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Open mike 16/01/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 16th, 2012 - 146 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

146 comments on “Open mike 16/01/2012 ”

  1. logie97 1

    The introduction of charter schools is not a new Kiwi idea of course. (Our ministry of education seems to develop most of its recent policy from what it reads on the internet). However, given Banks’ and other government MP’s “faiths” and the utterances that these schools will be free to deliver their own curriculum, will our government insist that sound science is taught, as in the apparent ruling in the UK, and withdraw funding if otherwise …


  2. The herald editorial comments on Josy Pagani’s thoughts on what went wrong for Labour, especially:

    “The hardest week to door- knock,” she said, “was when we were telling people who had just come home from a day’s work earning the minimum wage, that it was a great idea to extend their Working for Families tax credit to beneficiaries.” She could see them thinking, ‘so what’s the point of working my guts out all week while someone sitting at home on the dole gets the same tax credit as me?’

    That was probably the clincher for Labour’s lack of traction.

    If it can tell people only that they are poor, deprived, under-valued, and obese, it will not give the Government a run for our money.

    Which will mean same old another wasted three years in opposition.

    If Labour can go to the next election with well-developed ideas for helping people who aspire to work hard, make sound choices, raise happy and healthy children, maybe start a business and invest their savings, it will strike a strong chord.


    It will take a major change in attitude in the party and amongst it’s vocal supporters.

    • So Petey why did United Follicles not gain any traction? Whatsoever? Of any sort?

      • Pete George 2.1.1

        The parties have quite different problems.

        One of United Future’s main problems was the public wasn’t very interested in listening to the party. That is partly due to a common problem experienced by small parties on coalition, and partly due to how the party presents itself. To an extent the party’s bubble has burst and needs to be re-established.

        Labour’s problem was they weren’t good at listening to the public. Oblivious to outside reality inside it’s own bubble.

        • marty mars

          so why are you going on about labour instead of sorting out your own ambitions for your burstbubble party? things not going according to plan in dunners eh pete – occupypete a fizzer.

          • Pete George

            I go on about whatever I feel like on blogs. I think it’s important for New Zealand that Labour becomes a strong mostly positive government-in-waiting party.

            Things are going very much to plan in Dunedin despite a few (only on blog) persistent negative attacks of no substance. Here the Labour MPs (and the Green and National MPs) are happy to talk and work co-operatively for the good of the city.

            • marty mars

              why was the question, why, when you can ‘go on about whatever you feel like on blogs’, are you going on about this issue – especially when you and your own party fared so poorly in the election. The blahblahgoodforNZblahblah is really weak and I think you have other motives – just like you had other motives with all the occupy stuff – how about fronting up for 2012 pete.

            • mik e

              unbalanced follicles live in hope not having “to pay “the price of having more than one member

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      Seriously…did Josie Pagani use Labour’s extension of WFF to beneficiaries as an opening line when talking to working households that she door knocked.

      Its what that quote makes it sound like. And if someone brought the topic up and she couldn’t explain to them convincingly why Labour had made that call (ie as a way to bolster families income above poverty during a time of high unemployment) …she shouldn’t be in PR or in politics.

      • The Voice of Reason 2.2.1

        Josie managed to substantially cut the majority in a blue ribbon rural Tory seat in an election that Labour lost heavily, CV. If I remember rightly, she and her team got the second best result of any electorate for the red team. I think that gives her more than enough credibility to speak about what worked and what didn’t, don’t you?

        • lefty

          Yep, acting like a tory will get you votes in a tory area.

          Pagani is beneficiary bashing and that is one way to get votes. But is that what Labour wants to stand for?


          • The Voice of Reason

            Where is Pagani bene bashing? Read the quote again, lefty, it’s the reaction of the working poor to the policy she is talking about and she does not bash beneficiaries in the least, nor condemn the policy itself.

            • Colonial Viper

              spelling out that a policy of assisting beneficiary incomes is a sure vote loser is what then, in your view?

              • The Voice of Reason

                Except that isn’t what she said, CV. The problem Pagani is identifying is that Labour failed to win support for the policy among the working poor, not that the policy was wrong.

                • newsense

                  The circumstances here are substantially different to those previously: the move is a move to combate child poverty- is Pagani saying it is ok to have child poverty if you are on a benefit? Or that an improvement in child poverty is a hard sell? Annette King did a fine job on Q and A with that one.

                  Why is Labour continuing to talk itself down? Is a move to improve child poverty gloomy?

                  This seems some odd communication from Labour allowing the Herald to define their party as this:

                  ” Labour’s natural constituency is those who need some help.”

                  which I strongly, strenously and harshly disagree with.

                  It is frustrating that Labour allows this to happen. The constituency is those who dislike inequality in society and recognise that it is the best way to deal with a raft of expensive social problems. It is the constituency that doesn’t think we need people in working poverty to make us successful.

                  or continue the meme that we have chronic welfare dependency problems:

                  “Labour should devise welfare programmes that are targeted to temporary need and help people become self-supporting.” (like the ones that helped Paula Bennett and have been cut? FFS.)

                  Labour has come out of the blocks in the new year talking about welfare reform. It allows the Herald to say:

                  “If it can tell people only that they are poor, deprived, under-valued, and obese, it will not give the Government a run for our money.”

                  Own goal. Not happy.

                • mik e

                  labour chose the wrong leader he only started making traction in the last month before the election after world cup and sucky msm non existent investigative journalism just overpaid glamorized reporters.

    • Blue 2.3

      You know the New Year has started when the Herald does a concern troll editorial giving Labour ‘advice’.

    • aerobubble 2.4

      Labour need to expose the lie about welfare. Its a safety net not a holiday. Welfare is not there to support the low income, its there to support those in work, with a safety net, with disease control (meaning the poor children don’t give you kids disease), with clean street clear of bums (who are mentally ill), with lower prices because more people have access to Doctors, Dentists, etc and thus drive down the price by economies of scale. Essentially we have a welfare system because it supports the majority, its good economics. Sure when the world economy is run so damn badly then the numbers on unemployment will be too high but whose fault is that/ Parliament YES, crony capitalism, YES. The unemployed NO. Labour isn’t a party of the left because it buys into the big lie, that welfare is bad because the people on the benefit are evil. Simply the welfare system is how we become a much more efficient first world nation, instead of wasting generations who trawl the rubbish for a dollar to make ends meet. Just imagine that, some kid coming to your kids school whose mum and dad pick through the rubbish tip.

      Welfare is also a em0loyment scheme, it keeps thousands in jobs, forces wages down, and even helps government load small business up with regulation tht protect you from poor food, poor working conditions, social discord, etc, etc.

      Where welfare is a problem is at the top end of town.

    • Lanthanide 2.5

      “The hardest week to door- knock,” she said, “was when we were telling people who had just come home from a day’s work earning the minimum wage, that it was a great idea to extend their Working for Families tax credit to beneficiaries.” She could see them thinking, ‘so what’s the point of working my guts out all week while someone sitting at home on the dole gets the same tax credit as me?’

      This is exactly what I thought would happen when I heard this policy. I support it for sure, but they were really incredibly stupid rolling it out the way they did. This was about the same time that they rolled out the eligibility changes for superannuation.

      Up until that point we had seen Labour (and Goff as perferred PM) firming up and slowly rising in the polls, then after that point it appeared to slide back and went to the Greens, even though they had similar policies anyway. Probably it was really a combination of people thinking about Labour going back to National or NZFirst, while the Greens grabbed those that wanted more spine than Labour was showing.

      IMO Labour just should have avoided the WFF stuff and not even mentioned it. National hardly had any policies to campaign on and not much in the way of details for the ones they did, so I don’t see why Labour thought they had to put absolutely everything on the table.

      We’ll probably waste another decade before we get around to putting in a sorely needed CGT now. Unless there are significant economic disruptions in this current term that the left can put together the proposal again and win with it in 2014.

    • KJT 2.6

      Funny how Pete George always support people who want Labour to remain National/ACT light.

      Hasn’t he been reading about the failure of the last 30 years of policies of meanness and market dogma all around the world.

      ACT/Labour was rejected in 1990 and National lite /Labour was rejected in 2008.

      What is needed to get disaffected voters back is Labour/Labour. MIA since Norman Kirk.

      • Gosman 2.6.1

        Yes Labour/Labour was amazingly successful electorially post 1949 wasn’t it. In the 35 years between that date and 1984 how many years was Labour/Labour in power for?

        • mik e

          goose labour got more votes than National in just about every election other than the 1951 election because of gerrymandering of boundaries by vested interests.
          Luckily the likes of Kiwi Keith new the mandate he had was tenuous and was a relatively pragmatic leader.

      • Populuxe1 2.6.2

        It’s not “funny” at all – UF have always claimed to be centrist, though there may be some confusion over what they mean by that. And as NAct currently demonstrates, the parties that capture and stay in power are centrist – although it creeps me out no end that for the majority of the electorate “centrist” has crept that far to the right. If disaffected voters have crept to the right in order to stay centre, what on earth makes you think a “Labour/Labour” – by which I assume you mean hard left, is going to attract them back?
        “Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else — if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”
        “A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”

        • Colonial Viper

          If disaffected voters have crept to the right in order to stay centre, what on earth makes you think a “Labour/Labour” – by which I assume you mean hard left, is going to attract them back?

          Perhaps but you missed one point. The issue of participation.

          As the latest election results show, a lot of people don’t give a rats ass about National or about Labour.

          Roughly a million of them.

          • Populuxe1

            And each one of those million deserves a slap in the face for making the vote of all those who did count for less and effectively giving the NActs a mandate to do a whole bunch of stuff that the polls suggest they didn’t want to happen. So what DO they want? (though perhaps if they really are SO stupid as to not realise how important an election really is, maybe it would be better if they didn’t vote… Just joking)

            • KJT

              The point is that a third of the population, or more, do not think that NACT or NACT lite(Labour) reflect their views or aspirations.

              Many did vote. BUT. Not because they supported Labour or National, but simply for whichever one they thought was the lesser of 2 evils.

              And of many other voters, their information was the Herald and TV, which, like our politicians, have totally abandoned any semblance of journalism to become unashamed pursuers of corporate crumbs from their puppetmasters…

              I would suggest that a Labour, Labour would bring back many disaffected voters.

              • Populuxe1

                Well, I concede that it’s possible, but it also seems to me just as likely that a “Labour, Labour” party (and I would appreciate if you could define that a bit more clearly for me as there’s a big spectrum of Left there) might scare a big chunk of the less-committed centrist and more conservative elements of Labour running to the arms of that nice Mr Key. Again, I ask, what do the silent million want in terms of policy that they couldn’t find in any of the other “minor” (a word that really can’t be applied to the Greens anymore) parties – which again, KJT, is why I’d like you to more closely define this hypothetical “Labour, Labour” party. What do you think they want that no one else could give them?

                • People’s attitudes follow their behaviour which, in turn, follows the necessities of life imposed by broader social structures.

                  The political fight is over those structures.

                  The cynical approach (adopted by Roger Douglas) is that rapidly changing the structures within which people live their lives and then deflecting and disrupting resistance is the way to make ‘progress’ on a political agenda.

                  That is, it is based on the correct insight – as above – that people’s attitudes will conform once the pragmatics of their lives makes it necessary to change their attitudes in order to maintain some sort of cognitive and emotional comfort and coherence in their lives (in relation to what they find they have to do in order to survive).

                  A second approach is to stick to a straightforward attempt to persuade people that your agenda is best – for them and for society as a whole.

                  A third approach is simply to find out what people want and at least sound like that’s what you’re giving them. This is the approach of marketers. Like marketers, however, this usually descends into a softer, more surreptitious version of the first approach. I think this is Key’s approach.

                  For a number of reasons, I find the first and third approaches disreputable (which is why I also don’t like marketing – the pretence that one’s aim is to give people what they want when, in reality, your primary motive is to make your business profitable. While sometimes compatible, these goals inevitably diverge and, then, the primary motive asserts itself.).

                  I’m enough of a political pragmatist to compromise or concede on the occasional policy but I just can’t see the point in conceding on my analysis of the social and economic world in order to be more in tune with the ‘centre’.

                  The aim should be to convince the ‘centre’ (or anyone else) to shift towards your analysis. It should not be to shift your analysis – at least for any reason other than that you are convinced that your analysis is faulty.

                  Call me old-fashioned, but I can’t see the point of being politically active in order to institute something I don’t believe is true. 

  3. Blue 3

    Pete wasn’t talking about his party he was talking about yours Greg. Another example of failing to listen.

  4. I read Steve Jobs biography over Christmas.  It is a fascinating read.  He is a complex character, obsessive, driven and flawed as a human being.  Yet these qualities no doubt were instrumental in what he achieved.

    His comments concerning Teacher Unions were eye opening. 

    Amongst other things he said that America’s education system was being “crippled by union work rules”.  He also said “[u]ntil the teachers’ unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform.” Jobs proposed allowing principals to hire and fire teachers based on merit, that schools stay open until 6 p.m. and that they be open 11 months a year.  These ideas and the teacher union bashing that accompanies them are percolating throughout the Western World.

    I have never understood why the right such as Slater should be so vehemently anti teacher union.  But these American ideas are so clearly being applied to the New Zealand situation despite the clear differences. 

    It is really weird that we should be told that we need to follow trends in a country where the direction its education system is heading is clearly wrong.  As was noted previously by Salsy we should look to Finland for where we should be taking out system.

    • Gosman 4.1

      “I have never understood why the right such as Slater should be so vehemently anti teacher union.”

      Considering last week a whole bunch of leftist posters here basically stated that teachers should indoctrinate children in leftist ideology I don’t think it is too hard to work that one out.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        Not indoctrinate – merely teach the truth and how to think. That’s all that’s needed. That alone will bring people to the left as it highlights the delusion of the right.

        • Gosman

          Whatever DTB. But thanks for highlighting exactly why right wingers are wary of teacher unions. People who believe that there is a ‘correct’ way to think are potentially very dangerous.

          • mac1

            Gosman, if anything turns me off from listening to another point of view (yours) it is the use of ‘whatever’ as a response as it indicates to me shallow, unconsidered and dismissive attitudes.

          • felix

            Draco didn’t say anything about a correct way to think, Gos.

            Fascinating though. It’s almost always the borderline illiterate fucks like yourself with no comprehension skills who think education is the enemy.

            • Gosman

              That is correct. I am extrapolating that he meant the correct way to think because teachers already teach children to think. Unless you think teachers in NZ are failing in this pretty basic piece of the learning process Felix. Do you really think NZ teachers are that incompetent that NZ children are not being taught to think?

              • felix

                That’s not extrapolating, it’s a total rewrite. He didn’t say anything of the sort.

                Exposes your own views on thinking rather nicely though.

                • Gosman

                  Nicely avoiding the uncomfortable question there felix. So you disagree with the view that kids aren’t being taught to think in school at the moment do you?

                  • felix

                    I reject your inference entirely and have no time or inclination to argue about what you wish Draco had said.

                  • AAMC

                    With 1 child in Primary and 1 in intermediate, my opinion is yes Gosman, they are being failed in this fundamental way. Their teachers are all hard working and well meaning, but to teach critical thinking is not their mandate.

              • McFlock

                 Do you really think NZ teachers are that incompetent that NZ children are not being taught to think?

                Around 49% of the electorate have indicated that this is indeed the case. Fool me once, and all that.

                • Gosman

                  So Nz teachers are incompetent in your view Mcflock are they? They are failing to teach a large proportion of the population to think. Hmmmmm…. I wonder if the Labour party will take up the challenge and bring this national shame to light.

              • Draco T Bastard

                There’s a difference between teaching people to think and wrote learning. NAct seem to want to go back to wrote learning style of the 19th century whereas modern teachers want to teach people to think. Interestingly enough, it’s NAct and their supporters who are complaining about teachers and how they teach.

                • Gosman

                  So you are now stating that teacher ARE teaching children to think are you? Well then no problem then. I’m sure within a very short period of time the schools will be churning out your socially conscious little comrades by the bucketful. I don’t know what you are worried about.

                • Gosman

                  By the way who on the right is pushing for rote learning? I have yet to read or hear anyone on the right recently argue that we should change our education system to one involving rote learning. Perhaps you have some link to a right leaning educationalist in NZ who makes the case?

                  • KJT

                    It’s called NACT standards, Gosman.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Testing, testing and more testing as required by National Standards which, due to then penalising teachers if they don’t teach to the test, results in rote learning.

                • prism

                  Hi DTB – Your mind was thinking rote but your fingers wrote wrote.

            • Pete George

              No, he didn’t specifically say “anything about a correct way to think” but there are bizarre implications in what he said.

              Coercing how to think based on left = truth sounds like religious (or political) fundamentalism rather than education. If our schools were based on those sorts of delusions it would be dangerous.

              Bricks in the wall with the right and centre knocked off sounds a bit thick.

              • felix

                “Coercing how to think based on left = truth sounds like religious (or political) fundamentalism rather than education.”

                And why do you bring that up, Pete? Draco certainly didn’t.

                These bizarre interpretations of a very straightforward statement are saying a lot more about you and Gos than anything else. Quite enlightening.

                • Gosman

                  So are you statng that teachers are currently failing in their role of teaching children how to think?

                  • felix

                    Only someone who never learned to think would make such an inference.

                    • Gosman

                      So why does DTB want teachers to teach children to think if they are already doing so. It would be like wanting my butcher to sell meat. Kind of pointless as that is what they already do.

                    • felix

                      Not really interested in your misinterpretations Gos, doesn’t seem like anyone else is either.

                      I wonder if 2012 will be the year that people on blogs stop taking idiots seriously.

                  • Everyone learns to think.

                    There seems to be confusion over trying to teach children what to think or how to develop their thinking.

                    For example, should a teacher try and teach children “left good, right bad”, or should they help them develop critial thinking so they can make up their own minds?

                    It looks like DtB prefers trying to train everyone to be left clones, or expecting everyone will naturally become left clones if they are taught what he thinks as ‘truth’.

                    • felix

                      Nobody has said anything about teaching kids what to think.

                      The fact the you and Gos immediately inferred that speaks volumes.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Pete, it’s the right who are coercing the teaching model and the model that they’re coercing is a model which fails to teach people to think. Instead it teaches people to believe what they’re told and not to ask questions.

              • KJT

                Are you insinuating those on the right, like UF, are as thick as a brick, by any chance.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Didn’t say anything about a correct way to think. What I said was that there is truth and there is what RWNJs believe. The two are completely different, the first is fact and the second is delusion.

            • Gosman

              Actually you stated the following “…teach the truth and how to think”.

              So does this mean you think Teachers are currently failing to teach children to think?

              • Lanthanide

                No, just that that is what the teachers need to do.

                Any proposed changes, such as National Standards and charter schools (run by any religious nutjob group), that make it difficult for teachers to teach children to think should be rejected on that basis.

                Seems pretty obvious. Then again maybe I was taught to think.

              •  “…teach the truth and how to think

                Gosman, have you ever tried to ‘think’ without any content? It’s hard to do one without the other.

                The whole point of ‘thinking’ (that common or garden word covers a huge range of cognitive activity – both ‘good’ and ‘bad’ thinking) is surely to provide a reasonable guide to action. Action – in a real world – requires some sense of what can be relied upon. That is, it requires some sense of what is ‘true’.

                Of course, ‘truth’ is not necessarily forever but it amounts to what any ‘thinking person’ – who is able to put such truths to the test of thought and action – would go along with.

                I’m not sure how you expect teachers to teach ‘thinking’ without also including a few ‘truths’ to think with. BTW, teaching thinking is not just teaching formal logic or some method of thought. All methods – even logic – come along with assumptions about what is true.

                Without worrying about the difference between logical ‘truth’ and empirical ‘truth’, I think it’s safe to say that thinking requires some idea of what is true.

                DTB’s point was that if you teach the truths from the relevant disciplines you’ll detect that it is more likely to conform to a general ‘left’ analysis (e.g., that those with power and wealth tend to distort social and economic systems in their favour). Presumably he’s thinking about the social and economic worlds here, and the relevant knowledge in those areas.

                Interestingly, it is because of this perceived ‘left’ bias in the humanities and social sciences that many on the right complain about just these disciplines, often concocting conspiracy theories – The History Man notwithstanding – about them and the knowledge they generate (while blessing their cotton socks for the discipline of economics which is often touted – incorrectly – as the only truly empirical social science).  


                People who believe that there is a ‘correct’ way to think are potentially very dangerous” 
                (I presume, here, that you don’t actually mean ‘way’ – ie, method – but, rather, something like ‘thought’ or ‘thoughts’.)

                People who believe there is no ‘correct’ way to think are also potentially dangerous – and simplistically misunderstand the normative notion of ‘correct’.

          • Populuxe1

            I’m not going to call you names, Gosman, but I interpreted that as “how to think critically”, not what to think. Any unbalanced ideological indoctrination at the school level is a fairly unpleasant prospect, but I do notice that more often than not the people who gravitate to the higher levels of academia are of a leftish bent – largely because those of a rightish bent would rather be out in the corporate sector.

          • mik e

            gooseman the only thinking the right want brainless consumerism, read Vaclav Havel.
            MSM just pump out drivel that makes the ads look good

      • felix 4.1.2

        As usual you didn’t understand that discussion at all Gos.

        It was about nothing of the sort.

        • Gosman

          What rot. You just need to read DTB’s reply above to see that he at least thinks people just need to be taught to think in the correct manner and they will suddenly have their eye’s opened to the wonders of the leftist world view.

          • felix

            Then you didn’t understand Draco’s comment above either.

            • Gosman

              No, I just don’t buy into the leftist spin and intellectual arrogance that is behind the statement,

              Care to explain the reasoning for the view that children who are taught to think are going to be lefties?

              • felix

                Why bother? If you can’t show that you understood the comment then there’s nothing to debate.

              • McFlock

                Because most tories I’ve encountered have been fucking morons.

                • Gosman

                  So how come it is generally the lefties who resort to infantile name calling like you have just done Mcflock? Or is this really an example of your superior intellect whereby you don’t need to debate at all as your views are so obviously correct therefore leaving more time for mindless abuse of those who dare to express differing opinions?

                  • McFlock

                    Two reasons: Firstly, the complete failure and/or intractable unwillingness of folk like yourself to understand basic logic makes logical arguments futile. Secondly, I was just calling it how I saw it.

                    • Gosman

                      Please elucidate for me then. How about we use DTB’s argument that teachers should teach children to think as an example? Now to me logically this means that they are failing to teach children to think at the moment. Is that not the logical inference from that position. If not, then what is the logical inference about our current teaching system?

                    • felix

                      “Now to me logically this means that they are failing to teach children to think at the moment.”

                      Which beautifully illustrates McF’s characterisation of you and your ilk being incapable of understanding logic.

                    • Gosman

                      How so felix?

                      So far the only answer from DTB is that he does now think they are being taught to think at the moment. Yet if that is the case then there is no indication that I know of that the children are much more likely to be left leaning. Certainly the proportion of left and right voters has not been steadily being skewed in favour of the left over the last few decades. They can’t be doing their job very well if that is the case.

                    • felix

                      That probably follows logically from any number of your assumptions, but as you’ve misunderstood the entire discussion from the outset it’s neither here nor there to anyone else.

                    • McFlock

                      How about we use DTB’s argument that teachers should teach children to think as an example? Now to me logically this means that they are failing to teach children to think at the moment. Is that not the logical inference from that position.

                      You: “[quoting mickeysavage]“I have never understood why the right such as Slater should be so vehemently anti teacher union.”
                      Considering last week a whole bunch of leftist posters here basically stated that teachers should indoctrinate children in leftist ideology I don’t think it is too hard to work that one out.”

                      DTB: “Not indoctrinate – merely teach the truth and how to think. That’s all that’s needed. That alone will bring people to the left as it highlights the delusion of the right.”

                      So DTB’s statement is that “[teachers should ] merely teach the truth and how to think. That’s all that’s needed. That alone will bring people to the left as it highlights the delusion of the right.”
                      Is the left vote 0%? Are teachers 100% unionised? Are 100% of children taught by teachers?  Is critical thinking a core component of the curriculum that all children have to achieve adequate skill in? 
                      You go from a philosophical “should” to a generalised ” logically this means that they are failing to teach children to think at the moment.”.
                      Some teachers do fail – this is a fact. “They” as a group do not.
                      Most schoolchildren are not voters. Therefore evidence of a prior failure by some teachers (possibly as a result of systemic issues rather than individual shortcomings), i.e. Key’s election, does not logically imply a current failure.  

                      By not recognising any of this, you reveal that you were failed by your teacher. Which tends to support the proposition that you, a regular tory advocate, lack critical thinking skills. As do a number of your compatriots, generally a higher percentage from what I can see than the left. 
                      The left has nutty or stupid commenters here as well, but there are few of them and many commenters. There are fewer tory commenters here, yes, but many more of them as a proportion are nutty or stupid.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      A society needs ideological and philosophical underpinnings. You teach them to your children directly, explicitly and consciously – or you leave it blank and wait for individualistic, commercial and political interests to fill their heads with crap.

                • Rob

                  What , as opposed to being a judgemental nasty little person, nice one McFlunk

                  • McFlock

                    Oh that’s barely the start of my character flaws. But regularly confusing “wishful thinking caused by personal bigotry” and “logical inference” isn’t one of them.

          • prism

            No, I just don’t buy into the leftist spin and intellectual arrogance that is behind the statement, Words of Gosman

            Obviously from reading your regular gurgles you like the rightist spin and intellectual arrogance that accompanies it. What DTB is for is the ability to take an overview not trample education underfoot by contesters who might as well be on the opposing sides of a boxing ring.

    • Jackal 4.2


      I have never understood why the right such as Slater should be so vehemently anti teacher union.

      Slater hates anybody who doesn’t share his bigotries. Yesterday he was bullying a sixteen year old girl, Jazmine Heka for wanting an end to child poverty. What a scumbag!

      • mickysavage 4.2.1

        I saw that Jackel and I shook my head in awe.
        Hopefully Slater is converting Jazmine into a hardened dedicated leftie through his complete lack of compassion or understanding.
        If anyone would like to sign Jazmine’s petitions they are here.  The themes are simple but clear.  They have three simple idealistic goals which if achieved would go a long way to solving problems associateed with childhood poverty.  The petitions wants the Government to:
        1.  Provide free healthcare for all children including prescription costs.
        2.  Introduce warrant of fitness’s for all rental houses.
        3.  Provide free healthy school lunches to all children attending schools.
        There is also a facebook group “Children against Poverty“.  
        Perhaps the Standard could think about running a post supporting the petitions?

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Cheap Chinese labour imported and paid less than the minimum wage


    • mik e 5.1

      New Zealand employers use similar tactics bonded labour farm workers.
      Isolated farm workers are promised the earth free Accommodation, free meat,free milk, good income. a salary of $50,000 per annum. then they are made to work unholy hours one young fellow newly married working in Nth Canterbury made to from 3 am till 8 pm every day 1 day off a fortnight.No free meat no free milk no compensation for hours worked outside the 45 hours per week contracted this is common as in the dairy industry.

  6. i see paganis’ exhortations for a continuation of that rightwing divide and rule (against the poor) experiment of the last decades…

    ..has been endorsed by both the herald..(in an editorial no less..)..and by farrar…

    ..(dosen’t that tell you something..?.)

    ..and a reality check on that inclusion of the poorest families in working for families policy from labour..

    ..it was promised ‘by 2018’…

    ..that’s about eight years away…

    ..and those two facts..the policy..and the timeframe..

    ..taken together..

    …must make it eligible for an award of sorts..?




  7. (ahem,..!..basic math-fail..make that ‘six years away’..)


  8. Jackal 8

    Righthaven is a schmuck!

    Frivolous litigation is the scourge of the United States, with some firms founded entirely on the destructive practice. Righthaven is one such lawsuit factory…

  9. Okay then I am not one of these people who glare at other people’s kids in public when they are making a disturbance, in fact I hate those people who do that, having got younger relatives who get a bit crazy (like all kids) I wont judge someone else kids if they are misbehaving, in saying that their has to be a limit, and there has to be a time when a parent/caregiver starts to take control. I think kids should be able to be kids in public, even have meltdowns, or just generally act stupid.

    Its the parents reaction that gets to me.

    For example I was in this cafe, having a quiet meal, (the cafe was a normal run of the mill cafe, not way over the top posh, but it was nice) A mother had a couple of children there,
    the oldest was probably nine the youngest around six or seven.

    Well the kids started running around, the youngest had a toy car which he liked to bang on other peoples tables, while the oldest, screamed “lets play tag” they were hiding behind myself and other people at this cafe, behind the chairs etc etc, laughing, bumping into people, well the cafe manager came out and gave them a look that said “dont do that”

    Well the mother was beside herself, she stood up and screamed “Dont have fun kids, remember dont have fun, your not allowed to laugh or be happy” then she started cracking up and giving people dirty looks while still saying “Oh your having to much fun, the police are going to come now” The lady she was with was cheering her on.

    Like I said, Kids should be allowed to be kids, but was this too over the top, or am I being grumpy???? The place wasnt fastfood, it was a nice cafe, not sandwiches but meals.

    • Brett 9.1

      Some people have no idea how to raise children.
      If I was the cafe owner, I would have told the stupid bitch to fuck off and banned her from the premises.

    • felix 9.2

      I feel you there Brett(s). I’ve got a bit of a rep with some of the parents around town as being a grumpy bastard who doesn’t like kids, but nothing could be further from the truth.

      It’s the parents who piss me off, the ones who think their little darlings are too special to have boundaries. Most of the kids I like just fine.

    • Vicky32 9.3

      but was this too over the top, or am I being grumpy????

      No, IMO you are, for perhaps the first time that I have ever seen, perfectly correct… 🙂

    • I’ve been in similar circumstances myself. Either me or my wife (usually her) will firmly tell such children to be considerate – the parents usually look shocked or embarrassed.

      Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but I put it down to the overweening love affair modern society has with ‘privacy’, individualism and ‘property rights’. Parents seem to think that any reprimand from another adult, in public, of their children is some sort of invasion of their (the parents’) ‘privacy’ (now that is ironic) and ‘property rights’, insofar as they see children as their possessions. 

      For me, reprimanding these children is less about some poe-faced moralistic castigation as it is about giving children the respect to believe that they are ‘persons in process’ and need to be socialised. The kids often respond well – better than the parents.

      I think the irritation other adults often feel in the presence of unruly children stems from the perception that the parents will get all indignant at ‘strangers’ telling their children what they should be doing. 

      Children should be able to express themselves in lively ways, and places such as cafes (and their patrons) should accept that. But, that expressiveness also needs to be challenged (not completely squashed) when it goes too far.

      I think that, these days, there isn’t enough civilised argie-bargie between people in public places. We shouldn’t just silently keep our thoughts to ourselves and then bitch about others later. We should engage – civilly – at the time. Especially when it comes to socialising children. 

      Then, if we overstep the mark and reprimand a child unnecessarily or too harshly other adults can also step in and challenge us.

      This is how we learn to get along – and live out our social nature. 

      • Colonial Viper 9.4.1

        Quite right – NZers internalise way too many things without expressing them in assertive yet productive and well intentioned ways. From this kids in a cafe scenario to be badly treated by a customer services rep on the phone or in a store.

        Are we that afraid of meaningful communication and confrontation (your “meaningful argie bargy”)?

  10. randal 10

    shit yeah and then gone round and nuked her house and spayed all her relatives.
    mate and thats just for starters.

  11. Seriously? Was I right just to say nothing? Was the mothers reaction okay?

    • McFlock 11.1

      Insofar as people can say what they want, yes. Personally I would have thought that a little bit of respect for people’s personal space was in order, though.
      But then I’m a fascist prick at heart, so need to consciously moderate my more totalitarian impulses 😉

    • fender 11.2

      Ask Pete George or Gosman, I’m sure they will explain that the mother is a DPB bludger getting overpaid and needs to sent into poverty big time as punishment.

    • Populuxe1 11.3

      There does seem to be a generation of mothers with a very strong sense of entitlement (dare I mention militant breast feeders as well?), but instinct tells me that you can’t really do anything unless (1) the child is about to hurt themselves, someone else, or property – and you have to act in loco parentis because mummy in question is some borderline narcissistic personality disorder for whom her children are an autonomous accessory of only limited interest, or (2) the kiddiwink in question is actually invading your space and interracting with you directly (chair kickers and other monsters etc).

  12. Fender:

    She seemed quite well off, Not sure if she was on the DPB, all I know is that she didnt give a fuck about the people around her, or the business owner.

    • fender 12.1

      It’s quite common to see kids of the “quite well off” running riot as mummy and daddy teach them they own the world, and a select few will soon enough too.

      • McFlock 12.1.1

        I’m not entirely sure that this is a class issue, to the extent that it is an issue at all. I certainly don’t believe Brett was making that point. God knows I disagree with him enough, but the fact is that teaching kids a bit of consideration for other people is not out of order – especially as he isn’t talking about toddlers in this instance.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.2

        Tell you what. I know a few old fashioned Tories raising their children. Very methodical and very disciplined. End result – good kids with manners who know which end is up and which end is down, know how to manage their own bank accounts and know to avoid credit cards. The ones off farms can be immensely practical. As in, know how to lift engines out of old Holdens practical.

        The other kind of Tory parents with more money than sense, and who think that spoiling little Johnny with expensive gifts will somehow make up for their guilt in not spending quality time and attention supervising him, not so much.

  13. Jackal 13

    Methyl iodide challenged

    Methyl iodide is a pesticide that is sometimes used for fumigating soil before planting. In june 2010, the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) approved an application to import and manufacture Ripper, which contains methyl iodide, for the use in the strawberry industry. ERMA appears to have ignored various peer reviewed studies in making that decision.

    The problem is that methyl iodide was initially misclassified by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation. It’s classification is now being questioned in a court of law, and it’s likely the legal challenge will win…

  14. ropata 14

    Saving the Rich, Losing the economy
    In Europe, as in the US, the driver of economic policy quickly became saving the private banks from losses on their portfolios. A deal was struck with the socialist government of Greece, which represented the banks and not the Greek people. The ECB would violate its charter and together with the IMF, which would also violate its charter, would lend enough money to the Greek government to avoid default on its sovereign bonds to the private banks that had purchased the bonds. In return for the ECB and IMF loans and in order to raise the money to repay them, the Greek government had to agree to sell to private investors the national lottery, Greece’s ports and municipal water systems, a string of islands that are a national preserve, and in addition to impose a brutal austerity on the Greek people by lowering wages, cutting social benefits and pensions, raising taxes, and laying off or firing government workers.

    In other words, the Greek population is to be sacrificed to a small handful of foreign banks in Germany, France and the Netherlands. The Greek people, unlike “their” socialist government, did not regard this as a good deal. They have been in the streets ever since.

    Jean-Claude Trichet, head of the ECB, said that the austerity imposed on Greece was a first step. If Greece did not deliver on the deal, the next step was for the EU to take over Greece’s political sovereignty, make its budget, decide its taxation, decide its expenditures and from this process squeeze out enough from Greeks to repay the ECB and IMF for lending Greece the money to pay the private banks.

    In other words, Europe under the EU and Jean-Claude Trichet is a return to the most extreme form of feudalism in which a handful of rich are pampered at the expense of everyone else.

    This is what economic policy in the West has become–a tool of the wealthy used to enrich themselves by spreading poverty among the rest of the population.

    • Gosman 14.1

      The Greeks can still default if they want. They will just be kicked out of the Euro and get no significant further cash to support their leftist policies. That is how Merkel and Sarkozy managed to reign in the previous Greek PM when he stated the austerity meassures would be subject to a referendum. They basically told him it was either Austerity or no money and no Euro. The Greeks seem to want to still get bail out money and be part of the Euro but without austerity. It isn’t happening.

      • mik e 14.1.1

        Goose head the Greek economy is “spiroling”down the gurgler Austerity equals smaller economy less money to pay bills,Greek migration is huge leaving even less people to pick up the tab.
        Greece under neo liberal austerity is fucked no possible cure.
        Thats why Merkel and Sarkosy want a financial transaction tax to keep the fraudulent banks a float that lent these countries all this money fully knowing that they would default.
        If Greece pulls out of the Euro it has many more options like devaluing, printing money, raising taxes on the rich etc.
        German Swiss and French banks would go bankrupt doing more damage to the rest of Europe .
        Its not a leftist policy to not pay tax at all like a lot of Greek tycoons do, now thats why they are based their corrupting officials to get their way right wing fascists more like it.

    • Colonial Viper 14.2

      Greece is being forced to buy tens of millions in armaments from Germany and other countries as part of its bail out deal.

      i.e. repatriating money leant from EU countries to back to those same EU countries in exchange for pointless munitions and more indebtedness. Greece is screwed.

      Edit – I stand corrected. Its BILLIONS in weapon systems that Greece is buying. Austerity for you, Eurofighters for us!!!


      • Gosman 14.2.1

        Yet the Greek government still wants to be part of the Eurozone and still wants the bail out billions. Perhaps if they hadn’t got themselves into such a mess in the first place then they wouldn’t be in such a exploitable position as they are in now. Instead of having a bloated and over paid civil service and people retiring at 55 as well as paying no taxes they could have instead been more productive and law abiding and would be lending money to places like Italy and Spain rather than needing it from places like France and Germany.

        • Colonial Viper

          nah what we have here is a Bankster Occupation.

          The Greek Govt doesn’t actually work on behalf of the Greek people any more. Just on behalf of French and German banks.

          • Gosman

            Yet the Greeks on the whole aren’t calling for Greece to leave the Eurozone. Why is this CV?

            • Colonial Viper

              Your statement is false.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Greece, if I’ve been reading it right, still expect the EU to get rid of the corruption that is endemic to their political system. It’s that corruption that caused Greek spending and it’s only the Greeks that can get rid of it. The banksters, being also corrupt, are using that corruption to give themselves Greek assets so that they get a permanent rentier income.

            • mik e

              BS goose head Obviously you haven’t been watching the riots happening in Athens.
              According to overseas reports I’ve been reading Greece is becoming a tinder box for revolt.
              i.e, Arab spring I Predict full scale riots to come until Greece leaves the euro.

        • mik e

          The Goldman Sachs finance minister want them to stay in the Euro while all Greek govt assets are stripped at fire sale prices.

      • Gosman 14.2.2

        Greece does provide an interesting case study for those who argue that having a low retirement age reduces unemployment especially amongst the young though.

      • tsmithfield 14.2.3

        “i.e. repatriating money leant from EU countries to back to those same EU countries in exchange for pointless munitions and more indebtedness.”

        Not pointless. I am sure the armaments are going to be very handy for suppressing all the riots!! 🙂

        • Gosman

          Have the Greeks used fighter jets in suppressing the austerity protests previously? Has any Westernised country used fighter jets in this way in the past few decades?

          • McFlock

            Slippery Gos. “Armaments” is not restricted to “fighter jets”. Those are for if friction with Turkey flares up again.

            The helicopter gunships will be particularly useful in riot control. Their camera systems alone will be useful. The cannon will be just a bonus. As will the tanks. And some westernised countries love to use heavy artillery in civilian built up areas – just not their own.

          • Colonial Viper

            Your question and its phrasing reflects a very narrow perspective.

            It also makes the rather stupid assumption that prior events can predict future events.

            Fighter jets can be used to suppress populations of civilians, armed or unarmed, for any reason, political, social or economic.

            That’s what western fighter jets did in Libya, that’s what they do in Afghanistan.

            Now they are using (currently still unarmed) Predator drones and other formerly military UAVs in civilian law enforcement on US citizens in the US.

            Those drones can be armed with Hellfire II missiles at any time, just like the military ones can.

  15. TinTin just got a golden globe!

  16. Jackal 16

    Lunch with John Key

    During his long summer hiatus in Hawaii, John Key has had an epiphany and decided to cast off his teflon coated suit along with other trappings of power and showmanship like his toupee…

  17. prism 17

    The Italian ship which ran into rocks and went down might have taken the wrong side of an island to get closer to the scenic shore. It sounds like the Mikhail Lermontov episode here, for the same reason.

  18. randal 18

    paula beenit says the green paper will solve the mystery of infanticide in New Zealand.
    there have been “160” submissions already.
    most of those will be opinions.
    by my count there are at least 6 universities in new zealand.
    if they graduate 10 anthropolgy students per year then that is 60 qualified people that could be undertaking a proper scientific study instead of the usual bumble that we are getting now.
    oh I forgot.
    you would have to pay them but opinions are free.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      We don’t need anthropology students we need social science/social work/psychology post grads contributing.

      Although its pretty simple the answers around living conditions, poverty, substance abuse, anger management, parenting skills etc are already all very well known, its simply a case of operationalising them. Bennett is just wasting time with some kind of “need more research” bullshit.

      • mik e 18.1.1

        CV Its just another excuse for doing nothing need more research
        1987 ropa report on behalf of Roger Douglas
        Poverty main causes of child poverty and violence toward children and why so many poor people end up in jail.
        Poor housing
        Poor access to health care
        long term unemployment refer to two lines above

  19. Jackal 19

    Failed to report

    Being a relatively small Island nation in the Pacific means we’re somewhat isolated from what happens in the rest of the world. But that’s no excuse for New Zealand’s mainstream media ignoring many important stories.

    Clearly they’re underreporting on many relevant topics. So in light of this censorship… here’s a small sample of the stories that we don’t get to see here in gods own…

  20. Jackal 20

    Lewis Verduyn – NZ Asset Sales Policy Began On Wall Street:

    The Key government’s asset sales agenda is derived from the Washington Consensus – a set of Wall Street-driven policies that were pronounced dead after the global financial meltdown in 2008.[1] The New Zealand government, however, remains loyal to this failed ideology.


    The world on its present course cannot avoid fuel shortages, debt-deflation, fiscal austerity, increasing poverty, political and environmental conflicts over energy and essential commodities, unprecedented global protests against Wall Street financial injustice, political and legal challenges for full reserve monetary reform, climate and humanitarian disasters, further revolution and war.

    We are facing the perfect economic storm, in which sacrificing long-term high performing income would guarantee poverty for the majority. Selling public assets amounts to economic suicide.

    The sales related costs estimate of 3% or $180 million is probably a bit of the low side, but otherwise a very good read.

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