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Open Mike 14/03/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 14th, 2017 - 70 comments
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70 comments on “Open Mike 14/03/2017”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    Why liberals are no longer left wing reason number 3,567,190:

    http://thespinoff.co.nz/society/13-03-2017/the-spinoff-reviews-new-zealand-9-uber-eats/

    “…Before we get started, this is not a review of Uber as an ethical company, just a review of the service we received…”

    So, the hipster liberal reviewers at thespinoff admit the KNOW Uber is known for a regressive, aggressive, abusive and anti-woman corporate culture. They KNOW it has a CEO who is a complete arsehole who abuses his position of power. They admit they KNOW Uber actively conspires to defeat law enforcement and regulators and flagrantly flouts the law in most countries. They are aware it plans to destroy local industry with uncompetitive behaviours then rack rent them for a bunch of foreigners gain.

    But hey, I got tacos in a nice brown bag delivered to my office, so, whatever.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 1.1

      And Greyball….let’s not forget that – it’s the best demonstration of Uber ethics

      https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/03/technology/uber-greyball-program-evade-authorities.html?

    • Ad 1.2

      If it wasn’t Uber it would be something pretty similar doing the same thing. That genie is out of the bottle.

      Same with AirBNB. Even Amazon.

      The regulatory framework in New Zealand – and most of the world – hasn’t kept up with this kind of technological change.

      It’s pretty mean but people are not particularly loyal to older and inferior kinds of service.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1

        It’s pretty mean but people are not particularly loyal to older and inferior superior kinds of service.

        FTFY

        From what I’ve been reading, on average, Uber is bring service quality down because it’s avoiding the regulations that do exist and lobbying to get rid of them.

        • Ad 1.2.1.1

          Well, I guess you have to reflect on why people are flocking to Uber.
          Now, I don’t have to like them, but what younger people tell me, is:

          – they really like the personalised service
          – they like being able to track the progress of the vehicle on their phones
          – they like not having to deal with cash
          – they like the market-enforcement of being able to rate the drivers’ performance and attitude immediately
          – they like not even having to interact with the driver at all and can simply slip in and out of the back seat with otherwise anonymity; no more vacuous small talk, ZB-opinion inanities, or snide sexism
          – they like that all their friends trust it
          – they like that in many places and times it’s price and convenience competitive with public transport – if indeed public transport even exists
          – they like that they can carry their accounts to any city and indeed globally

          And all of these features could have been picked up by the traditional taxi companies quite some time ago, but are of course too lazy.

          • BM 1.2.1.1.1

            If you’re in South Africa the only safe way to get around is by Uber, that’s because the gangs control the taxis.

            You could be in a taxi and then find yourself under attack and getting shot at by a rival taxi service or you may find yourself taken into one of the many shanty towns and robbed or ransomed or killed.

            • Red Hand 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Please send a documented example of the “could” scenario you spewed in the second a paragraph. It could just be a nightmare.

              • BM

                Partner was in Johannesburg last year, this is what she was told by the locals.

                On the day she left on the way to the airport there was a holdup because of a shoot out on one of the motorways between rival taxi firms.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.2

            they like that in many places and times it’s price and convenience competitive with public transport – if indeed public transport even exists

            It’s priced so low because Uber (The company) is pretty much forcing the drivers to accept less than enough to survive on.

            It can only be competitive with the price of public transport because of the delusions of our financial system. In physical reality, public transport is always cheaper.

            And all of these features could have been picked up by the traditional taxi companies quite some time ago, but are of course too lazy.

            They could have done but they were, IMO, just focussed upon their traditional way of doing business and no-one in a position to change things was even asking what was a better way to run taxis and the people at the bottom just couldn’t give a damn. And that pretty much sums up the problem with hierarchical business models.

            Now, I’m actually supportive of the idea behind Uber but it’s classical rentier capitalism. A few people are making millions from the work of others. They really are breaking laws around the world and are lobbying to get rid of the regulations that protect both the workers and the customers.

            • BM 1.2.1.1.2.1

              Don’t worry too much about the uber drivers as soon as driverless vehicles are ready they’ll be given the boot.

              No more exploitation, problem solved.

              • Draco T Bastard

                I’m looking forward to the removal of drivers from our roads.

                But there’ll still be exploitation due to private ownership of the robots giving a few people income from other peoples work even if only indirectly.

                • Ad

                  There will still be a fleet of public sector transport robots to compete with the private ones: trains within 2 years, and buses thereafter.
                  Again, public sector far more cautious than the market – as they should be.

                  But net result is whole passenger transport market is revolutionizing and the state is in perpetual catchup at the moment. Can’t find sympathy for either the state or traditional taxi companies. Not like they couldn’t see it coming.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Again, public sector far more cautious than the market – as they should be.

                    Which is a rather strange statement considering that it’s always been the public sector and public funding that’s pushed technology.

                • BM

                  Robots will be taxed

                  • Ad

                    Because they have been so far. Not.

                    • BM

                      How do you think governments will raise tax revenue with 30% + unemployment.

                      Paye is one of the only taxes that businesses can’t minimise.

                    • Ad

                      BM I keep waiting for the Great Leap Backward from this current phase of technological disruption. So far, pretty good. And really good for the customers.

                    • BM

                      Yoy must not have thought much of Grant Robertsons Future of work project?

          • adam 1.2.1.1.3

            So you not talking to young disable people then Ad. Your list would be very different.

            But sure smash up the only option disabled people have for getting around so people can have cheap fares. It was precarious as it stood, now with Uber it just ripping the guts out of the service for disabled.

            Another example of the free-market capitalism at it’s stupid best. Hurting those at the bottom so the rich get richer, and the middle class can ignore the suffering.

          • weka 1.2.1.1.4

            “– they like that they can carry their accounts to any city”

            How many cities in NZ have Uber?

    • james 1.3

      Not just tacos – but Miss Moonshines – which is awesome !

  2. Andre 2

    Is turning left the path to electoral success? Some interesting arguments why it’s not.

    “Take a look at results from several pivotal Senate races. In two Midwestern states, Wisconsin and Ohio, Democrats ran Sanders-esque populists — former Sen. Russ Feingold and Gov. Ted Strickland, respectively. Both lost by a wider margin than Hillary Clinton did in their state. By contrast, the Democratic candidates who most outperformed Clinton’s statewide results — Missouri’s Jason Kander and Indiana’s Evan Bayh — ran as economic centrists.”

    “In this context, tacking to the left on economics won’t give Democrats a silver bullet to use against the racial resentment powering Trump’s success. It could actually wind up giving Trump an even bigger gun. If Democrats really want to stop right-wing populists like Trump, they need a strategy that blunts the true drivers of their appeal — and that means focusing on more than economics.”

    http://www.vox.com/world/2017/3/13/14698812/bernie-trump-corbyn-left-wing-populism

    • Ad 2.1

      Andre you’re just stirring the olde worlde commies.
      We’ll be lucky in most parts of the world if any kind of non-hard-right government gets in anywhere.

      • Andre 2.1.1

        Old skool socialism isn’t hip anymore. Blair’s Third Way has run it’s course. Triangulation has gone pear-shaped. What’s the fourth dimension going to look like? Until that emerges I’ll settle for a progressive push from the baseline we’ve got.

  3. Sanctuary 3

    “…Old skool socialism isn’t hip anymore….”

    I’d put money on you being to old to actually know if this was true.

    • james 3.1

      regardless – seen Corbyns poll results (and election results) lately. Not just un-hip – its turning toxic.

      • KJT 3.1.1

        Nothing to do with the disunity in UK labour, fomented by their versions of the ABC’;s, of Course?

        • james 3.1.1.1

          Yeah – your probably right – its all that Corbyn is more popular than ever. I stand corrected.

    • Andre 3.2

      You’d win that bet. But Mt Albert seems to be quite the breeding colony of hipsters, and we just had a very thorough opinion poll there.

      • weka 3.2.1

        No, you didn’t, and I really wish you would stop with the misleading spin on that one.

        • Andre 3.2.1.1

          What’s misleading about it? That by-election would have been the perfect time to send a message to Labour and Greens to turn left by voting for Joe Carolan or Penny (or TOP if you prefer that direction). There was absolutely nothing politically significant at stake in terms of the makeup of parliament. Hell, I probably would have voted for Joe if I was in Mt Albert, for exactly that reason.

          Personally, I’m probably almost as keen as anyone else here to see corporate power reined in hard, taxes go up on the wealthy to pay for improved social services, health, education, housing and all the other good stuff. But I really don’t see evidence that going hard for those is a winning strategy electorally. So I’ll settle for second-best, a moderate Labour/Green government that can actually win and move things slowly and incrementally in a better direction.

          • weka 3.2.1.1.1

            You are an utter idiot if you think people not voting for Joe Carolan is a sign they don’t want to go left. I want NZ to go left, I wouldn’t have voted Carolan, but then I’m a strategic voter.

            (TOP aren’t left wing).

            And that’s not even getting to the intricacies of by-elections and that one in particular.

            People vote for massively varying reasons, it’s just not valid to extrapolate from that election. The only way to know would be to do some actual research across the population.

            • Andre 3.2.1.1.1.1

              “The only way to know would be to do some actual research across the population.”

              I’m fairly confident Labour and the Greens both have teams of experts doing exactly that.I’m also confident the leadership of both parties is paying attention to what that research is saying and incorporating it into their positioning. (Yes, I know Green policy is set by members, but the leadership still has a hell of a platform for talking about their preferred direction).

              In any case, I really have my doubts that research is a better indicator of what people will get out and vote for than actual election results.

              • weka

                I wasn’t meaning research on who people will vote for (I agree that L/G will be doing that). I was meaning research on whether people want NZ to got left again. How that was worded and what it meant would be critical.

                I don’t have a problem with parties being pragmatic, but much of what is happening in NZ has been driven by the neoliberals in Labour and NZers not having valid political choices that are good cultural fits. There’s also the issue of why the Greens’ research shows something like 28% of people want to vote for them, but only 11% do on the day. I think there are many reasons for that.

                Scotland would be a good example of a country heading leftwards. So it can be done, it just can’t be done in NZ because of our political history. Little can’t become a Sturgeon, and Labour can’t apparently get over the 80s. We’re stuck with that in the meantime, but that’s a different thing than saying NZers don’t want to go left.

                • Andre

                  I’d be surprised if Labour and Greens research didn’t include trying to find out which variants of policies were perceived most favourably, ie how far “left” they should go for best electoral success.

          • Carolyn_nth 3.2.1.1.2

            Carolan has always seemed very good on left wing politics when I’ve seen him on Auckland demos. I must admit though I am a little wary of him because of accusations a few years back that Carolan had suppressed some fairly widespread women’s concerns about some sexual harassment by a left wing man. These accusations were supported by other left wing women.

            Maybe Carolan has now seen the error in his past behaviour. Everyone can change. But I would look closely at his recent record before deciding whether or not to vote for him.

            • weka 3.2.1.1.2.1

              Yep. He strikes me as authoritarian left too, which isn’t going to attract many. I see our best bet in NZ* as the working together across difference, including collaboration between the left, liberals and those who don’t position themselves on the left/right spectrum. The biggest obstacle to that that I can see is a particular sub-culture within the left made up mainly of white men who are against what they call identity politics. Not sure where Carolan fits in that, but the history of men within the left of suppressing issues around sexual assault is not good.

              *or more likely, collaboration between the people that care about others.

              • Carolyn_nth

                Well, if i was voting in an electorate where Carolan had no hope of winning, I wouldn’t vote for him. there’s probably a few other women would do the same.

                It’s a hard one re-the authoritarian left, because they do campaign for some issues, such as affordable housing, living ages, etc, that I strongly support.

                But, I prefer a more collaborative approach between the diverse left wing factions.

                • weka

                  I was thinking today about how if we got a L/G govt (no NZF to keep the thought experiment simple), what that would be like here and in the political and media scenes. Mostly about whether we would be putting the boot into the new govt or supporting them. And what it meant to even be thinking about that. I want to support people like Turei and Davidson and even Little. But I want them accountable too. I don’t think we have good mechanisms for that, just the old left activist ones. Either that or I’ve spent too much time in the macho culture on TS 😉 (that’s almost certainly true).

                  So, would love to have more conversations about collaboration 🙂

                  • Carolyn_nth

                    Collaboration between left wing factions is a tough one. It can involve some intense differences of opinion.

                    Back in the 60s to 80s, women’s, gay and Māori (and people of colour elsewhere) did organise separately as well as joining in with other groups on political campaigns (think 1981 tour, and miners’ strike in the UK).

                    And this separate but linked organisation did also occur under Labour governments (in Aussie, the UK, and NZ).

  4. Ad 4

    New RMA gets reintroduced to Parliament today for start of second reading.

    Let’s see where those Ministerial powers got to.

    This is a biggie.

  5. greywarshark 5

    On RadioNZ earlier – short interview
    How should NZ prepare for the disruption of Artificial Intelligence?
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=201836523

    The Institute of Directors says Artificial Intelligence is set to have an enormous impact on the way business and society operates, including productivity and employment. Kathryn Ryan talks with Felicity Caird, manager of the Institute’s Governance Leadership Centre about how we can prepare.

    And incidentally we won’t cope at all if we just sit back and accept uber as discussed in #1 and think like the ‘young people’ that Ad refers to in 1.2.1.1who are going for uber.

    • Ad 5.1

      Bloody young people.
      Appalling.
      I mean the world today.

      • greywarshark 5.1.1

        AD
        So true. The world today is what we are all concerned about eh.
        The trite phrase has become the cornerstone rallying point.

  6. greywarshark 6

    Children being abused in state care is a continuing reality and tis is being aired as a result of knowing that a majority were Maori.

    life and society
    8:27 am today
    State abuse claim lodged with Waitangi Tribunal
    From Morning Report, 8:27 am today
    Listen duration 5′ :36″ Add to playlist

    Survivors of abuse in state care have lodged a claim with Waitangi Tribunal alleging Maori children were singled out to be placed in institutions, where they were abused.

    It is possible to adopt better conditions for care. There are other ways to care for children. I have been reading about the author Leslie Thomas and he went into an orphanage and did well. And they were both more responsible and with a little looseness instead of stern rigid punitive behaviour. A couple of tearaways used to get out now and then have a day away and then turn themselves into the police who would give them a bit of food and return them. The police obviously weren’t on prescriptive contracts telling them not to do anything warm and human for errant citizens. And the orphanage kept on trying to guide them along good paths and give them good care.

  7. You cannot help but notice the atmosphere of suspicion when you go into the Ministry of Social Development umbrella agency offices. Whether it is W.I.N.Z. to apply for the unemployment benefit or C.Y.F.S. for help with a child, do you ever get the feeling that Ministry on the whole doesn’t want to have you in their offices?

    https://willnewzealandberight.com/2017/03/14/being-a-ministry-of-social-development-client/

    • adam 7.1

      You mean the guards on the door demanding ID before entry.

      Try going with someone as a support person, I refused to show ID, got very odd, very quickly. Threatening even, I just asked what legal basis did they have to exclude me from a government building, which my family and I have paid for.

      The answer, policy – health and safety. So political correctness to get us to think the right way, and now health and safety to limit our movements. And national party supporters called labour the nanny state party, it be sad if it was not so frightening.

      • weka 7.1.1

        Did you have to show ID in the end?

        • adam 7.1.1.1

          Yes, other wise the person I was supporting would not have had me there. It was my library card.

          • weka 7.1.1.1.1

            Thanks, I’m on the look out for people getting in without an ID, but it sounds like it is mandatory now across the board. Library card, that’s without a photo?

            For me it’s another piece in the fascism puzzle that National are carefully constructing. We are having our own Tr*mpville and most people aren’t even noticing.

            One thing that worries me is that I have no idea which if these things L/G will roll back once in power.

            • adam 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah not photo, I was talking fast and it was the only thing I had on me – more by good luck than management.

              I agree, this is a step to far into state control.

              I’m not holding my breath weka, it seems the main parties globally are just amping up the power of the state to control peoples lives, then passing it amongst themselves.

              • weka

                I still trust the Greens, but there’s only so long they can hold that integrity and stay in parliament. NZ has the chance to so something like Scotland but for some reason won’t. Not that I think the Greens are the ultimate answer 😉 but I think they will give us a much better chance of heading in the right direction as the worlds gets hotter and more dangerous.

                • adam

                  One can hope.

                  I don’t disagree with your approach weka, but if we don’t have politicians in fear of the people. We are going to get stomped on.

                  People need to realise, they actually have the power.

                  They should fear us. We are the ones who they need, not the corporate phallus the current crop of Tory politicians seem to worship.

                  • weka

                    I’m really curious where that idea comes from, that they should fear us. And what do you mean by that e.g. how should we be scaring them?

                    • weka

                      e.g. how would you reconcile the need to scare politicians with this?

                      Cat Among the Pigeons

                    • adam

                      Old democratic adage. If I know you, and you live next door will you destroy me and my family for some political gain? You would worry whilst I’ve been forced out of my house because of your actions, what I would do.

                      One of the best ways is to have honest fear. An example of this is have the ability to recall elected representatives. Notice how no political parties go there. Not one even comes close. Imagine the ability to recall a representative who lied, or voted against what they were elected for?

                      Another example of honest fear is the ability to remove the incentives from elected officials if they break trust, lie, or otherwise twisted the things they do, in the name of political expediency.

                      But, we are not there yet, we have a political system where by the politicians fear people, so it ratchets up the threat of violence towards them. Both economic and physical. Ask anyone who has been beaten up by a cop, or had a sanction imposed by work and income.

                      I say we should remind politicians we don’t like violence, and that they should not use their monopoly on violence, on the population.

          • dv 7.1.1.1.2

            Yeh, like that shows really who you are!!!

      • mary_a 7.1.2

        @ adam (7.1) … re your final paragraph.

        “The answer, policy – health and safety. So political correctness to get us to think the right way, and now health and safety to limit our movements. And national party supporters called labour the nanny state party, it be sad if it was not so frightening.”

        I’m surprised you weren’t told you were forbidden entry without ID in the name of National Security, for the good of the people, in the name of the Queen etc! History repeating itself. Perhaps that will be next on the Natzaratzi’s fascist agenda to be able to enter WINZ offices!

        The well worn policy of “National Security and For the Good of the People”, covers everything and is all empowering for the state and its rotten departmental dictators to enforce!

        This is bully state.

      • Kay 7.1.3

        The ID thing started after MSD got convicted under H&S legislation over the shootings. That tragedy (which none of us ever condoned of course) was exploited big time by a certain Minister to convince the populous we’re all potential murderers; being prosecuted and told off by the Court is yet another excuse to further that status.

        It’s also being used as a another method to deter people from getting the help they are entitled to UNDER CURRENT LEGISLATION by way of intimidation. Can’t get through to them at their call centre, tough shit if you don’t have internet access, now lets put people off just going in to pick up/drop off paperwork or get any basic information. All part of the plan.

        • Cinny 7.1.3.1

          Armourguard are making a fortune contracting out their services.

          Would it not be more economically sound for MSD to hire guards if they deem it necessary rather than a company to supply them?

          Silly me, I guess it depends whether one has shares in Armourguard or not.

        • Cinder 7.1.3.2

          I got ID checked last month – I was expecting it, but thought I would see how I went presenting my Community Services Card. After all, that is a piece of ID actually issued by MSD which is accepted many places.

          It worked fine, which is just as well as I do not drive and am not in the habit of carrying my passport with me.

          The Health & Safety thing is BS anyway – As you can show up with valid photo ID, but they are not going to check your bag or belongings for a gun, knife, bomb etc…

          Given the average age and stature of the Armourguard staff I have seen working at MSD / WINZ offices I don’t think they could stop a truly determined attacked anyway (Not to belittle the Armourguard staff who are trapped in a horrible situation).

          And where is the Health and Safety commitment to the numerous clients I have seen in tears in an open plan office, with their despair and grief visible to the 30+ people in the room?

          • weka 7.1.3.2.1

            I think the ID thing is so that they can identify people who have been barred or are known/believed to be potentially a threat, from entering. Like you say, they won’t be able to stop someone from attacking them generally. It’s still fucked up, because if they really wanted to make their workers safe they’re create a safe culture, but of course what they are doing is covering their arses, safety for the people on the ground (staff or clients) isn’t actually the issue.

        • adam 7.1.3.3

          Like I said Health and Safety is becoming just another tool to use against the people.

          I’m not sure they have the right to restrict access to service like this, but unless people actually protest over this, nothing is going to happen.

          I don’t condone the killing, but if human decency was on display before the event, it is quite possible it would not have happened.

  8. Red Hand 8

    Power companies ripping off consumers in Aussie and the same game here thanks to another short sighted National government, Bolger and Dame “Jenny” Shipley.
    https://grattan.edu.au/report/price-shock/
    http://legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1992/0056/39.0/DLM267122.html

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