Open mike 17/02/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 17th, 2024 - 41 comments
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41 comments on “Open mike 17/02/2024 ”

  1. Kay 1

    Andrea Vance getting really stuck into National's economic 'policy' (or lack thereof). And the 3rd prominent media story I've seen in the last 2 days that very openly criticises the government's attack on beneficiaries. That's a major turnaround for the media, they're usually either fully supportive or ignore it.

    "Almost always, it is spending on the poor, not the rich, that is cut….there is no good economic reason to cut the incomes of those bearing the brunt of a slump. Even less so to advance tax cuts for those who have hung onto their jobs.

    "Neo-liberalism, once a force as unstoppable as gravity, has fallen to its knees.

    Like trickle-down economics, austerity was consigned to the scrap heap of bad policy in the years following the GFC."

    • Nic the NZer 1.1

      Could be more clear on the description. Every additional dollar of govt deficit adds a dollar of income to GDP. That's because the government sits on the opposite side of a balance sheet to the countries economy. People with income continue spending so this usually adds much more than a dollar to overall GDP.

      In a response to a recession is the exact wrong time to be implementing austerity and will prolong the slump.

    • SPC 1.2

      An obsession with keeping taxes low means the schools, hospitals, public transport systems that sprang from a post-war building boom are coming to the end of their life.

      Conservatism is now less attractive to younger people because there is nothing left for them to conserve.

      Crumbling infrastructure is an especially visible problem, at the same time as voters are worried about debt. A growing population needs economic growth to sustain it; that in turn needs foundational infrastructure to support it. But who pays, and how?

  2. Reality 2

    What a surprising and "about time" read! Time for a strong opinion piece on the new government's confusing policies.

  3. SPC 3

    The West comments on Navalny's death.

    Meanwhile Assange is waiting on a court decision next week on whether the can appeal his extradition to the USA (to spend the rest of his life there)…

    • Francesca 3.1

      Every death in prison is an indictment of that system .

      Every political imprisonment is an outrage, and seemingly rampant through the world

      Milosevic died in prison before trial ,from being denied medication for his heart condition

      Gonzalo Lira died in a Ukrainian prison , jailed for crticising the Zelensky govt(illegal under Ukrainian law)

      John McAfee in a UK prison , said to be suicide but who had previously said "If I suicide ,I didn't"

      Epstein died by suicide…but really? a trial would have opened a real rats nest,affecting many powerful men

      At least 4 Palestinians have died in Israeli prisons just since the war with Hamas

      Many prisoners in UK prisons die on remand

      Assange must be an exceptionally strong character to have withstood the conditions of one of the worst prisons in the UK

      • aj 3.1.1

        Assange is the victim of a malevolent and obscenely vindictive US/UK cabal.

        • SPC

          It began when whistle blowers in the USA were silenced.

          Then they had to leak to media … then came the security comes first heavying of media.

          Thus Snowden with the info dump and go into exile strategy to avoid prison and Wikileaks – and the American effort to criminalise "journalists" for "getting" classified information.

          The Assange case is the USA claiming the right to extradite those who operate abroad in the western world to provide a platform for whistleblowers.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 3.1.2

        "Gonzalo Lira died in a Ukrainian prison , jailed for crticising the Zelensky govt(illegal under Ukrainian law)"

        No, he was jailed for violating Article 436-2 of Ukraine’s Criminal Code — justifying Russian aggression against Ukraine (justifying, recognizing as legitimate, denying Russia’s armed aggression against Ukraine, heroizing its participants). Nothing to do with criticising Zelensky, which is not illegal in Ukraine (and Zelensky is frequently and widely criticised within Ukraine – just read some Ukrainian sources).

        Lira was released on bail to house arrest, but was later jailed after being caught trying to skip bail and leave the country.

  4. joe90 5

    Found liable for fraud, sexual abuse, defamation, barred from running his businesses and fined $364 million, 90 odd charges still to be heard and the schadenfreude cherry, according to MSNBC, appeals require a 120% deposit of the sum awarded.

    But few cases have mattered more to him on a personal level than the civil fraud trial over his business practices in New York, according to those who know the former president. Trump has publicly fumed over the low valuation of his oceanfront Palm Beach club, Mar-a-Lago, and made a point to show up in person to defend himself in court. And few verdicts could affect his carefully cultivated reputation as a businessperson more than the one issued in that trial on Friday, in which the former president was hit with over $350 million in penalties by a judge for falsely inflating his net worth to get more favorable rates from banks and insurers.

  5. Robert Guyton 6

    Bryan Gould knows it:

    "It is becoming apparent, however, in today’s world, that democracy – as the supposed remedy for, and counter to, the unacceptable concentration of wealth – has failed miserably. Not only has it failed in its immediate supposed purpose, but – worse than that – it has become an instrument in the hands of those who are opposed to any change in the usual pattern of wealth distribution in a modern economy.

    How has this perverse outcome been engineered? It is brought about because the wealthy are able to use their wealth to influence the voters to support them and to place political as well as economic power in their hands."

    • Peter Kelly 6.1

      An excellent summing up of where we are at. Thanks Robert for the link, it should be compulsory reading for everyone.

  6. Brigid 7

    This highlights the Israeli impunity. Since Oct 7th there have been 378 attacks by Israel on Gazan hospitals and health care facilities. But just in case you want to blame Hamas for this, the WHO reports 563 attacks from 2019-2021.

    Please watch this video. We cannot continue to be quiet about Israels genocide on Palestinians.

  7. alwyn 8

    Wellington voters have taken one step back to reality.

    To replace Tamatha Paul, who did a runner to a seat in Parliament the voters in a by-election have voted for a candidate who seems to be taking a sensible approach to what the Council should be spending money on.

    She will be replaced by the Independent Karl Tiefenbacher. Meanwhile Labour Councilor Rebecca Matthews sounds as if she wants to follow the Mayor's lead by "stating she might need to get “very, very drunk tonight”.

    It is probably lucky for the left wing councilors that the other proposals from their ranks only surfaced at a very late stage in the voting. The public reaction to proposals to charge parking fees in the suburbs were close to unprintable. According to interviews by Newshub.

    "To say locals Newshub spoke to in Karori are outraged by the idea of suburban parking fees would be an understatement.
    "They are a pack of assholes and we're not their personal bank," one person told Newshub.
    "Tell them to f**k off and get better management of their money," another said."

    • bwaghorn 8.1

      Did the reporter point out that due to national fucking 3 waters they're going to digging deep for years in wellington to fix the water, with out government help

      • alwyn 8.1.1

        I could never see where there was any Government help under the Labour scheme.

        The Water entities were going to borrow the money. The local bodies that were in their area were going to be liable for the debt in the Water entity couldn't pay it back.

        The Local Body wouldn't have any control over the Water entity. They could blow it on Limo's for their Directors if they wanted to. When they couldn't repay their borrowing it would just land back on the Local Body to pay up anyway. So whoever borrows all the money it is going to be the Local Body that would have to find the cash when the s**t hits the fan.

        Just what were the Government going to do about that?

        • bwaghorn

          The people are always going to be the ones to pay , as that's the only source, labpurs planning was to make make funding available, spread the pain, ease ghe pain for small councils and most importantly actually get the ball rolling , national are going to do fuck all as per usual, kick the can , speculation is they'll steal more assets for enrich there grifting mates as well

          • alwyn

            "most importantly actually get the ball rolling".

            Was that going to be like the Auckland Light Rail project where they promised that a line to Mt Roskill would be completed by 2021? After all in 2017 (August) their leader said

            "Work on the project would begin with light rail to Mt Roskill, to be completed within four years. That would be expanded south to the airport and to west Auckland within a decade, followed with a line from the North Shore to the CBD."


            Now I do realise that after about two and a half of those 4 years we got Covid but at that time I believe that not a single metre of track had been laid and nothing had happened after 6 years when they were dumped but would you really say that you were confident that anything at all would be done about any project that Labour promised?

    • Auckland has had parking fees in some suburbs for ages. My local shopping centre where we go to the Doctor, the Pharmacist and several restaurants, has limited time parking which is metered. This has been the reality for years.

      It does stop local business owners from parking right outside their stores all day and then demanding that Council provide more on and off street car parking because their customers "can't get a park".

      We are a "city fringe" suburb and nobody complains about parking fees because it means that it is easier to actually get a car park when you need one.

      • alwyn 8.2.1

        " it is easier to actually get a car park when you need one."

        It is currently quite easy to get a park in Karori where I live. However once our Council puts in the cycle lanes down the road there will be a lot less parking available. The 50 or so cyclists who use the road each day will be happy of course.

        • Kay

          Gosh Alwyn, a whole 50 cyclists a day? At least you're getting your money's worth over your side of town /s A really good day on my flash new cycleway that's creating a tonne of grief (completely unwarranted because there's another perfectly good one going the same direction 3 blocks over), might see a whole 3 cyclists. I'm home a lot with a view of it, so know it's not being used.

      • Kay 8.2.2

        The variable here is, this proposal come right on top of several of these suburban areas losing what limited parking spaces there were anyway to cycleways (a lot of businesses included). Due to the now severe antagonism between a lot of the population of Wellington city and the Council over the way this was handled, it's very easy to see why throwing in a parking fee isn't going down too well, whatever the merits.

        • mikesh

          I have always thought that the purpose of roads was the movement of traffic. Not for stationary vehicles to park on. Motorists should not be using public spaces as their own private carparks. If they want to do that they should at least pay for the privilege

  8. gsays 10

    Back from a great day at the beach.Scott’s Ferry, sth west of Bulls.

    The ocean is shy a snapper, a good trevally and an ocean going kahawai.

    Will be smoking the kahawai, some roe and bellies of said critters. Chowder for the trevally, cerviche for the snapper.

    For any vegans this is an informative wee history on vegetarianism and vegans. Around 30 mins.

    If you like that, his history of the coconut is great too.

    • Hunter Thompson II 10.1

      Glad you had a good day out on the water. Sounds like you take only what you need from the fishery.

      In the bad old days people would fill the boat with snapper just because they could (as a nipper I saw it happen at Waikanae in the 1950s).

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