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Open mike 15/06/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 15th, 2010 - 63 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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63 comments on “Open mike 15/06/2010”

  1. Outofbed 1


    Is this really NZ 2010?

    • jcuknz 1.1

      It shows that there are ways of pushing your barrow even if the government closes you down. This seems to be happening all around the world so it is not just NZ2010 but World 2010. As to if it is good or bad depends on one’s belief of each situation it happens in and if you believe in freedom of expression. That begs the question as to if a government in its belief of what needs to be done should be able to do that. Time will show if current action to sort out an intrangent mess has worked for the benefit of the country or just s select few.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        That begs the question as to if a government in its belief of what needs to be done should be able to do that.

        The answer is, no they shouldn’t. I, for one, don’t want a government based upon belief but one that’s based upon facts. We decided, a long time ago, that theocracies aren’t any good.

        • SHG

          Try owning a pub and opening on Christmas Day or Easter Friday. The government would fine you into bankruptcy. There’s still a lot of governmental Judeo-Christian inertia still to be countered.

          • Lanthanide

            Aren’t the Easter trading fines something like $1000? Hardly ‘bankruptcy’ unless your bar was about to go under anyway. Hence why so many garden centres flout the law each year.

          • Draco T Bastard

            The fact that the holidays are based upon religion is regrettable but the benefits of having the holidays are known. So, having the holidays at all is based upon fact and not belief. Now, opening upon those holidays is another question and probably one that does need to be discussed.

  2. vto 2

    What’s with Shane Jones referring to himself in the third person? (that was an early Helen Clark flaw). And also, what’s with him also being so blithe about his portfolios that he can’t remember which ones he had? Both those features reinforce his unsuitability for an office of high post and match his lack of concern for rules and norms. Probably has an ego to match….

    • jcuknz 2.1

      His inability was perhaps an attempt at humour to cover his embarrassment at the occasion .. that’s how I took it when watching on TV.

      • rainman 2.1.1

        That is perhaps a very charitable interpretation.

        Good on him for fronting up to the consequences of his dodgy and embarrassing actions. But FFS, abandoning all professionalism does not help his cause.

        After seeing him on the telly last night it became obvious why Labour has such a poor approach to environmental issues.

        • jcuknz

          Rainman … I try to give people the benefit of the doubt until definitely proved otherwise. I get burnt occasionally but my conscience is clearer.
          Draco …. sorry but perhaps I used the wrong word … ‘conviction’ could be more atuned to the situation than ‘belief’ which has religious connotations completely unconnected to the ECAN sackings. That is a red herring of the sort I’m afraid I seem to fall into quite frequently, must be irritating to thread originators 🙂
          So definitely I want and hope governments are making decisions based on their true convictions as to what is correct rather than religious or personal financial considerations. In the ECAN situation it seems pretty obvious that democracy in a very limited way and for a short period had to be sacrificed for a solution to an intrangient situation. A small harm for the greater good. Though I’m sure many here believe, have convictions, that it is not a small harm, a frequent situation in a country with people of different views, but we elect the government and have to live with the result. Roll on 2011 🙂

    • prism 2.2

      If a polly doesn’t have an ego he won’t get a cracker.

      [lprent: but does Polly{wog} need a cracker? (have to leave at least one note today – everyone is being civilized). ]

  3. Do we know if anyone has an OIA on John Bank’s mayoral spending’s. Just because he does not have a credit card does not mean we cannot see what JB as mayor has been spending our money on. If it;s good enough to scrutinize Len Brown then i also want to see John Bank’s expenses, this term and the previous term. Might also be nice to see his expenses as a MP.

    • TightyRighty 3.1

      yea the same reporter who got the info on Lyen Brown, the tree pisser, and the other one? who appears to be squeaky clean, as does banks.

      hey, no scandal there? what’s that? claims of a vast right wing conspiracy? no, it’s the left being po-faced about not being able to run a succesful h-fee.

  4. ianmac 4

    Remember the huge outpouring of anger when the 2004 Seabed Act was passed? Marching on the street. Speeches. Democratic rights rightly exercised.
    This was essentially because Maori believed that the Act cancelled their rights.
    Now compare that with the loss of democratic rights in wiping out ECan.
    Isn’t this the same thing? National outrage minimal. Yet it is of National significance.

    • vto 4.1

      ianmac, I think you will find this apparent low level of outrage is a mirage and appears that way due to the manner in which Cantabrians conduct themselves (rightly or wrongly), which itself is due to its hefty english background, compared to other parts of NZ.

      You can see the outrage reflected in the recent poll around the mayoralty candidates. Parker is gone-burger. Anderton is in.

      • ianmac 4.1.1

        vto: You might be right that there may be an undercurrent, like the casual flow of the Avon waiting to flood the Council Elections. Parker was the prime mover in writing to Government to bring down ECan.
        I did speak to a Christchurch friend whose response was that “ECan was useless and didn’t get things cracking,” though he was a bit vague about whether ECan should have been sacked.
        Press Headline today : “PM relaxed about level of ECan protest.”

  5. jcuknz 5

    Living together for years and the government still doesn’t believe they are married, despite a marraige certificate.
    Aparently they question spouses separately to see if they give the same answer to questions … I wonder how many kiwi or anywhere’s marraiges could stand up to this sort of investigation.

    • prism 5.1

      What live-in partners know about each other has been considered an intriguing enough situation to make a TV game show out of it! Been on tv here.

  6. freedom 6

    a question on the obvious PR semantics in the BP oil disaster
    – If a broken well above ground is called a gusher, why is one on the sea floor being called a spill?

    • uke 6.1

      Good point. Typical piece of sutle language-spin from the oil companies swallowed whole by the MSM.

      • SHG 6.1.1

        Most importantly, from a “perception management” point of view, a spill is a single event. A spill is something that happened at a point in time. That immediately compartmentalises it in the reader’s mind as something that happened as opposed to a thing that is happening and is continuing to happen because it can’t be stopped.

    • jcuknz 6.2

      Cos’ you have to have room to gush and air is easier to gush into than water at heaven knows what pressure down there. Spill is synonomus with making a mess, and HOW! in this case aided by the sea. But YES I take your point. But isn’t it inverted PR becuase I think of a gusher with less distaste than a spill?

      • uke 6.2.1

        Even at 1000 metres down, the oil is pouring out of that broken pipe. I think “gusher” is definitely a better word. “Spill” to me denotes a finite quantity of spillage, not a neverending torrent of oil. Maybe “oil burst” or “oil torrent”?

      • uke 6.2.2

        Quick note: Wikipedia shows it has mostly been called an “oil spill”, but also a “gusher” and as… “the Macondo blowout”.

  7. just saying 7


    Hate to be boring and predictable, but here’s Sue Bradford on the Welfare Working Group.

    • Bill 7.1

      That was a good piece.

      And gave me a crazy notion that we could legislate for a flexible top tax rate that rose and fell with welfare provision needs. In other words, we make the rich pay for the poor. Not anyone else.

      So we set basic benefit at whatever %age of the min or average wage. And when unemployment rises due to the profit seeking nonsense, then main benefactors get to aid the victims of such behaviour directly.

      This actually falls in with Johnny Boys notion of US style philanthropy where the rich compete with gestures of largesse. But it’s better insofar as any donations made from competing will be extra..

      And benefit bashing ends cause workers aren’t bailing workers, a portion of very rich employers/ investors are.

  8. freedom 8

    a spill is a finite volume of material exiting a finite volume container.

    The incremental corruption of language is simply collective submission to ignorance

    p.s. The oil, depending on which PR lacky is talking is spewing out at 20,000 to 70,000 psi

  9. Bored 9

    Yesterday I made a contentious statement that resulted in a long string about Identity politics. Big thanks to Lew, Red, Bill, Polly et al, I learned a hell of a lot more from all of the contributors. Once it got going I was better to sit back, read and consume, again thanks all.

    Two things stood out.

    One : there is considerable disagreement amongst the left on the role of identity politics which the Nats have played a hell of a lot better than the left, and there is no unanimity on the left to resolve this. It would be nice to see the Standard run this as an article so we can try and find some common ground.

    Two: debate is alive and well on the left, which is good to see as it raises the possibility of acting on ideas. By comparison there is little debate from the right, just a pack of disparate interest groups agreeing not to disagree for the good of a common purpose. This is a real weakness to exploit.

    • Bill 9.1

      Last thing I want to say on this for the moment.

      Post apartheid S. Africa has largely failed to improve the lot of the population in spite of a lot of enthusiasm, energy and promise at the time of the collapse of apartheid. And that is because the post apartheid regime did not gain any control over the financial levers of the country and so could not progress on, among other things, housing and infrastructure programmes as they had wished and promised and could not run economic policies designed to make for a less inequitable nation.

      Any meaningful gains in women’s rights or gay rights? Possibly.

      For example, NZ made great strides through the 80s and 90s in non-economic factors of progress, (attitudes) but across the board economic factors showed people getting relatively poorer and this continues to the present(as Red correctly points out).

      Against that background, the last Labour led government left working class pakeha in particular feeling effectively ostracised insofar as they seemed to be the only section of society that was not the focus of any particular identity politics driven government policy or programme.

      For example, ‘Closing the Gaps’ could have been a good policy but was explained and sold badly. As I understand it was a policy largely designed to address health and educational outcomes for Maori with straight up economic improvement meant to flow from those gaps being closed. But it was understandably perceived by poor working class pakeha as a policy whereby Maori were going to be given a hand up to a position where they were standing atop them.

      And working class pakeha were and are quite right to ask where their ‘Closing the Gap’ policy is.

      What the fuck were Labour thinking by denying the politics of class? They should have run up front economic policies designed to narrow the economic gap between rich and poor. ie an all inclusive policy/programme.

      And in tandem they should have run the ‘Closing the Gaps’ policy for Maori on the health and educational front. And gender based policies to redress gender inequalities. And whatever feel good non-economic policies they felt like…the rainbow agenda or whatever.

      To be clear, you cannot leave large cross sections of the population languishing in increasing poverty and debt while playing silly bugger feel good politics with very precisely demarcated constituencies and not experience blow back.

      I still don’t hear anything from Labour that can’t be described ( fairly or unfairly) as just a pile of middle class wankery. They are not making any effort to accommodate the working class in it’s entirety and seems content to leave us vulnerable to real fucking nasty right wing or corporate manipulations, which will be encouraging a perception of Labour and liberals as public enemy number 1. A not entirely undeserved label given the determination Labour have exhibited in not unequivocally siding with the vastly diverse working class against the impositions of the market and limply offering up poorly explained and executed policies instead that can not fail, as I’ve already said, to leave people feeling aggrieved given their inherently fragmented and divisive nature.

      • Olwyn 9.1.1

        This from Simone Weil, who thought that the concepts of “person,” as opposed to human being, and “rights” as opposed to needs, undermined social justice by assuming a force that not everyone was in the position to muster: “In and unstable (for us, unequal), society the privileged have a bad conscience. Some of them hide it behind a defiant air and say to the masses, “it is quite appropriate that I should possess privileges which you are denied.” Others benevolently profess, I claim for all of you an equal share in the privileges that I enjoy.” The first attitude is odious. The second is silly, and also too easy.” Her idea is that privileged people, in the position to make claims, have a monopoly on language, and inadvertently rob the poor of the conceptual legitimacy they need to speak for themselves.

  10. Lanthanide 10

    stuff are doing crowdsourcing on the ministerial credit cards!

    You get to see scans of the documents and write comments about whether they should investigate further.

    I got one from Murry McCully spending $1,530 on 10 replica all black jersey’s – I’d like to see the justification for that.


    • Lanthanide 10.1

      For some reason my firefox has lost all it’s cookies so it doesn’t recognise me to let me edit that post.

      If you do this, it is best to right-click on the image and select “view image”, that way you can see it much larger. Then click your back button and fill in the comments field.

  11. felix 11


    The govt are going to make fun of you in the house today over the expense accounts etc.

    You should be able to turn the focus around on the govt’s own expense issues – they have far more to be embarrassed about than you do.

    If you don’t, and just let them kick you around again, you’re dead to me.

  12. prism 12

    Sort of funny- the councillors attacking Len Brown. First he has used his credit card for reasons they don’t agree with and second he hasn’t bought anything really dear and its only ‘ nickel and dime stuff’. Like a couple of hyenas, jamie something something and Dick Quax.

    • ianmac 12.1

      But of course the mud sticks. By the time it is “clarified” (like butter) the casual listener has got the “message.”

      • Tigger 12.1.1

        I always find it funny when Failoil attacks people for ‘rorting the system’…

  13. Tigger 13

    Obviously the reshuffle will get its own post but Sewerblog is already producing some vileness over it. My favourite line “One queer goes down — another queer moves up” (referencing Chauvel over Carter).

    Actually, since Street and Robertson are also risers it’s “One queer goes down – another three move up”: Because we are taking over the world. And stealing your children’s minds…

  14. gobsmacked 14

    Question Time in the House today – serious questions about $4.8 million of taxpayer money going to … well, the Minister couldn’t say. I was … gobsmacked. Transcript should be online later, a must-read (or watch).

    Lockwood Smith did well. So did Mallard. Georgina Te Heu Heu might have written her resignation letter.

    This has to be a major story now. If the press gallery think missing millions is not worth reporting, they should be the ones resigning.

    $4.8 million. That’s a helluva lot of porn movies.

    • felix 14.1

      Yeah that was incredible. Clearly something dirty going on there.

      A close family member perhaps?

      She wasn’t caught off guard either – the question was a follow-up to question 9 on the 3rd of June – so she knew it was coming.

      This means she’s had nearly two weeks to get her story straight and take advice, and the best she could come up with was “DON’T ANSWER”.

      • bobo 14.1.1

        Yes this caught my interest a few weeks ago, she couldn’t give any answer what the money was for as it was still in “negotiation”, I didn’t know the gov awards contracts secretly, then after the money is paid out decides what the money is actually for.. very strange indeed…

        • ianmac

          But it seems that they can get away with it by simply not answering. On the other hand hounding Chris Carter for comment by the media this morning belies the fairness of the media. Why not hound Georgina?

          • bobo

            Yeah just watched the Carter on the run thing, I guess hes making it worse for himself, hopefully these real issues such as Georgina not answering who the people are in this will get some attention soon after the expenses frenzy dies down. The whole event has backfired on Key a bit in regards to releasing the info while Goff was in China as its given Goff a platform to show some decisive leadership instead of fudging and making excuses for his mp’s.

    • Lanthanide 15.1

      Yeah, it seems this stuff goes back to the 70’s and 80’s, but was ‘lost’/’forgotten’ during the 90’s. But some people still knew about it.

      I get the impression the US was after some sort of distraction / good news story. Reading the reports, it’s been in the works since late last year (so likely nothing to do with the oil spill)

    • Pascal's bookie 15.2

      Yeah, it’s old news. the Soviets were babbling on about the resources as well.

      The question is “why pretend it’s news?”

      Here’s a Newshoggers link with pretty astute dot-connecting, and links to more.

      The take away is that the mission in Af/Pak is failing quite badly, and people are starting to talk. So the parameters for success need to be reset. “Golly, if we can just get all these minerals into production the poor war broken nation can finally start to function. They need an economy and here is how we shall build it; then everything else shall fall into place. Democracy, sexy, freedom via lithium.”

      Never mind that they don’t have the physical, economic or political infrastructure to support such a scheme.

      Never mind that Pakistan is still supporting the Taleban, because as has always been the case, it’s in their regional strategic interest vis-a-vis India to have an unstable Afghanistan with many client power structures. Players act in their strategic interest? Hoocoodanode?

      Never mind that Karzai doesn’t think the nato plan is working, so is working cross purposes to it.

      Never mind that the last big offensive has produced no real result in the area, or that the planned one into Kandahar doesn’t have the support of the local government structures, such as they exist.

      And the biggie of course, … never mind that you can’t actually fight a population centric COIN strategy using tactics that prioritise force protection.

      But I’m sure if we just give it another 18 months and we’ll be seeing some real progress.

      • jcuknz 15.2.1

        Neither of the earlier TWO ventures was a success …. Britain in 1800’s and Russia in 1900’s …. what made the British think things were different in the 2100? Malaya perhaps? Kiwi contribution?
        Didn’t Alexander the Great keep clear of them when he reached Pakistan even further back?

  15. nilats 16

    seems Whaleoil has exposed Len’s b’day bash as a fund raiser for Geoff Knight.
    Len has more explaining to do here.

  16. Pascal's bookie 17

    Moderated, (was it the ‘Sovi3ts’ ?)

  17. ianmac 18

    He is a mate of Reltih I think and just as odious.

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