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Open mike 16/07/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 16th, 2013 - 84 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…

84 comments on “Open mike 16/07/2013”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Bill yesterday gave Grant Robertson the nick name “log jam”, I suppose for holding the balance of votes on whether or not there is a change in Labour Leadership before Conference. I hope that Robertson can see that the only way to ensure a Labour victory in 2014 is to get agreement amongst his colleagues that a change in leadership is needed and is needed now. Shearer should be assured that there is a Cabinet post waiting for him in 2014 in any new Labour govt. Stepping down is the smart move and would be respected throughout the party as a move with Labour’s best interests at heart.

    • muzza 1.1

      Prefer they did what is right by the majority of people of this country, forget doing what’s right by the co-opted party, of which Robertson, is one who has been, co-opted!

      So much to twist those rubber arms of his with, he won’t have his grubby mitts out of the cookie jar, anytime soon!

    • Pasupial 1.2

      @ CV
      I’ve never considered the possibility of Shearer standing down of his own volition for the good of the country. It would indeed be; “the smart move and would be respected throughout the party as a move with Labour’s best interests at heart”, which I guess is why it seems so unlikely.

      Would Robertson then become leader permanently (barring a challenge by 40% of caucus)? Or would there be an automatic vote for new leader with Robertson holding interim authority? Either way would seem to be Robertson’s last best chance of becoming leader. A better scenario than Goff pulling a Rudd anyway.

      @ Muzza
      I too would: “Prefer they did what is right [left?] by the majority of people of this country, forget doing what’s right by the co-opted party”. But I’m not a member of the party so even if there is a leadership vote, won’t be having a say in it.

      • Rosetinted 1.2.1

        Now that there has been a change in Australia Labor, it would be opportune to think again about change here. There’s still time and if an approach as CV referred to, was followed, then I think there would be an exponential rise, with the mood in the country about the NACTs and Key as unhappy as it is.

      • Adrian 1.2.2

        Get over it , your’e all playing into the rights hand. Gower and Garner are stirring so that in the unlikelyhood of a spill they can claim you heard it from them first, dishonest and despicable.Also they are probably on a promise of some sort.
        There is NOT 40% of caucus who want a blood-on-the-floor shit-fight over leadership to start with so it is never going to get any traction before the next election so STFU and work to win in ’14. P.s no personal agenda , I favoured and argued for DC but this have sufficient maturity to go with the decision made under the rules as the stood at the time.

        • Colonial Viper 1.2.2.1

          You would actually need 50% of caucus to agree to a leadership change process, since it’s mid term and not just after an election.

          it is never going to get any traction before the next election so STFU and work to win in ’14

          It might surprise you, but a lot of Labour activists and ex-activists don’t think that this message is going to resonate with campaigning teams.

          • Descendant Of Sssmith 1.2.2.1.1

            And you bypass those of us that don’t particularly care about the leadership issue until you get some policies that are more left and help both those at the bottom and workers.

            State housing
            A decent increase in minimum wage
            Increased taxation
            Increased benefit rates
            A general wage order for those earning under $50,000
            8 hour working day, 40 hour working week
            Government jobs to both take back work the government used to do and to create jobs
            Universal FB so you stop pitting one set of parents against the other
            Decent bus and rail services with decent bus depots to pick up and drop off passengers

            Take your pick……

    • Bill 1.3

      Seems to me that Shearer is just incompetent enough to have an enormous ego/ overblown sense of his own importance. I think that’s something the jokers who put him in as a short term patsy overlooked. He won’t jump. He has a position and he’s entitled duntyaknow…he’s the ‘big man’.

      It’s come out time and time again when he speaks. If it’s policy or opinion he’s vague. If it’s to do with himpreserving his position, he’s focussed and assertive.

      • Rosetinted 1.3.1

        Sounds like the Peter Principle might have some relevance here – this from The Peter Principle on google –
        In the article Inverse Promotions…
        ’employees continue to win promotions until they reach a level where they simply cannot do the work required of that position. These employees end up desperately unhappy, struggling to survive and at the same time costing the company money in lost productivity, lowered morale, and less innovation.” Because of the high cost of [that] smart managers look for ways to beat The Peter Principle.’

        @Bill comments ‘If it’s policy or opinion he’s vague. If it’s to do with himpreserving his position, he’s focussed and assertive.’
        That fits in with the unhappy person and having less innovation from them. These are comments made about moving on from that situation:

        1 Demoting people who have reached their level of incompetence may sound harsh, but it is often the only way. And it can be a win-win situation, because the individual who is at their level of incompetence isn’t happy there….

        2 …With each promotion the person has to give up some of the things they have done before and take on new tasks, responsibilities and perspectives (including work values). What they did before will not ensure their success in the present. However, if the person doesn’t get good mentoring, training and a manager who can support the shift, they are not given the tools to succeed.

        Is Shearer receptive to advice and retraining? He isn’t now a little king of aid distribution and development with clear activities to improve the lot of people needing bottom-up assistance – our needs are as pressing, but come from a base that’s more complex, further up the development hierarchy.

    • Blue 1.4

      I think Labour is so effed up that they don’t stand a chance in 2014 no matter who the leader is.

      The party needs a damn good clean out, starting with the retirements of Goff, King and Mallard and continuing on to the rest of the spiteful idiots who put their own self-interest above the interests of the party and the country.

      At this point I’d prefer a placeholder leader who does enough to keep up-and-coming talent in Parliament but then gets the boot along with the other deadwood after the election. Then bring in a new broom to knock the party into shape and win in 2017.

      • Boadicea 1.4.1

        Wrong Blue.
        Planning to loose is not an option.
        Under the right leader we can win.
        The third iteration of an Interim leader is not an option. The party will collapse/split.
        Cunliffe was ready to be leader last year and he still is.
        What has happened since the last Conference?
        1. The ABCs have lost currency, massively.
        2. Cunliffe has gained massively
        3. The Gap between the Party (members and Councils) has exploded to untenable proportions.

        Shearer and Robertson will be gone in weeks.

        • McFlock 1.4.1.1

          I’m sure Gower has a letter to that effect…

        • Blue 1.4.1.2

          Since the last conference, Cunliffe has lost one caucus supporter – Charles Chauvel, and is about to lose another – Lianne Dalziel. He didn’t have the numbers even with their votes and having lost them now is the final blow to his leadership ambitions.

          • Colonial Viper 1.4.1.2.1

            Down two MPs on his side is certainly a major blow. Which is why keeping his head down, acting as an excellent electorate MP, and letting all of this mess blow past in 2014 is also a good one.

        • Te Reo Putake 1.4.1.3

          “1. The ABCs have lost currency, massively.
          2. Cunliffe has gained massively
          3. The Gap between the Party (members and Councils) has exploded to untenable proportions.”

          1: Nah, not massively. They remain in control of caucus and senior party leadership. And will do at least until the election.
          2: After the flop at conference last year, Cunliffe is not going to be leader any time soon. His support within caucus has collapsed and there is no mechanism to test his support in the wider party. Otheer options will leave him as just a footnote in history, I’m afraid.
          3: There’s no evidence of the gap ‘exploding’. There aren’t mass resignations, for example and the recent by-election had a solid turnout of volunteers. So, no, I don’t think you’re right there.

          • Colonial Viper 1.4.1.3.1

            I notice you didn’t mention Shearer even once in your analysis 😉

            With the status quo in place Labour has two possible outcomes in 2014 – a loss (which I currently see as being fairly likely) or a one term Shearer as PM government.

            • Te Reo Putake 1.4.1.3.1.1

              Well, as I’ve said before, CV, the less we hear from (or about) Shearer, the better Labour’s chances of victory! I heard some commentator on the radio making the point that he is almost untouchable in caucus now, given that no other candidate has any where near the numbers to win a ballot. We are stuck with him unless the poll numbers drop dramatically and the current crop of MP’s start to feel that their own jobs are on the line. Most seem to be OK with limping to victory, when we should be romping home.

            • Tim 1.4.1.3.1.2

              “With the status quo in place Labour has two possible outcomes in 2014 – a loss (which I currently see as being fairly likely) or a one term Shearer as PM government.”

              What you neglect to say CV, is that IF it’s a loss – it’s the demise of the Labour Party as we, and any other factions – sentimentalists et al, currently know it.

              Still – if it comes down to that – there’ll be 4 or 5 egotists that will go down in history as being responsible. (And so much for their 15 minutes of fame – cudda shudda wudda not be in their shoes)

          • Boadicea 1.4.1.3.2

            1. Goff Cosgrave King have lost the respect of MPs and Party for their attendance at the Skybox. Jones Goff n others alienated everyone in the party with their words on the ManBan.
            2. Cunliffe is smelling of roses and the contrast of his profile with that of the ABC rump would have won him Caucus support IMHO.
            3. Either you have not met with party activists lately or the ones you meet are fobbing you off for some reason. The support for the leaders in the party itself is close to single digits.

            We will not resign. We believe we can win. It is our party. We will appoint a new leader.

            • Te Reo Putake 1.4.1.3.2.1

              No offence, but using words and phrases like ‘massively’ and ‘alienated everyone’ isn’t helping your argument. There is no way to quantify whether you are right or wrong, short of a party wide ballot. And that isn’t go to happen. Shearer, and, by extension, the ABCers, are going to lead us into the next election for better or worse.

              It’s over for Cunliffe after the hamfisted constitutional change last year, which actually destroyed his chances, rather than enhancing them. This time last year, there were only two leadership possibilities, Cunliffe and Shearer. Now, Cunliffe is just one name among many and his support in caucus has dwindled to match the new reality. He’s not smelling of roses, he’s smelling of tumbleweed.

              Now that’s tough to write, because DC would have been my preferred leader. But life and politics move on. If Shearer does go for some reason, it won’t be Cunliffe that takes over. Me, I’d go for Little because he likes a good argument, comes across fine on telly and isn’t afraid to promote left wing policies. Labour under Little would bolt home in the next election. But, I guess we have to settle for a one or two seat majority under Shearer instead.

          • Jimmie 1.4.1.3.3

            Is it possible to put forward a remit at this years conference that states that the leadership must be voted on by the whole party process every year?

            This might be a way to force a vote say in Feb 2014 and negate the effect of the ABC club?

    • McFlock 1.5

      Why do you even give a shit about a labour victory, even if you cared to define what it would be under MMP?

      • Colonial Viper 1.5.1

        Winter is coming mate, for our whole civilisation.

        • McFlock 1.5.1.1

          A much better analogy than “the end is nigh”, in my opinion.

          Although it does tend to add an enveloping meta-why to my original question.

    • s y d 1.6

      big lebowski anyone?

      edit – wow that’s a long way down the comments list..so much for log jam…

      • Te Reo Putake 1.6.1

        Yep, that was my thought, too! The alternative can be found in the urban dictionary, and it ain’t nice. But it also features laying cable, so maybe …

  2. just saying 2

    http://bat-bean-beam.blogspot.co.nz/2013/07/on-not-making-living.html

    Giovanni Tiso (who writes like an angel).

    Excerpt:

    …But it’s not just that: it’s that much of what’s written online is better. To take Ashleigh Young’s points a little further: one of the best essays of the decade, on the national event of the decade, was written on a blog; the best columnist in the country is a blogger; the best political commentary (as opposed to reporting) is to be found online, on sites too numerous to mention. Poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction thrive on the New Zealand web. While it is sometimes not as polished or technically accomplished, or the product of what Wilson would likely regard as our ‘top writers’, I would strongly argue that these kinds of online writing are consistently bolder, hence more relevant, than what one reads in print.

    (Lest this claim is turned into a strawman: there are, of course, exceptions going both ways. But my single main complaint is this: that in spite of the book pages and the talent available to our mainstream magazines, together they give the picture of a country with little or no intellectual ferment, that runs on self-satisfaction, as if metaphorically stuck on page 94 of The Listener, listening to Bill Ralston drone on about ‘life’. Whilst with all its flaws the country that one can piece together from the blogs and the independent journals and magazine is, if absolutely nothing else, alive.)

    On this grim midwinter’s day, I’d like to say a big THANK YOU to the writers. From the bottom of my heart.

  3. Veutoviper 3

    So is Audrey Young of the Herald now a judge – on the basis of only one legal opinion?*

    * No disrespect to Graeme Edgeler intended.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10898501

    “Kim Dotcom claims the Prime Minister wants to change the law to make GCSB spying on him lawful. John Key claims it would still be illegal for the GCSB to spy on him under proposed changes to the GCSB law.Political editor Audrey Young sets out here who is right after talking to Wellington lawyer and blogger Graeme Edgeler about the law.”

    And further down in the article

    “They can’t both be right, can they?

    The verdict is that Key would be right if the exact same circumstances were applied, but Dotcom could also be right under certain circumstances…..”

    Language used further down in the article continues in the same vein – eg “the fact is’ etc.

    The article provides useful analysis of the two points of view – but IMO should have been presented as an opinion – not a judgment.

    I had also been wondering about the perceived silence from the Privacy Commission on the proposed GCSB Bill. It appears that they did make a submission calling for delay as reported by the Herald here.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10898611

    Meantime, with the deadline of 26 July looming for the Bill to be reported back to Parliament, the Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee is enjoying a week’s holiday in Singapore with his family – and presumably his Dip Corp police minders.

    EDIT – bold in the above quotes for Young’s article are mine.

    • Veutoviper 3.1

      And an excellent article in the Timaru Herald today on the GCSB Bill

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/opinion/comment/8922798/GCSB-spy-law-a-threat-to-our-freedom


      Both arguments are simply unprincipled, moralistic and emotive appeals, with no place in any of this. They fail to recognise that governments cannot and should not be trusted.

      We don’t elect them on trust, although they think we do. We elect them to govern competently and to be accountable.

      Where does it say that we have agreed to other people listening in on our calls or looking at text messages and emails? Not even the carrier is permitted to do that. Even where the target is metadata, which simply means the fact of communication, from who to whom, when and for how long but without content, it is still a gross invasion of privacy. Why on earth should anyone be allowed to collect that?

      [lprent: removed duplicate quote. ]

      • Veutoviper 3.1.1

        Oops – didn’t realise I had repeated the quote until after edit function time expired.

        • Veutoviper 3.1.1.1

          Thanks lprent. But you are supposed to be having a holiday – hope it is going well and you have the mozzies sorted.

  4. jcuknz 4

    “What is it about, then? Somehow, one of our nation’s two great parties has become infected by an almost pathological meanspiritedness, a contempt for what CNBC’s Rick Santelli, in the famous rant that launched the Tea Party, called “losers.” If you’re an American, and you’re down on your luck, these people don’t want to help; they want to give you an extra kick. I don’t fully understand it, but it’s a terrible thing to behold”
    Paul Krugman NYT
    It seems the ‘right’ is following the same path here in NZ with latest ‘welfare’ rules.

    I got a negative tip within seconds of posting the above guess where 🙂

    PK is refering to the confirmation of farming subsidies and cutting of food stamps.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/15/opinion/krugman-hunger-games-usa.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130715&_r=0

  5. bad12 5

    Larger than life Government Minister Gerry Brownlee is reported in the Herald on-line this morning as being unhappy that Parliamentary security staff used a ‘sniff test’ to declare an envelope of ‘white powder’ sent to the Minister’s office to be safe,

    Gerry says that the security guard simply sniffed the contents of the envelope declaring it to be filled with washing powder and that this was a ‘micky mouse’ system of testing,

    For health and safety in employment reasons i tend to agree with the Minister and Parliamentary security should have told Brownlee to stick His own nose in the envelope so as to ascertain the nature of it’s contents…

    • Bearded Git 5.1

      Brownlee sounded like a bully on nine to noon this morning when talking about transport funding in Akl. Katherine Ryan, Tory though she clearly is, is starting to do a much better job with her interviews. Maybe she has been taking lessons from Kim Hill/Mary Wilson.

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/player/2562229

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      Maybe Brownlee wants to do a USA and fund a million dollar anti-terrorism emergency hazmat lab response team?

      the security guard simply sniffed the contents of the envelope declaring it to be filled with washing powder

      Kiwis getting the job done in time for a cuppa. Brilliant.

    • Chooky 5.3

      Love this!….practical Parliamentary Security Guard puts ‘terrorism’ scaremongering in perspective… Suspicious envelope?…..no problem! …try the ‘sniff test’…ah “just washing powder ” …move it right along …

      Conclusion: No need for the ‘micky mouse’ GCSB snoop bill.

  6. Mary 6

    This piece of handy work must considerably lessen Morrison’s chances at the mayoralty. Just hope the people of Wellington get to see properly what sort of a guy Morrison really is so they can decide whether they want an underhand lying piece of slime in charge of the council: “Yes we will get rid of Garry [but we will say to him] you will survive…we will keep you”.

    Click to access JohnMorrisonEmail.pdf

    • Veutoviper 6.1

      Thanks for that link, Mary. I have not taken much interest in the ‘race’ as yet, despite being a Wellintonian. But that has given me an insight into who I won’t be voting for.

      • Morrissey 6.1.1

        PUBLIC NOTICE
        We consider John “Mystery” Morrison to be a tiresome dunce who labours under the impression he is “droll” and even “witty”. He is, in fact, neither.

        John “Mystery” Morrison is a shame and a curse and an embarrassment and a blight on all those whose names begin with MOR.

        We urge the citizens of Wellington to NOT vote for this unfunny, witless, right wing drone.

        We herewith condemn this fool to the dustbin of history.

        Signed:

        Jim Mora (Auckland)
        Morrissey Breen (Northcote Point)
        Morgan Freeman (Santa Monica, California)
        Benny Morris (Be’er Sheva, Israel)
        Morris Gleitzman (Sydney)
        Morton Downey Jr. (New York City)
        Mohamed Morsi (somewhere in Cairo)
        Morrin Rout (Christchurch)
        Mork (Ork)
        Morwenna Banks (London)
        Moriah Corey

  7. muzza 7

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/auckland-city-council/news/article.cfm?o_id=13&objectid=10898558

    There was simply not enough demand for goods and services produced by Auckland firms for many to be taking on staff, with 73.8 per cent reporting demand as the main constraint

    Um, yeah, and there will be more of this, as the great sucking sounds of crushing debt repayments/gauged profits, remove even greater amounts of cash and energy!

    Still, should force wages lower while ensuring that people in jobs, will work even longer hours out of fear, added bonus of people being knocked off early by primary and secondary effects!

    Splendid!

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      She was black, she deserved to go to jail

      Life has really improved for blacks during a black Presidency, hasn’t it.

      • Morrissey 8.1.1

        Life has really improved for blacks during a black Presidency, hasn’t it.

        Indeed. A president who inserts long chunks of Martin Luther King’s oratory into his own speeches, and who insists that Nelson Mandela “inspired” him. He’s doing a great job, all right.

  8. Winston Smith 9

    “In short, the Right treats humanity like cattle and individual human-beings like princes, while the Left loves humanity with a passion but treats individuals like shit.”

    – Its one way of looking at thingass

    • Morrissey 9.1

      Its one way of looking at thingass [sic]

      Fool. You do nothing but repeat slogans—not very clever ones at that.

      Thinking and reading is a lot harder, I know, but why don’t you give it a try?

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      Yes, it’s the right-wing way of looking at things otherwise known as the wrong way.

  9. Morrissey 10

    Add your name!
    New York Times ad to declare: We are Bradley Manning

    http://www.bradleymanning.org/featured/nyt-ad

  10. JurorB37 currently on CNN, just wow oh wow, she makes the pakeha party
    look like Te Mana.

    Surly there has to be another trial?

    not sure of the quote, I had just tuned in, but apparently she thinks

    Zimmerman is a man with a gentle heart

    I hope her book deal includes a ticket out of america.

    • marty mars 11.1

      ” she makes the pakeha party look like Te Mana”

      What does that mean?

      • felix 11.1.1

        I’m trying to figure that one out too.

        Brett, what does it mean? Do you mean she’s a racist?

    • Morrissey 11.2

      just wow oh wow

      Run away, dopey. None of us has forgotten your bloodthirsty statements of support for mass killings in Gaza. Why are you pretending to be concerned about the killing of one young man in America?

  11. Does anderson cooper have transcripts of his show?

  12. just saying 13

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10898604

    I’m calling bullshit on this Herald article which claims that a former invalid’s beneficiary is $30 – $40 down since she took a 25 hour a week job. It says that although her income is higher, her accommodation and disability allowance have been cut off.

    The article makes it clear that she is still significantly disabled (the reason she is not working fulltime) and makes no mention of suddenly lower income costs, so why would she lose these two benefits which are available to all low income citizens?

    This particular myth is a big favourite with the talkback taliban, that benefit levels are so high that workers get less money than beneficiaries, when in fact, the top-ups like AS are keeping a large part of the paid workforce afloat (some of them at higher rates if memory serves).

    Has something changed, or have I misunderstood something, or is this article pure dog-whistle hate speech designed to settle any qualms that those amongst the comfortably off in possession of a consicence might be starting to feel about the latest chapter in what amounts to a terror campaign against beneficiaries?

    • AsleepWhileWalking 13.1

      I hope MSD is getting permission to discuss clients cases with HEARLD reporters.

      Yup, you can be worse off especially if you have higher than normal costs.

      • just saying 13.1.1

        Sure transport, clothes etc. But are you saying that low income working people cannot qualify for the accommodation supplement or the disability allowance?

        • dpalenski 13.1.1.1

          WINZ take off things like AS or DA if your getting it before they cut into your benefit if she cancelled her benefit she get the AS and DA back since the cut off for them is a lot higher than main benefits but would she be better off doing that properly not.

        • weka 13.1.1.2

          Yeah, there is something very wrong with that story. She should be getting DA and AS still. WINZ’s response is to a completely different issue (the trial where she kept her IB for a period of time).

    • JK 13.2

      I’m not so sure its bullshit, Just Saying.

      If you’re on an invalids benefit (as it was called just the other day) then you’re also entitled to accomm.benefit and disability allowance – if you can prove poverty/extreme hardship. But when you get a job – even a part-time job – I’m pretty sure the accom.benefit gets cut. So that, by the time the person has paid for bus fares, whatever to get to work, and you deduct the accom.benefit – its quite possible the person has less in the hand to pay rent, food, power, etc etc – than if they’d stayed solely on the invalids benefit plus accom and disability allowances.

      I’ve just tried going thru the WINZ calculator to work out if that is what happens, but its not at all clear.
      Does anyone else know ?

  13. Morrissey 14

    “Ha ha ha ha! They can’t get RID of him!”
    Snickering and guffawing at the victims of state vengeance

    The Panel, Radio NZ National, Tuesday 16 July 2013
    Noelle McCarthy, Linda Clark, Tony Doe

    NOELLE McCARTHY: Good afternoon to Linda Clark in Wellington!
    LINDA CLARK: Oh good afternoon! Ha ha ha ha ha! I’ve just come up to the studio in Radio New Zealand’s new lift! They’re spending some serious money on this place! There’s a new mural in the foyer! There’s a g-r-r-r-r-reat view of Wellington!
    ZOE FERGUSON: That’s Wellington on a good day. The weather’s been so bad for the last two days that we haven’t seen any view.
    NOELLE McCARTHY: [grimly] Heh, heh, heh. Well someone else with not such a good view is Edward Snowden. [snicker] Looks like he’s STILL in the airport.
    ZOE FERGUSON: Ha ha ha ha ha! They can’t get RID of him!
    LINDA CLARK: Ha ha ha ha ha!
    NOELLE McCARTHY: All the other countries that might have taken him have been spooked by the United States.
    ZOE FERGUSON: And Vladimir Putin really doesn’t seem to have much of an idea at all about the whole case.
    TONY DOE: If he’d been required to sign an online contract, he would have just ticked the box, “Terms and Conditions”.
    NOELLE McCARTHY: Huh?
    TONY DOE: The box that says “I have read everything and understand it fully.” Only nobody does!
    NOELLE McCARTHY: [coldly] Oh yes. Ha ha.

    …..[Awkward silence]….

    NOELLE McCARTHY: And something on the impending royal birth?
    ZOE FERGUSON: Yes, Brits are spending more than £243 million on celebrations for the birth of William and Kate’s first child!
    NOELLE McCARTHY:We laugh, but that is serious money!
    LINDA CLARK: Incidentally, that’s the topic for The Vote on TV3 tomorrow night: “Should New Zealand ditch the Monarchy”?
    NOELLE McCARTHY: Sounds intriguing! Are you going to give us a preview?
    LINDA CLARK: Well, no, except to say that we filmed the program on Sunday evening and that Sir Robert Jones took part. And for a Knight of the Realm, he was behaving VERY badly indeed!
    NOELLE McCARTHY: Heh, heh, heh! Can’t wait!

    Later in the program, the following highly revealing exchange took place…..

    LINDA CLARK: Here I am, an intelligent woman, and yet I know EVERYTHING about the Kardashians and NOTHING about Syria!
    TONY DOE: You’re going to the wrong sites. You should read go to the Atlantic website. That’s really good.
    LINDA CLARK: Well, I get the New Yorker in hard copy at home, and that’s my long read.

    et cetera et cetera, ad nauseam…..

  14. pollywog 15

    Bully for you…

    A visiting economist has accused Finance Minister Bill English of “bullying” and “menace” after a heated encounter in a TV studio.

    Professor Robert Wade of the London School of Economics said Mr English made a stabbing motion with his finger towards his chest and berated him in between their separate appearances on TVNZ’s Q+A programme at the weekend. There was no physical contact.

    Mr English disagreed with his remarks on inequality and capital gains tax and told him: “Don’t you say that again”, Prof Wade said.

    “I was surprised by the sort of menace in his voice,” the academic said yesterday. “He was like a schoolmaster and he sort of jabbed his finger in the direction of my chest like a school master wagging the finger. I just thanked him for his kind advice and proceeded on out.”

    Prof Wade is on a New Zealand- wide lecture tour to promote Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis, a book to which he has contributed.

    He was interviewed on the current affairs show ahead of Mr English, and asserted: “Over the past two decades or so, economic policy in the US, the UK and New Zealand has increasingly been set by the top 1 per cent or so for the top 1 per cent.”

    It was this comment to which Mr English took exception – and Prof Wade says he was later told the Clutha-Southland MP “just sort of exploded like a volcano out in the anteroom”.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/8922539/English-denies-bullying-academic

    • karol 15.1

      Grant Robertson has written a post on it.

      Bill English’s bullying of visiting academic Professor Robert Wade shows how out of touch and arrogant the National Government has become, Grant Robertson, Labour’s Deputy Leader, says.

      “It’s disgraceful that the Deputy Prime Minister would make such threatening comments and gestures towards a respected academic. Using a menacing tone and saying “Don’t you say that again” is straight out bullying, and is unacceptable. On behalf of other New Zealanders I would like to apologise to Professor Wade for Bill English’s actions.

      “Following on from John Key’s comments last week that appeared to threaten the Human Rights Commission’s funding after it called for an inquiry into New Zealand’s intelligence agencies, this kind of bullying is now typical of a government that is arrogant and out of touch.

    • Murray Olsen 15.2

      The worrying thing is that English’s popularity probably rose among that section of voters who would see this as putting a pommy ivory tower academic in their place. Ironically, the same fools wouldn’t notice that government policies are worship of Friedman, Hayek, and Monckton, not to mention the disgraceful academics Paula Benefit drags over.

  15. Rodel 16

    I see intermediate schools’ achievements on national standards is lower than that of full primary schools.
    If the government still believes there is validity in these standards then can we expect Ms Parata to close down all intermediate schools forthwith? and perhaps replace them with intermediate charter schools?

  16. North 17

    Linda Clark…….another of the mouthy wannabees. Never forget how she used to nearly cream herself while interviewing that fool tau henare.

  17. Herodotus 18

    I see nova pay is still having issues. For any teachers out there expecting a refund from over paid taxes then you will have to wait as from the ird as “some of your myIR online details may not be available until 31 July while we (ird) reconcile your account.”
    So yet again teachers are paying the cost for this system.

  18. just saying 20

    Calling LPrent.
    I’d like to nominate this small blog to the blogroll on the right:

    http://www.thelittlepakeha.net/

    There is some good stuff and I think the writer deserves to be included.

  19. weka 21

    Just when I thought it wasn’t going to get worse.There are so many things wrong with this I don’t know where to begin.

    IS on how beneficiaries will have to pay for their own drug tests

    Beneficiaries will be forced to pay for their own drug tests

    When the government announced that it would be requiring beneficiaries to pass pre-employment drug-tests, I thought it was a waste of money which would cost twice as much as it was supposed to save. But the government seems to have found a way around the latter bit: they’re going to force beneficiaries to pay for the tests, and extract it from their benefits.

    It’s all there in the tender document for Pre-employment Drug Testing for Work and Income Beneficiaries with Work Obligations (GETS Reference: 39654; login required). According to that,

    WINZdrugtesting [jpeg with details] http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2013/07/beneficiaries-will-be-forced-to-pay-for.html

    The tender document notes that WINZ will not actually be entering into a contract with the drug-testing agency, and that they will not be demanding results directly. It will all be handled directly between the agency and the beneficiary, with WINZ acting only as a payment source via a letter of credit as required.

    This differs considerably from the scheme originally described by the Minister, debated by Parliament and envisioned in the legislation. That scheme assumed that prospective employers will pay and that WINZ “may” reimburse them for failed tests (s102C(3)), and that beneficiaries would pay only if they challenge a test and fail it (s102D(9)). I am not sure if it is even legal. But it is certainly not moral. Quite apart from charging people for their own persecution, no-one should be forced to pay a charge to receive their statutory entitlements.

    But this does make drug-testing a far better mechanism for throwing people off benefits. Previously, Bennett only get to evict those who couldn’t pass a test; now she’ll get to evict the debt-averse as well. Present people with an up-front charge of a weeks’ benefit or more, and some of them will decide that they can’t pay and hence “fail” the test. And who cares what ultimately happens to them? What’s important for the government’s re-election is to get those benefit numbers down (and donations from drug-testing agencies grateful at being funnelled benefit money won’t hurt).

    This is a vile policy. But isn’t it so very, very National?

    • joe90 21.1

      AFAIK testing locally is carried out on employers premises so it’ll be interesting to see details of how and particularly where it’ll be done in the provinces.

    • Murray Olsen 21.2

      I wouldn’t be surprised if some businessman very close to the NAct government was importing the drug testing kits. Seems to be how things work in our kumara republic these days.

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