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Open mike 16/08/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 16th, 2012 - 247 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…

247 comments on “Open mike 16/08/2012 ”

  1. Morrissey 1

    The wife of the New York Times editor tries to be funny

    As we’ve seen from some of our ostensibly liberal but credulous friends on this forum, although there is no case to make against Assange—unless you accept the bizarre, fantastic, byzantine sexual allegations concocted by his pursuers—there is always “humour”.

    And the unfunnier it is, the better. Have a gander at this mirthful classic: it’s almost as funny as Jerry Seinfeld’s sneering at homeless people….



    • Te Reo Putake 1.1

      Interesting how sexist that headline is, Mozza. Says a lot about how shallow your thinking is on this matter.

      • Professor Longhair 1.1.1

        I think the point of Morrissey’s headline was that the writer of that dire Guardian piece has no particular talent, other than being married to the editor of the N.Y. Times. A quick peruse of her humorless attempt to make light of the persecution of Assange can only strengthen that suspicion.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Yep, that’s what I was pointing out, Prof.

          • Professor Longhair

            No, you were doing no such thing. You were trying to divert from Morrissey’s point, which was that the writer of that snidely denigrating piece is someone who enjoys considerable status and privilege, which she abuses, because of her connections, not because of any talent she might—or might not—possess.

            • McFlock

              So because she writes one bung article, she is talentless and only there because of marriage connections? Your bias is showing…
              Everybody has off days. The misfortune here is that an off day collided with the fan club of a dude evading investigation for two [alleged] sexual assaults. 

              • Professor Longhair

                1.) “So because she writes one bung article, she is talentless and only there because of marriage connections?”

                All right, let’s cut her a break. Let’s just say her failed attempt to pour scorn on the U.S. government’s most reviled target was a foolish mistake. She was out of her depth.

                2.) “Your bias is showing…”

                Wrong; what is showing is her lack of talent and her plethora of connections.

                3.) “Everybody has off days.”

                True enough.

                4.) “The misfortune here is that an off day collided with the fan club of a dude evading investigation for two [alleged] sexual assaults.”

                “Fan club”? “Dude”? Are we talking about some pop star here, or are you just trying to make light of the situation?

                I see that you at least have the integrity to note that the sexual assaults are alleged. That’s encouraging.

                • McFlock

                  Assange has significant celebrity status. I see that many of his supporters are not prepared to countenance the possibility that he committed sexual assault. And they’re prepared to grasp as very slender straws of conspiracy theories to justify their position.
                  I have never been convinced that he was certainly, without a shadow of a doubt, guilty. But I’m prepared to consider the possibility. This seems to be a major divergence from  the position of many of his supporters.
                  By the way, your points 1 and 2 are contradictory. You can’t cut her a break on the basis that she is a competent columnist who had an off day while also claiming that she’s talentless and only has the job because she’s married to a rich man. You kind of have to choose whether she is competent in her own right, or that she is purely there as a result of being married.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Assange has significant celebrity status. I see that many of his supporters are not prepared to countenance the possibility that he committed sexual assault.


                    1) Guarantee that he won’t end up in Guantanamo Bay via Stockholm

                    2) Assange should immediately face the allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden.

                    • McFlock

                      1) who, me? Hell, maybe the Ecuadorians will send him there if they switch geopolitical allegiance. Like Sanchez in the Sudan.
                      2) yes.

                  • Morrissey

                    I have never been convinced that he was certainly, without a shadow of a doubt, guilty.

                    There is no evidence at all that Assange is guilty of anything. Except exposing massive state crimes, which is the motivation for this massive campaign of state vengeance.

                    But I’m prepared to consider the possibility.

                    It’s also possible he’s an Illuminati conspirator. No doubt you’re on that case, too.

                    This seems to be a major divergence from the position of many of his supporters.

                    No, it’s a major divergence from the position of anyone who looks at the case with an honest, skeptical and inquiring attitude.

                    • McFlock

                      A: bullshit.
                      B: It’s not reasonably likely he’s with the Illuminati, if indeed they exist. After all, it’s not like two women went to the police with stories of him having being in the Illuminati.
                      Two women did speak to the cops about his separate behaviours  with them in bed. Hence A being bullshit.
                      C: Ah, irregular language again. I have an “honest, skeptical and inquiring attitude”, you are “a flaming nutbar”, they are “naively gullible about what they believe”. 

    • rosy 1.2

      Agree it’s unfunny. But to link that to people’s comments on this blog is taking it a bit far. I can’t remember anyone saying this situation is a joke.

      • Professor Longhair 1.2.1

        The whole case against Julian Assange is a joke—a particularly brutal and cynical joke. Are you trying to suggest that those who have (unwittingly) joined in the persecution of Assange are serious and sober scholars?

        • Bored

          There is also a brutal and cynical persecution of a very brave young man who blew the whistle on the US military going on. The USA, a land where corporate gamblers can short the price of commodities driving grain prices through the roof, causing starvation, and call it business. Where if you leak (because the authorities and MSM wont take notice) that your side just shot a group of innocents you get tried for treason. The NY Times is a joke.

          • prism

            Bored I guess its Bradley Manning you are referring to?

            PFC Bradley Manning, 22, of Potomac, Maryland, was stationed at Forward Operating Base Hammer, 40 miles east of Baghdad, where he was arrested nearly two weeks ago by the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division. A family member says he’s being held in custody in Kuwait, and has not been formally charged.

            Manning was turned in late last month by a former computer hacker with whom he spoke online. In the course of their chats, Manning took credit for leaking a headline-making video of a helicopter attack that Wikileaks posted online in April. The video showed a deadly 2007 U.S. helicopter air strike in Baghdad that claimed the lives of several innocent civilians.

            Strange if he was turned in by a ‘former computer hacker’. These born again goodies who eschew all their previous misdemeanours are odd.

        • rosy

          I’m saying I don’t think people on this blog have made fun of this situation a la Ms Keller.

          • Professor Longhair

            If you think that, then I refer you to comments 1.1 and on this thread, in which one “Te Reo Putake” does exactly that.

            • McFlock

              That’s the analysis of a “serious and sober scholar”, is it? Pointing out gender bias in somebody commenting on an issue that revolves around how we treat sexual assault complainants vs accused is making fun?
              Far from it.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Cheers, McFlock, you’re on to it.

              • Professor Longhair

                Your blithering confusion is obvious to all, and is only compounded by the endorsement by the unfortunate “Te Reo Putake.”

                • McFlock

                  So pointing out sexism is your way of having fun at parties, professor? Tell me, do you do it sarcastically, or merely out of smug self-satisfaction?

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Prof, perhaps people might consider you a ‘fan’ of Assange because you launch into boring ad hom attacks on everyone who suggests he might have some failings?

                  Perhaps you don’t do that as a matter of course, but the evidence from this thread suggests as much.

            • rosy

              Ohh, I see…. TRP pointing out a unfunny, sexist, headline by Morrissey equates to an unfunny comment piece that makes jokes about Assange’s possible life in Ecuador.

              • Morrissey

                TRP pointing out a unfunny, sexist, headline by Morrissey…

                You don’t seem to have noticed but, unlike the dire Ms. Keller, I was not trying to be funny. My pointing out that she is the wife of the New York Times editor is sexist, how, exactly? If anything, it’s mediocritist, surely.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  To be fair, it’s not actually your headline, Mozza, you’ve just cut and pasted it here without spotting the problem.
                  The headline defines her as being her husband’s appendage. Actually, her marital status is completely irrelevent to her own work, which should be judged on its own merits. 
                  There’s been a similar problem with many comments round here in recent days where the opinions of Josie Pagani are assumed to be also the thoughts of another human being named John Pagani. They’re seperate people, folks.

                • rosy

                  That headline is clearly a play on words referencing Desperate Housewives. How amusing. Even if you’ve never heard of that programme my criticism stands – that headline was sexist in that it defines the writer by her marital status and her husband’s job.

                  • Morrissey

                    …that headline was sexist in that it defines the writer by her marital status and her husband’s job.

                    Rubbish. I pointed out that she is the wife of a powerful man to show that she has got to where she has got through her connections.

                    Clearly her talent is minimal.

  2. Carol 2

    How much does an MP earn again?


    The cleaners, backed by the Service and Food Workers Union, recently met representatives from Labour, the Greens and NZ First.

    All three parties have committed to support their bid for a wage increase and other political parties are also being approached.

    Union advocate Jill Ovens said the MPs had agreed to approach Parliamentary Service for the cleaners, agreeing that $13.85 was not enough to live on.

    Jaine Ikurere has cleaned the prime minister’s office for more than 19 years. As a supervisor for Spotless she earns $14.60 an hour.

    To help make ends meet, the 63-year-old has a second job, working a total of 50 hours a week. “I’m getting too old to work lots of hours a night,” she says.

    A pay rise would help her buy better food, pay for visits to the doctor, heat her Titahi Bay home and allow her to buy birthday presents for her 13 grandchildren.

    “I’ve been working all my life with a low wage and I can’t afford anything.”

    She cleans all the Beehive offices nightly. “It’s hard work but at the end of the day we are satisfied because we do a good job.”

    MPs should not just be quietly supporting this. They should be taking strong lead. How can than accept their offices being cleaned nightly for such minimal wages, while swanning around with their relatively comfortable life-style?

    • DH 2.1

      Isn’t Spotless an Aussie company?

      This bit here shows how bizarre the labour market has gotten;

      “However, the cleaners’ contract – obtained by Fairfax Media – says workers’ wages will increase when the “employee’s customer agrees to, and sufficiently funds, an increase to the commercial contract for the express purpose of enabling an increase to that employee’s hourly earnings”.

      Presumably Spotless won the contract on the basis of being the cheapest tender. Would be interesting to know how much Spotless are charging their workers out at.

      $14.60 an hour after 19yrs service. Disgusting.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.1

        And that’s as a supervisor.

        Right now, new cleaners should be getting what she is on, and as supervisor she should be earning a good $3/hr more.

    • wyndham 2.2

      ‘earn’ was an unfortunate choice of word Carol !

    • millsy 2.3

      PS should really take the work back in-house.

      • Fortran 2.3.1


        You are right there are many MP’s who have little to do so they can take over cleaning as required. – They may actually learn something.

      • Colonial Viper 2.3.2

        Yeah screw this contracting out bullshit. Time for the Government to regain its own oeprational capabilities. Including building the country’s roads, bridges and power infrastructure itself.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.3.3

        There are many things that the government should do itself that it has contracted out. The result of which is low wages and costing more.

        • Vicky32

          There are many things that the government should do itself that it has contracted out.

          Absolutely right!

  3. tc 3

    I see the ever faithful nat lapdog Trevitt whipping up more froth about DC in today’s herald…..their fear of him is becoming quite obsessive.

    • HalfCrown Millionare 3.1

      You are so right TC That’s why that slimy right wing stooge called Garner wrote his article, which was full of bullshit and wishful thinking. It is nothing but a beat up by the right. The reason, they know there are serious concerns on the left about Shearers performance and Cunliffe stands a chance of becoming the next leader. This is causing the right to shit themselves as they know Cunliffe will take it to them and will chew Key and anybody else on the right up in to little pieces and spit them out. The nice cosy don’t rock the boat attitude by Shearer as favoured by right wing commentators like Farrar and O Sullivan and others who were in favour of Shearer becoming leader of the labour party will be at an end. Life would start to become very uncomfortable for the likes of Dung, Key, English, Joyce, Jerry Brownarse, Dole Bludger Bennett and the rest of the shit of the right.
      I think Shearers handling of this was pathetic.

      • tc 3.1.1

        Put the fear the ones in power and their media muppets have aside as it’s the one’s within labour who put Softy Shearer as leader who are the real enemy of the poeple.

        We know the nat’s well, they never change so it’s no surprises there but to see Duck and cohorts getting their way because a few spineless MP’s feared not to go against the Mallarfia is exactly why DC needed to become leader.

        A big clean out of the front bench etc is required, and an overhaul of the upper echelons of the labour party itself for folk true to the ideals, who don’t turn voters off (King, Mallard etc) rather then true to their comfy undeserving positions.

        DS has shown he hasn’t got the bollocks or experience and that’s just what the hollowmen ordered and the Mallarfia duely obliged.

        I don’y buy the softly approach for one minute as DS just looks smug and dopey sometimes. Delivering with passion, committment and a media savvy persona is what’s needed to shake the lethargy out of folk and wake them up to the swindle and corrupt stench of this gov’t.

      • Anne 3.1.2

        …that slimy right wing stooge called Garner wrote his article, which was full of bullshit and wishful thinking. It is nothing but a beat up by the right.

        My theory since I first read the article goes as follows:
        About six weeks ago Garner announced he was leaving TV3 later this year and he intimated he was off to greener pastures. My impression was that it was something other than journalism. In other words he’s planning a career change.

        My bet is that the ‘bullshit’ was mainly stuff he picked up on earlier this year at a time when there was still residual resentment between the pro-Shearer and pro-Cunliffe camps. (As an activist I can say with certainty that within the Party membership most of that resentment had long since evaporated). He sat on the stuff, then when he thought the time was right he wrote the blog. A kind of parting shot to Labour while he still had the power and influence to do it?

        I am hoping that in the end the fallout from all this will be the opposite from what was intended. Indeed, if Labour’s performance at Question Time today is any indication, then it looks to me like the recent criticism of Labour on this site (and maybe elsewhere) has been taken on board – not that any of them would admit to it of course. Even so, the performer of the day or maybe the week has to go to Russell Norman. His persistent questioning of Gerry Brownlee was a joy to behold. I almost – repeat almost – felt sorry for Gerry. 🙂

  4. I wonder if bene basher Bennett and Crusher Collins appreciate the irony.  They both feature in articles on Stuff this morning.

    Crusher wants ACC to start sacking staff who breach a new “zero tolerance” policy on privacy breaches.

    “A furious Ms Collins has revealed her astonishment at the failure of ACC to include privacy among nine of its “top priorities”.

    “I’m not going to sit back and let one of the most important government entities [that] we have let people down time and time again around things such as privacy. ”

    Meanwhile Bennett is not ruling out revealing private details of beneficiaries in the future.  And she refuses to accept she breached Fuller’s rights to privacy even though it is clear she did.

    I think that Cabinet should have a zero tolerance of privacy breaches.  And Bennett should go.

    • felix 4.1

      Absolutely she should.

      Is it naive of me to hope she’ll be questioned in parliament today?

      • Carol 4.1.1

        Will she even turn up to the House today, or send a proxy to answer the questions the opposition will inevitably ask? – of course, that’s what the PM will do.

        Does the PM have confidence in all his ministers?

        Does the Minister for Social Development agree with the Minister for ACC that there should be zero tolerance for privacy breaches?

    • Carol 4.2

      Well said, Micky.

      Bennett is only defending her breaches, because to admit she was wrong, means she should go. Of course, continuing to defend her breaches compounds the original wrong act and provides more reasons why she is not fit to be a minister.

      • aerobubble 4.2.1

        Its like winning Gold, then found to be cheating, and then claiming in order to keep her
        medal, that the previous winner of a Gold medal wss a cheat too, despite all evidence to
        the contrary. Privacy commissionaire said Bennett had breach privacy, Bennett either does
        not understand what that means, or cant understand it, she should not be signing documents
        as a Minister if she does not understand them, or can’t. Like Banks, whose memory challenged
        compliance with electoral law should have him gone by lunch time, on a cabbage boat.

    • tc 4.3

      Come on Mickey you know it’s rules for everyone but them, Double Dipton being the most obvious.
      They’ve mastered the whole facade of caring about ‘issues’ when they don’t give a F as their good mates in the MSM never hold them to account.

      A recent visit from a mate who works in Oz media had him gobsmacked at our MSM’s performance given all the juicy cock ups, corrupt behaviour and blatant arrogance to due process

    • ad 4.4

      Yes Mickey I was struck by the sheer gall of this total double standard between Ministers.
      That kind of instance under a Helen Clark administration would have been brought up short and hard, because she would see how it looks.

      Just makes me think that Bennett’s own personal privacy could do with a puncturing.

      • tc 4.4.1

        Woah there steady on, the rules are for everyone but them.
        Embarrass a nat MInister and they’ll throw the machinery that we pay for at you.
        It’s the way they roll it seems to turn them on.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.5

      Bennett should go, in fact, has to go. If she doesn’t then she’s just confirming this government’s inherent corruption.

      • tc 4.5.1

        Joyce’s sly deal with Mediawonks (and the UFB farce) followed by DJ Shonkey’s electoral act breaching show I reckon proved beyond all doubt the corrupt factor.

    • Treetop 4.6

      Bad judgement and bad decision making does not instill confidence in any government system, it is up to the minister to have proper checks and balances so that there actions can be held to account. When they overstep the mark, to carry on as if nothing has happened is not the way to behave as it shows immaturity/ignorance.

      • Carol 4.6.1

        When they overstep the mark, to carry on as if nothing has happened is not the way to behave as it shows immaturity/ignorance.

        Or, as Norman pointed out in the House today, disregard for democracy:


        Dr Russel Norman: Does the Prime Minister accept that having a Government that releases the private information of people who oppose Government policy—information that is available only to the State—is an approach that silences dissent, chills dissent in a democratic society, and is not acceptable in a democratic and free country?

        Hon GERRY BROWNLEE: Well, quite clearly by the long list of examples the member has given this afternoon, that is not the case.

  5. Bored 5

    Paganis, Salmonds, Shearer et al are heading for the “centre”. Perhaps Gordon McLauchlan sums up where the votes are better in his new book “The Passionless People Revisited”.

    p71. “Right now, influence within our society is factionalised, compacted into pressure groups which exert their power almost exclusively for selfish needs without any sense of total community. This is wholly divisive. But the worst effect is that people who don’t qualify for a place in a pressure group, or dont choose to join one are excluded. There are in Auckland growing sections of the population which are excluded from power or influence”

    And the power factions running Labour are? Who could be voting Labour and why are’nt they?

    • Carol 5.1

      Yes. It is becoming very clear to me this week that the current Labour Party management has its sights firmly set on the centre. It is canvasing for strategic advice in order to be more effective in achieving their centrist aims.

      They should be generating discussion on their broad and in-depth manifesto. They should be looking for a complete do-over of their position, values and policies, and not for some superficial re-tooling of the old neoliberal-apologist agenda.

      • rosy 5.1.1

        Salmond sums up the logic on Pundit with his response to Mike’s post

        More recently, and to the dismay of some, Labour has made an apparent pitch for some of the people who voted Labour in 2005 but have voted National since. There are over 100,000 such people, and winning their votes back in a sense counts double, because it increases the left bloc and also decreases the right bloc. Convincing 100,000 centrists is as valuable in terms of seats in parliament as mobilizing 200,000 previous non-voters.

        I sum that up as they’re not too worried about losing my vote when they can get 2 back…

        • Bored

          Rosy, its all a bit to trite is’nt it. Your summing up is exactly their thinking. My answer to Labours “stratgegy department” is:

          * dont be bothered winning back the National swing voters because they represent an interest group only interested in themselves, ergo policy set to attract them detracts from everybody else.
          * the above self interested represent a lot less people than the newly “poor”, Pasifika and similar groups over represented in the “poor” stats, the young who feel cheated of a future and disenfranchised etc. Thats enough votes to beat BOTH Labour and National combined.

          There is a failure of vision, all too wrapped up in the pandering to interest groups, personality politics , and in the case of the Paganis and Salmonds to “professional expertise”.

          • Jackal

            It’s harder to persuade a non-voter to start voting than get some of those who are already engaged to change allegiance. This is because the people who already vote realise that the government has an effect on their lives, whereas non-voters generally don’t. There would need to be a huge change in how the country operates to get more people to vote, when ensuring more swing voters just needs a change in rhetoric.

            The current system is designed to keep people in the dark, especially the poor and disaffected. This is how National creates a false support regime, by disenfranchising people and making their lives harder, they ensure that less people vote. It just so happens that the people the neoliberal agenda most effects would vote for the left if they realised it was in their best interests.

            It’s not an either or scenario, and if Labour is smart it can gain the support of more swing voters and non-voters. Meanwhile the Greens have more room to breath… How terrible! /sarc.

            • Colonial Viper

              In the days that Labour stood for something, it was the unemployed and those in poverty who voted Savage in, and in a frakking landslide. That’s when Labour represented something that people truly recognised and cared about.

              I’m so over this shit now.

              Stay sharp peeps. Mobilisation orders will be issued at the appropriate time.

              • King Kong

                I can hear the gravel throated, movie voice over guy in my head.

                “And from a motley bunch of internet no-marks a leader arose. A champion of his kind. He called and they came. His army of revolution…the panty waists, dope addled conservationists, soap dodging bludgers, spotty political science students and social retards. Together they would hand out leaflets, collect signatures for petitions, engage in political street theatre and rage on political blogs untill the establishment had been brought to its knees”

                • Bored

                  Ah humour KK!!!! Such fun.

                  Perhaps you need to talk to Pagani and Salmond about tactics, you could not be worse.

            • Bored

              Jackal, “ National creates a false support regime, by disenfranchising people and making their lives harder, they ensure that less people vote.

              Precisely, and it is why the “centre” are the Labours soft target. The centre looks like an easy win for the wrong reasons, winning the wrong sectoral interest group will not help the disenfranchised voters lifes one iota. It will also give the wrong result and prolong the false legitimacy of the current facade.

              • tc

                Yup the middle is where you get marginalised from both sides and run over by a strong force travelling in either direction.

                Way to go Mallarfia you can rebrand it after you’ve decimated it, gosh maybe get Prebble back to talk about the good old days.

        • prism

          I wonder what the cost-benefit quotient is for Labour for bothering about your vote. That’s the new way of thinking. Really a new way of pork barrel politics – who are reliable that are bribable. And building a lovely image of all the good things that will happen if ‘they’ are elected and the wicked (unemployed, sick etc) shall be Punished. PR spin, not policies for the nation’s benefit – now that’s an emotionally charged word.

          Investopedia source
          Definition of ‘Pork-Barrel Politics’
          A slang term used when politicians or governments “unofficially” undertake projects that benefit a group of citizens in return for that group’s support or campaign donations. This spending mostly benefits the needs of a small select group despite the fact that the entire community’s funds are being used.

          And while thinking about PR – there are fine minds working on a new image for us. A change from 100% Pure to The NZ Story. We’re good at stories. Do we have quiddity in our minds, or understand liquidity in all its ramifications?

          • rosy

            The only way the ‘left’ would be of concern to them is if we voted for National – then it’s a vote lost and Nat gets a vote (2 lost votes). If we vote another left party they win, if we don’t vote at all it’s not good but is only one lost vote.

            Left-leaning policy? integrity? vision? nah – it’s the +2 centrist votes.

            I think they’re doing pork-barrel on the cheap by denigrating people rather than buying them off… for now. Must be the austerity 😉

  6. rosy 6

    Meanwhile, Russia’s Pussy Riot face up to seven years in jail for singing ‘holy shit’ in a church as they urged the Virgin Mary to rid Russia of Putin (a political, not blasphemous statement, they contend). The verdict is due Friday.

    Prosecutor Alexander Nikiforov called Pussy Riot’s church performance blasphemous, adding that blasphemy is one of the gravest sins in the Russian Orthodox Church. Nikiforov claimed that political lyrics were only added to the song later to mask the band’s hate and sacrilege toward the Christian Orthodox faith.

    But Pussy Riot’s members strongly disputed this allegation. “We sang part of the refrain ‘Holy shit,'” Tolokonnikova said in court today. “I am sorry if I offended anyone with this. It is an idiomatic expression, related to the previous verse – about the fusion of Moscow patriarchy and the government. ‘Holy shit’ is our evaluation of the situation in the country. This opinion is not blasphemy.”

    Hopefully Putin will make the necessary phone-call instead of upholding the fiction of an independent legal system and ensure the sentence is time served.

    … How the orders for this seem to have come right from the very top of the Russian government. And how their trial… seems certain to become a defining moment in Putin’s political career.

    It is, many people say (practically everybody, in fact), a moment when Russia’s future is, in some as yet undetermined way, being decided.

  7. aerobubble 7

    Australian decides to ban publication of branding on
    tobacco products. Smoking lawyers claim property rights
    are being stolen. Do I have a right to publish information
    that is shown to harms others, when does that happen???
    Are we now to allow all international firms unfettered free
    speech? Australian government isn’t banning cigarettes.
    Why is it illegal to stop speech on products, despite
    government demanding all sorts of information being
    used on packaging, despite discussions about individuals
    text bullying. Governments can protect its citizens, and do.
    How is forcing packaging to declare sugar content legal,
    but forcing packaging to tone down suggestiveness of
    sugariness illegal? Sorry, I don’t see the difference.
    does a brand have a right to deceive when it causes
    citizens real harm, and huge taxpayer costs in health outcomes?

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      So the brands are being defended by big tobacco as “property rights”. Now, what if someone owns property or materials which has been implicated in causing significant harm to others?

      Well, property can be confiscated. It can be impounded. It can be seized and resold at auction to parties we think will be more responsible. Hell, in NZ, we’ve even shown that property can be crushed.

      So let’s go down this propety rights route Mr Big Tobacco, and see where it goes eh.

      • bad12 7.1.1

        Next you will tell us that you are in favor of the proposed euthanasia Legislation, supposedly giving citizens the right to choose when they die???

        Spot the Hypocrisy in the anti-smoking brigade supporting the right for someone to choose to die???…

        • prism

          Euthanasia/the right to choose when to die, is too important an issue for thought and discussion to get it mixed with and compared to anti-smoking and pro-health legislation.
          Mixing the two just makes a smokescreen and neither situation can be seen clearly.

          • bad12

            Gosh is that right,well it aint my view, there is very little difference in me as a,(hell i just about said mature), adult choosing to get one in the neck from some mad doctor OR knowingly face a 50/50 that the product, tobacco, will bump me off while shaving a few years off of my END OF LIFE expectancy,

            During the intervening years i will have paid through the nose, approx: triple, what it might cost the taxpayer in medical expenses if i should linger to long, plus i will also for that time have paid PAYE as well essentially paying four times,

            The only difference in between myself and one who would have the doctor dispatch them from this mortal coil is that it is likely but not an absolute that i wont get to be exact about my death, so, no difference whatsoever actually and i wish to take the time now to thank all those idiots who dont use tobacco products but insist upon telling me and 600,000 others how we should live and die and would further like to ask how you have the mettle to advocate against child poverty when your whole attitude deliberately avoiding the Fism word is to have the food removed from the tables of the poor to pay for stupid taxation upon tobacco…

            • prism

              Good rant. I think the nicotine has got your brain in hyperdrive. Can you manage to keep as healthy as is normal for someone not addicted to the usual suspects? Emphysema is a burden that doesn’t go away even if you give up tob. I don’t care how you die, just don’t stink out my surroundings.

              Personally I think it is stupid to go all Tariana and go for prohibition. There are plenty of ways to die early and forbidden fruit has attraction – if tob would just turn out an expensive control obssession like marijuana.

        • aerobubble

          People already have a choice, its hard to put someone six feet under in jail.

          Should Penthouse be allowed to display its magazines where kids can see them? Do already force publications to keep glib descriptions of their content hidden.

          The government is not banning the product, its just limiting the branding to… …the internet??.

          Public retail areas are very highly regulated, why would big tobacco have any expectation of a unregulated bliss.

          • McFlock

            I went to a liquor store to buy tobacco. An r18 environment. The till operator is apparently forbidden to tell me what they have in stock. I can’t see what they have in stock. I’m trying to remember a brand name – any brand. She can’t even offer me a menu – she had to wait for me to remember that this is the new routine.  But the hooplah guaranteed the sale – even though their selection was shit, after all that I would have felt guilty just walking out without buying anything. 

            This happened last week.
            Fucking pathetic. 

  8. Jackal 8

    Suicide linked to economic conditions

    Clearly there is a socioeconomic model of suicide… Therefore responsibility for New Zealand’s increasing rate of suicide is the governments. Political policy and fiscal flexibility in particular can cause or mitigate the effects of economic cycles on suicide, that’s why the suicide rate is a good indicator of how well a government is performing…

    • McFlock 8.1

      Yeah, National policies kill people. But our local tories get pissy whe you say it, for some reason.
      FWIW, the suicide rate is a shitty indicator because the numbers are so small compared to the wider population. There are also issues around distinguishing between accidental and intentional self-harm: someone is found at the base of a bridge with large amounts of alcohol in their bloodstream and a history of depression, the investigation might take a few twists and turns before arriving at a conclusion that’s as solid as possible.   

    • muzza 8.2

      You can include genocide too, which is what we see as a result of the policies which target certain groups of , young, poor, old, vulnerable in general, which lead to death.


      • McFlock 8.2.1

        um – possibly a bit much…

        • muzza

          Yeah, National policies kill people

          Why would you then go on to say its, “possibly a bit much” ?

          Targeted policies which kill, lead to death…

          • McFlock

            The threshhold from “killing” to “genocide” is the one I don’t think is anywhere near being reasonable.

            • muzza

              Numbers involved not high enough for you?

              • McFlock

                It’s not just the numbers thing – the distinction between genocide and mass-killing is home to some fairly active legal, political and philosophical debates.
                But it generally involves an intent to kill a significant proportion of population X with the concomitant intent of eradication in whole of from geographic areas. 
                Tories don’t want to eradicate the poor. They need the poor. They just want the poor kept poor, and in servitude. And if a few more poor die as a result of being poor, that’s just the cost of doing business. But it’s not the ultimate objective in itself.

                • muzza

                  But it’s not the ultimate objective in itself

                  Perhaps not at face value from the average “tory”, but whose to really say for sure its not the “ultimate objective” somewhere back there!

                  If, as you say, collatoral is “just the cost of doing business”, then its up for debate that they “need the poor”, or want them for that matter!

                  • McFlock

                    But given the massive nature of the word, I’d suggest it needs clear and compelling evidence to be used as a descriptor.
                    It’s not like “genocide” has multiple definitions based on context. It means one thing, and one thing only: “the deliberate and systematic extermination of an ethnic or national group”. 

                    • muzza

                      Its what I’m referring to it as, because I have yet to come up with a word whch I think better fits policies which kill!

                    • McFlock

                      “lethal”, “heartless”, “morally bankrupt”, “evil”, “psychopathic” – but not “genocide”.

  9. prism 9

    Our economy is in a recession. A financial expert has just commented that much of the country’s manufacturers are supplying materials to builders. As Christchurch has been slow to get started there is unfortunately a lag in business – and unemployment follows.

    I remember hearing that peasants in one mediterranean country started fires to burn down forests so they could get development investment in their area. We’re getting into the really poor zone monetarily and in intelligent legitimate ideas from our top strutters and chest beaters. Pity that
    it wouldn’t work to destroy property ourselves, such as a sacrificial destruction of an area that we would have to rebuild to create business activity. We would be found out and no insurance from the private sector would come. Who knows what desperation might lead to?

    • muzza 9.1

      Assange – Nothing is what it appears to be, why are you (all) still debating what is a sideshow!

      And, open your eyes!

  10. prism 10

    Britain has written a declaration and demand to the Ecuadorean embassy to hand over Assange. It can be seen that Britain is a lapdog for the USA. Would they act like this if it was Sweden wanting him to answer to rape?

    • Te Reo Putake 10.1

      It is Sweden that wants to have a chat with Assange, prism. Nothing to do with the yanks at all. Assange is defying the judicial systems of both the UK and Sweden and refusing to co-operate in a pretty straightforward investigation, which I’m assured by his many supporters will not stand up in court anyway. Weid, huh?

      • Professor Longhair 10.1.1

        “Nothing to do with the yanks at all. …. pretty straightforward investigation….”

        Credulity, thy name is “Te Reo Putake.”

      • prism 10.1.2

        Weird? That’s normal for politics and world events. I do not believe the matter is as straightforward as you present it. But that seems to be your forte.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.3

        Strange, I thought that Sweden had the opportunity to clear up this mess by talking with Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Nope, that’s never been an option. At least while Sweden is a sovereign nation, anyway.

          • Pascal's bookie

            Lew’s got a breakdown of the ascending order of rights here:


          • Colonial Viper

            TRP – just for you mate

            Ecuador’s foreign minister says he has been told unofficially that Swedish officials have not accepted his country’s offer to let them question WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at Ecuador’s embassy in London.

            Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino says in a statement released Wednesday that Sweden declined the offer to question Assange in person or via video conference.


            • Te Reo Putake

              Yep, confirmation that Sweden is still a sovereign nation. Cheers, ; )

              • Draco T Bastard

                Doesn’t prove that at all. What it proves is that the Swedish extradition is for purposes other than questioning Assange.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Yeah, ‘course it does. Sigh.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The Swedish authorities had the chance to question Assange about the alleged abuse, they chose not to. They must have reasons for choosing so but neither threats to their sovereignty or their ability to question Assange applies.

            • McFlock

              Because that’s how investigations are run – at the convenience of bail-jumpers. 🙄

              • Colonial Viper

                Trying to blindly pretend that this is just another run of the mill case huh 🙄

                • Te Reo Putake

                  There’s nothing run of the mill about sexual assault, CV.

                  • Morrissey

                    There’s nothing run of the mill about sexual assault, CV.

                    There is no evidence that Assange sexually assaulted anyone. You know that, of course.

                • Colonial Viper

                  My point exactly.

                  Especially when its a case of alleged (with no charges laid) sexual assault, which happens to involve a potential extradition to the US on grounds of espionage, simply for pissing the US Government and the Pentagon off.

                  Nothing run of the mill there is there?

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Kewl, the fantasy defence. I also heard aliens intend to abduct him, and that Elvis is going to do a benefit gig on his behalf. But, seriously, I agree tha tif there is any chance that Assange that might have face justice of any kind, Swedish or otherwise, then extradition would be grossfully unfair on the internationally recognised basis that you like him.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Kewl, the fantasy defence. I also heard aliens intend to abduct him, and that Elvis is going to do a benefit gig on his behalf.

                      Meh. Read the following and tell me whether this sounds like “fantasy” or more likely, harsh reality.

                      THE head of the US Senate’s powerful intelligence oversight committee has renewed calls for Julian Assange to be prosecuted for espionage.

                      The US Justice Department has also confirmed WikiLeaks remains the target of an ongoing criminal investigation, calling into question Australian government claims that the US has no interest in extraditing Mr Assange.

                      Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/national/us-senator-calls-to-prosecute-assange-20120701-21b3n.html#ixzz23hGzLV5G

                  • McFlock

                    CV, let’s look at it rationally. 

                    Tell me which of these two countries is more likely to hand someone over to the yanks:
                    U.S.-X RELATIONSFriendship and cooperation between the United States and X is strong and close.   

                    U.S.-Y  RELATIONSThe Y is one of the United States’ closest allies, and Y foreign policy emphasizes close coordination with the United States.   


                    • Colonial Viper

                      FFS you still trying to act as if the first coin toss is predictive of the second coin toss?

                      Turn on your stats 101 for a second mate.

                      At least Sweden has never previously co-operated in an extraordinary extra-judicial rendition at US request where the subjects ended up being tortured for information.

                      Oh wait.

                    • McFlock

                      Well, if it’s that big a coin toss, why did he go to each country willingly in the first place?
                      Oh, and if you need to stop tossing a two-sided coin in order to roll a six-sided die, your odds against crapping out improve.     

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Asking me to mind meld with Assange to determine his intentions? No thanks. And not relevant here either.


                    • McFlock

                      WTF? You asked me to guarantee his safety in Swedish custody!
                      And it’s extremely relevant if both the UK and Sweden were safe enough to visit, but suddenly provide imminent peril of a trip to Cuba after two women approach police about sexual assault allegations. Coincidence, much?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      No no no, I didn’t ask you to guarantee Assange’s safety in Swedish custody, I just wanted you to guarantee Assange staying in Swedish custody.

                    • McFlock

                      Only if you tell me exactly why Assange thought sweden was safe enough to travel to and party in a couple of years ago.

            • Colonial Viper

              Ecuador is a sovereign country, I trust you will respect its rights to extend asylum under international law.

              • McFlock

                Indeed. With special reference to UDHR Article 14(2)

                This right may not be invoked in the case of prosecutions genuinely arising from non-political crimes or from acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Yep. And I’m fine with all of that. I leave it up to the Ecuadorean authorities to judge those matters and am happy with whatever decision they make.

                  You, I’m guessing you just want to see that dirty scumbag Assange put down for all the bad things he’s done regardless of what the Ecuadorean authorities finally decide.

                  • McFlock

                    Again, you don’t trust the brits or the swedes, but ecuador will make a perfect legal decision. Based on…?
                    Oh that’s right. They are helping Assange avoid a sexual assault investigation.
                    Bad guess, by the way.
                    I’d just prefer it if he faced a justice system, not a friendly politician. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’d totally support your call for him to face the Swedish justice system to see these sexual assault allegations out. If Sweden can guarantee that its not a trip to Guantanamo via Stockholm, that is.

                    • McFlock

                      Or to guantanamo via stockholm and NYNY, or via stockholm and london, or via stockholm and berin, or via stockholm and rome and madrid, etc etc etc.
                      All depending on your approval, of course.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Who gives a shit about the detail McFlock, Assange is a dirty woman manipulating pervert, and if he gets buried at Guantanamo (or wherever) its simply his just desserts, no more, no less.

                    • McFlock

                      The point being that your demand that Assange has immunity from extradition to the US necessitates immunity from extradition anywhere, for anything

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Bullshit. Sweden doesn’t need to be policeman of the world. And apart from the US, there aren’t any other charges threatened against Assange.

                    • McFlock

                      Let’s see: Your position is that the UK’s extradition of Assange to Sweden might be part of a conspiracy to send Assange to the US.
                      So any extradition from Sweden to another nation just means that the conspiracy is a three-step, not a two step.
                      So to avoid the three-step, Sweden needs to promise not to extradite him anywhere else. 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So any extradition from Sweden to another nation just means that the conspiracy is a three-step, not a two step.

                      So to avoid the three-step, Sweden needs to promise not to extradite him anywhere else.

                      well McFlock, shall we dance 😀

                    • McFlock

                      It’s late – if I’m not in bed by 2 I’ll turn into a pumpkin. 

    • McFlock 10.2

      Then why is Sweden more likely to send Assange to Guantanamo than Britain, in your opinion?

      • Colonial Viper 10.2.1

        Meh, they are both as likely to send Assange to Guantanamo.

        The fact you are OK with that is pretty poor since you admit that this thing could very well be a set up to get Assange to Guantanamo via a short stopover in Stockholm.

        Two other points
        1) Sweden could easily reassure all concerned that it will not extradite Assange on any charges related to Wikileaks.

        2) Sweden could easily agree to question Assange in person or via videolink, in London.

        Now is the time for McFlock to complain that those simple steps are all bridges too far to cross in the interests of the two women complainants.

        • rosy

          Meh, they are both as likely to send Assange to Guantanamo.

          Which takes the whole discussion back to the beginning – Assange should have gone back to Sweden to face the allegations.

          For the record – I don’t support Britain’s threat to revoke the Ecuadorean embassy’s consular status to arrest Assange. Lew’s post that Pb linked to is a pretty clear position on the list of rights, in my view.

          I believe the correct position from a rights perspective is for the British government to concede Assange’s right to claim asylum, and Ecuador’s to grant it if it chooses, despite its misgivings. As terrible as the acts that may or may not have been committed by Julian Assange, it seems evident that he retains the right to seek asylum, that the Ecuadoreans retain the right to grant it, and that the UK is on, at best, shaky ground attempting to arrest Assange once succour has been granted by the Ecuadoreans. While respecting some of what Wikileaks has done, I do not much like Assange, nor do I have much tolerance for the legions of his supporters who have sought to absolve him of responsibility for his alleged sexual assault by recourse to character assassination, intimindation and vilification of his alleged victim.

        • McFlock

          And yet the British didn’t send him to Guantanamo. They decided to send him to Sweden to face a sexual assault investigation.
          1) oh, now it’s “any charge relating to wikileaks”? So all the horrible US need to do is suggest he committed a sex crime in the States, and the assurance is worthless. But of course, that would involve haggling with “persons of interest” to negotiate “justice”. What’s your opinion on that principle with Finance Company directors, CV? “Come back to NZ mate, we won’t charge you with fraud, maybe just a bit of negligence in the paperwork”.  
          2) and that would be worthless. Because if the interview brought forward new information that results in charges, it’s flagged to Assange that he’ll be formally charged. And the dude is a double-flight risk, and counting.
          And if you know what’s going to happen, maybe you should  figure out new ways criminal investigations should be run at the convenience of the person of interest. Maybe they should promise to close their eyes and count to ten after every question?

          • Colonial Viper

            How does guaranteeing that Assange will not be extradited to Guantanamo Bay pander to Assange? It doesn’t of course. This is where you have to pull out a bullshit argument about “sovereignty”. Which to me demonstrates that you have no interest whatsoever in progressing the investigation for the two women.

            Such a guarantee would have NO NEGATIVE IMPACT on any similar Swedish sexual assault investigations in future, either. Yet you consistently dismiss it as an option.

            And yet the British didn’t send him to Guantanamo. They decided to send him to Sweden to face a sexual assault investigation.

            Guantanamo via Stockholm is still final destination Guantanamo, is it not?

            Plus you know your statistics. The UK toin coss isn’t predictive of the Swedish coin toss. Yet you consistently imply that it is, in this case.

            • McFlock

              We’ve been through this before:
              Extradition to Guantanamo is out?
              So extradition to the US is out, because the US will send him to Guantanamo.
              Not just on wikileaks, but on any charge.
              Oh, and extradition to any country Assange fears might send him to the US is out. Which will be any country that investigates him for sexual assault.
              A guarantee not to send him to Guantanamo because of wikileaks is a guarantee not to send him anywhere, to anyone, for anything.
              And besides, justice systems shouldn’t haggle with persons of interest. 

              • Colonial Viper

                A guarantee not to send him to Guantanamo because of wikileaks is a guarantee not to send him anywhere, to anyone, for anything.

                OK, but I’d suggest that the scope of the brief could be narrowed just a little.

                • McFlock

                  So if the US tries to extradite him for any other charge, you’d be cool with that and not assume he’d be sent to guantanamo?

                  • Colonial Viper

                    The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee talked espionage. Those are the only charges that I’ve heard of. Guantanamo Bay or some other military facility is where he’d end up.

          • Morrissey

            They decided to send him to Sweden to face a sexual assault investigation.

            There is no sexual assault investigation. There are vague and fantastical allegations, which no one of integrity thinks hold water.

            • McFlock

              The Swedish Prosecution Authority begs to differ.

              • QoT

                My only (I swear) comment on this matter: Silly McFlock, you’ve forgotten Morrissey’s Law: if supports Assange = credible; if not = uninformed / evil / probably a CIA plant.

                • you are woefully misunderuninformed my friend 🙂

                • Morrissey

                  My only (I swear) comment on this matter…Morrissey’s Law….

                  That is not what I think at all. I’m interested in something: why on earth would you presume to comment on this matter when you obviously have no idea what you are talking about?

  11. Pete 11

    Brace yourself for a food price shock

    The Economist is reporting a 5.2% increase in US crude food prices in July – wheat, corn and soybeans – due to drought. This is sure to affect the global market.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      And its not the food price shock per se which is the problem, even though NZ households will have a tougher time of it, sure.

      The issue is overseas in poor countries. The higher food prices are going to cause social and political disintegration and lead to military conflict.

  12. alex 12

    Remember to make a submission on the MMP proposals. If you want tweaks to the electoral system, the time is now.

  13. prism 13

    You are good to remind us about the MMP review.. And there is limited time. These are dates below and the link from Why the Review on the site. http://www.mmpreview.org.nz/why-review

    Making the submission – the site says – It’s easy to make a submission. There is even an easy feedback form to help. You can do it online, by email, or post. All the information you’ll need to is on this website, or call 0800 36 76 56 for information to be sent to you.

    13 August 2012 – the proposal paper was released plus the call for submissions
    7 Sept 2012 – Submissions on proposals close
    24 Sept 2012 – Submissions received and a summary of them is available on line or through an 0800 number
    31 Oct 2012 – Final report is to be presented to the Minister of Justice

  14. ad 14

    If any leftie wants a bit of cheering up, have a listen to Aussie Treasurer Wayne Swan recently analysing the economy through the great theorist Bruce Springsteen.

    I really liked it.


    • Jackal 14.1

      Thanks for that ad… It’s very good. Swan’s essay is also good:

      Today, when a would-be US president, Mitt Romney, is wealthier than 99.9975% of his fellow Americans, and wealthier than the last eight presidents combined, there’s a global conversation raging about the rich, the poor, the gap between them, and the role of vested interests in the significant widening of that gap in advanced economies over the past three decades.

      This is a debate Australia too must be part of. We’ve always prided ourselves on being a nation that’s more equal than most – a place where, if you work hard, you can create a better life for yourself and your family. Our egalitarian spirit is the product of our history and our national character, as well as the institutions and safeguards built up over more than a century. This spirit informed our stimulus response to the global financial crisis, and meant we avoided the kinds of immense social dislocation that occurred elsewhere in the developed world.

      But Australia’s fair go is today under threat from a new source. To be blunt, the rising power of vested interests is undermining our equality and threatening our democracy. We see this most obviously in the ferocious and highly misleading campaigns waged in recent years against resource taxation reforms and the pricing of carbon pollution. The infamous billionaires’ protest against the mining tax would have been laughed out of town in the Australia I grew up in, and yet it received a wide and favourable reception two years ago. A handful of vested interests that have pocketed a disproportionate share of the nation’s economic success now feel they have a right to shape Australia’s future to satisfy their own self-interest.

      So I write this essay to make a simple point: if we don’t grow together economically, our community will grow apart.


    • millsy 14.2

      Wayne Swan — the guy who delivered a budget full of huge spending cuts for the public sector, and whose fellow cabinet ministers openly endorsed privatisation of electricity networks, and have warned unions against seeking pay rises?

      You thoughts our Labour Party had problems, look at what the poor Ozzies have to endure…

  15. joe90 15

    More to ignore.


    Along rocky coastlines of the Arctic Ocean, a radical change is taking place, perhaps as profound as vanishing sea ice but less evident to the eye. Ecological foundations are shifting, with existing algae replaced by warmth- and light-loving species. It might not seem like much, but algae form the base of ocean food chains, and the change is happening fast.

    “The abrupt character of these extensive changes, confirmed by our statistical analyses, provides a convincing case for tipping points being crossed,” wrote researchers led by marine biologist Susanne Kortsch of Norway’s University of Tromsø in an email to Wired.

  16. Jackal 16

    Bomber has a rave about Labours relationship with the leftwing blogosphere:

    I have a love-hate relationship with The Standard (but then again, who don’t I have a love-hate relationship with?), while their pro-Labour cheerleading is sometimes tiresome, they are still without a doubt one of the largest and most influential left wing blogs in NZ, which begs the question – what the fuck does John and Josie Pagani think they’re doing publicly burning The Standard?

    Would Obama’s top strategists attack the Huffington Post? Only if they were drunk and shooting up heroin into their eyeballs, watching the Labour Party top advisor attack the largest left wing blog in the country is like rolling up to the Colosseum to watch Christians fighting lions only to see the lions turn on each other.

    It is bewildering that Labour strategists are adopting this strategy.

    It does seem that a lack of leftwing cohesion and vision at times is the rightwings biggest asset.

    • ad 16.1

      Good on you Bomber, even if your politics are a ludicrous parody of hyperinflated unreasonable bombastic pinko froth, you still put it out there and defend TheStandard when you don’t have to. The comparison to Huffington or Whaleoil is apt and telling.

      Labour caucus and their strategists are just going to keep finding out the hard way at the November Conference. This town is big enough for the both of us.

    • muzza 16.2

      Pagani & co, have to attack The Standard, simply because they have to validate their own position and ideology, by rubbishing what the party once stood for. Also because they have been “directed”, hence the move to the middle, its rather transparent!

    • tc 16.3

      You don’t get cohesion with ego first types like ducky and colleagues, never have, never will.

      Yet Labour seem to keep doing what Einstein observed in that expecting a different result from the same process/people each time is stupidity.

      Muzza’s right and the stage is being set for a true left party at this rate if they want to diss their roots.

    • weka 16.4

      TS has a phone number?

  17. Colonial Viper 17

    Parasitic banking sector record profits: ASB

    Sucking ordinary NZ businesses, depositors and mortgage holders dry.


  18. bad12 18

    Dear J Pagani(s),
    thank you for your recent ‘the truck driver and the sickness beneficiary’ homily, perhaps here we could suggest that as a campaign advertisement you have Dave deliver the same as a fire-side chat,

    Forgive us lot for the mention of this as we all know how you Neo-libs hate taxation BUT there’s another societal anomaly that isn’t oft mentioned by the politicians in the corridors of power, and, less so by those that advise them,

    It;s come to our attention here at the Standard that when counted up ALL the naughty Bene’s who do fiddle the system of welfare do so to the tune of 0.1% of the total welfare budget annually,

    While that’s as Dave said not on, and, lest we all come to really believe that Pagani and Pagani is simply a synonym for ‘knee-jerk neo-lib reactionary’ we have a stunning revelation of wrong doing of an even greater magnitude when it comes to malfeasance concerning the tax payers dollars which we think you should prime your puppet to highlight somewhere between growing apples and getting really smart with them,

    It seems that in actual illegal evasion those that can, you know those who are not trapped by PAYE rip off the tax system to the tune of approx: 7 billion bucks annually, you can J and J see where this little chat is going right, as that 7 billion bucks annually doesn’t even scratch the surface of the immoral tax avoidance industry which manages to allow for another approx: 7 billion to be avoided annually,

    So J and J, you don’t mind the abbreviations i hope, just as i hope that your careers with the Labour Party are also suitably abbreviated, i hope you can encapsulate these concerns within the next speech you write for your puppet just to give the electorate a balanced picture of who the REAL thieves are,

    a sickness beneficiary…

  19. Vicky32 19

    I don’t believe what I’ve just heard on 3 News – there’ll be a row of undreamed of proportions at midnight NZ time, as the UK government wishes to take Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy.
    “Just like the Iran hostage crisis” said the reporter. lolwut? Nothing like that at all!

    • Te Reo Putake 19.1

      Ha, that’s a ridiculous comparison. More like when Noriega was holed up in an embassy in Panama. But that involved the USA and an actual military invasion. I gather the Equadorian government is going to make their decision known at around midnight our time, but that shouldn’t be much of a big deal, unless they chuck Assange out, of course!

      The UK government is threatening to invoke their rights to enter the embassy, but I imagine that won’t be acted on for a few days, whatever the decision. I suppose we could offer him asylum, I hear there’s a flatmate wanted at Kaitoke prison, Wanganui.


      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        The UK government is threatening to invoke their rights to enter the embassy

        What’s the basis of those rights to send armed UK officers onto Ecuadorean soil???

        • Te Reo Putake

          Who says they’d be armed, CV?

          • Colonial Viper

            Uh, all the UK police outside the Ecuadorean Embassy are armed. Some with submachineguns. There are plenty of photos in the news channels.

            • Te Reo Putake

              Yep, the ones outside might be armed, but I asked how you know the ones going in will be. Citation, please?

              • Colonial Viper

                Oh frak off.

                allow me to clarify further – expecting me to be able to access information which would be operationally classified is BS.

                However it is a simple expectation that in the arrest of any fugitive that they have seen fit to surround by armed police that the arresting officers intruding into the property would also be armed.

                Fucking lefties. No wonder you guys keep gawdamn losing always.

        • Pascal's bookie

          IT’s weird CV, but read the bloody articles all over the web about it.

        • Jackal


          What’s the basis of those rights to send armed UK officers onto Ecuadorean soil?

          Basically they have non and Assange should be protected by the restrictive sovereign immunity rule because it’s a public and not governmental or corporate case. If the UK invades the Ecuadorian embassy to try and physically remove Assange they will be committing an act of war against Ecuador. They don’t need to be armed, they just need to act against the will of another foreign state and breach its laws. Of course the Brits won’t care about this because they hate Ecuador anyway.

          Although absolute sovereign immunity doesn’t really exist anymore, I would be highly surprised if a forcable removal of Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy has a legal leg to stand on. Of course the United States treatment of foreign sovereigns has long been inconsistent with international law, and that will be where the orders are coming from.

          • Colonial Viper

            Thanks for the clarification, Jackal.

          • Vicky32

            the United States treatment of foreign sovereigns has long been inconsistent with international law, and that will be where the orders are coming from.

            Pretty much confirmed by something I heard on Radio NZ news this morning – the Americans are very unhappy with Ecuador! (Predictably)

      • Morrissey 19.1.2

        I suppose we could offer him asylum, I hear there’s a flatmate wanted at Kaitoke prison, Wanganui.

        Gosh, you’re a funny guy.


    • Vicky32 19.2

      Further, what was it that Hil’ry Berry said in her summary at the end of the bulletin? Repeating the item about Assange and the embassy, she seemed to say “Yay, go get him, brothers”…
      If I heard her rightly, then she’s crossed a line, and is editorialising.  Mind you, from what I know of her, I’m not surprised.

  20. This may have been covered above but just reading 4chan /b/ (The home of Anonymous) and someone has started this thread. (excuse the caps – it is a cut & paste)


    Flat 3B, 3 Hans Crescent
    London SW1X 0LS






  21. just saying 22


    The machinations of Power have entered a new phase: a full-spectrum counterfeiting of the images of the soul”that rise like a fever dream from the abysmal, group-mind of late stage capitalism.

    In this age, there is no need for thronging mobs, foisting banners and carrying blazing torches through the central squares of contemporary cities, as occurred in 1930s Germany and Italy, because every sofa has become a 24/7 Nuremberg Rally; every mass media device enables an instant immersion in the mob…

    • Morrissey 22.1

      What a moronic, yet pretentious, torrent of almost content-free verbiage THAT was.

  22. Sorry, for those who want to watch it live outside the embassy….
    RT is live blogging….
    There is a live feed from from inside the embassy but it is down for now.
    They have a battery problem and what appears to be government(?) interference and will be up again 10:30 our time.

    The Bambuser livestreaming website is coming under ‘a robust and sustained’ DDoS attack, preventing users of that site from witnessing the events outside the Ecuadorian embassy.

  23. Reuters has a live feed
    Barricades have been erected and there is a police helicopter over head and the  protesters have been moved back.

  24. Global revolution tv is combining their own feed and Reuters

  25. Colonial Viper 26

    McFlock might get his wish real soon! That punk pervert Assange might get his face hauled out into the disinfecting sunlight and pushed down into the footpath where it deserves to be!

    • McFlock 26.1

      Take a chill pill, dude.

    • Morrissey 26.2

      McFlock might get his wish real soon….

      People like McFlock got their wish in October 1960 when Martin Luther King was busted for driving in Georgia with an Alabama registration. People like McFlock got their wish when the likes of Emmett Till were busted good and proper for committing the crime of whistling at a white woman. People like McFlock got their wish as agents of vengeance like Prosecutor General Vyshinsky went after other enemies of the state in the 1930s.

      • McFlock 26.2.1

        Damned bloodthirsty fools like me, believing that silly women who accuse St Julian of sexual assault might just be telling the truth.

        • Colonial Viper

          And Julian should front up in Sweden so the Swedish authorities can get to the bottom of it all. Just as long as it doesn’t mean him fronting up in Guantanamo Bay soon thereafter, of course.

          • McFlock

            Damn – if only he’d turned up to the interview he’d agreed to attend, rather than skipping Sweden.

        • Morrissey

          Damned bloodthirsty fools like me, believing that silly women who accuse St Julian of sexual assault might just be telling the truth.

          No, your self-praise is delusional. The problem is damned credulous fools like you, believing that the massively discredited Pentagon/CIA disinformation machine, and its “liberal” mouthpieces at the BBC, the Guardian and the New York Times “might just be telling the truth” as they go after someone who has exposed them.

          Your affectation of concern for these women’s rights is as risible as it is baseless.

          • McFlock

            You forgot to mention Swedish prosecutors and the UK courts that decided on extradition in that list of conspirators.

  26. Morrissey 27

    “Why are you intimidating a sovereign nation?”

    “Why are you intimidating a sovereign nation? Ecuador is a sovereign nation, you have no right to be here, intimidating them.”


  27. I see the protesters are moved on but the media get the prime spot directly in front of the embassy. 

  28. President of the Ecuadorian National Assembly Fernando Cordero has called a special meeting on the UK’s potential raid of the Ecuadorian Embassy. Although Parliament is in recess for 15 days, he called 124 legislators to attend the meeting. This session will not address the issue of Assange’s bid for asylum, Cordero said. – RT website

    • Colonial Viper 30.1

      Wow. What the hell has the UK threatened to do? I guess it should be expected as the allegations are serious enough to ignore the Geneva Convention and risk a full scale international incident: Assange is wanted for endangering national security, placing lives of military servicemen under threat and espionage allegations of sexual assault.

      • William Joyce 30.1.1

        Fascist Germany knew that smearing someone of a sexual crime was more effective at silencing disaffection than charges of political crimes.

        • Colonial Viper

          Yep. And more recently in Malaysia.


          • McFlock

            Funnily enough, Amnesty International had issues with the Ibrahim trials.
            Assange issue? Not so much.
            One or two things about Ecuador, though. 

            • Colonial Viper

              Funnily enough, Amnesty International had issues with the Ibrahim trials.
              Assange issue? Not so much.

              Oh you mean where Amnesty International say:

              Julian Assange must be accorded the presumption of innocence and given due process protections and a fair trial.

              You agree with that right, McFlock? Because you definitely presume that Assange is innocent, right? And things like not being taken into custody for one thing, only to find it is a pretense for something completely separate?

              And Amnesty have had plenty to say about Guantanamo Bay over the years, to minimal effect. Which won’t exactly reassure Assange.

              • McFlock

                I found that entire paragraph most interesting, yes:\

                As we have seen before, the desire to publicize information, if not balanced against individual rights, can lead to problems of its own. In August, two women filed criminal complaints against Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, under the Swedish sexual offences act. Hackers published the names and identities of the women who had been vilified in the media as stooges of the US and Swedish governments. This demonstrates that in the new virtual universe women continue to be treated as pawns – or even worse – as acceptable collateral damage. To be clear, the women deserve to have their complaints fully investigated and if there is sufficient evidence, to see the alleged perpetrator prosecuted. Julian Assange must be accorded the presumption of innocence and given due process protections and a fair trial 


              • McFlock

                Oh, and lots to say about Guantanamo. Not so much about the investigation against him.

        • weka

          And women have long known that their sexual wellbeing is expendable when men play power games.
          In what way has disaffection been silenced?

          • William Joyce

            Not sure what you are saying….The intention is to get the populace to acquiesce to state acts of unjust use of power and coercion by charging dissidents with sex related crimes rather than political crimes.
            So they are, in fact, playing upon an abhorrence of sexual crimes in the populace to demonise someone who has not committed a sexual crime – against a woman or a man.
            I know it’s late at night but no comment here has discussed a situation where a woman’s “sexual wellbeing is expendable”. Rather, a particular smearing of a reputation for political ends.
            Like saying John Banks cheated on his electoral finances when it wasn’t true. Or that Bill English lived in Wellington when he obviously lives in Otago. 😉

            • McFlock

              I know it’s late at night but no comment here has discussed a situation where a woman’s “sexual wellbeing is expendable”. Rather, a particular smearing of a reputation for political ends.

              Which is just a bigger example of not believing a complainant because the guy she accuses is life of the party and all around good bloke.
              That’s the entire point. Any allegation against Assange must be the US and its allies “smearing his reputation” because Wikileaks is such a nice thing, and the investigation must be a short feeder flight to Cuba because the prosecutors dared to treat the women seriously. 
              Let me put it another way: if he did to what has been claimed, or even worse, how could any woman make a complaint in such a way that commenters here would go “fair call, Wikileaks is better off without him”?  It is impossible – internet warriors will always name them, slur them, and say they were forced to make it up.
              That is expendability: politics trumps believing the guy might have commited a crime.

              • @ McFlock – I wasn’t responding to you – that’s another debate.

              • Colonial Viper

                Which is just a bigger example of not believing a complainant because the guy she accuses is life of the party and all around good bloke.

                Presumption of innocence McFlock. Remember that, if you can. Just like the Amnesty International link you quoted.

                But I have long taken it that you believe the complainants without reservation, and that you’ve already decided that Assange is guilty on all counts even before charges have been laid.

                • McFlock

                  A presumption of innocence that you believe doesn’t apply to the Swedish judicial system.

            • weka

              William, The Standard is littered with women’s expendability within the Assange case. It’s there every time someone puts up the false dichotomy of the charges laid against Assange vs the political forces attempting to silence Assange.
              If women weren’t expendable, then it would be possible to talk about rape and justice for women AND the forces wanting Assange punished for wikileaks, instead of them being opposing forces. It would be possible to talk about the possibility of Assange being a sexual predator AND having done good things via wikileaks AND that maybe he isn’t worth saving at the expense of women. It would be possible to talk about how the epidemic of sexual violence against women is at least as important as wikileaks, and how important it is to not lose sight of the wellbeing of women when one of the left’s liberal heroes is yet again playing out the hero’s drama.
              Women on the left are well used to this. Our sexual and other wellbeing has often been trumped by the agendas of men on the left. If you’re not aware of this dynamic within liberal politics then maybe you should ask yourself why.

              • weka


                Open mike 16/08/2012

                (sorry CV, but it’s tedious and exactly what I was meaning).

                • Colonial Viper

                  No probs weka.

                  As I’ve said to McFlock many times, Assange should present to Swedish authorities and the womens’ allegations fully investigated. And Swedish authorities should give reassurances that they will not use their control over Assange to ship him to Guantanamo Bay.

                  The women who made the allegations will not be “expendable” in any way in this scenario. Except of course its not acceptable to McFlock.

                  • weka

                    Yep, I’ve seen you make that pretty clear recently. So I don’t understand why you then engage in the false dichotomy, which just affirms the expendability of women.
                    btw, there are the women who made the allegations, and then there are women as a class. Both are expendable according to some in this situation.

              • Thanks Weka. I understand the need not to dismiss the sexual predation upon women. The discussion was about strategy, whether the supposed victim is male or female.
                I did not think we were discussing whether Assange was guilty or not guilty. It was about the time honoured strategy of accusing anyone of a sexual crimes for political aims, often when there was no possibility of there having been a crime.
                Whether Assange is guilty is another debate.

                • weka

                  It actually has nothing to do with Assange’s guilt or innocence (which hasn’t yet been established). It’s about how the issue is being debate amongst the left.
                  Are you avoiding the discussions today about Assange, here on TS, where women are deemed expendable? It’s a strategy also, and it’s in full play here on TS. If you are taking part in this debate, where that stategy is being used, and you aren’t naming the problem and arguing against it, then you are supporting the expendability of women.

                  • Jackal

                    That’s a gross generalization there weka. I think most people who comment here on the Standard don’t believe Women are expendable in any sense of the word.

                    If I support Assange’s political fight to not be deported to the US where he will likely end up tortured in Guantanamo, does that mean I think woman are expendable and there is no case to answer? Of course not!

                    It’s not helpful to conflate what are obviously separate issues and the absence of opinion does not affirm either side of the debate.

                    • weka

                      If I support Assange’s political fight to not be deported to the US where he will likely end up tortured in Guantanamo, does that mean I think woman are expendable and there is no case to answer? Of course not!

                      That’s not what I said. At all.

      • weka 30.1.2

        The document raises British concern about the reports that the
        president is considering offering asylum. It says London’s preferred course, even if asylum is offered, is to continue discussions on a mutually acceptable outcome.

        However the note did point out that the foreign secretary had the power to go to court to seek the right for UK police to enter the Ecuadorean embassy to arrest Assange. He would have to prove that international law had been broken and that Ecuador was in contravention of its Vienna Convention obligations in harbouring Assange.

        The foreign office is confident these conditions would be met. It says the embassy would have a week’s notice of the action and the police would not look at or remove any embassy documents and the diplomatic immunity of Ecuadorean diplomats would not be affected.

        A foreign office spokesman said that the UK government realised this would be a serious step, but added ‘it is not as serious as ending diplomatic relations’. He said the UK saw its paramount obligation was the legal duty to extradite Assange.

        That does imply that the British do have some rights over foreign embassies, given certain situations.

        • rosy

          The Assange asylum decision is being read out on SkyUK now. As well as invoking the Vienna Convention the Ecuadorians did bring up the security council decision over the protection of the UK Embassy in Iran back in the 80s to highlight the international illegality of any move to walk into the embassy.

          Upshot is they’ve granted asylum. Live blog (as always) of this decision. Say he might be deported to the U.S. by the UK or Sweden. on The Guardian

          Also promising a big announcement at 4pm UK time.

  29. If the Brit government storm the Ecuadorian embassy does the mean we can storm theirs? Is this the start of Occupy British Embassies movement?

    • rosy 31.1

      Definitely threatening to do it:

      We are disappointed by the statement from Ecuador’s Foreign Minister that Ecuador has offered political asylum to Julian Assange.

      Under our law, with Mr Assange having exhausted all options of appeal, the British authorities are under a binding obligation to extradite him to Sweden. We shall carry out that obligation. The Ecuadorian Government’s decision this afternoon does not change that.

      We remain committed to a negotiated solution that allows us to carry out our obligations under the Extradition Act.

      That’s crazy talk. How does the UK hope to maintain its own embassies integrity in the world’s hot spots if they don’t maintain the integrity of Ecuador’s embassy in the UK?

      • weka 31.1.1

        Um, they have a bigger stick?
        What are the precedents for embassies granting asylum and states overriding that?

        • rosy

          That’s the question isn’t it? I think the legal beagles are scrambling for what is the most valid comparisons and points of law. I’ve heard the Vienna Convention, Security Council, UK in Iran, U.S. in Nicaragua… but nothing very coherent as yet. As it stands I don’t think Assange’s troubles have gone away. Going back to Sweden to answer allegations might prove to have been the easy way out.

        • McFlock

          Probably only the states from which asylum is actually needed 🙁
          Funnily enough, while I don’t think asylum should have been granted and believe it is not consistent with what article 14 is there for, I’m not happy about taking a step back in international relations.

          • Colonial Viper

            So much for your respect of international law. Extradition processes back to Sweden are OK; asylum processes going to Ecuador are not OK.

      • Vicky32 31.1.2

        That’s crazy talk. How does the UK hope to maintain its own embassies integrity in the world’s hot spots if they don’t maintain the integrity of Ecuador’s embassy in the UK?


  30. National don’t to ethics, legalities are a struggle and fiscal prudence need only apply to beneficiaries…

  31. xtasy 33

    VIVA y gracias por el pueblo de Equador por ensurar la libertad! Assange may have some questions to answer in Sweden, but on the balance of matters, he needs to be protected from the illegal persecution by the US and the UK, who have ulterior motives to have him extradited and persecuted for made up crimes he never committed.

    We have freedom at stake here, and the lies spread are unbelievable.

    Take a bloddy stand and defend freedom of opinon and press, please!


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