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Open mike 14/12/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 14th, 2020 - 27 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

27 comments on “Open mike 14/12/2020 ”

  1. KSaysHi 1

    We knew this already, but sleepily ignored for the most part.

  2. Andre 2

    Carbon tax is getting another flurry of articles in the media, spurred by Canada's announcement of a nationwide carbon tax of CAD$170/ton by 2030.


    One of the many points in favour of a carbon tax is that it gets support across the political spectrum, if it's reasonably well designed. Here's noted extreme RWNJ Eric Crampton in support of Canada's carbon tax:


    A key point is what Canada proposes to do with the revenue from the carbon tax. It's going to be divvied up evenly among Canadians and rebated back to them. So people with low carbon emissions will be better off, they'll get more back from the rebate than they pay in tax. But the high emitters pay more, preferably a lot more. This is the model used by British Columbia for quite a while now, and it has broad support there.

    Another key point is that a carbon tax directly targets the behaviour we want to eliminate. None of the monkeying around trying to hide it as something else, or setting up weird trading schemes that imply some sort of "right to pollute". Just the simple message that if you dump hazardous waste into the atmosphere, you have to pay, no ifs buts or maybes.

    The main flaw I see in the proposal is that it targets a price, and gives the message that whatever reductions achieved are OK. I'd rather see a scheme that spells out the emissions reductions targets, and spells out that the carbon tax will rise as quickly and as high as needed to meet the emissions reduction targets.

    • Ad 2.1

      Nice! Actually encouraging!

      I understand your quibble at the end but price is a pretty universal form of legible value.

      I'm looking forward to seeing what Biden can get through the Senate on this.

      • Andre 2.1.1

        I'd expect that if a carbon tax were designed around reduction targets, with price as the variable to be adjusted in order to meet the targets, then it would also include the modelling results of what the price trajectory would be. Something like year 1 $10/ton, year 2 $20/ton, year 3 $30/ton, year 4 $50/ton, year 5 $70/ton, year 6 $90/ton, year 7 $110/ton, year 8 $140/ton, year 9 $170/ton …

        It's also worth bearing in mind that if the tax works as intended, the rebate back to low emitters would rise for a few years, then fall back down as emissions dropped and there becomes less carbon tax revenue to divvy up and rebate back out. It is purely a temporary thing to speed the transition to a zero-emissions economy.

    • bwaghorn 2.2

      While I'm sceptical that it would reduce emmisions it's a far better idea than carbon tax income going into some world wide trading scheme .

  3. Ad 3

    Andre what's your feeling on the Georgia Special for January 5th?

    Also do you think Biden will go for full statehood for Washington DC and Puerto Rico – and get 2 more Senate seats inbound?

    • Andre 3.1

      Well, my record on predictions in US politics is even worse than yours on Brexit, but since you've asked … here cometh the waste of pixels.

      I'm hopeful about the Georgia senate by-elections. My take on the disappointing results down-ballot on Nov 4th is that good Repug results were driven by MAGAmorons turning out for Crassius Cray-Cray himself, and they voted for down ballot Repugs just because. Now that Hairplug Himmler is not on the ballot, that enthusiasm won't be there. Indeed, we've had the gobsmacking spectacle of MAGAmorons actually discouraging voting and directly attacking the idea of turning out for Insider Trading Barbie and Chicken Man.

      Furthermore, Biden comes across as so innocuous and harmless, moderate Republicans won't feel as motivated to turn out to deny him the senate. At the same time, Georgia Democrats will be energised by the Nov 4th example that when they actually get the turnout, they can get the result.

      I don't think Biden will try for DC and Puerto Rico statehood, though he won't try to block it if someone else takes it up. It's just too low a chance of actually getting a result, and Biden will have more than enough on his hands trying to rebuild from the vandalism and scorched earth of the last four years. It will also be much too easy for Repugs to paint a DC and PR statehood effort as Dems trying to pack Congress for their partisan benefit – even though PR would probably be closer to purple than blue.

      • Andre 3.1.1

        Here's some MAGAmorons I could really encourage …

        (warning, the video opens with the volume up painfully loud)

        • millsy

          Very overly simplistic comparison so take with a grain of salt, but MAGA seems to have morphed into a right wing version of the cultural revolution, with Trump = Mao and the MAGAts = the Red Guards, only the goal of Trump’s people is to restore their version of the ‘Four Olds’.

  4. Treetop 4

    The previous Deputy Speaker Anne Tolley made changes to the tax payer paying out damages to a person in a defamation case, think last August. Since 2001 MPs have had assistance when it comes to legal fees.

    Now that Tolley is no longer an MP Mallard is in the spotlight. Recall that Tolley was involved with a breach of privacy when it came to Peter's NZ super annuation payment, Bennett was to.

    This is where I get peeved off. Not enough is being done by any political party about historical or current sexual harassment, indecent assault, sexual assault or gaslighting in parliament or by government agencies e.g police, defence force, fire and emergency. The Mariya Taylor case which has gone to the Supreme Court is an historical example. Legal fees for this by the defence force is over $800k.

    • Treetop 4.1

      Correction the defence force and government legal fees are nearly 900k.

      How much more dysfunctional can it get when the government is doing this to one person?

      This needs to change. I am sick of the BS bla bla from every political party on sexual crime. The ACC Act for mental injury (both historical and current) is a disgrace and the legislation used (the Crimes Act 1961) is so out dated.

    • alwyn 4.2

      As I understand it it was Mallard who pushed through the changes that allowed damages to be paid by the State where an MP had, as Trevor would certainly seemed to have done, defamed someone.

      Tolley was involved only because it was the Speaker who was trying to get bailed out and it is a general principle that a person cannot approve the payment of money to themselves. Thus Anne, as deputy, had to decide whether Trevor qualified and therefore should get the money. She was not the person who pushed through the changes to the scheme.

      • Phillip ure 4.2.1

        the whole thing stinks…

        ..of corruption…

      • Treetop 4.2.2

        Tolley signed off on it. Yes I did look it up and Mallard pushed for it. It was in the interest of Tolley to do so. The bigger picture was, what was going on in the National party at the time with the caucus privacy breaches. Mallard did them a favour by changing the rules.

        • Jimmy

          Mallard did himself a favour too.

          • Treetop

            There is a cartoon on stuff.co.nz about cash from above.

            Mallard is not denying his behaviour and he has apologised.

            Knowing what the terms are for sexual offences under the Crimes Act 1961 is in every MPs interest to know the difference and what they are.

            Some sort of on the spot test and many MPs would fail.

        • Louis

          "Yes I did look it up and Mallard pushed for it"

          Can you provide a link to that please.

          Anne Tolley said "It didn't seem right that there was not a similar protection for him" saying "I was surprised, in fact, that they didn't [qualify for legal financial support] so we set up a system whereby they did,"

          "The decision I made was to put in place a process that gave the speaker of Parliament the same protections as a Cabinet minister" saying "At some stage National will be in government and they will have a speaker. We're a much more litigious community these days, so it may well be that National's speaker gets into trouble."

          Which doesn't sound like Mallard pushed for it nor was Tolley forcibly coerced to do it and she had sought advice from the Solicitor-General and from Crown law before signing it off.


  5. Ad 5

    Very interesting to see Greta Thunberg pop our smug reverie about climate change responsiveness, and then James Shaw have to respond hard against her:


    This government sure could do with more international pressure on carbon trading to see that our reputational risk is our most important trade risk and hence economic sustainability risk.

    • Stuart Munro 5.1

      sure could do with more international pressure

      Or they could do their job for once in their ineffectual lives, and listen to the people they ostensibly represent. Plenty of local folk could tell them, if they were not too big-headed to listen.

    • arkie 5.2

      respond hard against her

      "Greta Thunberg is essentially pointing out what we already know: that we have a long way to go to narrow the gap between what our emissions are right now, and what they need to be in the future.

      "We are working on this as quickly as we can and the declaration of a climate emergency is actually helping – because now every part of government is clear that action to cut emissions is a priority.

      "This is what climate emergency declaration should do. It is not an end in itself, rather it signals our intent to do everything we can to tackle the climate crisis and build a better, safer future for our kids and grandkids.

      "Over the next 12 months, we will agree the first three emissions budgets required under the Zero Carbon Act, publish an emissions reduction plan to meet these budgets, consider updating New Zealand's target under the Paris Agreement, and adopt a plan to meet our international obligations for the period 2021-2030.

      "Work is underway on each of these and together they will ensure we are playing our part to cut global emissions in half by 2030."


      Sounds like he's agreeing with her to me

      • Ad 5.2.1

        Yeah nah the PM has had to back him up as well.

        Greta is one of the most powerful influencers on earth.

        • arkie

          As he is a minister in the government she leads, that's to be expected.

          Our international reputation was already damaged following the exposure of the hollowness of the 100% pure nz campaign. The tourism that it was sustaining isn't returning soon either.

          Greta Thunberg is continuing to highlight the ineffectiveness of the incremental approach successive governments have taken. And so should we all.

    • Louis 5.3

      “I would, of course, give the context there that, if that was the sum ambition of any government, then that would be worthy of criticism.

      “It is not our sum ambition. And it is not the totality of our plans on climate change,” she said.

      Ardern said she thinks it is a “good thing that there are people out there continuing to urge ambition and action”.


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