 7

    No jobs for you,
    but jobs for my cronies …?
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10791656

    Should appointments to public service appointments like these be more open, more transparent and subject to more public scrutiny?

    Should former politicians, especially ex-Cabinet ministers, be subject to a ‘stand-down’ period (3 years, 4 years, or 6 years?) before appointment to senior public servant positions?

  8. Morrissey 8

    DEAKER-WATCH No. 1

    Deaker counsels Pownceby: “Just say nothing”.
    July 7, 2004

    Anybody who has been unfortunate enough, or silly enough, to listen for more than a few minutes to Radio Sport’s Murray Deaker will be well aware of his malicious, occasionally almost deranged, campaign of vilification against New Zealand football administrators, players, coaches and teams – in particular the Otago Highlanders and the All Blacks. For some four years now, he has never missed an opportunity to express just how “sick and tired” he is of the “boofheads” who refuse to “communicate” with “the fans”. That means, of course, that they refuse to talk to Murray Deaker.

    The reason for that of course is easy to pinpoint: Deaker’s arrogant and ignorant behaviour before, and especially after, the All Blacks’ 1999 World Cup semifinal loss to France. Fans were dismayed and disgusted by the moronic antics of Deaker and his acolytes like Martin Devlin—but the players were utterly outraged. (Just read Jeff Wilson’s or Josh Kronfeld’s or Norm Hewitt’s autobiographies to see this.)

    Deaker’s anti-All Black crusade took a remarkably loathsome turn in 2002, when he decided to back John O’Neill and Vernon Pugh’s conspiracy to rob the World Cup sub-hosting from New Zealand, treacherously turning on the NZRFU chiefs, repeatedly calling them “dumb”, blaming them alone for the betrayal and sycophantically “interviewing” Pugh (“a man of integrity”, “loves the game”) and O’Neill (“incredibly smart Aussie”, “a man of integrity”).

    Deaker’s campaign reached its nadir on Sunday 16 November, the day after the All Blacks had lost to Australia in the World Cup semifinal. Having promised just the day before that he would “not be leading the death squad” if New Zealand lost, Deaker interviewed the new NZRFU chief Chris Moller. Actually, he didn’t interview Moller, he shouted at him for an hour: “They’re saying the All Blacks are ARROGANT, they’re IGNORANT…. Chris, DAMN you! Why should we be so PLEASANT?”

    Deaker became almost apopleptic as the determinedly pleasant and unflappable Moller remained calm in the face of this blizzard of self-righteous indignation. Lately, of course, it’s been all sunshine and smiles; Deaker’s old Auckland Grammar teaching colleague and mate Graham Henry is in charge of the All Blacks, and Deaker now has unfettered access. The grizzling has stopped, at least until they lose a match.

    But no doubt many radio listeners gasped tonight, when they heard the great broadcaster say this: “How should Soulan Pownceby handle the media? He should just say nothing. Mark Todd had the right idea about how to handle the media: JUST SAY NOTHING.” Perhaps Christopher Hitchens (also a notorious drunkard) is the most infamous flip-flopper in media history, but surely Murray Deaker’s advice to anyone, even the beleaguered Pownceby, to “just say nothing” to the media is about the most hypocritical about-turn that we’ve seen in this country for some time.

    I challenge anyone else to provide a more craven example of humbug by a New Zealand media personality.

    – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    DEAKER-WATCH is a series dedicated to highlighting the contributions of Murray Deaker to New Zealand public life.

  9. Colonial Viper 9

    NZ: The Billionaires’ Playground

    Gee I feel better already. By playground do they mean “circus”?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10791406

    • muzza 9.1

      Nah given the mentality of the media they will soon be writing about how its making us all wealthier by the fact the billionaires are even sawnning around our airspace…

      Super rich people (swoon)

  10. Hayden 10

    Key rules out interest on student loans, says it’ll cost him the next election

    “That is about the only thing that will get [young people] out of bed before 7 o’clock at night to vote, but it’s not politically sustainable to put interest back on student loans. It may not be great economics, but it’s great politics.

    So when Labour removed student loan interest it was the mother of all bribes, but not putting it back is just “great politics”?

    I’m all for interest-free loans, hell, I think the courses should be free, but is this not hypocritical? This story has also been watered down since I first read it, I’m sure it explicitly said “lose the election” or something similar.

    • McFlock 10.1

      The low-level nasty that fucks me off this year about loans is that, as a part time student, I’m not eligible for course related costs. I’ve got a job, fair enough, but this week I have to drop $200 on a textbook that is only moderately useful since my home pc committed suicide. It’ll take weeks to actually get together all the stuff I need for course, as opposed to sorting it all at the beginning of semester. I pity those who aren’t in a good job like mine.
              
      I can’t see the reasoning – it’s just a petty, bullshit way of making people’s lives a bit more difficult for little change in the govt purse.

    • Jim Nald 10.2

      Key will be voted out for numerous reasons and he should stop making it a virtue of losing the next election by pinning it on student interest-free loans.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    Act is really getting into the Nanny State meme.

    John Banks is calling for the Government to take away the power of local councils to keep increasing rates.

    hmmmm… wasn’t John Banks the guy who kept Auckland City rates increasing at par with inflation by increasing borrowing by 500%?

    • muzza 11.1

      He is a vile little man, that much is without question.

      Notice the repetition of the Nick Smith comments http://www.interest.co.nz/news/58131/local-govt-minister-nick-smith-warns-councils-increasing-debt-levels-hits-back-figures-lo

      This is setting the table for the local asset sell offs, if I had to speculate…

      • Puddleglum 11.1.1

        Yep, create a problem/crisis and then criticise anyone who won’t consider asset sales as ‘part of’ the ‘solution’. Councils are not in debt just because of spending money on fripperies. Increased costs and unfunded extra responsibilities from central government are part of the issue.

        The aim here goes beyond local body asset sales. As was ACT policy, Smith is aiming to restrict the kinds of things councils can spend money on. He’s calling for them to stick to ‘core business’ – which he assumes is a non-political, uncontestable notion.

        In a democracy, a citizenry should be able to spend money on what it wishes – Smith’s proposals are a case (as DTB points out) of central government saying it knows better than local citizens what they should be spending their money (i.e., rates levied by elected representatives) on. 

        It’s clearly anti-democratic, paternalistic and interfering with the collective choices of citizens. 

    • yep..banks blew council debt right out the door..

      ..i dunno how rightwingers that do this/that then declare po-faced that they are economic-rationalists…

      ..’a safe pair of hands’..

      ..phil-at-whoar.

    • higherstandard 11.3

      The rationale for Auckland borrowing is in hansard.

      Hon David Parker: Is he reinforced in the concern that lay behind his statement given the reality that in New Zealand’s largest city council, Auckland City Council, rates were held at falsely low levels by increasing council debt by the greatest amount ever in New Zealand’s history, from $322 million at 30 June 2008, to $1,149 million at 30 June 2010—an increase of over a billion dollars in 2 years under John Banks?

      Hon RODNEY HIDE: No, funnily enough, and the reason is that ahead of the reforms, Treasury functions across the various councils in Auckland were amalgamated, and Auckland City Council took on that role. So it borrowed $416 million, which it then on-lent to other councils, saving them considerable money because we had just one council. The Auckland City Council also borrowed another $215 million on behalf of Metro Water, which the council then on-lent. If that is netted out, we will find that the trend for debt in the Auckland City Council is exactly as predicted. In fact, Auckland City Council, in taking on that function ahead of the amalgamation, saved Auckland ratepayers some considerable money.

      and here

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/auckland-city-council/news/article.cfm?o_id=13&objectid=10633684

      • Draco T Bastard 11.3.1

        All very nice but a load of bollocks none the less.

        http://pc.blogspot.co.nz/2011/10/poor-old-banksie.html

        Auckland City Council debt more than trebled in his last 3 years as Mayor!
        2007 2008 2009 31/10/2010
        $135m $322m $499m $738 million !!!!!!!!

        The Act spin that debt increased because the old Auckland City was borrowing for the new City is untrue. (That extra $416m of borrowing in the 2010 year took Auckland City Council debt to $1,155m at the time of amalgamation, but is excluded from the above figures.)

  12. gareth 12

    To be fair the whole system needs an overhaul, there are to many courses floating round which offer little benefit for the money spent.

    For example,
    I am in the horticulture industry post trade certs the qualification which recognises someone as qualified in their particular field is a National certificate level 4.
    Now you can take out a loan of @ $2-3000 dollars and obtain this certificate in 6-9 months at various polytechs.
    Recently I interviewed to fill a position and interviewed only candidates that had this certificate as the role need someone with a reasonable base behind them,
    One of the candidates knowledge fell far below what should and used to be required to obtain the certificate especially in regard to botanical knowledge and pest identification etc. Otherwise he was keen with good references.
    I actually felt sorry for him in that he had taken out a loan on the basis that the the course would enable him to start work as a qualified gardener when due to the fact that it is so rushed, brief and open book it does nothing of the sort.
    So in other words a waste of money.
    The ridiculous thing about it is that on paper he has the same qualification as someone that has completed a 3-4 year apprenticeship but without the depth of knowledge or skill.

    These courses need to be canned and proper apprenticeships need to begin again and labours policy on this was a good one.

    Also I have been extremely concerned in the manner in which applied handlers certificates have been given out in recent years on 1 day courses tied up with growsafe.
    An applied handlers cert allows you to access some quite dangerous chemicals in large quantities and shouldn’t be issued lightly and certainly not to people who have obtained a basic growsafe for the first time on the same day.

  13. Bunji 13

    Reporters without Borders annual Enemies of the Internet

    Libya’s off the list, but who’s on? Bahrain, China, Myanmar, North Korea, Australia…

  14. ianmac 15

    Another computer scam alert! Phone call. Broken reception -distant female caller- accent.
    “You have a problem with your computer sir and I want to help you fix it,” she says having to repeat it several times.
    “What is wrong with my computer?”
    “If you turn it on I will talk you through and fix it.”
    “But what is wrong with it?”
    “Just turn on your computer etc etc….”
    ” No I won’t. Nothing wrong with it. You madam, are a scammer, a cheat, and a liar,” I bravely offer.
    “Oh….” Beep beep beep. Gone.

    • They are lying to you, so tell a lie back.
      Try telling them you don’t have a computer. Insist on it – they give up very quickly.

      • Tazirev 15.1.1

        I led them down the path of allowing them to assist and appearing stupid when their instructions would not work, after a lengthy fault diagnosis with a gullible user they ascertained I was using one of those new fangled iPhones for internet access, they promptly hung up.

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