Open mike 13/05/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 13th, 2010 - 28 comments
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28 comments on “Open mike 13/05/2010”

  1. Ron 1

    Went to a Whanau Ora hui yesterday.
    Same old same old really. Pompous government types telling the community sector how to do its job and not listening to the concerns.
    When agencies asked how this system would overcome the current situation of community based organisations struggling against Govt. Dept ignorance and inertia we were told “it not about you – it’s about the whanau,”
    Apparently the whanau are going to solve all their own issues.
    Of course there are thousands of dollars available to the agencies that get past the EOI process and the application process but what they actually DO is very vague.
    One story: Someone pointed out that Family Start is already family centred and worked with famlies to find solutions. Turia responded that she had a daughter working for Family Start and was shocked to find that Family Start workers are required to notify CYF if they think a child is in danger.
    “They should talk to the whanau – not CYF” were her words.
    They will spend more thousands on action research to make sure it all works.
    There are going to be some monumental f#@k ups before they see much progress on this one.

    • prism 1.1

      Family Start works away doing its helpful, parent-supporting work within a prescribed system, without a lot of publicity. Interestingly enough it was set up under Bill English’s eye after a UN effort to get worldwide action bettering children’s lives or something.

      But politicians are fickle policy lovers, and always asking ‘Is my bum too big with this policy’ and trying on new policies. ‘Does this look good on me? Just a tuck here, slimmer, narrower and what discount can you offer me?’

      • Ron 1.1.1

        The sad thing about Whanau Ora is that most of the sector is doing it anyway except they’re now getting the resources to do it properly. Now Turia is slowly alienating them by not listening and blaming them for the problems.
        Turai has blamed the sector for both “doing to” instead of “with” whanau and relying on “outputs rather than outcomes”. Both comments are bullroke.
        Now they’re going to spend millions reinventing a perfectly good wheel that just needed some air in the tyres.

  2. Jenny 2

    Hero or Zero?

    Was this Gordon Brown’s greatest moment, or his most sleazy cop-out?

    It seemed like an act of selflessness rarely witnessed in mainstream politics, when on Monday Gordon Brown said that he would step out of the way to allow the forming of a left of centre coalition government.

    Brown to quit to keep Labour in power

    To my mind, the hand over of power to the Torys the very next day raises more questions than answers.

    According to Reuters, Brown said in his resignation speech that Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg had asked to begin formal coalition talks with the Labour Party and said he believed their parties might form a centre-left alliance.

    But within less than 24 hours of announcing that he was stepping down as leader, so that his party could commence coalition discussions with the Liberal Democrats – Gordon Brown was at Buckingham Pallace, officially handing over the control of the British parliament to the torys.

    I advise the Queen to ,,,,,

    These were surely, the shortest coalition discussions in history.

    What happened?

    I was left wondering; Did Labour and the Lib Dems properly meet at all?

    Who snubbed who?

    If they did properly meet, what were the conditions that the Lib Dems put forward that Labour couldn’t stomach?

    Could Nick Clegg, despite what he had said about wanting a centre left alliance with Labour have already stitched up an agreement with the Torys?

    (Though there is some evidence against this scenario. Only a matter of hours before Brown had made his offer, the Liberal Democrats announced that they hadn’t yet reached an agreement with the Conservatives on education funding, fair taxation and electoral reform. This statement didn’t even mention the elephant in the room, The Liberal Democrats anti war stance, one of their most popular election planks. Since the withdrawal of Labours offer of coalition, it seems the Liberal Democrats haven’t got any meaningful concessions still on any of these things from the Conservatives. Making me think that it is Labours rejection of the Lib Dems, rather than the Lib Dems rejection of Labour that has driven them into the arms of the Conservatives.)

    Could it be that the Labour Party is thinking, – that it would be better to have the torys in charge, than to have power share with a party that achieved almost a quarter of the total vote, campaigning on policies to the left of Labour’s?

    In dismissing a possible coalition with the Lib Dems, I was left wondering, could this be a cynical move by Brown and other senior Labour leaders to preserve the system of two party dictatorship, that has governed the British Isles for so long?

    (there may be some evidence for this. The possibility of a centre left coalition, left some Labourites cold. Former Home Office Secretary John Reid said such a pact “would be mutually assured destruction.”
    “If we appear to be snubbing the electorate, and get a coalition of second and third parties and some parties from Scotland and Northern Ireland, I think we will rue the day,” Reid told Sky News.

    He said that while such a deal might keep Labour in power a little while longer, it ran the risk of alienating even more voters from the party.

    “I think in politics you can win the minutes and lose the hours,” he said.)

    After Browns trip to the palace, the prime minister’s office announced later that there would be five Liberal Democrats in cabinet in total, including party leader Nick Clegg who will be deputy prime minister.

    A Conservative source said the two parties had agreed to significantly accelerate deficit reduction plans. The focus would be more on cutting public spending than on raising taxes.

    There can be very little doubt that most of the membership of the Lib Dems will be appalled at this coalition with the Torys, particularly as it looks like it won’t deliver on most of what the Liberal Democrats campaigned on. As a result this could spell the end the Liberal Democrats as an electoral force as their members lose heart.

    If this happens, then it will be back to business as usual for Labour and the Torys.

    It seems that Labour and the Liberal Democrats did meet. Talks between Labour and the Liberal Democrats lasting 1 hour were held on the Monday following Gordon Browns announcement of stepping down.

    Curiously, Ed Balls, a member of Labour’s negotiating team, said the talks had been “positive and constructive.

    However this news was not greeted well by the kings of high finance:

    “This twist is disappointing for markets which want a quick resolution to this uncertainty,” said David Owen, chief European financial economist at Jefferies securities and investment banking group.

    “Markets were keener on the idea of a Tory (Conservative) government with Lib Dem support, largely because there is a perception they would cut the deficit sooner.”

    To get their way the movers and shakers in the markets organised an immediate investment strike which threatened to send the recovering British economy into a tailspin.

    Maybe this was what was behind Gordon Brown’s unseemly rush to capitulate on Tuesday.

    This raises the question, who really has the final say in a capitalist democracy the electorate or the market?

    It all makes me wonder what are the consequences for us here in New Zealand possibly facing a similar chance for Labour to form a coalition that could keep National from the treasury benches?

    Would Phil Goff also buckle to the market, if financiers here, organised an investment strike against a centre-left coalition?

    • prism 2.1

      Great think piece Jenny. Lots to chew on.

    • Chris 2.2

      Yes, Goff would. He replied to a question from the floor at the recent Supercity speech in Mt Albert that no, Labour would be compensating multi-nationals at *commercial* rates (not the low rates that the questioner wanted) if any water/other infrastructure contracts entered into by the new Auckland Council were annulled by a new Labour Govt.

      The questioner was testing Goff’s spine. He buckled at a meeting of Labour faithful, so the moment Mr Banker phones, Goff will deflate faster than a speeding bullet.

      Labour keeps on missing the point. Again and again. Either that or they are keeping their powder dry.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      who really has the final say in a capitalist democracy the electorate or the market?

      There’s no such thing as a capitalist democracy. Capitalism is, by it’s very nature, dictatorial.

  3. D14 3

    OECD report in dom p2 that NZ has the second lowest tax wedge (dif between take home pay and paypacket) at 18.3% The lowest is …… mexico, 15.3%. Aus is 26.7%

  4. Hey the Herald is running a poll on whether Key is “smile and wave” or “doing a great job”.

    The link is at

    • freedom 4.1

      just voted on it and it is 49% smiles and 51% great job at 9:44 am
      i love how the polls these days. all over the planet, are sitting within the middle of a basic margin of error (say 3%)
      It is nice to know the world is such a balanced and well adjusted place

    • r0b 4.2

      I’ve done a quick post on this…

    • Jim Nald 4.3

      The poll might obtain more accurate results if the Herald is more specific about which side of the face is smiling.

  5. Alexandra 5

    Key has jokingly referred to Tuhoe as cannibals in relation to Ngati Porou (on radio NZ). Hes an ignorant bastard.

    • This is too far, too much insult – it is time for the maori party to leave – there is no other option.

      [lprent: I was incensed enough to put up a post (not something I usually do during my workday). ]

    • prism 5.2

      Heard that Alexandra. Also the clip of the comment included in the news item so those interested can listen for themselves. I question that he was referring to cannibalism when he made a joking comment that he had been sitting at one table with Ngati Porou having dinner and at the other was Tuhoe where he would have been dinner. He possibly was using the slang term like ‘Done like a dinner’ or as messy as a ‘dog’s dinner’.

      But his comment shows he thinks its OK to make light-hearted quips about important and sensitive political matters, and the objects of these quips can include Maori and patronising amusement about their concerns. It also disses his associate party in government.

      ACT has done it with a sneer at National. But National needs to have more integrity than that bunch of grafters. This is twice Key has downed Tuhoe and it isn’t good for future negotiations and the future of this country’s bi-cultural relations to have this lightweight rooster crowing and strutting in this way. He has definitely over-reached the height of his capabilities on the Peter Principle measure.

    • 6 months ago Smile and Wave was teflon coated. Nothing seemed to stick to him and he could do no wrong.

      Now he just blunders from disaster to disaster.

      Tuhoe will not be pleased.

      Tariana, time to leave the coalition.

  6. Lew 6

    Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.


  7. Alexandra 7

    Thanks for the info marty and prism. I could do with a whiskey right now Lew! Key misjudges the regard other Maori have for Tuhoe and their cause. Two insults in less than a week shows a staggering lack of judgement, or a deliberate strategy to provoke the MP to walk. Im interested to see how this develops.

  8. Maps has an excellent post up called “The ‘First White Marxists’ reach Tuhoe Country” great comments too.

  9. Quoth the Raven 9

    Obama is expanding his Guantanamo – Bagram.

    The detention center at the U.S. military’s Bagram Air Base has been called ‘The Other Guantánamo’ and it’s expanding

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