Open mike 14/09/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 14th, 2015 - 74 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

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

Step up to the mike …

74 comments on “Open mike 14/09/2015 ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    an expression long in popular usage–“kiwi”–needs to be dropped; “kiwi” should apply to a bird or a fruit

    “kiwi” as referring to people has been misused for too long, there are so many variations on “kiwi”, even a pecking order, the term is really shorthand for a form of reinforcing NZ nationalism

    –a proper kiwi is white, reactionary, conservative, increasingly even if not articulated, neo liberal in world view, a compliant consumer–“NZ is Middle Earth”
    –a “good kiwi bloke” was born here
    –an honorary kiwi can be of all sorts of ethnicity–e.g. a migrant that has done the right thing such as taking off their garb like a Sikh person did to rescue a “kiwi” child
    –brats on overseas trips, New Zealanders working overseas, and especially sports people are all bestowed when tragedy or honour strikes as “kiwis”

    BUT what about Eleanor Catton? Nicky Hager? Hone Harawira? no kiwidom for them, kick “kiwi” to the kerb fellow commenters

    • JanM 1.1

      I couldn’t agree with you more, Tiger Mountain – it drives me crazy, especially as I see behind its constant use a lot of social and political manipulation.
      I get really cranky if someone tries to describe me as a ‘kiwi’. If I’m overseas I’m a New Zealander, if I’m home and more definition is required I’m a Pakeha

    • weka 1.2

      If you call a kiwifruit a kiwi you’re not a Kiwi 😉 (not sure who started the idea that a kiwitfruit is a kiwi but it strikes me as an Americanism).

      “–a proper kiwi is white, reactionary, conservative, increasingly even if not articulated, neo liberal in world view, a compliant consumer–“NZ is Middle Earth””

      I think you just insulted a whole lot of NZers.

      • JanM 1.2.1

        Accurate, though 🙂

        • weka

          Except it’s not. I don’t generally think of myself as a Kiwi, but I might say I am if I were online talking to someone overseas. I’m definitely white, but I’m not neoliberal conservative or a compliant Middle Earth consumer.

      • Tiger Mountain 1.2.2

        a lengthy paper could be written on the history of “kiwis” as humans, can’t cover it all in a blog post, but think of it this way–if you are not a kiwi–Whadarrryaaa!!!! then, that is how bad I think the usage has got in backing up the Nats and the unspoken expectations of what being a “kiwi” entails

        don’t want the new John and Richie flag? don’t like rugby much? not a real kiwi then are you…sure there are no doubt some lovely people that casually adopt the vernacular but it is time to question it

        • weka

          I think you run the risk of ceding ground there. The right may very well have tried to appropriate the term Kiwi (eg Iwi/Kiwi), but they haven’t succeeded. You appear to be agreeing with their appropriation. I’d say take the word back instead.

      • In Vino 1.2.3

        When I was a child there were no kiwifruit; there was only the not-very-popular Chinese gooseberry. Then someone started to grow them on farms and popularise them. A better name for marketing was needed, so the synthetic name ‘kiwifruit’ was invented, with much acclaim.

        The unintended consequence: because probably 99% of the world’s population have no idea that there is such a thing as a Kiwi bird (and maybe even that there is such a country as New Zealand!) the well-marketed popular kiwifruit had its name shortened to ‘kiwi’ almost everywhere, and the vast majority of the world’s population now think that is what ‘kiwi’ means.

        In 1980 I was living in France, and was surprised to see kiwifruit labelled as ‘kiwi’ being sold at an exorbitant price at the fruit market. I soon found that they were also called ‘kiwi’ in Germany, and the rest of Europe. Why add the unnecessary ‘fruit’ on the end?

        So like it or not, that is what ‘kiwi’ means to most of the rest of the world. It takes some insularity and naivety to expect that the rest of the world should know that the kiwi is a funny-looking flightless bird, even though NZers assume that it should be universally known. Only most Aussies and some of the British would think of the term ‘Kiwi’ as referring to an NZer. Unlikely that many others would.

        • weka

          Sure, but I was referring to NZers using the term kiwi to refer to the fruit. I find that far more annoying that NZers being called kiwis.

          I’m of the Chinesegooseberry generation too 🙂

          • joe90

            I’m of the Chinesegooseberry generation too

            Although I can vaguely recall Chines gooseberries in peoples gardens it seems the name change was introduced in 1959.


            • weka

              yes, but people in NZ still called them Chinese gooseberries for a long time after that. I think it wasn’t until the kiwifruit boom (1980s?) that the name changed in common usage.

          • JanM

            Although born in NZ, I went to live in the UK for 4 years in the 1950s as a schoolchild. Kiwi then was boot polish, as I recall, and no-one thought of applying it to a person (thank goodness). Can you remember when this term gained ground in its use for people? I really dislike it

            • Tiger Mountain

              various online accounts, but it was used in the military from Boer War/WWI onwards due to small Kiwi emblems on clothing, and entered popular usage internationally after WWII and before kiwifruit marketing

              • JanM

                Thanks Tiger Mountain. Back then was it mainly used for the military or for everyone?
                It’s definitely been subject to deliberate capture now to give a certain image – a sort of ‘Aussie-lite’

    • swordfish 1.3

      “Kiwi” is one of the most popular supermarkets in Norway (possibly second only to Rema 1000). Saw plenty of them (main colour – a kiwifruit Green) on our recent trip there. Made us feel right at home …… in fact, I almost had to wipe a tear from my eye as my thoughts turned nostalgically to the old Country.

  2. les 2

    this piece reminds me of someone…’since Bloomberg first published the forex price-rigging story last June, 29 senior traders – all men, strangely enough – have been named as involved and most have been placed on leave, suspended or fired.

    Chalkie has heard it said that the artificial movement of forex rates at the 4pm fix can be thought of as the price to pay for having so much liquidity available at a specific minute in the day.

    Perhaps that is so but it does not make colluding with competitors any less wrong.

    The remarkable thing about this affair is how easy it would be to prevent.

    If indexes used an average price for a whole day rather than a 4pm fix, for example, the problem would disappear.

    So why didn’t this happen years ago? Chalkie reckons it comes down to the financial industry’s traditional view that it is fine to screw customers as long as they don’t realise they are being screwed. Silence is golden.

    Chalkie is written by Fairfax business bureau deputy editor Tim Hunter.

  3. Northsider 3

    Cunliffe has Steven Joyce on the back foot on the cuts to 3rd level education budgets.
    Joyce has had too easy a ride in his various portfolios. He is a serial disaster who has not been properly exposed. Good to see Cunliffe taking it to him.

    “Steven Joyce refutes claims ‘lives are at stake’ due to polytech ‘shortcuts'”

  4. Ad 4

    We can now declare at least one region of New Zealand GE free: Hawkes Bay.

    This is after years of dogged work and really expensive District Plan hearings opposed tooth and nail by Federated Farmers, Scion the tree genetics people, and others.

    The uniqueness of this victory is it’s not driven by the usual suspects. It’s driven by fruit growers who want to protect and promote the extra value they get for the privilege of being able to declare their crops GE free.

    For my sins over the last week I read Margaret Attwood’s Oryx and Crake, a full-fledged gene spliced apocalyptic dystopia. Of course it pushed GE experimentation to its furthest lengths. But the message was the same: GE experimentation is wrong, it will get out of the labs, and its effects will be unstoppable and unpredictable.

    A GE free New Zealand is a New Zealand whose values have been protected.

    Huge ups in particular to all those who donated, drafted, advocated and sustained the effort against these massive companies to win.

    [Converting this to a guest post – MS]

  5. Jenny Kirk 5

    Well – that IS good news, Ad, But…. and there’s a huge BUT coming along – the Govt has introduced a National Environment Standard for plantation forests, and at the very last moment put in a small clause which explicity allows government agencies to overturn any attempts by local councils to prevent GMO-modified plants/trees coming into their districts.
    There were 16,000 submissions opposing this small clause, but it remains to be seen whether the govt will take any notice of them.

  6. Rodel 6

    The Tory propagandists attacks on Corbyn begins already. Press columnist Tracey Watkins chooses words carefully..”scruffy socialist…”unelectable…” ..drags the party” ..etc etc., and makes attempts to denigrate Labour’s leadership by tenuous analogies.
    Right wingers love tenuous analogies. Mud (dirt) sticks.
    We don’t see the same language when writing about the present government.. . funny that !

    • maui 6.1

      Sounds like the stuff article on the weekend that mentioned “Marx”, “socialist” and “unelectable” all in the first 2 lines. Something tells me the press are right behind this guy!!..

    • Olwyn 6.2

      I noted also that the Radio NZ news at 7am was like a propaganda broadcast: “In our poll of polls, taken from the last four polls, John Key’s National government is 1% more popular than it was on election night, with Labour and the Greens trailing…” I mention it because an average of four polls a long way out from an election is hardly leading news. Moreover, NZ1 didn’t rate a mention. The subtext seemed to say, “OK, Corbyn might be Britain’s Labour leader, but round here Key remains large and in charge.”

      • Karen 6.2.1

        Yes, I found it odd that they did not mention NZ First who are also part of the opposition. A balanced story would have talked about the total opposition in relationship to National.

      • Anne 6.2.2

        I was astonished at the subset of comments linking the results to an FPP environment instead of an MMP one. Espinor commented to the effect… National’s total was so far ahead of Labour’s (as if it is still between the two biggest parties) and the only way Labour could ever win an election was to join with the Greens. No acknowledgement that MMP works on a ‘left and right’ divide and is not a contest between two parties.

        Lazy reporting or a deliberate attempt to spin the outcome to look like it means something else? The latter of course.

        • Olwyn

          No acknowledgement that MMP works on a ‘left and right’ divide and is not a contest between two parties. Our version of MMP has certainly turned out that way, but rather than acknowledging it, most of the press seem to use a blurred distinction between FPP and MMP to play up Key’s popularity.

        • Olwyn

          Yes, I have been following these comments of yours, and just had a look at them again. The figures you have gathered speak for themselves. One difference between Key and Clark at this stage though, is that in her case the press had already begun to sink the boot in. With Key, they seem to be continually signalling, “Don’t worry mate, I’m still batting for your team” – their poll interpretations are but one example of this.

  7. Just joined the PSA. That word union is a great word and concept.

  8. John Key thinks that drone attacks killing innocent people are justified because we are killing bad people too. So I thought I’d show you how propaganda works. The story? God hates Muslims and the Bin Ladens are evil, The Russians hate us but GOD LOVES US!

  9. The Chairman 9

    The Commerce Commission (the competition watchdog) is currently taking submissions on a $785 million deal, which would create a combined entity selling around half of New Zealand’s transport fuels.

    However, Z Energy (which is part owned by the NZ Superannuation Fund) is so confident the deal will be approved have already spent $40m before the Commerce Commission announces whether the deal will be approved.

    Public submissions from industry groups and fuel companies have raised concerns about the market power the proposed merged company would have in the retail market, particularly in smaller centres.

    Z argues that there are only five areas where consumers would see the options reduce from two companies into one within a five kilometre radius.

    BP, Z’s largest competitor, argues that “competition issues” would arise in more areas than was being claimed.

    The AA say the risk of “disparate fuel pricing” would increase if Z and Caltex had the same owners.

    Retail competition is one of a string of areas where rivals and the industry warn a combined Z/Caltex would have a dominant position, with concerns raised about the control of fuel terminals at ports, sales of bitumen and a large number of truck stops.

    Z played down the risk of market dominance.


    • tc 9.1

      This watchdog has pretty much always rubber stamped the removal of competition and was gutted by the nact early on.

      Paying $40m is a safe bet as the last time they turned anything large down was AirNZ/Qantas code share from memory.

      Even if they do reject it a few tweaks and a resubmit would see it get approval as part of the illusion that consumers are being looked after which rarely ever happens.

      • The Chairman 9.1.1

        “This watchdog has pretty much always rubber stamped the removal of competition”

        I largely share the sentiment.

        Competition is vital in keeping prices down and wages up. Therefore, the country merely shoots itself in the foot failing to uphold a robust process.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Competition is vital in keeping prices down and wages up.

          LOL, no!!!

          Competition increases the bureaucracy thus pushing prices up, not down. Competition in the labour market pushes wages down and profits up.

          All up, competition cost us a huge amount for no extra gain and probably causes actual loss. It definitely causes social loss.

          • The Chairman

            No, monopolies are what drive prices up and wages down.

            Can we take it you support this merger, believing it will drive prices down and wages up?

            Increasing labour supply will have downward pressure. Increasing demand for workers drives wages up, thus there is a difference, which I assume your confusion stems from.

            • Draco T Bastard

              No, monopolies are what drive prices up and wages down.

              No, you got that wrong as Steve Keen shows. Competitive business all run the same way that monopolies run and charge the same amount.


              Those just for starters.

              It’s just a belief of the free-market that competition lowers prices. What it actually does is lower profits while increasing costs.

              Can we take it you support this merger, believing it will drive prices down and wages up?

              Nope. I support it being a government run monopoly service that’s run at cost.

              Increasing demand for workers drives wages up, thus there is a difference, which I assume your confusion stems from.

              There’s no increase in demand for workers as there’s no increase in demand for the product.

              • The Chairman

                Being a government run monopoly isn’t on the table, nor was it the question. Care to try again?

                Competitive businesses compete, thus prices, services, wages, etc largely differ.

                Competitive business that don’t compete tend to be cartelling, which is illegal.

                Where we might agree is a genuine non profit monopoly can reduce duplication, thus overheads, which can result in lowering prices as there is no profit gouging.

                Increasing the amount of businesses partaking increases labour demand as more positions are required to be fulled.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Being a government run monopoly isn’t on the table, nor was it the question. Care to try again?

                  Actually, it was on the table as I said down here. You seem to have got confused and thought I meant a non-profit private monopoly which I will never support.

                  Competitive businesses compete, thus prices, services, wages, etc largely differ.

                  That’s the hypothesis.

                  Competitive business that don’t compete tend to be cartelling, which is illegal.

                  And since when did laws ever stop crime? And do you recall the LIBOR and other banking scandals? Businesses operating as a cartel happens all the fucken time.

                  Where we might agree is a genuine non profit monopoly can reduce duplication, thus overheads, which can result in lowering prices as there is no profit gouging.

                  All monopolies will reduce duplication and thus overhead from what we get from competitive markets. A private monopoly will gouge prices to boost income.

                  Increasing the amount of businesses partaking increases labour demand as more positions are required to be fulled.

                  Only in the bureaucracy. So we get more high paid jobs, no more low paid jobs and the prices go up to cover those unnecessary high paid jobs.

                  • The Chairman

                    No. Although it is your preferred choice, it’s not a choice the commission have, nor does it relate to the question put to you. Feel free to try again. It was a simple question.

                    Open your eyes, competition is a reality – not merely a hypothesis. Although it is lacking in this small country of ours.

                    There are numerous people in jail, thus their criminal activity has been stopped by the law. Unfortunately, some get away with their crimes.

                    Yes, all monopolies will reduce duplication and thus overheads, but generally, genuine non profits will pass those savings on to lower prices. Therefore, we do agree on that point.

                    Increasing the amount of businesses partaking increases labour demand as more positions are required to be filled. Not only in the top end bureaucracy, but right down to front line staff and cleaners, etc.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      Fuel is another one of those things that comes under infrastructure and thus should be government owned and run at cost.

      • The Chairman 9.2.1

        Genuine non profit monopolies are a different kettle of fish, thus largely have my support.

  10. Morrissey 10

    Prof. Tim Bale of Univ. of London—anybody familiar with him?
    Monday 14 September 2015

    I know he used to work at Victoria University of Wellington, and I suspect he may have been a poster on this excellent site. Earlier this morning I heard him deliver the most sneering and contemptuous putdown of Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters on Radio NZ National. As usual, poor old Guyon Espiner didn’t seem to have a clue.

    Transcript to come as soon as I recover from my boiling rage….

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Someone yesterday mentioned that they had been a student of Bale’s at Vic…

      • Morrissey 10.1.1

        Was it our friend Swordfish? He mentioned it in a thread about Tim Bale two years ago. ….

        • swordfish

          Yep, a very nice bloke on a personal level, but, Christ !!!, the guy’s tweets on Corbyn over the last few weeks have been irritating the hell out of me.

          Enormous amount of sneering and ridicule, open speculation on the most effective way to take Corbyn down (I mean he’s supposed to be an objective, independent scholar, for chrissakes !!!, not some scheming factional insider in the Party machine. Tim’s obviously highly excited to be on the fringes of the Westminster elite: One of his Tweets: “Question for Labour moderates: better to roll Corbyn after 2017 locals or let him go all the way to 2020 so lesson is truly learned”). He’s also remarkably selective in the “research” he links to (often turgid stuff emanating from the lavishly-funded Blairite Progress group- Why Corbyn is Unelectable and so on).

          He’s the go-to-guy for the BBC these days….was the major post-May-election analyst, for instance.

          Just a cosy little establishment clique – seasoned journos from the MSM, independent commentators, and the intelligentsia – most former Oxbridge, all acting like fully paid-up enablers and cheerleaders for the little Blairite elite. Seems to be no shame involved.

          Tim was always a Blairite (he described himself as a vague, wishy-washy social democrat if I remember rightly) and it struck me at the time (we’re talking more than 15 years ago) that his visceral contempt for Labour’s Left was far more extreme than any critique he offered of the Tories. As with our own wannabe Blairites – especially Phil Quin – their sheer disdain for anyone to the Left of Harriet Harman (Bale) or Mike Moore (Quin) appears to be deeply emotional.

          It’s clear that this isn’t about finding the best electoral strategy for UK Labour to win government, they – like Blair – really are opposed to what most of us consider core social democratic values. They belong squarely in the socially-liberal, pro-EU faction of the British Conservative Party (although, come to think of it, Quin isn’t necessarily all that liberal either).

  11. Morrissey 11

    “Frankly, I think it’s NUTS!”
    Hooton continues to run amok every Monday morning.

    From the Left and From the Right, Radio NZ National, 14/9/15
    Kathryn Ryan, Matthew Hooton, Mike Williams

    They should just put a corpse in Mike Williams’s chair. The corpse might have a bit more gumption, and would definitely display a lot more life. First topic today was the election of Jeremy Corbyn to leadership of the Labour Party. Of course, Hooton took control of the discussion from the start….

    MATTHEW HOOTON: Frankly, I think it’s NUTS! Maybe it IS the will of the British people to get out of NATO after sixty or seventy years. Maybe it IS their will to be led by an aging Marxist who has endorsed every major terrorist group…. [splutter, snort]….

    From Mike Williams, silence, closely resembling stupidity, and/or cowardice, and/or bewilderment. Hooton bored on….

    MATTHEW HOOTON: In the scheme of things, I would say that this guy is way more to the left of the Labour Party than Thatcher was to the right of her party. It’s an example of a mainstream political party being hijacked by activists!

    Kathryn Ryan actually dared to challenged him over that. Mike Williams, by contrast, remained almost completely silent as Hooton ranted….

    MATTHEW HOOTON: So fifteen thousand new members signed up for the Labour Party. Well, that’s the equivalent of nine hundred people signing up if John Minto became leader in New Zealand. Ha ha ha!

    MIKE WILLIAMS: [chortle, snort] I agree….

    • rhinocrates 11.1

      What do you mean resembling stupidity, and/or cowardice, and/or bewilderment?

      • Morrissey 11.1.1

        I actually think Williams is better than he seems to be as he submits to these weekly spankings by someone as loathsome as Hooton. That’s why I and many others are so disappointed with him.

  12. HPS2015 12

    While the Government makes way especially for social topics such as the changing the flag, more pending matters are waiting to be approached that are in my opinion, socially unjust in the fact that it has not been discussed to the extent of the flag change. Euthanasia is always one of the various themes that people either have a lot to say about or people shy away from in fear of not having the information to make an educated response to the issue at hand.

    A case study that happened this year that I am sure New Zealand is familiar with is the story of Lecretia Seales. Seales, aged 42 died from an incurable brain tumour in June 2015. The tumour had left her both paralysed and blind. During the process of having this disease she approached New Zealand courts to seek out the use of Euthanasia if her suffering became too intolerable. It was ruled that only parliament could make a law change to allow such a step to legally occur. Seale’s family was given information regarding the case in the interim of the process due to Seale’s rapid deterioration so that she could be made aware to whether a doctor could lawfully help her with her right to choose to die.

    It was said that Judge Collins interpretation was that “he could not find aid in dying available to Seales or was inconsistent with the Bill of Rights”. It was also mentioned that it would indeed be an offence under the Crimes Act for her doctor to be able to assist her in dying. Her doctor could have been charged with manslaughter or murder if he had used the fatal drug intending to kill her. Lecretia learnt on her death bed that she had been denied her dying wish.

    I really am in two minds about euthanasia which are that I believe that everyone should have the right to choose how they live and in conjunction, how they choose to die. However, growing up in a family with nurses and doctors I have realised the immense pressure and responsibility that would be put on these medical professionals if they were to administer a fatal drug killing their patient, and ultimately a human life almost instantly. Who are we to play God? Who are we to play God in giving a fatal drug to a patient or telling a patient that is in pain and incurable of an incomprehensible disease that she or he cannot choose the way that she wants to leave this world? Should we really be able to force someone to live if they want to die?

    One thing that I am certain on is that this specific case has been a long time coming and has brought about discussion that is putting emphasis on a subject that has the need and necessary attributes to be discussed further.

  13. Brutus Iscariot 13

    A “Kiwi” is a derptastic middle-aged bloke from the provinces, obsessed with Rugby, where his self-esteem is channelled parallel to the fortunes of the national rugby side (being the nation’s only perceived impact on the world), ignorant of the rest of the globe, profoundly distrustful if not downright antagonistic of anything remotely intellectual.

    • Brutus Iscariot 13.1

      But fortunately still a more evolved species than South Seas relative “the Ocker”…

  14. Anno1701 15

    Nine days of Harry cost Kiwis more than $400k

    feckless rich bugger cant even pay for his own holidays ?

    I hope he told the jobcentre he was taking a holiday abroad , other wise i WILL be expecting benefit sanctions !

  15. adam 16

    Just for giggles.

    Hating Australians

    • Morrissey 16.1

      Maher is a fool, an ignoramus and a bigot. Here he is getting schooled by someone much smarter….

  16. Pandora 17

    “LACK” of communication causing so much inconvenience to travellers try to get to the airport due to the SH20A project.

    Imagine having to rush to the airport only to find out that the main road to the highway that leads to the airport is being blocked off due to roadwork construction. Not only is it blocked but you would need to turn around and hope that you find another way to get onto the highway by going through the opposite road which now you have just spent the last hour or so trying to find your way to the airport which result in you missing your flight.

    What a huge inconvenience for many who have travelled a long way to get to the airport but is delayed due to the new project of SH20A.

    Since the right turn movement has been restricted residents have found it very difficult to get to the Airport through the Kirkbride West road. The right turn both on Kirkbride East to SH20A North and Kirkbride West to the SH20A South at the intersection has been restricted from August till March 2016. Although, the extension of SH20A is expected to create an easier access to the Airport, it is creating a bit of a hassle for local residents as they struggle to find another way to reach the Airport. “it very inconvenient, i don’t see why they need to expand SH20A when it’s creating so much hassle” says resident Emma Lang.

    I can definitely understand why the project would be beneficial in creating a safer travel. However, it would be much better if there was a sign that perhaps let people know that the Kirkbride road has been blocked off to avoid any inconvenient as well as saving time. The purpose of this post is because I feel that not only is the SH20A project has caused so many issues but as well as many roadwork projects that occur on our roads and I feel it’s due to the lack of communication that is made to help travellers avoid traffic. This has been an issue for many people since the start of the project however, little discussion is made upon the issue.

    Therefore, I want to know what your thoughts are on this and who else feels that this is an inconvenient and do you think that there should be a better roadwork communication or perhaps you have your own opinion or story that you want to share, perhaps we can engage in a discussion or argue your viewpoints.

    Let me know!

  17. Penny Bright 18


    Exposing corruption at local government level in NZ!

    Monday 14 September 2015

    TIME: 9pm

    Face TV
    Sky Channel 83

  18. Chooky 19

    Max Keiser supports Kim Dotcom

    ‘‘Meganet’: Kim Dotcom plans crowdfunded replacement to internet (Ft. Max Keiser) @start_coin’

    (..personally I think the Internet Party was a plus for Mana and would have been a plus for New Zealand)

  19. Morrissey 20

    “Couldn’t you just go ahead and drill for water yourselves?”
    Bryan Crump asked that of a Palestinian farmer tonight.

    Nights, Radio NZ National, Monday 14/9/15, 7:10 p.m.

    The topic for the first item tonight was, ominously, “Palestinian farming”. I feared that Bryan Crump would not be prepared for this interview, and sadly I was right. A couple of his statements were extremely ignorant and provocative. I really wouldn’t like to say that Crump, who seems like a genuinely nice guy, was doing it deliberately, but who other than a paid Israeli government spokesperson would be crass enough or cruel enough to speak of the “disputed” instead of the occupied Palestinian territories, or refer to the illegal, internationally condemned annexation (or apartheid) wall as a “security” wall? Bryan Crump said both of those things tonight. This raises serious questions about his judgement, if not his morality.

    I’ll skip most of the crap, and just present some of the highlights, or lowlights…..

    BRYAN CRUMP: It can be tricky farming at the best of times, especially when the land you farm is one of the more disputed parts of the planet. Saleem Abu Ghazaleh is the fair trade director of the Palestinian Agricultural Relief Committee, Palestine’s largest NGO. He’s in New Zealand at the moment. Welcome, Saleem.

    Crump had obviously written—or had written for him—a list of questions which he was determined to plough through….

    BRYAN CRUMP: What are the main crops for farmers on the West Bank?…Where are the main markets?… You mention you used to export a fair amount to Israel but not now. What are the reasons for that?
    SALEEM ABU GHAZALEH: You should ask the other side that.

    Crump seemed nonplussed at that answer, and he lapsed into an awkward silence for a short while. Then he returned to his scripted questions….

    BRYAN CRUMP: You mention there’s some farming in Gaza.
    SALEEM ABU GHAZALEH: Yes of course. Strawberries, flowers….
    BRYAN CRUMP: What are some of the main obstacles if you want to become a farmer in the Palestinian Territories?
    SALEEM ABU GHAZALEH: It’s difficult with the water cut off, the apartheid wall, the checkpoints.
    BRYAN CRUMP: So the security wall you mentioned there. And also the water…
    SALEEM ABU GHAZALEH: The water is under Israeli control.
    BRYAN CRUMP: You say the water is under Israeli control?


    SALEEM ABU GHAZALEH: One hundred and twenty checkpoints make daily life very difficult for Palestinian people, especially the farmers.


    BRYAN CRUMP: You said before that in many cases the water is controlled by Israel—
    BRYAN CRUMP: Couldn’t you just go ahead and drill for water yourselves?
    SALEEM ABU GHAZALEH: It is forbidden to do that.
    BRYAN CRUMP: And what happens if farmers break the law?
    SALEEM ABU GHAZALEH: You go to prison.
    BRYAN CRUMP: Riiiight. …[pause]…. What kind of year has 2015 been for Palestinian farmers?
    SALEEM ABU GHAZALEH: We have had drought.
    BRYAN CRUMP: Almonds need a lot of water don’t they…..

    Appalled and depressed by this, I sent Bryan Crump the following email….

    The West Bank is illegally occupied, not “disputed”.

    Dear Bryan,

    In the introduction to your interview with Saleem Abu Ghazaleh, you described the Occupied Territories as “one of the more disputed parts of the planet.” In fact, there is no dispute: under international law, Israel is illegally occupying the West Bank. Other than the illegal occupying state, this ruling is recognized by every state in the world, including the United States.

    A little later, Saleem mentioned the illegal apartheid wall that makes farming so difficult for him. You immediately referred to it as “the security wall”.

    Could you please pay attention to these points in future?

    Yours sincerely,

    Morrissey Breen
    Northcote Point

    • Chooky 20.1

      +100…really the ignorance is damning

      • Morrissey 20.1.1

        Both of us are being charitable and assuming he was merely ignorant. But those two most grievous “errors” that he makes both seem quite deliberate.

        1.) Only a ruthless ideologue would call the Occupied Territories “disputed”—but that’s exactly what Crump says in his introductory remarks.

        2.) When his guest mentions the apartheid wall, Crump immediately reformulates this: “So the security wall you mentioned there….”

        I find Crump’s words here to be profoundly troubling.

    • the pigman 20.2

      That transcript is hilarious. Sadly my daily 5 minutes of NatRad were spent with a Panel of Mora, Clifton and McDonald (you would think one of the less vacuous calibrations of the dastardly thing) talking about noisy students, and guffawing cleverly to themselves about Jeremy Corbyn and the flag

      (FINLAY MCDONALD: Jeremy Corbyn is the Red Peak!
      JANE CLIFTON: *snort*
      JIM MORA: A-ha-ha-ha! A-ha–!)

      • Morrissey 20.2.1

        Yes, I heard that. Mora, perhaps deliberately, left it too late to do any talking about the Corbyn win. I note that he never stints on those tedious getting-to-reacquaint-ourselves chats at the start of each program. Sometimes they take until well past 4:15.

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