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Open mike 13/12/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:41 am, December 13th, 2013 - 120 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step right up to the mike …

120 comments on “Open mike 13/12/2013”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    So let me get this right. Paual Rebstock, a total hired gun government stooge, is allowed to comer out and accuse people of leaking on no evidence whatsoever beyond the fact that (in one case) they once worked for the Labour party)?

    What an outrageous slur! How come she is allowed to do that?

    • BM 1.1

      From what I read the labour party chappie looks pretty guilty.
      All the circumstantial evidence points directly at him.

      If you are interested Kiwi blog did a post on it outlining what was in the report.
      http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/12/the_rebstock_report-2.html

      • karol 1.1.1

        All a red herring focusing on the political affiliation of the leaker.

        Brenda Pilot (PSA secretary), has done a selection of tweets on it. Public servants are allowed political affiliations. They should be neutral n expressing advice on policy matters. The issue in question was a restructuring of a department. Public servants should be able to have opinions on that, but increasingly dissent is being suppressed.

        Now Pilot has just linked to this Dom Post editorial:

        Witch-hunts rarely work. The expensive search for the leakers of the Government’s botched plan to revamp Foreign Affairs is no exception. The State Services Commission’s inquiry cost a staggering $500,000 and more than 18 months’ work. It named nobody, although two of the three it casts “strong doubt” on have since been identified as former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Derek Leask, now retired, and New Zealand’s top trade negotiator Nigel Fyfe. The commission built a brewery which produced a pint of beer.
        None of this is convincing.

        The trouble with the “proper channels” argument is that it ignores the reality of power. The plan to upend the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade was a stupid one which would have sacrificed 300 jobs.
        […]

        This sort of “consultation” is cant. The judge in the case is also the executioner. It suits his purposes to have the discussion and the executions behind closed doors. It doesn’t suit the victims. And in this case it would clearly have harmed New Zealand’s diplomatic effort as well. So the ministry promptly leaked like a sieve. Why should these decisions, after all, be made in the dark without the public knowing anything?

        That is why the leakers could argue they had a wider duty than their narrow duty of loyalty to the Government. Of course bureaucrats should not and must not leak willy-nilly. A broadly impartial public service should be able to be trusted with certain kinds of information.
        […]

        In this case there was a wider public duty and therefore the leak was justified. No government has the right to demand silence from the victims of a misbegotten purge. No government should expect the “debate” to be confined to the victims and their executioners. No government should seriously expect this sort of thing not to leak.

        • Arfamo 1.1.1.1

          Just read the full editorial. Well done Dom Post. That’s the wisest commentary I’ve seen on the matter.

    • lprent 1.2

      I suspect it had to do with being paid half a million dollars and not coming up with a result. The money would have probably been better spent on evaluating why a decision was made to cut trade staff at a time when businesses really needed more effort overseas.

  2. Ad 2

    In 2014 I am going to help get rid of this government.
    I want my country back.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Yep.

    • Ake ake ake 2.2

      In 2014 I am going to help get rid of the neolibs and TINAs in Labour and get rid of this government.
      I want my party and my country back.

      • Enough is Enough 2.2.1

        It is to late to tget rid of the neolib in Labour for 2014. With Parker calling the shots on Finance in election year we have to assume Labour is committed to continuing the same failed policies that we have been following since 1984.

        There is only one option to ensure the Neolibs are pushed out or at least silenced.

        Party Vote Green.

        They must have a strong presence around the cabinet table to keep Parker and his dated policies quiet.

        • bad12 2.2.1.2

          Yep, and as more of the Cunliffe converts to the RED Labour Party become disallusioned with business as usual from the party that brought us the Neo-Liberal cluster-f**k in the first place and swing their votes to the Green Party, i can happily vote tactically for the Mana Party to try and bolster their numbers in the next Parliament…

    • Arfamo 2.3

      In 2014 I am going to help get rid of this government.
      I want my country back.

      PM wants to know how much you’re prepared to pay for it. He has other overseas customers expressing the same interest.

  3. millsy 3

    National will win next year’s election.

    That is my sole prediction for 2014.

    Cunliffe will struggle throughout next year, against a confident John Key, who will mount a pretty convincing scare campaign, while Labour will be, again wishy washy.

    It doesnt look like Labour is going to swing left anytime soon anyway. Not while Parker has his way anyway. News of public sector workers getting their pensions slashed in Detroit should have inspired Labour to showcase why our pension system is superior. And any privatisation of retirement income provision will result in pensioners getting bugger all. While Trotters report that Labour doesnt appear to have any enthusasim for fixing the issue of poverty (the blame of while can lie directly at the feet of the Fourth National government, who begun the process of dismantling of our welfare state) should disturb.

    A National win next year will have the obvious ramifications for those at the bottom, who will find their incomes held down for the sake of keeping inflation to between 1 and 2% and keeping middle class interest rates low (and delivering National truckloads of votes), the sick, who will bear the brunt of a possible attempt to resurrect the Upton health reforms, union members, who will find their right to join a union in jeapordy, and our environment, which will be choked up with even more crap.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      I’ll be doing my damndest to make sure that it doesn’t happen like that, mate. If they show the necessary moral courage and alternative vision, Labour and Greens will take next year, and by a margin too.

      • weka 3.1.1

        There’s been this idea that Labour needs to clear out some old wood. How would that work? Is it something that Cunliffe can do? Or is it a membership issue during the selection process before the next election? Or what?

        • JK 3.1.1.1

          Weka – its an MP and membership process before selection, and if the dead wood doesn’t want to go, then Labour is stuck with that ! Its very difficult to unseat a current MP who doesn’t want to go.

          • phillip ure 3.1.1.1.1

            i wonder if these neo-lib driftwood mp’s are playing the ageism/age-brings-wisdom-card..?

            ..and normally i wd agree..age is not a reason for them to go..

            ..the reason for them to go is that these are the faces/mouths who sold that neo-lib/uncaring bullshit from that clark govt for all those years..

            ..that is why they must go…

            ..and what compounds this case for their exit..

            ..is that they not only have not resiled from/apologised for their past errors..

            ..they are still pushing the same t.i.n.a.-bullshit/lies…

            ..and reinforcing that tweedle-dee/tweedledum labour/national comparison..

            ..this is why they must go..

            ..and as an aside..

            ..isn’t mallard..up there in his new seat right next to the exit..

            ..isn’t he so much resembling muldoon in his final days..?

            ..as he sits up there..with his unkempt hair..

            .furiously punching/swiping at his i-pad-screen..

            ..pretending to be relevant..

            ..occaisonally having to suppress a roar..

            ..and just to show how far labour still has to go to become relevant on issues such as poverty..(remember they have their uncaring-history to still overcome..)

            ..who can forget the sighs of relief from the paganis..and their ilk..

            ..at the shelving of that ‘radical’-policy of including beneficiary-families in working for families..by 2018..

            ..eh..?

            ..phillip ure..

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2

          It’s very necessary but also very hard. For electorates the ball is in the court of each local membership, with Wellington only having a partial say. Cunliffe has minimal or no say in that process. Often times a dozen established members in the local organisation will have the majority of the sway at a selection, and they tend to be loyal to their incumbent through thick and thin. For list candidates the list ranking process is more fluid and Wellington has more influence.

          One major problem is that Labour can’t pension MPs off to comfy corporate board jobs in the way that National can.

          • Tiger Mountain 3.1.1.2.1

            The Rogernome weeds need a dose of herbicide and the LECs are the ones that can do it.
            If say they engage local support in numbers like in Auckland Central days when ‘Mad Dog’ Prebble was ACTing up, hundreds used to turn up at meetings.

            The spirit of the more democratic selection rules that enabled the humiliated demoted DC to rise to party leader months later with member and affiliate support, should be grasped by LECs with half a brain or links to lefties in their community. This is a fight to the death for NZ which without a stronger Labour Party will be lost. The Greens can only grow so much further?

            Selection should be denied to anyone that does not support a list of basic left policy, which I hope I do not need to list. I would like to see half the caucus with looks on their faces like those candidly photographed in a corridor after David Cunliffe’s election as leader.

            • Lindsey 3.1.1.2.1.1

              The trouble with that assertion Tiger Mountain is that it did not get rid of Prebble. In the end the voters of Auckland Central decided that Sandra Lee was more Labour than Prebble was. Also, Labour activists left his electorate organisation in droves. I chaired the Kingsland branch of the Mt Albert electorate at the time, and of our 105 members, 60 were domiciled across the motorway in Auckland Central. They were not going to work for Prebble and they didn’t vote for him either.
              In the final campaign, he had bugger all of an electorate organisation. The TV coverage of election night when he lost Auckland Central showed a dozen or so, mostly older people rattling around in the supper room at Trades Hall.

              Yes, people turned out to try and get rid of him, but it was the lack of people to run the campaign that did him in the end when he had no way to counter Sandra Lee’s message or her organisation.

              • Tiger Mountain

                Thanks for responding Lindsey,
                Not saying that the large attendance’s removed Richard Prebble, but it certainly indicated interest in the situation. My general view is the more people that get involved in politics the better.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Lindsey implies a very important point. In the Labour system of doing things a shit MP, or shit right wing MP tends to drive away all the good members, leaving a tiny core of loyalists who will keep re-selecting that MP as the next candidate every single time.

                  Until, as Lindsey points out, the remaining electorate organisation gets so weak, that the Labour MP gets shoved out – by Labour losing the seat.

                  Seriously, the NATs have this process under far better management.

          • weka 3.1.1.2.2

            Ok, but presumably, technically, Cunliffe can remove certain MPs from positions of power within caucus? Or is that power more distrubuted amongst the whole caucus (formally? Informally). What are the ramifications of that?

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      Personally I think all this angst over Parker/retirement age is overblown.

      As far as I can tell, the subject didn’t get much traction in the media at all.

      I’m not that it’s not important, just that folks around this blog have gotten a massive bee in their bonnet about it, and are imagining that it’s something the general public have caught onto and are punishing Labour in the polls for.

      Now, certainly, next year when they actually have to address it as part of their election campaign, it definitely will get attention. I just don’t think it is yet.

      • Rogue Trooper 3.2.1

        Yes +1, always so much ado about nothing, it becomes staid; does the ‘intellectual left’ have to think for everybody , or lead them.For goodness sake, wonder what the ‘objectivists’ make of the apparent facts; “thank you very much” not likely.

    • jcuknz 3.3

      That inflation is kept low is the prayer of all retired who have to wait a full twelve months for adjustments. The only good thing about inflation is that it makes repayment of debt easier assuming the intake of money matches inflation …. but pensions are slow to do that.

      • Lanthanide 3.3.1

        But in times of deflation, those who are on pensions similarly gain an advantage over those 12 months.

        I don’t know if we’ve had a full year of deflation at any time recently, but we certainly have had the odd quarter here and there.

        • alwyn 3.3.1.1

          We haven’t had a full year but we have had 5 quarterly drops in the CPI in the last 10 years, at least that is the number I see in a cursory glance at the Stats website.
          Q4 in each of 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012. The drops were very minor and I don’t think anyone was going to note a vast rise in their standard of living.
          I imagine every economist would agree that deflation is a very serious problem in terms of its economic results. Inflation can be catered for but deflation of any magnitude over an extended period is a disaster.

    • Enough is Enough 3.4

      I am getting very nervous about the 2014 prospects.

      At the beginning of 1999 and 2008, Labour and National respectivley had taken control of the MSM’s narrative of how the election year would play out. In both cases they were in opposition but were generally viewed on as Government in Waiting and were enjoying massive popular support in the polls.

      The left block is marginally ahead at the moment. But the MSM does not realise that we live in a MMP world and as such report it as a National v Labour race. In that race there is only one player.

      The media is powerful. For the majority of people their only exposure to Wellington is what Paddy and Corrin tell them each night at 6pm.

      In 1999 and 2008 we were being told the incumbets were dog tucker. As 2014 dawns we don’t have that message.

  4. Arfamo 4

    Weird stuff happening when I click on comments in the right sidebar today. Sometimes I get taken to the Post heading, not the commenter’s remarks. And the next time I look, the commenter’s disappeared, then reappeared with other more recent commenters, then disappeared again…gremlins?

    • lprent 4.1

      Not sure. But there was a security upgrade to wordpress last night (which took 2 hours to run through our database by the look of it), and a new version of wordpress installed this morning.

      Nothing showed up when testing the betas\. But I’ll have a look at it.

      • Arfamo 4.1.1

        Thanks for that lprent. Whatever it was, the sidebar comments links all seem to be working ok now.

        • lprent 4.1.1.1

          Yeah my tests show the same. Rather than being a server generated error it could just be something local on your browser as well.

          Have to say that the new backend is really nice so far. I also took the opportunity to change the color pattern to “coffee”. I think I was craving caffeine at the time.

  5. Morrissey 5

    Outrage after impostor hijacks Mandela memorial service
    11 December 2013

    “He was moving his hands around, but there was no meaning”; “What happened at the memorial service is truly a disgraceful thing to see”; “Disgusting”; “Shameful hypocrisy” and “It should not happen at all.”

    Those are just a few of the angry comments following an outrageous performance by an impostor at the memorial service for Nelson Mandela.

    Here’s a photo of the fraudster, waving his arm in the air….
    http://cdn1.independent.ie/world-news/article29829821.ece/ALTERNATES/h342/PANews_bfce2d94-f4ec-4d75-b069-6d5218eab9d2_I1.jpg

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/11/mandela-sanitised-hypocrites-apologists-apartheid

    • Bearded Git 5.1

      Brilliant article-everyone should read it.

      • marty mars 5.1.1

        + 1 Yeah I enjoyed it too.

        “and Mandela wasn’t removed from the US terrorism watch list until 2008.” – surprised that wasn’t removed from the official record.

        • Morrissey 5.1.1.1

          Why are you surprised? Do you think the United States is on the side of those who struggle liberation, like Mandela did?

          • marty mars 5.1.1.1.1

            I was being slightly ironic due to the likelihood of embarrassment to the establishment of that fact being known, you know, cos of the funeral and eulogies and stuff.

            • Morrissey 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I know you know that marty. I wasn’t having a go at you personally, I was just re-stating a point.

    • Bill 5.2

      This bit (unfortunately glossing over a momentous fuck up on the part of the ANC during negotiations on the hand-over of power, but pertinent nonetheless)…a lesson for everyone on why political freedom should never be pursued separately from economic freedom.

      There have been important social advances since the democratic transformation of the early 1990s, from water and power supply to housing and education. And in the global climate of the early 90s, it’s perhaps not surprising that the ANC bent to the neoliberal flood tide, putting its Freedom Charter calls for public ownership and redistribution of land on the back burner. But the price has been to entrench racial economic division, unemployment and corruption, while failing to attract the expected direct foreign investment.

      • Paul 5.2.1

        Happened here. Patted ourselves on the back about nuclear free legislation and took eyes off the economy.

    • ianmac 5.3

      Great read Morrissey. Of course the hypocrisy exercised by our PM and past National leaders is galling as well. Suppose they would class it as being pragmatic in a dynamic world that politicians inhabit.

    • Rhinocrates 5.4

      Speaking of sickening displays of hypocrisy, Hoots was oozing over Public Address, saying how he admired Nelson Mandela because he was a champion of freedom, just like Reagand and Thatcher.

      That’s how the right typically works: call them a terrorist or a lunatic, then if they win and eventualy die, appropriate and sanitize their memory and then use it as a stick to beat their successors.

      On a smaller scale, arsewipes like Hoots were continually attacking Rod Donald and when they’d hounded him to his grave, imediately they were calling his successors dangerous and unreasonable, not like that lovely chap Donald.

      • fender 5.4.1

        Yeah I read that sick shit too, what a load of 3rd form dribble. The praise from other commentators has been illuminating and increased the feeling of nausea, but I’m pleased he’s found a home.

      • Paul 5.4.2

        How do people like Hooton wake up in the morning?
        He is intelligent and must know what he is doing. He must know that the policies he proposes harm the weak and the vulnerable.
        Is it vanity? His career? A desire to feather his own nest no matter what the consequences to otherwise? A game?
        Appreciate that no honest answer will eventuate but it does make me think.

    • Dumrse 5.5

      Not only do you cut and paste, you do it a full 24hrs behind everybody else.

      • Murray Olsen 5.5.1

        Makes me wonder why you even come here.

      • Morrissey 5.5.2

        Not only do you cut and paste, you do it a full 24hrs behind everybody else.

        Look carefully, my friend: it’s not a cut and paste. It’s my own work.

        But let’s return to your original, in this case unjustified, complaint: even if it were simply a cut-and-paste, that would have been very fast for me, Dumrse. There are no time limits on classy writing. And, come to think of it, there are no time limits even on writing by the likes of Paul Thomas, Jack Tame or Kerre ohoWmad.

  6. Morrissey 6

    Not a good week for satire—not that Kathryn Ryan would know that
    Radio NZ National, Friday 13 December 2013

    Very interesting interview with Civilian proprietor and panda-bother Ben Uffindell this morning. He’s a bright and funny guy, and had some interesting things to say.

    However, I’m not convinced that Kathryn Ryan is quite up to the task of interviewing him. She’s an Obama-cultist, like her braindead U.S. correspondent Louisa Savage, Bruce Springsteen, Oprah Winfrey and (most notoriously) that hapless high priest of Obama-worship, Jim Mora. That means that she has voluntarily—or was it unwittingly?—removed a key section of her brain, namely that bit responsible for critical thinking and the recognition of irony, murderous hypocrisy and rancid insincerity.

    And true enough, just as I suspected, in an ill-advised attempt to make intelligent conversation, Ms. Ryan dived in and made a really stupid statement. Speaking slowly and carefully in a low voice, to indicate how assiduously she had been thinking, she said: “New Zealand doesn’t have a rich tradition of satire like other countries do. Why do you think that is?”

    In a week of Stalin-style worship of the self-appointed chief mourner at the “memorial service” for a real hero, this is perhaps the worst time ever to claim that “other countries” have a “rich tradition of satire.”

    Shocked and concerned at Kathryn Ryan’s lack of any sense of irony, I flicked her the following email….

    Dear Kathryn,

    During your interview with Ben Uffindell, you claimed that New Zealand does not have “a rich tradition of satire like other countries do”.

    In a week where the sanctimonious oratory in Johannesburg by a major impostor has been slavishly praised by mainstream commentators, and a minor signing-impostor has been showered with hectoring opprobrium, it is quite clear that satire is dead in South Africa, Britain and the United States as well as in New Zealand.

    Even though he clearly didn’t want to open up that can of worms, Ben Uffindell is no doubt aware of the absurdity of the Obama cult; I wonder if you and your colleagues at Radio NZ National are.

    Yours sincerely,
    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point

    Keep listening, guys. She might read it out. Maybe….

    • Tim 6.1

      The only time worth listening to n2n or afternoons Rhino, is when a locum is in place – a Lynne Freeman or a Brennan – both superior to the comfortably off.
      The only good thing about Ryan is that she seems to have negotiated a HUGE amount of annual leave, OR she has some dreadful illness such that RNZ management feel sorry for her and tolerate her frequent absences.
      Roll on ‘silly season’ afternoons. This ‘hater’ is anxious to see the nicest man on Earth get a well deserved break when he can spend some quality time with his nicest woman on Earth wife.

      (Silence, and the sound of birds in the trees is often worthwhile, especially as I cast my eyes across Wgtn city towards RNZ House where that regular gal tries to pretend she abides by BBC style values of ‘journalistic integrity’).

      Plastic. Anti-septic. Comfortable. Unchallenging. Nice. Super-nice. Intellectual bubblegum for the ears. Mundane. Faux empathy. In-touch with the people. Egotistical Linguistic Gymnastics. “Issssssyoos’. Diction. Wanna beed wannabees that wanna came and wanna cconquered. The bestest bestEST ever song ever FORever written – ALL of them supposedly the bEST. Experts in all things – from where Mavis from the Catlins to comfy Pete from Otorahanga come from. Familiarity. Did I mention the niceness?
      How the two of them EVER managed to negotiate their comfy little pozzies in our ‘public service’ radio broadcaster is beyond me – especially when their frequent locums outshine them everytime

      Thank Christ for the off switch though eh? Only slightly better than the other noise on the AM/FM spectrum

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    How porn is destroying modern sex lives:

    The trouble is that this short-term neurological arousal has long-term consequences. Firstly, it can cause desensitisation to the same erotic simuli that turned you on recently and, over the longer term, it can cause a greater likelihood of sexual dysfunction.

    Ok, fine, porn is bad.

    Still, gives another reason to ban advertising.

    • weka 7.1

      And not all porn is equal. Like Wolf, Cindy Gallop talks about how easy access to hardcore porn has changed many men’s ideas about what sex is (and not for the better).

      http://blog.ted.com/2009/12/02/cindy_gallop_ma/

    • karol 7.2

      The problem seems to be to do with the commodification of porn, the ease of distributing it online, and the addictive nature of images and videos that intensify sensation arousal.

      And, yes, I imagine that similar processes work in advertising, and a lot of popular culture that aims to maximise audience share.

  8. captain hook 8

    It takes one to know one. true or not.
    I know Camille Nakhid even though I have never met her. she wants special privileges for herself and friends and what she wants is not democracy but oriental potentate style decison making on a friends and friends basis. another naked grab for power.

  9. BLiP 9

    News of the New Zealand Customs stealing seizing all electronic equipment from returning Kiwi Sam Blackman has made its way into the headlines over at The Guardian:

    . . . A New Zealand man returning home from London for Christmas has claimed he had all his electronic items confiscated at Auckland airport because he attended a debate on mass surveillance at which Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger spoke about the Snowden revelations . . .

    Meanwhile, the European Parliament clears the way for Edward Snowden to appear before it early next year to answer questions:

    The European parliament has voted to formally invite Edward Snowden to give testimony on NSA spying, despite opposition from conservative MEPs. If the US whistleblower provides answers to the questions compiled by parliamentarians in time, a hearing via video link could take place in early January.

    It had looked on Wednesday as if European conservatives were trying to kick the hearing into the long grass. The European People’s party (EPP), the alliance of centre-right parties, had raised a number of concerns about inviting Snowden for a hearing, noting that it could endanger the transatlantic trade agreement with the US.

    For a big picture view of the goings on, digby riffs off an interview with Glenn Greenwald exploring the how the USA Surveillance State reflects the panoptican model:

    . . . The Panopticon is a type of institutional building designed by English philosopher and social theorist Jeremy Bentham in the late 18th century. The concept of the design is to allow a single watchman to observe (-opticon) all (pan-) inmates of an institution without them being able to tell whether they are being watched or not. Although it is physically impossible for the single watchman to observe all cells at once, the fact that the inmates cannot know when they are being watched means that all inmates must act as though they are watched at all times, effectively controlling their own behavior constantly . . .

  10. Puckish Rogue 10

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11172021

    – Looks like whitewashing is rife at the moment

    • karol 10.1

      whitewashing of what? Brown found not to have misused council resources in conducting his 2 year affair with Bevan Chuang, and not to have issued references etc inappropriately.

      He has been found to have had free use of hotel rooms for council business that he didn’t declare, plus some other gifts. This last revelation is wounding to Brown. I despair. He has disappointed those of us who voted for him.

      • tinfoilhat 10.1.1

        He is a lying piece of scum he should resign………. but won’t.

        • karol 10.1.1.1

          No he won’t. Brown’s press release in response to the report. He does an apology, but clearly doesn’t aim to resign.

          “The report notes that over a three-year period I, and my family, stayed privately in hotels in central Auckland on a number of occasions. The arrangements for these hotels were made privately in most cases, and in all cases payment was made privately.

          “My reason for staying in the central city is that I often work until late in the evening – attending meetings, functions or civic events – and I start work early the next morning, often for media interviews or breakfast events. A significant number of these rooms were also booked and used privately by me and my family.

          “I was not charged for nine of these hotel rooms, including one occasion in relation to Ms Chuang.

          “As the report notes, I never used council resources for private accommodation or in relation to Ms Chuang, and I do not hold a council credit card.

          “However, I accept that as Mayor I am subject to a higher standard of public accountability, and in this context I should not have accepted the free rooms offered to me, and should have disclosed this fact when I was asked about it in October.

          “This was an error of judgement and I apologise to the people of Auckland.

          “I remain totally focussed on the issues that matter most to Aucklanders, including improving our transport system, tackling Auckland’s housing crisis and continuing to invest in our future.”

          Hopefully this sets up the possibility for a new left wing candidate, whenever the next Auckland Council election is held. More importantly, Brown let us down over Ports of Auckland. He tends to bow to the neoliberal agenda too often. The search for a new left candidate should start now.

          • tinfoilhat 10.1.1.1.1

            Brown really is scum anyone who voted for him should be furious with his behaviour.

            • Anne 10.1.1.1.1.1

              tinfoilhat, if we apply your logic to our politicians in general then 90% of them are scum.

              You really need to open your eyes a bit fella/felless. It’s been going on since NZ’s first parliamentary precinct. The walls of the current precinct – including the Beehive – could tell a thousand stories worse than Len Brown.

          • gobsmacked 10.1.1.1.2

            As I commented the other day, all Brown has to do is copy John Banks, who has set the precedent for heroic “resignations” … i.e not resigning at all, just saying “I won’t bother standing next time”. (Of course, unlike actual resignations, such a promise can be reversed at any time).

            Having said that, I’m now (drumroll …) withdrawing my defence of Brown. (Shock news – reporters will be banging on my door shortly, pictures at six!).

            I was strongly opposed to the idea that he should be “guilty” of having sex outside marriage, because then there would have to be mass resignations from Parliament and the country would be run by eunuchs in hair-shirts.

            But he’s abused his position re- the hotel rooms (the phone stuff doesn’t matter so much, almost everyone uses a work phone or computer for private use).

            So he’s been an idiot and less than honest, he’s made his (hotel room) bed and can lie in it. I won’t be shouting “Resign!”, but if he does, so be it.

            He may not lose his job. But he has lost my respect.

            • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1.2.1

              Duh, you can’t own up to gifts of luxury hotel room stays if you want to have a secret affair on the sly 😈

              The main question mark over Brown’s competence is – how the hell can you traipse in and out of 5 star hotels at random times of day and night and then not expect anyone to find out??? Literally dozens of people, many of them hotel staff, must have known something was up.

              It’s very interesting that this was kept under the radar for as long as it did – did journos sit on the story?

              • Rogue Trooper

                not good at all. Never been a supporter of the man, just a critic of the political subterfuge against him. Been a rapid-fire year politically; the speed of ‘progress’.

    • fender 10.2

      Is that an attempt to defame Ernst & Young…

  11. amirite 11

    Len brown has received free hotel rooms and room upgrades from SkyCity valued at $6150 and made more than 1000 private calls to Miss Chuang from his council phone.
    I agree he has to go now. That’s corruption.

    But I also think that there should be an investigation into what sort of freebies have John Keys and his Tory cronies received from Sky City in return for changing the nation’s gambling laws and giving preferential treatment to one company competing with others for building the Convention centre.
    Has anyone ever looked into that? I have more than once seen pictures of smiling Key and Missus at the Sky City centre.

    • Puckish Rogue 11.1

      Well Cameron Slater broke the story so maybe someone on the left could investigate

      • karol 11.1.1

        Slater would have served democracy better by focusing on the gifts, hotel rooms etc,instead of wallowing in the sleaze of sexual affairs. He has muddied the waters.

        • Puckish Rogue 11.1.1.1

          He broke story, if he’d done nothing Len would still be there…not that I expect Len to resign because like any good leftie hes got it to good to want to leave voluntarily

          • gobsmacked 11.1.1.1.1

            John Banks is a leftie now?

          • Arfamo 11.1.1.1.2

            That tendency has nothing to do with whether one’s a rightie or a leftie – it has to do with salary, ego, and lack of personal integrity. Something we tolerate as a nation, so it continues.

          • karol 11.1.1.1.3

            Yes. But all he’s done is open the way for a new, fresh left wing candidate. Slater’s objective looked to be to stop Brown being returned as Mayor and/or to get his preferred candidate elected mayor. On that he has failed. And he’s weakened his position for using any further smear campaigns.

            • Puckish Rogue 11.1.1.1.3.1

              Maybe the new, young candidate won’t be a corrupt, lying sleazebag in which case its a win-win for everyone

      • fender 11.1.2

        Slater broke wind and fed you fools with hot air.

        • karol 11.1.2.1

          Slater has damaged his public image, and delivered the left the potential of a new left candidate for mayor in the future.

          • Puckish Rogue 11.1.2.1.1

            “This was an error of judgement and I apologise to the people of Auckland.

            “I remain totally focussed on the issues that matter most to Aucklanders, including improving our transport system, tackling Auckland’s housing crisis and continuing to invest in our future.”

            – Yeah Lens not going anywhere

  12. Morrissey 12

    A reply to Matthew Hooton’s vapourings about Mandela

    After Nelson Mandela died, Matthew Hooton took out an onion and posted this masterpiece of gall and hypocrisy…
    http://publicaddress.net/system/cafe/hard-news-mandela/?p=302690#post302690

    This afternoon, someone drew my attention to Hooton’s post. Shocked by not only Hooton’s cynicism, but the drippily supportive responses for his cant by the likes of Hebe [1] and Craig Ranapia [2] I decided it was time to make my Public Address debut. This is what I wrote….

    Some time soon, I’ll post a more thorough parsing of this bizarre concoction of sentimental posturing and cynical falsehoods, but right now I’ll deal with two statements that stand out above all the rest….

    1.) “….he was alongside Reagan, Thatcher and Gorbachev in the sense of bringing tyranny to an end….”
    That is not true. I’ll put Gorbachev to one side here, as I know as much about him as Barack Obama knows about irony.

    Let’s just deal with Reagan and Thatcher: they were the polar opposites of Mandela, who was a democrat and a champion of human rights and justice. Reagan and Thatcher openly sneered at such notions. Reagan’s scofflaw regime backed and organized a brutal terrorist campaign in Nicaragua, for which it was found guilty in the International Criminal Court in 1986, and was an active backer of Saddam Hussein, the apartheid South African regime that imprisoned Mandela, Chile, Indonesia and Israel, as well as many other brutal anti-democratic governments and dictatorships. Thatcher supported all of the above, and even managed to go one better, when she announced her endorsement of the Khmer Rouge. Even Reagan wasn’t that shameless, or that foolish.

    2.) “Mandela was a guy who would do attack ads with the best (or worst!) of them.”
    Clearly, the implication Hooton wants us to draw here is that because Mandela was a robust and lively politician, that somehow makes him comparable to the likes of Hooton’s scurrilous friend John Ansell, the director of National’s attack ad campaigns and the genius behind National’s race-baiting “Iwi/Kiwi” campaign in 2005. Ansell is a notorious antagonist and hater of all things Māori (he was and no doubt still is a supporter of Alan Titford)—and Mandela has nothing in common with him.

    http://publicaddress.net/system/profile?id=136755

    [1] http://publicaddress.net/system/cafe/hard-news-mandela/?p=302693#post302693
    [2] http://publicaddress.net/system/cafe/hard-news-mandela/?p=303083#post303083

    • Tiger Mountain 12.1

      Good on you Morrissey, the luvvies at PA will be pleased to welcome you aboard am sure. Rusty’s attack poodle Mr Ranapia will be snapping at your heels shortly.

      Hooten is certainly a piece of work. “Gorby” was a Soviet sellout who basically greased the path for oligarchs that appropriated the state property that was worth having.

  13. Hayden 13

    John Key, lying again:

    “They can do that, they have absolutely no reason not to. I can assure Mr Cunliffe the books are in tip top condition – that is the polar opposite position to what they were in when we became the Government.

    John Key, today (http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9515170/PM-playing-down-voter-turnout)

    vs

    I want to stress that New Zealand starts from a reasonable position in dealing with the uncertainty of our economic outlook…. In New Zealand we have room to respond. This is the rainy day that Government has been saving up for…

    Bill English, 2008 (http://www.nzherald.co.nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501219&objectid=10548753&ref=imthis)

    Someone should introduce those two, they could compare notes.

  14. Tautoko Viper 14

    I have just been reading the Anadarko emergency response plan.
    Tier 1- Anadarko cleans it up
    Tier 2- Regional councils clean it up
    Tier 3- Maritime NZ in charge of clean up,

    Click to access AnnexEEmergencyResponsePlan.pdf

  15. smokeskreen 15

    The new rules giving beefed up powers to local body Mayors in New Zealand is really working well in Hamilton at the expense of democracy. It’s a recipe for disaster and a sad day for ratepayers, as they are the losers in all of this. The Mayor can now choose the Deputy Mayor, determine committee structure and appoint members. In the past the will of voters as expressed at the ballot box saw the highest polling councillor appointed deputy mayor and high polling councillors being appointed to chairmanships of significant committees. Sadly, this seems to have all gone out the window in Hamilton and no account has been taken of the poll results in these appointments. This is a real slap in the face for ratepayers and we now have an excellent example of empire building going on at City Hall.

    In today’s Waikato Times we read that the Mayor is now to have five staff members costing ratepayers $365,000 a year. http://www.stuff.co.nz/waikato-times/news/9511892/Hardaker-spends-up-big-on-spin-doctor
    Despite having a significant Public Relations team already in place in the council organisation, she wants her own “spin doctor”. Is this to massage the truth perhaps?

    This all comes with a background of Hamilton City Council having a massive debt ($440 million), caused by the frivolous spend up by a previous council on the V8 racing fiasco and an event centre. There have also been many staff made redundant and budgets have been slashed, services have been severely curtailed and service fees increased, all in the quest to “balance the books”.

    Added to this, only a small percentage of eligible voters chose to exercise their voting right. They have no room for complaint. It’s the likes of us who did bother to vote that have to live with the consequences.

  16. Good stuff here by Gareth Hughes – this report should open some eyes and solidify resolve.

    Interestingly Anadarko itself models a higher flow rate for an oil spill than Greenpeace did in their report and it shows the Government were wrong to attack Greenpeace as ‘scaremongering,’ when in fact they were being conservative with their numbers. Even the Texan cowboys Anadarko say if there is a deep sea well blowout there is a 2/3 chance we could see oil wash up on our beaches!

    http://blog.greens.org.nz/2013/12/13/anadarkos-deep-sea-oil-drilling-information-blowout/

  17. len brown will be interviewed on campbell live 2nite..

    ..i went to the mandela service in ak..and brown spoke..

    ..i so so wanted to heckle ..

    ..phillip ure..

  18. Dumrse 18

    I can’t help thinking there is a headline out there somewhere that looks a bit like…..Phil Goff teaches public servants how to behave in a treacherous manner.

  19. gobsmacked 19

    Results in …

    http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/2013_citizens_referendum/

    Minority vote high enough to legitimise referendum. Turnout good.

  20. gobsmacked 20

    2 electorates voted “Yes” – Epsom and Tamaki. All others “No”, including Key’s own, Helensville.

    Maori electorates highest “No” votes (yep, the maori party are finished).

    • veutoviper 20.1

      As you say, the electorate vote breakdowns are telling with only Epsom and Tamaki Yes votes exceeding No votes – but not by much.

      Epsom 54.6% Yes; 45.0% No
      Tamaki 53.2% Yes; 46.4% No

      The Maori electorates are amazing with all seven recording No votes in the 90% ranging from 91.0% to 94.7% – although turnout was slightly lower than the overall rate, ranging from 28.9% to 33.5%.

  21. BM 21

    Less than 1/2 of eligible voters.

    What a waste of money, money that could have been spent on the poor but instead blown of this waste of time.

    Shame on you Greens, Shame.

  22. SPC 22

    Apparently Anadarko considers Greenpeace’s level of risk assessment as valid, despite the PM calling them extreme case scenarios/alarmist.

    The information being released on a Friday. I suppose leaving this to next week or early in the New Year was rejected as being too obvious a low publicity disclosure.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1312/S00212/anadarko-discharge-management-plan-available.htm

    http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2013/12/whos-scaremongering-now.html

    Coober Pedy, South Australia = a shale oil find at 700 metres. Potential 233B barrels. Over 10% of current world reserves.

    A find of geo-political significance.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-25/linc-energy-in-shale-talks-with-oil-services-company-in-u-s-1-.html

    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/Australia-Next-Petro-Superstate.html

    http://oilandenergyinvestor.com/ext/arckaringa/articles/20-million-oil-find-to-unleash-energy-war.php?src=taboola&ad=ad7
    .
    With the existing oil reserves in SA/Iraq/Iran/Libya/Russia/Kazakhstan/Nigeria/Venezuela, OPEC has problems now with resumed flow from Iraq,Iran and Libya and the development of shale oil exploitation capacity in North America without such huge finds as this.

    How economic is deep sea oil exploration in this environment, even if there is a discovery?

  23. joe90 23

    The NOAA Arctic report card update and James Hansen addresses the American Geophysical Union fall meeting.

    http://www.arctic.noaa.gov/reportcard/

    http://cdnapisec.kaltura.com/index.php/kwidget/wid/_922621/uiconf_id/21384601/entry_id/1_o17ip0if

  24. Rogue Trooper 24

    and then there’s This , officer.

  25. Tim 25

    Interesting current Keiser Report.
    Homozygosity – the phenomenon that keeps the National Party and the banker’s class alive (and oure, and entitled)

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