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Open mike 16/04/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 16th, 2011 - 58 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…

58 comments on “Open mike 16/04/2011”

  1. Carol 1

    Well, he’s baaaaccckkk! And, while there’s many of his policies I don’t like, here’s hoping he focuses the electorate on some important issues, as with these slams against the government in yesterday’s speech.

    They roared at his jokes and clapped and cheered when he slammed the Government, piercing the air with a pointed finger. His speech concentrated on “financial scandal after financial scandal, bailout after bailout”.

    “The Government is pouring billions of dollars of good money – taxpayers’ money – into failing businesses like South Canterbury Finance and AMI Insurance. It should nationalise AMI and send the people who supposedly ran the company to a tent camp in a Canterbury pine plantation for the winter.”

    The Government’s true colours were shown last week when Finance Minister Bill English boasted about the low wages in this country being an attraction for overseas investors, he said.

    “The only people this Government looks after are those on the top of the pile – they are creaming it … [while] taxpayer dollars get siphoned off in billions to save failing businesses.

    “This Government gives huge tax cuts to the rich and increases taxes on food and the necessaries of life for families. The days of pensioners eating pet food will be over the day we walk back through the doors of Parliament.”

    And who is this?

    • ianmac 1.1

      Thanks Carol. Have never voted NZF but like the Ashburton reported speech Peters says so well what many believe about our abusive government. Any chance of co-opting him into say Labour? At least let Winston be a consultant for Labour?

    • LynW 1.2

      I agree Carol. These important issues need to be continually raised in public forums and reported in the press. Winston Peters seems to get the coverage and certainly spreads the message very effectively!

    • LynW 1.3

      I agree Carol. These important issues need to be continually raised in public forums and reported in the press. Winston Peters seems to get the coverage and certainly spreads the message very effectively!

    • Red Rosa 1.4

      Finally, an Opposition Leader!

    • KJT 1.5

      At last, an opposition!
      Why does it take Winnie to say the things Labour should be saying.

  2. logie97 2

    I doubt Key would have anything to do with someone like that!!!
    NO!

    • ianmac 2.1

      Wonder why Key is so anti Peters.
      Is it Winston’s competing grin?
      Is it Winston’s neat suit and ties?
      Is it Winston’s devastating refusal to sell assets like Wellington Airport which caused Shipley so much strife?
      Is it Winston’s ability to win audience with humour and succinctness?
      Or is it because Key has gambled on Winston’s non return where he could hold the balance of power? Key would be hammered if that happened, especially by National supporters.
      Watch for the Crosby Textor shennanigans.

      • Deadly_NZ 2.1.1

        Wonder why Key is so anti Peters
        Could it be that Peters does the smile and wave with sincerity.  while shonky uses it to hide the fact that he’s stoopid, and Peters is going to wipe the floor with him, and English too.  The other good thing is he gets the Air time as well. So at least the message will get out that the NACTS are incompetent. And peters is the one to stir the pot!
         
        Go Winnie
         
         

      • M 2.1.2

        ianmac

        I think it’s that Winnie is a very sharp dresser, is comfortable in his own skin and can think on his feet which Key clearly cannot.

      • Frank Macskasy 2.1.3

        “Wonder why Key is so anti Peters.”
         
        No real guessing really. Politics, as always, is one part Perception; one part a Numbers-Game; and the last part the Art of the Possible.
         
        Let’s take the ingredient of the Numbers Game. Making certain assumptions, based on current political upheavals, and the November election results could look something like this:
         
        National
        Assuming the same result as in 2008: 45% – 54 seats
         
        ACT
        Still under 5%, but Hide loses Epsom after his shenanigans: 3.6% – nil seats
         
        CENTRE-RIGHT TOTAL: 54
         
        Maori Party
        Badly burnt in their coalition with National and with not much to show for it, Turia and Sharples decide to coalesce with Labour: 4 electorate seats
         
        Hone Harawira
        Fulfills pledge to support Labour: 1 seat
         
        Labour
        Minimum votes: 34% – 41 seats
         
        Greens
        7% – 9 seats
         
        NZ First
        Assumption that they cross the 5% threshold: 6 seats
         
        CENTRE LEFT TOTAL: 61 seats
         
        Peter Dunne
        1 seat
        coalition: who knows?!
         
        The centre-left result, at 61 seats, is a minimum. My money is on the Greens holding their percentage of the Party Vote, and Labour increasing their share by several percentage points.
         
        A resulting Labour-Green-Maori Party-Harawira-NZ First coalition looks to be bloody unwieldy – but it may work if the Leaders of each party understand the alternative. Voters tend to be very unforgiving on small parties if they buck the system too much. A snap election caused by a small party throwing it’s weight around to gain added advantage may result in that Party going the way of The Alliance, NZ First in 2008, and most likely ACT, this year.
         
        Haunting National at the polls will be:
         
        * Public perception that it is doing nothing to promote job creation and get the economy moving,
         
        * Public perception that the government seems to be shovelling money at private enterprise, whilst social and community services are paired back. Why does Warners Bros, South China Airlines, various finance companies, and Mediaworks all receive taxpayer-funded assistance – whilst Early Childhood Education is cut back?
         
        * Inflation getting worse, or remaining stubbornly high – especially power prices,
         
        * National’s promises to partially-privatise power companies. Once the public realises that this will most likely mean higher electricity prices – watch support for National drop away,
         
        * Increasing use of executive power to ram through legislation under “Urgency”; increasing surveillance powers for government agencies; whilst reducing the public’s ability to access services such as Legal Aid. This is where Perception comes into play, and National is increasingly seen as “Big Brotherish”.
         
        * Increasing numbers migrating to Australia. Key promised action on this issue, and English’s comments that a 30% wage gap is somehow an “advantage” may be a nasty-flavoured pill for many to follow. Whilst many of the “grumpy vote” may not be prepared to vote Green or Labour, this is NZ First’s core constituency.
         
         
        So this year’s election is by no means a foregone conclusion. I suspect that National’s back-room strategists are fully aware of their vulnerabilities and may be pulling out a few “stops” to shore up their support.
         
        As for Labour – no one can damage their chances except Labour itself.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.3.1

          As for Labour – no one can damage their chances except Labour itself.

          And of which they seem to be doing an admiral job.

        • ianmac 2.1.3.2

          Well said. With a positive scenario like that there is still hope. But National scorned is a savage beast willing to pull out the dirty tricks but via others of course to act as their proxies.  They will try hard to let down Winston’s tyres.
          Good work there Frank!

          • Frank Macskasy 2.1.3.2.1

            Thanks, Ianmac…

            One additional possibility; If National’s polling begins to wane during this years’ campaign, and drops to 40% or below, let’s not be surprised if Key does a “flip flop” on the asset sales programme…

            • Deadly_NZ 2.1.3.2.1.1

              But don’t forget ol’ photo op hisself ol’ shonkey,  I noticed it turned up in the Stone bros garage yesterday and today the Giz won, so now what it stands up on tuesday or whenever parliament decides to sit again and say it helped?,  And don’t forget the Photo op’s it will have when it meets the queen (I pity her) for 2 hours the only relief the Queen will have is when Bronny is there for the last hour or so.  Now we hear that it is going to sidestep the royalty visit rules and have William and kate here for the RWC yes I know it’s a private visit nudge nudge wink wink say no more.
               
              Say No mowah!!!!

    • Daveosaurus 2.2

      I reckon that on November 27th, any promise of Key’s that he’s not going to have anything do with Peters will go the same way as “north of $50”, “we won’t raise GST” and “we won’t borrow to pay for tax cuts for the rich”.

  3. ZeeBop 3

    So let’s see. We sell food to the UK, OZ, etc, and they buy at whole food prices. They have economies that are deeper and wider than ours, so they have as nations strong buying power. Now the consumer of food in NZ has to pay the world food price too, and NZ does not have the same buying power. Then on top of that the UK, OZ, etc buyer does not pay GST on food. So I figure anyone against GST off food is essentially locking themselves into paying more, but worse, locking them and their fellow citizens into a second class system where food costs more, where poverty is assured, where the is no way for the majority to compete for the best food that NZ can grow and make. Stop a second. Re-read that. The people of NZ pay a premium for food that prices themselves out of the market so the country can export the best to the world and make profits for the many foreign holders of NZ debt. Yes, NZ is stupid. Stupid to have GST on food, stupid to vote for a system that takes ALL THE CREAM off and sell it to the world and give most in NZ little of the benefits of their countries bounty. Meat that is pumped with bleach, glued together even, etc. No wonder we don’t have a food culture, no wonder we don’t have the chefs whose palates grow from a young age on the best food, a love of food! what love of food the humble gristle ridden pie is not a culinary good news story. We harm our economy, our tourism, our potential, our wages, to sell all the cream off, we are in a spiral where the less is more, where we get poor, get lousier food, in order to get richer! But wait its not working, child poverty is a national scandal, youth suicide, skilled migration overseas, people can’t live here, NZ’s vote for parties whose policies don’t want them to live here. How stupid is that?

  4. todd 4

    The week that was

    http://thejackalman.blogspot.com/2011/04/week-that-was_15.html
     
    Hiya Standard, having a few issues with the new post window. Not letting me type, txt going downwards and removing spacing when posted. Refresh and edit fixes this but it is a hassle.

    • Lanthanide 4.1

      Yes, I’ve had this happen on two ocassions now too. Was wondering if it was just me, but evidently not. So seems there’s some sort of intermitant bug with the editor, Lynn. What happens is that the font starts rapidly cycling, and typing different letters seems to be interpreted as new lines, so you end up with something that looks like this:

      on

      e
      happ
      his
      ad t
      I’ve h
      s,
      Ye

      It’s almost acting as if a function key has been held down while typing. Refreshing seems to fix it though.

      • logie97 4.1.1

        …would be interesting to know if it is browser specific …
        Just saying, because  on some forum sites, when people are talking about technical issues, they include the platform, software version et cetera they are using.

      • lprent 4.1.2

        Ouch! That is javascript code running on your side

        One of the fixes that I have to apply after I get the servers back out of overload again is an updated version of tinymce. The version that this is using is so 2008. 

        If that doesn’t cure the problem then I have nicedit next. 

        But I need to update the servers first.

    • Eddie 4.2

      Todd. you be ok with us reproducing your ‘week that was’ posts here on The Standard? They’re really good. We’ll include links to your blog throughout. Basically, we get good content covering a lot of stuff we haven’t got around to and your blog gets drawn to the attention of our 20,000+ pageviews per day.
      captcha: smiles
      btw, I’m getting trouble if I try to comment in internet explorer but firefox is fine. apparently, the new text box allows comments from iphones/pads but not android as well
      I think this and the server failures people are getting occasionally are the result of the server being at maximum thanks to the new Facebook ‘like’ feature (btw, remember to press ‘like’ on posts you like!). Lynn has it all under control, will just be a few days to sort.

      • freedom 4.2.1

        excuse my ignorance, does the new like button post a link on FB? Do you have to be logged in to FB to use it? , because many people, myself included, log out of FB to avoid automatic ‘signing in’ as we wander around the net. 

        a little anonymity is important, no?  It is Standard Policy after all

        Can we get a like button that is only for The Standard, especially one for individual comments. It might be a simple yet tidy method to show support for ideas as we head towards the date of doom, i mean the election.

        • Eddie 4.2.1.1

          it makes a little clip of the post appear on your feed. Of course, lots of people press like on the standard’s like buttons. pressing it doesn’t identify you as an particular pseudonymous commenter -all it tells your fb friends is that your saw something on the standard that you liked and they should look too.

          • lprent 4.2.1.1.1

            The main thing that needs to be fixed with this as far as I can see is that it needs to put the front page thumbnail as the image, and to look at what makes it occasionally use the meta info rather than either the except or first paragraph.

        • ianmac 4.2.1.2

          Just for fun a week or so ago I logged out so I could have a fanciful little argument with my alter ego on the Standard. Unfortunately my Millhouse umm logo followed me even as I wrote as another anonymous other person. Foiled.
          I did send an e-mail to my sister once signed off on my e-mail address modified and purporting to be a message from John Key. Thus “john.key@xtra.co.nz”. Fooled her too with great consternation and later hilarity.

        • lprent 4.2.1.3

          Sorry about the delay – been in Rotorua visiting my parents.

          If you are not logged into facebook, it does a popup page for doing the login. That may fail if you have some anti-popup code running. However when that happens you won’t see the like button changing to a ‘disabled’ state.

      • todd 4.2.2

        Thanks Eddie. Reproduction is all good. The Standard is welcome to use any content and just one link would be fine.
         
        Firefox 4, Mac OS X 10.6.4

      • lprent 4.2.3

        Yep. Back from rottenrua, so tomorrow is dedicated to finishing the server updates, then doing applying delayed bug fixes (too close to limits to apply previously) and a hunt of more bugs. Oh and the washing – must NOT forget the washing! And a couple of campaigning code tweaks for Labour.

  5. higherstandard 5

    Has Wellington’s mayor been taking lessons from Andrew Williams ?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4895773/Mayor-loses-her-rag-with-deputy

  6. freedom 6

    Whilst watching the Copyright Act speech by Gareth Hughes in the House this week i was involved in a bit of a Facebook discussion with a friend who had never watched Parliament in action, and he was stunned, not just at the behaviour in general but at the lack of actual bodies in the House.  Our dialogue ended with the passage below and i wanted to share it because it cuts straight to the bone.

    …and instead of slowing down the amount of legislation being rushed through, that would logically allow for real debate and process, they simply meet the bare minimum requirements for the House. The actual quality of time in the House then suffers accordingly. It is like a Shop-display bathroom…All the appearance of a working toilet with none of the benefits of the actual function

    • ianmac 6.1

      So true freedom. Democracy under serious threat? Sure is.

    • Sam 6.2

      Yes, it is very noticeable, from all parties, they have one “token” Mp in the house, except for question time.
      As for Hone Harawira and Chris Carter, they should have salary deducted as they just don’t show up at all.

      • logie97 6.2.1

        I believe that when legislation is under “urgency” the filibuster becomes irrelevant. There is limited debating time.  Could be wrong, but that might have accounted for a minimum number of visible MPs.

      • Eddie 6.2.2

        think about it this way. Would we be getting good bang for our buck from MPs sitting in the House waiting hours for a turn to speak, if they get one at all?
        or does it make more sense to a skeleton crew (I think a party has to have a third of its MPs present to vote with full numbers and lone mps can give a proxy vote to another party) in the House doing the speeches  – which, frankly, rarely change the legislation or how people vote and are ignored by the media and public except when they make dicks of themselves – while the rest of the MPs get on with all their other work?

  7. logie97 7

    I hope our Minister of Tourism is keeping an eye on this and his ministry is keeping him better informed than they apparently did over the BMWs?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10719628 

    “New York link in bid for control of Tourism Holdings”

  8. prism 8

    Sam –  Logie97 wrote ‘I hope our Minister of … is keeping an eye on this and his ministry is keeping him better informed than they apparently did over the BMWs?’I hope that someone with power to sanction is checking on these two pollies Carter and Harawira if they are not turning up for their stint in parliament.  They should not be pocketing their pay and extras without participating in the in-house parliamentary work.  If that were so the money would be like us paying for all of their campaign expenses.

    • logie97 8.1

      … surely your understanding and judgement of the work of an MP  is not based on his/her being seen sitting in the debating chamber.

      • prism 8.1.1

        Sure they may be doing things for their constituents – do they have a set area?  If they are in the debating chamber they can be seen, hopefully awake.   How do we know we are getting our money’s worth?   Are they preparing Bills, doing research, who keeps tabs.   Is their weekly schedule of business published by the Parliamentary Services or similar?  You give the impression that you know, so what is the situation?

        • logie97 8.1.1.1

          The two MPs you identify are both electorate MPs so, if I read your question right, yes they have set areas.
          They would appear to be answerable as to their whereabouts – to parliamentary services and their electorates.
          As for justifying what they do, be mindful of the saying…
          Mrs Jones spends all day looking out her kitchen window.  I know because I have watched her.

  9. gobsmacked 9

    It’s all getting messy in Epsom … super size my popcorn!

    http://m.nbr.co.nz/article/matthew-hooton-nats-reject-act-deal-epsom-mh-p-90831

    OK, Hooton is a paid-up member of the bullshit brigade, but he does have an ear to the ground in Epsom, lives there and even if he’s talking rubbish, he’s talking rubbish on behalf of disgruntled Nats.
    I reckon Key should pick Melissa Lee for Epsom … it’s the only way Rodney Hide can be saved!

    • ianmac 9.1

      Hooten has written his analysis of the Epson/Hide/National scenario gobsmacked and is I think the only one I think to have done so. Who’d ‘ave thought!
      And again Winston pops up as a player in that scenario. Wonder what the “strategist” that supposedly is  John Key, is thinking, or rather his advisers who will explain top him which way to jump. What a sub-plot with implications for the Left leaning parties.

  10. Herodotus 10

    Life is not all that bad for Tony Haywood  ex CEO for BP.

  11. NickS 11

    /science-gasm 
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/4891397/Kiwis-mother-of-language-discovery-creates-stir

    Heh, awesome. Usually all we get in the media is ye olde “just-so-story” claims from evolutionary psychologists, which invariably hides the non-bullshit… I kinda need to look at the paper in question though, since The Economist (TE) only gives the very basics on it. There’s also Dunn’s work, discussed in TE which uses a similar tree building method to that used by some phylogenetics programs, and provides further evidence against Chomsky et al’s hypothesis about language modules. Which having done far too much evolutionary biology, I’ve always viewed as a bit dodgy in light of how neural networks can generate complex rule sets via inputs with very little prior priming.

  12. MrSmith 12

    I see the Nact’s are slowly getting control of the MSM
     
    (1) Richard Griffin to chair Radio NZ board.  “From 1993 to 1998 he served the New Zealand Government as Chief Press Secretary and Senior Media Advisor to Prime Minister Jim Bolger and the New Zealand Cabinet.” (thanks No Right Turn)
     
    (2) Media works anyone! (something stinks there)
     
    (3)

  13. Michael 13

    Made over $2000 worth of food (all short order cooking) for the cafe I work at today.
    On minimum wage, I take home around 90 dollars for today’s work.

    Cannot help feeling exploited after the amount of work and stress I experienced today.

    Ugghhhhhhhhhhhh.

    • RedLogix 13.1

      Now what you have to understand is that your cafe’s landlord’s bankers probably made more than that today for doing…nothing.

      • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1

        Estimated amount of the end price dedicated to repaying interest is about 50% (I posted the link a few months back).

    • Sam 13.2

      How much of that $2000 is profit for the owner?
      If you feel you deserve more, open your own cafe and look at where that $2000 would go!

  14. Lanthanide 14

    Just had another quake, I’d say a bit over 5-ish.

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      5.3, 10km north east of Diamond Harbour, so in Lyttleton basically.

    • r0b 14.2

      My lot are all OK again this time.  Hope all in Chch are well.

      Media was slow to report, so I tried that new fangled Twitter thing for the first time.  Hmmm.  For events like this I can see the attraction.

  15. todd 15

    Taranaki has highest cancer rate in the World

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/wellbeing/4873151/Region-hot-bed-of-skin-cancer

    The Taranaki rate is 70.3 per 100,000 people. The next-worst, the Waitemata District Health Board region has a rate of 50.2 while the overall New Zealand rate is 51.8.

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