Open mike 16/08/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 16th, 2015 - 104 comments
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104 comments on “Open mike 16/08/2015 ”

  1. JanM 1

    Can anyone explain this extraordinary piece?
    Thought I must have woken up in a parallel universe this morning!

    • BM 1.1

      Key is good and knows what he’s doing.
      Abbot is hopeless.

      • Weepus beard 1.1.1

        According to a SMH journalist, in Sydney.

        I found English’s line “adjust expectation” particularly sinister.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        Key is a lying schmuck but it’s good to know that you support such immoral people. It shows that you have no morals either.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      Why? The collective analysis of Key and his ministers, which came together over glasses of red that evening in Sydney, was two-fold.

      First, they saw that the Abbott government had no reform narrative.

      It had slogans, but no persuasive case.

      Slogans are all we’ve got from this government. They sure as hell haven’t told us what they’re doing until after they’ve done it.

  2. Herodotus 2
    Local pak’n’save cheese non discounted was $11/ kg
    Why is cheese still well over $10/kg.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      The farmers have to cover their loss from somewhere and we’re it.

      But then, it’s not really the farmers who set the supermarket prices but the supermarkets who are probably raking in the super-profits ATM.

  3. vto 3

    I see Jamie Whyte still banging on in the SST about the free market providing for safe work environments …………..

    yet no mention in his opinion of the best live example of this in action – Pike River

    the man just shat on his own head

    dangerous fuckwit

    • aerobubble 3.1

      Hooton on q&a was crying as panel criticized neoliberalism, he was pushed to recant economic bibical belief in the coming of thatcherism how it changed everything, whine whone cry cry. How dare they all question his faith in markets.

      Geez, like we dont all get it now, cheap energy not thatcherism built thirty years of profit driven by swapping paper debts. Promised clean environments, safe work places, free education all burnt to feed the debt driven economy, even high learning divorced from the enlightenment.

      All Hooten does is eulogize neolibs in national and labour and poke irrational cheapshots at anyone else.

    • Tracey 3.2

      once he compared a bathroom accident with workplaces I just laughed. *I* control my bathroom. *I* do not control how well my employer maintains my workplace and when.

  4. Atiawa 4

    TV Ones Q&A this morning was the best I have viewed. Replays again late this evening.

    • Anne 4.1

      Agree. Good subjects and intelligent debate. Simon Dallow is a vast improvement on Susan Wood. And Deborah Russell is a vast improvement on Josie Pagani.

      The only blight on the horizon was Hooton and his relentless campaign against Helen Clark, David Parker, David Cunliffe and Andrew Little. You can predict when their names are going to go ‘clunk’ into the middle of some damming indictment. Eg. he said at one point… ” I mean, Little’s a union leader” as if that was the most damming indictment one could make of a person. I even had the impression Jeremy Corbyn’s rise to the UK Labour leadership was somehow their fault – slight exaggeration but you know what I mean.

  5. Tommo 5

    Mr Hooton demonstrated his useby date is way past expiry…A Dinosaur pretending to have all answers for all occasions,his body language is open to interpretation.Why do the news networks continually use this man.He appears to be consumed by his tireless boring attacks on Labour,Clark etc,etc.The man lives in the past with no constructive criticism of the current dire position our once proud nation held.

  6. weka 6

    The British Medical Journal has just published this meta study that looks at dietary fat and chronic health conditions such as heart disease, stroke and late onset diabetes. This is the latest in a series of studies that shows that the ‘fat is bad’ message is wrong.

    Conclusions Saturated fats are not associated with all cause mortality, CVD, CHD, ischemic stroke, or type 2 diabetes, but the evidence is heterogeneous with methodological limitations. Trans fats are associated with all cause mortality, total CHD, and CHD mortality, probably because of higher levels of intake of industrial trans fats than ruminant trans fats. Dietary guidelines must carefully consider the health effects of recommendations for alternative macronutrients to replace trans fats and saturated fats.

    If you want an award winning science journalist’s take on this written for the general public, see the following link. Note the date. This isn’t new.

    There are two issues here. One is that the public health message of the past 30 years has been wrong and will need to change (and given the origin is US based, the lawsuits should be interesting too). Such change takes a long time, so I think we are going to be seeing a period of time where people don’t know what to do.

    The other is that it demonstrates how science can still get things so terribly wrong, not because of flaws in the scientific method, but because of how science gets used. The author of that NYT article has written extensively about the political and social as well as scientific and medico reasons why we ended up with such bad advice from health authorities. We need to be holding science far more accountable than we are.

  7. Tommo 7

    Whats happening with the Sabin issues?I hope all will be revealed.The nats clearly have a lot to hide.

    • Weepus beard 7.1

      It will be dragged out much further to a point where the alleged abusive activity becomes so distant that the public will have trouble caring.

      Also, there is a cover up to cover up, namely John Key’s arrogant appointment of Sabin to the law and order select committee despite knowing of the abuse allegations.

    • Rosie 7.2

      I heard the court case was put off till some time in 2016.

      Can’t recall the source for that.

    • Tracey 7.3

      National has been very effective at making it go away … they need to be careful it doesn’t reappear closer to 2017.

      • Anne 7.3.1

        In the meantime the whole process has been drawn out for his alleged victims. But who in government cares about them?

  8. Weepus beard 8

    From the do as I say, not as I do files…

    The number of Ministerial Services staff employed in Ministers’ offices earning $100,000 or more has increased over 300% since National took office.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      Time to fix public servants to no more than $100, 000 and that would go to the PM. Everyone else’s income would be indexed to that.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        $100k p.a. is too low a top rate.

        • Draco T Bastard


          You can live on it quite comfortably.

          • Colonial Viper

            you can live on that quite comfortably in Levin, yes.

            • Draco T Bastard

              You could live ob it quite comfortably pretty much anywhere – as long as house prices weren’t bubbling.

            • Rawsharkosaurus

              Nice for Levin, then.

              It’s the 21st century – there’s no reason for any top public servant to live in Auckland or Wellington. Headquarter the Ministry of Health in Kerikeri, the Ministry of Forestry in Tokoroa, the Ministry of Fisheries in Napier, the Ministry of Agriculture in Lincoln, the Ministry of Social Welfare in Mosgiel and the Ministry of Mining in Nightcaps and save truckloads of taxpayer cash in the long term.

              (no, I can’t be bothered looking up for the current names of the ministries; they change regularly at the whim of whichever corporate PR idiot has been brought in to pretty them up)

          • Realblue

            As a single person, not as a family. If you had a family to support you would know this.

            • Draco T Bastard

              My brother does quite well supporting his family on less than $100k. So, yes, $100k is enough to raise a family.

              You may have a point about those on less than $100k but then I’d set a minimum of $50k per year for those new to public service.

    • Ad 8.2

      Ministerial Services staff work for politicians, who by their public reputation and visible performance are abusive, irrational, vindictive, quite happy to permanently damage your career, happy to throw you under the media bus, often bullying, disloyal, and completely unrewarding unless you are star-struck and doing a political apprenticeship.

      $100k+ isn’t just danger money, it’s “get in get out” money. Central government politicians have one of the lowest reputations in the country for strong and very consistent reasons. And before everyone goes ‘wait, my one is as pure as the driven snow’, just try working for them.

      • North 8.2.1

        Ad, that first paragraph of yours is so, so evocative of how it is. A perfect reflection !

        I commiserate with you, just in case what appears in your second paragraph, you have been close to.

  9. Barbara 9

    Interesting snippet here – Baltimore USA has a light rail out to their BWI/Washington airport – the distance is 11ks (eleven kilometres) – the fare out is $1.60 US and the fare back is the same. I repeat that $1.60 US – us Aucklanders are being fleeced blind with their transport costs and my partner many times on business, went by cab to the airport and it was approx $70 one way (same distance 11 ks) – this was 4 years ago. The US are either subsidising their public transport to the hilt or NZ transport costs are right off the scale.

    Homes over there are fantastic, we have a relative who owns in Baltimore and its a beautiful 3 storey town house in a lovely part of the city by a park (walking distance to work on their beautiful waterfront) – lovely fittings and finish, high stud, beautiful cornices, solid timber floors, a staircase of solid timber, granite benches, bar fridge you name it in the kitchen – a terraced roof garden – they paid $442,000US for it – it would have been 2 million plus here in Auckland so close to the city, even has a car pad down the breeze alley in the back. The park has free yoga classes on the lawns and free tennis courts to play on and regular concerts work days and weeekends, they walk down to the park with their wine and picnic rug, have their supper on the lawn and listen to the music – all for free. Only problem it is the US and Baltimore does have racial problems so I suppose there has to be a catch somewhere – I for one wouldn’t want to live there but they are happy as.

    Beggars belief how we are being swindled over here. Restaurant meals are cheaper there and so are their supermarket costs. What’s going wrong over here??

    • Barbara 9.1

      I stand corrected – I am being advised the distance on the light rail is 11 miles (US measure in miles)- not 11 ks – so its terribly cheap at $1.60 a one way fare. The taxi ride to the airport in AK is correct but the distance for that price was 42 ks – not 11ks.

      Will edit better next time.

      • Ad 9.1.1

        if you would like rates raised further to subsidize transport even more, I am sure that can be arranged.

        Meantime, central government expects lower and lower Public Transport subsidy per passenger every year.

    • rhinocrates 9.2

      Baltimore’s mental health services are excellent too. The psychiatrists all have great suits and practise innovative techniques.

  10. Tautoko Mangō Mata 10

    A few excerpts re TPPA and Canada

    “Sources advise that Canada dropped numerous demands on key patent and copyright issues in Hawaii, likely in the mistaken belief that a concluded deal was imminent.
    Indeed, after withholding agreement on critical issues such as anti-patent trolling rules, website blocking, restrictions on digital locks, trademark classification and border enforcement, Canadian negotiators caved to U.S. pressure but failed to garner agreement.
    “For Canada, the deal on ISPs means that the government has agreed to induce providers to “remove or disable” access to content upon becoming aware of a decision of a court on a copyright infringement. The broadly worded provision could force Canadian ISPs to block content on websites after being notified of a foreign court order — without first having to assess whether the site is even legal under Canadian law.”

    “There are still some unresolved issues in the Hawaii draft, particularly those involving the term of copyright (which the U.S. wants Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Malaysia to extend by an additional 20 years) and many pharmaceutical patent issues.
    Yet Canadian negotiators appear to have badly blundered by prematurely making important concessions but failing to close the deal. As a result, it seems likely that Canada will be forced to concede on other key issues when countries next meet to finalize the TPP.”

    Free Trade Agreement? Not even close.

  11. Paul 11

    The corruption of the civil service.
    We are becoming a corrupt tinpot state under the cronyism of Key and his financier clique.

    • Ad 11.1

      Where is the corruption.

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        I think it is the corruption of the mind that regard some people as exceptional with
        spurious measurements of successful achievement being awarded huge salaries while the basic income required for living is whittled down at the same time. One lot shooting up moneywise, and one lot shooting down, while perhaps losing rationality and shooting up with drugs.

        And constantly opportunities being whittled away while our politicians make promises to do their jobs when forced to, with soothing, helpful tones and smiling faces relying on memories fractured and forgetful as bad events flood across our consciousness. Meantime the country shoots itself in the foot.

        This is an entire corruption of the values, understanding and dreams that we older people had about the future of the country and all New Zealanders.

        • Ad

          That’s a bit of a conflation.

          Ministerial Service staff are not by and large public servants.
          Nor are they politicians.
          They are employees who service political offices.

          At 30% staff turnover, even $100k plus doesn’t appear worth it.

          • Tracey

            so what is a public servant? I am a lil confused.

            • Ad

              So. A public servant works for a Ministry, SOE, University, etc.

              Ministerial Services staff are largely a professional class that serve politicians directly.

              Remember, public servants are hired and fired by the Chief Executives or Secretaries of their Departments. Not Ministers. Ministers can certainly put a lot of pressure to bear, but the executive control of Ministries is from the Minister to the Chief Executive, or from the Minister to the Board, to the Chief Executive. Hence the State Sector Act from back in the late 1980s, in which Ministers are simply purchasers of services from those public service entities.

              • North

                Respectfully Ad you are not wrong. But neither is Greywarshark (I’m quite attracted to ‘Greywarship actually), on account of this from him/her –

                “This is an entire corruption of the values, understanding and dreams that we older people had about the future of the country and all New Zealanders.”

                Seems to me your looking glass is principally focused whereas Greywarshark takes an overview. And in that overview sees a reflection of what you talk about in the principally focused view.

                That is (more) corruption. So pervasive as to be corruption of our broad psyche. The words (and Greywarship’s lament) – “and all New Zealanders.” – well that quite does it for me.

                Particularly when I regard the E! Channel odour of the Parnell-centred, wannabe “New Camelot”, and “Spy”, and the intrusion of this ‘nouveau riche’ frippery into our political life.

    • marty mars 11.2

      “We are becoming a corrupt tinpot state under the cronyism of Key and his financier clique.”

      Good line that

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Aucklanders angered over rates rises holding protest march

    “It’s time Auckland Council showed ratepayers some damn respect,” centre-right mayoral candidate Stephen Berry said ahead of the protest.

    Damn right they should. They should immediately publish all the cities finances and ask people where things should be cut, where spending should be increased and what they’re going to get for the amount spent. This would then be automatically totalled so that people know how much they’re spending.

    After that they can then suggest how it’s going to be funded with estimates of how much each funding option will raise.

    And, no, I’m not joking about this. This, really, is how government finances should be done. Openness and transparency should rule and it would get rid of the RWNJs attacks on society.

    As an aside, I wonder how many people are actually going to turn up. Most RWNJ protests don’t seem to get a lot of traction.

    • greywarshark 12.1

      I heard that mayoral candidate with his refrain about waste of taxpayers money and thought that he sounded the usual slow witted male dork looking for an easy way to insert himself into people’s minds. Oh save us from Council waste of funds. Cut everything that is at the base of supporting the city. (Leave it to private enterprise to decide which rort is the best profit-maker.)

      He wanted money spent on art festivals to be stopped. Art festivals are the industrial display wonders of the 21st century. With nothing much being made in the industrial field, the creatives of the country step forward and design and make things that people are interested to travel from afar to look at and to spend money while doing so. It is called keeping enterprise bubbling with new ideas and excitement. Something that people who may have lost consciousness on the rugby field a few times tend to lack, as to them new is someone devising a different game plan always within the same parameters.

      I wonder which entity, wilfully neglectful government or private, was ultimately responsible for controlling storage of chemicals that have just blasted over much of that Chinese city. 70 tons I think was the maximum allowed but it was 700 tons of highly dangerous chemical. (If not it was 7 and 70, but A LOT whichever.) And stored near the port which if in Auckland would be at the bottom of the CBD and right near the entrance to the thin link to North Shore and Far North, the Harbour Bridge. That is just an example of why we need local government that takes an interest in everything, and does its job of planning and monitoring and enforcing, not concentrating on costing less.

      Of course the first thing to do, is to start reducing salaries of incumbents, and set new lower levels for new entrants. So both councillors and the management would get less on a formula connected to how much debt the Council was carrying. The more debt, the more prudent the top managers should be including their salaries being capped to a formula of no more than 10 times the minimum wage. That would bite them in the bum! The workers should have regular inflation-proofing top ups and Christmas bonuses. Let them eat Christmas cake once a year, and receive a living wage for 40 hours, with extra for anti-social hours before 7.30 and after 5.30 pm. And then there would be better outcomes for both ratepayers, and the city’s servants.

      • Tracey 12.1.1

        I guess he can afford to buy his own books, run his own car, and dispose of his own waste and so on…

    • Ad 12.2

      Only local government publishes all its finances in detail, consults on them, and changes them as a result.

      Auckland Council’s consultation was larger than the Auckland Plan or Unitary Plan submissions. Over 25% of the budget was changed as a result of the consultation.

      They did indeed ask the public where things should be cut. The draft budget proposed huge cuts to transport operating costs. It was changed due to overwhelming support for greater transport expenditure.

    • Paul 12.3

      40 people turn up.
      Gets as much prominence on the Herald website as when 10 000 march against the TPPA.
      What a corporate rag the Herald has become.

  13. Rosie 13

    Frank Macskasy mentioned on the TPP post that he was doing a post on the TPP protest in Wellington yesterday. Here it is. Now I couldn’t be there yesterday unfortunately but the sight of this:

    would have really given me the shits.

    Who else around the country saw cops with tasers? I don’t recall seeing cops with tasers at other rallies I’ve attended. Why are the cops escalating their level of intimidation in a non violent setting? It’s not like they are at a scene where a meth head is beating the crap out of someone and Police can’t restrain the hyper violent person in any other way.

    Do they think they can frighten us into submission? Is that the plan?

    How many incidences of uncontrollable violence have occurred at political rallies around the country in recent years that would justify the wearing of tasers?

      • Rosie 13.1.1

        Cheers b. I was aware of that. I’m questioning their need to bring them along to a peaceful demonstration. I think it’s provocative as well as intimidating.

        • Draco T Bastard

          There isn’t any need same as there’s not need for them to carry permanently.

    • Karen 13.2

      I find it very chilling, Rosie, thinking back to the Springbok Tour protests and imagining what the Red Squad in particular would have done with tasers. It was brutal enough with long batons.

      I am beginning to wonder whether the bringing in of tasers as standard police equipment is as much to intimidate protestors as control violent criminals. The behaviour of some members of the police force, the lack of accountability and the political bias that has been evident over the last few years is cause for concern.

      • Rosie 13.2.1

        “I am beginning to wonder whether the bringing in of tasers as standard police equipment is as much to intimidate protestors as control violent criminals.”

        Thats exactly what I’m thinking too Karen.

        I can understand their rationale for being armed with tasers when going in to a very violent situation, whilst not necessarily supporting it, but there is no rationale for bringing them to a peaceful demo, unless it is to intimidate and or provoke.

        • Anne

          “I am beginning to wonder whether the bringing in of tasers as standard police equipment is as much to intimidate protestors as control violent criminals.”

          Me too. I was one of the ‘peaceful’ protestors outside Eden Park during 1981test match. The images I carried away will never leave me. One of them was spotting the police Red Squad lined up ready to go into battle along the railway lines close to the Kingsland Station. It was like something out of WW2. Only those who were there can comprehend what it was like. There we were peacefully walking towards Eden Park – having a little chant along the way – and the next minute all hell broke loose. We began running for our lives and we’d done nothing wrong. And that was without tasers.

          • Rosie

            Anne and Karen. I hold a permanent sense of respect for the 1981 Springbok tour protesters. I was 10 at the time but as an adult, got to speak to those who were there and listen to their stories.

            To me, they, which would mean you too, are true ordinary heroes and I think what courage it must have taken to carry on, given the Police violence directed at the protesters at the time.

            I often wonder if some individuals were psychologically damaged by it. Those I spoke to weren’t, but I think the scale of the fear, anxiety, shock and actual physical assault and abuse must have had an impact on some.

            • Anne

              Unfortunately Rosie like all protest marches there are always a group of people who are out to cause violence and trouble. But the Red Squad in particular seemed to lose it completely and before long they were batoning people who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was not one of those, but I did see a couple of instances where the police launched attacks on some young people who were doing nothing. It was crazy stuff yet as far as I know none of the police involved were prosecuted for their violent behaviour.

              There were some humorous moments though… like a group of young police officers who were sent to keep an eye on us protesters as we wandered away from the crime scene. They must have been directly below one of the flour bombs that were being dropped from the circling plane and they were covered from head to toe in flour. It was hard not to burst out laughing as we passed them.

  14. ianmac 14

    Re the flag 40. Trevor Mallard was adamant that Key/English would select the final 4 flags. The expensive panel of 12 were really an expensive farce. Probably already decided on Key’s favourite four.

    • Weepus beard 14.1

      Yep. John Key is choosing the flag. Make no mistake about that. He’s made a clip on his Facebook page, which David Farrar has just whacked one out over, begging for Kiwis to see it his way.

      Not a designer in sight though…

      • miravox 14.1.1

        Probably have 4 of the 5 Kyle Lockwood flags, just to be sure.

        On second thoughts maybe they’ll throw a koru one in there so it looks fair.

      • Kevin 14.1.2

        You noticed too huh?

        • Weepus beard

          Yeah, he’s said what he wants and the full weight of the National Party machine will be brought to bear to make this realisation true, no matter how gimicky, ill thought out, and awful John Key’s final choice is.

    • miravox 14.2

      Probably 4 of the 5 Kyle Lockwood flags, just to be sure.

      On second thoughts maybe they’ll throw a koru one in there so it looks fair.

  15. Jenny Kirk 15

    No doubt with a silver fern in each of them, ianmac.

    • Macro 15.1

      I enjoyed this take on our flags from over the ditch:–and-theyre-awful.
      Have to agree with he writer – they are all awful!
      And the reason we are going through this pain?
      John’s pride….
      So we spend millions just so Key can have the “pleasure” of sitting behind a “corporate logo” (flag) at an international conference that no one else would want to.

      • BM 15.1.1

        No they’re not.
        There’s some really nice ones in there that I think would make great flags, far better than the colonialist drek we have currently.

        Also, what the fuck would Australians know, biggest bunch of inbred, backward fuckwits you could ever come across.

        The whole country is a joke, unfortunately they’re too stupid to realize it.

        • Macro

          So the one with the fern on it then is it BM – after all that’s what John says it going to be and – well he knows. You do realize that ferns grow all over the world? No I thought not.

          • BM

            John Key is one man and he gets one vote.
            My favorite is the one with Mahe Drysdale

            Have to ask, you’re not one of these pommie immigrants that can’t let go?.

            • Macro

              Why would I want to do away with a flag to which I stood to attention and saluted every morning at 0800 for 15 years and replace it with an abomination? Why would any one who has served this country in war want to do away with a flag under which many have fought and died – simply for the vanity of a one man who doesn’t have any feelings for the people who really matter in this country?

  16. Tautoko Mangō Mata 17

    Attention, citizens who have private health insurance.

    Expect your Private Health Insurance fees to rise if the TPPA is signed with clauses which extend the patent lives of drugs.

    If this isn’t to your liking, then please talk to Mr Groser and Mr Key or any Cabinet Minister as these are the people who will be committing NZ to this agreement.

  17. Kevin 18

    Something of you AGW proponents to read.

    I’m not arguing that AGW is wrong. Just saying you have to be critical of the evidence, on both sides.

    • rhinocrates 18.1

      Right, a listicle in Cracked is your source? Are you kidding or do you honestly have no concept of how to assess the reliability of sources?

      A quick scan showed no reference to peer review, reproducibility – the starting definition of methodology is untrue and the cherry-picked links that follows are an object demonstration of confirmation bias. Oh, and there was a quote from Jurassic Park to lend some sort of authority because it was read by an celebrity using a script.

      I suppose with journalism being in such a parlous state today, the gullible who read that crap wouldn’t know good journalism if they saw it.

    • lprent 18.2

      I always get amused by these kinds of lists. You will note that this one was on science right?

      Only about 15 percent of journals have relevant instructions, and enforcement is often more lax than anti-media-piracy laws after the apocalypse.

      The 15% claim…. They link to a paper about storing data that was published in the early 1990s, the first citation is 1995. You know 20 years ago – before the internet became ubiquitous. It was at the point when data sets got enormous and far too big for paper, but there were few public datastores. To quote this paper where the previous link is from 2014 would have to indicate that the author is a complete fuckwit more interested in spinning a story than providing anything relevant.

      One particularly damaging error occurred in 2010 with the publication of an influential paper that concluded that countries with large debts experience lower economic growth.

      FFS: Does the dickhead author realise that this is an economic paper? One that was published in a non-peer reviewed journal? What in the hell does that have to do with science?

      These were on the second of SEVEN points in the post he linked to. The first point was arguable. But by the time the second point came around, I’d concluded that it was written by a numbskull who knew nothing about science, and was instead just looking around for links that supported their insane thesis. They weren’t concerned about checking or validating those, just so long has they could make a one-liner fit over it.

      In short it was written by an insane fuckwit hypocrite Matt J Michel who was guilty of doing at least half of the the things he was railing against.

      About that point I concluded that Kevin is most likely a card carrying member of stupid moron propeller head society. Because no-one else would have wasted my time reading such idiotic twaddle by linking to it. I’d say that because he didn’t pick up these blindingly obvious fuckups, that he was also completely incapable of understanding ANY actual scientific work. Like that on climate change for instance.

  18. Kevin 19

    Conjecture. There’s nothing to say that Private health companies won’t absorb any increases themselves, depending of course on how much the increases are.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      Costs plus markup are always passed on to the customer. It’s how the rich keep bludging off of everyone else.

  19. adam 20

    A few days old now.

    But worth a look.

    Nice balanced debate about drugs.

  20. North 21

    Don’t have the time today to check whether it’s been raised above but “OMG!” as they say……

    So Heki Pirau (Rotten Egg [as lustily known in Moerewa]) Parata has failed miserably in her “asprayshuns”. While she is a not (on a naked IQ scale) an unintelligent person (pity no application)……she is a fake. An impostor.

    There the lady ensconces as an unwittingly hilarious actor in ShonKey Python’s Flying Circus. “OMG!” as they say !

  21. BLiP 22

    Its ten years since the fates took David Lange from us. He is still remembered with love. Russell Brown unearthed this wee gem which features 95bFM Breakfast Host Graeme Hill interviewing David Lange about his book, “Broadsides”. Talk about prescient . . .

  22. greywarshark 23

    Article on Canada becoming less transparent to totally opaque under Harper. This has been going on for 9 and half years (5 year elections). If elections are held every three years it does give an opportunity to change the beast. A serious situation and one to keep in mind,.

    “In 2012, he tried to defund government research centers in the High Arctic, and placed Canadian environmental scientists under gag orders. That year, National Research Council members were barred from discussing their work on snowfall with the media.

    Scientists for the governmental agency Environment Canada, under threat of losing their jobs, have been banned from discussing their research without political approval. Mentions of federal climate change research in the Canadian press have dropped 80 percent. The union that represents federal scientists and other professionals has, for the first time in its history, abandoned neutrality to campaign against Mr. Harper.

    His active promotion of ignorance extends into the functions of government itself. Most shockingly, he ended the mandatory long-form census, a decision protested by nearly 500 organizations in Canada, including the Canadian Medical Association, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Canadian Catholic Council of Bishops. In the age of information, he has stripped Canada of its capacity to gather information about itself. The Harper years have seen a subtle darkening of Canadian life.

    The darkness has resulted, organically, in one of the most scandal-plagued administrations in Canadian history. Mr. Harper’s tenure coincided with the scandal of Rob Ford, the mayor of Toronto who admitted to smoking crack while in office and whose secret life came to light only when Gawker, an American website, broke the story. In a famous video at a Ford family barbecue, Mr. Harper praised the Fords as a “Conservative political dynasty.”

    Mr. Harper’s appointments to the Senate — which in Canada is a mercifully impotent body employed strictly for political payoffs — have proved greedier than the norm. Mr. Harper’s chief of staff was forced out for paying off a senator who fudged his expenses. The Mounties have pressed criminal charges.”

  23. Draco T Bastard 24

    Philip Morris is suing Australia in an expensive, secret court for ending teen smoking.

    Australia is ending teen smoking — and Big Tobacco is furious.

    So furious, it is suing Australia in a secret tribunal that will cost $50 million of public money just to defend ourselves. Cabinet ministers have been hauled in front of the clandestine courts. Domestic laws could be overturned — at an even higher cost — because they benefit Australian people instead of tobacco corporations’ bottom lines.

    This is what signing the TPPA will lead to for NZ. Corporate control of our laws with millions, and probably billions, wasted to cater to these psychopaths desires for more wealth.

    • nadis 24.1

      Welcome to reality. In case you hadn’t noticed, NZ is already subject to exactly the same potential claims without the TPPA in exactly the same way as Australia is with PMI via a free trade agreement with HK. NZ has exactly the same clause in agreements with many of the TPPA countries (but not HK) already, and we could be facing exactly the same claim from PMI without the TPPA. If you have a free trade agreement, in principle the ISDS provisions are a good thing as they are the only real legal mechanism an exporter has to ensure equal treatment under the FTA.

      Already companies from countries listed in the link below could sue NZ on the same grounds as PMI is suing Australia. The Philip Morris case is a Hong Kong company suing the Australian Government.

      Of course we don’t really know, but I would hope the TPPA doesn’t allow these types of claims on public health policy grounds – limitations on sale of tobacco, alcohol etc.

      • Draco T Bastard 24.1.1

        Welcome to reality.

        It’s not reality but delusion but that’s just capitalism in general.

        The Philip Morris case is a Hong Kong company suing the Australian Government.

        You missed this bit didn’t you?

        Philip Morris moved its regional headquarters from Australia to Hong Kong just so it could sue us.

        So, no, Phillip Morris isn’t a Hong Kong company.

        If you have a free trade agreement, in principle the ISDS provisions are a good thing as they are the only real legal mechanism an exporter has to ensure equal treatment under the FTA.

        And that’s a load of bollocks as well. ISDS came about because of investment in countries that didn’t have good legal systems in place and pretty much all of them do now thus ISDS isn’t needed. It’s arguable that it ever was.

        Also, no country has ever needed foreign ‘investment’. Why would any country need foreign money to utilise their own resources?

        • nadis

          i’m not defending them, and no I didn’t miss that bit about the change of abode, given that Australia’s first line of defence is to protest exactly that fact.

          The point I was making is that everyone is getting excited that ISDS provisions are coming with the TPPA. All I am saying is that we already have them. And that with only a modest amount of legal chicanery any corporate from anywhere in the world could already use those provisions, as PMI have shown in Aus.

          You’re anti free trade and anti global trade – that’s fine and a validly held opinion to have, but if you do have a free trade agreement then its is perfectly sensible to have ISDS provisions in it.

          Personally I think we (and all other countries) would be better off not signing the TPPA, but rather settling bilateral trade agreements with all the countries in the region. Then each agreement specifically addresses only the needs of those two countries. I dont think the TPPA is the coming of the anti-christ, but it is more a deal about protection of intellectual property and dispute resolution (not necessarily a good thing) rather than a classic free trade agreement (generally a good thing).

          • Draco T Bastard

            You’re anti free trade and anti global trade

            Actually, I’m not. I just happen to think that trade is the exchange of goods and preferably completed goods ready to on retail shelves. I don’t think it includes foreign investment and catering to mega-corporations as the FTAs invariably do.

            Personally I think we (and all other countries) would be better off not signing the TPPA, but rather settling bilateral trade agreements with all the countries in the region.

            We shouldn’t even be doing that as it locks us in to trade that may be disadvantageous to us. I think it would be better to set some standards that other countries have to reach to be able to freely trade with us (see my above concept of trade). Much simpler and more open.

            • nadis

              Why the distinction between services and goods? Why in your world can I not export a service?

              Why would a bilateral agreement negotiated by NZ “lock us in to trade that may be disadvantageous to us.” Why would we agree to that? Trade agreements also have mechanisms for renegotiating and updating as economies change.

              Trade agreements are mostly about access to other markets on terms that are not disadvantageous – i.e the removal or alignment of tariff and other barriers to entry. Setting minimum standards is exactly what trade agreements do, but it formalises them so that one party cant back track or put in other barriers. In a non-documented world you run the risk of capricious change by a government for spurious reasons (ie lobbying by special interest groups, populism, corruption etc). And with a “minimum standards approach” (presumably minimum standards around employment law, consumer safety etc) how would you deal with dumping or trans-national point of origination issues for instance?

              • Draco T Bastard

                Why in your world can I not export a service?

                To me that’s more a question of why would anyone want to import it?

                Why would a bilateral agreement negotiated by NZ “lock us in to trade that may be disadvantageous to us.” Why would we agree to that?

                Good question. Why did Labour/National lock us into selling our houses/land/businesses to foreigners and thus disadvantaging our own people with no way to stop it?

                Setting minimum standards is exactly what trade agreements do, but it formalises them so that one party cant back track or put in other barriers.

                As I said – locks us in. And it doesn’t set minimum standards at all – if they did we wouldn’t be trading with China as they simply don’t meet our standards.

                In a non-documented world you run the risk of capricious change by a government for spurious reasons (ie lobbying by special interest groups, populism, corruption etc).

                Whatever gave you an idea that a set of standards wouldn’t be documented?

                And with a “minimum standards approach” (presumably minimum standards around employment law, consumer safety etc) how would you deal with dumping or trans-national point of origination issues for instance?

                Obviously such practices wouldn’t meet standards.

  24. Tautoko Mangō Mata 25

    As a longtime member of the Friends of Tibet NZ group, I am deeply concerned at the article listed in the Standard’s feeds column from Redline: From the Vaults.

    The article wrongly states that the Dalai Lama is wanting to return Tibet to a feudal state. Some fact checking turns up the following information from this link:

    “The Tibetan Parliament in Exile
    The Tibetan Parliament in Exile (TPiE) is the unicameral and highest legislative organ of the Central Tibetan Administration. Established and based in Dharamsala, India. The creation of this democratically elected body has been one of the major changes that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has brought about in his efforts to introduce a democratic system of administration. Today, the Parliament consists of 44 members. Ten members each from U-Tsang, Do-tod and Do-med, the three traditional provinces of Tibet, while the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism and the traditional Bon faith elect two members each. Four members are elected by Tibetans in the west: two from Europe, one from North America and one from Canada. The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile is headed by a Speaker and a Deputy Speaker, who are elected by the members amongst themselves. Any Tibetan who has reached the age of 25 has the right to contest elections to the Parliament.

    The elections are held every five years and any Tibetan who has reached the age of 18 is entitled to vote.Sessions of the Parliament are held twice every year, with an interval of six months between the sessions. When the Parliament is not in session, there is a standing committee of eleven members: two members from each province, one member from each religious denomination. The members of the Parliament undertake periodic tours to Tibetan settlements to make an assessment of people’s overall conditions. On their return, they bring to the notice of the administration about all the grievances and matters which need attention.The Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile keeps in touch with people also through Local Parliaments established in 38 major Tibetan communities. The Charter provides for the establishment of a Local Parliament in a community having a population of not less than 160.

    The Local Parliaments are scaled-down replicas of the Tibetan Parliament-in-Exile. They keep an eye on the activities of their respective settlement/welfare officers. They also make laws for their respective communities according to the latter’s felt-needs. The laws passed by the Local Parliament must be implemented by the respective settlement/welfare officer.”

    The article posted by Redline needs to be returned to the vaults never to be exhumed.

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