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Open Mike 14/12/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 14th, 2016 - 288 comments
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288 comments on “Open Mike 14/12/2016”

  1. Paul 1

    There is more than one truth to tell in the awful story of Aleppo
    Robert Fisk

    Western politicians, “experts” and journalists are going to have to reboot their stories over the next few days now that Bashar al-Assad’s army has retaken control of eastern Aleppo. We’re going to find out if the 250,000 civilians “trapped” in the city were indeed that numerous. We’re going to hear far more about why they were not able to leave when the Syrian government and Russian air force staged their ferocious bombardment of the eastern part of the city.
    And we’re going to learn a lot more about the “rebels” whom we in the West – the US, Britain and our head-chopping mates in the Gulf – have been supporting…..

    …..But it’s time to tell the other truth: that many of the “rebels” whom we in the West have been supporting – and which our preposterous Prime Minister Theresa May indirectly blessed when she grovelled to the Gulf head-choppers last week – are among the cruellest and most ruthless of fighters in the Middle East. And while we have been tut-tutting at the frightfulness of Isis during the siege of Mosul (an event all too similar to Aleppo, although you wouldn’t think so from reading our narrative of the story), we have been willfully ignoring the behaviour of the rebels of Aleppo……….

    ……….Is this too harsh on my profession? Are we really “in league” with the rebels?
    Certainly our political masters are – and for the same reason as the rebels kidnap their victims: money. Hence the disgrace of Brexit May and her buffoonerie of ministers who last week prostrated themselves to the Sunni autocrats who fund the jihadis of Syria in the hope of winning billions of pounds in post-Brexit arms sales to the Gulf.
    In a few hours, the British parliament is to debate the plight of the doctors, nurses, wounded children and civilians of Aleppo and other areas of Syria. The grotesque behaviour of the UK Government has ensured that neither the Syrians nor the Russians will pay the slightest attention to our pitiful wails. That, too, must become part of the story…….

    Joe90 and others regurgitating Jihadi and US propaganda – please read.

    • Paul 1.1

      Western media lies about Syria exposed (Canadian journalist Eva Bartlett)

    • Cinny 1.2

      It’s bloody concerning how they did the pamphlet drop and have now herded up the people into one area, and the events that have followed over the last few days.

      Such as Syrian government going into houses, executing people, and as a result of them being so trigger happy many women and children have died.

      Now the army are grabbing any men that head into the ‘protected area’ where the rest of the ‘herd’ are, then giving them a gun and telling them they are now in the Syrian Army.

      ALJazeera are now doing almost continuous live coverage of these events.

      • Paul 1.2.1

        Did you read Robert Fisk’s article?

        Al Jazeera is not a reliable source on Syria.

        Al-Jazeera has been criticized over unfair coverage of the Syrian civil war. The channel’s reporting has been described as largely supportive of the rebels, while demonizing the Syrian government.

        The Lebanese newspaper As-Safir cited outtakes of interviews showing that the channel’s staff coached Syrian eyewitnesses and fabricated reports of oppression by Syria’s government. It refers to leaked internal e-mails suggest that Al-Jazeera has become subordinated to the Qatari emir’s assertive foreign policy, which supports Syria’s rebels and advocates military intervention in the country.

        In March 2012, Al-Jazeera correspondents Ali Hashim and two others resigned from their jobs because of objections over the reporting on the conflict. They reported that Al-Jazeera paid $50,000 for smuggling phones and satellite communication tools to Syria’s rebels. Hashim concluded, “The channel was taking a certain stance. It was meddling with each and every detail of reports on the Syrian revolution.”

        Ahmad Ibrahim, who is in charge of the Al-Jazeera’s coverage on Syria, is the brother of a leading member of the rebels’ “Syrian National Council”. Al-Jazeera reportedly put pressure on its journalists to use the term “martyr” for slain Syrian rebels, but not pro-government forces.
        Ahmad Ibrahim, who is in charge of the Al-Jazeera’s coverage on Syria, is the brother of a leading member of the rebels’ “Syrian National Council”. Al-Jazeera reportedly put pressure on its journalists to use the term “martyr” for slain Syrian rebels, but not pro-government forces.

        Al Jazeera’s controversies and criticism

        Al Jazeera reporter resigns over “biased” Syria coverage

        Al Jazeera: From Media Power To Laughing Stock

        • Cinny 1.2.1.1

          Thanks for the info, that’s sad about AJs apparent dodgy agenda re Syria.

          AJ is the only news channel i have on my tv so i do watch a bit of it, love the listening post.

          I wonder where is a reliable independent non aligned middle eastern news provider?

          And thanks so much for all the links you have provided on Syria, it’s much appreciated Paul. Cheers for that.

          • Bill 1.2.1.1.2

            Eva Bartlett and Vanessa Beeley (both linked above by Paul) have been providing good info. One problem, (and Eva Bartlett touched on it in the vid link above) is that the non-mainstream left media has been going with the same narrative as the mainstream liberal media. That means their first hand accounts get no oxygen from the likes of ‘Democracy Now’ and other reasonably well regarded outlets. So less well regarded outlets are used.

            Which then leads to the charge that they are right wing conspiracy nuts.

            But you know, even just reading the Guardian with half a brain engaged would allow anyone to figure we’ve been fed a tsunami of bullshit. Mosul is the same situation as Aleppo, and yet the reporting could hardly be any more different. (Mosul seems to have dropped off the pages now – too difficult to square that circle I guess).

            Look at the sources used by The Guardian and others. Always voices purporting to come from within non-government areas and always (it seems) filtered through Syrian Rights Observatory (a one man operation based in England), or footage and claims made by the ‘White Helmets’ (created by an ex-military Englishmen with historical links to Blackwater and other such orgs) being picked up on and reported on with no accompanying critical thought or analysis.

            Never interviews with people who have sought the safe haven of government held areas. Never interviews with people who have been subjected to mortar attack in Western Aleppo. Never any video footage from there either.

            And as Fisk points out, in the words of ‘our’ media terrorists ‘retake’ cities while cities ‘fall’ to the government.

            And so it goes.

            Thankfully, and at last, the tsunami of bullshit may be breaking. And thanks for the comments/postings Paul.

            • Cinny 1.2.1.1.2.1

              Thanks Bill as well for your info, and Paul I’ll look towards where both you fellas directed, really appreciate both of your comments and insight.

            • Paul 1.2.1.1.2.2

              For example, let’s look at RNZ’s news today.

              Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organisations’ Dr Zaidoun al-Zoabi told Morning Report the situation is “the worst ever”.
              “These are the most terrifying times humanity’s seen, if there is anything called humanity.”

              What is the Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organisations?

              http://www.uossm.org/who_we_are
              http://www.uossm.us/history

            • Psycho Milt 1.2.1.1.2.3

              Mosul is the same situation as Aleppo…

              This is part of that “tsunami of bullshit” you mention. A few differences between Mosul and Aleppo:

              1. Mosul actually is occupied by Da’Esh, unlike Aleppo.
              2. The rebels in Aleppo are part of an uprising against a brutal dictatorship, while the people occupying Mosul are part of an uprising against secularism, democracy, human rights and anything else that’s good about the modern world.
              3. The forces attacking Mosul aren’t carrying out indiscriminate aerial bombing of civilian neighbourhoods, unlike the forces attacking Aleppo.
              4. The forces attacking Mosul haven’t deliberately destroyed every hospital available to the people trapped there. This and 3 above are the main explanation for the different media coverage of the two battles.
              5. The forces attacking Mosul aren’t rejecting out of hand cease-fire requests from the defenders, unlike those attacking Aleppo. (True, they might reject cease-fire requests if Da’esh were to make any, but no such requests will be made – another difference.)

              • Bill

                You really do need to do some reading PM.

                btw. Just on number 5.

                https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/dec/13/deal-reached-to-evacuate-rebels-and-civilians-from-aleppo

                And here’s the thing. This is the tactic of the Syrian government as voiced by Assad (make of that what you will). Promise safe passage for armed foreign terrorists out of populated areas. Then re-engage with the intention of driving them out of Syria.

                • You, Paul and Morrissey always declare me poorly-informed, as though I’d surely develop an enthusiasm for illiberal authoritarian nationalism if only I read up on it a bit more. It’s almost comical.

                  In the Syrian civil war, there is no ideological superiority to be had – it’s not objectively worse for western countries and the Gulf states to support the Syrian rebels than it is for Russia and Iran to support the Assad regime. The reign of terror that Assad is about to start in east Aleppo will be a terrible crime against humanity, but probably won’t be hugely different from the one that rebel groups would embark on if they’d won.

                  Those things don’t make Assad and Russia the villains of media reporting on this conflict. What makes them the villains is their campaign of aerial bombardment against the civilian population, emergency workers and hospitals of east Aleppo. No amount of energetic false-equivalence finger-pointing by illiberal authoritarians on this blog or elsewhere can alter that.

            • Paul 1.2.1.1.2.4

              RNZ news reporting on Syria at 12 May as well be renamed ‘The Voice of Saudi Arabia’ given its unremitting bias.

              • Wayne

                This stream of discussion shows just how disconnected from the mainstream some of the commenters on this site are.

                How many people are you going to convince that the actions of the western coalition against ISIS are as bad as Assad’s forces?

                I would suggest virtually no-one.

                I would also note that Fisk does not help his case by his vitriol against the current British PM. It makes him look like an Assad puppet.

                ISIS would be pretty quick to say that hospitals and schools are the targets of the western coalition if they could do so.

                In contrast bombing hospitals seems to be the modus operandi of Assad and his Russian helpers.

                In short, you are up against it trying to portray Assad as the noble liberator of his people.

                • Paul

                  I regard the views of Patrick Cockburn and Robert Fisk way above the new writers on , RNZ, Fairfax and NZME.
                  For someone who was once a poltician, you appear hopelessly ill-informed.

                  Fisk and Cockburn are not ‘ trying to portray Assad as the noble liberator of his people.’ Clearly you have not read the articles, yet feel comfortable commenting on them.

                  Typical Tory. Willfully ignorant.

                  You need to do a lot more reading on the subject.

                  So here goes the usual mantra again, which we must repeat ad nauseam to avoid the usual hate mail and abuse that will today be cast at anyone veering away from the approved and deeply flawed version of the Syrian tragedy.

                  Yes, Bashar al-Assad has brutally destroyed vast tracts of his cities in his battle against those who wish to overthrow his regime. Yes, that regime has a multitude of sins to its name: torture, executions, secret prisons, the killing of civilians, and – if we include the Syrian militia thugs under nominal control of the regime – a frightening version of ethnic cleansing.

                  Yes, we should fear for the lives of the courageous doctors of eastern Aleppo and the people for whom they have been caring. Anyone who saw the footage of the young man taken out of the line of refugees fleeing Aleppo last week by the regime’s intelligence men should fear for all those who have not been permitted to cross the government lines. And let’s remember how the UN grimly reported it had been told of 82 civilians “massacred” in their homes in the last 24 hours.

                  But it’s time to tell the other truth: that many of the “rebels” whom we in the West have been supporting – and which our preposterous Prime Minister Theresa May indirectly blessed when she grovelled to the Gulf head-choppers last week – are among the cruellest and most ruthless of fighters in the Middle East. And while we have been tut-tutting at the frightfulness of Isis during the siege of Mosul (an event all too similar to Aleppo, although you wouldn’t think so from reading our narrative of the story), we have been willfully ignoring the behaviour of the rebels of Aleppo./blockquote>

                  There is more than one truth to tell in the awful story of Aleppo

                  • Fisk and Cockburn are not ‘ trying to portray Assad as the noble liberator of his people.’

                    No, Paul, they aren’t, and wouldn’t. That’s the task you and other regime apologists have taken on, which is presumably why Wayne pointed it out.

                • adam

                  Wayne, one of the things Frisk might be angry about is the British PM off selling arms to the Saudis.

                  Now if you have talked to any US or British vets you will know the one thing they hate above all the bureaucratic BS, is fighting guys who are using weapons made by them. I was a dinner a while a go with some Yanks, and they got quite upset talking about finding terrorist’s with brand new US equipment. Also some of the pome’s I’ve talked to have said the same thing, in one case worse, because the jihadist’s had some ammunition they could not get.

                  So from a purely military view point, it does seem some of the politicians are right tossers when it comes to making a buck selling arms. I’m not sure the British PM selling arms to the Saudi’s is going to endear her to her own troops.

                  • garibaldi

                    Keep up the good work Paul and adam. The western propaganda is slowly being exposed but sadly the damage is done and the incorrect beliefs are now ingrained in so many westerners. We must all realize that in war truth is the first casualty, but the blind acceptance of either sides version is still prevalent( on both sides).
                    As with the Vietnam war when the truth finally comes out it certainly exposes the bullshit the west promulgates . Nothing has changed.

    • GregJ 1.3

      …our head-chopping mates in the Gulf

      It should be noted that only 2 Arabian/Persian Gulf States use beheading as a form of execution – Saudi Arabia and (Assad’s & Iraq’s) ally Iran (although last used in 2001). Benin and Yemen are the only 2 other states that use beheading as a legal form of execution. As an aside Iran executes twice as many people a year than Saudi (although it has twice the population), About 45% are for drug offences (which is roughly the same proportion as in Saudi).

      It’s interesting how we in the “West” now seem to resile at beheading over other forms of execution (as if the death penalty is acceptable in any other form) however France used beheading for execution up to 1981 (last execution in 1977), Sweden executed its second to last criminal – mass murderer Johan Filip Nordlund – by a manual cleaver in 1900, replacing it with a guillotine, which was then used for the first and only time in 1910 (death penalty abolished there in 1921). Beheading by guillotine survived in West Germany until 1949 and in East Germany until 1966 (also 40,000 Germans were legally executed under the Nazi regime, most of them by guillotine).

      We may have got there before some of the rest of the world in finding beheading as an unacceptable form of execution but not by that much.

  2. amirite 2

    I’m sure that Key will receive a knighthood for services to private businesses in enabling exploitation of migrant workers for cheap labour http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11766210

    • Arise, Slur John Key.

    • Paul 2.2

      Part of the ‘brighter future’ he promised.
      That and tax dodging multi-nationals.

      Tax dodging multinationals

    • Cinny 2.3

      Can immigrant workers join a union in NZ? Does anyone know please?

      • mpledger 2.3.1

        I assume so because I found this page…
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        UNEMIG Union Network of Migrants

        Union Network of Migrants is a network of migrant workers within FIRST Union. FIRST UNEMIG is migrant led, non-profit and non-sectarian.

        UNEMIG aims to protect the rights and welfare of migrant workers in New Zealand.

        http://firstunion.org.nz/unemig
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    • alwyn 2.4

      I don’t think he will receive a knighthood in New Zealand at all. He will get a well deserved award of the Order of New Zealand. He deserves it a great deal more that many of the hacks who have got it in the past.

      The Queen on the other hand may make him the third New Zealand member of the Knights of the Garter.

      • framu 2.4.1

        ” He will get a well deserved award of the Order of New Zealand. ”

        for what? doing his job?

        i get that thats how many are handed out now – but explain why it would be well deserved

        • alwyn 2.4.1.1

          “for what? doing his job?”

          It is the reason that David Lange, Mike Moore, Jim Bolger and Helen Clark got it.
          I think, although I may be in a minority among those who contribute here, that he was at least the equal of any of that group.

          On the other hand he is vastly more significant that Sonja Davies, Whetu Tirikatene-Sullivan and Jonathon Hunt ever were. How they got into the top 20 living New Zealanders at any time is beyond me.

          • Wensleydale 2.4.1.1.1

            I believe, for all his faults, Lange would have run rings around Key.

            • alwyn 2.4.1.1.1.1

              Question time would have been fun, wouldn’t it?
              It wouldn’t have mattered which one was the Prime Minister and which the Leader of the Opposition.

            • Puckish Rogue 2.4.1.1.1.2

              Geez imagine a leaders debate between Lange and Key, that’d be a ratings winner

              Lange would probably win but he’d have to be on the top of his game

              • Paul

                Key can’t handle it when under pressure.
                Far too used to a compliant media.
                Cracks when really questioned.

                • alwyn

                  “Key can’t handle it when under pressure.
                  Far too used to a compliant media.
                  Cracks when really questioned.”.

                  You are living in a dream world Paul.
                  Just the way Helen Clark did before the first Leader’s debate in 2008.
                  Just as John Campbell did before his session with Key on the GCSB.
                  In both cases Key took them apart.

                  You, like them, forget what Key’s profession was before he went in for politics. People in the Forex dealers profession have no nerves. They simply don’t crack under pressure. They cannot do the job if they don’t have that characteristic.

      • michelle 2.4.2

        he deserves nothing just like he hasn’t given nothing

    • mary_a 2.5

      @ amirite (2) .. Yep spot on there. And don’t forget the treason, selling NZ off bit by bit, interfering with our sovereignty by attempting to change the flag, then trying to really sell us down the river with the (now failed) TPPA.

      Qualifications for a knighthood indeed. Seems most of the confidence tricksters get one eventually.

      New Year honours coming up. The title Sir (John Key) should have some pathetic clout with his Hollywood mates, Wall St and the likes! They go for anything with a bit of fancy decoration to it, even if it does stink to high heaven through the shit sticking to it. It’s all about facade and that’s what Key has been the past 8 years, a facade, fabricated by Crosby/Textor, much to the detriment of NZ!

  3. Recommended reading for Puckish Rogue:

    “Finally, Key made his way, waving, down the steps of Parliament, as he was greeted and applauded by every suck-up loser he’d ever seen or worked with in the capital. He hated most of them, but he shook their hands and hugged them anyway.

    “You’ll fail,” he whispered in Bill English’s ear, before hopping into his crown car, and disappearing into the foggy wilderness of our memories.”

    The Civilian dismisses Key, elegantly.

    • Puckish Rogue 3.1

      Lalalalala I can’t hear you

      In a decade or so we’ll look back at the time of Slur John Keys leadership as a highpoint in our democracy 🙂

      • Paul 3.1.1

        Yes, a real high point when your leader abuses young women.
        Even his sycophants could see that.

        Today I’m embarrassed John Key is Prime Minister

        • Puckish Rogue 3.1.1.1

          I know and it explains perfectly why National slumped to the high 40s, oh wait they didn’t because most of NZ saw it for what it was, a political hit job manufactured by Bradbury

          • Paul 3.1.1.1.1

            Sorry to see you support sexual abuse.
            Just as long as the polls are high, eh?
            Anything to support the Dear Leader.
            Contemptible.

            • Stunned Mullet 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Why bother ranting about Key…in case you didn’t notice he’s resigned.

              • Pat

                in case you hadn’t heard his replacement wants to continue the same agenda.

                • Stunned Mullet

                  ..and why wouldn’t he when the Nats are cruising in the high 40s.

                  First rule of politics heading into an election…if you are in power and have strong support avoid doing anything that might spook the horses.

                  • Pat

                    odd…I thought the first rule of politics was there are no rules?

                    …..horses are looking pretty jittery , but don’t worry, bubbly Paula will calm them down.

                    • rob

                      I see Tracy Watkins talking up Bennett on stuff as NZ most famous westie? What a load of shit! maybe in her head but more like NZ most loathed westie.

              • Cinny

                must say i love reading that, it sure does not get old… Resigned, Key has resigned. Gives me a sense of great happiness and optimism.

            • Puckish Rogue 3.1.1.1.1.2

              “Sorry to see you support sexual abuse.”

              What sexual abuse?

              “Just as long as the polls are high, eh?”

              Its certainly a better gauge of how the voting public then posting in an echo chamber

              “Anything to support the Dear Leader.”

              Helen Clark left the building awhile ago, also around the same time Labour had any chance of winning an election

              “Contemptible.”

              You really are a dreary and, worst of all, boring person

            • Sam C 3.1.1.1.1.3

              Sexual abuse? Wow. That escalated quickly.

            • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1.4

              +1

            • Enough is Enough 3.1.1.1.1.5

              Sexual abuse?

              It is hyperbole like this which explains a lot about why we are languishing at record low poll levels

              • Paul

                Describe what Key did then to the waitress.

                • Brigid

                  For Pukish Rogue, Enough is Enough, and Sam C the following is the link to the account by the waitress of key’s treatment of her.
                  When you’ve read it you will be able to do as Paul suggests, and describe what key did to her.
                  http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/04/22/exclusive-the-prime-minister-and-the-waitress/

                  You’re welcome.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Sorry Brigid but I don’t read The Daily Blog, its so unbalanced and unreliable you can’t take anything on there (except Chris Trotter) seriously

                    • Brigid

                      So the waitress’s account of what key’s interaction with her was, is unbalanced and unreliable. How do you know that?
                      You are just too afraid to read it aren’t you.

                    • weka

                      Sorry Brigid but I don’t read The Daily Blog, its so unbalanced and unreliable you can’t take anything on there (except Chris Trotter) seriously

                      Oh good, everyone can stop reading your comments now too.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Hi Weka

                      I thought I’d take a play out of the lefts playbook

                      “that commentator/website/newspaper is on the right therefore I won’t read it which means your argument is invalid”

                      Its a good one isn’t it 😉

                    • weka

                      It might be if left wing people actually did that. But since they don’t, you’re talking shit 🙂

                      (myself, I don’t avoid WO and KB because they’re right wing, I avoid them because they neoliberal, neo-fascist, dangerous bullies. Which is a different thing entirely).

                  • Johan

                    Pukish Rogue has the name John Key stamped on his backside so has difficulties recognizing the former prime minister as a pervert. No wonder his two children have issues.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      I think I have No Entry on my backside but that’s beside the point. What issues does John Keys kids have pray tell?

              • Draco T Bastard

                It’s not hyperbole.

              • Naki man

                “Sexual abuse?

                It is hyperbole like this which explains a lot about why we are languishing at record low poll levels”

                Very true E is E, clearly your judgement is NOT clouded by KDS.

          • Rosemary McDonald 3.1.1.1.2

            “…a political hit job manufactured by Bradbury.”

            Do you have evidence to support this statement or are you making shit up?

            • Paul 3.1.1.1.2.1

              Of course he does not.
              pr is a troll.

            • james 3.1.1.1.2.2

              My understanding is that there is a lot of political gaming involved.

              Regardless of that – JK pulled the ponytail. So in this case he was his own worse enemy. It would only be a political hit job if he HAD NOT pulled it.

              Thus – no hit job, just gaming with the release of the info, which lets face it every political party would do.

              However – the majority of people dont see it as the big sexual assault that some on here would like to make it out to be.

              • framu

                “some on here would like to make it out to be.”

                what do you call a grown adult male, repeatedly, over several months, seeking out a young woman and pulling her hair?

                • Red

                  A miss understanding of familiarity and stupid

                • james

                  Stupid for sure – sexual assault – nope.

                  • weka

                    Not just stupid, but sexual harassment, physical harassment, abuse of his position of power, and bullying.

                    Some above were confusing ‘sexual abuse’ with ‘sexual harassment/physical assault’, but that doesn’t mean that what Key did was merely an error of judgement. It had real world impacts on the person he was harassing.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Absolutely it is sexual harassment. A clearer example you couldn’t find in the form you sign as part of a work contract.

                      Although I seem to remember he tried to mitigate the intent by saying he’d pull a man’s ponytail too!

                      Anyway. The creep has gone, and that is something everyone should be celebrating.

                    • Paul

                      It is instructive (and concerning) that this issue is even being discussed.

                    • weka

                      As if men can’t sexually harass men 😉

          • Wensleydale 3.1.1.1.3

            Martyn Bradbury has all the subtlety of a landmine. He doesn’t really do “hit jobs” and Machiavellian scheming really isn’t his MO. A waitress had been repeatedly harassed by the PM, and he reported it. It was hardly some vast conspiracy to destabilise the government by smearing John Key. Key smeared himself by acting like an ill-disciplined, testosterone-addled teenage boy. And those desperate to protect Key from the consequences of his own, frankly bizarre, actions, hauled her over the coals accordingly. Shame on the whole damn lot of them.

            • framu 3.1.1.1.3.1

              “Martyn Bradbury has all the subtlety of a landmine. ”

              its how he got the name bomber in the first place wasnt it?

        • Cinny 3.1.1.2

          Just wanted to mention that all the kids know about johns creepy ponytail pulling, seriously it has and did create much talk between them, especially it created discussion among the parents of girls, such is the legacy he leaves behind for the children. Well at least it brought up the narrative of good and bad touching so I will give him that.

          When i was a kid it was Piggy Muldoon, but what Key is now known for by kiwi children is far more sinister. JS

      • North 3.1.2

        You’re decent enough to add the mad smiley face at the end of your comment @ 3.1 PR. Tipping that you’re just taking the piss with that comment. If not mate, sorry, but you’re fucked. Close to Jonestown. But nah you’re not there. You give it away with “Slur” John Key.

        • In Vino 3.1.2.1

          He put the smiley face because he copied ‘Slur’ off Robert Guyton. Don’t be too generous…

  4. Penny Bright 4

    Mayor Phil Goff has granted me speaking rights at tomorrow’s Auckland Council Governing Body meeting.

    (WHEN : Thursday 15 December 2016.

    TIME: 9.30am

    WHERE: Auckland Town Hall
    Reception Lounge Level 2

    (Open to the public – support welcome 🙂

    My subject matter is as follows:

    1) The unprecedented bribery and corruption verdict involving Auckland Council Controlled Organisation, Auckland Transport, announced on Friday 9 December 2016 (on ‘International Anti-Corruption Day’) has provided evidence which supports what I have been saying for some time.

    Namely, that you cannot have transparency or accountability, without proper written records available for public scrutiny.

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11763963

    “Claims the relationship between Noone and Projenz was informal and verbal-only during the seven-year duration of the relationship – explaining the total lack of documentation – “defies common sense,” Justice Fitzgerald said.”

    In my considered opinion, seven years of a ‘verbal-only’ /’informal’ relationship between this Auckland Transport senior manager and private contractor, also clearly ‘defies’ the statutory obligations arising from the Public Records Act 2005, s.17:

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2005/0040/latest/DLM345729.html

    17Requirement to create and maintain records

    (1)Every public office and local authority must create and maintain full and accurate records of its affairs, in accordance with normal, prudent business practice, including the records of any matter that is contracted out to an independent contractor.

    (2)Every public office must maintain in an accessible form, so as to be able to be used for subsequent reference, all public records that are in its control, until their disposal is authorised by or under this Act or required by or under another Act.

    (3)Every local authority must maintain in an accessible form, so as to be able to be used for subsequent reference, all protected records that are in its control, until their disposal is authorised by or under this Act.
    How on earth did this happen?

    What was the ‘systems flaw’ that allowed this total lack of documentation to occur for SEVEN years?

    Where was the auditing – internal and external – that failed to pick up this total lack of documentation for SEVEN years?

    How widespread is this lack of documentation, regarding ‘relationships’ between those who award contracts, and those who receive contracts?

    Not just at Auckland Transport, but across Auckland Council and all CCOs?

    2) In my view, as an ‘Anti-Corruption Public Watchdog’, it is now more necessary than ever, to instruct the CEO of Auckland Council, and the Boards of all Auckland Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) to comply with the statutory requirements of the Public Records Act 2005, and make the following information about awarded contracts, available and easily accessible for public scrutiny, by publishing them on the front page of Auckland Council and all CCO websites under ‘Procurement – Awarded Contracts’:

    a) The unique contract number.

    b) The name of the consultant/contractor.

    c) A brief description of the scope of the contract.

    d) The contract start and finish dates.

    e) The exact dollar value of each and every contract, including those subcontracted.

    f) How the contract was awarded – by direct appointment or public tender.

    2) FYI, here is the above-mentioned decision of Justice Sally Fitzgerald on 9 December 2016, in the Auckland High Court:

    CRI-2015-044-001286 [2016] NZHC 2971 THE QUEEN v STEPHEN JAMES BORLASE MURRAY JOHN NOONE

    http://www.courtsofnz.govt.nz/judgments/high-court

    (Linked directly to the decisions here:)

    http://www.courtsofnz.govt.nz/cases/r-v-borlase-verdicts-and-summary-of-reasons/@@images/fileDecision

    http://www.courtsofnz.govt.nz/cases/r-v-borlase-reasons/@@images/fileDecision

    In my view, in order to learn the lessons from this unprecedented bribery and corruption verdict, both this decision, in full, plus the full transcript of evidence, should be made available for public perusal on the websites of both Auckland Council and Auckland Transport.

    3) For Auckland Council to comprehensively and thoroughly investigate the cost-effectiveness of the underpinning private procurement model for Council (and CCO) services, when significant international research has proven that contracting out is actually ‘bad business’, and twice as expensive as in-house service provision.

    http://www.pogo.org/our-work/reports/2011/co-gp-20110913.html?referrer=https://www.google.co.nz/

    “Bad Business: Billions of Taxpayer Dollars Wasted on Hiring Contractors”

    What this above-mentioned unprecedented bribery and corruption verdict has revealed, in my opinion, is not just that ‘contracting out’ is BAD business, but it can and has bred corruption.

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-privatisation / anti-corruption Public Watchdog’

    • Stunned Mullet 4.1

      How many votes did you get in the election Penny ?

      • Whispering Kate 4.1.1

        Don’t be such a killjoy SM – good luck Penny – you sock it to them about the bribery and corruption that is going on with the council and the rorters who get away with overseas trips etc – its hard enough to keep up with our rates up here in Auckland so we need more like you Penny – mores the pity that people like Stunned Mullet don’t get off their asses and try to do more for exposing corruption on the council.

    • Sacha 4.2

      The Public Records Act does not control making records available or publishing them. That’s the role of the LGOIMA as you have been repeatedly told, you mental midget.

    • Red 4.3

      Will there be refreshments to justify going

  5. Paul 5

    Bryan Gould nails it.

    If we review the Key years, the trends are unmistakable. Business interests have been given top priority, social and environmental issues have been increasingly relegated to the second or third rank. Public assets have been privatised and the public sector and public spending have been subject to constant cuts, the law has been changed when required to suit the interests of overseas corporations.

    Workers’ rights have been reduced, employers have been given more power. Child poverty, and poverty more generally, has increased and life on benefits is tougher. The rich have enjoyed tax cuts. Homelessness has re-appeared in our midst and owning their own home is now beyond many young Kiwis; those already owning their own homes and property speculators in particular have made fortunes from soaring house prices.

    It is John Key’s politics, not his personality, that have produced these intended outcomes. They have been produced not by a relaxed middle-of-the-roader but by a dedicated ideologue. They are the result of a particular kind of neo-liberal politics, of a consistent and deliberate push from our Prime Minister to turn New Zealand into a “trickle down” economy (and society), one that clearly differentiates between winners and losers, where the top priority is to ensure winners do even better and losers get by as best they can.

    A few years ago, the then Premier of Queensland, Campbell Newman, was contemplating asset sales to raise cash. He sought advice from John Key as to how he could get away politically with what he knew would be an unpopular measure. Key’s advice, as reported in the New Zealand media? “Do it in small stages,” he said, “and people won’t notice”.

    Here, in other words, was a political operator who knew exactly what he was doing. It is no accident that he was highly regarded by his right-wing colleagues in other countries, to the extent that he has for some time been chair of the International Democratic Union, the global association of right-wing political parties.

    He had, after all, achieved what so many of them had struggled with – he had sold a neo-liberal agenda to voters who would normally have rejected it as extreme and contrary to their values.

    Bryan Gould: Labour Party never really knew what they were dealing with in John Key

    • Puckish Rogue 5.1

      Agreed:

      The Opposition, and the Labour Party in particular, always underestimated John Key. What they saw was no more than a genial glad-hander and a seat-of-the-pants chancer – at best, a populist adept at winning the centre ground. It was only a matter of time, they thought, before he came unstuck.

      What they missed was a sharp political intelligence and a clear ideological commitment. The result – they were always fighting the wrong battle.

      • Paul 5.1.1

        Good we agree.
        John Key was hard right, not the mushy centrist that is always propounded.

        • Puckish Rogue 5.1.1.1

          No we do not. I think it would be educational if a true right wing political party took power a couple of years just to show you what it would really be like.

          Partial sell down of assets, nope it’d be back to Rogernomics and sell everything off

          Partial increase for benes, the first time in something like 40 years, nope it’d be slashing the benefits and there’d be a maximum amount of time on the benefit

          WFF, nope nothing.

          Interest free loans, nope the interest would come back and you wouldn’t be able to leave the country until they’re paid

          You think the msm is bad now, well get ready for a crackdown on political websites criticising the government

          Voluntary trade unionism, get ready for banning of trade unions

          90 day fire at will, too soft it’ll be no reason needed at any time

          You’ve got no idea of what would really happen if right wing (forget hard right) party really took charge, you sit there in your nice, safe, comfortable little corner of the world and think (hope) this is a hard right party

          • Paul 5.1.1.1.1

            And you would love it.

            • Puckish Rogue 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I like John Keys centrist government and, in hindsight, Helen Clarks centrist government.

              The only enjoyment I would get out of a hard right government being sworn in is you finally experiencing a hard right government and what that actually entail.

              I believe most people in NZ want either a centre left or centre right party, they (the majority of voters) do not want a hard right or hard left party.

              They (we) want something near the middle

              • Rosemary McDonald

                “The only enjoyment I would get out of a hard right government being sworn in is you finally experiencing a hard right government and what that actually entail.”

                Daily Review 12/12/2016

                But I’ll do a copy and paste….

                Bill ‘the lizard’ English now has licence to continue his ‘social investment’ plan to rid the country of what he calls….

                “”this big hard lump of long-term waste of human potential….large long-term liability.””

                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10644993

                He was a little worried that government entities like the Ministry of Social Development and Housing New Zealand were not doing enough to reduce numbers accessing expensive services…

                “”it’s a bit hard to tell if they are trying hard enough. We don’t know a lot about what happens in some of these fairly big outfits so we are always arguing internally between myself and Treasury about whether we need to step in or not.”

                English says the process of examining the big cost-drivers is called the responsibility model because it throws the responsibility back.

                “The traditional view of the public service is when things get tight, Treasury and the Minister of Finance are responsible. We are saying ‘no it’s you, you’re the chief executive, you’re responsible’.””

                Well, Bill as you ascend to the throne…kinda like a congratulatory gift, the inquest is being heard at the moment into the death of Wendy Shoebridge.

                http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/87347930/Aggressive-prosecution-focus-at-MSD-preceded-womans-death-inquest-told

                “Shoebridge, a 41-year-old mother, was found dead in Lower Hutt on April 3, 2011.

                The day before, she opened a letter saying she was to be referred for prosecution over an alleged $22,000 benefit fraud.”

                An investigator from WINZ was under unbearable pressure to send this letter…he didn’t want to, or at least he wanted to deliver it in person as he was concerned about her…she was slowly recovering from severe depression.

                But no…his boss, obviously acting under instructions from Much Higher UP…ordered the letter sent.

                ” After her death, that amount fell to about $5500.”

                And in an update tonight…http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/87469253/shakeup-at-msd-after-woman-died-and-manager-was-accused-of-abusing-staff

                …we read that this manager

                “was accused of firing a staple gun at staff she didn’t like, and calling one a “f…tard” in front of colleagues, an inquest has heard.

                The inquest in Wellington into the death of Wendy Shoebridge heard allegations of a dysfunctional Ministry of Social Development office in which the prosecution of suspected benefit fraud was a major priority.

                The manager has not had the chance to respond to the latest claims, and the inquest on Monday also heard suggestions the manager was herself under pressure. The hearing was told last week that a quota system for prosecuting beneficiaries was in operation in 2011, when Shoebridge died.”

                Well, Bill…this is why you have that smirky, twisted little smile on your face. You might want to have a wee think before you see your promotion as an affirmation that there is widespread approval for your social investment model.

                You see…this Coroner has the MSD in her sights, just as the Judge did in the Ashburton Shooting case…http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/87258487/msd-convicted-after-judge-says-staff-felt-unsafe-in-ashburton-office

                …and although the court can’t actually fine a Ministry…there was harsh condemnation….

                How many deaths, Bill???”

                THIS is what “hard right” looks like PR…its here in NZ, and has been for the past seven years.

                I could link to other posts where I and others have highlighted cases where Kiwis from “the middle” have been subjected to appallingly inhumane treatment by WINZ when applying for a benefit to support themselves and their families while undergoing cancer treatment.

                You see PR…when ‘middle NZ’ fall upon hard times and have to go down to WINZ to access supports they are entitled to and encounter shit treatment like that….borne out of rabidly right directives from the government…it increases the numbers of those who have been dehumanised by the state, and those people in turn come to a fuller appreciation of the way the ‘system’ has alienated those who have had to interact with it for many years. This is called “sympathy”…a foreign emotion to the sociopaths who sit on the government benches.

                Like it or not there IS a rising tide of compassion in “middle” New Zealand for those Bill the Lizard calls the “large liability”….simply because there have been a huge number of people across all strata who have been impacted directly or indirectly by these draconian policies.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  I disagree with you but I respect and appreciate the effort you’ve put into this

                  • Rosemary McDonald

                    Is that the best you’ve got PR?

                    No pithy, cryptic one-liners to demonstrate your superior knowledge and insight?

                    The government you claim has been benignly ‘centrist’ has instituted an offensive against the most vulnerable of New Zealanders, and unfortunately for this government the negative impacts have splattered way beyond those people Bill the Lizard targeted openly in 2010.

                    Now, if this translates in a reduction of support for National depends on whether opposition parties can drag their arses off the spike that seems to lock them into a ‘centre’ position.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      I simply disagree with you because you’ve highlighted a couple of incidences over 7 years so really it doesn’t prove anything but I do appreciate the effort

                • …this Coroner has the MSD in her sights, just as the Judge did in the Ashburton Shooting case…

                  Be careful what you wish for. The judge was punishing MSD for not putting sufficient barriers between its staff and the nation’s social welfare beneficiaries. MSD management know what the judge is telling them:

                  “… it was estimated by MSD chief executive Brendan Boyle that the cost of outfitting its offices with bulletproof glass and guards could be up to $200 million.

                  MSD has already placed guards at offices and has been trialling a new layout at offices in Wellington and Levin.”

          • Red 5.1.1.1.2

            Spot on PR, first sign of hard right or left countries, blogs like the standard don’t exist Paul however finds meaning in raging against the machine, no matter what that machine if he was in a hard left country he would be hard right

            • Paul 5.1.1.1.2.1

              You need to educate yourself about your country’s history.
              Here’s a start for you.

              • Red

                Like many here Paul, when you start with “You need to educate yourself” normally followed by a barrage of left wing links and videos I don’t go any further as I have seen what it has done to you

                • In Vino

                  Trite slur from a closed mind. You would probably enjoy the documentary because you would get great satisfaction from cheering the Baddies while learning nothing.

        • Whispering Kate 5.1.1.2

          You are absolutely correct Paul, J Key is the chairman of the International Democratic Union – a hard right think tank of international businessmen, bankers etc who gather in different places in the world and get up to no good. It does’t get much of a mention over here in sleepy ol’ New Zealand but is worth looking the IDU up to see what its all about. He played with us here and he did it very well indeed. Tinfoil hat wearers probably agree he was sent here to do a hatchet job on this country, I have no idea why he came here other than collecting handshakes, selfies, big noting and meeting world leaders. He has a job lined up somewhere after his holiday in Maui I have no doubt, IMF maybe but most certainly in the US.

          Isn’t it a paradox, he flies out to a Hawaiian holiday as quick as he can bugger off – shouldn’t he still be here – isn’t the House sitting for another week – the ultimate indulgence and Mr Shearer is off to the “shittiest place on the planet” Paul Henry’s words – to try and stabilize South Sudan – how different can two men be. I didn’t know Paul Henry had been an on the ground reporter in South Sudan but he said South Sudan was the quote above on today’s morning show.

          • Puckish Rogue 5.1.1.2.1

            “how different can two men be”

            Well one has been leader of the country since 2008 and left with his party in the high 40s the other was knifed in the back by his own party (though wouldn’t Labour love to have shearers numbers)

            So yeah different I guess

            • Whispering Kate 5.1.1.2.1.1

              Their careers may be quite different Pucky but Shearer’s previous job was one you had to have cajones of steel for plus a rough lifestyle in arid conditions and seriously dangerous situations – he may not have been cut out for political life and that’s not such a bad thing considering its rife with corruption, dirty politics and other unsavoury things, he is better off out of it. You cannot compare the positions of the two but I know which is more admiring of and its not the selfie obsessed ex PM.

              • Puckish Rogue

                “considering its rife with corruption, dirty politics and other unsavoury things”

                You do know hes gone back to working with the UN

                • Whispering Kate

                  He will be as far away from the UN as he can possibly be, away from the machinations that go on there. His job out there will be to help the people of South Sudan where his life will constantly be in danger – Key never had the bottle for anything like that – Pucky you never give up – Key was a selfish me me me person, he never gave a jot for this country and the fact that so many people thought the sun shone out of his ass is a terrible indictment of the morals and ethics of such a lot of people. How has it come about that there are still so many fogged up and their antennae all skewed and could not see through this sham of a man. It was staring all of us in the face so plainly – go back Pucky and watch John Campbell’s programme “Meet the Leaders” and see how much he bothered with his wife on the programme, it was shameful – JC saw it but then he has his antennae right in tune. The man is a shallow hollow man – get used to it.

          • Paul 5.1.1.2.2

            It’s part of pr’s job to sell the lie that Key and English are centrist.
            I much more respect the opinion of Brian Gould.

            • Puckish Rogue 5.1.1.2.2.1

              Of course because not biased at all either

              • Paul

                Gould is not a troll.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Hes an intelligent, erudite and a complete troll. When he states how he thinks Labour will sweep to power, despite the abundance of polls and polling that suggest otherwise, he’s doing it because he knows he’ll get a reaction

                  So yes he’s a troll

                  • Paul

                    And you come to this site as a troll.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Actually I come for the humour, for the education (yes I do listen to some people), to get a different viewpoint, to pass the working day, for all types of things

                      and what I’ve noticed is that most of the posters here probably have a lot more in common then there are differences

                    • In Vino

                      What in God’s name is that last sentence supposed to mean, PR? If you are going to troll, please at least make your meaning clear.

    • Pat 5.2

      bang on the money…..as Monbiot has said, we should know it by its name.

      https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/15/neoliberalism-ideology-problem-george-monbiot

    • Wayne 5.3

      Bryan Gould was the most left wing contender for the leadership of UK Labour in the mid 1990’s. So I guess for him a centrist like John Key is a hardline neo-liberal (or “dedicated ideologue”). That also seems to be the default setting of most commenters on this site.

      However, if that is how Labour is going to try and position National, they will fail. It hasn’t worked for 8 years and it won’t work for the next election.

      But MMP will provide an opening. Winston is likely to hold the balance of power and will therefore decide the next government.

      If National is quite close to 50% it might be hard for him to ignore the public legitimacy that confers, especially if Labour is below 30%. On the other hand if that is the case he can pretty much demand Labour give him the PM ship for the first two years as the price of power.

      I wonder where Bryan stands in relation to Jeremy Corbyn. He must know him quite well since they spent more than 10 years in the Hose of Commons together. Does he think Jeremy is the answer, or not?

      • Paul 5.3.1

        How about debating the issue rather than shooting the messenger.

        ‘It is John Key’s politics, not his personality, that have produced these intended outcomes. They have been produced not by a relaxed middle-of-the-roader but by a dedicated ideologue. ‘

        • Wayne 5.3.1.1

          Paul,

          The political attitudes of people tend to influence their opinions. None of us are immune to that.

          Bryan’s writings over the years show he is a man of the left, so what I perceive as the centre, will be for him hard right, the product of a “dedicated ideologue”.

          Nothing wrong in pointing that out.

          Pat, I see no evidence that John Key was anything other than moderate right of centre. If Standardnista’s want to believe the something different, fine, but don’t expect it to go uncontested.

          • Paul 5.3.1.1.1

            The policies of Key would have been far right of most National and Conservative parties of the 70s. Then he would have been seen as an extremist.
            But, thanks to relentless propaganda from right wing think tanks and willing politicians like yourself, the Overton window has moved far to the right.

          • tracey 5.3.1.1.2

            And what you perceive as centre is also to the Right because you want to seem centrist despite being quite right-wing.

      • Pat 5.3.2

        still pushing the moderate line hey Wayne…..that weight of contrary evidence must be getting quite heavy.

      • whateva next? 5.3.3

        all depends who dictates the fulcrum? Key has shifted it so far to the right, of course Labour now APPEAR to be “far left” too easy.

  6. Paul 6

    Special investigation: How Mt Eden’s private prison went from golden child to a misfit

    A week, they say, is a long time in politics. A few months can be swift and brutal.
    April, 2015, Corrections Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga stands in Parliament to face questions about the private prison operator, Serco.
    “In the last prison performance table, might I just add, Serco’s Mt Eden Corrections Facility was the most exceptional prison,” he tells the House.
    Serco Mt Eden: the golden child.
    July, 2015, Lotu-Iiga is back on his feet in Parliament.
    “I am appalled at the images that were shown in the last week that have come out of our corrections facilities,” he says, in reference to the YouTube footage of Mt Eden Fight Clubs.

    Serco Mt Eden: the unwanted misfit.

    Special investigation: How Mt Eden’s private prison went from golden child to a misfit.

    • Cinny 6.1

      Sam has always been a scape goat. Now he is standing down from his portfolio as well as not seeking re-election. Once again we hear the excuse of ‘family reasons’ for his decision, frequently used excuse of late.. ‘family reasons’

      There should be an early election, all these Nat MP’s simply giving up, how many now.. seven or so of them about to quit, but hanging in there until next election, using the excuse of not wanting the tax payer to foot out for a by-election, while they continue to get a salary for a job they are no longer interested in.

      Get some guts Bill and see if the people really want you and your party that is falling apart to lead NZ. This is NOT what many voted for, your government is wasting our tax payer money by paying salaries for quitters.

      Early Election

      Judith I’d say you will have some questions to address today.

      • North 6.1.1

        Part of me has always felt a bit sorry for Sam. He, along with Alfred Ngaro, was an obviously uncomfortable “fiapalagi” prop to Keydashian’s widely and pridefully bugled election-time swings through South Auckland. The two of them by their presence purporting to verify a picture of Keydashian as the deserving beneficiary of Polynesian “fa’aaloalo ma talitonuina” (respect and trust).

        A total crock of course but nothing like a spot of triennial smiling/anagram/sliming when someone has something you want. Going by what I’ve observed during long and close association with various mature and well-established members of Sam’s own aiga indeed, there was always lots of private tittering about that whole carry-on. For the rank bullshit of it. As bullshitty and insulting as Sam’s assertion on TV a couple of years ago that saving-up the 20% deposit on a $650,000 house is reasonably do-able by ordinary people.

        I’ve seen no more heartfelt regard for Keydashian than for Tuilaepa. Tune in to Auckland’s Samoan talkback radio some time.

      • gsays 6.1.2

        spot on, cinny.

        i, too, reckon corrections was a hospital pass.

        ms collins needs to bear some responsibility as serco is her vision.

      • tracey 6.1.3

        Judith hailed Serco’s entry into Mt Eden prison but Sam has got the chop. let’s wait and see where he pops up. National always reward those they use to make themselves look like “clearing out” with plumb, well paid jobs. Mike Sabin anyone?

  7. Paul 7

    Peters: I want to be first to re-enter Pike River.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player?audio_id=201827628

    • Paul 7.1

      A quite repulsive interview by that right wing hack Espiner.
      Missing Kim Hill already.

      • michelle 7.1.1

        A crap interview by Espiner he got his come up ins this morning from Winston
        and the interview with Blinglish was even worse the day before rather weak to say the least it was a save our funding interview in other words we wont ask the hard questions he might cut our funding again even worse he might get rid us like they got rid of Campbell

    • ianmac 7.2

      Winston was really on fire! Support of the miners and criticism of the system long and loud.

      • alwyn 7.2.1

        “Winston was really on fire”.

        Oh dear. Did he drop another cigarette onto his pin-striped, double breasted, booze sodden suit and set himself alight again?
        He really needs someone with him at all times to keep him from harm.

        I listened to that interview and its quite amazing stream of consciousness ramblings. As always he reverted to talking about the Wine Box affair, the highlight of his life, at least in his own failing memory.

        Winston today was best summed up by a little item in the introduction to the book of “Yes Minister” episodes.
        Talking about Sir Humphrey it says –

        ” …. before the advancing years, without in any way impairing his verbal fluency, disengaged the operation of his mind from the content of his speech.”

        Sums the old fellow up beautifully doesn’t it? It will be a sad loss when he stumbles out of the House for the last time.

        • mpledger 7.2.1.1

          I’ve noticed in the last week or so that all these barbs being shot at Winston. It’s like something happened so that right-wing criticism about alcohol use suddenly became ok – it’s almost as if there is no around to take a hit on the return volley.

        • Johan 7.2.1.2

          For: alwyn
          Nice to hear a person like Winston say it the way it is, no wonder you are so upset Alwyn;-)))

          • Puckish Rogue 7.2.1.2.1

            The last two times Winston has gone into coalition it has always been with the largest party, will you still say the same thing when Winston (most likely) goes with National?

            • Johan 7.2.1.2.1.1

              Not when Winston says he will not form a coalition with the party that seals Pike River Mine.

              • Muttonbird

                Good call. Winston believes the tide is turning on this and has stated his position. Bill must be freaking out right now having forgotten what it’s like to be in the top job.

        • garibaldi 7.2.1.3

          For once I agree with you alwyn. Winston is showing tell tale signs of losing the plot.

        • North 7.2.1.4

          Good to see your bitter arse paining Alwyn. Your reason for taking breath having fucked off. Poor diddums……left all alone in Jonestown. Hurt hard troll !

          • alwyn 7.2.1.4.1

            Are you still around?
            I thought you had gone back to your Kindergarten and left the adults to talk.
            You still owe me an apology by the way. Remember?
            Or is you memory like Winnies?

            • North 7.2.1.4.1.1

              You can keep on stroking for as long as you like Alwyn Troll. Not ultimately dependable as pain relief though. Jonestown is fucked. Own it!

  8. “Child Poverty Action Group: The Child Poverty Monitor results reveal no significant improvement for the lives of children in New Zealand experiencing the effects of poverty, proving that any Government efforts to reduce the impact of poverty on children are insignificant.

    That the numbers remain so persistently high demonstrates that poverty among New Zealand children is enduring and long-term. Policies have made little to no change for the better for many children.”

    • Paul 8.1

      If we review the Key years, the trends are unmistakable. Business interests have been given top priority, social and environmental issues have been increasingly relegated to the second or third rank. Public assets have been privatised and the public sector and public spending have been subject to constant cuts, the law has been changed when required to suit the interests of overseas corporations.

      Workers’ rights have been reduced, employers have been given more power. Child poverty, and poverty more generally, has increased and life on benefits is tougher. The rich have enjoyed tax cuts. Homelessness has re-appeared in our midst and owning their own home is now beyond many young Kiwis; those already owning their own homes and property speculators in particular have made fortunes from soaring house prices.

      Bryan Gould: Key was a concealed ideologue

    • Bob 8.2

      “The Child Poverty Monitor results reveal no significant improvement for the lives of children in New Zealand experiencing the effects of poverty, proving that any Government efforts to reduce the impact of poverty on children are insignificant.”

      Which can also be re-written as:
      “while there have been improvements in the lives of children in New Zealand experiencing the effects of poverty, even in light of a Global Financial Crisis, more need to to be done to make further significant improvements”

      There you go, same content, drop the negativity, add context and make your point.

      Also: “The Child Poverty Monitor results reveal no significant improvement for the lives of children in New Zealand experiencing the effects of poverty”
      I would have thought that a near 50% reduction in cases if SUDI, approx 40% drop in deaths from conditions with a social gradient, >50% reduction in deaths from assault, neglect or maltreatment, and an approx 20% reduction in hospitalisations due to assault, neglect or maltreatment would be classed as significant…

      Child Poverty Action Group – I am free if you would like people to actually read and think more in depth about what you are saying, rather than just immediately switching off to the negativity. Hell, you may even get the Government to buy into your message.

  9. Ad 9

    Rex Tillertson for US Secretary of State.
    Quite a choice there by President-Elect Trump.

  10. Puckish Rogue 10

    More great news for National 🙂

    https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/exclusive-laila-harre-rejoins-labour-party-sets-her-sights-standing-in-election

    “The veteran campaigner says she does regret her four months with the Internet Party because of the damage it did to her reputation.”

    Naah Laila I’m sure everyones forgotten that, it’ll be fine so you really should run for a seat 🙂

    • gsays 10.1

      funny u should say that, pr.

      laila would damn near secure my vote for labour.

      • Venezia 10.1.1

        Same here.

      • james 10.1.2

        Did you vote for the Internet party when she was their leader.

        Or the Greens when she was there.

        Or Alliance when she was there..

        Or Labour, or New Labour….

        Hell she will prob be with Act next if she thought there was a seat in it for her.

        But yeah – to the voting public – she will always be the face of the internet party.

        • weka 10.1.2.1

          Which one of these is not like the other?

          IP
          Greens
          ACT
          Alliance
          Labour

          🙄

          I didn’t vote Internet Mana because I’m a strategic voter. Never voted Labour because there’s always been something to the left (apart from the first time I voted and then I voted an independent). I’d vote for Harre in a flash in the electorate vote, and could easily see her in either Labour or the Greens. She’d be a great asset as a left wing MP in any party, which is the point you seem to be deliberately trying to obscure.

          Righties trying to make out they know what left wing voters want, lolz.

    • Red 10.2

      Yep million dollar, aspirational mt Albert voters are just crying out for Lialliance representation

  11. Liala’s loveable. Voters will love her.
    Paula’s lo… hang on!!

  12. greywarshark 12

    The Third day of Christmas on Friendship:

    My friends have made the story of my life. In a thousand ways they have turned my limitations into beautiful privileges,
    and enabled me to walk serene and happy in the shadow cast by my deprivation.
    Helen Keller

  13. Cinny 13

    Brownlee is a failure in Defence, the auditor general was not impressed with his department. Maybe his health is hindering his performance, probably more like a lack of skills and experience in that role is the problem.

    “I was disappointed to note that the Defence Force did not adequately assess material changes in the fair value of its assets on a timely basis. Without enough assurance on this matter, both the Defence Force and my appointed auditor had to carry out substantial additional work, which led to significant delays. This is unacceptable. I stress that it is important for entities to prepare accounts in a timely manner and to an appropriate level of quality.”

    http://www.oag.govt.nz/2016/central-government?utm_source=subs&utm_campaign=cg1-2016&utm_medium=subs

    Another area of interest is housing and the value of government owned housing especially in regards to their ongoing search for community buyers in order to create the much opposed sale of state owned assets…. outgoing government likes those house prices to be kept high, it makes their asset base appear more inflated.

    Having trouble finding buyers? Why not offer some of the properties to first home buyers at a good rate, sure you won’t make the massive profit that you accounted for, but hey looks like you want to flick them off below value anyway, zero deposit rent to own, that would give many a bit more of a chance at living, after all they are just sitting empty, wasting away during a housing crisis excuse me building boom lolz

    “The valuation of the Government’s investment in its social housing portfolio (primarily held by Housing New Zealand) is based on the highest and best use and on comparable market sales data for each individual property. In the year ended 30 June 2016, the value of the social housing stock increased by $3.2 billion, largely as a result of increases in the value of Auckland properties.

    2.47
    As part of the Social Housing Reform Programme, the Government announced that it is taking steps towards transferring ownership of some Housing New Zealand houses and tenancies to registered community housing providers. This has raised some specific accounting issues.

    2.48
    We identified this matter because of the judgement involved in determining the appropriate accounting treatment for social houses proposed to be transferred to community housing providers, either sold or redeveloped as part of the Government’s social housing reform programme.”

    http://www.oag.govt.nz/2016/central-government/part2.htm

    Interesting reading

  14. Muttonbird 14

    Jacinda Ardern is considering Mt Albert. She will humiliate in that seat the next token minority National puts up.

    Perhaps National will dig up a gay, climate-change denying Ethiopian refugee as the face of their campaign in a desperate attempt to appear relevant and diverse.

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/politics/jacinda-ardern-confirms-bid-for-mt-albert-seat-2016121411

  15. Puckish Rogue 15

    Ok so trigger warning, here’s Curias polls for the last 3 years so if you have a delicate constitution (or vote Labour) you may not want to look at it

    Surprisingly its not bad for the Greens, they’re quite steady

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2016/12/november_2016_polls.html

    • Ad 15.1

      It’s an impressive sustained rise by NZFirst there.

      Would expect National to go even higher on the back of the dominant media coverage surrounding both the Kaikoura earthquakes and the leadership change.
      There’s very, very little space for Labour or other Opposition figures in the media until February 2017.

      Also very hard to see significant %% of voters switching away from National into 2017.

    • Bob 15.2

      Wow, how impressive was the nose dive that Cunliffe took Labour on! I haven’t look at his term as leader of the opposition like that before.

      Based on Shearer having Labour in the mid-30’s, and Cunliffe taking Labour to the low 20’s, I now completely agree with Andrew Little and a number of commentators here, Labour should ignore the center and move further left.

      • Paul 15.2.1

        I assume you vote National or Act.

        • Bob 15.2.1.1

          Depends on the election, I am not a member of any political party so I have voted The Greens, Winston First and National over the past 6 elections.

          • Paul 15.2.1.1.1

            But never Labour.
            Can I ask why you range from Green to National?

            • Bob 15.2.1.1.1.1

              Sure, I used to be in the Coromandel electorate (1999 and 2002) when Jeanette Fitzsimons was the local MP. I thought she was a brilliant, straight up local MP and I was still in a FPP mind set so gave both of my votes to her.

              2005 I opposed Labour’s interest free student loans (even though I had a huge student debt at that point), and didn’t like Don Brash’s racially divisive tactics, so I held my nose and voted Winston First.

              2008 – 2014 I voted National. I was sick of politics by this stage, but John Key’s move to work with Helen Clark and Sue Bradford on the ‘anti-smacking’ legislation, plus his centrist policy platform and general pragmatism leading up to the election lead me to vote National, and I haven’t seen a viable alternative since (except maybe The Greens again at the last election).

              I had been considering TOP at the next election until they ruled out pushing the Big Kahuna in their first term.

              I keep coming back here as my interest in politics has increased since becoming a Dad, and I found I am nowhere near as far right as Whaleoil or Kiwiblog commenters.

              EDIT: I do miss seeing comments from Lanthanide and CV recently, they generally seemed to be the most closely aligned with my own beliefs

              • Paul

                Yes I too appreciate CV’s input.

                • North

                  There’s a weird spritzer-gulping species that does take a holiday from National and vote Green from time to time. Met quite a few. Influenced principally by their freeholding, maybe even cross-lease, in the well-leafed suburbs in which they reside. It’s a ‘pro-test’. Real hard out bastards. On the ramparts. “Patu Squad” and all that. Hehehehe.

                  • Muttonbird

                    Yes, there are a few like the above, CV, Lanthanide, Ad, and David Farrar who simply and blindly hate Labour. They skirt around Labour to the left and right but can’t explain why.

                    Perhaps it is Labour Derangement Syndrome.

                    • Bob

                      “Yes, there are a few like the above, CV, Lanthanide, Ad, and David Farrar who simply and blindly hate Labour”
                      You do realise CV was a Labour member?
                      http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2015/11/25/leaving-jiangxi-tat-loo-marches-out-of-the-labour-party/

                      “They skirt around Labour to the left and right but can’t explain why.”
                      Why would anyone vote Labour? If you want a neo-liberal party you vote National, if you want a party with social and environmental conscience vote Greens. Labour sort of sits in between tinkering without thinking of consequences of their actions (see WFF, Interest Free student loans, Seabed and Foreshore etc.), at least National are open about what they are and The Greens stick to their principles.

                  • Bob

                    Ha, well I don’t fit that mold North, try a ‘brown bottle’ beer drinking renter, living in Otahuhu which is pretty far from a ‘well-leafed suburb’!
                    In fact, you couldn’t have gotten it any more wrong!

    • james 15.3

      Rogue polls obviously.

      Labours internal polling has them far higher than any of the rigged public polls.

      • Paul 15.3.1

        Curia is not public.

        • Puckish Rogue 15.3.1.1

          Damn straight, better ignore it 🙂

          • Paul 15.3.1.1.1

            Wonder why Key liked him so much.
            His impartiality?

            “And can I make one special thank you to the best pollster in New Zealand — and don’t charge us more for it — David Farrar, who got his numbers right!”

        • james 15.3.1.2

          So – whats that got to do with anything? Are you thinking that perhaps its different to all the public ones – secretly with National on 20%?

  16. Paul 16

    The biggest news that dwarfs all other news.
    We need a thread to discuss what is going on in the Arctic.

    Parts of the Arctic were an average of 11 degrees Celsius warmer than they were in the late 20th century as the region experienced “extreme record temperature anomalies”, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has said.

    The report found the average annual air temperature over land areas was the “highest in the observational record” at 3.5C above 1900. Sea ice levels also fell to the lowest since satellite records began in 1979.

    These are both likely to indicate the warmest Arctic weather for tens of thousands of years.

    The Arctic has a considerable effect on the northern hemisphere’s weather with some experts saying the rapid warming of the region – more than twice the global average – could produce “catastrophic” extreme weather events
    for much of the planet.

    “For Arctic researchers, communicating the impacts of our discoveries has taken on an unprecedented urgency in the face of environmental change that – in many instances – is outpacing our ability to understand and explain the changes we are witnessing,” the report said.

    Professor Peter Wadhams, the head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at Cambridge University and author of the book, A Farewell to Ice, warned the loss of snow cover, which has hit a record low, and sea ice was speeding up global warming.

    “I calculate that between them they are causing the effective heating of the planet to be 50 per cent higher than would be caused by the added greenhouse gases alone – entirely due to snow and ice retreat,” he told the Independent in an email.
    Professor Wadhams suggested that Arctic sea ice was “well and truly set on a collapse”.

    And this, he warned, could have a dramatic and sudden effect on global temperatures.
    “The warm sea water melts the offshore permafrost, which releases methane trapped in the sediments below,” Professor Wadhams said.

    “There is potential for a catastrophic methane pulse which cause immediate warming of up to 0.6C , according some calculations which we did in [the journal] Nature a couple of years back.

    Arctic temperatures have hit levels last seen a ridiculously long time ago

  17. Puckish Rogue 17

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/87562998/craig-foss-to-step-down-from-cabinet-as-calls-for-rejuvenation-claim-another-victim

    See Labour this is how rejuvenation is supposed to work, get rid of the dead wood and all that

    • Anne 17.1

      Problem is PR Labour is not the party of the rich and powerful. They can’t pay them off or find them a good little lurk somewhere among the pile of quangos and other such bodies.

      Jilted MPs who don’t get looked after have a habit of turning on their former pollie masters. The political landscape is full of them.

      • Paul 17.1.1

        Spot on.
        National Party MPs get rewarded with the revolving door – very corrupt.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolving_door_(politics)

      • Stunned Mullet 17.1.2

        Puhlease….the Nats and Labour are both past masters at lining up current and former MPs with diplomatic postings, appointments to boards and appointments to such nebulous rorts as the film and literature review office and ltes not talk about the bipartisan annual rort that is the speakers tour.

        • Anne 17.1.2.1

          You are correct. Both parties fill diplomatic postings etc. with their own people. They would be crazy to do otherwise. I’m not talking about those sort of positions. Now what’s the name of that National Party trust? Ahhh, that’s right, its called the Waitemata Trust…

    • Siobhan 17.2

      I suspect Foss is in a sulk now his ex squash partner is gone, and he now intends to work full time on his investment portfolio that he’s so damnably proud of.

  18. Chris 18

    English no doubt gave Maxwell a call asking for a press release to begin the process.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/87548876/lift-nz-super-age-to-67-by-2034-retirement-commissioner-tells-politicians

  19. Cinny 19

    Craig Foss to step down, another National Party MP resigns for ‘family reasons’ and does not want to stand down until next year to avoid a by election.

    Told ya’s the National Party is falling apart, most of their MP’s hearts aren’t in the job, but they are happy to collect the salary until next year using the excuse of ‘avoiding the tax payer the cost of a by election”

    FFS THE CITIZENS OF NZ DEMAND AN EARLY ELECTION!!
    WHERE ON EARTH HAS OUR DEMOCRACY GONE ?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11766805

    • Puckish Rogue 19.1

      Its called removing the deadwood and what do you mean the citizens demand?

      The majority of voters (the ones that’ve returned National to power the last three elections) do not want an early election.

      • dv 19.1.1

        So PR, Key, Foss, Parata, Lotu-Iiga etc are dead wood. then.

        • Puckish Rogue 19.1.1.1

          Slur John Key will get the newest created award of greatest ever kiwi, the rest are surplus to requirements so yes

      • Cinny 19.1.2

        Was the ‘deadwood’

        1. John Key – quitting politics for ‘family reasons’

        2. Hekia Parata – quitting politics for ‘family reasons’

        3. Craig Foss – quitting politics for ‘family reasons’

        4. Sam Lotu-liga – quitting politics for ‘family reasons’

        5. Chester Borrows – want;s to do something different, awaiting the courts in regards to a careless driving causing injury charge.

        6. Jono Naylor – quits after one term in parliament

        7. Lindsay Tisch – quits for family reasons

        8. Murray McCully (standing down in his electorate MAY stay on the list instead)

        9. English is the same (quitting his electorate for the list),

        That’s quite a number of Nat MP’s. No wonder they don’t want an early election, they’ve much work to do.

        As for the general public as suggested I’ve been asking around, many National supporters feel let down that English is PM.

        Why is everyone leaving for ‘family reasons’ ? Is it because the National Party is a toxic environment at present? These events scream instability to me

        • Paul 19.1.2.1

          John Key is leaving before the shit hits the fan.
          You forgot Mike Sabin. He also resigned.

          • Puckish Rogue 19.1.2.1.1

            Who is Mike Sabin?

            From Kiwiblog:

            What is interesting is to look at the makeup of both National’s and Labour’s caucuses in terms of who is standing again. Of those standing in 2017

            •Only 12% of Nats entered before 2005 and 21% of Labour MPs

            •38% of remaining Nats entered from 2005 to 2010 and 45% of remaining Labour MPs

            •50% of National’s remaining caucus entered in 2011 or later compared to 34% for Labour

            Somehow National will look the fresher party at the next election

            • Cinny 19.1.2.1.1.1

              and near on 12% of current national party mp’s are quitting, the majority of which cite ‘family reasons’

              Will National look fresher or simply inexperienced with a lack lustre leadership?

              Jeepers when you think about it looking at your stat’s PR people in the Nat party don’t seem to stick around, wonder why that is?

        • Puckish Rogue 19.1.2.2

          “As for the general public as suggested I’ve been asking around, many National supporters feel let down that English is PM.”

          I’m sure you have and I’m sure you have better idea than I do of what the average National voter is thinking 🙂

        • Muttonbird 19.1.2.3

          Wouldn’t be surprised to see Simon Power back now Key has scuttled off.

          They couldn’t stand each other apparently.

      • Stunned Mullet 19.1.3

        What would be interesting is looking at the average length of tenure across the MPs of the 3 (4) major parties.

        I’m thinking there would be little difference between Labour and National with third place going to NZ (with the Winnie outlier discounted) and the Green party being the most rejuvenated over the last ten years or so.

    • Jenny Kirk 19.2

      What might be worrying is who will be selected to replace them ? Could be even more hard-right types will get into Parliament under National.

      • Puckish Rogue 19.2.1

        Naah Bill has learnt his lesson, it’ll be centre right foe a wee while now

        • Hanswurst 19.2.1.1

          WTF? He taught the lesson. It was English who first tried to brand the National Party as more of a centrist, caring party between the hard-line Shipley and Brash periods.

    • james 19.3

      FFS THE CITIZENS OF NZ DEMAND AND EARLY ELECTION!!

      “You speak on behalf of people as usual – how arrogant of you.”
      – Paul

      • Paul 19.3.1

        I agree with you James.

      • Cinny 19.3.2

        ikr shame on me for voicing the opinions of others, by crikey it’s shocking how one thinks of others, better sort that out asap lolololol

        I know I’ll start a polling company, maybe that would be more acceptable

        • Puckish Rogue 19.3.2.1

          As long as you publish your methodology its all good

          • Cinny 19.3.2.1.1

            Ho Ho Santa Claus I’ve bigger fish to fry than spending time conducting polls, I’ll just keep listening to the people, and seeing this is an amazing tourist town, there will be plenty of them to converse with. People tend to open up to me, not sure why, but one learns so much by listening.

            Crikey you never know, might take a wander around some camping grounds with my note book in hand, ALL walks of life come here for summer.

            • Stunned Mullet 19.3.2.1.1.1

              Where are most of the tourists from these days ?

              • Cinny

                Where the tourist are from kinda of depends on what day it is.. during the week this last month you will find most shopping in the supermarket have accents.

                During the weekend it’s different, many NZer’s flock to Motueka and many more are coming, already the main road is congested, it’s that time of year when one ditches the car for the bike around town, it’s quicker and easier.

                Next week it will really start

            • Red 19.3.2.1.1.2

              People often tell you what they think what you want to hear not what they really think, just some thing to be aware of 😀

              • Cinny

                Maybe that is why the polls were so wrong re Trump for that very reason.

                Would be an interesting experiment to dress casually and ask around, then dress in business clothes and ask the same questions.

            • james 19.3.2.1.1.3

              Nothing is more fun on a holiday than having a political person coming around the campground with a notebook interrupting family time. Especially when you start trotting out your “outgoing government” and “Alpha Andy” sayings.

              • Cinny

                Nah i wouldn’t go about it like that, not my way.

                I’ve this one comment that is a sure fire conversation starter, simple interesting, and all one has to do is listening after saying it.. goes like this..

                “Gosh I was shocked last week when John Key resigned”

                And it’s all the encouragement people need, everyone has an opinion on his resignation.

  20. Jenny Kirk 20

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1612/S00190/police-pay-out-for-hager-raid.htm

    Another payout to the Hagar family – from the police. Good.

    • Anne 20.1

      Excellent news. That was a shocking way to treat a young woman. The psychological effects could be long lasting.

  21. Paul 21

    Air NZ: why subject us to more Mike Hosking?

    Seeing Hosking pop up is an absurd departure from those rules. People seem to be annoyed by different aspects of his character: his incessant pen-clicking, his vacuum cleaner fetish, his short attention span, his tendency to talk over female co-hosts, his unshakeable certainty on complex topics he seems to know little about, his smug, intolerant, I’m-alright-Jack approach to the world.
    But for everyone, there’s something about the man that grates. I’ve yet to meet anyone who was an unqualified fan of the man (although I’ve never met Kate Hawkesby, who I assume must think he’s alright, and I’ve never met Hosking, which isn’t surprising as he’s never agreed to an interview with this organisation in my memory). For me, it’s all of the above. But I can (and do) avoid him. But now I can’t.
    The saving grace is that Hosking’s role in the in-flight video is to sit in his flash car in a traffic jam, looking annoyed.
    But in reality, Hosking’s part in the Air NZ video is of course, to show that the Great Mike can have a good old laugh at himself. And of course, as we’ve seen over and over again in his pompous Seven Sharp sermons, he can’t.
    Many of Air NZ’s repeat customers have sat through Dagg’s one-note rap on multiple occasions with commendable restraint, never once ripping the screen from the seat in front.
    Whether they can survive multiple views of the Hosk is less certain.

    Air NZ: why subject us to more Mike Hosking?

    • Red 21.1

      Here we agree Paul ANZ safety videos are nauseating

    • james 21.2

      Better add Air NZ to the boycott list.

      • Sabine 21.2.1

        thats fairly easy as there are plenty other companies flying in and out of NZ and all of them cheaper.

    • North 21.3

      Air NZ safety ad – brown(ish?) really is the new black……but of course living and working in the Bay of Islands/Hokianga I already knew that, as to the real brown at least. Can’t withhold the lament that it’s a pity the racists/classists who skitter nervously by the Kaikohe District Court, nostrils clenched shut (metaphorical me), don’t appreciate that. Also…….can’t for the life of me imagine why anyone thought a cameo by scarecrowishly slight, grimacing, impatient, entitled, mutton-as-lamb, white dork Hosking…….that this works for the safety of any fucking thing. It’s Judge Judy in skinny jeans on meth’. Must have been some special ‘tatou tatou bro’ going on down in Aux when this got made.

  22. Karen 22

    An absolutely fantastic piece by Stephanie Rodgers has been published in Overland today. The subject is “Solidarity” and is essential reading for those on the left IMO.

    https://overland.org.au/2016/12/this-is-what-solidarity-looks-like/

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