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Open Mike 13/06/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 13th, 2017 - 117 comments
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117 comments on “Open Mike 13/06/2017 ”

  1. There has been many comparisons made between the very different political situation in the UK and NZ.

    There is no doubt that Jeremy Corbyn had a great campaign. His Labour party was ultimately unsuccessful, but Corbyn should have at least secured himself as leader, a major shift from recent rifts in the party.

    Can Andrew Little do something similar here? I think that it will take a major change of approach, because there is night and day between Corbyn’s self confidence, straight talking and authenticity and Little’s well rehearsed and often poorly delivered performances.

    Tracy Watkins seems unconvinced that Andrew Little is in any way like Mr Corbyn: “When Little has got into trouble lately it’s for dodging questions by sticking to patsy answers and one-liners rather than speaking to the heart of an issue. This is not because Little lacks authenticity or doesn’t know the answers; it’s a deliberate strategy from the Labour team. Little has even explained it to me. It’s about staying on message apparently” – see: Expecting the unexpected the new situation normal.

    According to Tracy Watkins, Labour are failing to emulate Mr Corbyn’s bold and authentic approach: “The Labour team seems to think this [staying on message approach] is the same as the Corbyn strategy, or for that matter the Bernie Sanders strategy, of running a campaign around a small number of big, bold ideas. But as May showed, there’s a big difference between big ideas and trite sound bites. Little had the advantage of having little political baggage as a relatively new MP and being able to run on the anti-politician ticket but seems to be squandering it.”


    Can Little and Labour switch to the Corbyn approach? Should they try three months out from our election?

    I thought that Little promoted himself as a straight talker, but he comes across more like a media managed puppet. A similar conflict wrecked David Shearer’s leadership.

    Repeating the same failed approach is not doing a lot for Little or Labour at the moment.

    • Muttonbird 1.1

      Lol. Right wingers: one day it’s ‘Corbyn’s a nutter, be less like him’. The next, ‘Corbyn’s a genius, be more like him’.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1.1

        Still dripping with beige venom and malice though, innit.

        And obsessed with turning politics into a leaders’ popularity contest. When Corbyn’s asked why Labour increased their vote so much he points to their manifesto, and that is the real lesson of the UK election.

        Centrism is over.

        • Pete George

          Another thing that turns people off politics and off parties is negative attack politics. It’s stupidly counterproductive.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            So why have you set up a political poison pen blog to do it? I’ve never asked anyone to vote for me.

          • tc

            Yes dear, harden up petey and stop acting like a precious flower when we all know youre a weed on the kiwi political blogosphere.

        • marty mars

          Yep Mr oily brown judgment judges with spin designed to support his gnat masters. One thing Little has that George cannot even comprehend is authenticity and honesty. Every beige blurt is packed with untruths and dishonesty as he tries to hobble the left in the guise of helping. You are too slow, too dim and too self absorbed Pete – we know your smelly game bub.

        • Wayne

          Centrism might be over for the left. Not that activists ever embraced it anyway.

          But I am pretty sure that is where National will stay. We will soon know whether it continues to work for National. I do appreciate that OAB thinks National is actually extreme rabid right, but no serious commentator thinks that.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            It’s the Overton window, innit.

            I can see the rabies of the right in the child poverty and homelessness statistics. The cruelty. The corruption. The attacks on human rights and the rule of law. The suicide statistics.

            So I don’t really care what you call it: centrism is a good enough word for callous greed and sophistry.

            • garibaldi

              Spot on OAB.
              The right thinks that throwing a few crumbs to the hoi polloi whilst letting business overrun and control everything is Centrism. People matter…. something the right can’t grasp. It’s time the pendulum swung towards the people.

            • sabine

              well said.

            • AB

              Yep – the Overton window defines the limits of ‘acceptable’ thought.
              The last 35 years have been highly regressive by shifting that window substantially to the right. I’m beginning to dare to believe that I can hear the sclerotic, rusted hinges squeak as it starts its return journey.

          • KJT

            You still think Neo-liberal extremisim, is “centrist”?

            I suppose I have to give you points for believing your own bullshit.
            Or maybe that is what is so scary. The authors of the Neo-liberal fuckup still believe they are right, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

            Corbyn has exposed what the majority really want. And it is not spivs and opportunists running away with the money, while the rest of us, struggle.

          • Ed

            Heard of Overtons window?
            If you believe in neoliberal economics you’re centrist.
            Once this extreme ideology is discarded, it’s believers like Wayne will be seen for what they are.

      • Pete George 1.1.2

        You’re confusing two things.

        It’s still highly debatable whether taking NZ Labour to the left, as Corbyn has done with UK Labour, would succeed. He campaigned well, but that’s in large part because of a dumb move by May to call a snap election, and a very poor campaign by May.

        Most compliments of Corbyn are that he came across as genuine and authentic, regardless of his policies he believed in them and was confident in promoting them. Some still criticised the leftness of his policies, but applauded his straight talking.

        I think the lesson here is for any politician of any leaning.

        The age of over managed media messaging is over. Voters want to hear what leaders believe in, they want to gauge their convictions and abilities from seeing them as they are, not as some PR caricature.

        Even Trump’s success can be put down to enough voters thinking he said things as he saw them, as flawed as his messages were.

        Trump and Corbyn are very different, but at least they put themselves out there as they are, warts and all.

        Voters judge people, and get turned off by political PR, they don’t like it and don’t trust it.

        • Blade

          ”He campaigned well, but that’s in large part because of a dumb move by May to call a snap election, and a very poor campaign by May.”

          Add to that many pissed off voters having to drag themselves to the polls again.

          Thanks for pointing out the obvious many on this site don’t get.

        • Stuart Munro

          Corbyn’s sincerity plays well against the economic outcomes generated by his opponents, all of whom have promised great things, none of which have succeeded.

          His restraint from negative campaigning also came across as classy, again, the contrast provided by the low tactics of the Murdoch media highlighted the character difference.

          It doesn’t hurt that he has a program that will probably work. We’re all sick of non-performing pretenders.

        • dukeofurl

          ” but that’s in large part because of a dumb move by May to call a snap election, and a very poor campaign by May”

          Pete , pete, pete.
          Why then did May get 42%, the highest vote for conservatives since the thatcher years ? Her campaign was right on target and boosted Tory votes. They were something like 60 votes from a bare majority.

          Just labours approach was better as they jumped 10%

      • Sanctuary 1.1.3

        “… one day it’s ‘Corbyn’s a nutter, be less like him’. The next, ‘Corbyn’s a genius, be more like him’…”

        Unless you are Josie Pagani, whose latest piece of neolib claptrap is to claim Corbyn would have won if he had only not alienated the Blairites in his caucus.

        Those poor, defenceless wee morsels of the UK PLP, so put upon by those wretched, beastly Corbynistas.

        • Ed

          Pagani does not speak for Labour
          She speaks for her own selfish interests only.

          • garibaldi

            So why does she get air time? She’s a bloody moron. Seems to me they only use her to bait lefties.

            • Sanctuary

              Because they present her as a “centre-left” commentator, which makes her safely within the narrow boundaries that neoliberals wish to debate politics.

            • Anne

              She gets air time on TV because she has a “TV face”. That is, she comes across as attractive. She talks a load of gobbledygook most of the time but gets away with it because she’s articulate in the way she says it. Finally she’s spent years cultivating media people who are useful to her.

              In other words she’s a fake who has set herself up as some sort of Think Tank guru but as far as I can tell she has no actual qualifications for the job.

            • Ed

              The corporate media owned by billionaires and merchant banks want her to be seen as left.
              She is a useful idiot to them.
              Her excuse – money?

        • JanM

          If we want to start getting worked up about your so-called friends being your worst enemies, what about this piece of claptrap?


          • RedLogix

            The mafia metaphor is a bit fanciful, but fundamentally I agree with Trotter.

            Compare and contrast Corbyn’s revitalised UKLP with a surge of 150,000 new members since the election … now over 800,000 in total and heading towards a million … with an NZLP that is almost absent in whole swathes of NZ life.

            NZLP had it’s Corbyn moment with Cunliffe.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Again with the personality politics. Corbyn would be nothing without that manifesto to work with.

              NZ Labour hasn’t yet published its 2017 election manifesto and already you’re all but writing them off.

              • RedLogix

                True. I’m guilty of using names (Corbyn, Sanders, Cunliffe, etc) as a cheap shortcut to expressing a massive shift in manifesto and values. So yeah that’s the crappy side of personality politics.

                Equally you cannot entirely erase who Corbyn and Sanders are as people. It’s not just a question of ‘direct and authentic’; John Key managed to fake that brilliantly for years. It really comes down to an entire political lifetime of coherent belief and action.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  …just like Turei, Shaw and Little.

                  As an aside, I don’t notice anyone complaining about UK Labour’s manifesto being “fully costed”, despite all the wailing and gnashing of teeth over the ‘budget responsibility’ rules here in NZ.

              • Bearded Git

                @OAB +100

                Lets see what is in Labour’s September 23 manifesto and judge them on that, not on the venom spouted by Edwards/Watkin/Trotter/George etc

                Labour has an opportunity to make a real difference in promising targeted spending on housing/education/health/public transport/environment/WFF/Cullen fund given the surpluses now forecast .

                Little comes over to me as honest. English/Joyce/Smith/Bennett come over to me as devious. I think the voters will pick this.

                • RedLogix

                  All well and good. I bloody well hope the NZLP puts up a bold manifesto that represents a real break with their neo-lib past, and truly resonates with that large mass of voters who stopped listening years back.

                  But this habit of bi-polar thinking the solution to all political problems is either policy OR personality is weirdly unhelpful. Is it too much to ask for the NZLP to not only put up a manifesto we can believe in, but leaders and spokespeople who sound like THEY believe in it too?

                  • Bearded Git

                    Agree with all that. BTW I should definitely have had Brownlee on that list after his shocking display on Morning Report this morning re Israel.

            • Wayne


              Which really worked for Labour.

              Just goes to show that the UK situation cannot be seamlessly transferred to NZ.

              • RedLogix

                No-one ever imagined the two situations mapped directly onto each other; for a start NZ (and some credit is due National) has not gone through almost a decade of pointlessly brutal austerity. Nor have we had anything remotely as destabilising as the entire Brexit debacle.

                But while the proximate events and timing are different, the trends are similar. Our housing crisis, low wages, high costs, widespread precarious employment, stressed health and education sectors are all heading firmly in the wrong direction for far too many kiwis. Fundamentally the gap between those doing just fine, and those trapped into a dead-end poverty of opportunity and mean grinding lives is just too large.

                Whether this widening economic and class gap becomes the live wire of this election is hard to predict. If nothing else Corbyn has proved that campaigns still matter and a week is still a long time in politics.

    • RedLogix 1.2

      @ PG

      I don’t have much quibble with your post at face value. It’s your timing and motives that feel sucky.

      I’m on record here as a strong supporter of left-wing figures like Cunliffe, Sanders and Corbyn pretty much from the outset. I attended Rod Donald’s memorial service at Parliament years back, and still feel the sense of unjust loss. I’m proud that Helen Clark is a kiwi and great memories of several personal encounters with her. Earlier I recall with some pleasure a private and casual lunch with David Lange. And while Gareth Morgan isn’t everyone’s cup of tea around here; I like his willingness to put novel and interesting policy up for public debate … in this same direct and unrehearsed manner.

      Most compliments of Corbyn are that he came across as genuine and authentic, regardless of his policies he believed in them and was confident in promoting them. Some still criticised the leftness of his policies, but applauded his straight talking.

      I think the lesson here is for any politician of any leaning.

      Personally I feel comfortable in my political skin; but when I read your comment above I really don’t get the same sense. Maybe you are the best person to answer why not.

      • Pete George 1.2.1

        Helen Clark is a good person to bring up – she was widely respected in politics due I think to here wide and in depth knowledge of policies and issues, and the forthright way she expressed herself. She came across as authentic and believable and trustworthy.

        John Key had a very different style but was also very popular (obviously not here but overall).

        Goff, Shearer, Cunliffe and Little have all had problems with emulating successful party leaders and Prime Ministers. I think that’s a significant reason why Labour has struggled to rebuild support.

        I agree on Gareth Morgan, he is passionate and well informed and says things without PR manipulation. A welcome addition to election options.

        I’m not the best person to answer why you think my comment feels “sucky”.

        The timing is because it is a very topical issue following the UK election. Bryce Edwards ddevoted his column yesterday to it, I provided the link.

        Lessons to be learned from Corbyn and the UK election are a major talking point in politics here at the moment.

        Do you think the timing of all of that discussion is sucky?

        • Stuart Munro

          It’s a reasonable discussion – though you’re probably not the leading choice for chair.

          But Clark in no way resembles Corbyn, she was highly autocratic to the degree that some blame her for a leadership vacuum subsequent to her departure.

          Corbyn has a different leadership paradigm – he welcomes the opinions and energies of new members and they got him elected.

          NZ Labour remains oligarchic, though it is a conspicuously better oligarchy than it was, it isn’t ready to trust supporters to influence policy.

          The future is promising for NZ Labour chiefly because the current government is a shambles as absolute any gods-forsaken third world hellhole.

          • lprent

            But Clark in no way resembles Corbyn, she was highly autocratic to the degree that some blame her for a leadership vacuum subsequent to her departure.

            The same thing will almost certainly happen with Corbyn as he establishes his power base. Having colleagues attacking you directly and indirectly as happened to Clark (eg Goff barbecue), Goff (think of some of the daft faction fighting), Lange (Douglas et al) etc etc. For that matter in National with Muldoon, Mclay, Bolger, English etc, The defections and take over attempts in NZ first. The Stringer coup in the Conservatives.

            Corbyn and pile of other leaders after any of these kinds of factional attacks tend to have the obvious defensive reaction to minimize the exposure to attack long after they are aren’t happening. It especially shows up after they have more control over their environment. So far it has been shadow ministers leaving. Soon it will be particular shadow cabinet members getting shuffled to where they are less of a danger.

            Similarly with movements within the party. Because you can guarantee that the victorious in the internecine wars are seldom good winners.

            • Stuart Munro

              He may avoid it for a while.

              “I’m the most forgiving guy in the world” from OAB’s link show’s he’s well aware of the issue.

              His supporters may be less forgiving however.

      • Pete George 1.2.2

        What do you think of the timing and motives of the OAM and MM responses here?

        • RedLogix

          OK so my invitation to some self-reflection has been turned down. I think the problem you are creating for yourself here is that if you want to be on the side of ‘authentic and genuine’ you have a fair old credibility hurdle to leap over. That’s what OAB and mm are reacting to.

          Here’s the thing PG … I’d be delighted to see you make that leap.

          • Pete George

            Personally I feel comfortable in my political and social media skin. I question the motives of those who attack me personally, presumably trying to divert from the issues raised.

            Funny that you ask me to “self-reflect” while giving OAB and mm a free pass.

            You asked about my motives – my primary motive has always been to promote cross party and cross blog discussion on topical political and social issues.

            And I stand up to those who try to trash decent discussion. Politics has long been dirty but I think social media, political blogs at least, could set a much better example. Obviously some people want to stick to dirt.

            [RL: Trying to invoke moderation on the sly is one of your less attractive gambits.]

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              What do I need a free pass for? Accurately describing your comment as “dripping with beige venom and malice”?

              Take your poison pen and stick it in your eye to keep the beam company.

              [RL: I don’t need PG to prompt me into moderating … as much as I’m reluctant to do it these days… but you’ve stepped over the line many times before and copped warnings and bans. Sooner or later someone, probably not me, will run out of patience.]

            • Robert Guyton

              “Personally I feel comfortable in my political and social media skin.”
              Rhino hide, more like. Impenetrable to suggestions and there are plenty made here. If, as you claim, your “primary motive has always been to promote cross party and cross blog discussion on topical political and social issues.”, then a little introspection should show you that your approach is far from “promotional”, more confrontational and irritating. I suppose you will see yourself as an pearl-maker, but Pete, that makes you grit and grit’s never appreciated by oysters, any living thing with eyelids and mucus membranes, or wearers of shoes.

              • garibaldi

                What about sandals Robert?

              • KJT

                Pete George reminds me of the Guardian coverage of Corbyn.

                “Don’t change my comfortable life by making things better for those who are not part of the establishment”, while pretending to be leftish.

                people who think they are the ‘political elite’ in New Zealand, just like the UK, are very uncomfortable with “disruptors” that hold a mirror to their own lack of effective action.

                • weka

                  good point. It’s a real problem. Probably applies to centrists too, who always distrust the edge because the edge always drags them closer.

    • Ed 1.3

      What a tragic troll you are.

      • james 1.3.1

        Given the number of times (which is a lot) you reply with the word troll – without actually adding to the conversation actually makes you one:

        “Similarly if you act like a machine (ie a troll) you will be treated as one – a form of spambot. A troll is generally defined on this site as someone who clearly isn’t bothering to engage their brain when commenting. The standard is that the troll could be replaced with a dictionary of lines and phrases, and no-one would know the difference. Typically trolls do not interact with other commentators as they either ignore what others say in reply or write a reply that ignores what they said. In either case it is ignorant, anti-social, annoying to read, and will often result in a banning so that others don’t have to read the comments of someone living with their sense organs turned off.”

    • Incognito 1.4

      So, Andrew Little lacks authenticity and should emulate Jeremy Corbyn’s bold and authentic approach? Spot the contradiction.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.5

      There has been many comparisons made between the very different political situation in the UK and NZ.

      Is it really very different?

      The Tories, from all parties, have been fucking over the UK for as long as they have been here and with the same effect of ever increasing poverty and declining civilisation.

      From what I see you’re talking out your arse again to help the National Party spin.

  2. One Anonymous Bloke 2

    Corbyn interview.

    Worth seeing if you like quiet confidence and wit 🙂

    • RedLogix 2.1

      Watched my way though it. Corbyn is as you say quietly confident and gently witty; but two thoughts:

      1. I do wonder at how receptive the French and German’s might be to his idea’s around Brexit. All the indications from the other side of the channel are that ‘out means out’ … with precious little wriggle room.

      2. The Tories will re-group and May won’t be allowed anywhere near another election; how would Corbyn fare against say Boris Johnstone?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1

        As I said. I think the focus on individual personalities is a right wing frame: that’s why Poison Peter employs it.

        Johnson would have all the same ‘advantages’ as May, plus his own qualities. The one crucial thing he wouldn’t have is UK Labour’s manifesto.

        Also, there was talk of Johnson being unacceptable to powerful Tory factions. Nothing the prospect of defeat couldn’t fix?

        In any event, “Corbyn vs. Johnson” entirely misses the point, because the contest is between two wildly different sets of values.

        Edit: pretty sure ‘Jezzer’ would more than hold his own against Boris anyway – after all, he has youth on his side 🙂

        • RedLogix

          And to be fair, when the left pushes all the focus onto collective responsibility we fall over as well. A political model that merges strong personal AND social values, one that plays to the strengths of both without descending into beige, managerial centrism seems to elude us.

          A long time back I was fumbling about with the idea that the missing component in modern political ideology was the idea of strong community. That society could be imagined as a three-legged stool balancing on the pillars the individual, social and state responsibilities. Each complementing the other in a stable arrangement that both neo-liberalism and marxism have manifestly failed to achieve.

          Edit: Odious as Chris Leslie’s comment was, it’s true that May’s abysmal campaign was an ‘open goal’. While I agree with you at heart, it’s a mistake to underestimate the challenge ahead.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Leslie: “My worry is, if I was to serve in the shadow cabinet there would come a moment where something would come up which I would disagree with, and these are my principles, whether it is to do with security or the running of the economy. I might have to then resign”.


            Somehow I think he’d manage to dig deep and find a way not to.

          • Draco T Bastard

            That society could be imagined as a three-legged stool balancing on the pillars the individual, social and state responsibilities. Each complementing the other in a stable arrangement that both neo-liberalism and marxism have manifestly failed to achieve.

            Is there really a ‘state’ component?

            An individual cannot survive without society and society doesn’t exist without the individuals.

            This means that society needs to support the individuals to be their best while the individuals support society. This is a cycle of both individual and collective responsibility.

            • RedLogix

              I get what you’re saying DtB. But historically the two pole model you describe in terms of individual and collective responsibility, has proven unstable. The balance swings too widely between extremes.

              It may be a crude analogy, but consciously introducing a third leg in the model, allows for a far more stable, sustainable society that is the sum of individual, community and state action.

              The distinction I have in mind between community and the state is this; the state is allocated formal institutional roles and wields considerable, if often blunt, power. It firmly grasps the legal, economic and long-term generational levers that both coerce and shape society.

              By contrast the notion of a healthy community invokes the far more fluid, voluntary associations of people, expressed in hugely diverse ways. It creates the frameworks in which people find identity, meaning and purpose in their lives. And arguably both marxists and capitalists have historically acted to diminish and degrade our natural human communities, isolating and alienating, in order to distort social power towards an all-powerful state.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The problem that I have with the three tier system is that people tend to divorce themselves from the state and when that happens the state becomes other. Then the RWNJs come in and say that ‘the state’ is stealing from us, that it’s telling us what to do and other similar lies.

                We have to accept that we are the state, that we are the community.

                • Planet Earth

                  “There is no such thing as society” almost – just “we”!

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Of course there is such a thing as society – we make it when we gather into a community.

                    • Planet Earth

                      I’m pretty sure that was Thatcher’s point DTB!

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      No, it wasn’t.

                      “I think we’ve been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it’s the government’s job to cope with it. ‘I have a problem, I’ll get a grant.’ ‘I’m homeless, the government must house me.’ They’re casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There’s no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.”

                      Thatcher’s point was that selfishness ruled.

                      Selfishness and the greed that it entails only ever destroys.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Problem is that personal responsibility doesn’t actually exist as anything more than a rhetorical device.

                No wonder any world view that includes it fails

                • RedLogix

                  And a right winger will make the exact same claim substituting the word ‘collective’ for ‘individual’; and degenerates from there into a stale old argument.

                  I get where you are coming from, modern science is uncovering more and more around the deep and intricate connections that shape our values, beliefs and emotional responses. The Dunedin Longitudinal Study remarkably leaps to the top of my mind in this respect.

                  Yet the notion of the individual remains deeply embedded in our consciousness. The notions of human dignity, compassion and empathy are all essentially personal concepts. Despite widely shared environments, we each demonstrate a remarkable diversity of personality and character. We each have our dreams, our loves and griefs. And no matter how intimate we are with each other, there remains a barrier between our minds we can never overpass.

                  Nor has any human society ever erased all individuality and shaped itself into one collective hive mind. I’m not so quick to discard this notion as you are.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Where did the ‘hive mind’ notion come from?
                    Certainly not from me.

                    modern science is uncovering more and more around the deep and intricate connections that shape our values, beliefs and emotional responses.

                    Yes, it is. However, while it certainly supports my position, I’m not relying on it.

                    Instead, look at the phrase itself and how it is used: the ‘self-attribution’ and ‘just world’ fallacies articulated in two words. It means that poor people are poor by choice. It means that rich people are wealthy by merit.

                    It means that colonised people deserve it.

                    And of course, when you look at it that way it’s little more than a dog-whistle.

                    • RedLogix

                      OK so here is a thought experiment.

                      We are probably close to being technically capable of implementing 100% ubiquitous surveillance of every persons every action and conversation, 24/7/365 for their entire lives. And then make the record 100% available in the public domain.

                      It would have massive, socially trans-formative value in terms of political and economic transparency and might lead to the virtual elimination of crime of all kinds. Especially those kinds of sexual crimes which are so hard to obtain evidence for.

                      Of course almost everyone viscerally objects to such a scheme. But why? Is it something to do with our sense of self? Why do we value privacy so highly?

                    • Molly

                      For RedLogix above:

                      A couple of reasons that occur right away, apart from the overriding right to privacy which should stand on principle:

                      1. There would need to be complete trust in the system that collates, collects and sorts the data. This is so unlikely it would be considered impossible.

                      2. Societal mores and values are not the same, across countries, let alone communities and neighbourhoods, even if there are culturally homogeneous demographics. Transparency about voting, sexual orientation and practices, as well as other “legal” choices of the population may well have negative impacts as those choices become known to their political representatives, employers, friends and family – destroying the connections that can be made when no preconceptions have influenced opinion.

                      3. Most importantly, it won’t have the outcomes you envision: ” virtual elimination of crime of all kinds. Especially those kinds of sexual crimes which are so hard to obtain evidence for.”. Until the power systems currently in play are dismantled, this collection of data would likely lead to more exploitation, more coercion, more consolidation of power, and worse.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      @ Molly

                      1. There would need to be complete trust in the system that collates, collects and sorts the data. This is so unlikely it would be considered impossible.

                      Have you noticed the amount of data that is given freely and without question to Google, Facebook and other online businesses?

                      Seems that complete trust is very easy to obtain.

                      3. Most importantly, it won’t have the outcomes you envision: ” virtual elimination of crime of all kinds. Especially those kinds of sexual crimes which are so hard to obtain evidence for.”. Until the power systems currently in play are dismantled, this collection of data would likely lead to more exploitation, more coercion, more consolidation of power, and worse.

                      You need to split this into three points:

                      1. The collection of the data which is done by computer
                      2. The analysis of the data which is also done by computer to produce information
                      3. Access to the information to make decisions which is done by people

                      You’ll note that that last point can be very tightly controlled and monitored. Anyone abusing the system will be caught.

                      Now, that’s not to say that there won’t be some people involved in setting it up in the first place who will be thinking about ways that it can be exploited. What we need there is processes and checks to prevent that happening. hard to do but it can be done and if any one does abuse the system they will be caught.

                      The big question is where is the point between public and private data and then gather that which is public.

                • David Mac

                  For me, personal responsibility is important. It’s what gets me turning my garden over for next season’s vegetables rather than going fishing.

                  I think it’s an attitude that falls flat when I try and tell others what their personal responsibilities should be. When this happens my recommendations would be a description of what I believe my responsibilities are. The flaw is the belief that what works for me should be adopted by others.

                  Personal responsibility can’t be pushed onto others, it ceases to be personal, we need to discover it for ourselves.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Your character and situation are not of your own making. We all owe far too much to circumstance to start claiming credit.

                    Not that there’s anything wrong with growing veggies 🙂

                    • David Mac

                      Yes, chance plays a part. My age, parents and the weather. Aspects that are best worked around. I’m concerned with the outcomes I can direct with my choices. My vocation, income, partner, home, the frequency of my visits to hug my lovely old Mum.

                      If I felt that I had no control over these matters I think I’d spend my life chatting in here and making do with what gets chucked my way. I prove I have a degree of control every day.

                      Ha! I just glimpsed an imaginary mirror. I should be ringing potential customers, later.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      It’s a seductive belief, for sure. One that is used, on occasion to justify acts of Parliament that deny funds to solo parents. It can be seen in our approach to welfare in general.

                      In the courts, it shows itself in systemic measurable bias in sentencing.

                      In the media, it shows up in hate speech about ‘bludgers’ and stories about beneficiaries on the roof.

                      Not a benign belief then. In fact it’s highly political.

                  • garibaldi

                    DM. Don’t take offence but you shouldn’t turn your garden over, it upsets the flora/fauna balance. Ask Robert Guyton if you don’t believe me.

                    • David Mac

                      Hi garibaldi, there may well be a better way. I do as my Dad showed me, fold in some horse poo etc, a 70’s approach.

                      OAM I think that leads us back to my original point. Personal responsibility is something we need to discover for ourselves. When it’s somebody else’s, it’s just that, not personal. An imposed responsibility.

                    • mauī

                      Or ask Patrick Whitefield, digging vs non-digging:

                    • Ha! It’s your back I’m most concerned about 🙂 Backs, knees and hips don’t function smoothly forever, especially for old blokes who applied themselves vigorously to heavy tasks when they were younger. There are other ways to manage vege gardens, but I’m not going to challenge the wisdom of anyone’s father. My own daughter, raised in a forest garden where leaf-fall does most of the soil preparation for me, digs her garden in readiness for planting. I applaud it all. If you’re gardening at all, you’re on the right side of the ledger 🙂

                  • AB

                    At one level the need for “personal responsibility” is just a simple truism that everyone agrees with – it’s what distinguishes an adult from a child. We pester our children to do their teeth (so they don’t get decay). do their homework (so they get the best results they can), tidy their room (so someone else doesn’t have to do it).

                    The problem is when it gets used by the right as a political bludgeon against people who have problems and who need help. Sometimes the problems are of their own making and sometimes not and most often it’s a mixture of the two. In these circumstances the accusation of failing to show “personal responsibility” is used as a reason for denying help. The real agenda is always to deny the help (and maybe get a tax cut out of reduced social welfare spending), rather than any particular belief in the concept of personal responsibility itself. They are, for example never engaged in self-reflection on the matter of personal responsibility, they are always flinging accusations at others.

                    Actually – a good rule of thumb when RW types talk about their “principles” is to see if the logical outcome of those principles would be a tax cut for the person professing them. If so, it’s plain they are not principles at all – merely disguised expressions of self-interest

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2

        As for Brexit negotiations, UK Labour’s team cannot possibly be worse than whatever corrupt shills the Tories can muster for their tax haven plan.

  3. RedLogix 3

    More interesting details on CCCP links into Australian politics:


    • Interesting thanks – pity they had to use – go betweens – I just think of the band jeeze must have some Aussie in me.

    • Ad 3.2

      Completely consistent with that big investigative story last week of Chinese funding going directly to political groups within Australia.

      Back in the bad old days it was the US and British “cultural attaches” and “goodwill associations” that would launder this stuff.

      But not blatant direct funding of political parties.

      Great to see it uncovered.

      • RedLogix 3.2.1

        Note carefully how in this instance the money was targeted at the right wings of the NSW LP and ALP; the softest underbelly of the lot.

        It’s one thing to project ‘soft power’; all large nations do it. But the CCCP runs a totalitarian state, with a very dodgy and opaque human rights record. Pretending otherwise, and allowing them access to covertly manipulate our political process has to raise big, bright red, flapping flags.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      erg, snap.

    • exkiwiforces 3.4

      The Age article is on the back of the ABC 4 Corners program in conjunction with Fairfax media from last Monday night. The both Fairfax dailys and the Australian have been running with this since last Monday. Tonight 4 corners is the Fitzgerald inquiry into the Queensland police corruption under Sir Johwhich I think is the 30th anniversary this year. On a wee side note this was reason my folks moved to NZ in 1974 as I believe my dad had a wee run in with QPol a few times around Albion and the Valley when were workclass areas.

      I wouldn’t be surprised the Chinese have their fingers in pie in to donations in NZ atm. I believe there was meant to a inquiry in the dumping of cheap low quality Chinese steel that was being use in the construction industry by NZ Government and the Chinese responded by saying they will restrict dairy products etc and it was the same with the legal and illegal Chinese tourist companies (fly by night/dodgy operators) employing Chinese people without the right qualifications and the under payment of wages so they can avoid hiring NZ workers at award rates etc.

  4. Andre 4

    Centrist elite liberalism strikes back! Macron’s party wins big.


    About all I can take from all the “outsider” successes all the way across the political spectrum is the public likes sincere conviction politicians with a coherent vision they are prepared to stand up and argue for. Or can at least fake it convincingly.

    • swordfish 4.1


      “Centrist elite liberalism strikes back! Macron’s party wins big.”

      From your Daily Beast opinion piece

      After the first round of voting on Sunday his party, which didn’t exist until last year, is set to win an overwhelming majority of seats in the the National Assembly.

      In an era when extremes of left and right have come to dominate the political landscape (take a look at the British elections), suddenly there stands before us a paladin of the extreme middle whose campaign slogan was unabashedly “neither left nor right,” and who now has an overwhelming electoral and legislative mandate for his five-year term in office.


      Wow !!!!!!!

      “Now has an overwhelming electoral mandate” !!!!!!!!

      Macron’s ‘Sensible Centrists’ must be really popular with the French public ! … How much did they get ? … Must have been at least 50 to 60% of the First Round vote in order to provoke shrieks of excitement like “Macron’s party wins big !”, “Centrist elite liberalism strikes back!”, and “overwhelming mandate ! “ ?

      Whoa !!! … Hang on a moment ! … What the Pope’s Piss ?????

      I’ve just read that, in fact, Macron’s ‘Extreme-Middle Sensible-Centrists’ received a grand total of 28% of the vote – 6m out of 22m … Even if you add Centrist Democratic Movement (MoDem) support – that’s still less than a third of the vote !!! – and on an historically low turnout as well – so, in fact, 32% of the 48% who bothered to vote.

      Oh Andre, why oh why do you deceive us so ?????

      • Andre 4.1.1

        Oh I dunno, it seems kind of in the spirit of the times. Y’know, like lauding Corbyn’s results as the coming of the Messiah even though Labour only got 40% of the vote and the Conservatives are about to form the government again after winning 50-odd more seats than Labour.

        Aren’t you going to poke shit at me for neglecting to mention the real results won’t actually come until the second round coz only 4 seats were actually decided in the first round?

  5. james 5

    Great news for Team NZ this morning.

    Thru to the Ameriacs cup challenge.

    Would be fantastic if they can pull this off and bring the cup home.

    • bwaghorn 5.1

      should be free to air though as the nz tax payers paid $5 mill ? into it .

      • Muttonbird 5.1.1

        Aye. Corporate welfare gone mad.

        • bwaghorn

          more likely piss poor deal making by the woefully useless nat government.

          just to be clear i like the cup races and i don’t mind funding it with taxs

          • Muttonbird

            I don’t have an issue with it either, just that the public should get more out of the ‘investment’ than some unmeasured benefit to elite, yachty tourism.

            • garibaldi

              The winner will be… just follow the money…. Oracle. They will, once again, out spend and outwit us. Just a prediction though.

            • KJT

              Ask the boat building industry in NZ.

              It should be called the “NZ boatbuilders cup”.

              If boat building had received the same level of subsidy as farming, we could have been world leaders.

  6. gsays 6

    Let me get this straight.
    Some power companies have had their maintenance deficiencies pointed out to them.
    They are going to spend lots of money on infrastructure.
    To do this they are seeking permission to put up prices.
    What the dickens is the line charge on the power bill for?

    How much are the chief executives being paid in these organisations?

    How much ‘profit’ have they returned to the shareholders over the years?

    • bwaghorn 6.1

      we should take the lines back , most of the lines in remote areas where built by the locals then taken by stealth so a few can profit , the lines company in the king country are the biggest crooks out .

      • gsays 6.1.1

        absolutely we should take back what our parents and grandparents paid for.
        and not stop there.
        the generator companies as well.
        some things should not be profitted fiscally from.

    • dukeofurl 6.2

      “What the dickens is the line charge on the power bill for?”

      The power generators are separate from the local lines companies and the main grid ( Transpower)

      Count the power poles in the street, the substations, the maintenance crews who have to repair it when lines are down or transformers fail. I my area they have ongoing power undergrounding in some areas and along busy roads – very expensive to do

    • Draco T Bastard 6.3

      What the dickens is the line charge on the power bill for?

      Maintaining the infrastructure. As they haven’t actually done that these companies should be charged and fined fined several million dollars and the lines renationalised.

      How much are the chief executives being paid in these organisations?

      How much ‘profit’ have they returned to the shareholders over the years?

      Obviously far too much and they’ve failed to provide the service that they were employed for. In most circles this is called theft.

    • David Mac 6.4

      I agree, if a fundamental expense like maintenance isn’t included in the operational budget there should be no dividends to shareholders. Until all the overheads have been addressed there is no profit to share.

      If we are going that way it leaves the road open for me to attach a note to my rates.

      “Dear Council, I’ve had some maintenance issues arise at my property so I have deducted my expenditure from my rates payment, please see attached receipts.”

    • The Chairman 6.5

      Hopefully the Commerce Commission will refuse their request.

      Here’s a little more insight:

  7. Draco T Bastard 8

    The go-betweens

    A few days after this August 11 meeting, Liu Chaoying wired $300,000 into Taiwan-born Chung’s account. Some of this money ended up in the coffers of the Democrat’s Clinton re-election campaign in breach of US laws banning foreign political donations.

    This transaction later became the focus of US criminal and congressional investigations into a major political scandal dubbed Chinagate by the US media. It was part of a broad Chinese plan to influence American politics to favour Beijing’s acquisition of sensitive, advanced technology.

    Which is, of course, why the US, like most countries, doesn’t allow foreign political donations. A foreign country should not have influence in a states politics.

    The US also doesn’t allow military equipment to be made offshore either for the same reason as well as national defence.

    So, why do we?

  8. Wonderpup 9

    I had the privilege to see “An Island of Good” last night: a documentary about an alternative education provider who decided to take 22 really naughty kids to Nepal. There was an interview about it yesterday on Natrad: http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/afternoons/audio/201847204/expelled-students-visit-nepal

    What an amazing crew. The kids were, well, naughty, but you could see how the whole process was affecting them in really positive ways. And then to hear that the YMCA had all its funding withdrawn immediately after for making waves, was heartbreaking.

    its a great watch – it shows some really talented and driven teachers who go beyond what is normally called for, and some kids who we, as a society have consigned to the bin. Its messy, and doesn’t hide from it.

    Highly recommended, and is being considered for inclusion in the NZ Film Festival this year.

  9. I really don’t think you have to worry too much about low lying area’s my old bean…

    Global warming / Climate change is a globalist hoax, – specifically , – one put out and financed by the Bilderbergers….. and why ?… because all carbon tax would have been collected and redistributed into their banks. Those poor old Bilderbergers… they are gnashing their teeth at Trump right this very moment….

    Anyways… make a cuppa and enjoy a ginger-nut and have a wee listen to Lord Monckton for a bit…

    Global Warming Fraud – Lord Christopher Monckton Before … – YouTube
    Video for lord monckton disproves climate change 2017 youtube▶ 26:41

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

  10. Ad 11

    Bernie Sanders has a crack at Trump.
    Enjoy 10 minutes of righteous rage.


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