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Open Mike 15/10/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 15th, 2018 - 138 comments
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138 comments on “Open Mike 15/10/2018”

  1. Bill 1

    Just testing the waters here (off the back of this) but are there any women here who would find value in having a daily “dick free” post/thread – a bit like Open Mike but with no male contributions?

    Hardly possible to make it perfect since a commentator’s gender isn’t always obvious, but the idea would be that any comments from people known to be male would simply be shunted to Open Mike in the first instance, and anyone seeking to masquerade as female would have the known threat of a ban (to be counted in years?) hanging over any possible discovery of their shenanigans.

    More than that very rudimentary level of moderation would be contingent on a women with back end access and permissions taking up the baton. (Which may never happen.)

    sigh – painful to feel this necessity to state the obvious, but this comment is seeking responses only from women who frequent the site.

    • Carolyn_Nth 1.1

      The dislike of patriarchal culture and related abusive comments is not an MOR (or even right wing) thing as you are trying to paint it, Bill.

      It is very radical against abuse, support, and reinforcement of long time conventions of power and privilege.

      I’d rather see leadership on such matters from an author or commenter who understands the problem.

    • Carolyn_Nth 1.2

      Sorry, I mixed this up with Antoine’s comment below:

      Open Mike 15/10/2018

  2. Ed 2

    Thought provoking for a Monday morning.

    “The Guardian’s Alarming Recent Record Of Propaganda, Misinformation, And Slander

    As has often happened to progressive-minded people who’ve reached a more radical point in their political evolutions, I’ve become disillusioned with many organizations, leaders and media sources that I used to rely on. One of these dubious sources is The Guardian.
    At first, it seemed to me like The Guardian is a good alternative to the American mainstream media outlets. It’s often featured quality articles about subjects like climate change, and its columnist George Monbiot is the one who first taught me what the term “neoliberal” means. But this good material is what gives a feel of reliability to the misleading claims that The Guardian very often puts out……”


    • Jenny 2.1

      Good Morning to you Ed, From the link you have provided, What you and your writer object to is the Guardian’s exposure of your other’s fascism denial, and the Guardian’s continued exposure and coverage of the genocide being carried out by your favourite dictator. I have no doubt you find this exposure “alarming”. And it is your alarm and fear of being exposed that fuels your hatred of the Guardian

      However what I sense is that lately your and others support for fascism has become somewhat muted, for fear of being laughed out of court. Witness the long winded lead in before this writer dares to mention their real gripe with the Guardian, their coverage of Syria.

      The Guardian’s Alarming Recent Record Of Propaganda, Misinformation, And Slander
      Rainer Shea – October 14, 2018

      But this good material is what gives a feel of reliability to the misleading claims that The Guardian very often puts out.

      And Monbiot himself has been one of The Guardian’s main sources of these claims. In a 2014 essay, the journalist Jonathan Cook called Monbiot “the left’s McCarthy,” and wrote that Monbiot “is not a guardian of our moral consciences, as he likes to think, but a guardian of the outer limits of a corporate-sanctioned consensus.” Cook provided good reasons for these characterizations; when the scholars Ed Herman and David Peterson argued that recent conflicts in Rwanda and the Balkans have been falsely characterized as “genocides” to benefit Western narratives, Monbiot wrote a 2011 column in The Guardian denouncing these scholars as genocide deniers……

      ……..I’m referring to Monbiot’s coverage of Syria in the last eight years. In 2011, Monbiot used two expat businessmen and one British man as his personal consultants over whether the West should impose sanctions on Syria-while the opinions of the Syrian people were completely ignored. This journalistic practice was biased to say the least, and it indicated that Monbiot would stay within official Western narratives in his reporting on Syria.

      Monbiot has since consistently pushed narratives about Assad’s government that help advance the U.S./NATO empire’s goals for Syrian intervention. In 2014, Monbiot wrote a column in The Guardian which characterized an al-Qaeda fighter’s act of terrorism as an “act of extraordinary courage” because the fighter had targeted an Assad-controlled prison. In November 2016, Monbiot tweeted that Assad and Putin had been carrying out a “destruction in Aleppo” when there had been no massacre in Aleppo, and when the rebel fighters were allowed to leave with their families and their weapons. And whenever Monbiot’s fellow journalists have questioned Assad’s role in Syrian chemical incidents, Monbiot has attacked them in the same aggressive and closed-minded way he attacked Herman and Peterson……

      • Stuart Munro 2.1.1

        I find it breathtaking myself that the Standard tolerates Ed’s fascist propagandizing for a moment. He was running some crap yesterday about world war two in the Ukraine, as part of his campaign manufacturing consent for Putin’s invasion there.

        I guess all the old tropes are being shown to be true – the intellectually weak being susceptible to propaganda, and the mild liberals being too nice to reject fascism and trying to accommodate it. It’s as if all the lessons of the early twentieth century were forgotten. Though of course it’s a generational thing – they never learned it.

        [My “breathtaking” is to be found in my hitherto tolerance for your tiresome and dishonest hounding of contributors to the site over days and weeks – for your apparent presumption to determine who should and should not comment here; to determine what political opinions ought to be allowed and not allowed; to openly lie about peoples’ political leanings and motivations…Etc.

        Notice the word “hitherto”? The tolerance has been chibbed, and this is the only warning you’ll be getting to pull your head in, stop disrupting the flow of comments with your vendettas or whatever the hell it is you think your doing, and engage solely with the topic or arguments at hand.] – B.

        • One Two

          Breathless, and suggesting a ban at the same time…

          Nice one, Stu!

        • te reo putake

          It’s funny you should say it’s a generational thing, Stuart, because Ed does kinda remind me of a particularly naive commenter from years back, Kiwiteen 123.

          The nice thing about Ed’s contributions is that he occasionally hits the nail on the head, so it’s probably better to encourage him when he does get it right, rather than get overly negative on his dictator boostering. Like all of us, Ed’s a work in progress and every day’s a learning day.

          As for Kiwiteen 123, I reckon he’s at uni now and every bit as annoying:

        • OnceWasTim

          I’ll fess up now @ Stuart M and a few others. My penis is considerably CONSIDERABLY less in length than yours.
          I console myself in the knowledge that its girth is something to behold.
          And while I’m in the confessional, it’s possible I’ve sometimes told a little white lie or two – definitely two at least. One as to its length, the other its girth.

      • Adrian Thornton 2.1.2

        @ Jenny@Stuart Munro@te reo putake….Ed is exactly right to feel disillusioned with The Guardian, I take it you all don’t?

        Yet The Guardian is plainly biased against the first tangible Left Wing political movement to give a viable alternative to Liberalism to emerge in the UK for a couple of generations…so I take it from your vocal defense of The Guardian that you all have more sympathy for a the New Labour Blairite style Labour, rather than a Socialist Labour?

        “Our report found that 75% of press coverage misrepresents Jeremy Corbyn – we can’t ignore media bias anymore”

        And The Guardian response…
        “Yes, Jeremy Corbyn has suffered a bad press, but where’s the harm?”

        How the Guardian Changed Tack on Corbyn, Despite Its Readers

        How The Guardian Undermines Jeremy Corbyn and the Left

        Fuck The Guardian, just guard dogs of the establishment liberal status quo, and if you can’t see that plainly obvious truth, well then….

        • Stuart Munro

          I have considerable reservations about the Guardian’s anti-Corbyn campaigns and similar nonsense. But when we look at what Ed does endorse the Guardian starts to look pretty good.

      • Tricledrown 2.1.3

        Jenny Monbiot is just one journalist.
        The Guardian deliberately puts forward opposing views.
        Your description of Assad is only an opinion.
        The Syrian war is a power grab by Putin pushing back the Arab spring Obama cockup who followed George W’s cock up.
        If the US got more involved we would have seen more wars breaking out.
        While Assad is a nasty Dictator who would have replaced him IsIs.
        GH Bush warned his son not to invade Iraq as it would open an hornets nest
        Guess what the hornets nest has been opened and its never going to be closed.
        Religious fanatics from all sides will ensure that peace will never be achieved.
        Arms sales will go up and who are the 2 biggest arms exporters they will want continuous dysfunction in the Middle East.

    • Siobhan 2.2

      You’ll be liking this article Ed.
      The Guardian explaining that the Saudis were actually quite a progressive and reasonable state with a restrained attitude who have, under Prince Mohammed, had a fine respect for human life and freedoms, its just that they are falling under the evil and nefarious influence of Putin.

      “The Russian president’s role in the Middle East had suddenly expanded and his footprint throughout Europe and the US was growing just as rapidly. The young prince seemed curious about what the mercurial Putin had been up to: annexation, intimidation, deflection, the denial of objective facts. But he kept coming back to one question, the officials recalled: how does he get away with it? “He was fascinated by him,” one of the Britons told the Observer. “He seemed to admire him. He liked what he did.” Two years later Prince Mohammed is embroiled in a crisis unlike any other in his short, combustible time as the world’s most powerful thirtysomething. The crown prince stands accused of ordering the brutal death of a prominent critic on foreign soil – a state-sanctioned hit that is without precedent in the kingdom’s modern history, but is not quite so unknown in Russia.”

      You’d be right in thinking I’ve sneakily linked to some sabre rattling paranoia and misinformation in the Daily Mail, but no, it really is the Guardian blaming Putin for prince Muhammad’s ‘misstep’. poor boy gullible that he is.


      • francesca 2.2.1

        Nicely put Siobhan
        The Guardian really has become shameless and reckless about fact checking;
        seemingly these are the Guardian’s “values” now
        Chulov has always been more of an opinion piece guy, but this is passed off as news!
        MSB was never a reformer, as shown by the provided links


      • Bill 2.2.2

        If it’s a bad news story, there’s always a Russian angle to be had.

        Nice (though painfully see through) cover for, or deflection from, all the diplomatic, economic and military support afforded SA by the UK and others though, aye?

      • Tricledrown 2.2.3

        Sioban the Saudi govt is playing Putin off against Trump another Syria in the making.
        Like Trump says if we don’t supply them with the US$120 billion arms deal Russia will.

      • Jenny 2.2.4

        You’d be right in thinking I’ve sneakily linked to some sabre rattling paranoia and misinformation in the Daily Mail, but no, it really is the Guardian blaming Putin for prince Muhammad’s ‘misstep’. poor boy gullible that he is.


        I think Sioban that the Guardian article is hysterical and more balanced than you give them credit for.

        Blaming Trump as much as Putin as setting the low bar on human rights and international norms of behaviour.

        From the linked article you supplied:

        Trump repeatedly claims that the US no longer sets the world order – except on Iran – and has pointedly eased pressure on states that previous administrations claimed had long fallen short on human rights and governance. The result has been a vacuum in global leadership, emboldening leaders who might otherwise have checked their behaviour, a Riyadh-based western ambassador said.

        “Relationships are being redefined. People know there are no limits,” the ambassador said. “If ever there was a case study of the post-fact Middle East, this is it. There is impunity all around.”

    • Bill 2.3

      Back in 1990(?) The Guardian (then still in a broadsheet format) ran a front page consisting of a full page, disturbing photo of a dead man’s face. It was in the lead-up to what would become the break up of Yugoslavia, and The Guardian was baying for war/intervention.

      Back then, The Guardian was considered to be the middle class, sandal wearing peoples’ rag that offered the ‘correct’ spelling of youghourt, the mis-spelling of just about everything else (their typos were a running joke), alongside many articles on the fine art of hand wringing and “first world” problems.

      So they haven’t really changed. And there is still the occasional nugget to be found in their pages.

      It was The Guardian (accidentally or otherwise) that published an article based on official government documents that exposed UK government funding to Syrian Jihadists.(I’ve linked to it a few times) And sure, they never built on it and it ran entirely counter to their editorial line – which is and always has been crap.

      Meanwhile, Monbiot does some good stuff on the environment, but is otherwise a complete waste of time and space. Larry Elliot has written some good stuff on the economics front. And they otherwise sometimes carry good opinion pieces.

      In other words, the paper isn’t a total loss.

      • Definitely not a total loss, Bill.

        It was the Grauniad that broke the Murdoch newspapers phone hacking scandal, which ended in the closure of the News of the World. And there’s their work with Edward Snowden and others. The Panama Papers was theirs in part as well.

        It’s always worth remembering that the paper itself doesn’t claim to be left wing, though obviously a lot of its writers are. There are alternatives in the UK (the Mirror is surprisingly good on politics and the Morning Star is devoted to left wing analysis), however there isn’t another major English language newspaper in the world that is as consistently progressive as the Guardian.

        In a wider sense, the problem is that the Russians and others have devalued ‘news’ to the point where even the concept of journalism is a mystery to a lot of people and opinion writers get confused with reporters of fact as if they were one and the same thing.

        • Bill

          I wouldn’t characterise the Guardian as “progressive”. It’s liberal and always has been, which is fine unless the reader expects a perspective coming from the left.

          Devaluing news? Dumbing down? That started back before the internet and I’d think more or less coincided with the reprise of liberalism across the Anglosphere.

  3. Ed 3

    There’s a pattern here.
    Short staffing.
    Wonder if RNZ noticed it and could join the dots.

    “Workloads and pay would need to improve before NZ teacher Michael Harvey would consider returning as part of the government’ recruitment drive, he says.”


    “Health workers have described how “dangerous levels” of short-staffing across the country’s hospitals is putting patients and staff at risk.”


    Death by 1000 cuts for New Zealand citizens.

    • Wayne 3.1

      What nonsense blaming the teacher shortage on neo-liberalism. Teachers have been complaining about workload and class sizes all my adult life. In the late sixties when I was at school the typical fifth form class was a little over 30 students.
      On the views of the PPTA the teaching “crisis” must have been continuously running for over 50 years.
      Same with nurses. Hospitals seem to have had similar staffing ratios for just about forever.
      It suits the unions to say everything is a crisis because they know the government will give in. It is after all the government the unions financed so these pay rounds are just their due reward.
      Same across the entire state sector. Just about everyone will get pay rises over the next 3 years of between 5 and 10% per year.

      • Dennis Frank 3.1.1

        Hard to disagree with that since it concords with my experience too. Important for teachers to bleat in general terms rather than blame the evil controller who keeps refusing to give them more money. Serves the subsidiary purpose of reinforcing the public view that teachers are unable to connect cause & effect.

      • Stuart Munro 3.1.2

        It doesn’t occur to you that cost of living has grown rapidly under neo-liberalism Wayne? Of course it wouldn’t – such stresses do not touch insiders. Particularly expensive cities now represent a losing deal for teachers and nurses unless they already own their own housing, which is no incentive to stay in the profession.

        The stress this generates is worsened by ill-conceived reforms and gratuitous dead weight nuisances like the Novapay debacle. But by all means keep whistling in the dark – it’s going to be a long time before the Gnats see the light at the end of the tunnel.

      • Psych nurse 3.1.3

        No, your talking through a hole in your head. I have worked in Health for forty odd years, clinical management for half of them. Its only in the last few years that we have had massive shortages, you should try being confronted with up to 50% shortages for night shift and thats before Nurses ring in sick. Sick because they had worked 16 hr shifts the previous day and the day before. This is all because of a lack of work force planning for the last decade, poor wages in comparrison to other professions and countries.
        The majority of Nurses like Teachers are fast approaching retirement age, still no planning to replace them other than poaching a workforce from third world countries who need their own health and Education workers.

      • Tricledrown 3.1.4

        Wayne So Simple Soimens smaller class sizes are going to be achieved by sinking lid policies that National do to any publicly funded service govt provides so we end up with as in the education sector a shortage of teachers.
        Poor education outcomes 96,000 unemployed under 24 year old when we have massive shortages in construction, IT, nursing teaching agriculture, tourism.
        National is a short sighted win power at all cost’s let the invisible hand of the market sort it out.
        If you ran a business like that it would fail.
        Investing in education was identified as important back in the latter part of the 19 th century when Germany began investing in education for economic and strategic military reasons other countries watching quickly jumped on the band wagon realising that superior economic, technology and industrial power would leave those left behind in a very weak strategic position.
        National are guilty of under investing in our most valuable resource.
        NZ knows this hence Simple Siomon’s massive U turn on Nationals woeful history on education spending.
        Highlighting Nationals failure.

      • Gabby 3.1.5

        Kids behaved themselves back then or they got beaten wayney. And the stroppy ones were out by age 15. Marking was tick/cross/ x/10 with a rare as hen’s teeth comment in actual words.

        • Wayne


          Obviously you went to a very different school to me (mine was Reporoa College). I had very decent and highly motivated teachers (mostly). At least in the sixth and seventh forms (20 students and 8 students respectively) the teachers went to huge lengths to lift the aspirations of the students. To be fair, not so much in the fifth form (65 students in two classes).

          In the 1960’s there was country service. So we got some extremely good young teachers.

          I did get caned on a fair bit, but not in the 6th and 7th form. We were treated as young adults, and we lifted our own standards accordingly.

          • In Vino

            Both Wayne and Gabby: Caning kids did not actually make teaching them easier. I think the difficulty of teaching them remains constant.
            What changes is support and obstacles.
            Support has diminished. Teachers are less often backed by parents and the legal system. Govt (through Ministry) has so often prompted teachers to ‘work smarter, not harder’, while ‘doing more with less’. That cracked old record broke apart long ago… And salaries have slipped inexcusably because of penny-pinching Govts of both Right and Left.
            Obstacles: Workload was massively increased over the years, with increased paperwork in that 80s period of ‘increased transparency’.. one had not only to do the same work, but write screeds for ERO about how one did it as well. Bollocks. Then came NCEA for secondary teachers – another big shift of workload onto teachers with Internal Assessment (teachers had now to make up their tests and mark them and have them moderated) along with other extra paperwork.. And I gather Primary teachers got much the same thing with National Standards.
            All this is symptomatic of Govts wanting to impose austerity instead of social well-being. (Yuk – I hate that phrase.)
            Low pay has now become an Obstacle as well. Dedicated teachers who 30 years ago would stay in the profession are now leaving after a few years, after they realise what the job is now actually like.
            I began in 1970. I am now semi-retired. NO WAY will I return to full time under current conditions. Your time as part of Govt helped create this, Wayne.

    • cleangreen 3.2


      My family has turned it’s back on RNZ as we see it now simply as a right wing media platform.

      We have been denied any media coverage of our community transport problems since labour took over and the Government have done nothing to fix this right wing misuse of our public media.

  4. Ed 4

    ‘Seven tell-tale signs the next crash is coming

    Last week the sharemarket plunged over the course of two intense days, shedding enormous value off major stocks. While the chaos was concentrated in the US market, the impact spread across the world and also hit New Zealand. In what was one of the worst days in the history of the NZ sharemarket, S&P/NZX50, which tracks the top 50 stocks in New Zealand, dropped 3.64 per cent. While the market did recover on Friday, it caused many to question whether the next big crash was on the horizon…..’


    • Gabby 4.1

      I wonder how Sir Ponyboy’s portfolio’s looking.

      • Incognito 4.1.1

        I believe his children are doing well.

        • Gabby

          I Trust he’s not neglecting his own interests.

          • cleangreen

            Ponyboy is as usual scamming the system again.

            He could now be involved with taking a ‘financial hedge’ against the NZ dollar again as he did in 1987 with has high flying buddy Andy Krieger?

            Key & his Wall St mate Andy Krieger just may actually repeat what they did when Labour booted National out in 1984!!!!!

            Key will leave NZ after pushing up the dollar with their money, and then pulling it out and slumping the dollar and again making yet another $40 million again.

            Key and Krieger were written up in global news as one of the most successful raids ever made on a county’s currency.

            So don’t have any illusions that this man known as the smiling assassin is nice, he is ruthless.


            The timing of his elevation, in the midst of a financial crisis, may be quite prophetic. After all, Key’s rise to prominence in foreign exchange circles came after he struck a rewarding relationship at Bankers Trust with Andy Krieger, a daring New York-based trader who launched a legendary raid against the NZ dollar in 1987.

            John Key is living proof that not all heads of derivatives operations for large US investment banks end up in the dog house. Some get to run their own country.

          • Incognito

            I believe as a parent he has the interests of his children at heart.

      • James 4.1.2

        He has been very successful over a long time – so I’m guessing he’s all good.

      • SaveNZ 4.1.3

        Probably missing the limelight and freebies and ‘donations’ for policy, bet he is yearning to get back into politics and the control of others.

        • Dennis Frank

          The obvious expectation upon retirement was that the Bilderbergers would offer him a coordinating role at the top level. The only evidence we’re likely to get on that is if he was reported as routinely travelling overseas (to foreign capitals, Geneva, NY). Alternatively, just as likely he told the truth about wanting to relax into family life.

    • Humma 4.2

      It’s quite often when these predictions come out that they do not happen. Crashes happen when no one is predicting them. When everyone is bullish. Currently there are a lot of people with cash on the sidelines because they think the market has got ahead of itself. When that is the case it is not the right environment for a crash.
      Do I think stocks are overvalued? Maybe a bit. Average PE’s are high but that is exacerbated by a few larger companies that dominate these indexes. Time will tell, but every year you have these commentators that cry doom and gloom. One year they will be right.

  5. RedLogix 5

    Prof Tim Naish is my touchstone on climate change:

    • Ed 5.1

      Thank you. I’ll listen later on today when I get the chance.
      I find Kevin Anderson excellent.

  6. Investigative journalist Nicky Hager reveals a culture of impunity and cover-ups within the NZDF https://www.noted.co.nz/currently/social-issues/defence-force-new-claims-of-war-crimes-and-sex-assaults/

    • Ed 6.1

      Apparently in North and South coming out today.
      Also Nicky Hager was interviewed on Morning Report.

      And on a a separate note, that dreadful Giles Beckworth has taken Espiner ‘s spot.
      Don’t we have better journalists?

    • Carolyn_Nth 6.2

      RNZ’s report on it:


      I will look for the full article in North and South later this week.

      Curiously, there was a similar plot line in a Danish drama series that showed in the last year on NZ TV. It was a drama about a family headed by a patriarchal priest. His priest son served with the military, and while accompanying soldiers on a mission, he was encouraged to shoot at an alleged sniper – it was in fact an innocent woman.

      Like the NZ medic in Hager’s report he was afterwards so totally tortured by the killing, he left the church and became an independent minster working with street people. But his crime was also covered up by the establishment.

      I suspect such incidents are not isolated occurrences.

      • alwyn 6.2.1

        “there was a similar plot line in a Danish drama series”.
        Well Nicky has to get his plot lines from somewhere. You might call it plagiarism but Nicky would just say he was doing a bit of creative interpretation.

        Listening to him on Morning Report today leaves me thinking that he only has to change a couple of names and he can sell the story again.
        Just change NZDF to NZ Labour Party and SAS to Young Labour and he can publish it again.

        How is the coverup of the Labour Party sex scandal going by the way? Have the Police Force started obeying orders from the Boss and quietly dropped all the charges yet?

    • Carolyn_Nth 6.3

      There’s a demo planned for Wednesday in Wellington by Organise Aotearoa:

      On Wednesday, we’re holding a rally in Wellington at William Colenso Square on Molesworth Street at 4:30pm. Come along and tell the NZDF that you condemn its war crimes and culture of sexual abuse and homophobia! https://www.facebook.com/events/2245324562207138/

    • Exkiwiforces 6.4

      Mr Hager, probably needs to understand the difference between a combat medic and your bog standard medic that you would see in Regimental Aid Post/ Casualty Clearing Post at A Echelon or B Echelon. The days of a medic armed with his Red Cross and his medical gear running around a battlefield ended around the latter stages of WW2/ Korean War due to a number of Nations had a habit of shooting Medics on the battlefield.

      A Combat Medic is an Infantryman within a section, a Tankie within an Armoured Vehicle Crew, A Gunner within a Gun section, a Field Engineer within a section, Airforce Gound Defence Section (Airforce Infantry) and in Special Forces Ptl or Section etc.

      A Combat Medic role is a secondary role within the Fighting unit/ Combat Platoon/ Team. As a result some Combat Medics are more highly trained than others within a Combat Medic role. For example some Combat Medics can perform basic minor surgery on the casualty or trained similar to that of a Para Medic, A&E or ICU Nurse/ Doc and in my case as a basic Combat First Aid dealing dealings trauma wounds, Minor first aid injuries, using drugs/ drips, stabilise the casualty IOT safety move the casualty back to the A Ech or help other Medics at a Cleaning Station or during clinics at local villages etc.

      So in my humble opinion, I don’t think it would be Vampire (Military slang for a Medic) running around battlefield kicking doors in and shooting up the place. Or else this person is in the wrong job for starters, as all the medic’s I’ve come across or worked alongside do take their Red Cross obligations quite seriously which than I could say about some Medical NGO’s over the years.

  7. Gabby 7

    Investigations take up valuable time that could be better used in haka practice.

  8. Cinny 8

    The leak saga continues.

    They want you gone’ – duncan garner confronts simon bridges with fresh leaks


  9. Pete 9

    The headline has it that unions are to blame for low wages. So if there’d been no unions in New Zealand workers would be highly paid. Yes Mike Hosking I believe you. Not.

  10. Herodotus 10

    With household inflation forecast to be in the range of 3% (and this was before the massive fuel increases) teachers are being told a 3% increase in wages is a good thing by the govt ?
    And notice the language that Chris Hipkins is using by aggregating the 3 year increase of $7k in his interviews.
    Teaching friends of mine accept that this govt is currently better then the last, but they are becoming very frustrated in the rhetoric that the govt is using and its lack of action in addressing this crisis.

  11. dV 11

    In the Herald this am
    The truckies are flooding Auckland in a protest over petri tax.

    GOVT- OK we will axe the tax.

    TRUCKIES AND NATZ – Yippee Yah

    GOVT – THE road need money to be maintained.

    TRUCKIES AND NATZ – Yes the roads are in a terrible state, sort them OUT!!

    GOVT Ok will do – road user charges will go up by …..say x10.

    TRUCKIES AND NATZ ——Hey you can’t dot that!!!

  12. dV 12

    In the Herald this am
    The truckies are flooding Auckland in a protest over petri tax.

    GOVT- OK we will axe the tax.

    TRUCKIES AND NATZ – Yippee Yah

    GOVT – THE road need money to be maintained.

    TRUCKIES AND NATZ – Yes the roads are in a terrible state, sort them OUT!!

    GOVT Ok will do – road user charges will go up by …..say x10.

    TRUCKIES AND NATZ ——Hey you can’t do that!!!

    • cleangreen 12.1

      This was a Road transport association (RTA) orchestrated attack on our Minister of Transport Phil Twyford, as he is taking some money from the “Land Transport ‘consolidated fund” and using it to fund rail repairs and urgently needed upgrades.

      Truckles fear they may loose freight around the country to rail.

      But the roads are now falling to bits by the large road freight increases in the last 10 yrs!!!!

      So road user charges now must increase dramatically;

      Or road taxes must increase to make roads safer.

      Many people are dying under trucks see here last weekend again a death with accidental truck incident.


  13. Gosman 13

    The failure of Socialism in Venezuela is influencing electoral politics in other countries in the region


    Congrats supporters of Bolivarian socialism. The failure of your former ‘poster boy’ is leading to the rise of fascism in other countries.

    • Tricledrown 13.1

      Gosman South America is under the CIA’s influence since the US decided to become a super power.
      Gossipboy Dogmatic till the end. Your never going to get anyone to listen or change if you carry on with your un yielding unscientific rants.
      Despot dictators have been installed where ever possible mainly murderous Fascists.
      Who buy military hardware from the US and use it to suppress democracy.
      The left end up just as nasty as the right.
      If not for the US Colonialist meddling you would have moderate Democracies by now.
      The cold War is over communism and Fascism are a complete failure.
      So Gosman and DTB both of you are extremists ideologues who think their utopic ideology will work both have failed miserably.
      Argentina trialled pure capitalism it lasted 18months it was a disaster.
      Cuba and Venezuela tried communism it has failed.

    • Gabby 13.2

      So THAT’s what caused the shitty mess in Syria and Libya gozzer.

    • adam 13.3

      *yawn* still with b.s. about Venezuela ah Gosman. Why don’t you just publish John Oliver’s piece while your at it, it’s full of out right misinformation.

      People wanting to run their own country is a crime. What next Gosman, the US has to invade….

  14. Gosman 14

    Here is an article analysing the situation in Venezuela from a left wing perspective.


    Key points:

    – Venezuela is in serious crisis as evidenced by the massive outward migration to other nations

    – Many, many companies and businesses have closed; it is difficult to get a formal job; there is a dramatic shortage in food and medicine; wages are low; the prices of products found in commerce are high; there is a hyperinflation that causes prices to rise every day.

    – Maduro and the Chavista regime is in large part, to blame for the tragedy. Due to bad decisions and the confrontational attitude of his government. He has also contributed to the legal insecurity in Venezuela, which drives away investments and discourages entrepreneurs.

    • Tricledrown 14.1

      Gossipboy ranting in your Silo again
      ffs try something new for godsake.
      Surely someone as intelligent and well educated widely read as your self can come up with something new and better than reheating the same stale mouldy old story.

  15. R.P Mcmurphy 15

    grant robertson the maestro.

  16. R.P Mcmurphy 16

    now the nationals party apologist is whining on rnz about petrol tax.

  17. R.P Mcmurphy 17

    more sly nationals party memes.
    there is a price to pay for everything.

  18. Tricledrown 18

    Gossipboy I’ll bet you anything you like that Bolisarno will be as corrupt as any previous Brazilian leader.
    And Brazil will do no better corruption is endemic this will not change in our lifetimes.

    • Gosman 18.1

      But will it be as corrupt as Venezuela is now?

      • Tricledrown 18.1.1

        Dictatorship’s aren’t corrupt Gossipboy
        Your dictating of only one side of the story boringly corrupt.
        Repeating the failure of Venezuela ruins any argument you may have had.
        Dictatorship’s are Dogmatic like spin lies while murdering the truth just like you gossip boy.
        By comparing a country which is controlled by drug Cartels with any form of democracy looses the point of your pathetic arguments.
        And Besides Brazils economy is much larger with much more money to corrupt.
        Lift your game Gossipboy boring people with your repetitive dreary Dogma barking madly and incessantly.

  19. Antoine 20

    Not a reply to Bill’s top-of-thread comment, but inspired by it:

    The Standard has traditionally been a forum for arguing – vigorously – frequently descending into slanging matches and abuse. Not only the commenters but also some authors and moderators have behaved in this way. This seems OK to me, there is a niche for this kind of site, it gives people a bit of interest in their lives and keeps them coming back.

    It does however put off many people particularly women, right-wingers, centrists, people with good manners and normal people in general.

    Mods need to decide what the Standard is for.

    Is it still for arguing and wrangling? Then fine, just go on as you are. (Probably some commentators will leave in disgust. Some will come back in time.)

    Or is it for reasoned, measured, sometimes impassioned but basically polite discussion? Then you need to make some very significant changes. Starting by taking a good hard look at yourselves and your own conduct. (I’m looking at lprent, TRP, Bill among others.) You will probably have to get rid of quite a few ‘old guard’ commenters who cannot be reformed as well.

    I think Weka was trying to take the Standard down the latter route. It proved unachievable for her.


    • Ad 20.1

      Good commenters also need to choose carefully who they engage with and why, and figure out quickly who is just not worth their while.

    • Siobhan 20.2

      particularly women, right-wingers, centrists, people with good manners and normal people in general“..
      I notice you forgot to include Left wingers in your list.
      Nearly all my commited left wing friends, a good percentage of whom are male, refuse to comment or even read the Standard because of the abusive tone.
      That and the perception that its dominated by Labour Party fan boys and girls who tolerate no questioning of the Party line. Particularly scary when they form packs and start accusing every man, woman and his dog of being a troll, which happens far too often.

      Personally I walked through the ring of fire, being called an ‘arsehole’, a ‘nutter’, a ‘gormless idiot’, ‘disappointingly boring and quite predictable’ (ouch!!), among other things, by The Sysop in the course of one memorable week. Which I guess I’m grateful for, as it left me with no illusions about the nature of this site. But on the other hand I really doubt there is any strong appetite and commitment for change.

      it is what it is.

      • Carolyn_Nth 20.2.1


        And, in a way, I understand why many of those who dominate this site are happy with its culture, and don’t want it to change. When people have a little status in a little domain, they are unwilling to give it up.

        But it doesn’t represent the wider left – although, as I have said previously, all the big left wing blogs are male dominated, in one way or another.

        And there’s no major left site really providing much space for socialist feminists, or even social democratic women, or LGBT+ people, or people of colour/Maori/Pacific people – except in a pretty marginal way.

        However, i would have expected a little more self reflection from those who dominate this site, as presumably committed lefties, on the male dominance herrre

    • Thanks, Antoine.

      To a large extent, it’s up to the commenters what TS is, or becomes. The site has certainly evolved over the years (google Robinsod if you want to get a flavour of the anarchic early days). I see it now as reasonably mature in a blog sense, with a distinct tone and an engaged community.

      There has been a good effort from the authors in recent times to guide commenters rather than argue with them or simply ban them. In the few months I’ve been back I’ve binned a few comments, gave some clear direction to a couple of folk and banned nobody. Last month only 5 people got banned, all for short periods.

      I think the authors are much more aware these days of the power imbalance, too. I’ve even walked away from a couple of discussions where my status appeared to be affecting other commenter’s ability to say what they wanted to.

      None of us writers are paid, though we all try to write in a professional way. Just for the record, even a simple ‘notices and features’ post takes 10-15 minutes to put together. The more involved opinion pieces can take an hour or more. Then add in the time taken to monitor comments and you’ve got a significant commitment to the site.

      It’s a job, really. No monetary reward, however some occasional, fleeting satisfaction at a turn of phrase, a heartfelt comment or an issue elevated into the public consciousness.

  20. Jimmy 21

    According to Stuff, Jamie Lee Ross was the leak!!!!!

  21. Draco T Bastard 22

    David Neiwert

    1) There’s been a lot of handwringing in the media pundit corps and centrist politicians these days about the loss of comity, post-Kavanaugh. And then Donald Trump made them all look absurd with his remarks at his rally last night. Thread follows.

    Thread is about how the RWNJs in the US are promoting civil war.

  22. adam 23

    Must say so impressed with all the anti-free speech people you have your wish – facebook is shutting down the left.

    Who would have thought it. (well myself and few others here – you know who you are)

    It’s all this our source is better than your source B.S. which has made it here as well has finally led to this.

    So when they shut down the last of the dissenting voices, blame yourselves folks – you did this – you let the corporations walk all over you.


    • McFlock 23.1

      The left has been shut down? Gosh. 800 pages culled and the entire Left is ended. Who knew victory for the tories would be so easy.

      Such a tragedy that I’ll no longer see your comments.

      • Bill 23.1.1

        It’s not “800 pages culled”. It’s another 800 pages on top of previous take downs and shut downs that are being done largely at the behest of four designated organisations acting as approved censors for facebook.

        That aside. The unnecessary personal dig included your comment? Leave it out, aye?

        • McFlock

          How many pages have been reinstated from those previous take-downs?

          And the personal dig also pointed out that FB is not essential to “the left”. Adam was commenting here, and AFAIK this is the only place I see their comments. Even if zucks were trying to turn FB into FoxNews Social Media, it’s not the only platform in town.

          • Bill

            I don’t know how many have since been re-instated. I also don’t know what knock-on effect the loss of a fb page has for a news or info source, though given the large percentage of people who apparently get their news from fb, it’s unlikely to be having a minimal impact.

            There’s quite a bit of dodgy stuff going on with regards the web and censorship that affects a huge chunk of the web (ie – google, fb and youtube).

            Thoughtful and thought provoking articles, info and analysis are there to be had if information and controlling access to it interests you.

            • McFlock

              There is also a lot of dodgy stuff going on with regards to lack of censorship on the web, too. Bullying, bots, phishing, etc.

              It’s sort of a microcosm of society – if there’s no sherriff, society usually becomes parasitic and toxic. If there’s too much sherriff, it becomes a police state.

              • adam

                I like how you shift the point to avoid the point. The problem is the broad sweep censorship, with a big chuck of what is being hit is left wing voices. Not parasites and generally not toxic, but you only want to listen to your take on the left – so I get why your clapping and cheering on this sort of stuff.

                • McFlock

                  A big chuck of right wing voices are hit, too. The question is how many of these left and right “voices” deserve to be taken down because they are outright dangerous. And the question of any screening system is how false negatives and false positives are caught and re-evaluated, hence my question of how many are reinstated after appeal.

                  Because “generally” non-toxic means that even you would admit that some toxic content occurs even from the left, no?

                  • adam

                    You and I do toxic ever once in a while, so yes it exists on the left. But the point of the post was the blanket approach used by the monolith that is facebook – has a tendency to target social activists and left leaning people rather than toxic and vial idiots you are talking about. Yes it got a few of those, but people like


                    are not in that group. If anything, the outright dangerous like Alex Jones, have profited by the facebook doing this sort of thing. And grown in support – so blocking them is not working either.

                    • McFlock

                      That’s an odd site, and hardly left wing. Looking at some of its stories I’d want to see what they were sharing via FB before making a call on their case.

              • Bill

                Bullying, bots, phishing, etc. would strike me as coming down to moderation (not censorship), bullshit chasing money or rating (as far as I understand bots) and security against….well, I was gong to say malware, but nothing really protects a person from their own stupidity.

                Censorship of information by arguably monopolistic platforms is something else entirely, but hey…

                • McFlock

                  Could you explain more about the distinction between moderation and censorship?

                  • Bill

                    Censorship deletes or makes invisible – eradicates. Moderation doesn’t.

                    • McFlock

                      But don’t moderators here sometimes redact some or all parts of a particular comment? In extreme cases, yes, but does it happen?

                    • Bill

                      Yes, it happens – ie, moderation can slip over into censorship. What’s your point?

                    • McFlock

                      Doesn’t that count as “deletes or makes invisible”?

                    • Bill

                      When it slips over from being one thing to being another? Why yes, it does.

                    • McFlock

                      So I guess I’m not sure what your point is. FB censorship isn’t a bad thing, just how extensive it might be becoming is the problem?

                    • Bill

                      Good gawd. There is no way you misunderstood the term “from one to the other” – ie, two different things.

                      Can’t be arsed with the level of sophistry your indulging in.

                    • McFlock

                      The point is that censorship itself isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes it’s necessary, whichever the platform. The existence isn’t the problem, the balance is the issue. I think bringing the reins in a bit is necessary. As long as the good outweighs the bad of overreach in individual cases, it’s a positive.

      • adam 23.1.2

        Why do I always think of this song when I see your comments Mcflock?


        • McFlock

          I would give you a considered answer, but it would be a personal dig.

          • adam

            I was hoping you could laugh at yourself, but you know, dreams are, well for the time being anyway – free.

            • McFlock

              What I’m laughing at is how severely you’ve been censored and are no longer free to express yourself because the left is being shut down.

              • adam

                Good, better than your usual grump self 🙂

              • Bill

                Here’s a case in point about censorship that you may or may not want to consider.

                That post on Zionism I did a week or so back involved sourcing info on Kastner. Google ‘curates’ searches to such a degree that I simply couldn’t break through from one side of the story and finally dumped google in favour of duckduckgo.

                I was free to express myself, but I had some problems informing myself because of the censorious effect of algorithms – put in place by a company that’s signed up to a deal with the Chinese government promising to ensure no searches in China will go to any info the government would rather remained unseen.

                Another case would be facebook responding to something like 80% or 90% of Israeli takedown requests when the people in Gaza use facebook for almost all of their news access.

                And then there’s the ‘deplatforming’ and ‘demonetising’ malarky that’s going on with youtube…

                So yeah, maybe anyone’s free to express whatever (assuming the platform they use remains open to them) , but the library shelves are going to have all these huge gaps and/or the books containing the info we really need are going to be in storage (and so require a presence of prior knowledge to be specifically requested ) rather than happened upon by browsing.

                • McFlock

                  The point is that many people use duckduckgo because google doesn’t serve their needs.

                  I bet you lots of people in Gaza are now beginning to use something other than FB, too.

                  Which is what we never really got with libraries – if one library wasn’t making some subject areas accessible, say didn’t have a large section on medieval armour, there were a lot more barriers. You couldn’t just type in a new address and thereby visit a completely different library. And if somoene blocks that library, you figure out a way to another address.

                  • Bill

                    Facebook, meanwhile, had empowered the right-wing outlet the Weekly Standard to “fact check” articles. The Weekly Standard, invested in Kavanaugh’s confirmation, deemed the Think Progress article “false.” The story was effectively nuked from Facebook, with other outlets threatened with traffic and monetary consequences if they shared it. The story is republished below, with permission from Think Progress, though not from Facebook or the Weekly Standard.


                    So, there’s that. The censors with vested interests.

                    And you reckon people in Gaza can just choose to dump facebook and access news through…what, myspace maybe?

                    • McFlock

                      Fetlife would be more interesting. NSFW if you google it.

                      Amazing the, er, “niche” platforms out there if you just want to connect with likeminded folks. And when all else fails, opensource content managers can be knocked up into social media pretty quickly.

                    • Bill

                      Niche platform versus ubiquitous platform. For general and/or important news and information – both the gathering and disseminating thereof. Hmm.

                      Maybe you honestly can’t see the issues around what is beginning to happen with google and facebook and youtube, or maybe you can but just don’t care.

                      I’d like to believe it’s the former.

                    • McFlock

                      I’m aware of the dangers. I’m also aware of the dangers of the monoliths’ previous almost-anything-goes approach.

                      It’s a balancing act, sure. But the nice thing about the internet is that the startup costs are minimal. And my nieice tells me FB is old-hat anyway.

                  • greywarshark

                    Thanks for your backgrounding of that McFlock. I should use duckduckgo and just haven’t got it into my daily practice. And
                    thanks for your argument path that seeks to be objective and winds its way between alternatives.

                    • McFlock

                      cheers. Yeah I set ddg as my default search engine a while ago 🙂

                      Private browsing windows are also good for minimising cookies and tracking, not just for tinfoil hat reasons but also to stop ads crossing over now that google is doing cross-platform matching more often. I don’t need my home searches turning up at work, people will think I’m goofing off more than usual lol

                    • greywarshark

                      Hard to believe – never!

  23. Morrissey 24

    This fellow was hopeless, but I’ve heard worse today.

    Just heard a disastrously inept performance from High Performance Sport New Zealand’s CEO Michael Scott. He was being interviewed on RNZ National, and he came across as panicked and inarticulate.

    Still better than that shower in the National Party “leadership”, however.

  24. Exkiwiforces 25

    Here’s a bit of an update from the Wentworth Races (Not the NSW Town btw). Since my last post a couple of days ago, the mud throwing has started with Liberal candidate saying a vote the Phelps is a vote for a hung parliament etc etc. Yesterday and today old Phelps has said again the she will vote for the Coalition on matters for supply and on confidence if elected and all this talk is from the Lib candidate is BS. Anyway I find old Shifty Bill won’t be doing many walk abouts this week (or does this include his front bench as well), which has me thinking have Labour given up and now realise it’s now a 2 horse race between Phelps and old mate Sharma? As ScoMo and his front bench have hit streets running about the place like a headless chickens or one arm plumber from Baghdad trying fix million to one leaks.

    So someone is shit scared atm.

    I leave you with comment from a Lib Coalition pollie flying back into Canberra on Sunday when asked about this Saturday’s by-election “Well we are going to be in the Penthouse or the Shit House after next Saturday”. Yes mate from what the polls are saying atm, I’ll say the Shit House atm.



    • greywarshark 25.1

      So Aussie. Penthouse or shithouse. Well-chosen words. It must be like the old Roman days, watching the fights at the Colosseum, and they had them in the Senate too.

  25. eco maori 26

    Kia ora The Am Show congratulations to the couple expecting their new baby .
    I get what our All Blacks Coach up to Stue Wilson ?????????.Its cool that Stue talks about his alcohol experiences on the show lets the youth no some of the side effects of the stuff.
    I had that problem a company payed with a credit card they were taking money when there service was cancelled send them a email they will most times refund your money.
    I wondered whats world he is IN.
    Amanda that black bear cub with the bucket stuck on his head they tracked it for 3 days and tranquilised it to get the bucket off its ka pai to see people care for animals .
    I agree with Jacinda our political seen needs to change a bit what stop the mud sling and get on with running the country it’s not a good look for the mokos and is not good for te wairua.
    The Air New Zealand flying taxis to commute people to the Auckland city is a great goal to have Ka pai.

  26. eco maori 27

    Wars like this War in YEMEN need to stop all the wars around the Papatuanuku need to stop .I don’t know the reason they give for this war but I do know that its the rich who start wars for power and money . I do know that its the common poor man who fights these stupid wars the common mothers and fathers lose their offspring to wars .P.S I do know that rich men do not fight in these wars
    I do know that its the common tangata /people who are dieing because of the rich MANS WAR we need to fight climate change and not each other this is so backwards to the Dark ages I say humans have never left that era .
    Ka kite ano


  27. eco maori 28

    Eco did a bit of research I got what going on in the middle east .
    I don’t back ether side ECO MAORI BACKS PEACE AND HUMANITY.

  28. eco maori 29

    International trasport of the future here are some new designs link below Ka kite ano
    I laws were made to encourage this leap forward in air planes that would speed up the development of low carbon passenger planes link below ka kite ano


  29. eco maori 30

    Electric Container Ships another blow to the Human Caused Climate Change deniers
    EGO P.S I seen some trolls quoting that air travel and container ships could not be carbon free.

  30. eco maori 31

    I’ll have to thank my neo liberal capitalist red neck neighbour for helping with the
    Eco Maori effect ka pai ka kite ano

  31. eco maori 32

    Kia ora Newshub I don’t like kicking a person when they are down bridges & ross .
    It give me a sore face when some people start writing about New Zealand and Australia becoming a republic when the Royal Family is so popular there dreaming.
    That’s a od phenomenon compressed air is safer and better for some patients I say big company interference in reality once again .
    I see that company teaming up with Air New Zealand in designing and testing auto flying vehicles my guess is that Aotearoa’s air traffic laws are not as stringent as other country’s but Its cool we will be pioneers in this industry.
    Paul Allan one of the Microsoft founders condolences to his whano.
    I say with the organ donation problem could be solved with a opted out clause if you don’t want to donate you have to say know problem solved business people use this very effectively Ka kite ano

  32. eco maori 33

    The Cowd Goes Wild Mulls & Storm Ka pai to the young Aotearoa Ferns win in Gold.
    congratulations to all the Kiwis at the youth game’s .
    Josh Rugby mana all around Papatuanuku that’s cool.
    Wairangi sore face E hoa don’t count Mals men out to soon they are world champions .
    Ka kite ano P.S Eco know what that is like Bolt

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