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Open Mike 18/03/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 18th, 2018 - 254 comments
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254 comments on “Open Mike 18/03/2018 ”

  1. Ad 2

    Transcript of the Prime Minister interviewed by Lisa Owen, and Ardern is doing an average job of dancing on the end of a pin across multiple subjects:


  2. Morrissey 3

    Hardline British propagandist cautions Wallace Chapman:
    “I wouldn’t be too cynical about Mrs May.”

    RNZ National, Sunday 18 March 2013, 7:10 a.m.

    British establishment uses “the royal we,” as in, “We think this.” You hear a lot of that these days. It erroneously suggests that those who are making the decisions to bomb countries, to devastate economies, to take part in acts of international piracy involve all of us. —John Pilger

    When New Zealand suffered a terrorist killing in July 1985, the British establishment was almost uniformly hostile—-to New Zealand, not to the outlaw French regime that carried out the attack. Margaret Thatcher’s regime was obstructive, unsympathetic, and unhelpful.

    In 2010 Israeli agents traveled to Dubai to murder Mahmoud Al-Mabhoub in a hotel room; the British establishment media reaction was one of amusement, with CCR footage of the Israeli killers entering and leaving the murdered man’s room being accompanied by vaudeville music to underline the lightheartedness of the murder of that despicable untermensch.

    Since 2012 the British state has persecuted and effectively imprisoned Julian Assange, the journalist who exposed American murders of Iraqi citizens; at one point the regime contemplated an illegal snatch and grab raid on the embassy granting him asylum in contravention of international law.

    Also dating from 2012, and perhaps most infamously of all, the British state has been a loud, shameless and aggressive backer of the Al Qaeda, Al Nusra and ISIS forces that have torn apart Iraq and Syria.

    Recently, however, the British seem to have decided to pose as human rights champions. This morning, Wallace Chapman acted as host to former U.K. ambassador to Russia Sir Tony Brenton and Russia analyst Stephen Dalziel, who were invited to share their opinions about the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury. This amounted to a twenty-minute opportunity to denounce those dastardly Russians, those strange creatures who are just so different from the rest of us in “Team Civilization” AKA The West.

    Sir Tony Brenton was the dominant voice in this exchange, with Dalziel (the “Russia analyst”) and Wallace Chapman alternately agreeing “one hundred percent” with Sir Tony or giggling nervously to signal assent. Sir Tony, summoning up all the hectoring gravitas that he could, asserted that “the Russians” have different values from our own. The Russians lie repeatedly, they have a history of lying. Unlike our staunchly independent and rigorously honest BBC and Murdoch outlets, the Russian media “are all state controlled.” And to top it all off, the ignorant dupes are going to re-elect that monster in a landslide tomorrow.

    SIR TONY BRENTON: We don’t have a Putin problem, we have a RUSSIA problem.

    WALLACE CHAPMAN: [snickering nervously] He, he.

    A little later, Chapman made a token effort at doing his job and suggested that the British prime minister’s decision to speak out against this particular outlaw government action might stem from less than honorable motives….

    WALLACE CHAPMAN: Is this Theresa May’s Margaret Thatcher? She’s been down in the polls.
    SIR TONY BRENTON: Yeah, I wouldn’t be too cynical about Mrs May. …. Benefits accrue to the virtuous, and in this case she’s right.
    STEPHEN DALZIEL: Yeah I agree completely with Tony. I’m not usually slow to criticize our government, but on THIS occasion…

    The propaganda continued on the 8 o’clock news, with some “reporter” called James Robins in London solemnly noting that “Britain’s values” are “rooted in openness and honesty.”


    More Wallace Chapman simpering….

    Open mike 31/08/2014

    Open mike 25/07/2013

    • Ad 3.1

      For those who remember France carrying out a terrorist attack on us, we should support the UK right now.

      UK are our allies whether they were sympathetic to us in 1985 or not.

      • Morrissey 3.1.1

        They were certainly not our “allies” in 1985. And, yes, we should support them—once they start observing international law themselves. Releasing Julian Assange might be a good start.

        • Ad

          We should support the UK now, not until some fictional diplomatic banksheet hits equilibrium. We should support the UK now because it is the right thing to do.

          The PM is beginning to get her head around this, but too sloy.

          • Bill

            What’s your line going to be if or when this whole Skripal thing peters out Ad? Will you remain defiantly antagonistic on some grounds like “it must have been the Russian government and so it was the Russian government but they slipped the hook…this time”?

            Or will you just quietly fall silent awaiting the next wave of righteous propaganda to carry you off your feet?

            • Ad

              I’ll let you know. 😁

              As a state, its the wrong time to look weak though.

            • francesca

              The thing is Bill, by focussing on Russia first as the guilty party , you’re more or less assured that a thorough investigation will not be done,and the conclusions tested , because it will never come to a proper court of law
              Russia’s constitution does not permit its citizens to be extradited for trials in foreign courts.Its been that way since 1996, the pro west Yeltsin’s time

              That doesn’t stop the UK demanding Russia extradite, knowing full well that is constitutionally not possible

              Explained by Luke Harding
              note this is in 2007 when the British govt was not keen to pursue this case
              Come 2014 and Crimea, it was immediately opened up again and a woolly conclusion reached
              All hedged about with “probablies”

      • One Two 3.1.2

        supporting UK…our allies…

        Such an outdated mode of thinking…lightweight would be an understatement…

        • Ad

          Would be great not to need allies. Marvellous.

          I remember that feeling when the French were still bombing Muroroa, and really no-one came to help us for years. Same when they bombed us in our harbour.

          Georgia keeps applying for NATO membership for similar reasons.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.3

        UK are our allies whether they were sympathetic to us in 1985 or not.

        With friends like these who needs enemies?

        • Ad

          I am tempted to do a whole post on how small states should behave and survive when entire multilateral orders are breaking down.

          With enemies multiplying everywhere – both state and non-state – solidarity is the core principle.

          • Incognito

            The operative word is “should”!?

            • Ad

              Not really.
              When you are weak and small and insignificant and of no political consequence as we are, and specifically excluded by our stronger neighbor Australia in most things, the best you can do is defend common rules-based orders.

              Because the alternative to common rules in the world that we all defend is not worth thinking about.

              • KJT

                Why aren’t we applying “common rules” to US drone strikes on children and wedding parties, then?

                • Ad

                  We should – no argument from me about that.

                  Hopefully there will be a really good discussion about the uses and abuses of international law in Bill’s column on sanctions just gone up.

                  And just to argue against myself for a moment: if you are a small and weak state like this, you can marshall moral outrage if you are lucky with your timing. We have before.

                  But you can also get your head kicked in.

                  The rule of international law in military matters has got about as strong as it has going to get, and it’s now retreating, and all smaller states are more vulnerable because of it.

              • Incognito

                Well, I thought that you used the word “should” in a rather specific way but I guess I will just have to wait for that post 😉

                I’m not so sure that I agree with your view that the best you can do is defend common rules-based orders as they are currently written.

                The alternative to common rules in the world that we all defend is definitely worth thinking about. Are you saying TINA?

          • Draco T Bastard

            But should we keep whinging about how small and vulnerable we are or should we up our defensive capabilities?

            The orders are breaking down because the big nations are ignoring them. They’ve always done this. It’s one rule for the rich and powerful and another for the weak and poor.

            Perhaps we should stop being weak and poor. We have the resources (if we stop selling them offshore) and the skills.

      • reason 3.1.4

        Allies …. when countries are friends.

        Its not Ok AD …. to support friends who kill children.

        Otherwise you’ll end up killing three year old little girls yourself ….

        so maybe in your name Ad ….. but not in mine ….you Blood Muppet.

      • millsy 3.1.5

        This isn’t 1939 anymore. The world isn’t black and white.

        While this attack is to be condemned, we shouldnt jump to conclusions about who did it.

        Anyway, this is Russia we are talking about. NATO cannnot just take out a couple of goat herders with a drone and call it ‘retaliation’.

      • Peter 3.1.6

        servile sycophant

  3. Anne 4

    After a week of hissy fitting and histrionics unparalleled in NZ political history over a sexual harassment case, I present two articles which have appeared in the NZ Herald.



    One is well written, reasoned and captures the true essence of the matter. The other reads like it was produced by a 10 year old… is full of made up bullshit and whacky theories fit for an 18th century science fiction story.

    Which is which. 🙂

    • Ad 4.1

      Ardern is going to need more than one editorial to convince the public now. She looks brittle.

      Sexual harassment in law firms: hundreds march in streets, millionaire partners shamed, all law deans boycott them, industry humiliation.

      Sexual harassment in Labour:
      No one on the street.
      No action by PM or party.
      Write a report.

      • Anne 4.1.1

        Ardern is going to need more than one editorial to convince the public now. She looks brittle.

        No-one of sound mind is quarrelling with that. However, that editorial summed up the situation very well and congratulations to them for doing so.

        I watched an online version of Lisa Owens and she was out to get Jacinda Ardern from the start. I thought Jacinda got the better of her in the end. It’s the first time I’ve seen Lisa Owens come across as vindictive in approach as she did yesterday. Don’t think I will be watching her again.

        • Patricia

          Lisa Owen is a not a great interviewer. She finds it hard to remain neutral or give the interviewee a chance to present their case. If her questions are not answered the way she thinks they should be she continues hectoring ad nauseum. Hasn’t made wise choi
          ces in the past trying to get THE story of the week.

          • JanM

            It’s the way her hands form claws which she rakes the air with that really get me, and I agree she’s not a great interviewer; a good interviewer does not hector and responds to the answers given. She belongs to the Patrick Gower school of interviewer, really. I wonder if it’s something to do with their training, or if they’re just not too bright!

      • Psycho Milt 4.1.2

        You’re doing Slater and Farrar’s work for them in trying to equate sexual harrassment in law firms with a guy molesting people at a Young Labour party. There’s no-one protesting on the streets and no calls for action against Labour because most people know better than to try and equate those two things. I can see why National’s dirty-politics crew would do it, but what’s your excuse?

        • Incognito

          Thank you, this saves me writing a similar comment.

        • Ad

          I am definitely reflecting the mainstream media, and that is where public opinion is going. That is the political problem that needs managing.

          • Incognito

            Since when do you, Ad, follow & feed “mainstream media” and “public opinion” that is largely manufactured by said media without critical thinking and independent analysis? Had a bad night sleep perchance? Or is it something else …

            • RedLogix

              Not really … it’s my sense that Labour’s response to this incident was correctly handled. It was proportionate and sensitive to the right of the victims to privacy.

              But in 2018 that is not a defense. I agree with Ad, Haworth has to step down.

            • Ad

              Since the time that mainstream media affected politics.

              I don’t have to agree with mainstream media opinion, but …

              …look, this little kerfuffle will die down if Ardern remembers the time honored Russian Sleigh Technique:

              When your family are on a sleigh, through a snowbound forest, and the pack of wolves are closing in, and they are really hungry, and you need to buy time, …

              … you push one off.

              • Incognito

                Hi Ad/Advantage, you write a lot here and you write well, sometimes very well. But every now and then I really struggle to understand your writing; this is not the first time and I’m not the first and only one either. Perhaps you like to be misunderstood, I really don’t know …

                I think most of us here agree that the quality of MSM leaves a lot to be desired. At the same time, we have to wonder about what unduly control and influence there is with respect to MSM and the way they (try to) influence politics.

                I don’t agree with the MSM ‘opinion’, which is one of the reasons I ended up and still am here on TS. A pragmatist would try to make the most of it, the best possible outcome under the worst circumstances, if you like. An idealist would try to change it and improve it. A radical activist would try to overturn it and replace it. To me, you come across a pragmatist – this is not an insult, just an observation (or my perception rather).

                Be that as it may, to push off a family member (!) for expediency sounds like something an arch-pragmatist like ‘the smiling assassin’ would have said & done. What next? Push another one off?

                Did you not say @

                With enemies multiplying everywhere – both state and non-state – solidarity is the core principle.

                Pushing family members off is diametrically opposed to solidarity IMO. Which one wins: pragmatism or solidarity?

            • tracey

              Ad has cared for a very long time about msm. he has said many times that he sees politics as a game to be won, and you do whatever it takes to win it. He is absolutely moved by the msm in his thinking. Where Ad and I agree is that the media have turned very quickly, if they ever turned away, and this has been reflected in the amount of coverage Opposition MPs have had post election.

              BUT bear in mind, Mr Bridges went missing this week. Had a bad week the week before and disappeared. Media have said not a word. If Little, or Shearer or Cunliffe had simply dropped out of sight for a weak they would be baying for blood, Weak, Not up tot he job etc etc etc

              Out went the attack dog Collins, to be the distraction for what has probably been a BIG week of repetitive media training for John key V2.0

              That is what they did with Key. Even toward the end he would still rarely speak on something that broke within 18 hours… waited for polling and a bit of training, then spoke.

          • ropata

            That is where national party punditry is going. If NZ really was a patriarchy then public opinion wouldn’t give a shit.

            We don’t know the details of the allegations. The Young Labour camp thing seems like only a few gropes in a one off drunken incident, now exposed to the world.

            But the Law Soc. thing indicates a widespread culture of exploitation that has been covered up for years.

            • tracey

              Can we stop calling sexual assault, groping as though that somehow make sit less than.

              • RedLogix

                I think that’s the point; it IS sexual assault, it’s serious and Labour cannot hide behind the privacy defense. Someone has to take the fall. If it not Haworth, then Adern.

              • ropata

                I have had my teeth knocked out and ribs cracked from an actual assault. That doesn’t equate to someone patting you on the butt

              • veutoviper

                I suggest you go and look at the varying definitions in different pieces of NZ legislation – there is no consistent definition as to what touching such as groping is classed as.

                For example it seems that under section 135 of the Crimes Act it is considered ” Indecent Assault” but “indecent” is not actually defined.

                On the other hand, the Human Rights Act 1993 apparently defines groping and the like as “harassment” not assault.

                • tracey

                  I stick to my comment. The people using groping (that I have seen on fb) are tending to use it in a minimising way. Not, as far as I can tell, are they using it by reference to the legislation.

                  The case law has defined indecent through findings but this link may have relied on such cases to more broadly define indecent.


                  The police define it here


                • rightly or wrongly

                  Indecency is defined in case law.

                  Relevant comments:

                  Conduct that right thinking people would consider an affront to the sexual modesty of the complainant.

                  Has sexual connotations and involves conduct directed at a person which offensive to public moral values.

                  It must be judged in the light of the time, place, and circumstances. It must be more than trifling and must warrant the sanction of the law.

                  Assault is defined:

                  It is a long winded definition but basically is the intentional application of force to the person of another.

                  Amount of force does not matter, (apart from the penalty) covers actions ranging from:

                  – Handshakes
                  – Hugging
                  – Touching
                  – Pushing
                  – Punching
                  – Kicking

                  In reality any unwanted touching of a person’s genital area, female breast area, and (depending on the circumstances) the buttock area is likely to be an indecent assault.

                  • McFlock

                    Pretty much.

                    If you intentionally touch someone where their bathing suit covers (to use the old phrase) and they don’t want it, it’s indecent assault. If you touch anywhere else (without being creepy about it) it’s probably just common assault. Unless the authorities demonstrate a creep factor. Either way, don’t do it.

                    Whether there are charges or diversion or a full prosecution depends on the circumstances and the culture of the time.

          • Psycho Milt

            It’s certainly depressing that, only a few years after Nicky Hager lifted the lid on National’s dirty politics, journalists are once again taking their cues from Kiwiblog. It’s also depressing that opinion in the mainstream media is almost always provided by right-wingers. That doesn’t mean you have to help them by promoting their views here.

            • tracey


              Campaign 2020 is well underway while labour and NZF (ish) run the country

            • Bearded Git

              +100 all this talk of resignation over one poorly organised youth event where a 20 year old got pissed….WTF? Labour has owned up it was a cock up and has put measures in place to see it doesn’t happen again…end of.

            • Incognito

              Well said, thank you!

              BTW, it is depressing but it should be infuriating all of us. Have we become so desensitised to DP & MSM being hand-in-glove that we don’t even raise an eyebrow anymore? In this case, they have won!

        • RedLogix

          You’re doing Slater and Farrar’s work for them in trying to equate sexual harrassment in law firms with a guy molesting people at a Young Labour party.

          That isn’t Slater’s doing; all harassment is serious and demands a serious response. There are no gradations, no minimising into shades of pale anymore.

          • Psycho Milt

            All harassment is serious and deserves a serious response, but I hope no-one on the left imagines that serious response should involve deciding for the victims who needs to be informed, or breaching their privacy. And HdPA’s approach – treating sexual assault as an issue of how to play the best possible political game with it – is the exact opposite of taking sexual assault seriously.

            • RedLogix

              I know that, you know that. And as I said above I think Haworth got it more or less right. But it IS a political game however much you and I would deplore that; and Labour have to deal with the consequences.

              No comparisons are perfect, but there are parallel’s with Al Franken’s fate, or this extraordinary thing that google delivered:


              • Tracey

                Funny how Key assaulted a woman, and again when she indicated clearly it was unwanted. And no one resigned.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  And the RWNJs were defending his actions.

                  Now we have a non-Labour person committing serious offences at a Labour gathering and Labour doing their best about it and yet we have the RWNJs attacking Labour.

                  The double standards are clear.

                  • JohnSelway

                    As are yours

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      No, I don’t have double standards.

                      So that accusation by you is just standard RWNJ Psychological Projection.

                    • JohnSelway

                      Yes you do. Also vacuous claims of my politics (I.e being a right-winger) are also a failed logical gambit of yours.

                      But since you have raised it – please show me a comment of mine in which I have I have shown to be right winger. Or retract and admit you’ve made it up and are talking shit

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      please show me a comment of mine in which I have I have shown to be right winger.

                      Pretty much all of them. They’re almost all shallow, trolling comments.

                    • JohnSelway

                      Ah no – there is nothing to suggest I am a right-winger (mainly because I’m not).

                      But whatever fervent fantasies you have on my politics is entirely up to you but it seems to be as simple as – “Someone disagrees with me/points out my hypocrisy/questions me therefor they are a right-winger”

                      You know you have a double standard – if the exact same thing happened at a Young Nats get together you’d be crawling up the walls with indignation. Because it is Labour you are a more muted in your response

        • Bearded Git


        • Draco T Bastard


          From what I can make out Labour has done everything right.

    • veutoviper 4.2

      Is Open Mike in collaboration with the Herald this morning to get them click baits?

      Sorry, Anne – the very first comment here also led to Heather DPA, as does your second link, which is the one which reads like it is produced by a 10 year old.

      I take it from Ad’s comments that the other is presumably an editorial re Ardern.

      I ,for one, hate being led down the click bait path by people putting up links that do not identify: where the link goes to; and/or what it is about; and/or who it is written by.

      • Incognito 4.2.1

        Agreed. Comments have to be persuasive for me to click on links in general and some links in particular – life is too short to waste on/with garbage.

    • weston 4.3

      11000 words on what ???!!!! she must think shes gonna live foreva !!!!

  4. Bill 5

    I definitely haven’t read everything that mainstream/corporate/liberal (choose the label of your suiting) media are saying about Cambridge Analytica.

    But if this Guardian article is anything to go by, it would seem that micro targeting political advertising during an election campaign doesn’t unduly influence an election, but is merely a case of dodgy data trawling.


    Contrast with the screaming headlines that accompanied some directionless click-bait from Saint Petersburg.

    • Ad 5.1

      Why does every major political campaign now spend so much resource on digital profile targeting if it doesn’t work?

      • Bill 5.1.1

        Who claims it doesn’t work?

        Hell, Facebook were crowing about how wonderfully effective their advertising was until recently. As in, they went so far as to claim they played a major role in the SNP having a landslide in 2015. Over-egging their bullshit? For sure.

        But what they didn’t claim was that click-bait influenced targeted audiences 😉 Pause and think that one through if you need to Ad (because you apparently missed the point of the original comment) .

        The Intercept has an article on their “disappearing pages” and a link to some that were archived.



        • weka

          is what you are saying that the ethical issues of the data sharing aside, what those companies were trying to do with part of that strategy (i.e. using clickbait to influence politics) wasn’t effective?

          • Bill

            Cambridge Analyica didn’t use click bait. It targeted specific advertising at specific demographics. That works.

            Click bait is random, and no, it has nothing like the same effect. Arguably, it has no effect.

            • weka

              Ok, so nothing to do with clickbait other than comparing one set of media coverage with another?

              • Bill

                Basically, aye.

                • weka


                  What I don’t understand about the CA thing is why FB didn’t act on this two years ago (well, I do understand, because this is FB, but still wtf?)

                  • Bill

                    If you click the second link the original comment, you’ll see that Facebook were/are rather proud of their ability to penetrate a political “market” with the aim of affecting change.

        • Ad

          Profiling through clicks and re-clicks, and then reifying that into campaigns, really is click-baiting, unless there’s some newfangled word you hipsters have recently made up to keep confusing us later Gen-Xers.

          • weka

            lol, you calling Bill a hipster and a young’un.

          • Bill


            See how this goes with the launching of idiotic insults Ad? 🙄

            Come back when there’s a modicum of intelligence seeking to escape that cranium of yours, aye?

            In the meantime, maybe ponder generic messaging hitting a random audience and tailored messaging hitting a specific audience. As in, the difference between those two things.

            • Ad

              No insult intended; I had hoped as Weka noted that you would enjoy the irony.

              I’m always happy to learn.

              • Bill

                If the “big fucken button” term “hipster” hadn’t… yeah. We all have our touchy spots.

                Apologies for hurling back.

      • veutoviper 5.1.2

        Good question, Ad.

        I don’t know much about Cambridge Analytica – other than its connections to Robert Mercer, Steve Bannon, and that great NZ citizen, Peter Thiel. That’s enough to set off my antenna.

      • Graeme 5.1.3

        The National Party did some crude targeting last election, I think using IP address. You’d get Bill’s smiling face transposed on a local scenic background with the “Building a brighter future” tag below.

        Caused considerable mirth here when the background was a property that had gone tits up with considerable losses all round.

    • savenz 5.2

      Like everything it depends on who you get to do it.

      Personally think very dangerous to allow micro targeting in elections. It can get people not to vote, such as allegations that black men were sent a clip about Hillary Clinton where she appears to be racist against black men.

      Therefore can be used in a way to cast doubt and not be clear it is from another political party.

    • Carolyn_Nth 5.3

      The story [long read] accompanying this about the Cambridge Analytica whistle blower is extraordinary. I haven’t read or digested all of it yet: ‘I created Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: meet the data war whistleblower

      The whistleblower is a young gay liberal, who started investigating fashion trends digitally, but initially wanted to use his methods to help the Lib Dems in the UK. They refused him, then he ended up working with Steve Bannon. He’s Christopher Wylie, the young guy with the pink hair in the photo.

      This guy has been working with an investigative journo (Carole Cadwalladr) at the Guardian for a long time. She has been trying to verify his claims, and has decided he’s bone fide.

      Wylie teamed up with psychologists, to use online personality quizzes, to match with Facebook likes, etc, and predict which political party they would be most open to supporting.

      The research was original, groundbreaking and had obvious possibilities. “They had a lot of approaches from the security services,” a member of the centre told me. “There was one called You Are What You Like and it was demonstrated to the intelligence services. And it showed these odd patterns; that, for example, people who liked ‘I hate Israel’ on Facebook also tended to like Nike shoes and KitKats.

      “There are agencies that fund research on behalf of the intelligence services. And they were all over this research. That one was nicknamed Operation KitKat.”

      “And then I came across a paper about how personality traits could be a precursor to political behaviour, and it suddenly made sense. Liberalism is correlated with high openness and low conscientiousness, and when you think of Lib Dems they’re absent-minded professors and hippies. They’re the early adopters… they’re highly open to new ideas. And it just clicked all of a sudden.”

      Here was a way for the party to identify potential new voters. The only problem was that the Lib Dems weren’t interested.

      few months later, in autumn 2013, Wylie met Steve Bannon. At the time, he was editor-in-chief of Breitbart, which he had brought to Britain to support his friend Nigel Farage in his mission to take Britain out of the European Union.

      What was he like?

      “Smart,” says Wylie. “Interesting. Really interested in ideas. He’s the only straight man I’ve ever talked to about intersectional feminist theory. He saw its relevance straightaway to the oppressions that conservative, young white men feel.”

      “[Bannon] got it immediately. He believes in the whole Andrew Breitbart doctrine that politics is downstream from culture, so to change politics you need to change culture. And fashion trends are a useful proxy for that. Trump is like a pair of Uggs, or Crocs, basically. So how do you get from people thinking ‘Ugh. Totally ugly’ to the moment when everyone is wearing them? That was the inflection point he was looking for.”

      To change politics, you need to change culture – yep it’s the culture stupid, not the economy and financial set ups that are the key. But, the way this idea is used by culture manipulators and propagandists in the digital age is very concerning.

      This reads like a story of a clever young guy, who got caught up in a rollercoaster ride which led him places he wasn’t expecting, and didn’t understand the full repercussions of what he was doing.

      • joe90 5.3.1

        The wriggling begins.

        Advertising is not coercive; people are smarter than that 5/8— Cambridge Analytica (@CamAnalytica) March 17, 2018

        You may want to rethink this in your banner then. The brain is particularly creepy. pic.twitter.com/umlMeFzxg4— Dale Hooke (@dayle2u) March 17, 2018

        edit: thread

    • ropata 5.4

      There will be huge damage to FB from this. I know one very outgoing young lady has just deleted Facebook and Messenger and is now only on Instagram.

      I’ve just turned off the “Platform” setting that allows third party access to your data. Considering deleting my profile as well.

      • RedLogix 5.4.1

        Deleted my sorry and little loved FB account a month back. Strongly recommended therapy.

        • ropata

          Yes it’s been shown to do psychological harm to its users

        • Draco T Bastard

          I managed to stay off for years but, unfortunately, some things that I do are now centred around Facebook so I ended up needing an account. Would so much happier if these people simply maintained their own web pages.

          • Carolyn_Nth

            Yeah. It’s frustrating that political groups and live streamed events use facebook. Also many of my overseas friends use it and it is useful to connect with those networks on occasions.

            I’ve been looking at social media alternatives to facebook, and am more interested in open source ones, plus ones based in Europe rather than the US.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.5

      Suspending Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group from Facebook

      We are suspending Strategic Communication Laboratories (SCL), including their political data analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, from Facebook. Given the public prominence of this organization, we want to take a moment to explain how we came to this decision and why.

      Well, they managed to get themselves suspended from Facebook for, apparently, being lying schmucks.

      • ropata 5.5.1

        Yeah they still haven’t deleted their unethically obtained dataset. But FB are equal arseholes for making it available in the first place

    • Ad 6.1

      Tell me how investigating poisoning multiple people with a nerve agent relate to the 1%.

      I’m looking for your very best and most elaborate conspiracy.

      • Bill 6.1.1

        How’s about you tells us all how an article about systemic corruption and hypocrisy – that doesn’t so much as mention nerve agents – has got anything to do with investigations into alleged use of nerve agents Ad? 🙄

        Bated breath etc etc…

      • Morrissey 6.1.2

        What are you talking about—“the one percent”? Britain’s contempt for international law has been just as grievous under Labour regimes as under Conservative regimes. You’d know that if you did any reading, of course.

        And when have I ever suggested or endorsed a conspiracy theory? Your smarmy and flippant insinuation is the response I expected from you.

  5. veutoviper 7

    Although this article by Sam Warburton on Pundit is a couple of days old, it is well worth reading if you haven’t and are interested in how the Hit and Run OIA request a year ago by Sam to the NZDF finally led to the NZDF releasing documents last Tuesday ” that corroborated important parts of Jon Stephenson’s and Nicky Hager’s book, Hit & Run, and fatally undermined their central, crucial critique of the book. “


    As well as that quote, Sam also says in his introductory paragraphs:

    “Others have written more eloquently than I can about the significance of NZDF’s admission. This piece is not about that. Nor is it a deep look at what comes next. This is about the detail, about why it took a year to get to where we are, and about how the NZDF’s position disintegrated.”

    IMHO the detail in the article and its links is fascinating; as are the maps, satellite images that Sam, Keith Ng and Toby Manhire found for comparison with those in the book and those released by the NZDF.

    Do go to the link in the article to the thread in Sam’s Twitter account under this sentence “I reported my findings to Toby and Keith that afternoon:” – and note the discussion about the importance of the size of dots and their ability to hide things. Cynical LOL.

    Great work, thanks to all the team – Hager, Stephenson, Warburton, Manhire, Ng, Geiringer et al.

    • tracey 7.1


      Another thing buried this week because it seems our media are directed to only look at one thing at a time…

      Simon bridges appalling last week is not even a memory now…and no one noticed he took a week off.

      Key and nats have done such a great hatchett job on Hager that many ordinary people simply dismiss anything when his name is mentioned.

  6. joe90 8

    We can’t defeat Pashtun warlords…but fuck, can we dance!.


    Happy #StPatricksDay from the #USArmy. We appreciate how everyone wears a little green like us today. pic.twitter.com/NQc2xJLkkD— U.S. Army (@USArmy) March 17, 2018

    • Morrissey 8.1

      Dancing fools. Almost as painful as these oafs….

      And as for these rhythmically challenged criminals, let’s hope Hell is a reality….

  7. chris73 9


    Ok I’ll admit that this took me by surprise, is the beginning of detente between the Greens and National, are the Greens getting fed up by being pushed around buNZFirst, will the Greens feed some lines to National, will the Highlanders continue on their winning ways?

    • weka 9.1

      Can you please explain what it means? National will ask the questions that Greens would normally? Why would either party want to do that?

      • chris73 9.1.1

        I don’t know what it mean as I can’t recall it happening in NZ politics before (I’m probably wrong on that) and the only reason I can think of why National would ask the questions is maybe there are questions the Greens can’t ask under their agreement with Labour and NZFirst

        It does however make parliament that much more interesting I think

        • weka

          Ok, so can you explain how QT worked before this? I’m not understanding what the change is here.

          • chris73

            Ok so my understanding is every party gets to question the government at qt and the Greens are going to give up their allocation of questions to National (with the option of keeping them if they want) which will allow National even more questions

            I’d have thought thats the exact opposite of what Labour and NZFirst would want but whats of more interest to me is why the Greens are doing this and what will be the outcome

          • Ad

            There are a set number of questions allocated per party for Question Time, per term.

            • weka

              ta. So are the Greens to give specific questions to National to ask, or they are giving their allocation?

              • chris73

                Just sounds like giving them their allocation but its not out of the realms of possibility that the Greens might ask National to say something if its something the Greens and National both have interest in is it

                I mean a question about the Kermadecs is something that could be asked but really its just refreshing to see politicians act like this

                Would this have happened under saint Jude…probably not so maybe Bridges getting the nod is a good thin

                It might also be the beginning of the rise of (cue epic fanfare) the fabled blue-green dream team!

              • Enough is Enough

                They are giving up their allocation.

                About 50 per year

                • Ad

                  Hipkins will be asking WTF from Shaw.

                  The question is: what have the Greens got from National in return?

                  Do the Greens not know that they will be attacked by National using these questions? They have serious bills they need to get through the House – central of which is the Carbon Zero bill.


                  • chris73

                    The Greens can take back their questions at anytime I’d imagine

                  • tracey

                    Nothing Ad, they have nothing from nats in return. This is a principle based move aimed at breaking down a system that is laughable and time wasting. It will take you some time to understand that this is about breaking a paradigm not doing some prid quo pro deal with national.

                    Of course they know National will use it to hold them to account too. They haven’t given national their vote so that won’t alter the passage of any Bills. You are conflating different processes.

                    A system won’t change unless someone behaves differently. It never ceases to amaze me how many people genuinely do not get this about the Greens.

                    • Ad

                      I know that’s what the Greens want.

                      It never ceases to amaze me how often the Greens refuse to believe there’s a system that they are part of, and they are assisting to rule it.

                      National will take the gift and use it.

                      Labour will be pissed off.

                      The Greens gain nothing.

                      All the Greens have done is made life marginally worse for themselves as part of the government.

                  • Muttonbird

                    This. The media are calling it a ‘deal’. If so what are the Greens getting in return?

                    Looks to me the Greens are firing some shots at Labour by floating the very idea which the Nats were pushing and that is a future National/Green relationship.

                    That, and the fact that the Greens, as they have said, don’t want to ask patsy questions. I get that – why, when you want to ask hard questions on responses to climate change, would you forego that?

                    I’d like to hope this is some sort of genius move by Shaw but given his description of Metiria Turei’s fateful speech as ‘a good speech’, I feel I’m going to be disappointed. It might have been good according to us but not politically sound.

                    Also, the Greens seem to be moving away from their social justice advocation, again something the Nats wanted them to do.

                    In short, this is weird and unsettling.

                    Will one of those useless reporters find out what the Nats are paying their new friends the Greens for this?

          • alwyn

            Questions, and the supplementary ones as well, are allocated to parties in the house in proportion to the number of members they have who are not in the Executive.

            Here is an edited extract of the way it is done
            “The allocation of questions among the parties must be made on a basis proportional to party membership in the House.[39] However, for this purpose members who hold executive office (Ministers, Associate Ministers and Parliamentary Under-Secretaries) are excluded from the calculation of the number of questions available to Government parties.[40].
            Parties are at total liberty to exchange slots with other parties or to surrender a slot to another party.[41] These arrangements are made privately between the parties”,
            That comes from the section on ‘Allocation of Questions” here.

            The Green Party will get about 2 questions every three days, given the number of MPs, and Ministers. they have.
            ACT will get one about every second week.
            National probably gets about 2/3 of all the questions now.
            When you are in Government the questions you can ask as a Government Party are pretty much limited to patsy ones like
            “Oh Great Minister, tell us how wonderful you are and what great things you are doing”.
            You should feel sorry for back bench Government MPs who are handed these and ordered to ask them. I sometimes think it is done to punish some junior MP who has upstaged one of their betters.

            In general the Green Party are handing over the number of questions they have, while reserving the right to use them themselves, on any day. National are NOT going to ask questions that the Green Party supply.

            I suspect it may not last that long. Winston isn’t going to like it.

            • weka

              So not a lot of questions in the allocation.

              The bit I still don’t understand is what the restrictions on the Greens are. Yes they’re in govt, but they’re not the govt in the way that L/NZF are.

        • Psycho Milt

          …the only reason I can think of why National would ask the questions is maybe there are questions the Greens can’t ask under their agreement with Labour and NZFirst

          I can see why people who don’t understand the Greens might think that, but Shaw states the reason they’re doing it in the article:

          “Using Question Time to ask ourselves scripted, set-piece patsy questions does nothing to advance the principles of democracy and accountability that are very important to us as a party. We expect the opposition to use our questions to hold us to account as much as any other party in Government.”

          So, there is no “deal with National” as the headline claims, National just happens to benefit from the Greens’ integrity. We can be confident there’s no chance of the reverse ever happening…

          • chris73

            So maybe no deal but its always good to see political parties working together

            • Psycho Milt

              Yep. I think we can expect to see more of it from the Greens now they’re in the government.

              • chris73

                Well National and the Greens have worked together in the past so maybe NZ democracy under MMP is maturing


          • Carolyn_Nth

            Well, I hate patsy questions. But giving extra questions to Nats is another matter.

            Couldn’t the GP have stopped using their full allocation of primary and supplementary questions?

            • alwyn

              Not really Carolyn.
              If the Green Party don’t put any questions in there are still going to be 12 questions every sitting day and all that would happen is that for every 3 questions that the Green Party could have asked but didn’t, National will get 2 more and the Labour Party 1.
              They don’t just cut the number to 11 if the Green Party were entitled to one and didn’t use it.
              They could waste an allocated question but they will be ridiculed as wasting the time of the house if they do so.

          • weka

            What are the patsy questions?

            • Stunned Mullet

              “Mr. Burns, Your Campaign Seems To Have the Momentum of a Runaway Freight Train. Why Are You So Popular?”

              Good on the Greens for being mature enough to go down this track, do I expect similar maturity from other parties in parliament… oh look at that flock of pigs flying past.

            • Enough is Enough

              Every question asked by a bank bench government MP to a minister is a patsy question.

              They ask an open question, not to hold the government to account, but to highlight something good.

              For example, what report has the minister received about the economy? The Minister then goes on to spend 5 minutes telling anyone who cares all the wonderful things happening in the economy.

              • weka

                ok, so that’s Labour’s patsy questions. Were the Greens asking patsy questions too? Why? How does giving their allocation to National help that?

                • chris73

                  “Using Question Time to ask ourselves scripted, set-piece patsy questions does nothing to advance the principles of democracy and accountability that are very important to us as a party. We expect the opposition to use our questions to hold us to account as much as any other party in Government.”

                  Clearly they thought they were or at least were in danger of doing so, now I guess they think National will help hold the current government to account

                  • weka

                    The remaining question I have is around what restrictions were on the Greens as part of the C/S agreement. Presumably they couldn’t ask hard questions about climate change for instance. What about welfare?

                    • chris73

                      Beats me, it’d be interesting to see the C/S agreement especially the original one as well

                      I dunno but to me this looks like the Greens trying to make parliament work better (a noble cause) with the slight possibility of a potential olive branch being thrown into the mix all with the added potential of really annoying Labour and NZFirst so really its a good thing

                    • weka

                      The C/S agreement is available online. I also think this is the Greens trying to make good change. Some people are freaking out because it’s hard to understand if you see politics as primarily about power mongering.

                    • chris73

                      Some people fear whats new 🙂

                • alwyn

                  Here are some examples

                  1 March “GOLRIZ GHAHRAMAN to the Minister of Statistics: How is this year’s census different from previous years?”

                  28 February “MARAMA DAVIDSON to the Associate Minister for the Environment: What action is she taking in response to yesterday’s Greenpeace petition from over 65,000 New Zealanders calling for an end to plastic bags?”

                  22 February “JAN LOGIE to the Associate Minister of Finance: What recent progress has there been on development of the Living Standards Framework and other sustainable development indicators?”

                  20 February “GARETH HUGHES to the Minister for Climate Change: What did he learn from yesterday’s briefing with MetService experts about the relationship between climate change and extreme weather events here and in the wider Pacific?”

                  Earth shattering aren’t they. Actually, if you think these are pretty silly you should see the supplementary. They don’t really want answers. They just want to give a Minister a chance to bloviate.

                  • alwyn

                    As an aside that was all the questions that the Green Party asked over 2 weeks that the House sat.
                    There were, and never are, any real questions asked by an MP in a Government Party.

                  • veutoviper

                    All patsy questions!

                    So if the Greens are so anti-patsy questions, why were they asking them of their own Green Ministers right up to the last day that Parliament last sat on 1 March?

                    So if they still do keep some of their (very few) allotted questions to ask the same type of questions of their Green Ministers (or any other Ministers) they are going to get slammed for hypocrisy for doing so.

                    OTOH, National could well use the questions handed over to them by the Greens to turn around and slam the Green Ministers themselves.

                    So stand on principle and shoot yourself in the foot at the same time. Now, why do I think the Greens have been there and done that just a few months ago?

                    • Tracey

                      At some point when you stop something you must have a last time to do something?

                    • alwyn

                      Maybe the Greens have an (unwritten) clause in the agreement that all extra questions by National must be asked of the New Zealand First Ministers?
                      I doubt if there is really a great deal of love between members of those two parties.
                      I don’t really see how you could track of course because like money where a dollar is a dollar is a dollar, so are questions.
                      It would be a bit hard to say that this question is one you had already and that one is one we gave you.

                    • weka

                      “So if the Greens are so anti-patsy questions, why were they asking them of their own Green Ministers right up to the last day that Parliament last sat on 1 March?”

                      I’d actually like to know the answer to that one. Until it is answered I think your supposition is a big premature.

                    • alwyn

                      “I’d actually like to know the answer to that one”.
                      I think the only people who can answer that are the Green MPs themselves. It is certainly most unusual.
                      There are alternative ways of wording the question of course.

                      Given that you continued asking patsy questions right up until the last day Parliament sat why should we believe that you were ever seriously against their use?

                      On the other hand you could consider the traditional question you should ask about anything any politician does.
                      “What’s in it for you?”
                      Maybe my proposal that National have agreed to leave the Green Party alone at Question Time in return for the extra questions has some merit?
                      The Greens really don’t matter to National. They have bigger fish to target over the next two years.
                      In 2020 they can go after them again if they want to wipe them out in that election.

                    • weka

                      “The GP needs oxygen and only National can provide it.”

                      how do you mean?

                  • weka

                    “you should see the supplementary.”

                    If you had bothered to link we might have been able to. Honest to god, it is beyond me how someone will cut and paste and not bother to link.

                    • alwyn

                      I never thought I would have to explain to someone who discusses politics on this site how to look at Hansard.
                      Here is a link to Hansard
                      Just pick your date and you’ll get oral questions right up near the start of the day. There may be a few business announcements and then you will get “Oral Questions – Questions to Minister”.
                      Just expand it.

                    • weka

                      Funnily enough, I’m not the only person reading. And some people are on phones where searching is a lot harder.

                      In the absence of context, and given your history, I’ll assume you tried to pick questions to show the Greens in a bad light.

                    • tracey

                      At some point when you stop something you must have a last time to do something?

                      I also think Carolyn makes an interesting observation;

                      That by giving their questions to Nats they will make Labour and NZF think about what way they will vote at Committee when Greens make their suggestions around QT?

                    • alwyn

                      You are now questioning whether I am picking out Green MP questions in order to make the party look bad.
                      I was, you will see, answering a question you asked that said –
                      “Were the Greens asking patsy questions too?”
                      I merely gave you some examples and because you asked about the Green Party I gave you Green Party questions. They were not selected by any other criteria except that they were the 4 most recent examples of questions asked by a Green MP in the house.

                      There is absolutely nothing special about them As I, and others rather more closely aligned to your party, have commented EVERY question asked by a back bench Government MP is a patsy. In fact when I gave these examples I said, in a ps,
                      “There were, and never are, any real questions asked by an MP in a Government Party”. That seems pretty general doesn’t it, and not a dig at your preferred Party.
                      All the Green, Labour and New Zealand First questions are of that ilk. Providing links to the actual questions, and answers is a total waste of time. They really aren’t meant to provide anything that couldn’t be provided, much more cheaply, in a Press Release In fact almost all of them use the same material in a Press Release.

                      Primary Questions tend to make a bit more sense than the Supplementary ones that follow them. That is because a Primary Question has to be accepted by the Clerk. Supplementary ones don’t and are precisely what the Minister has handed to the erk from the back bench.

                      Prior to the last election every question by National MPs was in the same category. I imagine any by a Maori Party or the ACT MP would have been just the same. I can’t be bothered actually checking on them because they would only have had about one question each for every 2 weeks Parliament sat.

                      An apology for your crack about ” I’ll assume you tried to pick questions to show the Greens in a bad light.” would be in order I think. I was only supplying information you asked for and I think I was totally fair in the way I chose it..

                      There is one minor thing about Government questions that distinguishes them from Opposition ones. Supplementary questions must relate to the Primary question. Otherwise the Speaker will rule the Supplementary out of order. Since anyone can ask a supplementary Government questions are always very tightly specified so that the Opposition doesn’t get an opening to put in a zinger.
                      Opposition Questions are always very broad. Something like “Does the Prime Minister stand by all her statements” is quite typical. Anything at all can be asked in a Supplementary because it is related to the Primary. The Speaker can’t rule them out.

                      There, does that help you?

                    • veutoviper


                      At 4.45pm you reply to alwyn that “I’ll assume you tried to pick questions to show the Greens in a bad light.”

                      I never thought I would be supporting alwyn but he has not been selective as you claim but has identified all Green primary oral questions in Question Time in the last two weeks of the House sitting session (6 sitting days) from 20 Feb to 1 March – all four of them, and all to other Green MPs as Ministers.

                      It would have been better if he had included the three sitting days in the week preceding those two weeks (13 – 17 Feb) plus the earlier three days, 30/1, 31/1 and 1/2 to make up the entire 2018 sitting period to date – but this only adds another four questions all again from one Green MP to another.

                      I know my way around the Parliamentary website well, including the much improved On Demand video records, which now offer very good filtering options by MP, by date, by subject etc.

                      So I have identified not only links to the questions listed by alwyn, but to all oral questions all Green MPs have instigated or answered since the new government came into being in Nov 2017 until now – and organised these by MP, then analysed them as a whole to give a picture of numbers of questions asked and answered by Green MPs, including whether they have asked any of Labour or NZF, whether Labour or NZF have asked any of the Greens – and the number of questions asked of the Green Ministers by National.

                      As we are now in unnumbered/no reply territory in this thread, I will post this information with links in a new thread later in this OM or tomorrow in OM after rechecking it with a fresh mind.

                    • weka

                      Thanks veuto. It’s entirely possible that Balwyn’s comment was genuine, but given that 98% of what they say about the Greens here has been undermining or outright lying, I think my scepticism was warranted esp as there was no link or reference for context.

                      There’s been some good input today on how QT works, including from alwyn. When we start moving into interpretation I will read people’s comments at face value except where they have a certain history.

                      My big remaining question is why do the Greens not use their primary questions to hold the government to account. I’ve not seen anything authoritative on this yet. It might not actually matter in terms of this action, but it would still be good to know. Apparently there is no formal or informal agreement with L/NZF. I guess the Greens might still think that using all those questions in that way would cause problems for the coalition, either by undermining the working relationships or because most of the MSM are generally a bunch of kids and would just be going on and on about the split in the govt.

                      Or maybe they see it as a conflict of interest. Or maybe they just think it’s the job of the opposition.

                    • Incognito

                      Hi Weka, I assume you’ve read the press release from the Green Party (otherwise see link @ 9.1.2 or but for your convenience: https://www.greens.org.nz/news/press-release/green-party-announces-significant-change-question-time.

                      Carolyn_Nth @ 18 March 2018 at 8:44 pm already referred (but did not link) to an article by Jo Moir in Stuff:


                      Jo Moir wrote another piece that’s worth reading too:


                      I don’t read it as a “deal” between the Green Party and National. The GP needs oxygen and only National can provide it. At first I thought WTF? but it now starts to make sense to me …

                    • alwyn

                      Thank you.
                      I just stopped at 4 questions, or 2 weeks worth.
                      They were only meant to be a sample, as I think, apparently like you, all Government questions are patsies.

          • tracey

            Makes sense to me. It won’t to those who see it as a game to be played, to get away with whatever you can to “win” and to hell with maintaining a status quo of a flawed system. The Greens have always been about doing parliament a different/better way. They are implementing something they lamented while in opposition.

            Here is the link to the full statement


        • alwyn

          It really isn’t very fair to describe Mr Shaw as a horse.
          Donkey is probably a better term.

    • Patricia 9.2

      The Greens are looking to jump ship ? That will keep their supporters happy ? Up to the Greens to ask non patsy questions to prove how it is done.

      • weka 9.2.1

        The Greens aren’t looking to jump ship.

        • Muttonbird

          Having just given the opposing fleet ammunition they are looking hard at the life-boats right now. And the Captain…

          • weka

            interesting all the war analogies around this. Thesis: it is impossible to understand the Greens, their strategy and actions if you insist on seeing them through a macho, power mongering political lens.

            • Muttonbird

              Surely it’s the Greens’ responsibility to communicate why they’ve done a deal with National. Ordinary people like me are busy trying to earn a living for our families. What do we know of their bizarre, attention-seeking flank attacks?

              The analogy was not one of war but one of mutiny.

              • Carolyn_Nth

                Reported on Stuff this afternoon:

                Green Party co-leader James Shaw says the prime minister is well aware of the risks of not having any political friends at the 2020 election.

                That means Jacinda Ardern’s conscious of ensuring coalition partner NZ First and supply and confidence partner, the Greens, “get the profile associated with our work programmes”, he said.

                Shaw’s comments come in response to his announcement on Sunday that the Greens are handing over their primary questions in the House to the Opposition so the Government can be held to greater account.

                Asked whether the move was about differentiating his party from Labour, Shaw said, if “NZ First and the Greens both get squeezed out of Parliament then (Labour) will end up with a no friends situation and not being able to put the numbers together”.

                So, as part of the reason, I understand this as Shaw saying we will not just be Labour’s and NZ F’s lapdog, and they want Labour to be held to account as any government party should be.

                As well the GP ARE following a position stated before the election that they wanted to change how things are done in the House.

                Labour was verbally told about the Greens’ plans a couple of weeks ago, before an approach was made to National, and gave Labour the documentation outlining the details on Thursday.

                The Green Party also plans to make a submission to the Standing Orders Review, which kicks off next year, to advocate for further changes to Question Time.

      • chris73 9.2.2

        Maybe its an opening of the door for the Greens to unshackle themselves from Labour and can possibly forma government with National or atleast make Labour think they could.

        Like if this goes well maybe the Greens can go to their supporters and say we’ve worked with National and they’re not the devils we think they are and thus the Greens would have as much power, and probably more, as NZFirst does now

        Imagine if, as seems likely, NZFirst don’t make back to power next election it would then come down to Labour v National with the Greens deciding who is in power and then the Greens could really ramp up some demands

        Yeah its not likely but then I didn’t think it’d be likely the Greens giving up questions to National either

        At the very least its certainly more interesting then whats happening with Labour at the moment…

        • weka

          I don’t understand how QT works, so it’s hard for me to see what is going on here, but it’s very easy to see two things. One is that the Greens haven’t moved an iota from their position on working with National. The other is that they have a stated intent to change how parliamentary democracy works in NZ. If you look through those lenses it will make more sense.

          • chris73

            “One is that the Greens haven’t moved an iota from their position on working with National.”

            No but as I suggested above it could be a way to get the Greens to unbundle themselves from Labour, in that NZFirst has a lot more power because they could go either way whereas the Greens, currently, are shackled to Labour and so have less power even though NZFirst and the Greens have a similar amount of seats

            But if this arrangement goes well then the Greens could say to their supporters that National arn’t baby-eating evil doers and we can at least listen to any offer they give us, doesn’t mean they have to accept it but at least it’d mean Labour couldn’t take the Greens for granted any longer

            “The other is that they have a stated intent to change how parliamentary democracy works in NZ.”

            Forming a government with National would certainly fall under those auspices I’d have thought

            • weka

              Why would the GP want to unbundle from Labour when having an agreement with Labour brings them benefits they negotiated and want?

              National are baby-eating evil doers. That’s the whole point. The Greens position is (and has been for a long time) that they will work with any party where there is shared policy. For the Greens to work with National in govt National would have to change its economic, social and environmental policies. That’s not going to happen any time soon. It’s nothing to do with the Greens being able to tell supporters that National aren’t evil, unless National stop being evil. Has that happened?

              “we can at least listen to any offer they give us, doesn’t mean they have to accept it but at least it’d mean Labour couldn’t take the Greens for granted any longer”

              But the Greens are already in the position of listening to National make offers. National aren’t making any offers (and as above, they don’t have anything that the Greens are interested in).

              “Forming a government with National would certainly fall under those auspices I’d have thought”

              Rofl. Funny as mate.

              • chris73

                “Why would the GP want to unbundle from Labour when having an agreement with Labour brings them benefits they negotiated and want?”

                You mean like the Kermadec sanctuary or voting for the waka jumping bill (I’m sure I could find a link to why thats a bad idea) and hows that water tax going

                • Enough is Enough

                  I have no idea why Shaw has given Bridges another opportunity to beat up the government.

                  Just don’t ask your question James. There is no strategic reason to give it to your enemy.

                  Winston must be fuming

                  • chris73

                    I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that someone in the Greens has spoken to someone in National about this and that theres probably a caveat on how the questions can be used

                • weka

                  So you think that the Greens should tear up the C/S agreement over those two Bills? The only way that makes sense is if we understand you are a RWer who would prefer the Greens to disappear, or at least the left not be able to govern.

                  Same tired old nonsense.

                  • chris73

                    Are you feeling ok today? Normally you’re a bit sharper than this

                    I’m not saying tear up the C/S agreement at all, I’m saying that, in the future, if this agreement works out as to how the Greens want it to then the door is open to the Greens being able to negotiate with National and even if there are still too many differences then at the very least Labour would have to treat the Greens with a bit more respect

                    Under Helen Clark the Greens were the last cab off the rank for Labour and even now NZFirst has more power than the Greens, which is not a great reward for all the loyalty the Greens have shown Labour

                    • weka

                      In what way was the door shut yesterday and today it has been opened? This changes nothing about the ability of the Greens to work with National.

                      The Greens aren’t power mongering. That’s why the whole leverage thing is a nonsense.

                    • chris73

                      The more often National and the Greens work together, successfully, the more likely and possible a coalition in the future is or more likely the more leverage the Greens can have over Labour

                    • weka

                      yes, but as has been said many many times before, the sticking point on the Greens and National working together is National’s policies

                      The only way the leverage argument works is if there is a realistic chance that the Greens would support National to form govt. At this point in time they won’t and can’t so the argument doesn’t makes sense.

                    • chris73

                      At this point in time sure but who knows what can happen in the future

                    • weka

                      True. We might have unicorns running the show at some point in time.

                    • Tracey

                      There is absolutely no proof that the Greens and National worked on this together. There is proof that the Greens have made a decision and a consequence of that is National will have more questions. Therefore this is not an example of them working together

                    • chris73

                      Don’t worry Weka we’ll accept you

                    • weka

                      lol, fuck that was weird.

          • Carolyn_Nth

            Each party has an allocation of primary and supplementary questions for question time. I’m not sure the time period they cover. Questions are mostly to ministers.

            Government parties use them to ask questions of their team that are just promos for things they are doing – though coalition parties can on occasion use them to hold the dominant party to account.

            Opposition parties use them to challenge the government, question what they are doing, and hold them to account.

            Increasingly question time has just become game playing theatre, where opposition parties try to catch the government out, and to get media attention. It creates a very combative arena, but it is a means, however restricted, to hold the government to account.

            • weka

              thanks. Are the patsy questions being referred to the ones where the govt asks itself questions that make them look good? How do the Greens fit into that? e.g. is there an expectation because of the C/S agreement that they don’t ask hard questions?

              • Stunned Mullet

                “Are the patsy questions being referred to the ones where the govt asks itself questions that make them look good?”

                Yes – it is nauseating drivel that National and Labour have indulged in over the years.

                • weka

                  and the Greens? Just trying to figure out how giving their allocation to National solves that. Is it just that it means there will be a greater number of non-patsy questions being asked now?

                  • Carolyn_Nth

                    yes. And more questions critical of the government.

                    I don’t understand why the Greens would do that.

                    • tracey


                      because they believe that all Governments, including one they are a part of, should be held to account. They are practsing what they preach in Opposition. If everything always stays the same, everything will always stay the same.

                    • weka

                      I also see why the Greens would want to do this. Not only the principle, but I’m guessing the Greens have limits on the kinds of questions they themselves can ask. And Labour seriously need to be held to account.

                  • tracey

                    Yes. Instead of Greens having to serve up patsy questions tot he Government or each other, the Opposition will ask more probative questions.

                    It is yet another attempt by the Greens to shift our political paradigm.

                    Labour will themselves be pleased as they campaigned on greater transparency and this will give them ample opportunities to be transparent. Win-Win.

                    • chris73

                      Well I don’t know that this is what Labour meant by greater transparency

                    • Carolyn_Nth

                      Well, it could also be part of the GP becoming more hard headed, as expressed recently by Julie Anne Genter re- GP strategies.

                      It could provide the GP with more leverage in future negotiations over policies with Labour and NZF.

                      It could also pressure Labour-NZF to work towards restructuring Question time so that it is less combative and more productive.

                    • I think it’s more like “Labour should be pleased” than “Labour will be pleased – or was that tongue-in-cheek?

                    • tracey

                      PM tongue in cheek


                      Shaw made reference to changes at Committee so perhaps this is them making Labour and NZF think more deeply about it?

          • veutoviper

            See my comment at 9.3 which provides a bit of a start to understanding how QT and question allocation works. Google is very useful rather than some of the arse pulled comments so far.

            • weka

              Saw that thanks. I think I have most of my questioned answered now from the arse pulling on TS 😉 Did you think there were inaccuracies?

      • tracey 9.2.3

        No one is jumping ship. the Greens lamented patsy questions when they were in Opposition. Now they are on the other side they are acting consistently to that line.

        It will be hard for some who are happy with lying and hypocrisy cos “everyone does it”

    • veutoviper 9.3

      Having read all the comments up to this time under this thread, I really don’t understand why people here – many of whom claim to be knowledgeable politico addicts – don’t actually use Google and find out how oral questions actually work in the NZ Parliament.

      Here are two short little explanations easily found via Google on the NZ Parliament website:


      and this updated one dated 4 Nov 2017

      If you want the full monty, here is the link to Chapter 39 of “PArliamentary Practice in New Zealand”:

      In summary, from the 4 Nov 2017 link:

      How oral questions work

      A total of 12 oral questions are allocated for each sitting day. These are distributed proportionally among the parties in Parliament, according to how many members (excluding Ministers) they have in the House.

      On the morning of each sitting day, the oral questions for the day are submitted to the Clerk of the House between 10am and 10:30am. This gives the relevant Ministers a few hours to prepare a reply.

      Members can follow up a Minister’s answer to an oral question with supplementary questions – which the Ministers will not have been notified of. Members need to make sure any supplementary questions relate directly to the original oral question.

      The oral questions lodged for a sitting day are available on this website from around 11:30am. The answers to oral questions, included in the day’s Hansard record, are available by around 5:00pm.

      My Bold in the above as this is important in the allocation – and affects the number of questions especially for smaller Parties.

      So, National currently has 56 Members none Ministers.
      ACT has one Member – not a Minister.

      NZF has nine Members BUT four are Ministers (plus one PArliamentary Under-Secretary but U/S are not Ministers) – therefore only five Members are counted for question allocation.

      Greens have eight Members but three are Ministers and one an U/S, so only five Members are counted for question allocation.

      Labour – I have not worked this out as yet, but really pretty irrelevant for this.

      So, the Opposition (NAT + ACT) have had 57 Members for question allocation purposes until now: and with the Greens allocation this can go up to 62 Members if Greens give their total 5 Members allocation to the Opposition. (But the Greens are retaining the right to use some of their allocation in certain circumstances).

      None of the above actually explains how this will affect the actual numbers of primary questions and supplementary questions each Party gets on any particular day, week or year etc. This is still unclear so far from what I have read and quoted above. But it is a start.

      How Labour and NZF will feel in principle about this move is yet to be revealed. I am not going to reveal how I feel right at the moment either …

      • weka 9.3.1

        “Having read all the comments up to this time under this thread, I really don’t understand why people here – many of whom claim to be knowledgeable politico addicts – don’t actually use Google and find out how oral questions actually work in the NZ Parliament.”

        Because I have a workload already today. I also think that if the Greens are going to make changes they need to explain them ways that most people will understand not just the beltway crowd and politicos. Ditto MSM. There will be many people who read/hear this piece of news and don’t understand it. That’s ironical given the intent to change democracy here.

        I’m a pretty good researcher, but I find that for some things it is better to have a conversation with someone who knows than to spend an hour reading and trying to parse what online articles say.

        • tracey

          James Shaw’s press release is pretty straightforward. The media won’t use all of it of course…

      • veutoviper 9.3.2

        OK – so having delved into the depths of Chapter 39, I have now found a section that covers the following:

        1. how the questions are allocated in terms of prominence and the time period this is calculated over – which is “a cycle that will roughly equate to the annual sitting period” ;

        2. that Under Secretaries, while not Ministers, ARE actually also excluded for the purposes of counting the number of Members relevant to oral question allocation.

        From Chapter 39

        “However, for this purpose members who hold executive office (Ministers, Associate Ministers and Parliamentary Under-Secretaries) are excluded from the calculation of the number of questions available to Government parties.[40]
        That calculation having been made, the Business Committee approves a proportional allocation of question slots to parties and their rotation between parties and any independent members. These arrangements are prepared by the Office of the Clerk, for a cycle that will roughly equate to the annual sitting period.

        An attempt is made to alternate between questions from Government party members and Opposition party members. Depending upon their size, each party will have an opportunity to lead off question time, and will also have to take its fair share of less prominent positions in the questions order. The Clerk advises members of the allocation of question slots before each sitting period commences.

        Parties are at total liberty to exchange slots with other parties or to surrender a slot to another party.[41] These arrangements are made privately between the parties, with advice to the Clerk when a question is lodged in a different sequence from that on the roster prepared under the Business Committee’s authority.”

        In the light of 2. above, I need to correct some of my calculations in 9.2 above, ie:

        NZF has nine Members BUT four are Ministers (plus one Parliamentary Under-Secretary but while U/S are not Ministers, they are counted for exclusion) – therefore only four Members are counted for question allocation.

        Greens have eight Members but three are Ministers and one an U/S, so only four Members are counted for question allocation.

        Labour – I have not worked this out as yet, but really pretty irrelevant for this.

        So, the Opposition (NAT + ACT) have had 57 Members for question allocation purposes until now: and with the Greens allocation this can go up to 61 Members if Greens give their total 4 Members allocation to the Opposition. (But the Greens are retaining the right to use some of their allocation in certain circumstances).

        NZF has nine Members BUT four are Ministers (plus one Parliamentary Under-Secretary but U/S are not Ministers) – therefore only five Members are counted for question allocation.

        Greens have eight Members but three are Ministers and one an U/S, so only five Members are counted for question allocation.

        Labour – I have not worked this out as yet, but really pretty irrelevant for this.

        So, the Opposition (NAT + ACT) have had 57 Members for question allocation purposes until now: and with the Greens allocation this can go up to 62 Members if Greens give their total 5 Members allocation to the Opposition. (But the Greens are retaining the right to use some of their allocation in certain circumstances).

      • alwyn 9.3.3

        Now I wish I had read right through every comment before I had started answering questions further up in the chain.
        I could have saved myself time and space in the material. I might have added a little but not that much.
        A wonderful summary VV.

        • Tracey


        • veutoviper

          I have also replied to you further up the thread where you quoted in your unnumbered comment at 2.31pm the four questions that the Greens asked of themselves (none to anyone else) over the last two week Parliamentary sitting period that ended on 1 March. And I saw all of these and they were so serious and earnest in asking the primary questions and their supplementary questions. All of them Patsy questions!

          We don’t often agree on something but on this one, I think we are on the same wavelength – but from other ends of the political spectrum. LOL.

          And Simon Bridges has finally come out of a week’s silence to thank the Greens!

          Talk about shoot yourself in the foot – for an allocation of about four questions every two weeks.

          • veutoviper

            It has actually now occurred to me that what might happen is that no-one will ask the Greens any questions during Question Time at all – and therefore lose Question Time as an opportunity to explain to Parliament and the country what they are actually doing in their Ministerial portfolios.

            They can no longer ask themselves the Patsy questions they have been asking.

            Labour and NZF will not ask them any Patsy questions or may not ask them any other questions; nor ACT as they have so few questons themselves Labour usually gives Seymour some of theirs!!!

            National don’t actually need the extra Green questions as they already get about 2/3s anyway. If they do use them, it will be to slam Labour and NZF, probably not to ask Patsy questions of the Greens – or to slam then as then the Greens just will not give them their question allocation.

            So the Greens will probably sit there for an hour during Question Time like silent (choose your own word).

            • weka

              The Greens have retained the right to ask questions.

            • tracey

              I think what the Greens are saying is that as it is Question Time is a farce. How often do they makes a tv clip or online article based on their question time. This is only one branch of their plan. The press release says they are looking for deeper changes through a Committee process?

    • DoublePlusGood 9.4

      It’s a win for the government, really. Labour and NZ First should be thanking them and giving up their patsy questions to the opposition too.
      The reason is that National are so completely terrible at question time, that more questions being asked by National just gives them more opportunities to demonstrate their incompetence.

    • “We think patsy questions are a waste of time…” I agree. So why don’t they grow a spine and ask some decent questions about subjects or issues closest to their own heart, thus representing their constituency who voted for them. It’s not as if Labour treated them with much respect in the coalition talks. A wasted opportunity.

  8. joe90 10

    ICYMI, there’s an election underway.

    The preliminary results broadcast will begin after 9 p.m. MSK

    Currently the voting is being conducted at 3 363 voting stations

    93 664 voting stations are still closed.



  9. millsy 11

    Comiserations to SA Labour, lost the election there by 24-18 to the Liberals. Out after 15 years in power.

  10. Ad 12

    Anyone want to take a bet that Trump is going to fire Mueller well before the mid-terms and kill the investigation?

    The U.S. is now well inured to major crises being relegated to minor ones in context, so this is a pretty optimum point to strike.

    Now that he is turning most Departments into highly weakened entities either defunded or de-leadered, he has only one more impediment before he can rule as if his political and financial interests are the same thing.


  11. Gabby 13

    Antares is a small constellation.

    • Stuart Munro 13.1

      I always thought Antares was the bright star in the scorpion’s tail – one of the few I can reliably name on a clear night.

  12. joe90 14

    Thread on the changing tone, the growing resentment, and the way people feel they have permission to attack others, in the US.

    A couple days ago I saw a Tweet reiterating the U.S. Census Bureau's conclusion that by 2045 groups once thought of us as minorities–Asians, Latinos and African Americans would make up the majority of the U.S. population. This trend has been a long time coming.— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) March 17, 2018



  13. JohnSelway 15

    I have a subscription to The New Yorker (among other magazines) and this article was in the most recent issue. A fascinating read about Steele and the dossier.


    • Tracey 15.1

      Thanks so much for the link John. This is a great read. You know, for fake news 😉

      • JohnSelway 15.1.1

        No problem. Thought it might be of interest (and it is a great way to wind down on a Sunday afternoon).

        • McFlock

          lol I’ve had to save it – heavy going and I’m only half way through.

          Fascinating, though.

  14. Macro 16

    Boris Johnson to be swapped for Russian doll in tit-for-tat exchange

    With tensions rising between Westminster and the Kremlin, the UK government is planning to send the Foreign Secretary to Russia.

    Kremlin officials say they will respond robustly and send a Russian doll to sit on Mrs May’s desk.

    Amid fears that the hollow wooden character might arrive full of toxic shite, security has been tightened at Moscow airport.

    “I told them not to bother,” said Putin. “Everybody knows Boris Johnson is just full of himself.”

    Stolen from The Evening Harold

  15. AsleepWhileWalking 17

    After all the press about plastics + sea animals choking too….can absolutely see pieces of this plastic collar wedged in some poor dogs throat – how could anyone be stupid enough to import these?


  16. CHCOff 18

    Has it been a week since the Greens were denouncing the TPP, and then they give their parliamentary voice to National, the party that helped spawn it!!

    A lot of the well meaning Green core party vote doesn’t really pay attention to the goings on, but things like this should be pointed out to that base come election time!

    As a NZ1st voter, it is good that they turned down being a more prominent representative of the coalition govt., but to be fair minded, just as at the time, i thought they should have been. That is what their voters were voting for!

    If their pre-election flummox had happened with TOP in parliament, that could very likely have resulted in defecting mps to TOP, which possibly could have permanently split Green voters resulting in them having little chance going forward of being in parliament! Is that what their voters and activists support!!

    I appreciate that the nature of the Greens makes them a tricky proposition in agreed upon definites as relates to practicality with their much vaulted all encompassing core tenants, without upsetting people, but i cannot help wonder at times if there is a fifth column element in their mix, which has decided they too impossible to deal with on the political stage in the New Zealand context!

  17. joe90 19

    It wuz Sweden!.

    BREAKING: UK, Sweden, Slovakia, Czech Republic are most probable sources of #Novichok agent – Zakharova https://t.co/KmMXInf9qX pic.twitter.com/5l346Hg0Bh— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) March 17, 2018

  18. joe90 20

    So, prez for life Xi Jinping has appointed his mate to lead a new, all-in-one anti-corruption super ministry.

    Should nip any opposition in the bud.


    A Communist Party deputy anti-corruption chief and President Xi Jinping’s trusted aide has been appointed head of China’s controversial new super anti-graft agency.

    Yang Xiaodu’s nomination as chief of the new National Supervisory Commission, which was endorsed by the National People’s Congress on Sunday, has surprised some political observers.

    The super commission merges the Communist Party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection and several other government anti-graft departments. It places the new agency close to the cabinet and gives it a higher status than the nation’s Supreme Court and top prosecutors office.


  19. News Hub I have been studying the solar power and electric car industry’s for 15 years now all the time hopeing the electric car market would take off and dominate the car market.
    Most of the manufactures would not invest to much time and resources into electric cars . Some were investing in hydrogen cars YEA RIGHT to costly for the common man.
    Then along come Elon Mus he is the game changer he bet everything he had on solar power and electric cars . The other car manufactures resisted the change because of the OIL BARONS influence. Now they are all rushing into electric car Manufacturing because they don’t want to miss the bus . I say many thanks to Elon Mus for seeing the big picture of OUR climate turning to____ and deciding to do something about it by starting the tidal wave into elictric cars and solar power . Te tangata don’t listen to all the bad publicity this is just the oil barons trying to discredit the solar and electric car market . I believe that a house wife role is a job and a hard job at that raising mokos is quite time consuming and challenging 24/7 what people have to realize is you will spent more time with your children as adults so I say treat they like little adults and your relationship with your children will be much better if you do this Ka kite ano

    • Stunned mullet 21.1

      Is Elon related to Jake ?

    • eco maori 21.2

      The AM Show That alcohol lobby group is a push back from my educating the public on the bad side effects of alcohol . If any of you 3 can stand up and say that you have not done anything stupid while under the influence of alcohol well I will call you a lair .
      I want the age limit to be 20 by the time my mokos get to leave there nest this will make there lives much safer . Duncan your big business m8 don’t like the influnce that I have they would much prefer to carry on _____ on OUR society and carry sucking money out of our society unchallenged by anyone Duncan your alcolhol m8 is lying thought his teeth thats why he is stuttering and so were you. ECO MAORI is going to challange anyone that is going to cause a negative effect on OUR mokos future with these gifts ECO MAORI has been Blessed with.
      Why do you think that I can stand up to the eminence pressers that the sandflys are exerting on me because I have nothing to hide. A lot of people can not sleep just thinking about my situation let alone living it Why do the sandflys block with a courts order any move I make to drag there asses over the hot coals of a court house .Because the sandflys have got nothing but a personal van-deter from Gisborne man and some other idiot red head my prediction of the Gisborne man is coming to fruition . Mark the reason I say its a job to raise children is so the ladies have a fair say in how the house hold income is spent. I have been robbed to the people doing the robberies are PEE addicts to pay for there habituate I challange all MEDIA to stop using the word CRACK in anyway and form as that word will send a subliminal message to PEE users to go and look for PEE got it .Kia kaha Ka kite ano You are strait up Mark I like that quality in people

      • eco maori 21.2.1

        Yes Mark us silverbacks have learned the side effects of alcohol and we treat it with caution. But it is the mokos we have to protect and educate about this substance because on there journey up there ladder of life this substance can cause them major problems. Ka kite ano

        • eco maori

          News Hub that new employment law that brings bulling into employment dispute act is good to many employers flaunt the employment rights of there employees.
          Every employer should treat there employees the same as they would like to be treated. A job is a big part of ones life and it is up to the government to protect employees from dominating employers . I have employed many people I treated them fair and firm if they did not complete the task I payed them for I let them know this but I did not bully them or dominate them . this new Law is a big tick for our new Government Kia kaha ka kite ano

          • eco maori

            News Hub social media and the internet is the 21s century communication device that keeps the 00.1 % honest not much can stay hidden for ever with social media and the internet some people will not tell a lie that damages OUR society for all the money in China . Ka kite ano

            • eco maori

              The Cafe Paris I heard how those people manipulated your story and you are putting them in there place by holding them accountable for this deceit. You carry on being a good role model for all the brown ladies around the Papatuanuku world Kia kaha ka kite ano P.S good luck with your new Book Titled Paris Young Queen

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