Open mike 16/05/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 16th, 2012 - 66 comments
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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…

66 comments on “Open mike 16/05/2012”

  1. Carol 1

    Oh, dear. Jonkey won’t be happy with that ‘tabloid” journal the NZ Herald this morning. Another blow to the tabloid PM. Dotcom will just not lie down:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10806194

    Kim Dotcom’s head of security told his boss that John Banks asked for a political donation and said he would be a “very good friend” once he was back in Parliament, according to an email.

    And this time it is not just about Banksies mayoral campaign, but about his asking Dotcom for funds for hisAct Epsom electorate campaign, allegedly in return for favours from him and the Shonkey one:

    Mr Tempero, who has acted as a bodyguard for David Beckham and Michael Jackson, wrote to Dotcom: “I just had a call from John Banks about asking you for a small donation for the Act Party which he is standing for government this year.”

    The email was sent immediately after Mr Tempero spoke with Mr Banks at about 8pm.

    Mr Tempero also wrote that Mr Banks said “he will be a very good friend for you when he is in Parliament”. He said Mr Banks had spoken of being “personally embarrassed” that Dotcom was unable to buy the north of Auckland mansion he was living in.
    [..]
    According to Mr Tempero’s email, Mr Banks said “once in government” he “would have the power to do something about it”.

    Mr Tempero said Mr Banks had suggested a personal meeting between the Prime Minister and the bodyguard. He said it would give the opportunity to explain Dotcom’s current and future efforts for New Zealand and “Banks thinks the PM will intervene”.

    In an emailed statement, Mr Banks confirmed asking for money.

    He said: “I do recall raising the issue of donating to the Act Party with Mr Dotcom’s staff … I was subsequently advised by one of his staff that Mr Dotcom said ‘to go get f****d as your Government has caused me too much trouble’ or something along those lines.”

    But team Dotcom is alleging that Banksie was asking for money in return for political favours once he was in government.

    • Kevin 1.1

      I worked with Mr Tempero at Waimanu in 95′ and found him to be a loyal dedicated worker but would not describe him as possessing the skills to act on behalf of an international figure.
      Mr Tempero is a straight up and down regular guy with a great sense of humour and was a real pleasure to work with. He did however slip up on the Dotcom job and may find it difficult to beat the charges he is facing.

  2. tc 2

    Good to see dot com keeping the flame on banksy and shonkey being so foolish as to have a go at one of their biggest allies in keeping the sheeple dumbed down being granny herald.

    Shonkey wouldn’t know what hit him if we had a decent MSM let alone the shills that make up granny. There are worrying signs for the hollowmen, their frontman can’t keep to the smile and wave routine whilst the majority hangs by a thread.

    Wtf has happened over bashers privacy breach also ?

    • Good also to see the steady drip, drip, drip of leaks from camp Dotcom.  I do not expect them to dry up for a while.  I wonder if there will be one about Key meeting Kim?  Key has been asked this question a few times.

  3. Tony P 3

    Any reason why The Standard feeds are no longer showing up in my Google Reader? Started happening yesterday.

  4. peter 4

    The Renegade Economist at http://www.renegadeeconomist.com/

    No doubt many out there are familiar with this site but it is new to me.

    The best I’ve seem in explaining relatively simply the banking rip-off and what is wrong with Keys obsolete austerity approach.

    • insider 4.1

      Ross Ashcroft was interviewed on Kathryn Ryan (?) last week plugging his film. He came across to me as being really confused with a whole lot of concerns and not many answers apart from things are really bad and unfair, and bring back the gold standard but different.

  5. muzza 5

    $112 Billion of off balance sheet exposures

    Raised yesterday, but needs another round to sink in I would say!

    • muzza 5.1

      “Delegation to transact is subject to controls and managed by skilled professionals, Treasury said.

      These professionals act within transparent risk policies and parameters and are accountable for their efforts and must meet detailed reporting guidelines and frameworks.”

      — Who are these professionals, and what exactly is their level of accountability?

      For those of you with an apetite, find Dr Susan Newberry’s thesis

  6. Carol 6

    Sorry – double post – delete button not working.

  7. Carol 7

    There is an interesting article from about a week ago in the Guardian about how the Occupy movement hasn’t died, as the MSM would have you believe, but it has shed any links with liberalism in the US, a link that was part of a pact between the left and the more centrist liberals in the US:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2012/may/07/occupy-liberation-from-liberalism

    There is a traditional terms of alliance between liberals and radicals in American social movements: through civil disobedience and direct action, the radicals create a fire on the liberals’ left that makes them seem relevant as a moderate alternative; the liberals keep us out of jail. In this case, the liberals spectacularly failed.
    […]
    But when OWS re-emerged in the spring, the abandonment of the liberals, the drying-up of the money, have become an almost miraculous blessing. Activists have honed and polished their street tactics and democratic process. New alliances have been created, with community groups, immigrant rights organizations, and, increasingly, labor unions.

    One reason OWS agreed to forgo mass civil disobedience in New York on 1 May was to solidify those alliances. Instead, occupiers working within the coalition pushed – with the boisterous support of many rank and file, despite the initial hesitation of some union leadership – for a joint solidarity statement that called not just for the usual battle against austerity, but to the revolutionary transformation of society:
    […]
    The words might be diplomatically chosen, but there’s no mistaking what tradition is being invoked here. In endorsing a vision of universal equality, of the dissolution of national borders, and democratic self-governing communities, nurses, bus drivers, and construction workers at the heart of America’s greatest capitalist metropolis are signing on to the vision, if not the tactics, of revolutionary anarchism.

    I’m not expecting the NZ MSM to pick up on such a revolutionary movement any time soon.

  8. prism 8

    Class sizes. It appears that National have got hold of the nub of an idea about class sizes on which they can build a policy that suits them. I believe that Ministers are strongly influenced by their own success from a poor background, generalising from the particular, taking the view ‘the mass could achieve this too if they weren’t so lazy’ – Parata and Paula Bennett are two, and Key with his state house background too.

    The class sizes policy is based on comments and findings from a meta-analysis study by Professor Hattie the findings of which are debated by other leading academics. PPTA views

    The important point of social conditions conveniently ignored by National in all its policies is quoted below.

    “(This) is not a book about what cannot be influenced in schools – thus critical discussions about class, poverty, resource in families, health in families and nutrition are not included – but this is NOT because they are unimportant, indeed they may be more important than many of the issues discussed in this book. It is just that I have not included these topics in my orbit,” Hattie says.

    The Greens Catherine Delahunty introduced to parliament an academic paper from the University of London website titled Do low attaining and younger students benefit most from small classes?by Blatchford, Bassett, and Brown.

    • Dv 8.1

      It looks like they are taking out about 1000 teachers.

      • s y d 8.1.1

        well, Lady Gardiner does provide an inkling that it may be worse…
        About 90 per cent of schools would either gain or have a net loss of less than one full time equivalent teachers as a result of the combined effect of the changes
        Quick check shows there are 2558 state schools, lets be conservative and say only 75% will have job losses…only another 1900 odd off to a brighter future…I’m sure Australia will gladly take these gifts..

        oh wait I see, saving 43mil is about 1000 teacher salaries..righto

        • muzza 8.1.1.1

          So instead of following an education world leader like Finland, where teaching is a treasured, respected position in society and education is reverred, because their country requires human knowledge at its core (lack of resources etc as one reason), NZ is instructed to follow the failures of the UK/US styled systems!

          Nothing to see here…

    • prism 8.2

      In addition to the links above on this class size controversy scoop reported – class sizes

      • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1

        Considering that Treasury knows nothing about education then them giving incoherent advice about it is to be expected. This government listening to them is also to be expected as they follow the same ideology as Treasury.

        • prism 8.2.1.1

          People who know more about economics than me say that Adam Smith is often misquoted by today’s economists which would include Treasury officials. Misinterpreting research of one professional and then that one publication as the basis for changing important welfare provisions must be normal.

      • ianmac 8.2.2

        A class of 24 ten year-olds can draw in underachievers and teachers can give much better critical feedback to those who need help, thus reducing the much publicised tail of underachievers.

        Parata is quoted in the Herald as being in classes of 42 pupils in her Primary years. Yeah right! Wonder if that can be verified but even if she was in such classes, how would that inform her of the 10 or 15 who would have “failed” in her class? Going right off that woman.

    • millsy 8.3

      Overcrowded classrooms to keep the top tax rate down.

      That’s all it is really.

    • s y d 8.4

      prism. lady G clearly influenced by her ‘memory’ of how things were in the good (or bad?) old days
      Ms Parata said that when she was at primary school her class size was around one teacher to 42 students.
      Of course that’s total BS (check class sizes from similar years for her school, mostly around late 20’s early 30’s)

      http://www.oldfriends.co.nz/InstitutionPhotoView.aspx?id=26474

      • prism 8.4.1

        s y d Thanks for that. I remembered hearing that but couldn’t find it.

      • ianmac 8.4.2

        syd should have read your piece first. Agree. Sounds very fishy. A small point but points to dodgy Minister. My point 8.2.2

    • freedom 8.5

      irritant update: The Stuff comments on this article are being blatantly ignored yet again but flick the pages and there is an article on cancelled US tv shows where the comments are alive and kicking. Or you can comment on the Avengers movie, US baby names or the latest masterchef mash up. Stuff is a pathetic bloody excuse for a news service. Perhaps they will follow the method used on the Wilkinson story and publish the comments tomorrow, after burying the story of course.

  9. prism 9

    To those who would be interested – when I was looking at a Scoop page for Feb 2012 there was an advert for the Wellington Palestinian Group planning to put on a presentation called the Palestinian Monologues at 6.30pm in Wellington I guess 19 Tory Street cost $10 or gold coin for unwaged. It’s to support – “Scoop correspondent Julie Webb-Pullman has been in Gaza for most of the past 12 months”

    Last info April 2012. Palestine correspondent

    • Vicky32 9.1

      in Wellington I guess 19 Tory Street

      Once again, I wish I was in Welly! 🙂

  10. Bored 10

    Funniest thing coming out of Johnnygrad today is the appointment of a”business” consultant to deliver welfare reform. These failed ideologues could not deliver business effectively enough for us to avoid the need for to pay welfare (i.e decent wages and sufficient jobs). Now rather bizarrely these same failures are going to be entrusted to deliver welfare to ameliorate their failure.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      I/S has a write up about it: Basically, it seems that the Welfare Working Group has just got another job overseeing WINZ.

      • muzza 10.1.1

        However Ms Bennett rejected suggestions it was a “business group”.
        “It’s not business having a greater role, it’s people with a range of skills getting involved,” Ms Bennett told Radio New Zealand.

        “She brushed off claims the board lacked experience in the welfare sector.”

        –Just like her boss eh..these people are very dangerous!

        “What was needed was different thinkers and that is what we have put on the board.”

        • Dv 10.1.1.1

          Rebstock was ceo? Of the commerce comission.

          Didnt she oversee the fianance companies. That was sucessful!

          • insider 10.1.1.1.1

            No. Wrong foreign female regulator chief. Jane Diplock at Securities Commission did that role.

            • Dv 10.1.1.1.1.1

              Thanks
              Diplock Did that role.
              That is agenerous interpretation of what did with the finance cos

          • tc 10.1.1.1.2

            Rebshocker = eliminated competition in freight, supermarkets, TV (prime going to sky), building supply and other industry acquisitions rubber stamped by the wisconsin wonder and her commission of ineffectual troughers.

            Diplock was equally ineffective with a range of wet bus tickets being handed out to badly behaved corporates likes PPCS, Feltex etc

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2

        Going to have to admit that I didn’t think this in this particular way:

        There are so many outrageous aspects to the appointment of Paula Rebstock and a raft of like-minded business and insurance types to a brand new quango to oversee welfare reform, it’s hard to know quite where to start. Evidently, in these hard times we can still afford to spend $1.1 million to service a board of bureaucrats to oversee the upcoming welfare changes – which is a job we already pay Social Development Minister Paula Minister over $200,000 a year plus perks, to do. Plus her advisers, plus her department and its well paid chief executive. Isn’t this their job, to oversee the policy outcomes that they initiate? What are we paying them for? Evidently, when it has the right ideological flavour, duplication and waste are OK with this government.

        Evidently, Paula Bennett just outsourced her own job but didn’t to the moral thing and quit at the same time.

  11. Te Reo Putake 11

    And in football news, Fortuna Dusseldorf have won promotion to the Bundesliga. Not normally an item for the Standard, I know, but FD95 have a solidly left wing fan base and were once sponsored by punk band Die Toten Hosen and wore the bands logo for two seasons. As far as I know, they are the only professional football team ever to wear a skull on their shirts!

    • Chris 11.1

      The Tampa Bay Buccanners have a skull and crossbones as their logo too. I would assume a few other teams with pirate related names would also do this

      • Te Reo Putake 11.1.1

        Cheers, Chris, hadn’t thought of the Bucs, but you are dead right (well, leaving aside that they are two different sporting codes). It’s a shame the Pirate Bay is closing down, they would have been ideal sponsors!
         
        TB are owned by the Glazer family, fact fans, and they are also owners of the second best football team in Manchester, England.

        • Chris 11.1.1.1

          True I didn’t notice you said Football or I wouldn’t have brought them up to be honest.

          Is the Pirate Bay closing down? I did not know that. Also didn’t know the Glazers owned TB as well – most I’ve learnt in one post ever

          • Te Reo Putake 11.1.1.1.1

            Cheers, Chris!
             
            The Pirate Bay is under severe threat, with court orders in many European countries stopping ISP’s from allowing access to the site. The founder is fighting back, citing a breach of human rights. However, I think the days of the open fencing of stolen materials on the ‘net is coming to an end, though greed and human ingenuity will find ways to hide it.
             
            “Football is freedom!” – Bob Marley (seen here playing the beautiful game in an Auckland Park).

        • tc 11.1.1.2

          Yes watching that space with interest as their internal draining of funds combined with the debt loaded onto the club is now kicking in to make manyoo nowhere near flush enough to compete with citeh, chelski etc.
          The one off ronaldo sale money has gone now along with the league title, hope freg sticks around to take a 20th title.

      • Vicky32 11.1.2

        The Tampa Bay Buccanners

        I had never heard of them, but just want to say (off-topic) that the Pyramid team owned by Daniel Graystone in the awesome science fiction series Caprica, is called the Buccaneers… 🙂

    • Willie Maley 11.2

      Also St. Pauli have a skull and crossbones logo, they are based in Hamburg and are the left wing/ punk alternative to the right wing F.C.Hamburg.

      • Te Reo Putake 11.2.1

        Indeed they are a very cool club, Willie and I imagine matches between them and Fortuna would have been a party from start to finish. I’m pretty sure the Beatles used to go to games when they were playing in the redlight district down the road in the early sixties. However, unlike Fortuna, I’m pretty sure the team never officially wore the skull and crossbones, and that its just a fan thing. 
         
        Unlike most clubs whose main driver is extracting ever increasing amounts of dosh from long suffering supporters, St Pauli are fan based in every way and have the following democratic principles enshrined in their constitution:
         
        “In its totality, consisting of members, staff, fans and honorary officers, St. Pauli FC is a part of the society by which it is surrounded and so is affected both directly and indirectly by social changes in the political, cultural and social spheres.”
        “St. Pauli FC is conscious of the social responsibility this implies, and represents the interests of its members, staff, fans and honorary officers in matters not just restricted to the sphere of sport.”
         
        “St. Pauli FC is the club of a particular city district, and it is to this that it owes its identity. This gives it a social and political responsibility in relation to the district and the people who live there.”
         
        “St. Pauli FC aims to put across a certain feeling for life and symbolises sporting authenticity. This makes it possible for people to identify with the club independently of any sporting successes it may achieve. Essential features of the club that encourage this sense of identification are to be honoured, promoted and preserved.”
        “Tolerance and respect in mutual human relations are important pillars of the St. Pauli philosophy.
         
        Pretty cool, huh?

         

  12. s y d 12

    just found this…I think someone at Suff must’ve got hold of the code and is running some kind of NZ version judging by the comments…
    http://ifyoulikeitsomuchwhydontyougolivethere.com/the-twat-o-tron/
     

    • Uturn 12.1

      haha that made my so-far, day. Especially with the commenters with names like, Molesto the Ape.

      “TWO WORDS: SAMSH THE SYSTEM”

      • Tiger Mountain 12.1.1

        More like three words! “SAMSH THE SYSTEM”

        Similar to “Dyslexics of the world Untie!”

  13. Remember when we were told that tax cuts to the rich would be fiscally neutral? Well hekia Parata is claiming that increasing class sizes will be educationally neutral…
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/paratas-education-plans-worrying.html

  14. Jackal 14

    Here’s a good article by Catherine Woulfe about the fallout from Colin Craig’s comments on promiscuity. Even if the unscientific Durex survey (PDF) is right, the days of thinking sex is inherently bad should be long gone.

    • Vicky32 14.1

      the days of thinking sex is inherently bad should be long gone.

      I don’t think that anyone thinks that sex is inherently bad! They think that there’s (a) too much emphasis on sex in our present society and that (b) it’s rather mis-used.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1

        a) As we’re social beings there’s always been an emphasis on sex throughout human history it’s just that the emphasis has changed from being positive to negative and now it’s going back to positive. You seem to dislike that positive shift.

        b) Define misused.

  15. Penny Bright 15

    Tonight, Wednesday 16 May 2012, at Auckland University Library basement, during my presentation from 6 – 7pm, I will be giving fellow Public Watchdog Vince Siemer, an opportunity to explain why, for the FOURTH time, he is facing imprisonment although he has not broken any law.

    Vince Siemer breached an unlawful order of Judge Winkelmann, that not only denied the Urewera defendants the right to trial by jury, but suppressed the public’s right to know this.

    Under NZ law – there is no lawful basis for a Judge to suppress a judgment or the reasons for it.

    As a ‘whistle-blower’ exposing NZ judicial corruption, Vince Siemer has been persecuted in a way that defies belief – especially in a country ‘perceived’ to be the ‘least corrupt in the world’.

    http://www.kiwisfirst.co.nz – Vince Siemer’s website, is, in my opinion – the leading website exposing the lack of judicial transparency and accountability and judicial corruption based upon ‘conflicts of interest’.

    Come and hear for yourself this DISGRACEFUL story, which confirms why NZ URGENTLY needs an enforceable Code of Conduct for NZ Judges.

    A petition will be available for people to sign on this matter.

    http://www.courtsofnz.govt.nz/from/decisions/judgments

    SIEMER V THE SOLICITOR-GENERAL COA CA607/2011 [11 May 2012]
    IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF NEW ZEALAND
    CA607/2011
    [2012] NZCA 188
    BETWEEN VINCENT ROSS SIEMER
    Appellant
    AND THE SOLICITOR-GENERAL
    Respondent

    Hearing: 1 February 2012
    Court: O’Regan P, Harrison and Wild JJ
    Counsel: T Ellis and G K Edgeler for Appellant
    M F Laracy and G J Robins for Respondent
    Judgment: 11 May 2012 at 10 am

    JUDGMENT OF THE COURT

    A The appeal is dismissed.

    B The appellant is to present himself at Auckland Remand Prison at 9 am on 25 May 2012 to commence serving his term of six weeks
    imprisonment.

    C There will be no order as to costs.
    _________________________________________________________________

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    • Te Reo Putake 15.1

      ” … he is facing imprisonment although he has not broken any law.”
       
      Um, isn’t he going to prison because he broke the law? Specifically by breaching a suppression order? Just because he doesn’t think the suppression order is valid doesn’t put him above the law, Penny. It just makes him marginally less lucky that Cameron Slater, who managed to avoid jail for the same conceit.
       
      Good luck to him though. I appreciate he is fighting on the side of the angels, but to say he didn’t break the law when he clearly did seems rather blinkered to me. Perhaps it might be better stated as ‘broke a law that shouldn’t be a law’?

      • Penny Bright 15.1.1

        Which LAW allows NZ Judges to suppress a judgment or the reasons for it?

        If a Judge makes an order which is not itself based upon the RULE OF LAW – then how is that order LAWFUL?

        Haven’t we historically been down that track before?

        Judges in Nazi Germany making court orders requiring Jewish people to wear stars of David – sort of thing?

        I for one, do NOT accept that Judges are ‘above the law’ and can just ‘make it up’, as happens in NZ with seemingly monotonous regularity when it come to Vince Siemer.

        http://www.kiwisfirst.co.nz

        How, without an ENFORCEABLE ‘CODE OF CONDUCT’ for NZ Judges are they ever going to be held accountable to the law which they are supposed to uphold and enforce?

        Penny Bright

        • insider 15.1.1.1

          It happens all the time when people are facing multiple charges and trials. Think the police rape trials where two were already in prison after convictions and some recent drug importation and distribution trials.

          You really need to think a bit harder before launching another silly protest. Is your theme song ‘Hey Jude’?

    • David H 15.2

      Well if the are consistent then the 6 weeks will be down to about 10 days to 2 weeks if he’s a good boy.

  16. joe90 16

    I’ve always thought those who became born again devil dodgers later in life were slightly looned but apparently they’re not. They’re more likely to be suffering from brain atrophy.

    • Vicky32 16.1

       
      Interesting Joe90, that you don’t mention this part! 😀
      ” or conversely, those who had no religious affiliation, had more hippocampal shrinkage (or “atrophy”)”

  17. joe90 17

    The RWNJ’s poster child for the upcoming race war could be charged with a hate crime. Coniptions ahoy!.

  18. DH 18

    Steven Joyce has come up with a stunner, will be interesting to see how many pick up on his disingenuous use of the abacus.

    “Cashing in on overseas students”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10806103

    As a businessman he’d know what a ledger is and that it has two sides yet he’s only showing one side of it. It costs the University money to educate these overseas students, income is only half the picture. With total annual budget of $950mil and 40,000 students the average cost per student at Auckland Uni would be around $24,000. Using the $68m and 4800 figures he quoted the average fee for overseas students at Auckland Uni is $14,000.

    Now while gross averages don’t paint the full picture it’s still pretty obvious his argument doesn’t stack up very well.

  19. Jim Nald 19

    Anyone remember:

    /tag/friday-puzzle/

    and still has not cracked it?

    Can someone tell us what they are puhleazzze.

  20. prism 20

    Awful clip on You Tube – Why cops hate SHTF. Video from Stark County, Ohio of two shaven headed police and a blonde police officer who were supposed to be responding to a request for help by a woman who was attacked, yet they stripped all her clothes off her while she screamed protest and I think she was held in a cell naked. She was charged with resisting arrest yet they had no reason to arrest her. The video wasn’t shown in entirety in court. What a corrupt vicious gang pretending to be upholders of the law and protecting citizens.

    In another clip a police officer gave calm details about another outrage. A man who had been in a car crash, burned and bleeding didn’t want to lie on his stomach on police instructions, so the policeman tazered him.

    Another shining example of respectful treatment of citizens by their government bodies in the USA.

  21. captain hook 21

    so what about the forcd removal of tenants from the gordon wilson flats in wellington.
    want to bet the university owns the same building in less than a year?

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    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    5 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    6 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    6 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    7 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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