Open mike 17/05/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 am, May 17th, 2014 - 153 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

153 comments on “Open mike 17/05/2014”

  1. “..Will Marijuana Become the Next Sports Medicine?

    Some big-name athletes are calling for medical marijuana to replace dangerous and addictive prescription painkillers..”

    http://www.alternet.org/drugs/will-marijuana-become-next-sports-medicine

    • bad12 1.1

      Not in your lifetime Phillip…

      • captain hook 1.1.1

        thats right. you can grow your own marijuana but the manufacturers of opiate painkillers and other stuffed dreamed up in a laboratory are totally against anyone doing anything for themselves.
        and they are are all tories too.
        i.e. money grubbing bastards.

        • bad12 1.1.1.1

          Can’t disagree with you there, the question running through my mind as the ‘legal highs’ to ‘illegal highs’ saga played out the other week read something like ”this whole thing smacks of the usual suspects, all in each other pockets, getting a financial payoff for the initial ‘legal highs’ Legislation,

          Not an iota of proof to support such a question of course, just that nagging feeling of why would a bunch of reactionary red necks support such Legislation if not for the whiff of a financial payoff well hidden some place in the smoke and mirrors,

          The political will for looking at the Marijuana question is now of course set back by at least 20 years by the debacle surrounding legal highs and while i support outright Legalization i am pragmatic enough to not have this one issue sway where my votes will be going in September,

          Most smokers who also vote are probably of the same opinion and simply continue to use via the normal channels be that the tinny ‘house’ or ‘grow yer own’ we all do so knowing and having weighed up the risk,

          Have just sold off my 3 sets of 600’s and all the ancillary kit as i am not now a smoker of that particular substance i am as Slippery the PM would say ”quite relaxed ackshully” over the whole question of Legalization…

        • Murray Olsen 1.1.1.2

          You can also grow your own morphine. Good opium is 10% morphine, most of which is turned into codeine, which is much less effective as a painkiller but does have the financial advantage of being available over the counter. A lot of the other stuff, such as oxycodone, only seems to have a market on the basis that it’s not morphine.

          On the other hand, I have never personally noticed any analgesic effects from marijuana.

    • The Al1en 1.2

      ” “..Will Marijuana Become the Next Sports Medicine? ”

      Who’s to say? But for what it’s worth, back in the day when I indulged, and playing football or cricket game on my xbox, I knew I couldn’t have got through the rsi pins and needles in my thumbs without it.

      • Blue 1.2.1

        Xbox isn’t sport. It’s sitting down.

        • The Al1en 1.2.1.1

          And if zombie despatching were recognised by the Olympic committee, NZ would have a guaranteed gold medal in the bag, and all without the need for millions in sparc funding. Someone would have to stump up the $470.25 citizenship application fee, but apart from that, I’m ready to be left4dead for the pride of the nation.

          Earned my kill a witch with a single head shot award on expert the hard way. 😆

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.2

          It’s eye-hand coordination and using your brain. It’s actually quite exhausting just not in the same way that running around a field is. Get into the MMORPGs where you’re coordinating with 24 other people (And I’m not sure if I miss the old 40 man raids or not) and it can be very demanding.

      • lprent 1.2.2

        I’m not going to comment on your definition of “sport”…

        • The Al1en 1.2.2.1

          At the risk of having a Gosman type ruling in my honour, I’m a bit relieved. No one fears the big bold text of doom than I 🙂

          Not as in to it as these types http://www.majorleaguegaming.com/ but games do have a very competitive element. These days I’m old and slow, so shoot-em-ups are set to easy assists on. Unlike Mr .com, I’m not into call of duty, but I will admit to being a Halo die hard, Gordon Freeman and Glados’ nemesis. Portal 2 being my 12 year old daughters favourite, though the hunger games effect kicked in, and more recently an rpg fantasy thing with a female lead is top dog. Not on much, but hand eye co ordination is sharp as.

          If she played Fifa and a Cricket sim it’d be great, but a lot of the time she’s mostly adjusting her avatar’s outfit and accessories.

  2. Skinny 2

    If you want a cross section of views of the budget here is Edwards round up;
    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/editors-picks/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503539&objectid=11256288

    Now here is the bullshit contradiction that the media need to take Bill English to task over;
    http://i.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9664436/English-backs-boost-in-wages.                                                         

    In short remember back to January where Bill English & National spin merchants hatch the ‘rockstar economy’ phrase. Then English fronts the media with his own backslapping praise of how we have weathered the storm, and now it’s time for employers boost the workers pay packets.

     And now less than 4 months later he is in the media saying little, if any wage rises for public or state sector workers. Yesterday one of this group were protesting outside SkyCity after rejecting a insulting 0.5 pay rise offer. You would think Government workers could rightfully expect parity with MP’s who got 2.2 % late last year.

    I think all Unions representing Government worker need to fire up with a Nationwide campaign to expose to the public just why rolling strikes are about to occur. 

    How many of you here would hit the bricks in a mass protest against the elitist rogues screwing the masses down with their ruling class structure?  

    • Skinny 2.1

      This is the link to the news item I refer to above;
      http://www.3news.co.nz/Ministry-workers-call-for-wage-increase/tabid/1607/articleID/344558/Default.aspx

      National play a dodgy game of infuriating mainly unionised workers from these sectors. When the only bargaining tool workers have is their sweat and toil National are preempting industrial action so they can turn around and try justifying their harsh employment law changes. The problem for National is most non unionised workers directly benefit from wage rises achieved by union negotiated collective agreements. So expect Kiwi workers to jump aboard fighting the good fight in an effort to get a little slice of the pie. What these rich pricks in power want is a third term to drive the working class into the ground with slavery to NACT’s masters.

  3. “..Robert Reich: 10 Ways to Fix Inequality..

    A return to the Gilded Age is not inevitable.

    The former Labor Secretary’s prescription..”

    http://www.alternet.org/economy/robert-reich-10-ways-fix-inequality

    • ianmac 3.1

      It is funny phillip how nearly all of the fixes have been at least mentioned by politicians or commentators here in NZ. The responses from English/Key have been to rubbish that such problems exist let alone need fixing if they did.
      The collapse of democracy and of the economy and of society is imminent. Wonder why our top 1% retreat to gated communities?

      • phillip ure 3.1.1

        aye..!

        ..the wholesale denials/ignorings by this govt..and their refusal to even acknowledge the issues we face..

        ..ensures their places in the annals of infamy..

        ..history will not regard kindly this wholesale doing nothing..

        ..when they knew full well the problems..

        ..these inactions/doing everything wrong…

        ..will see this key administration – as one of the most reviled by future generations..

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1

          history will not regard kindly this wholesale doing nothing

          They’re not doing nothing. They’re rewarding the already rich for being rich and they’re doing it with our wealth. They won’t see what’s wrong because that would mean that they’d have to take our wealth back of the rich and that’s something that they won’t do.

  4. karol 4

    Give it back, Peter (and the government & NZ screen industries). Bring NZ/Aotearoa back home. Time to stop selling Kiwi culture and workers to Hollywood corporates.

    • Disraeli Gladstone 4.1

      As it’s actually said by Geoff Murphy, it’s not really Peter Jackson’s fault. Nor should he be obliged to create New Zealand-centric films. He’s a creative person. Forcing him to tackle areas he doesn’t want to do won’t work.

      I also don’t think it’s even much of Warner Brothers’ fault. They make films that they know will make money. A New Zealand-centric film won’t do that worldwide (as demonstrated by the fact that until coming to New Zealand, I hadn’t heard of any of those films listed in the articles).

      In Britain, we have Pinewood Studios (Warner Bros) creating big Hollywood flicks and we have the local film industry creating British-centric films, often a lot better for a lot smaller budget. Some of those films do well worldwide, some only in the UK. There’s a pretty supportive environment for both to flourish (somewhat poisoned with the Tories gutting of the UK Film Council).

      The real issue here once people get over the eye-catching headline of blaming it all on Jackson or Warner Bros, is that the government (the last two) have not tried to nurture a local film industry to exist alongside Hollywood. There should be a more attractive environment for local filmmakers to make local films while still also still having the big Hollywood films as well.

      It’s not time to stop Hollywood. It’s time to nurture New Zealand film.

      • karol 4.1.1

        Of course, there’s some room for both big international productions in NZ plus a strongly supported local produ tion industry. But Jackson has led the push for too much focus and givernment and tax payer support being given to the big Hollywood coporates, while not enough has been given to the local industries.

        You are mis-representing what I said by saying I want to stop Hollywood – without the extra bit I included. I said, it’s

        Time to stop selling Kiwi culture and workers to Hollywood corporates.

        There’s a difference.

        It’s not a great idea to compare the NZ screen industries with that of the UK. The UK has a much larger industry, that has been thriving for much longer, has more resources, and is on a bigger scale.

        Major productions like LOtR draws a major part of the resources and workers form the NZ industries, while also flying in a lot of overseas workers.

        The legislation that was put through at the request of Warners, and Jackson, skewed the industry in Hollywood’s favour and undermined the rights and conditions for NZ wokers in the industry.

        There has generally been too much cheerleading for Jackson, and not enough for the local screen industries. The NZ industries, because of their smallness of scale, need a lot of support and nurturing.

        • Disraeli Gladstone 4.1.1.1

          But, the second statement doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. No one is actually selling Kiwi culture. That’s the problem. We’re making films in New Zealand but we’re not making films about New Zealand. That’s the issue.

          And selling Kiwi workers? Well, firstly, those workers have to work. So it’s all well and good to say that we should work more on local films, but until there’s a regime in place, those workers rely on the big Hollywood companies for their wages. If we were to tell Hollywood to bugger off before having spent some years nurturing the local industry, a lot of people will be in trouble and training would probably decrease since people would worry about not even having the chance of working on one of the big blockbusters for a wage.

          Secondly, we hear a fair bit about how the big Hollywood films don’t actually benefit a lot of New Zealand film workers because they fly in overseas workers. So, there’s clearly a section of the film industry that is ready for nurturing. As as the local film industry improves, more will people train in the area with the knowledge that they’re not plunging into debt with more chance of a job.

          Essentially, having a hit at Hollywood seems like a good idea and is popular because we all hate money-grabbing, corporate America. But it’s not the issue. And indeed, a retreat from Hollywood would probably hurt the New Zealand industry. Jackson and Hollywood are the boogeyman but they’re not the main problem.

          What is the issue is the disregard we have for New Zealand stories and culture being put on screen by the government. They see the New Zealand film industry as being Hollywood exports. It can be more than that: it can be Hollywood exports and local projects. It comes down to issues like public broadcasting, public funding, taxes, training and so on. That’s the issue that needs to be fixed first.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1

            Viggo Mortensen: ‘the last two LOTR films were a mess’…risked going ‘straight to video’

            “They were in a lot of trouble, and Peter had spent a lot,” Mortensen told The Daily Telegraph. “Officially, he could say that he was finished in December 2000 – he’d shot all three films in the trilogy – but really the second and third ones were a mess.

            “It was very sloppy – it just wasn’t done at all. It needed massive reshoots, which we did, year after year. But he would have never been given the extra money to do those if the first one hadn’t been a huge success. The second and third ones would have been straight to video.”

            Mortensen went on to suggest that after “grittier” first film The Fellowship of the Ring, the trilogy became too reliant on CGI-heavy sequences and characters to the detriment of subtlety.

            http://www.digitalspy.co.uk/movies/news/a571238/viggo-mortensen-lord-of-the-rings-production-was-a-mess.html#~oEtf9KTQOsT9Wa

            • Disraeli Gladstone 4.1.1.1.1.1

              I have always been of the opinion that the best Lord of the Rings film was Fellowship, then Two Towers and then the Return of the King, which makes the Academy Awards somewhat a joke.

              Fellowship stayed closest to the book. Two Towers started to wobble but really highlighted the nature of Rohan that I suspect Tolkien would have enjoyed (and I definitely did, Theoden was masterfully portrayed). Return of the King became Jackson’s interpretation of Tolkien (which the Hobbit films have followed) and suffered for it.

              I don’t see the relevance to the discussion, though.

              • bad12

                i have always been of the opinion that the best Lord of the Rings film were the 3 of them that i didn’t watch having far better things to spend my meager income on than the absurd fantasies portrayed by the shoeless wanker who produces such rubbish…

                • Disraeli Gladstone

                  Fantasy is a very relevant genre when the writer is good (as Tolkien was). Indeed, fantasy can be a political genre. You only have to look as far as the magnificent and sadly departed Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his writings. Tolkien had a very strong strain of environmentalism in his works. Even Harry Potter is politically relevant.

                  The same is true of science-fiction. For instance, William Gibson’s works, or for a more contemporary point, Person of Interest is a great show watched through the lens of a world with the NSA, PRISM, GCSB, etc.

                  Only a fool disregards speculative fiction as “absurd fantasies”. Or indeed, judges a film that he apparently hasn’t watched…

                  • karol

                    I didn’t take bad’s comment to mean he dismisses all fantasy – just Jackson’s absurd versions of them.

                    • Disraeli Gladstone

                      Perhaps. The way the sentence reads, though, absurd fantasies “portrayed” by, rather than the absurd fantasies “of” Peter Jackson suggests a certain amount of distaste for the source material, as well. But it might have just been lost in translation.

                      I’d also say that you couldn’t really call Jackson’s versions “absurd” if you haven’t even watched them! I’d certainly call the Hobbit films absurd, though.

                    • karol

                      I was never able to get past the first few pages of the Tolkein LOtR or Hobbit books. The Jackson LOtR trilogy were a bit of a yawn for me – boyz-own stuff, with visual effects dominating.

                      That’s about all I remember of them. Haven’t watched the Hobbitt.

                    • tolkien was a pedestrian/muddy writer..

                      ..if you want ‘the good stuff’ of that style of writing..

                      ..go and read the gormenghast-trilogy..(by mervyn peake..)

                      ..and see how tolkien pales in comparison..

                      ..i tried reading l.o.r..

                      ..and ended up throwing it against the wall..

                      ..and would not recommend anyone waste time wading thru tolkien..

                    • Disraeli Gladstone

                      Both Peake and Tolkien are very acquired tastes. Both of them can get quite “muddy” to read. I think Tolkien’s work stand better not for the writing but for the mythology built. Indeed, I don’t think Peake and Tolkien are very comparable. They aim to do different things.

                      But I can see the frustration with Tolkien. Tolkien is far more of a linguistic, almost poetic process of reading, rather than the fantasy novel it is disguised as.

                    • i was steered to peake after expressing dismay about tolkien..

                      ..and shortly after throwing tolkien against the wall..

                      ..(but this was a while ago..tho’ i did have that close comparison..)

                      ..and i remember reading peake like a thirsty man drinking water..

                      ..dunno how i wd feel now tho’..

                      ..tolkien is a bit like chris trotter in full-flight..

                      ..never use one word..when you can use ten..

                      ..so so much puffery and padding…

                      ..so much pulling out and waving around of his ‘erudite’..

                    • Disraeli Gladstone

                      It’s the Old English flowing through. Anglo-Saxon poetry relied on kennings that quite literally is use more than one word to describe a one word thing. Blood becomes “wound-tears” or so on.

                  • bad12

                    Pfft Gallstone, the only relevant fantasy i see round here is at the Lotto counter in the supermarket, and being a realist to the core i do not indulge in that fantasy either…

            • karol 4.1.1.1.1.2

              That’ was an interesting revelation, because I have suspected for a while that was the case with how Jackson works – I had heard something previously from someone who once worked with Jackson, that led me to deduce that was the case – I had no real proof though. But it seemed to me that it was/maybe a source of dissatisfaction for at least one person who had worked with Jackson – ie that he doesn’t make the effort to get it right, or as near to right as possible, with the first efforts/takes. Big waster of time and energy.

              • Disraeli Gladstone

                I think at one point, the actors were getting daily rewrites pushed underneath their doors. That wouldn’t be the way I’d make a film!

          • karol 4.1.1.1.2

            Pter Jackson is promoted as an NZ icon in the selling of his Hollywood movies. Part of the deals with Warners was to use the promotion of the movies to promote NZ tourism – usually done as promoting NZ as Middle Earth.

            I agree with you to a point, that the whole “Middle Earth” promo is not actually NZ culture – Jackson is promoted according to some framing of the traditional Kiwi bloke – but largely false framing of NZ culture.

            These movies have been made for a while in NZ. They have provided a lot of upskilling and work. The opportunity has already been there for over a decade (2 decades, if you include the international TV series largely made in Auckland), for the nurturing of an independent NZ screen industry. But it wasn’t done. Once the movies/series stop being made, the industry starts to go into decline.

            International TV series made in NZ (largely Auckland) have actually been a more significant source of secure work and upskilling than the Jackson movies – mainly the Tapert productions, from Hercules to Spartacus, plus Power Rangers, etc.

            The biggest winners in NZ from Jackson productions has been the digital wing – Weta digital and visual effects (CGI) for screen productions and games. There long term value for movies and TV production and the other creative people working on them has been far weaker.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2

        A New Zealand-centric film won’t do that worldwide (as demonstrated by the fact that until coming to New Zealand, I hadn’t heard of any of those films listed in the articles).

        What a load of bollocks.

        You hadn’t heard of them and so they hadn’t made money? pft. They actually did make money – here in NZ. And I’m pretty sure that Goodbye Pork Pie would have gone down well in the UK as well.

        There should be a more attractive environment for local filmmakers to make local films while still also still having the big Hollywood films as well.

        The big question is: Why are we nurturing Hollywood here? We don’t need to. They come in and pay the same taxes as everybody else. We get the small benefit of them having filmed here. If they don’t want to pay the same taxes, well, that’s their problem as wed still have our own film industry that would be marketed to the world.

        • Disraeli Gladstone 4.1.2.1

          “What a load of bollocks.

          You hadn’t heard of them and so they hadn’t made money? pft. They actually did make money – here in NZ.”

          That’s my point. They do make money in New Zealand. If they didn’t, we would struggle to have a local industry at all. The fact that they make money in New Zealand makes it easier to have this local industry.

          The comment you quoted and tried to misconstrue was that they didn’t make a great bag of money elsewhere in the world. Which they didn’t, really. That’s why multinational Hollywood companies aren’t making a bucket load of New Zealand stories into films. They want stories that can make money everywhere. Which is a shame because those stories need to be told, which is why we need to get the local industry kicking.

          “And I’m pretty sure that Goodbye Pork Pie would have gone down well in the UK as well.”

          It might. I don’t recall it at all. It definitely didn’t make a dent upon the cultural zeitgeist.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.1.1

            The comment you quoted and tried to misconstrue was that they didn’t make a great bag of money elsewhere in the world.

            But that comes down to another question: Were they marketed to the rest of the world or was it more of the ‘cultural cringe’ that NZ seems to have in fatal amounts?

            It might. I don’t recall it at all. It definitely didn’t make a dent upon the cultural zeitgeist.

            NZ has been referred to as More English than England so, no, it wouldn’t have made any major dents upon the “cultural zeitgeist” and my father, an English immigrant, thoroughly enjoyed it.

            And The Quiet Earth is getting good reviews from viewers in the USA now. Would it be a box office hit? Probably not but I figure it would do quite well.

            • Disraeli Gladstone 4.1.2.1.1.1

              A fair few former colonies and current dependencies are described as “more English than England”. New Zealand, Gibraltar, Falklands, it’s basically just a tag to try and connect to the motherland.

              But I do actually agree, that those films of that times were quite good. I just don’t think they had international pull.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The ratings on imdb.com would indicate that they do have international pull.

                • Disraeli Gladstone

                  Quality isn’t necessary an indication of international pull, unfortunately. There are so many great, local films across the globe that do not make it past their borders.

                  Meanwhile, the sample size of those imdb votes actually highlights how poorly known those NZ films are.

                  Goodbye Pork Pie has just under 700 votes. Utu has around 550.

                  In comparison, a 1998 straight-to-television film of Merlin (with Sam Neil) has over 15,000 votes.

                  Fellowship of the Ring has over 800,000 votes.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    Meanwhile, the sample size of those imdb votes actually highlights how poorly known those NZ films are.

                    Which is the problem. This means we need to get the word out about them and new NZ films. Sure, those films don’t have a lot of votes on IMDB but they do have votes and they’re generally positive. Remember, those films are thirty years old – it’s unlikely that most people are even looking for them and have probably just chanced across them. One commenter on Goodbye Pork Pie said he Googled his name and that search came back with the film and so he watched and enjoyed it.

                    BTW, The Quiet Earth has some 17000 votes.

                    • Disraeli Gladstone

                      That’s quite impressive. Sci-fi films do lend themselves to becoming cult hits, though.

                      Still it does show the underlying possibility of some sleeper hits. True.

                    • karol

                      I was interested in the No Palce to Hide Snowden documents, there was a piece that said:

                      What’s the threat?

                      *Let’s be blunt – The Western world (especially the US) gained influence and made a lot of money via the drafting of earlier standards.
                      + The US was the major player in shaping today’s Internet. This resulted in pervasive exporting of American culture and technology. It also resulted in a lot of money being made by US entities.

                      There are now a lot of Kiwis who think US film and TV is where it’s at, and they don’t pay much attention to other countries. Similar in other countries re-many people’s awareness of NZ screen productions.

              • Murray Olsen

                Las Malvinas is more Welsh than Wales, what with all the sheep. Aotearoa is still quite English, not having suffered as much from Americanophile politicians as Australia until quite recently. I think that means in general that we can make better films than Australia, but Jackson no longer makes Kiwi films.

                As for Tolkien – I managed to read the first 100 pages of one of the books and nothing had happened. I gave up.

          • karol 4.1.2.1.2

            Actually, very few movies have made money solely out of the sales in NZ compared with the production costs. Just too small a market. That is a problem NZ has compared with countries like the UK.

            • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.1.2.1

              Everybody always complains about the size of our market rather than looking for ways around it. WB didn’t shoot LOTR with the idea of only selling it in NZ or even only in the US. They planned, from the word go, to sell it worldwide. The NZ film industry needs to be doing the same thing.

              • karol

                Yes, trying to sell world wide is a necessity. But the Hollywood studios have long tried to dominate the international market. They appropriate anything that looks like competition – hence the Hollywood remakes of successful movies and TV programmes from other countries. It is also part of making Hollywood movies in other countries – inserting US culture and Hollywood values into local movie making in diverse coutnries.

                Looking beyond the US, and doing co-production deals with other countries is also a useful strategy.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  But the Hollywood studios have long tried to dominate the international market.

                  Quite aware of that as well but there must be ways to stop that dominance.

                  They appropriate anything that looks like competition – hence the Hollywood remakes of successful movies and TV programmes from other countries.

                  That’s why we have copyright laws.

                  It is also part of making Hollywood movies in other countries – inserting US culture and Hollywood values into local movie making in diverse coutnries.

                  Which would be another reason not to pay subsidies to foreign film makers.

                • Disraeli Gladstone

                  There’s a very interesting situation going on with grouping within European film companies. For instance, Working Title (UK) and StudioCanal (France) now do a lot of films together.

                  It’s definitely an approach to consider. I imagine New Zealand film companies working with Australia, British and Asian companions could have a decent go at things.

  5. Jenny 5

    Former US Military Leaders Warn about Climate Change

    All during the Vietnam war Senior and even esteemed “Former” or “Retired” US military leaders including retired generals regularly used to warn the public and their former colleagues of the futility and injustice of the war in Vietnam.

    That none had the guts to do so while they were still serving, even prosecuting that war somewhat discredited their message.

    Which saw them widely derided by the peace movement for their moral cowardice and ignored by everyone else.

    Though of course in the end they were proved right.

    So maybe it is time for us to take notice of this latest incarnation of missives from old non-serving military leaders warning us about the lack of action on climate change, especially as they have something to say about our public discourse on climate change.

    Swifter Combat Against Climate Change Required Per Former U.S Military Leaders

    the 16-man military team—including retired four-star Adm. Frank Lee “Skip” Bowman, former director of the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program; retired Gen. Charles “Chuck” Wald, former deputy commander of the United States European Command; and retired Gen. Gordon Sullivan, the 32nd chief of staff of the Army—concludes that its early fears about climate change were well-founded.

    The threats are worsening and the political discourse is discouraging….

    “We are dismayed that discussions of climate change have become so polarizing and have receded from the arena of informed public discourse and debate.”

    “The politics of absence” 2011

    “The politics of absence” 2014

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      That none had the guts to do so while they were still serving, even prosecuting that war somewhat discredited their message.

      Which saw them widely derided by the peace movement for their moral cowardice and ignored by everyone else.

      Military officers aren’t really concerned about what the peaceniks think of them. However the “derision” you spoke of led many thousands of injured and shell shocked Vietnam veterans – most of whom of course were just non-commissioned kids – being left to rot by their own society when they returned to the USA.

      In a more general sense, your expectation that military people should publicly speak up and out against any current war being prosecuted by the government they are sworn to serve is both unreasonable and unrealistic, unless you think that the precedent of senior military officeers actively campaigning against the instructions of a civilian elected government is a good thing.

      You saw what happened when Shinseki defied Rumsfeld and Cheney. It’s a career ending move because the establishment will not tolerate dissent or defiance.

    • Murray Olsen 5.2

      The US military is firmly convinced that climate change is real and are making all sorts of contingency plans. While the TeaBaggers in Washington talk rubbish, military planners have to deal with what is actually happening. Given their role, I suppose those still on duty don’t feel they can come out and make much noise about it.

      http://climateandsecurity.org/2012/04/27/u-s-department-of-defense-leading-climate-change-fight/

  6. felix 6

    Something stuck out of the budget speeches for me. It was John Key blurting out that Labour could do with stealing a few “decent ideas from the ACT party”.

    It stuck out because politicians don’t usually elevate other parties like this. Not even support parties, except in very special contexts, and this wasn’t one of those contexts. This was an off-the-cuff remark in a budget speech that would normally be strictly party-political, and officially Key is member of the National party.

    Off-the-cuff quips like that can be very revealing. It took me a while to remember when I’d seen Key expose himself like that before, and then it clicked. It was his “Fox News” bit. Remember?

    I’m paraphrasing but it’s pretty close, especially the last bit. He yelled at someone, in the house I think, that ‘Maybe they’d learn more if they watched Fox News instead of that lefty rubbish’.

    That was a really strange thing to say, especially for someone living in New Zealand. That one short sentence said more about his world view than all the carefully crafted CT lines could ever do. It told us that in John Key’s world of information there is Fox News and there is lefty rubbish. And presumably NZ news is all lefty rubbish, after all Key did tell the Americans he thought kiwis had a “socialist streak” that would prevent him doing some thing or other.

    Put it all together and he sounds like your average kiwiblog commenter: Fox News is the good info source, ACT has the decent ideas, kiwis are too socialist and the Slater boy is my mate.

    Yeah I know, he isn’t enacting a whole lot of hard-right policy all at once. But I don’t think it’s because he doesn’t want to. I think he just knows it wouldn’t be acceptable so he’s doing what he can get away with.

    Either that or he just becomes A LOT more right-wing when he’s drinking.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Even from young, Key likes to hang out and fit in with the “successful” crowd. So I don’t think that ACT and Fox News are necessarily his own core values, but they are certainly the core values of the “successful” crowd he has ingratiated himself with and essentially become part of.

      NB the most revealing thing IMO about the Fox News bit is that the power elite group he identifies himself are American-centric.

      • greywarbler 6.1.1

        CV you maker Key sound like John Mortimer’s upwardly mobile political character Leslie Titmuss. I think there are three books about his rise from the son of a workman to Tory pollie using all his wits to leverage himself up on the Establishment to higher places.

    • Disraeli Gladstone 6.2

      “Yeah I know, he isn’t enacting a whole lot of hard-right policy all at once. But I don’t think it’s because he doesn’t want to. I think he just knows it wouldn’t be acceptable so he’s doing what he can get away with.”

      Again, I say that Key doesn’t “want” to enact any policy at all. He just wants to be Prime Minister. It’s why he’s pragmatic. The only thing he cares about is winning elections and being popular so that when he retires he can ride off into the sunset as New Zealand’s greatest prime minister and go and throw his weight around the halls of America, Australia and Britain.

      • felix 6.2.1

        I think that’s his primary motivation, yes, but humans are far more complex than that.

        Why do you think he joined the National party at all?

        • Disraeli Gladstone 6.2.1.1

          Because the Prime Minister was only going to come from two parties and he couldn’t possibly run for Labour after working as a money trader.

          • felix 6.2.1.1.1

            Why not? If his ambition to reach the top job was really as one-dimensional as you insist then he would have simply stood for the party with the most upward trajectory.

            And if he really was as you suggest, an empty vessel devoid of ideology, he would have simply adopted and projected the values of that party as his own.

            But he didn’t, he stood for a party that was heading for a miserable failure because that was the party that most closely represented his value system AND had a chance of eventually delivering him to the top job.

      • Anne 6.2.2

        …Key doesn’t “want” to enact any policy at all. He just wants to be Prime Minister. It’s why he’s pragmatic. The only thing he cares about is winning elections and being popular so that when he retires he can ride off into the sunset as New Zealand’s greatest prime minister and go and throw his weight around the halls of America, Australia and Britain.

        In a nut shell, although I query the NZ’s greatest prime minister bit. That is a highly unlikely except for the demented, devoted disciples who traverse this site on a near daily basis. I don’t need to name names.

  7. amirite 7

    In an interview with Duncan garner yesterday, John Key hasn’t ruled out raising GST to neutralise the tax cuts he wants to hand out.
    Which was to be expected. Unfortunately the rich will not care at all, and the middle class stupids will just hear “tax cuts’ and nothing else, conveniently forgetting what happened last time – the rise in petrol taxes, the price of food and all living costs.
    So much for repaying the ballooning debt.

    • felix 7.1

      This needs to be sung from the rooftops, Labour.

      • amirite 7.1.1

        Surprisingly critical analysis of National’s economic polici from John Roughan in the Herald today, right on the spot:

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11256372

        • bad12 7.1.1.1

          Yes, surprising from Roughman, a good piece of journalism pointing out there is only one reason that Slippery the Prime Minister would promise further tax cuts while the Government accounts are staggering around under a 60 billion dollar+ nett Government debt,

          That reason,???, Panic! Nationals private polling numbers taken on a weekly basis are on the slide, have been for some time, and, show no sign of the trend reversing…

        • RedLogix 7.1.1.2

          And a surprisingly uncritical analysis from that traitorous trout Fran O’Sullivan.

          She’s given up on aspiring to even making jonolist – and now just alternates between PR blow jobs for ACT and the Nats.

          • Anne 7.1.1.2.1

            Now, now RL. If Fran O’Sullivan is being a little traitorous to the right wing cause then we must resist temptation to call her a trout – at least for the time being. 😛

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.2

        This needs to be sung from the rooftops, Labour.

        Unfortunately no, National have already thought of that.

        “Not only did Labour introduce GST, Labour have always refused to roll back the GST increases to 12.5% and to 15.0%. Why? Because Labour know it is the fiscally responsible thing to do. David Cunliffe and David Parker have never before agreed to reduce the rate of GST. The only reason they are talking it up now is because they are playing irresponsible politics in an election year.”

        And that’s only one of many lines that Labour would face.

        • Lanthanide 7.1.2.1

          No, not really. National go into the campaign promising Tax Cuts, Cunliffe can reference this discussion about raising GST and Key can’t really respond, because these are future changes that would happen after the election. So there’s no GST rise to ‘reverse’ for Labour, just a rise that would never need to happen.

          • Colonial Viper 7.1.2.1.1

            Of course I get what you mean, but the clear implication of hypocrisy is there – by claiming that Labour has never rolled back a GST increase before, because they know it is the right thing for the country to put it up.

    • Lanthanide 7.2

      Interesting. I was picking that Key’s tax-cut bribe was going to be raising the threshold at which 30% tax cuts in from $48,000 to $50,000.

      This would result in an extra $250/year to those earning over $50k, squarely this “middle NZ” bracket he’s targeting. That’s a nice little bump in the back pocket – just over $20/month or $4.80 a week, but not something that would break the bank. This tax cut was actually passed into law by National shortly after they won the 2008 election, and was then reversed in their 2010 budget when they replaced it with the “fiscally neutral” tax cuts that also raised GST. So this means they already have some economic modelling to tell them how much it would cost.

      Or having just done the numbers there, raising it from $48k to $52k makes it $500 a year, which may be more politically palatable.

      But if they’re talking about raising GST again, then the tax cuts could once again be much larger than anyone sane would venture.

    • yeshe 7.3

      have a link for that please ?

  8. Chooky 8

    From Martyn Bradbury

    “If progressives in NZ want extra funding to combat inequality, the money has to come from somewhere. A Financial Transaction Tax forces those with the most to pay vast sums of revenue that can be ploughed into the social and economic infrastructure……

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/05/16/hone-heke-financial-transaction-tax-now/

    • ianmac 8.1

      That was one of the 10 “.Robert Reich: 10 Ways to Fix Inequality” posted by phillip at No 3. But I imagine big business would tell Mr Key noway. It would cut into profits.

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      If progressives in NZ want extra funding to combat inequality, the money has to come from somewhere.

      The Government can issue the money first and tax it back later as required.

      And to really fight inequality you have to do it at the source using a “pre-distribution” approach – by making far more democratic how profits from enterprises and assets are distributed in a community and how wages are set.

      • RedLogix 8.2.1

        Yes that was a point many people missed inThe Spirit Level – that different countries approached this issues in various ways and that using the tax mechanism was only one way to do it.

        The Japanese for instance traditionally approached it simply by not paying their executive class obscene salaries.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.2.1.1

          The Japanese for instance traditionally approached it simply by not paying their executive class obscene salaries.

          And still don’t and still get better management than US companies (Ha-Joon Chang, 23 things about capitalism).

  9. dv 9

    Can some one explain to me how the 300m “loan” to LTSA is a loan?

    The LTSA is expected to pay this back from future govt revenue.

    Thus the govt will give money to the LTSA for the LTSA to give it back.

    (Any GST in the payments?)

    • Kevin Welsh 9.1

      I think it then shows as an asset on the books. That way Bill gets his ghost surplus.

    • Lanthanide 9.2

      Effectively it’s deferred the funding into the future.

      Basically saying: you get to spend an extra $300m this year, but in a future year you will have $300m less.

      This isn’t actually a bad idea if the money will be used now to create additional benefits than could otherwise be realised with that same money. But of course the better approach would just be to can some of the Roads of Notional Significance that have C:B ratios of less than 1.

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.1

        Basically saying: you get to spend an extra $300m this year, but in a future year you will have $300m less.

        Which is what the US does – keep a rolling issue of Treasuries going to create new funds (out of thin air) as well as enabling the paying back of old borrowings (again using funds created out of thin air).

  10. on ‘the nation’..lisa owen quizzes english..

    ..and does a big fret for the ‘struggling’ middle-class..(‘only one o/s holiday this year darling..we must tighten our belts..!..why is this govt so cruel to us…?’..)

    ..and not one question/mention of those who are really ‘struggling’..

    ..our current affairs shows ‘care’ about the poorest/sickest..(adults and children..)..

    ..about as much as do most of our politicians..

    • update:..i may have to eat my words..the nation is promising to focus on inequality next wk..with an interview with spirit-level author..

      .i’m looking forward to it…

      • greywarbler 10.1.1

        I looked up the library copy of The Spirit Level and its not available till October. So it is getting a lot of interest apparently.

  11. bad12 11

    From Stuff.co.nz, a very interesting poll on the budget and a definite indicator as to why Slippery the Prime Minister starting yelling ”tax cuts tax cuts” even befor his Minister of Finance had finished delivering that budget to the Parliament,

    The numbers so far, only 619 had voted, so you wouldn’t hang your political career on the result, in the 3 ”like it” categories offered in this poll from ”gush” to ”ok” the Government scored a total of 47.5%,

    There are 2 categories for the opposition to vote in from ”yawn” to ”change the Government”, the result a combined 52.5% give this budget the thumbs down,

    Easy to see why the Slippery little Shyster we have as Prime Minister has gone over the top of His Finance Ministers head with early hints that He will offer the electorate another”tax switch”, a raising of GST while cutting taxes for the higher earners in our economy…

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      And they are a Tory bunch of voters on Stuff, which is why the result is even more surprising. Here’s hoping that the strategy of the Red Team isn’t to try and capture some of that soft right wing vote by becoming a shade of blue themselves, but by in fact offering a different narrative altogether.

      • newsense 11.1.1

        Also the possibility that a percentage of voters didn’t like it as it was too far to the left of what the Actoid faction of the Nats would like…

    • karol 11.2

      I can’t find that poll, but the poll with qualified choices between yes or no for Cunliffe’s criticism of the budget, has the yes vote ahead (ie for Cunliffe’s point)

      • bad12 11.2.1

        Sorry Karol, my linking is abysmal so i wont even try, it did appear and disappear on the Stuff.co site as i flicked between different stories and jumped from Stuff.co to the Dom-Post and the Christchurch Press,

        It could have been in either of those papers sites or apparent when i clicked on a political story on Stuff.co…

  12. karol 12

    Next week on The Nation, Sat TV3; on inequality looking at whether the left is correct (big inequality gap) or the right (no rise in inequality). They will also interview the Spirit Level authors. Great this is getting on the agenda of the MSM.

    My views are that the rising inequality gap in NZ is seen when comparing the income and wealth of the top 10% with that of the bottom 10%. Income inequality feeds into the longer term wealth inequalities, via asset ownership, property, etc.

    The US has a huge inequality gap and rising – more between the top 1% and the bottom 10-20%. The US wealthy elite, is also sucking money and resources out of countries like NZ – so the part of the top earners and hoarders of the inequality gap in NZ’s economy, is offshore, skewing the whole of NZ’s wealth and income sources downwards. I don’t know how easy it is to factor into data on NZ’s income and wealth inequalities.

  13. Clemgeopin 13

    I saw the interview with Cunliffe this morning on The Nation.

    It was one of the best Cunliffe interviews I have seen.

    The topics covered were the budget, immigration, housing issue and GCSB.

    • bad12 13.1

      We agree on something Clemgeopin, David Cunliffe’s budget speech i rated as good, the following speech by Slippery the Prime Minister i listened to with the thought running through my mind ”hope your stupid enough to start raving like that in the Television debates”,

      This mornings ‘the Nation’ interview definitely nailed by Cunliffe, relaxed, balanced, and, gently told Paddy Gower to shut it when the usual diversions were attempted by the Alfred E. Nuemann of television journalism,

      i rated that interview a 10 outta 10 for Cunliffe, top marks…

      • karol 13.1.1

        The interviews were very good as you say. I wasn’t so impressed by a lot of the Panels’ comments. They tendeed to support the line being run in the MSM that English’s budget was a vote winner and great for middle income Kiwis.

        Vance made some good comments on the drones issue and how it may impact negatively on Key.

        • karol 13.1.1.1

          NZ Herald now has an article on The Nation’s coverage of the drone issue.

          Scahill, author of Dirty Wars, was speaking on TV3’s The Nation programme about Kiwi Daryl Jones who was killed in a US predator drone strike last November alongside Australian Christopher Harvard and four other suspected al-Qaeda members.

          Scahill, who is in Auckland to speak at the Writers Festival, said he had studied the case.

          “There are real questions to which the New Zealand Government, the Australian government .. have provided the Americans with specific intel that could have led to the tracking and killing of their own citizens,” he said.

          “I’m not alleging that New Zealand did that. I’m saying that if you look at the top secret documents that the New Zealand Government has been provided by the United States it would be very difficult to believe that the New Zealand Government, if it had information about one of its citizens that the United States was tracking, that it wouldn’t share that information with the US government.”

          And john key must have known about the extent of the US drone assassinations, and the role of the GCSB in gathering intel for it:

          “The fact is that New Zealand, through signals intercepts, is directly involved with what is effectively an American assassination programme,” he said.

      • anker 13.1.2

        @bad12

        100+ for DC on the Nation this am. He looks like the PM already.

        Bill English, looking unconfident.

        Anyone noticed how tired and worn Key is looking lately? Something keeping he awake at night? Judith C and what she knows?

        • Clemgeopin 13.1.2.1

          [ Something keeping him awake at night?]

          [1] Stealing Labour’s ideas has shamefully demeaned National, Key and English.
          [2] Moving away from the right wing’s natural ideology for political expediency.
          [3] Numerous lies and misinformation, the present ones and the past ones.
          [4] GCSB’s possible involvement in illegal and unethical activities.
          [5] Things catching up : Judith Collins, Oravida, Corruption in high places, Dubious fund raising tactics, Cabinet Clubs, Cash for access, Polices favouring the elite and the powerful, Caucus displeasure, Internal leaks,
          [6] Shades of MSM revolt.
          [7] Labour party policies.
          [8] Cunliffe, Parker, Robertson, Norman, Winston.
          [9] Lass people getting fooled hook, line and sinker now.
          [10] KDC.

          Lots more insomnia inducing stuff. Add them on to the list.

          • Clemgeopin 13.1.2.1.1

            Oops,

            [9] Less people getting fooled hook, line and sinker now.

            • ianmac 13.1.2.1.1.1

              Probably, “Fewer people getting fooled…” (Pedantic?)

              • Lanthanide

                Yes, fewer.

                Less is for quantities that can be divided into small parts, such as liquids, kg weights of products and money. Fewer is for entire units that can’t be divided up further, such as people, cars, televisions, etc (eg fewer cars driving on a road).

          • blue leopard 13.1.2.1.2

            +100 Very very cool Clemgeopin 😎

      • Clemgeopin 13.1.3

        His budget speech I would rate at 8/10 [Made excellent points, but screamed a little too much at times]
        Key’s at 4/10 [Screamed rubbish most of the times]

        Today’s English interview 5/10 [Defended his policies as best as he could]
        Today’s Cunliffe interview 9/10 [Very competent performance]

        Cunliffe answered well with calmness, poise, clearly, intelligently and Prime ministerial like.

        He should do more of his interviews, statements and speeches like that. Less attacks on Key or National (not ignoring completely), but placing the emphasis more on the wisdom/fairness of the well thought out Labour’s policies and vision. His demeanor has to be confident, empathetic and humane without smugness or cockiness.

        • phillip ure 13.1.3.1

          “..Cunliffe answered well with calmness, poise, clear intelligently..”

          his media training seems to be working..

          ..he is less shouty/soap-boxy…

          ..seems more in the moment..less scripted..

          ..it’s all good..

    • Anne 13.2

      And did you note how respectful Gower was of Cunliffe this morning? He actually let him finish answering most questions. A sea change? Or maybe he was finally hauled over the coals for his previous disrespectful behaviour towards Cunliffe.

      Edit: although to be fair he wasn’t the only one.

      • Clemgeopin 13.2.1

        True. Although one can never take our ‘journalists’ for granted. The onus will always be on Cunliffe and other Labour leaders/spokesman to o their very best in an unflapping, implacable calm and intelligent manner. The audience are good and fair judges.

  14. Jrobin 14

    Yes agree Clemgeopin, he Is also benefitting from the fact that the media appear to have fallen out of love with Slippery, thanks Katie Bradford. Some great moments on the Nation when Lisa Owens really had Bill English squirming. Gst an obvious weakness for labour to hone in on not to mention spying and murder by drone. Great journalism they are doing their job at last!

    • Skinny 14.1

      Labour would be better to leave the mooting of a rise in GST by a third term National Government to the Greens & NZF.

      This is exactly why swing voters i’ve talked to are suspect about voting for National. Wage and salary earners get lumped with GST and the flow on costs, while those in the top quarter are able to skirt the full costs of GST through their business.

      I was sitting next to a lady on a plane yesterday, talking to her she was telling me that her State sector job is in the process of being restructured. So this is the consultation stage before being farmed out to one of Nationals expensive, ticket clipping mates, which shows what lies ahead.

      With ACT recently calling for further asset sales, this is to be the reality of a third term NACT Government. Key will just shrug his shoulders and say this is the reality of MMP ‘concessions that need to be made.’

      After being exposed of cronie capitalism with their murky political donations set up, there is now growing ‘trust issue’ that should be getting pumped out by all opposition party’s closing in on the election.

  15. bad12 15

    In local Wellington news that may well translate into far wider implications in September the NZTA has recieved what they say is an immense 1400 submissions concerning the proposed ‘link road’ from Tawa to Petone which on current plans will destroy what was once a peaceful Takapu Valley,

    Mr concerned, dare i use the ‘T’ word there, ‘the Hairdo’ Peter Dunne using the politics of the Two Faced has already met with residents in the area in an effort to ‘sensibly’ allay their fears over the proposed road,

    The 1400 submitters should have taken note of Dunne’s ”gush” after the reading of the budget that funding for ”major” roading projects in Wellington is still on track and vote accordingly,

    Accordingly would include NOT voting for Mr Two Faced to retain the Ohariu electorate in September because its obvious that despite all his ”concern” over the future of the Takapu Valley, Dunne once re-elected will literally bulldoze those concerns aside along with your property rights…

  16. blue leopard 16

    I think Michael Timmin’s article on The Daily Blog provides an excellent analysis of the budget and where to from here for the opposition parties.

    Some excerpts:

    The actions of this government speak to an arrogance and commensurate sense of entitlement. This is shared with our own economic elite and replicated across the western world through the tentacles of neo-liberalism – a failed economic experiment that holds on desperately through the continued corruption of political life and the imposed consent of the masses while entrenching inequality….

    …..What we have also seen is a relentless obsession with power, consistent with the neo-liberal doctrine. That doctrine is flexible, for it allows for a shift in ideology, so long as it is for the shortest time possible and results in a maintenance of power. This is particularly so in an election year. Power above principle, it would seem….

    ….We are left, then, with some unanswered questions. When we look at the content of the Budget, how does the Budget address the fundamental challenges we face?

    The whole article:
    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/05/17/crony-capitalism-and-voting-against-self-interest/

  17. bad12 17

    Just caught via RadioNZ National news befor i did a spot of weeding in the garden, a spokesperson for the Sallies?? i think saying there is trouble in the budget where a grandiose announcement that there would be 30 million of new spending for new NGO ‘social housing’ for the next 2 years,

    This was touted ”as on top of” the previous 130 or so million previously announced in last years budget which the spokesperson for the NGO’s pointed out has already been spent,

    Slippery the Prime Minister claimed the other day in His post budget speech that those clashing with police and security staff outside the venue ”probably didn’t even know what was in the budget”,

    Really??? ”stop the war on the poor” was the chant of those protesting the other day, ripping 20% of the poorest State tenants outta their homes and flicking those homes off to those with far more means while providing lip service and lies as the replacements is in my opinion just what the protesters at the PM’s speech were highlighting, a war on the poor…

  18. joe90 18

    Out of the pan and into the fire – corrupt nepotists replaced by authoritarian fasc**ts.

    .

    It’s easy to describe Modi to people who have never heard him speak, or read about his past. He is a depressingly familiar type. He is secretive; he is vindictive; he has creepily authoritarian tendencies (a woman in Gujarat was placed under surveillance by Modi for months in a controversy that somehow didn’t seem to register with voters); he ricochets between aggression and self-pity in a manner familiar to anyone who has heard nationalists of any stripe; and he is simply incapable of sounding broad-minded. During the 2002 Gujarat riots, hundreds of people (mostly Muslims) were killed in communal violence on Modi’s watch. (This is why he has been denied a United States visa for many years.) The extent of Modi’s role in spurring on the horrors has been extensively debated; suffice it to say that he once said his only regret about the mass murders was that he didn’t handle the media well enough.

    […]

    On a policy level, Modi’s has presided over strong economic growth in Gujarat, although his state has not done as well on various social development indicators. Still, the combination of corruption and inefficiency in the national government and within the Congress Party seems to have led many Indian voters to embrace the so-called “Gujarat Model.” (Texas, with its economic growth and lagging welfare indicators, is a very rough but not entirely inapt comparison.)

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117783/narendra-modis-election-and-future-india

    http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/16/what-next-india-pankaj-mishra

    https://www.jacobinmag.com/2014/05/springtime-for-modi/

    • greywarbler 18.1

      I’m pleased to say there was a good analysis of the Indian elections this morning on RadioNZ.in Kim Hill’s morning.
      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday

      Sekhar Bandyopadhyay: India elections ( 17′ 12″ )
      09:45 Director of the New Zealand India Research Institute, discussing the result of India’s five-week election process.

      Professor Sekhar Bandyopadhyay is the Director of the New Zealand India Research Institute and teaches Asian History at Victoria University of Wellington and is interested in the history of nationalism and caste in colonial and postcolonial India. He will discuss the result of the biggest democratic election in the world, in India.

    • Bill 18.2

      During the 2002 Gujarat riots, hundreds of people (mostly Muslims) were killed in communal violence on Modi’s watch

      That is far too kind! He’s been (and is) suspected of being very close to the arson attack on the train as well as stoking up the ensuing violence. Under this guy, India could prove to be a very dangerous and fucked place. I wonder if Mr P Goff is still sleeping easy in light of his responsibility for allowing India access to nuclear technology…sigh….he probably is.

    • Clemgeopin 18.3

      In the ‘guardian ‘ article, I found the following interesting and disturbing:

      His record as chief minister is predominantly distinguished by the transfer – through privatisation or outright gifts – of national resources to the country’s biggest corporations. His closest allies – India’s biggest businessmen – have accordingly enlisted their mainstream media outlets into the cult of Modi as decisive administrator; dissenting journalists have been removed or silenced.
      Mukesh Ambani’s 27-storey house in Mumbai. Mukesh Ambani’s 27-storey house in Mumbai. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

      Not long after India’s first full-scale pogrom in 2002, leading corporate bosses, ranging from the suave Ratan Tata to Mukesh Ambani, the owner of a 27-storey residence, began to pave Modi’s ascent to respectability and power. The stars of Bollywood fell (literally) at the feet of Modi. In recent months, liberal-minded columnists and journalists have joined their logrolling rightwing compatriots in certifying Modi as a “moderate” developmentalist. The Columbia University economist Jagdish Bhagwati, who insists that he intellectually fathered India’s economic reforms in 1991, and Gurcharan Das, author of India Unbound, have volunteered passionate exonerations of the man they consider India’s saviour.

      Bhagwati, once a fervent supporter of outgoing prime minister Manmohan Singh, has even publicly applied for an advisory position with Modi’s government. It may be because the nearly double-digit economic growth of recent years that Ivy League economists like him – India’s own version of Chile’s Chicago Boys and Russia’s Harvard Boys – instigated and championed turns out to have been based primarily on extraction of natural resources, cheap labour and foreign capital inflows rather than high productivity and innovation, or indeed the brick-and-mortar ventures that fuelled China’s rise as a manufacturing powerhouse. “The bulk of India’s aggregate growth,” the World Bank’s chief economist Kaushik Basu warns, “is occurring through a disproportionate rise in the incomes at the upper end of the income ladder.” Thus, it has left largely undisturbed the country’s shameful ratios – 43% of all Indian children below the age of five are undernourished, and 48% stunted; nearly half of Indian women of childbearing age are anaemic, and more than half of all Indians still defecate in the open.

  19. greywarbler 19

    Hi Bill. Good to see you. That Indian situation is about going for a supremacist religious party when the other one/s did not seem to be too good. The idea of having two few choices of big parties, can be as dangerous as numerous little ones all scrabbling for a useful well-funded powerful place in politics.
    The Hindus voted for the BJP Bharatiya Janata Party.
    Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bharatiya_Janata_Party

    The French vote in the right wing Le Pen party.
    These parties are impatient with social distress and economic barriers and slowdowns. There are going to be more of those.

  20. fisiani 20

    Out door knocking today and met someone who said he had “half a mind to vote Green” . I thought about saying “”apparently that’s all you need to vote Green” but said Do you want John Key as Prime Minister? He replied “Of course” It was then just a matter of less than a minute to get a commitment to Party Vote National.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      Ah, so dim schmuck meets other dim schmuck and they agree that they should vote in psychopaths.

      • Chooky 20.1.1

        lol…oh dear…lol

        ….i think fisiani is telling fibs
        …or he lives in a dumb arse place like Epsom ?
        ..or maybe he just went door knocking at the local dementia or intellectually handicapped
        or preschool day care facility? ….sounds like the sort of tricky thing fisiani would do!

        …or shock horror!….John Key voters really are that DUMB!

    • Chooky 20.2

      QED!!!….Proof…John Key voters have half a brain!…fisiani has proved it!

    • Clemgeopin 20.3

      Shows how stupid and gullible these right wing voters are who will vote because of the cunning charm of Key without worrying about the nasty Nat’s nasty right wing nasty policies!

      A party of nuts and nincompoops!

  21. KMB 21

    Just highlights the DNA of a National voter as being a bunch of noncritical thinking,unsophisticated,dumbed down, simpletons!

  22. Jenny 22

    Chances are rising that climate change will kill you, or someone you know within the next 40 years.

    Coming to a town near you

    Hands up anyone here who has been in a city when a hurricane passed over it. Even in areas where these monstrous weather events can be expected to occurr, it is a truely terrifying and humbling experience. Where despite even the best preparations and early warnings, death and destruction always results.

    Typhoon Haiyan, November 2013

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg19926725.200-strongest-tropical-cyclones-get-more-extreme.html

    Typhoon Haiyan, known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, was one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever recorded, which devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, on November 8, 2013.[1] It is the deadliest Philippine typhoonon record,[2] killing at least 6,268 people in that country alone.[3] Haiyan is also the strongest storm recorded at landfall, and unofficially the strongest typhoon ever recorded in terms of wind speed.[4] As of January 2014, bodies were still being found.[5]

    In cities or territories where there has been little, or no experience of hurricanes, it can be truely devastating. Storm shelters are rare, populations are unprepared, buildings are less resistant, and infrastructure more vulnerable, many deaths are caused by slips as usually stable hills, ridges and slopes succumb to the extremely high winds and rains. Storm surges and flooding, plus building collapse and flying debris, account for most other deaths. Sepsis from untreated wounds due to the devastation of health care delivery infrastructure is another

    Typhoon Bopha, December 2012

    Typhoon Bopha (international designation: 1224, JTWC designation: 26W, PAGASA designation: Pablo) was the strongest tropical cyclone to ever hit the southern Philippine island of Mindanao, making landfall as a Category 5 super typhoon with winds of 175 mph (280 km/h).[1] Bopha originated unusually close to the equator, becoming the second-most southerly Category 5 super typhoon, reaching a minimum latitude of 7.4°N on December 3, 2012. Only Typhoon Louise of 1964 came closer to the equator at this strength, at 7.3°N…..

    …..the JTWC noted [mistakenly], that Bopha was unable to intensify significantly due to its low latitude and correspondingly low Coriolis effect. Late on November 29, convection increased, aided by warm waters and low wind shear.[18] At 0000 UTC on November 30, the JMA upgraded Bopha to a severe tropical storm.[19] A few hours later, the JTWC upgraded the storm to a typhoon.

    Here is the LIST of all tropical cyclones that have existed between 5°N and 5°S of the equator.

    Tropical cyclones are very rare in this region due to a weak Coriolis effect, and only twenty known storms have formed since records began.

    The certainty is that your children or grandchildren will get experience this extreme weather phenomenon first hand without having to leave New Zealand.

  23. captain hook 23

    has john keys resigned yet?

  24. A VOTER 24

    Now that effing Fascist Key wants us to pay for his corporate rubbish by a tax on dumping electronic goods Get knotted you shit
    His corporate bastard mates who import this shit should pay for the dumping because of their planned obsolescence as part of their money go round If I could get away with it I would disable his hardware permanently and put it in a hot hole

    [lprent: Don’t threaten violence even in jest or veiled terms. It is both illegal and offensive to the moderators on this site. I seldom bother threatening before I ban. So consider this to be your only warning. Read the policy. ]

  25. Naki man 25

    A voter you are a very nasty twisted little shit for brains potty mouth

    • JanM 25.1

      He may not have expressed himself elegantly according to your lights but he does speak the truth, doesn’t he – do you have an equally valid opinion or are you just going to hurl personal abuse?

      • Colonial Viper 25.1.1

        Key may be many things but he is certainly NOT a fascist, and neither is the government he leads. Although some in his caucus have certain tendencies in that direction…we are better off as a nation not having these false extremist claims in our political discourse.

  26. Naki man 27

    So you think your electronic rubbish is somehow the PMs corporate rubbish, you are as stupid as A Voter. Threatening violence is not smart, some people need to grow up and stop blaming others for there own failings.

    • Colonial Viper 27.1

      The failings of a neoliberal economy and an individualistic, self centred society.

  27. Draco T Bastard 28

    This is why we need a CGT:

    Occupied by tenants – who Mr Trowbridge described as “artists and musicians” – property records show it was bought in March 2009 for $651,500.

    Mr Trowbridge said the property would be “pushing well over $1 million”. It will go to auction tomorrow.

    That would be in excess of $100k per year for doing nothing and paying no tax on it when they should be paying 33% for each of those ~$100k.

  28. Naki man 29

    CV I was replying to JanM

  29. Draco T Bastard 30

    Google Has Most of My Email Because It Has All of Yours

    I asked him why he would willingly give Google copies of all his email. Peter pointed out that if all of your friends use Gmail, Google has your email anyway. Any time I email somebody who uses Gmail — and anytime they email me — Google has that email.

    The numbers are higher than I imagined and reflect somewhat depressing news. They show how it’s complicated to think about privacy and autonomy for communication between parties. I’m not sure what to do except encourage others to consider, in the wake of the Snowden revelations and everything else, whether you really want Google to have all your email. And half of mine.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    12 hours ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    14 hours ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    14 hours ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    17 hours ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    21 hours ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    1 day ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    2 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    2 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    2 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    4 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    4 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    7 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    7 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago