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Open mike 17/12/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, December 17th, 2021 - 118 comments
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Step up to the mike …

118 comments on “Open mike 17/12/2021 ”

  1. Jonathon Pie demolishes COP26 as only he can.

    23 minutes long. With Ed Milibrand, George Monbiot and Caroline Lucas.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23nDxPSIoAw

    The take home message: we’re fucked.

    • tc 1.1

      Yup. It's quite the pantomime now with corporates and their politicians putting on a show.

      Got interesting when parts of the media actually pulled apart the oil companies carbon offset cons. How dare they !

      We're frogs in the pot even with GHG emissions ceasing immediately.

  2. Gezza 3

    The story of the corrupt motor cycle licence instructor

    …In April 2021, police pulled over two patched Hells Angels members for parking their motorbikes in a bus lane in Wellington. The pair were on bail, the conditions of which meant they weren't allowed to ride their motorbikes. One also had a gun, cash, and some drugs.

    Police examined their phones and found several messages between one of the gang members and Kalinowski about ordering licences for himself and several associates.

    Wellington police discovered where Kalinowski was living and sent the information to staff on the West Coast, who began Operation Ketch.

    …His client list included a Who's Who of the country's gangs. They were members of the Hells Angels, King Cobras, Mongrel Mob, Head Hunters, Black Power, Killer Beez and Rebels.

    More…

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/127288658/the-man-on-the-red-ducati-the-story-of-the-corrupt-motorcycle-licence-instructor

  3. Gezza 4

    John Bishop, Chris Bishop's dad, has cancelled his Northland trip because…

    Changes to the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act 2020, passed under urgency and without any public input, create (Section 22) a new class of person, an “enforcement officer”, with the powers of a police constable when it comes to stopping vehicles and requiring information.

    Section (6) (b) (ii) empowers the Police Commissioner to appoint as enforcement officers (among others) “nominated representatives of an iwi organisation”. There is no requirement that such persons work under police supervision.

    I’m not up for a clash with a legalised vigilante group stopping people at random. It’s not worth the delay, the frustration or the risk of something more serious happening. And I know I am not the only one thinking like this.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/127290132/sorry-northland-im-not-welcome-so-im-not-coming

    I think he's probably right that several others have likely abandoned plans for a Northland holiday because they don't want hassles at iwi-staffed roadblocks/checkpoints.

    @ Blazer, as I thought, the reason police were vetting iwi members is most likely because they did not want to be authorising gang members – or at least gang members with convictions – to be legally stopping cars and demanding info and documents from occupants.

    • observer 4.1

      A column of zero self-awareness.

      Translation: "I have money and was going to saunter past and throw a few pennies in your hat, but I'm going to sulk instead."

      This is a useful reminder that for a decent society, we should not rely on tugging the forelock and hoping the wealthy are feeling generous today. Pandering to John Bishop's tantrums is a basis for neither economic policy, nor health advice.

      (Incidentally, he says he is vaccinated with a pass, so he would face far less inconvenience than people on SH1 leaving Wellington yesterday. The weather disrupts drivers more than any checkpoint can).

    • Blazer 4.2

      Be surprised if he had any intention of going to Northland anyway.

      Just a political points scoring exercise in my cynical…view.

      • Pete 4.2.1

        Trying to work out who would be more likely to be more honourable. A person with a conviction from some time ago who has mended his ways and is up on a rainy night doing his best to protect his mum and aunties up North, or John Bishop?

    • Bryan Dods 4.3

      A lot of Northlanders will be delighted to hear the news. We will be hoping that the message will possibly spread to others.

      • Gezza 4.3.1

        Yes, I don’t imagine there will be much weeping up North over his not now heading to Northland for his hols with the prols. 😐

        • Jimmy 4.3.1.1

          I feel sorry for some of the businesses up north that may suffer. We thought about going up north but decided heading south was a better idea.

          • Gezza 4.3.1.1.1

            What factors made you decide to head South in the end? Was it the hassles of checkpoints & possible delays caused by them – or not really?

    • Descendant Of Smith 4.4

      lol a White Riot!

    • Shanreagh 4.5

      Oh dear how sad, never mind John Bishop.

      Plenty of other places in NZ to go to or you could plan a staycation.

    • weston 4.6

      Went through the checkpoint at urititi today on my way to whangarei no hassles was waved straight through there was a doz or so cars an vans pulled over and the cops outnumbered maori two to one in fact those wearing orange looked as if they had very little to do .There was almost no delay for most of us and no queue as such .

  4. Jenny how to get there 5

    As if trashing medical centres, threatening nurses and health workers, and linking up with fascist movements wasn't enough.

    A sinister new campaign by the antivaxxers conspiracists has been uncovered by stuff.

    A black market in Covid vaccine passes is issuing fraudulent, but effective certificates
    Charlie Mitchell

    05:00, Dec 17 2021

    …..Some vaccine pass users may be having their identities stolen and sold to unvaccinated people as part of an emerging black market….

    ….Stuff obtained a vaccine pass via an online platform, in exchange for $20 worth of the cryptocurrency Dogecoin.

    It is a legitimate pass, belonging to a vaccinated person. Scanning it with the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) official app shows it is valid, meaning it could be used to gain entry to any place or service requiring vaccination.

    …..It is unclear if the pass obtained by Stuff was voluntarily sold to the service or harvested (attempts to locate its owner were unsuccessful).

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/127301227/a-black-market-in-covid-vaccine-passes-is-issuing-fraudulent-but-effective-certificates

    When will society have a guts fill of this scum and demand that the authorities start cracking down on anti-vax 5th columnists caught undermining public health initiatives.

    I would like to suggest that, if a restaurant, night club, or public health care facility, becomes the point source of infections resulting in deaths, and a back check of vaccine passes, discovers fraudulent passes were being used by anti-vaxxers to gain entry to these venues.
    The offenders should be tracked down and charged with manslaughter and if found guilty receive the maximum penalty.

    • Gezza 5.1

      The penalty would be up to the judge. Anybody’s guess whether they would apply the maximum. And some offenders are likely to appeal their sentence anyway.

      • Jenny how to get there 5.1.1

        Gezza

        17 December 2021 at 8:23 am

        The penalty would be up to the judge…..

        Understood.

        Granted, the penality would be up to the judge, it would be good to know from a legal source if the charge of manslaughter can be applied to this crime if it resulted in deaths.

        • Craig Hall 5.1.1.1

          Probably not, the legal chain is too long – they didn't deliberately infect the people themselves for a start.

    • Sanctuary 5.2

      A Maori health provider made the excellent point this morning on the electronic wireless that one of the lessons we can take out of 2021 is the fine idea of using the time MIQ and elimination had purchased for us in getting all our ducks in a row failed to account for how this time also allowed the tiny minority of anti-vax lunatics and grifters to set up the funding and social media networks to run extensive dis- and mis-information campaigns, aided by fellow travellers in our business friendly MSM platforming powerful neoliberal globalist elites so they could run a near constant campaign to undermine restrictions.

      My personal view is time has come for tough measures against anti-vaxxers – create new offenses under the summary offenses act to specifically target anti-vaxxers and speed up convictions for example.

      One thing that puzzles me though is why governments everywhere are so reluctant to take on the tech giants, especially Facebook whose business model is effectively based on radicalising it's users for profit. Removing whatever our equivalent of Section 230 protection – a Trump policy, FFS so it would seem to have broad support from everyone except the liberal pundit class – would allow Facebook to be held to account for it business practices. Certainly, to my mind Facebook in particular in its unaccountable form currently constitutes a huge threat to our national security and should be treated as such.

      • Rosemary McDonald 5.2.1

        My personal view is time has come for tough measures against anti-vaxxers –

        Its way past time for an official definition of "anti-vaxxer" because its all getting very fraught.

        • Hanswurst 5.2.1.1

          Well, I like him.

          • Anne 5.2.1.1.1

            Touché

          • Shanreagh 5.2.1.1.2

            I do too and his definition of anti vax seems OK.

            The time for debate is really over all we are doing is rehashing. People as individuals, the majority of NZers have made up their minds and done. Those who have decided not to be vaccinated have done so in the knowledge of what might happen ie greater likelihood of sickness with a greater likelihood of hospitalisation. We can all 'do' with the tools we have available as individuals whether vaxxed or not.

            The availability of a new vaccine will be a help for those with a concern about the mRNA Pfizer vaccine and the ability for children to be vaccinated will boost the vaccine uptake.

            Hopefully our vaccinators continue to reach into communities with a low uptake.

    • weka 5.3

      I would like to suggest that, if a restaurant, night club, or public health care facility, becomes the point source of infections resulting in deaths, and a back check of vaccine passes, discovers fraudulent passes were being used by anti-vaxxers to gain entry to these venues.

      The offenders should be tracked down and charged with manslaughter and if found guilty receive the maximum penalty.

      I'd like the same charges brought against the government every time someone dies a preventable death. Think hospital waiting lists, or deaths from living in shitty housing, or the people that killed themselves from dealing with IRD or WINZ.

      Then I think we should target anyone that's voted for a neoliberal party in the past 30 years.

      • Sabine 5.3.1

        can we start with booze? how many preventable death did we have in this country due to drink driving alone. And we should arrest everyone, from the driver, to the waiter/ress, bar/restaurant/booze shop owner, government officials too (taxes levied on booze) and so on and so forth.

        • weka 5.3.1.1

          yep. Climate change too, we've all known about that for decades and here we are still emitting GHGs and blaming other people. We should all be in jail by now.

      • RedLogix 5.3.2

        An overprotective government can be just as tyrannical as an exploitative one.

        • weka 5.3.2.1

          Did you think I was serious?

          • RedLogix 5.3.2.1.1

            Of course not – but that's the logical destination all the same. And so much of the cultural wars we're having are pivoting on this.

            You only have to look at Jenny’s comment above to see the impulses at work here.

            • weka 5.3.2.1.1.1

              The revenge tendencies arising in the left since the pandemic worry me.

              • Jenny how to get there

                weka

                17 December 2021 at 1:08 pm

                The revenge tendencies arising in the left since the pandemic worry me.

                Speaking personally, the fascistic tendencies of the far right who have comandeered the antivax movement. And the threats and acts of near terroism against medical centres and the health workers carry out testing and vaccinations concerns me more.

                In my opinion we need to make a punitive example of any caught, to discourage the rest.

                History teaches us that, in appeasing such people, they only grow in confidence and daring.

                • weka

                  We already observe, analyse, and develop political responses to the right, and to the emerging anti-vax/freedom movements. The left's blind spot about the mote in its own eye (love me a mixed metaphor) is concerning as well.

                  In my opinion we need to make a punitive example of any caught, to discourage the rest.

                  Yes, I know. What I don't know is why you are singling them out rather than looking at the wide range of deaths caused indirectly by all sorts of people.

                  • Jenny how to get there

                    A tu quoque logical fallacy?

                    "As if trashing medical centres, threatening nurses and health workers, and linking up with fascist movements wasn't enough.

                    A sinister new campaign by the antivaxxers conspiracists has been uncovered by stuff…"

                    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/127301227/a-black-market-in-covid-vaccine-passes-is-issuing-fraudulent-but-effective-certificates

                    "…When will society have a guts fill of this scum and demand that the authorities start cracking down on anti-vax 5th columnists caught undermining public health initiatives."

                    Jenny 17 December 2021 at 8:14 am

                    "I'd like the same charges brought against the government every time someone dies a preventable death. Think hospital waiting lists, or deaths from living in shitty housing, or the people that killed themselves from dealing with IRD or WINZ"

                    Weka 17 December 2021 at 10:58 am

                    "In my opinion we need to make a punitive example of any caught, to discourage the rest."

                    Jenny 17 December 2021 at 3:10 pm

                    Doubling down on tu quoque logical fallacy?

                    "What I don't know is why you are singling them out rather than looking at the wide range of deaths caused indirectly by all sorts of people."

                    Weka 17 December 2021 at 3:33 pm

                    "I'd like the same charges brought against the government every time someone dies a preventable death." Weka

                    Is this whataboutism writ large, or what?

                    Could it get any bigger?

                    I suppose it could.

                    Apart from the government, we could blame the UN, or even God, every time someone dies a preventable death,

                    Hey look over there! A needless death allowed by God.

                    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

                    Whataboutism or whataboutery (as in "what about…?") is a variant of the tu quoque logical fallacy, which attempts to discredit an opponent's position by charging hypocrisy without directly refuting or disproving the argument.[1][2][3]

                    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whataboutism

                    Ignoring the whataboutism, I still don't get why you are against taking stringent action and making an example of antivaxxers caught wilfully endangering public health by forging vaccine passports?

                    • weka

                      No, it's not whataboutism, I was taking the piss.

                      I would guess (but am interested to know) that we already have laws to deal with people who fraudulently create/obtain/use vax passes. If we don't, I expect will very shortly.

                      …I still don't get why you are against taking stringent action and making an example of antivaxxers caught wilfully endangering public health by forging vaccine passports?

                      I think we should take stringent action against them, within the kind of legal ethics and boundaries we already have.

                      I don't believe that we should be exacting revenge convictions, nor promoting anti-vaxxers as the evil enemy who must be cast out as lepers (or in this case locked up more than we would lock up other fraudsters).

                      The reason for that belief is because it harms society and people who don't deserve it to create such antipathy towards a group of people in society. I know what it's been like being a beneficiary under National.

                      I also think that our justice system should be based in justice, and that singling out one group of people for special laws sets precedent and breaks justice. You think we will stop at this? You think National will?

                      There are other ways for us to address the problems of anti-vax impacts on society. But people are actually still allowed to believe what they like in NZ, and they are still free to talk about those beliefs. Where they break the law, they should be treated with the same legal repercusions as other people in NZ who break the law not specially created laws because we hate them.

      • bwaghorn 5.3.3

        Yip we need us some good old reeducation camps ,for voters we disagree with .
        Oops I see satire is at play weka!! Golly good as you were.

        • weka 5.3.3.1

          we could just lock up anyone not vaccinated and be done with it.

          • bwaghorn 5.3.3.1.1

            You'd only catch the honest ones!

            Now were at 90% I think we should stop being so draconian towards or special novax friends, .

            • weka 5.3.3.1.1.1

              I agree. The whole thing is getting out of control. I see people on twitter sharing which shops allow unvaxed people in so they can all avoid them. That's a moral issue as far as I can tell (the evil anti-vaxxers). Different for people with health issues, and I will be altering what I do once covid is in my community but it won't just be anti-vaxers I am taking into consideration.

              • Pete

                I keep reading about us being a 'divided society.' Those twitter people highlight that. We are two lots – arseholes and not arseholes.

            • Rosemary McDonald 5.3.3.1.1.2

              Now were at 90% I think we should stop being so draconian towards or special novax friends, .

              No, no, please keep it up! Strangely, its become almost comforting. Devil you know and all that. Truly awesome to know where one stands. The messaging has been so loud and so clear it would genuinely be discombobulating to be told any different.

      • Robert Guyton 5.3.4

        If politicians could be charged with the sorts of things you describe, weka, there would be none. There's a reason for the protections afforded our representatives.

    • gsays 5.4

      How about a fully vaccinated person who was feeling poorly and knowingly went out then infected others?

      Are they in they dock too?

      • Jenny how to get there 5.4.1

        gsays

        17 December 2021 at 12:52 pm

        How about a fully vaccinated person who was feeling poorly and knowingly went out then infected others?

        No.

        In the case of someone fully vaccinated feeling poorly passing on the virus. It would be very hard to prove mens rea.

        Not so, those proven to have illegally obtained fraudulent documents and purposely posed as vaccinated who passed on the infection.

        Even if a fully vaccinated person with the infection could be proven to have, (for some reason), intentionally infected others. It is very unlikely that they would have conspired with others to do so. Again, not so, for those who who went out of their way to illegally obtain fraudulent documents to pose as vaccinated.

  5. Molly 6

    Female swimmers at the University of Pennsylvania have been advised as a group – think about accessing mental-health services to 'navigate' their team mate's success.

    The university sent a terse response to the parents, claiming the school is doing what it can to help the student-athletes navigate Lia's success, shared a link to mental health services.

    'Please know that we fully support all our swimming student-athletes and want to help our community navigate Lia's success in the pool this winter,' the university replied. 'Penn Athletics is committed to being a welcoming and inclusive environment for all our student-athletes, coaches and staff and we hold true to that commitment today and in the future.

    'We've encouraged our student-athletes to utilize the robust resources available to them at Penn, and I'd like to share them with you as well,' the school wrote the parents, providing links to 'counseling and psychological services, the LGBT Center, Restorative Practices and our Center for Student-Athlete Success staff.' –Daily Mail UK

    After the race, the teammate said, Thomas could be overheard bragging, ‘That was so easy, I was cruising,’ before adding, ‘At least I’m still No. 1 in the country.’

    • Puckish Rogue 6.1

      'Navigate'

      • weston 6.1.1

        morn pr in answer to a question you asked the other night which didnt hve a reply tab : tb i think is relatively straight forward if the animal had it it prob wouldnt look good but i may be wrong .Poisons though are many and varied so i,d fear them far more , theres that example from tokaroa a while back where that family was given some wild pork and got very sick indeed .The implication was that 1080 was involved but i think that substance wasnt tested for until it would have been undetectable ! funny that !! I suppose the fact there are relatively few stories of people getting sick from eating wild animals is indicative more of the lack of eating them than inherent dangers of doin so .Farmers and lifestyle block owners are using huge amounts of poisons and suppliers are naturally eager to oblige them .Know your farmer i guess ?

    • Hetzer 6.2

      Am I the only one thinking the lunatics have taken over the Asylum?

      The only results headline i see from the swimming is " Man wins the Womens swimming race".

      Dont care if he put a frock on for the post race interviews.

      • Anker 6.2.2
        • Hetzer you are not the only one thinking this way! The insanity of allowing male bodied athletes to compete in womens sport is outrageous. Then they offer counselling to the female athletes to help them deal with it.
        • this will happen in NZ the our media will be celebrating how great it is and how brave xxxx trans women is to compete.
        • if I was a counsellor seeing these young women I would be encouraging fight back. I wouldn’t be teaching them how to deal with “losing”
        • wake up people, this ideology is not progressive
        • Hetzer 6.2.2.1

          Yes and thanks, good to know Im not alone! I wonder who the goon was at the University of Penn was that gave out the advice. Not sure why so many dim bulbs are attracted to Universities and teaching but there you go.

        • Descendant Of Smith 6.2.2.2

          Then they offer counselling to the female athletes to help them deal with it.

          That's what the rise of managerialism and neo-liberalism has bought to most workplaces.

          Treat you like shit, in a most often passive aggressive way, and then tell you you need counselling. Modern management 101.

    • weka 6.3

      Institutional gaslighting.

      • Sabine 6.3.1

        demoralising and competing women out of sport.

        edit;: Adding insult to injury.

        • weka 6.3.1.1

          You seen this? Councillor in Victoria (Oz) having to point out that upholding women's rights isn't discrimination. Worth a watch she is really good.

          https://twitter.com/katherine_deves/status/1471563559729389570

          • weka 6.3.1.1.1

            hmm, twitter embeds not working. Here's the direct link on FB

            • Sabine 6.3.1.1.1.1

              oh but it is discrimination.

              It is discrimination of men who want to wear women costume. And in the end, those that are Transwomen (in the old fashioned sense, Transition is something one does, it is not something one is) will suffer exactly as women suffer, unless they are finally going all out and declare that 'non males' are not really anything, and that Transwomen are Women – and the only women to whom legal protection applies. Which i would assume is not far away.

            • Molly 6.3.1.1.1.2

              Very good. I'd vote for her.

          • Sabine 6.3.1.1.2

            Twitter blocked me for stating that women are adult human females. 🙂

            I watched this yesterday,

            Benjamin Boyce and Candice Jackson Biological Sex and the Law.

            All of his podcasts are very well done, calm conversations with very interesting people.

            • weka 6.3.1.1.2.1

              Wait, you've been on twitter?!

              • Sabine

                yes. quietly. without saying much lol

                it is all good. i barely got started. I actually don't miss it at all. It is a vile hateful cesspool for the most part. And it has started to give people legal issues in Scotland, UK and North Ireland with the police giving house visits in regards to opinionated tweets.

                • weka

                  I really like it. But I curate my twitter very consciously. I don't see the cesspit so much, I tend to follow the people who are bright, passionate, and experienced on twitter. I back away from fuckwits, unless I am spoiling for a fight which doesn't happen much these days.

                  • Sabine

                    Define fuckwit. Some of the worst people on the internet have a PHD and call themselves feminists. And they get to dabble in legislation that actively hurts 50% of the world population, the other to Man, and they define the debate that they allow to happen and the vocabulary that you are allowed to use.. I actually think it is a nice medium, but the moderation is forced think/speak.

    • Jimmy 6.4

      If they keep allowing this, over the coming years we are likely to see a number of new records broken in womens sporting events.

      • Molly 6.4.1

        It's been happening for a while –

        Trans cyclist Rachel McKinnon keeps winning championships and her detractors don’t like it

        A year ago, a philosophy professor from the College of Charleston by way of Canada put up a gold medal performance at the 2018 UCI World Masters Track Cycling Championships in Los Angeles.

        Cycling’s first transgender world champion was met with internet brickbats and Bronx cheers, calling her a “cheat.” She barely reached the winner’s podium as a host of right-wing websites spread their version of the story, and their vitriol.

        Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

        Dr. Rachel McKinnon used the mean tweets, slights, and some death threats since her win in 2018 as fuel. Her 2019 competitive season was filled with tune-up races and intense training toward the 2020 UCI World Masters, and a chance to send a message.

        Last weekend on a track in Manchester, England, she sent that message with her second consecutive Sprint gold, a silver in the Time Trial event, and a world record to boot.

        Trans powerlifter smashes records and draws backlash

        This week, the transgender powerlifter and referee turns 44, just as another benchmark in this new age of transgender exclusion is expected to be set.

        More on that, later. First, let’s backup, to the last weekend of April, the biggest weekend in Gregory’s life since she came out to her wife as trans in April of 2017, and since their divorce last December. It’s the weekend she set several powerlifting records, took home trophies, and shared her success on Instagram.

        If you want to view a wiki list visit She Won.

        • Anker 6.4.1.1

          She won. That’s a lot of women who have lost medals to these males

          I seem to remember Italian cyclists as well, so I am sure there are more that should be on this list.

          someone should send this to Mr Robertson, who purports to care about women’s sports

      • weka 6.4.2

        If they keep allowing this, over the coming years we are likely to see a number of new records broken in womens sporting events.

        And in some cases those records will probably stand for all time (or until a male breaks them). That's inclusion without exception for you. Sorry non-males, back in your place.

        • Anker 6.4.2.1
          • Dr Ross Tucker, a sports scientist has shown that the fastest 10,000 men in the world can outrun the fastest women.

          biological males have bigger hearts, lungs, hands, feet (think swimming), have more muscle to fat, more upper body strength, narrower hips than women (which gives them a sporting advantage), taller (think basketball)……the only sport men don’t have an advantage in is equestrian events.

          if male bodied trans women play rugby in womens teams, there is an increased risk of injury to women.

          bodies play sports not identities

      • Gezza 6.4.3

        This shite will just keep happening until news media lose their fear of provoking the vocal aggressive Woke in society, their own orgs & in politics & begin more critical reporting of the sensible arguments against it.

        Unfortunately, they may never lose that fear. Presenters & ordinary folk on the street don’t want to get attacked as “bigots” & a host of other nasty labels.

        But one wonders if there’s now a groundswell of anger building among the silent majority that will one day (soon, I hope) explode into anger at the sports administrators & the msm piss poor reporting on the issue.

        Whoever I spoke to (males & females) about Lauren Hubbard competing in the Olympics women’s weightlifting thought that she shouldn’t have been. That there should be a separate competition category for trans people. As she failed to get into the medals spot, the issue has died away.

        • Jimmy 6.4.3.1

          Yes I agree. If Laurel had won a medal, there would have been a continued debate and numerous articles about the women who had missed out (and rightly so).

  6. GreenBus 7

    We could do with a lot more articles like this. Large companies with lots of money contracting their expenses onto individuals. Pure Neo Liberalism at it's worst.

    The root of all evil in Aotearoa.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/127299445/independent-operators-shouldnt-have-to-shoulder-the-biggest-risks

    • Gezza 7.1

      A truck driver, hunched over his wheel, speeds through the night from Hamilton to Gisborne, nodding off but unable to pause for rest because he’s running late. His situation highlights the appalling damage done in this country by a seemingly innocuous force: the transfer of risk.

      We saw this on Thursday in a damning Waka Kotahi report that found Mainfreight truck drivers felt forced into falsifying logbooks and skipping legally mandated rest stops to make deliveries on time. Once, such drivers would have been directly employed – and their trucks owned – by freight firms. Now they are “owner drivers”, labelled self-employed contractors and forced to maintain their own trucks, despite not being paid enough to do so.

      This is quite a worry for other drivers on the road.

      As First Union’s Anita Rosentreter argues, this is an industry-wide issue. Of course conventional employees can also be placed under excessive pressure. But labelling drivers contractors, so that they have fewer rights and find it harder to organise collectively, makes such pressure even easier to apply.

      Lacking the holiday pay, sick leave and pensions of conventional employees, these drivers are far more exposed to economic – and safety – risks. It is illogical, too, that they must own and maintain their trucks when firms are clearly best-placed to do so, given their expertise, deep pockets and economies of scale.

      The conventional counter-argument is that the flexibility contractors enjoy more than outweighs these disadvantages. For highly paid management consultants, perhaps. But not for those at the other end of the chain.

      And despite this increased precarity, the Government does less to cushion its effects than it once would have. The unemployment benefit, essentially an insurance policy against economic shocks, used to replace over 40 per cent of the average wage; now it’s more like 30 per cent.

      Good article. Worth a read, imo.

      • RedLogix 7.1.1

        And speaks directly to the situation my own family is in – as mentioned above.

        Yet according to some good lefties here – it's all their own fault.

  7. Sanctuary 8

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/dec/16/omicron-could-lead-to-record-daily-covid-hospitalisations-chris-whitty-mps-told

    88,376 new cases in one day in the UK.

    Surely we in dire need for a major ex-politician to write another opinion piece and get it syndicated across the entire MSM abusing us all for living in a Hermit Kingdom?

    • observer 8.1

      Sir John has been very quiet recently. Perhaps that's because his famous opinion piece is easy to Google, and he doesn't want us to remember what he actually said. Such as …

      The South Australian trial already requires those in home MIQ to leave their phone on 24 hours a day and to agree to using face recognition and GPS technology so they can be monitored.

      We could throw in the kicker that if you break quarantine, you get a $20,000 fine, and time in the clanger.

      24/7 monitoring, face recognition, huge fines and jail. Dictator Jacinda!

      • Gezza 8.1.1

        Sir John has been very quiet recently.

        He’s done & said what needed to be done & said. Collins, the absolute disaster, has been dumped. His mouthpiece has now been appointed National’s new leader.

        Sir John can now just stay in the background, directing Luxon the glove puppet to do & say exactly what Sir John & the top end of town want him to. Imo.

        • Anne 8.1.1.1

          Got it in one Gezza.

          JK never left NZ politics but the tabloid media, in sycophantic mode, stayed silent and never raised the spectre of "political interference" which we now know was occurring behind the scene.

          What a contrast to Helen Clark who left NZ to take up a critical position within the UN. That did not stop a significant group of journos from constantly inferring she was manipulating NZ politics behind the scene, despite her physical absence and the massive load she was carrying in her quest to raise living standards in third world counties.

    • aj 8.2

      And Ian Taylor (I refuse to use his 'title') could grace us with his intellect and humanity to lecture the government and health officials about how he would run things. Along with Coutts.

  8. arkie 9

    Those still defending Pūtiki bay and it's wildlife from the marina developer need support:

    Protect Pūtiki needs your help.

    We are standing up to protect our moana. Whakahaumarutia tō tātou moana – protecting our oceans. Mana whenua, tangata whenua and many Waiheke Locals do not consent to the privatisation and taking of an entire bay which is a taonga to us. We say No to the proposed ‘Kennedy Point Marina’ and what we see as the extension of colonisation onto our moana.

    https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/protect-putiki-support-fund

    As do the owners of the yacht used to ferry said protestors to the island:

    On the 15th of December Ben and Ari's sailboat the Rosalie Clare (a Lidgard 70ft ketch), succumbed to cyclone Ruby on the rocky shores of Waiheke Island, Aotearoa New Zealand. Ben and Ari have made a big impact on many lives on Waiheke and across the South Pacific with their generosity in sharing the Rosalie Clare with many community organisations, families, tangata moana and young people. This was their home, their story, their sanctuary and a vessel for highlighting and creating meaningful change for the health of our oceans and people of many island nations. The Rosalie Clare is not salvageable, the skeg and rudder are ripped off, the forefoot badly damaged and the integrity of the aft section is impaired. She was also not insured.

    https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/ben-and-ari-sea-stewardship-support-fund

    If you're in a position to help out please do, this is important work that doesn't get the same attention as other protests.

  9. Stephen D 10

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/wellington/127263730/trash-water-roads-wellington-council-looking-at-bringing-it-all-back-inhouse

    If this actually happens it’s a big deal. Think how much ratepayers money has been transferred into private hands by councils contracting out services such as waste collection, and grounds maintenance. Let’s hope other councils are thinking along the same lines.

    • Gezza 10.1

      Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons, who requested the council staff report, said outsourcing water, roading, rubbish and transport to private companies was not working.

      “These are public services and should be run by the council, not by for-profit operators,” she said.

      “Wellington will be investing billions in transport and water infrastructure in the next 10 years, we should create stable jobs and apprenticeships along the way,” Fitzsimons said.

      (Wellington Mayor Andy Foster says it is time to look again at the privatisation that saw many council services outsourced.)

      I think that’s great news. It will no doubt kick off those who supported privatisation in the first place to complain. I remember their stories of council roadworkers leaning on their shovels & taking forever to get roadworks completed. 😠

      So, now, we have Fulton Hogan roadworkers leaning on their shovels & taking forever to get roadworks completed. Plus the council has to pay FH enuf to pay executive salaries & dividends to shareholders. 😀

      Dunno if anybody has ever sat down & worked out whether private contractors have delivered more effective & cost-efficient services than when the council provided services itself. Hopefully that sort of info will be available & debated in February. 🤔

      • RedLogix 10.1.1

        The efficiency advantage arises because the contractor can spread their capital equipment across their entire client base – whereas if say the water authority had to own them for just their own purposes, most of the time they'd be seriously underutilised. Same with staff expertise.

        But the contracts have to be managed by competent public sector staff who understand the work and can ensure the contract is written and undertaken correctly. All too often this is where the wheels fall off.

        • Gezza 10.1.1.1

          But the contracts have to be managed by competent public sector staff who understand the work and can ensure the contract is written and undertaken correctly. All too often this is where the wheels fall off.

          Yes, this is where it falls over when govt depts outsource some of their functions too.

          Once they lose their in-house people with expertise contractors soon realise they can charge new managers like wounded bulls (i.e. grossly overcharge) & non-expert Group Managers will just authorise payments without question because they know nothing about e.g. IT, & have no idea they’re being overcharged.

          I think the same thing happens with Councils.

          But the downside to bringing it all back in-house is the tendency for internal middle management to get sloppy as time goes by. It needs tight management from above to make sure that the operational staff & systems are well-run & efficient & that ratepayers are getting VFM.

          Personally I think the scale of WCCs operations is large enuf to ensure plant & equipment aren’t left sitting idle.

          I will say, tho, that I have reported 3 issues via the WCC website Contact Us section that needed work crews to get onto road/water main & outdoor bench seat repairs in the last 3 months. Those requests were all acknowledged within a couple of hours & I was told the job numbers & that crews had been assigned to the work.

          The work was done by contractors, who also emailed to say they were onto it. All jobs were done within days. The leaking water main/collapsing road – they were there making temporary repairs that same afternoon, & work on a permanent solution & road surface repair started the following morning. Pretty impressive.

          So, when the Council discusses this, they need to decide whether they can match or exceed that level of performance in-house.

          • RedLogix 10.1.1.1.1

            I think your public sector experience was more extensive than mine which was limited to 8yrs with the public water supply authority for Wgtn.

            Overall I think we hit the right mix – good competent staff with capable, stable contractors who we trusted. In that setting it worked really well, so the problem is not intrinsically the contracting model itself.

            The problem arises when generic managers start to think it's their easy and lazy way to solve all their problems.

  10. arkie 11

    Once again, we must provide the pressure to spur the parliament to do anything meaningful about this

    • Sabine 11.1

      i posted a link yesterday on the good news the government made lots of money thread yesterday from October. In it the government re-evaluated its property stock and made mega bucks. This is the same government that would not want prices to drop to sharply but rather have a sustained growth in housing pricing.

      Maybe really the government is really not interested to much in regulating a run away housing market. Also, keep in mind that most critters in Parliament has at least one house/apartment so they are not too bothered themselves.

      • arkie 11.1.1

        I think the critical thing here is that Labour has blocked scrutiny of the figures 21 times in 6 months. They already are demonstrating not just disinterest, but active resistance to doing anything about house prices. Why do people still believe they will without being forced to?

        • Sabine 11.1.1.1

          It is in their interest. Dear Chloe has yet to learn that the Green Party only gets what Labour wants to give. And housing is something that Labour is very much like National, unless it hurts them badly, they are not really interested.

          As i said, Grant Boy used the 'virtual' equity of the Goverments property portfolio to inflate its numbers by a few tens of billions.

          • arkie 11.1.1.1.1

            “Dear Chlöe” is as aware of that as anyone. The simple and effective solution to the problem is to vote for the Greens and increase their numbers in parliament so Labour doesn’t have the option of ignoring them. Politics in an MMP environment.

            Or we could become overly cynical and nihilistic about influencing parliament. That also suits Labour, their inaction will remain unpunished.

    • Jimmy 11.2

      I have made more money (unrealised) on my house since 2017 than I have earned working full time. But I don't feel any richer.

  11. Stephen D 12

    I don’t know how many of us follow this blog.

    https://www.greaterauckland.org.nz/2021/12/15/bring-on-the-density/

    Auckland centric, I know but often talks about urban areas generally. Sometimes uplifting like this post. Sometimes depressing, discussing the lack of impetus in AT for transport modes that are not car related.

    But always worth keeping an eye on.

    • Sabine 12.1

      One of the thing that we could do again, is remove business zoning from properties that used to be houses for living, and upstair flats on shops that are now all 'for lease' as office space. This would most likely also revitalise some dead city centres.

    • Ad 12.2

      They are generally good nerds there, but they certainly helped white ant the Waitemata Cycleway to death.

      Let's see if they have the courage and sense to suck it up when the Auckland light rail option comes out. At $11-$13billion is going to be utterly huge, and I would not be surprised if they announced it on Christmas eve in the biggest dump of all time.

  12. Pat 13

    After reading one of Chris Trotters side bar feeds…

    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2021/12/progress-or-restoration-which-way-for.html

    ….I wandered off into google to find out what he was talking about and found this short piece of interest…

    https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/europpblog/2019/09/16/the-brahmin-left-vs-the-merchant-right-a-comment-on-thomas-pikettys-new-book/

    "The only clearly effective association between these populations and progressive political forces (of the left) is, interestingly, ethnic minority status. Among the new working class, it is ethnic minorities who by virtue of seeking to secure their elementary rights from the potential menace of the majority population dominantly support culturally progressive forces."

    • Ad 13.1

      Doesn't answer Labour+Arderns effectiveness.

      The NZ high-educated left needs its own data series to match political allegiance.

      • Pat 13.1.1

        Dosnt it?….Id suggest it fits quite nicely, a western world trend that may have national nuance that could be investigated.
        Having said that, I wouldnt waste too much energy on it as there are considerably more pressing problems but its worth keeping at back of mind.

  13. Tricledrown 14

    Pat You "left " out the well educated who are becoming more progressive.

    And chose to focus on one sector of support.

    Typical of why the merchant class want a divided population the poor picking on the poor and leaving the greedy money hoarders to rule.

  14. Ad 15

    How will the Sex and the City reboot repent now Chris Noth is on sexual assault charges?

    • Ad 15.1

      Probably just go shopping.

    • Sabine 15.2

      Why would a 'reboot' repent? Non of the Ladies are accused of sexual assault. Simply state that this came to the surprise of everyone, innocent until proven guilty, and remove him from the show. Let him go on travels.

      But repent? That would be for the offender if he were to be proven guilty.

      • Ad 15.2.1

        They built the show on his romance.

        • Sabine 15.2.1.1

          The only one accused of sexual misconduct so far is the 'love interest' of the heroine. And she will find another 'love interest', one who hopefully will not be accused of sexual misconduct.

    • Dennis Frank 16.1

      Commenting as a non-Marxist…

      biological sex is not an ideological construct. Socialist feminists fight to unshackle our sex from the ideological prison of sexism and misogyny which constrains women and facilitates our oppression and super-exploitation. Understanding this is central to winning unity in the struggle for socialism. To assert that “men and women are concepts and hence the products of the human mind” is redolent of linguistic sophistry.

      I also see sex as a fact of nature. I doubt that gender is – seems like that could be a social construct. But I haven't researched the difference between the two. I doubt sophistry is the problem though – seems like the relation of identity of the individual to the identity of any group they feel they belong to is the driver of the politics.

      And most folk involved in identity politics aren't motivated by socialism. Then the author states "human beings do not live “outside” class, ie outside society."

      Why conflate class with society?? Nobody else does. Classes are subdivisions of society. Muddled thinking! Then there's an overview she gets right:

      people are composed of multiple identities which include race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, class, sexual orientation, age, disability etc. Such identities, its proponents claim, intersect to create a whole which is different and far more complex than each of its component parts — so far so good.

      Then the crux of her complaint appears

      The declassed confusion of the current version of intersectionality theory has morphed into a variant of identity politics, which today has taken on a new guise in the form of its reductionist conclusion: self-identity — a major barrier to class consciousness.

      The history of the labour movement in this country and elsewhere has shown that the level of class consciousness at any given moment is a crucial factor in determining the extent to which the oppression of women and black people is challenged.

      Yes, I agree this analysis is correct. Politics is a numbers game, in which the chances of victory are proportional to weight of numbers. Class provides a broad social context in which consensus can snowball into leverage. Identity politics produces splitting into sub-groups instead. Too bad! Class has become unfashionable.

  15. Anker 17
    • Thanks Mika, great article.

    ”To assert that “men and women are concepts and hence the products of the human mind” is redolent of linguistic sophistry

  16. weka 18

    Arrg, I just manage to reply to a comment from my phone using the desktop version, first time in ages, and now I can't again.

    Does anyone use the desktop version on their phone and manage to reply to comments?

    • RedLogix 18.1

      I use an ancient Oppo with ColorOS Android and constantly run into this. (When not using my even more ancient laptop PC that is.)

      I usually find that if I go to the comment I was to reply to on with the mobile version, then tick the box for the desktop site – the page that now loads will usually allow a reply.

      But it's hit and miss.

      • weka 18.1.1

        there's a tick box? I have to scroll to the bottom of the page to choose desktop.

        • weka 18.1.1.1

          Oh, I see what you mean! 😎

          Not sure how much of an improvement it is, because I’m try to avoid having to switch versions all the time, and all the scrolling.

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