Open mike 13/05/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 13th, 2016 - 108 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmikeOpen mike is your post.

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

Step up to the mike …

108 comments on “Open mike 13/05/2016 ”

  1. The Chairman 1

    What are your thoughts on Labour’s proposal to dip into ACC and the Super Fund to help fund new start ups and expand current businesses?

    • Ad 1.1

      Labour should present their business proposals to the respective boards, live before a studio audience, with the winning bids given roses and the losers evacuated by trapdoor.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 1.2

      Idiotic.

      • Pat 1.2.1

        why idiotic?

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1

          Because Labour will open the door wide open to National dipping into those funds for other reasons – supporting Tiwai point for instance. Building new economic infrastructure in Northland (motorways). Bailing out Queen St dairy farmer mates who acted speculatively.

          Because that’s supporting new businesses and helping existing businesses, right?

          Labour is fucking stupid.

          • Pat 1.2.1.1.1

            “Because Labour will open the door wide open to National dipping into those funds for other reasons”

            too late ….Ruataniwha

            • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Exactly. And Labour want to do it too. Our political landscape is bereft of new ideas.

            • Ad 1.2.1.1.1.2

              Massive water storage will be necessary for the whole of NZ’s east coast.

              • Pat

                then why couldn’t you convince the private investors of that fact?….it is a classic demonstration of neolib philosophy…socailised cost/risk for private profit.

                • Ad

                  That’s what the public sector is for.

                  Major infrastructure we all rely on is a public good.

                  You’ll thank them later.

                  • Pat

                    what public good is there in Ruataniwha pray tell?

                    • weka

                      Trickledown.

                      /extremesarcasm

                    • Ad

                      Water security, both resident and farmer.
                      Fully metered and priced, as it should be.

                    • adam

                      “Fully metered and priced, as it should be.”

                      Ahh Ad showing your true colours at last.

                      You should really be in the national party mate – it’s your natural home.

                    • Pat

                      those private farms, some of which may be foreign owned for all we know….rrrrrright, thats definitely a public good

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Water security, both resident and farmer.
                      Fully metered and priced, as it should be.

                      Large foreign corporates like Veolia will require such metering and pricing to be undertaken before they will look at purchasing public water assets from NZ government organisations.

                      In other words, it will be a precondition to privatising NZ’s water assets.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Major infrastructure we all rely on is a public good.

                    That’s what all the trucking companies say when rail gets torn up and motorways built.

                  • Macro

                    So is the environment a public good
                    the dam will be an environmental disaster
                    http://www.forestandbird.org.nz/saving-our-environment/freshwater/wild-rivers/ruataniwha-dam-opposed-forest-bird

                    • b waghorn

                      I see waikeremoana gets a mention, while it was man made waikerimoana is onle about 2000 years old and it certainly didn’t destroy that environment.

                    • b waghorn

                      That’s meant to be “wasn’t man made”

                    • Macro

                      Huh???
                      http://nzetc.victoria.ac.nz/tm/scholarly/tei-LamPion-t1-body-d9.html

                      It appears to have been formed by a massive slip.
                      It wasn’t man made! And yes Waikaremoana is a beautiful place .
                      But I’m sure the planners of the Ruataniwha Dam have no such intentions wrt emulating the beauty of Waikaremoana! And it is as much the environmental down stream effects of the dam that are just as disastrous as the flooding of the podocarp forest.

                    • b waghorn

                      More humans every day say that living in some idilic little utopian backwater is a fantasy, so I think the government should not only allow things like the dam the should set the rules around the immediate lake surrounds and what the water will be used for.
                      Like restrict dairy and favour fruit and crop s . if we maximise what we can produce off our good land we could put more of the marginal land into trees.

                • The Chairman

                  Socailised cost/risk for private profit is the concern with Labour’s proposal, Pat.

                  The majority of new start-ups fail.

                  Moreover, is this a traditional investment whereby ACC and the Super Fund will have shareholder rights and receive dividends? Or is it more of a handout with merely hope of creating new employment and tax revenue?

                  Additionally, will a company’s ethics and things such as paying a living wage be an expectation of recipients? Will production be allowed to later shift offshore?

              • greywarshark

                But Ad the environmental result is likely to be poisonous to the land and perhaps to the people over time from Ruataniwha. It is being built with the idea being stated that it will pay for itself, eventually. But over long term.
                If it ever does get paid off, by that time there will be toxicity result and loss of production and health. The repairs needed to keep it strong will not be done and then….

                It is too big and expensive for the needs and purses of the locality, and the planners are full of hubris and greed like the ones around Christchurch. Just get it built they thought, and then the water is available for individual benefit. I bet that they were being greatly helped by Alan Hubbard, hence the bailout of money for SFC so they could keep afloat. Now ACC is going to be used as the slush fund. in Hawkes Bay.

                • Ad

                  Absolutely there is major environmental damage.
                  It’s the same with every other major dam that’s every been built in New Zealand over the last 120 years.
                  Dams are a really costly thing to do from every angle.

                  And in most cases they are worth doing.

                  • greywarshark

                    AD
                    You are so right a dam is worth doing.
                    But the size of this one, the plans for its use, indicate a need to step back and set up another committee. Gummint is always using that ploy to slow down things that without doubt need to go ahead, and should do the same here where there are great big doubts about various airy statements and assumptions. Also Maori are I think seriously concerned from their kaitiaki role and their not just talking nonsense if some pakeha wants to use that disdaining argument.

                    And finally there is the cavalier way that the increased pollution that our waterways now are suffering is being ignored. This pollution brings a whole new aspect to this dam of today compared to those of the past.

                    • Ad

                      I think we need a whole post on the Ruataniwha dam.

                      Once it’s underway I’ll put one up.

                  • weka

                    “And in most cases they are worth doing.”

                    That depends on your values.

                    If we look at power generation dams, I doubt that there will ever be any more dams on the Mata-Au (the Clutha). The proposed dams at Beaumont and Luggate are not going to happen because people with different values than yours said no. If we look at existing dams, I don’t have too much of a problem with Roxburgh, it was well before my time so I have no personal sense of the damage done, and it’s one of the underpinnings of us being relatively ff-free in terms of electricity. But the Clyde dam was in my time and if it was choice between flooding above Clyde and Muldoon’s Think Big projects I just don’t think that dam would have been built now.

                    We have other ways of powering our lives, including using less power. The choice between a dam at Beaumont and Luggate (or another dam on the Waitaki) so that people can consume more, and us actually living within our limits is still a real choice. We’re not forced to rely on dams other than by the choices that our government makes.

                    Likewise with water. There are plenty of good ways of farming that don’t rely on big storage dams. And managing the harvesting of water for humans to drink and use (including using less). That we think big storage dams are for the public good come from ideology and the desire for things to be easy, not from necessity.

                    “And in most cases they are worth doing.”

                    In the US some of the dams literally destroy ecosystems. The salmon are an integral part of the life cycles outside of the river bed. So many salmon spawn up river that the bears fish and leave the carcasses on shore and these then fertilise the forests. When you take the salmon out of the picture (by dams) you affect whole cycles and systems, including ones we are not yet aware of. Hard to make that argument in NZ admittedly, because the catchments of the rivers like the Mata-au and the Waitaki are pretty much screwed by farming anyway, but nevertheless there are still good reasons for us to rethink our values and be honest about them. Asserting something is worth doing doesn’t make it do.

                    • Ad

                      If ecological values about existing environments were the only values to consider, I would agree with you. A few of New Zealand’s lost dam proposals should stay lost.

                      The step one gets to by simply looking at a river system and considering it a resource to be used (I recall Heidegger railing against this in The Question Concerning technology just after the War), is the step that admits there are more than current ecological values to consider.

                      It’s good to admit that we evaluate fat modernist projects like dams differently now to when most of them were put in. But we are exceedingly lucky that we didn’t back then.

                      New Zealand owes its 85% renewable electricity generation level to conceiving the earth as resource to be used.

                      New Zealand also owes its exceptional preparedness for water scarcity and flood mitigation within global warming to conceiving the earth as resource to be used.

                      New Zealand also owes its large-scale manufacturing base in forestry, steel, aluminium, horticulture, viticulture, extensive agriculture and others, to that modernist era from Seddon to Muldoon requiring huge electricity and irrigation use from dams, that conceived the earth as resource to be used.

                      The RMA hasn’t entirely put paid to such coarse thinking, but has enabled more than the environment to be factored in to a decision.

                      Using less electricity or water can delay the need for major water storage, but won’t avoid it: you can see that for example in Watercare’s Asset Management Plan. You can have the argument about the optimum size of water storage if you like. As for Salmon, those McKenzie Country Salmon farms generating sustainable protein out of dam spillways are a great investment in our future.

                      I’ll put a proper post up once the deal is all signed and ready for construction.

                    • weka

                      That makes sense Ad from your world view, but I have to say that there is a problem with the idea that ecological perspecives sit alongside say economic ones and thus are at the risk of not seeing the bigger picture. The paradigm I am coming from is not that they sit side by side, but that everything (literally) is based in the natural world, and if you don’t use that as your starting point you end up with Climate Change (or peak oil, peak soil, peak phosphorus, and even eventually peak metals etc).

                      I’m generally a pragmatist, so I don’t have too much trouble working with what we’ve got and am not even against another dam being built in NZ but only if it can be done in from the sustainable paradigm.

                      And I will just repeat, all the things you are saying are important enough to damage the environment for are not without options. So again, let’s be honest. We want to build more dams because we want a certain kind of lifestyle that meets our wants as well as our needs. But that’s not an imperative.

          • Bearded Git 1.2.1.1.2

            Agree totally CV-Labour should NOT follow Gnats policy of dipping into ACC and Cullen fund. I explained this financial fiddle in a post 5 weeks ago in relation to Nationals selling off of Kiwibank to these funds as follows:

            “The way the Kiwibank sale works is like this (using simple numbers):
            Now:
            Cullen Fund/ACC assets now: $20,000m
            Kiwibank Value owned by government now:$1,000m
            Government forces Cullen Fund/ACC to buy 45% of Kiwibank
            Cullen Fund/ACC sells shares worth $450m in order to buy $450m of Kiwibank

            Result:
            Cullen Fund/ACC assets $20,000m
            Kiwibank owned by government $550m
            Money available for tax cuts $450m

            The effect is that National is reducing state-owned capital assets in order to finance a short-term tax cut bribe. Of course they are denying that the Cullen Fund/ACC are being forced to buy Kiwibank, but that is yet another big lie for the BLiP list.”

            • weka 1.2.1.1.2.1

              Can you please link to where Labour have said this?

            • greywarshark 1.2.1.1.2.2

              Thanks Bearded Git
              It’s a help to know what the politico/financial magicians tricks are and how it is actually carried out.

            • Colonial Viper 1.2.1.1.2.3

              Yes you are right Bearded Git this is an accounting fiddle aimed at screwing over future generations of NZers and it must not be supported.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Anything that returns interest is aimed at screwing over future generations.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Less so these days as most of it is just mathematical equations interacting with mathematical equations.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The result of which is then used to shift public assets into private ownership and the people into serfs of the rich.

              • Bearded Git

                Thank you CV and Greyw. Its all about debits and credits.

                The counterpoint is that Labour should adopt Land Tax as a policy. 1% LT with NO exemptions would give then $6.7billion to play with while sticking it to the top 5%.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Such a proposal has to be thought out so that those on fixed incomes and low incomes are not disadvantaged.

                  A retired couple living in a pensioners flat that they own worth $360K in Auckland, with $1800/month disposable income (mostly from NZ super) would have to use two months worth of income to pay a 1% land tax.

    • weka 1.3

      “What are your thoughts on Labour’s proposal to dip into ACC and the Super Fund to help fund new start ups and expand current businesses?”

      Does anyone have a link? I can’t find anything on this on google.

    • Graeme 1.4

      I don’t see any problem if it’s ACC and Super Fund investing in New Zealand business on their merit. They are investment funds and have very good record of picking investments that give a good return and appear to be pretty active in the market.

      Investments (really expenditure) with political or “Regional Development” imperatives are totally inappropriate for ACC or Super Fund, for the reason CV identified at 1.2.1.1 That’s a really slippery slope leading to a stinking corrupt and bankrupt hole.

      A better idea would be a unit in MBIE to work with businesses and investors to facilitate funding. ACC and SF would be two of their pool of investors. A parallel initiative would be to strengthen rules around ACC and SF to keep political interference right out of it.

      Labour needs to be leading the anti corruption angle on this sort of issue and showing where and how it can come unstuck, and seeking solutions to get the good outcomes, ie enhanced NZ investment in NZ, while keeping the nepotistic corruption right out of it.

      • Ad 1.4.1

        They should let the Boards make independent decisions, as they are statutorily set up to do.

        I don’t want my reliance on the ACC fund or the NZSuper Fund depending on political fancy.

      • The Chairman 1.4.2

        @ Graeme

        As ACC and the Super Fund already can and do invest in New Zealand businesses based on their merit, it would suggest Labour’s proposal will go further than that (leaning more towards a handout).

    • Draco T Bastard 1.5

      Real Monetary Reform

      We really do have to lose the idea that investment should return more money to the investor. It’s that type of delusion that’s destroying our world.

  2. Jenny 2

    So much for the much lauded Paris accords.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris_Agreement

    Every time world leaders have one of these international talkfests they look more clownish and ridiculous.

    “…global carbon dioxide emissions from energy activities will rise from 36 billion metric tons in 2012, the baseline year used for the 2016 outlook, to 43 billion metric tons in 2040.
    That’s a 34 percent increase in energy-related CO2, compared to a 48 percent increase in overall energy consumption from 2010 to 2040”

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/fossil-fuels-may-not-dwindle-anytime-soon/

    It would be funny, if it wasn’t so tragic.

    • Paul 2.1

      +100

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      These talks seem to be more about showing that Something is Being Done™ rather than actually doing doing anything. If the politicians had actually wanted to do something about all this they would have started in 1992 with the signing of the Kyoto Protocol. Instead they’ve kicked the can down the road and allowed and encouraged unsustainable development.

  3. Paul 3

    The Herald highlights wage inequality.
    Pity it spends most of its time pimping for this extreme neo-liberal government.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11638385

    • amirite 3.1

      It’s like they are rubbing it in our faces, laughing at us – not even pretending to care any more.

  4. amirite 5

    There’s something infinitely nauseating in Judith Collins being a NZ representative on the World Anti Corruption Summit, which is presided by no other than David Cameron himself…The whole damned thing is a farce.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/303752/nz's-corruption-fight-'the-world-has-changed

    • Rodel 5.1

      Keiser on RT announced the ‘ anti corruption summit’ organised by Cameron but couldn’t stop laughing at the irony.

    • Xanthe 5.2

      Yes i agree its a cruel joke

    • Bearded Git 5.3

      Cunliffe got stuck into her and the irony of her being NZ’s anti-corruption representative on Morning Report this morning mentioning Oravida several times.

      • Stuart Munro 5.3.1

        Hardly ironic, this is a deliberate subversion of the stated aims.

        We’re going to need a whole new prison just for Gnats, once we get a clean government.

    • save nz 5.4

      It’s a slap in the face to the public, world wide.

      “Free Trade, with xtra tax dodging by Kleptocrats and their cronies”.

  5. AsleepWhileWalking 7

    Taupo Girl has laptop deemed essential for school taken due to father’s inability to pay.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/79900291/school-laptop-dispute-shocks

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      “My child’s teacher approached her in the cloak bay and said “sorry I’m going to have to take that off you because your parents haven’t paid the payments”. What right does a teacher have to say that, why not contact me about it first?” he said.

      That is absolutely atrocious behaviour by the school.

      That said, the guy should have gone to pricespy and had a look. Could have got a decent laptop for half the price.

  6. save nz 8

    As our working conditions get worse and we race to the bottom like the US, this is something for Kiwis to look forward too…

    US poultry workers wear diapers on job over lack of bathroom breaks – report

    http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/may/12/poultry-workers-wear-diapers-work-bathroom-breaks

  7. save nz 10

    Interestingly if Wall street can’t get the republicans in, they are pushing Hilary Clinton.

    Top 2 hedge fund managers bankroll Hillary Clinton and Rahm Emanuel, after making $1.7 billion each in 2015

    http://www.salon.com/2016/05/12/top_2_hedge_fund_managers_bankroll_hillary_clinton_and_rahm_emanuel_after_making_1_7_billion_each_in_2015/

    • Chooky 10.1

      yes Clinton is certainly working for the wealthy establishment…but she is soiled goods

      … and “Sanders supporters argue that the risk of a Clinton scandal blowing up is why their candidate is a better choice, as well as polls that show the Vermont senator beating the billionaire Trump, while new polls show Clinton would either be tied with Trump or trailing come November.”

      ‘FBI: No deadline or ‘special set of rules’ in Clinton email investigation’

      https://www.rt.com/usa/342848-fbi-no-deadline-clinton/

      • Olwyn 10.1.1

        ‘FBI: No deadline or ‘special set of rules’ in Clinton email investigation’

        The risk is not just that a scandal may blow up and derail her, a potential scandal hanging over her head will strengthen the establishment’s hold on her, so that even if she is happy to step into Bernie’s slipstream rhetorically, she will not be able to afford to act on it in any meaningful way.

        • RedLogix 10.1.1.1

          That is one very perceptive thought Olwyn.

          • Olwyn 10.1.1.1.1

            Thanks Red 🙂

          • swordfish 10.1.1.1.2

            Very rare to find a comment by Olwyn that isn’t highly perceptive.

            In the same class as Puddleglum.
            (and one or two others – you know who you are)

            • Olwyn 10.1.1.1.2.1

              Swordfish!! I am utterly flattered – especially to be compared to Puddleglum – thank you 😀

    • Ad 10.2

      Why on earth would you think you can get elected in the US without them?

      Super pacs have permanently tilted the field.

      • adam 10.2.1

        And what about the people who have won with out them?

        Are you defending anti-democratic practices now Ad?

        • Ad 10.2.1.1

          Nope. The Supreme Court decision after Obama got elected the first time enabling Super Pacs is exceedingly undemocratic. But it’s the law.

  8. Chooky 11

    …and letter from America:

    ‘Bernie wins West Virginia, his 19th state’

    https://www.rt.com/shows/big-picture/342721-big-primary-wins-us/

    “Tonight’s Rumble talks Bernie’s and Trump’s big primary wins, Trumps appointing of Rudy Giuliani as his Muslim Czar, and his selecting of two insiders to tweak his tax plan. Thom discusses how establishment Democrats are already trying to hijack the convention with International Business Times’ David Sirota and in tonight’s Daily Take Thom details how Donald Trump could become the next Ronald Reagan.”

    ‘Social justice?’

    https://www.rt.com/shows/crosstalk/342583-us-elections-insurrection-voters/

    “The question of social justice: As America’s two major parties move toward anointing their presidential nominees, there is a growing sense of disaffection and even insurrection among voters. And this has set the business-as-usual political and financial elites into a panic. It is all their own fault.

    CrossTalking with Richard Wolff, Les Leopold, and Inderjeet Parmar.”

  9. Cunliffe getting closer to claiming a Nat scalp. Louise Upson might well become too much of an embarrassment to the Nats at the rate Cunkiffe is skewing her.

    Cunliffe has made her look incompetent is her handling of the Onetai Farm purchase by the dodgy Argentian polluters.

    I’d love to know which law/trust advisors the Argentians used to move their case across Louise upson’d desk. Was it one if the firms that net with Minister McClay in Shortland Street?

    http://i.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/79915397/David-Cunliffe-alleges-second-toxic-incident-as-Terence-Stapleton-QC-begins-OIO-review

    • Whateva next? 12.1

      Yep, being a Minister of the Government carries responsibility and foresight, not just throwing weight and money around.Glad Cunliffe is holding them to account.Hopefully we won’t get the usual ” drama triangle” scenario when they cry victim and try to get everyone to feel sorry for them.

      • Chooky 12.1.1

        Cunliffe has been very impressive on RNZ …he is Labour’s trump card imo

        (no comparisons with the Donald intended)

  10. “New Zealand has slipped down the ranks of the least corrupt countries, and earlier this year watchdog Transparency International accused the Government of “astonishing” complacency.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/79941804/nz-to-consider-setting-up-company-ownership-register–judith-collins

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      New Zealand is considering setting up a public register of company ownership that would create an accessible and central database of companies with bribery and corruption convictions.

      Considering doing something that should be mandatory.

      “New Zealand also supports the development of common principles governing the payment of compensation to countries affected by corruption, to ensure that such payments are made safely, fairly and in a transparent manner.”

      That sounds like another way for public monies to be given to private businesses.

      Collins told RNZ that she wanted honest money invested in New Zealand, and the public central register would contain company beneficial ownership information.

      So she’s about to ban the use of bank credit?

      Yeah, didn’t think so.

  11. Hami Shearlie 14

    Good old Winston, right now, he’s in the UK telling the people to be wary of big foreign bank money being used in the “Remain in the EU” campaign, and telling the Brits they can come on over and trade with us – think he’s more interested in actual “trade” than our Govt with their TPPA strait-jacket!

    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2016/05/12/remain-campaign-contaminating-brexit-referendum-foreign-money-says-former-new-zealand-deputy-prime-minister/

    • joe90 14.1

      I doubt foreign banks are quite the threat to working Britons as one of their own is.

      The billionaire donor bankrolling the Brexit campaign Peter Hargreaves has said the EU is too dominated by France and Germany , and believes Singapore is the best business model for Britain outside the European Union.

      The businessman also said a steep fall in sterling could be good for the country, and that some workers’ rights – such as part-time employment, flexitime and extended maternity leave – have gone too far.

      http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/may/12/billionaire-brexit-supporter-says-uk-should-emulate-singapore

  12. Jenny Kirk 15

    The irony of it > Judith Collins re anti-corruption – RNZ News today .

    “She said she wanted money that was productive and honest invested in New Zealand.”

    • save nz 15.1

      Was she advertising that 2nd hand car deal ship like a few months ago? Great look for NZ! sarc.

  13. swordfish 16

    Jewish-American Professor of History, Lawrence Davidson, on the misuse of “anti-Semitism” in the absurd smear campaign / McCarthyite witch-hunt currently taking place in the UK. While I don’t entirely agree with his treatment of the Ken Livingstone smear (he misinterprets what Livingstone actually said), it’s still a good overall outline.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/12/82580/

    But … For a more detailed, careful, methodical, and absolutely bang-on rebuttal of the central claims on which this witchhunt is based (the kind of investigation leading UK MSM journos should have done – if they weren’t so hopelessly compliant and compromised)- see Jamie Stern-Weiner here … https://jamiesternweiner.wordpress.com/2016/04/29/ken-livingstone-gobshite-yes-antisemite-no/
    and here … https://jamiesternweiner.wordpress.com/2016/05/09/labour-antisemitism-witch-hunt-turns-on-leading-anti-racist-campaigners/
    and here … https://jamiesternweiner.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/fact-checking-newsnight-on-labours-antisemitism-problem/

    And for a bit of background on the early phase of the campaign (from Stern-Weiner) – here … https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/jamie-stern-weiner/new-accusations-of-anti-semitism-thrown-at-left-are-flimsy
    and here … https://opendemocracy.net/uk/jamie-stern-weiner/jeremy-corbyn-hasn-t-got-antisemitism-problem-his-opponents-do

    Analysis of the affair from Norman Finkelstein here … https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/jamie-stern-weiner-norman-finkelstein/american-jewish-scholar-behind-labour-s-antisemitism-scandal
    and here … https://jamiesternweiner.wordpress.com/2016/05/04/norman-finkelstein-on-david-camerons-dodgy-friends/

    Incidentally, if you can find a copy, have a read of the multi-authored The Politics of Anti-Semitism. It’s a little dated (2003) but still enlightening.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Politics_of_Anti-Semitism

    • Ad 16.1

      Corbyn seems like he’s getting lost in inconsequential and unwinnable battles like reshuffles, regional elections, and the one you describe above.

      He needs a long range comms theme. Hate to say it, but that’s how Blair got his first nationwide electoral win. (Not defending Blair’s Middle East policies BTW).

      • swordfish 16.1.1

        Corbyn’s comms strategy has certainly, at times, appeared amateurish and more than a little inept.

        But then, Corbyn, McDonnell and Labour’s Campaign Group Left faction really didn’t expect a Corbyn victory at the start of the Leadership campaign. There hadn’t been a great deal of planning. Whereas, in stark contrast, the other 3 highly ambitious contenders had been planning and organising for years, surrounding themselves with all the right people, nurturing media contacts and so on.

        And we also, of course, need to factor in the unrelenting hostility from the MSM (and wider Establishment) – which began the moment the first YouGov Poll of the Labour Selectorate came out, suggesting Corbyn’s was the front-runner. Although, to be fair, there have been arguments that Corbyn has played a part in exacerbating the toxic relationship by rejecting useful advice on media management.

        Not much he could do about this latest “anti-Semitism” smear campaign, though (uncritically regurgitated, as it has been, by MSM journos in the UK).

    • swordfish 16.2

      A new Pew Research Center Poll finds liberal Democrats turning away from Israel.

      While Republicans of all persuasions – together with conservative and moderate Democrats – continue to favour Israel by large margins … for the first time, liberal Democrats sympathise more with the Palestinians (40%) than with the Israelis (33%).

      Back in 2001, the liberal Democrat split was 48%/18% in favour of Israel and last year 39%/21%. That’s a huge turn-around. Support for Israel down 6 points but, more importantly, sympathy for the Palestinians up 19 points over the last year (suggesting a significant swing from previous Undecideds).

      Apologists for Israel’s Occupation should be a little concerned because Democrats are becoming more and more liberal over time (27% of Dems considered themselves liberal in 2000 / 41% in 2015).

      African Americans, Latinos and younger Democrats in general – all demographics making up a larger and larger proportion of the Democratic constituency as time goes on – are more sympathetic than Americans as a whole to the Palestinian cause.

      http://www.vox.com/2016/5/9/11607990/liberal-democrats-israel-pew

  14. adam 17

    Now this I like, a lot. Young Children in Alabama took a poll (in the picture – it says pill – teehee) to see what their hopes and fears for the future were. Be surprised!

    http://imgur.com/Cfm3xLO

    • Rosemary McDonald 17.1

      “Now this I like, a lot.”

      Me too. But I’m not really surprised. Young people have a terribly bad rap, a narrative that Those Who Rule Us like to reinforce.

      Had a lovely chat in the supermarket yesterday with a shelf packer, who was well past retirement age.

      After explaining to me the nefarious goings on in product pricing, he commented that he was appalled at how young workers were being exploited. How employers expected young workers to begin the job fully trained, and then gave them shit when they messed up. He said how when he began work, things were different. He makes an effort to take young workers ‘under his wing.’

      Now there’s a quaint old saying..maybe we should revive it?

  15. Gangnam Style 18

    Matt Nippert had a piece in the NZ Herald online about NZ trusts apparently facilitating corruption in Ecuador & it seems to have been pulled, curious to know why. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11637813

  16. Poission 19

    Winston’s speech to the house of lords,brings some innovative thinking to the brexit argument.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1605/S00251/speech-by-winston-peters-at-the-house-of-lords.htm

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      Wow, he’s really reaching back into the past. The Commonwealth is dead and has been for decades. It would be simply Bad Form to resurrect it now.

      And, no, I don’t think that the European Union going anywhere except down.

  17. The Other Mike 20

    CEOs’ pay highlights NZ wealth imbalance – CTU

    …Herald newspaper showed the CEOs from New Zealand’s largest listed companies had an average pay increase of 12 percent in 2015 compared with 3.2 percent for employees.

    The average CEO increase was $180,000 while the biggest total salary was Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings. He earned $4.49 million.

    The average pay increase for employees was $988, with the average salary $57,000.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/303777/ceos-earn-'40-times-average-person

  18. Morrissey 21

    As Israel finds itself more and more diplomatically isolated, its legion of apologists is becoming even more extreme and intolerant. The following horror story is currently being played out in Britain, but something similar to this happened in 2002, when the New Zealand equivalents of Jonathan Sacerdoti, Jonathan Arkush and Baroness Deech bullied Gavin Ellis, the then editor of the Herald into firing his cartoonist Malcolm Evans after Evans had the temerity to criticise the Holy State….

    Labour antisemitism witch-hunt turns on leading anti-racism campaigner
    by Jamie Stern-Weiner, Monday, May 9th, 2016

    Last week, prominent Momentum activist Jackie Walker was suspended from the Labour Party for alleged antisemitism. (Momentum is a grassroots movement affiliated with the Labour Party, which currently supports the elected leadership of the socialist and veteran Palestine solidarity campaigner Jeremy Corbyn.)

    There are five points to make about this.

    1.) The antisemitism allegations against Walker are devoid of factual basis. The evidence against Walker consists of two Facebook comments. In the first, Walker dismissed claims that Labour has ‘a major problem with anti-semitism’….

    Read more….
    http://normanfinkelstein.com/2016/05/09/labour-antisemitism-witch-hunt-turns-on-leading-anti-racism-campaigner/
    http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-04062013/#comment-643332

  19. Ed 22

    Is a long time since I looked at the Blog Rankings :
    https://openparachute.wordpress.com/2016/04/01/march-16-nz-blogs-sitemeter-ranking/

    I see that WhaleOil stopped being measured in February, but couldn’t find any comment why. Presumably it has either had technical problems or is now regarded as a commercial PR site . . .

    The Standard appears to be steadily rising in the rankings, and No Right Turn has a surprisingly low ranking – could that result from not having comments?

  20. Draco T Bastard 24

    Putin to Western Elites: Playtime is Over

    To these nine points I would like to add a tenth:

    10. There is still a chance to construct a new world order that will avoid a world war. This new world order must of necessity include the United States—but can only do so on the same terms as everyone else: subject to international law and international agreements; refraining from all unilateral action; in full respect of the sovereignty of other nations.

    To sum it all up: play-time is over. Children, put away your toys. Now is the time for the adults to make decisions. Russia is ready for this; is the world?

    I would wonder how the Western ‘elites’ took that but I already know. They shut it down so that no one would hear about it and still believes that the war that they’re pushing for will leave them better off.

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