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Open Mike 18/01/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 18th, 2017 - 232 comments
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232 comments on “Open Mike 18/01/2017 ”

  1. Andre 1

    Heh. The “Pootee and the Chump” comedy show rolls on.

    Pootee sez “I find it hard to believe that he rushed to some hotel to meet girls of loose morals, although ours are undoubtedly the best in the world,”


      • Paul 1.1.1

        Are you an echo chamber for the corporate media?
        The fact that that the Herald thinks this is a story should concern you.

        A story that is far more interesting – and you won’t read it in the Herald.

        US Marines land in Norway ahead of military drills

        • Andre

          So your idea of something interesting is a yet another video clip from the Russian government propaganda service that doesn’t actually convey any information whatsoever? Okaaay.

          Meanwhile, here’s a mainstream media piece that actually discusses that deployment, A quick google of the topic showed pieces from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Sydney Morning Herald, and a plethora of others.


          • GregJ

            It was in Stars and Stripes over a week ago.

            [Edited to add] And the deployment was announced in October last year.


            • Andre

              Well, yeah. But Paul’s narrative seems to be about claiming mainstream media has zero credibility and we should be just paying attention to RT.

              • GregJ


                I think sometimes Paul doesn’t believe some of us are capable of reading a wide range of sources as well.

              • Morrissey

                Paul’s narrative seems to be about claiming mainstream media has zero credibility

                No, that’s not what Paul was saying. He was criticising your trivial and uninteresting repetition of trivia. You can call his seriousness “boring” if you like, but I challenge you to put up your oeuvre on this site against Paul’s and to let people judge who is more intelligent and well balanced.

          • reason

            At the 33 minute mark of this movie we get a peek at a mass murder by the u.s

            Of course at the time it was reported …. if it was reported at all …… was as pure western propaganda ….. Pure lies

            Mainstream media is fake news…… or it is so full of it that it has rendered itself useless ……. as how can one tell what is bullshit and what is not? .

            In the Jerry Scahill Doco …. At the 37min 50sec mark we learn about a reporter who told the truth being locked up …….

            Obama personally intervened to keep the reporter in prison …….

            Was that reported in the New York Times, Sydney Herald, wall st journal etc ??

            Just like the Herald ………… they have discredited themselves.

            • Andre

              I’m not really that interested in spending 1 1/2 hrs of watching video, but I gave it a go anyway. I got a few minutes into it and felt I was being propagandised. So I went looking for a condensed written version and there’s this:


              So it documents that American forces carry out atrocities. Mainstream media such as Reuters document that quite thoroughly too.

              On blog sites like this it’s routine to ignore that the likes of Reuters actually do a good job of finding out stuff and publicizing it. But they are constrained by the need to fact-check and corroborate things before publishing. And they are usually careful to say so when allegations have yet to be verified.

              Whereas activists on sites like this seem to gullibly accept anything from anywhere that fits their worldview. Which is often blind anti-Americanism, which primes them to believe anything bad about the US and disbelieve anything negative about anyone hostile to the US. Then skim over when stuff published is later found to be bullshit, with no retraction or correction. All the while asserting things like “mainstream media is fake news”.

              • reason

                Andre ….Your last paragraph was written like propaganda …. with its sweeping blunt generalizations.

                Just to clarify …. I believe we have biased ‘news’ organizations …… pushing false narratives, which they do by publishing Fake news … Not everything is fake of course.

                But The amount of propaganda they pass on, especially before a war ….. qualifies them as weapons …… Weapons of Mass Deception


                …. I’m also sure that most people if they watched ‘Dirty Wars’ would learn lots of information ………. despite your claims it was all covered in the mainstream media.

                JSOC , camp Nama etc etc

                Also …from Iraq, how much media coverage did the Badar death brigades get ….. before we were all surprised by the rise of ISIS.

                WMDs indeed …………….

                • Also …from Iraq, how much media coverage did the Badar death brigades get ….. before we were all surprised by the rise of ISIS.

                  How much media coverage did sectarian murders in Iraq and the political implications of them get? Plenty. The media conspiracy to suppress the real stories is a crock of steaming shit.

        • Gosman

          Why is US Marines carrying out exercises in a NATO nation worthy of widespread news coverage?

          • Andre

            I dunno. Maybe the fact that a nation that’s been pretty laid-back in international affairs has become sufficiently alarmed by Russian belligerence just across the border to ask for visible backup for the first time since World War 2? While making the routine diplomatic denials that that’s actually the case, of course.

            • garibaldi

              Russian belligerence! You’ve got to be joking. It’s Western belligerence encroaching right up to Russian borders.

              • Andre

                Gee, if Russia is still just the warm fuzzy cuddly teddy bear it was through the Cold War and decades since, why would Norway want to risk upsetting a harmonious relationship with their neighbour for no reason? On the other hand, maybe they’re feeling ominous new vibes from across the border and are feeling nervous enough to remind Russia that they have friends that will help them if need be?

              • Macro

                You need to revise your History of Europe wrt to Russian expansionism . I would have thought with a name like yours you would have some inkling.

              • Gabby

                As against prolly not Russian holiday makers in green quite similar outfits getting lost over the border in countries not entirely friendly with Russia.

          • Paul

            The deployment signals a departure from the NATO member’s decades-old policy of not hosting foreign troops on its soil. A founding member of the alliance, Norway pledged not to host foreign forces to allay Moscow’s concerns that it could serve as a platform for a surprise attack. For decades the Scandinavian country stashed massive stockpiles of weapons in preparation for a possible conflict, but only allowed in other allies’ troops for training purposes.
            Therefore this piece of news shows an escalating second Cold War.
            News surely?

            Now please explain how Andre’s posts are anything but fake news.

            • Andre

              It’s not fake news because it’s reporting things that actually happened. Fake news isn’t “things you don’t like” or “things you think are trivial”. Fake news is shit someone just makes up and presents as factual information. Such as pizzagate or “Clinton’s got brain damage and is going to die before the election”.

            • Gosman

              The video you linked to makes no mention if these troops are going to be stationed permanently in Norway or not. As a member of NATO though Norway is entitled to request military support without reference to Russia.

              • Paul

                They are. However it marks a sea change in its policy.
                An escalating cold war should concern us all.
                Have you seen this film – it looks at the growing tensions with China.

                • Macro

                  Paul – who the fuck do you think is stirring the pot right now with his 3 am tweets threatening world peace. Who is all buddy buddy with Putin (for some undisclosed reason – but maybe they just like each other! *SHUDDER*) Who is getting his dirty little orange hands into stirring the shit in the middle east?
                  If the world ends up in one hell of a mess in international relations and wars everywhere it won’t be because of “Killary”.

                  • Paul

                    I’m beginning to understand what it was like to live during McCarthyism in the USA.

                    • Macro

                      I’m beginning to understand what it was like to live during McCarthyism in the USA.

                      Not even close Paul.
                      But wait a year and see what it will be like to be a poor black person in the USA.

                  • One Two

                    The world is already “in one hell of a mess”…with ‘wars everywhere’..

                    Bill and Hillary were deeply involved!

                    Along with the other US war criminals, long before Trump became the ‘fall guy’

                    Is your thinking actually as poor as your comments indicate?

                    • One Two []

                      They’re ALL complicit, Macro

                      Past and present, regardless of role or position, was the point

                      Focusing on any given individual/title such as DT is trite, and laden with cognitive dissonance!

                    • Macro

                      The world is a much more dangerous place now …
                      We have a dim witted spoilt brat in charge, who has little understanding and certainly little regard for International Relations. He fires off half cocked tweets in the middle of the night, without any recourse to advice, or the effect they will have internationally. His appointments so far have been a disaster of diplomatic relations – eg favouring Israel and angering the Palestinians, and other Arab nations, undoing years of negotiations.
                      Other Presidents have always taken advice and acted rationally. We may not agree with their actions, but the fact remains that they were never hot headed and on the spur of the moment decisions. They negotiated before anything else. Sure there are skirmishes around the world, many of them involving the US. But now we are in different territory. Either his minders pull his twitter account, or the world faces mindless chaos.
                      But don’t take my word for it

                      Ambiguity from the White House can be extremely crippling for U.S foreign policy. On an operational level, when the secretary of state meets with a foreign leader, the bureaucracy churns out multiple papers to support the conversation. Those papers, if written well, use presidential statements and perspectives as the basis for their message. The president’s words are used and reused time and time again in speeches, talking points, public outreach and private meetings. As a result, the words themselves must be carefully crafted, thoughtful, deliberate and based in fact and history. Ambassador Richard A. Boucher, the former State Department spokesman who served for six secretaries of state , explained, “until the president gives a clear statement about where America stands in the world with our enemies and allies, it will be hard for career people to take that and turn it into policy.”
                      Likewise, U.S. diplomats overseas depend on the president’s words every day to convey American interests and intentions to foreign governments. If those words are inconsistent or incoherent, foreign governments will question the effectiveness and utility of diplomacy itself. It’s possible that civil servants and Foreign Service officers may not be taken seriously by their foreign counterparts, who could be unwilling to work through an American bureaucracy that its own president publicly discredits and does not utilize.

                      If Trump doesn’t embrace a new communication style, the inner workings of the State Department won’t be the only casualty. The Trump approach to diplomacy also means that he—and by association the United States—could more easily get played by other countries. Trump’s recent foreign policy engagements suggest as much. Pakistan’s readout of Trump’s overly effusive call with Sharif could have been released as such to put pressure on its archrival India. Similarly, Taiwan’s President Tsai could have viewed Trump as a willing target of opportunity in an attempt to boost her status at home.

                      Not to mention that the fallout from impulsive foreign policy decisions could destabilize the world. Just days after the Trump-Tsai call, China flew a nuclear-capable bomber over the South China Sea and seized a U.S. research drone from international waters off the coast of the Philippines. When Trump is president, it will certainly be his prerogative to recognize Taiwan; but such a policy needs to be thought through first, anticipating its benefits and managing the costs of doing so.

                    • One Two []

                      Perhaps take some regular exercise, and should that already be part of your life then add some meditation and breathing techniques to the routine

                      It seems as if you’re somewhat hysterical when you needent be, reading your some of your comments. Did ‘senior management school’ not offer training in pragmatism?

                      The same groups are still pulling strings in the background, keeping war waging around the globe, running the worlds weapons and narcotics supply, while financing all sides in purpetuity and laundering the gains…same as it has been for hundreds of years

                      POTUS is a ceremonial position, along with all the quizzlings playing politics around the western world!

                      It’s coming down. It has to end!

                      And it will…

                    • Macro

                      Now this would not be happening had Hillary been elected – or the chump had resisted from stupid tweeting! https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/18/taiwan-carries-out-drills-amid-rising-fears-of-chinese-invasion

          • halfcrown

            Gosman @ 7.24 am

            “Why is US Marines carrying out exercises in a NATO nation worthy of widespread news coverage?”

            It is very newsworthy to keep us informed how the fucking yanks are stirring up trouble with Russia

            See https://thestandard.org.nz/daily-review-13102016/#comment-1244484

            and that is no Russian bullshit from RT

              • Gosman

                You are aware that the unofficial undertakings by members of a past administration does not tie the hands of that country in perpetuity. This was not a formal treaty but just a discussion between officials. Your argument seems to be that this is like breaking a treaty agreement. It is not

                • Paul

                  Not making that point.

                  • Gosman

                    Other than Russia being slightly peeved that NATO has expanded and that the US has troops training in a NATO member nation for a year what is your point?

                    • halfcrown

                      Slightly peeved is an understatement I think Russia should be fucking ropable not slightly peeved after losing millions in past conflicts to see foreign countries massing troops on their borders where the invaders come from the last two times.
                      Then the Yanks have the cheek to try and convince us that RUSSIA is the aggressor as they are massing troops on their border in retaliation

                    • Why do I keep having to point out that a few thousand soldiers somewhere within a couple of countries of the Russian Federation isn’t “massing troops on their borders?” In the vanishingly unlikely event that the NATO forces in those countries that actually border the Russian Federation increase by several orders of magnitude, feel free to quack on about troops “massing” on borders. Until then, it remains laughable bullshit.

                    • Morrissey

                      Why do I keep having to point out that a few thousand soldiers somewhere within a couple of countries of the Russian Federation isn’t “massing troops on their borders?”

                      Is that a quote from a German leader in the late 1930s?

                    • Oh noes! How will the brave folk of the Russian Federation hold out against these new Nazis who’ve “massed” a devastating force of ooh, let’s see, at least one armoured brigade in Poland? They must be terrified!

                    • halfcrown

                      Psycho Milt wrote @ 9.18pm 18th January

                      “Why do I keep having to point out that a few thousand soldiers somewhere within a couple of countries of the Russian Federation isn’t “massing troops on their borders?”

                      I could not give a shit how many times you have pointed that out because you are wrong there sunshine. The point is, it is aggression by the fucking yanks, backed up by their European lapdogs, pure and simple. It doesn’t matter if there were hundred a thousand or, tens of thousands NATO troops in Eastern Europe, but because of the past invasions, Russia will view any increase in numbers or moves towards their border as a threat.
                      Thank you for the permission to “feel free to quack on” but before you give such “permission’ I suggest you review some of your quackings because at times pal you write one hell of a lot of crap

                      Pleased you found “amassing” on borders. “laughable bullshit.” Because it is going to be fucking hilarious if some gung-ho trigger happy yank something they are reputed for, or bone-brained Yankee general decide to have a live exercise and some land in Russia “accidentally” It will be one great fucking laugh for all if Russia decides to retaliate.

                      I will put the problem in a simplistic nutshell After Reagan won the cold war Russia was bankrupt. Putin and I am no lover of his, has rightly or wrongly done his utmost to get the Russian shit together. America does not like like that as they want to be the top dog of the shit pile. They now have two rivals Russia and China and man they are really fucking pissed off about that.

                    • …you are wrong there sunshine.

                      Well, I guess in the alternate universe in which the phrase “massing troops” means “any number of troops whatsoever in one place” I’m wrong, but this isn’t that universe.

                      The point is, it is aggression by the fucking yanks, backed up by their European lapdogs,…

                      Your description of Russia’s western neighbours certainly explains your sycophantic approach to Putin’s mafia state, but it’s not useful in any other respect.

                      …because of the past invasions, Russia will view any increase in numbers or moves towards their border as a threat.

                      Hilarious, given that the whole reason Russia’s western neighbours are keen on NATO protection is their past experience of invasions by Russia.

                      …it is going to be fucking hilarious if some gung-ho trigger happy yank something they are reputed for, or bone-brained Yankee general decide to have a live exercise and some land in Russia “accidentally”…

                      If you trouble yourself to have a look at a map, you’ll notice how much range these American weapons would need to be able to get from Poland to Russia. I guess it’s possible they could hit Kaliningrad if they wanted to, but Russia’s got no business being there anyway.

              • I’m curious as to what right you imagine the USA and USSR had to reach agreements about what Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia etc would be allowed to do or not to do in future. I know the current Russian government believes in that right, because they believe the Russian Federation is entitled to a ‘sphere of influence’ that includes those near neighbours, but there’s no reason anyone who isn’t Russian should accept that view. Why do you accept it?

                • GregJ

                  I think you make a very fair point. For example Hungary’s interest in joining was confirmed by a November 1997 referendum that returned 85.3 percent in favor of membership.

                  However in fairness It could also be argued that NATO didn’t/doesn’t have agree to the requests of those countries to join. Indeed Greece has blocked Macedonia’s entrance over the naming dispute.

                  • I think that’s how the Russian government sees it – NATO could have, and should have, refused to extend membership to ex-Warsaw Pact countries, but instead it welcomed them in.

                    That’s a big ask, though – imagine the message it would have sent if western Europe and the USA had told the ex-Warsaw Pact countries no they couldn’t have NATO’s protection against their old master because NATO had promised their old master it would withhold it. I’m not surprised they reneged on that promise – it was wrong to make it in the first place.

                    • GregJ

                      I assumed at the time it was made, at least partially, to give Gorbachev some political cover to strengthen his position internally (on the principle “better the devil you know”). I guess they weren’t to know that the coup against him would actually lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union rather than a new-hardline Soviet government.

                    • In Vino

                      So I assume, PM, that the Munroe Doctrine is an abomination to you?

        • Andre

          Paul, I’m also curious how your piece related in any way to either of the items starting the thread. Want to explain that?

          • Paul

            Yes….your ‘news’ is just an echo chamber’ of the trivial ‘news’ put up to distract us from the important stuff that is actually happening.

            • Andre

              Ah. Echo chamber. You saw something you thought you could call an echo chamber so you responded with your own echo chamber of Russian propaganda. Shows some self-awareness, I suppose.

              • Paul

                I posted a story about troops being in Norway.
                I shall find a source that reports it in the MSM.
                There you go.

                Hundreds of U.S. Marines land in Norway, irking Russia

                You would agree – a story of more import than the trivia posted by yourself.

                I continue to be stunned by how supportive of neo-con foreign policy so many posters on the Standard are. Thought this was a ‘left wing’ site. Instead I keep debating with people who make the same arguments as Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Clinton and Obama.

                • Stunned mullet

                  You should start your own blog Paul, it would be nzs number 1 political satire site.

                • Gosman

                  Why is this an issue again? Norway has been a member of NATO since it’s foundation and these troops are there for training purposes which is one of the reasons for the alliance.

        • Johan

          Big deal, NATO military exercises happen on a regular basis. This is another way of the USA expanding their sale of military hardware to European countries. The usual, try them out before you buy.

        • NewsFlash


          Can you remind everyone how many foreign news agencies there are operating inside Russian borders.

          • In Vino

            And can anyone here tell me how often the Russians hold provocative military exercises right on the borders of the USA? The incidence of such exercises is somewhat one-sided, I think you will find.
            But I forgot – it is the Russians who are expansionists: not the utterly innocent, angelic USA.
            And I expect someone to now reply that he knows that the USA is not innocent – but the Russians are so much worse!!!

            • joe90

              And can anyone here tell me how often the Russians hold provocative military exercises right on the borders of the USA?

              NATO, dude, since 1949

              Article 3

              In order more effectively to achieve the objectives of this Treaty, the Parties, separately and jointly, by means of continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid, will maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack.


              • In Vino

                Pathetic. By testing UK air defences etc (as the USSR did) it was merely copying what the USA (+Nato allies) were already regularly doing to the USSR.
                If you know your history, about the only time the Russians really got on the front foot against the West was when they unexpectedly did 80% of the work in defeating Nazi Germany for us. Yes – 80% of Hitler’s war effort went into the Eastern Front. We bravely coped with 20%. USSR got to take much of Europe…
                May I point out that brinksmanship in Europe is not right on the USA’s borders? Pretending that NATO makes Europe a part of the USA would not be terribly popular with Europe, especially since that last election result.

                • joe90


                  One party, Norway, feels threatened, the other parties kick in and support them. It’s how treaties work.

                  btw, you’re conveniently ignoring the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, you know, the shitty little deal between Stalin and his wee Austrian mate to roll over Eastern/Western Europe and divvy up the spoils. It went sour and Russia paid the price.

                  • …the only time the Russians really got on the front foot against the West was when they unexpectedly did 80% of the work in defeating Nazi Germany for us.

                    You mean, when there was a falling out among thieves and the stronger of the thieves got half of Europe as a result? Er, yeah, exactly, that’s why most of Russia’s neighbours want NATO protection. Can’t say I blame them.

                  • In Vino

                    That shitty little deal took place because Britain and France wrongly saw Hitler’s fascism as less of a threat than Bolshevism. To make it worse, Poland refused to allow any Russian troops on its soil, so when Stalin asked Britain and France for an alliance against Hitler, they could see nothing practical to do, and declined. It was actually a clever move by Stalin, that agreement. As soon as Britain and France guaranteed support of Poland, Stalin saw that he could make the war break out in the West, not the East. He knew Hitler’s aims – ‘Mein Kampf’ had been published long ago. Stalin already knew that it was Russia’s head on the block. Hitler didn’t try very hard to invade Britain – “not our natural enemy”. So that shitty little deal caused the war to break out in the West, which gave Stalin some time. (He nevertheless failed to see the attack coming when it did.) But it was always Russia that was going to ‘pay the price’, and the West were happy to have it that way, allowing Germany and Russia to slog it out… D-Day came very late for the Russians, who had turned the tide by then. Don’t you know any of this?
                    The USSR paid for what it gained out of WW2 with far more blood than we ever gave.
                    Who said Norway feels threatened? Crap. Norway was last invaded by Germany, not Russia.
                    And PM – you have a delightful way of assuming that our side are never as evil or stupid as the other. We bloody asked for your ‘stronger of the thieves’ to take half Europe. And we are doing the same stupid stuff again.

                    • joe90

                      Poland refused to allow any Russian troops on its soil

                      Golly, I wonder why…..Polish-Russian wars in the 17/18th centuries, years of religious animosity and a war in 1920…..,

                    • Gabby

                      Well that’s all very muddly.

                    • That shitty little deal took place because Britain and France wrongly saw Hitler’s fascism as less of a threat than Bolshevism.

                      In the propaganda peddled by apologists for totalitarianism, sure. The reality-based community takes the more accurate view that it was exactly what it said it was: a deal between two totalitarian systems to carve up Europe between them. Both were as bad as each other and both intended to stab each other in the back and take the whole of Europe – we can be glad that they did each other such damage that the stronger one still only got half of Europe, but that’s about it.

                      The USSR paid for what it gained out of WW2 with far more blood than we ever gave.

                      Crime’s a tough gig – my advice is, avoid letting totalitarians take over your government. And not to let their apologists spout propaganda for totalitarian dictatorships in comments threads without responding – people read that shit and might believe it.

                    • In Vino

                      So? The Polish Govt at the time made it impossible for USSR and Brtain + France to make an alliance against Hitler. Short-sighted??

                    • In Vino

                      For Heaven’s sake, PM. I have already explained how Poland, Britain and France pretty well manoeuvred Stalin into the Ribbentrop pact.
                      “Avoid letting totalitarians take over our government.”
                      Your optimism is refreshing if nothing else.

                    • I have already explained how Poland, Britain and France pretty well manoeuvred Stalin into the Ribbentrop pact.

                      Well, you’ve asserted it. There remains the slight problem that it’s demonstrably wrong, demonstrated not least by the actual text of the agreement. The fiction that you’re presenting here was known to be fiction from the moment the agreement’s secret protocol was revealed during the Nuremberg trials in the late 1940s – only apologists for totalitarianism still peddle that fiction.

                    • In Vino

                      PM – ‘Apologists for totalitarianism’ ??? Utter garbage. You must be getting desperate to accuse any of us of that. In your other-worldly dreams.
                      The text of the agreement demonstrates nothing – it was made up by Molotov and Ribbentrop to suit their purposes, and does not directly reveal what caused that agreement to come about – confused, foolish policies by all of Britain, France and Poland.

                • Bill

                  Seeing as how I hail from a wee country situated in the N. Atlantic, I think my observation on feelings with regards the US and (the then) USSR are probably valid.

                  Go back to the 80’s and the general fear was of the US and President Raygun. The USSR were simply not seen as a threat by ordinary people. In fact (and this continues to the present) cultural relations between Russia and Scotland are quite strong and positive.

                  Now I get that the UK establishment has always harboured antipathy for Russia. But that same antipathy isn’t, in my experience, harboured by substantial swathes of the population. And certainly by no-one who sits on the left. And I include in that, those of the left who despised the supposed communism of the USSR.

                  Odd then, that half way around the world in the South Pacific, a wee chunk of commentators on a labour movement blog gleefully ‘get in behind’ the snaggle fingered, hate spewing shit that ‘our’ media orchestrates.

                  btw Joe 90. Your links of yesterday purporting to show how ‘evil’ RT is. Abby Martin continued to work for RT for a year after openly criticising Putin and troop incursions into the Crimea. Just saying. And again I ask. What do you think the reaction from the BBC would have been if one of that stations hosts had openly criticised something the UK PM was doing – something on the level of like say Thatcher invading the Falklands?

                  Their employment would be terminated tout suite.

                  • joe90

                    Their employment would be terminated tout suite.

                    Nah, they just banned a song.

                    “Many of the public (including me) did not like the attitude particularly of the BBC and I was very worried about it,” she wrote in the note, which she kept secret even from her private secretaries.


                    Other Conservative MPs were strongly critical of what they saw as the BBC’s “obsequious” attitude towards Argentina, while her husband, Sir Denis, was reported to be “livid with rage” at the coverage.

                    BBC guidelines instructed reporters to remain neutral during the campaign. “We should try to avoid using ‘our’ when we mean British,” they read. “We are not Britain. We are the BBC.”


                    • Paul

                      Do you want the US to wage a war against Russia or something ?
                      You appear to be fostering hatred against that country.

                  • Morrissey

                    The BBC has been spavined since the Blair regime declared a jihad against it reporter Andrew Gilligan had the temerity to report Dr David Kelly’s grave doubts about the “evidence” against Saddam.

                    It’s always been a cowardly and self-censoring organization, as the late great Tony Benn pointed out in 2010….

                  • NewsFlash

                    Love your use of language, “Raygun”.

                    I suppose my views are centred around, who will stand up to protect NZ should there be a need for protection………………..

              • Macro

                ICBMs can be launched from submarines thousands of miles away in the Pacific, and the Atlantic, and from bases in western Russia. The USSR had numerous nuclear powered submarines armed with ICBMs constantly patrolling in the Pacific and the Atlantic during the cold war. The blatant shipping of nuclear armed missiles to Cuba during the Bay of Pigs was an open threat. Fortunately, at the time, the US had a wiser President than the one about to be installed. One shudders to think how the chump would have handled the situation.

                • In Vino

                  On. come on Macro. At the time Russia tried to put those missiles in Cuba, the USA already had nuclear-tipped missiles in Turkey right near USSR’s border. They quietly agreed to remove them after Khrushchev’s back-down as part of the deal, if I remember correctly. The Bay of Pigs was totally unrelated – an earlier attempt at an invasion by USA-supported rebels.
                  And all those technically inferior, mechanically noisy USSR missile subs were constantly tailed by USA hunter subs armed with torpedoes to take them out before a missile could be launched if the balloon went up. No source available now, sorry, but I clearly remember the US releasing this info some time after the Cold War ended. Russia never had the power to win – it had to have lots of weapons and hope that the USA would realise that a few would get through.
                  I agree with you about the chump, but wonder why so many on a supposed ‘leftie’ site are so determined to help beat up our leaders’ attempts to demonise an external enemy. Yes, Folks, it’s Reds under the Beds all over again.

                  • Paul

                    “I agree with you about the chump, but wonder why so many on a supposed ‘leftie’ site are so determined to help beat up our leaders’ attempts to demonise an external enemy. Yes, Folks, it’s Reds under the Beds all over again.”


                  • Macro

                    the question I was replying to was this:

                    And can anyone here tell me how often the Russians hold provocative military exercises right on the borders of the USA?

                    But obviously you didn’t like the answer.

                • Paul

                  Do you want the US to wage a war against Russia or something ?
                  You appear to be fostering hatred against that country.

                  • Macro

                    On the contrary!
                    But I do not believe that Putin has good intentions with regard to other nations.
                    Furthermore the chump’s behaviour is certainly fostering hatred against the US.

            • Andre

              Care to remind me when was the last time the US annexed territory from any neighbours? The most recent round of American annexations I can think of was 1898. which included Hawaii, Gitmo, Puerto Rico.

              On the other hand, Crimea, Ukraine, and other neighbourly interventions might explain why Russia’s neighbours are nervous now.

              • In Vino

                You conveniently forgot the Philppines.
                Plus all the CIA regime change since, like Allende in Chile, etc. And that silly “South Vietnam” bullshit.
                Russia took back the Crimea with the approval of the population there. (Khrushchev never imagined that the USSR would break up when he wrongly gave the Crimea to the Ukraine.)
                Conflict in the Ukraine stems from Western interference there, and an impartial observer might well think that the Russians are trying to stand their ground, rather than attack the West.

                • …all the CIA regime change since…

                  Pretty shit, yeah. What a relief that that the decent, righteous government of the USSR never tried to foment “regime change” in other countries… oh, wait…

                  • In Vino

                    I have never called the USSR ‘decent and righteous’. Russia is a big country that will defend its interests just as perniciously as the USA, but it is well behind in damage done, because it has never been as strong. You disappoint me, PM.

                    • Well behind in damage done? The USSR actively supported “regime change” in most of the countries on the planet, including this one. It invaded more countries in a year (summer 1939 to summer 1940) than the USA managed in decades, with the Poles copping it three times in 30 years. The USA is a dilettante by comparison.

                    • In Vino

                      I get it. The USA ‘liberated’ Italy, France, Holland, etc, whereas the Soviets could only ‘invade’. By the way, in 1939 the Finns repelled the Soviets with no great territorial loss, so that leaves Poland and the Baltic States, all of which the UK and France (and Poland itself) pretty well asked for.
                      I guess those Reds will always be under the bed.
                      And are you seriously suggesting that the Soviets really subverted our democracy here in NZ? Paranoia.

                    • Yes, totalitarian dictatorships don’t “liberate” anybody, for obvious reasons. Your bizarre idea that countries “pretty well asked for” the Soviet Union to invade them is totalitarian apologia at its finest. You might as well say that other countries “pretty well asked for” Germany to invade them. And yes, the USSR did support regime change in NZ, via support for local communists, as in a lot of other countries. It’s comical the way the loonier fringes of the left bandy this phrase “regime change” about as though no-one on the left had ever wanted to or tried to overthrow an existing government.

                  • Morrissey

                    The Soviet Union’s regime changing activities, grievous as they were, were on a far smaller scale, and far less bloodier, than the regime-changing activities of the United States, Britain and France—as you would know if you had any knowledge of history.

                    • Macro

                      Tell that to Afganistan

                    • Morrissey

                      Something called “Macro” attempts, unwisely, to be clever with the following riposte….

                      Tell that to Afghanistan

                      Clearly the facts of the matter mean nothing to the likes of “Macro” but the destruction of Afghanistan is the work of the United States, which armed and diplomatically backed Osama bin Laden and the Islamic fundamentalist forces known as the mujahideen in their bloody insurrection against the Afghan government and its Soviet ally. Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher lauded these fanatics as heroes.

                      Anyone who wants to see what normal, non-fanatical, people in Afghanistan think about the likes of Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama, should listen to and think about what the likes of Malalai Joya have to say….

                    • lprent []

                      I rather think that you are ignoring the actual attitudes on the ground in Afghanistan in the 1970s and 80s. Civil wars don’t start because someone provides arms. They start because there isn’t agreement between at least two parts of society, and there isn’t a way for those differences to be expressed peaceably.

                      That was certainly the case after the Marxists seized power in a coup (hardly the sign of a legitimate government) in 1978 and effectively started the rather vicious ongoing civil war that has been raging since then.

                      Clearly you don’t have any particular knowledge of this conflict and it’s causes. Perhaps you should take your own advice and partake of some reading rather than depending on some rosy eyed bullshit.

                    • lprent []

                      I rather think that you are ignoring the actual attitudes on the ground in Afghanistan in the 1970s and 80s. Civil wars don’t start because someone provides arms. They start because there isn’t agreement between at least two parts of society, and there isn’t a way for those differences to be expressed peaceably.

                      That was certainly the case after the Marxists seized power in a coup (hardly the sign of a legitimate government) in 1978 (known at the Saur revolution for a reason). The armed start of the rather vicious ongoing civil war happened a couple of months later and has been raging since then.

                      Clearly you don’t have any particular knowledge of this conflict and it’s causes. Perhaps you should take your own advice and partake of some reading rather than depending on some rosy eyed bullshit.

                    • Morrissey

                      The same message, twice. Now THAT’s telling me, Mr Prent.

                    • lprent []

                      Just an artifact of the save routine, usually when writing it on the mobile theme. It uses jquery to save comments.

                      Sometimes the damn thing doubles up the comment too fast and manages to bypass the duplicate comment because one comment isn’t saved before the duplicate check is run on the second.

                      The desktop version saves the comment and immediately waits for a return value and usually manages to ignores double-bounces on the button.

                    • Macro

                      Don’t take my word for it

                      On December 27, 1979, 700 Soviet troops dressed in Afghan uniforms, including KGB and GRU special forces officers from the Alpha Group and Zenith Group, occupied major governmental, military and media buildings in Kabul, including their primary target – the Tajbeg Presidential Palace.

                      That operation began at 19:00 hr., when the KGB-led Soviet Zenith Group destroyed Kabul’s communications hub, paralyzing Afghan military command. At 19:15, the assault on Tajbeg Palace began; as planned, president Hafizullah Amin was killed. Simultaneously, other objectives were occupied (e.g., the Ministry of Interior at 19:15). The operation was fully complete by the morning of December 28, 1979.

                      The Soviet military command at Termez, Uzbek SSR, announced on Radio Kabul that Afghanistan had been liberated from Amin’s rule. According to the Soviet Politburo they were complying with the 1978 Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Good Neighborliness and Amin had been “executed by a tribunal for his crimes” by the Afghan Revolutionary Central Committee. That committee then elected as head of government former Deputy Prime Minister Babrak Karmal, who had been demoted to the relatively insignificant post of ambassador to Czechoslovakia following the Khalq takeover, and announced that it had requested Soviet military assistance.[90]

                      Soviet ground forces, under the command of Marshal Sergei Sokolov, entered Afghanistan from the north on December 27. In the morning, the 103rd Guards ‘Vitebsk’ Airborne Division landed at the airport at Bagram and the deployment of Soviet troops in Afghanistan was underway. The force that entered Afghanistan, in addition to the 103rd Guards Airborne Division, was under command of the 40th Army and consisted of the 108th and 5th Guards Motor Rifle Divisions, the 860th Separate Motor Rifle Regiment, the 56th Separate Airborne Assault Brigade, the 36th Mixed Air Corps. Later on the 201st and 58th Motor Rifle Divisions also entered the country, along with other smaller units.[91] In all, the initial Soviet force was around 1,800 tanks, 80,000 soldiers and 2,000 AFVs. In the second week alone, Soviet aircraft had made a total of 4,000 flights into Kabul.[92] With the arrival of the two later divisions, the total Soviet force rose to over 100,000 personnel……….

                      .Scholars from Yale Law School such as W. Michael Reisman[151] and Charles Norchi,[152] alongside scholar Mohammed Kakar, believe that the Afghans were victims of genocide by the Soviet Union.[153][154] The army of the Soviet Union killed large numbers of Afghans to suppress their resistance.[153] The Soviet forces and their proxies deliberately targeted civilians, particularly in rural areas. Up to 2 million Afghans lost their lives during the Soviet occupation.[29][30]

                      In one notable incident the Soviet Army committed mass killing of civilians in the summer of 1980.[155] In order to separate the mujahideen from the local populations and eliminate their support, the Soviet army killed and drove off civilians, and used scorched earth tactics to prevent their return. They used booby traps, mines, and chemical substances throughout the country.[155] The Soviet army indescriminately killed combatants and noncombatants to ensure submission by the local populations.[155] The provinces of Nangarhar, Ghazni, Lagham, Kunar, Zabul, Qandahar, Badakhshan, Lowgar, Paktia and Paktika witnessed extensive depopulation programmes by the Soviet forces.[1

                      my bold

                    • Morrissey

                      Don’t take my word for it

                      I’m afraid nobody, anywhere, with an IQ above room temperature would take your word for anything. The Wikipedia page you cited makes no mention of the fact that the bloody insurrection in Afghanistan was funded and diplomatically supported by the United States and the United Kingdom, and their fanatical Islamist ally Saudi Arabia.

                      It’s as authoritative and reliable as a degree from Trump University.

              • Bill

                Why annex when you can install puppets? Y’know – puppets like say, oh I dunno – Yeltsin in Russia?

                Remember that? The media support afforded him in the shelling of the Russian Parliament? How he was touted in the west as a liberator in ’93? How it was boastfully reported by Time magazine how the US had ensured Yeltsin won in ’96? Here’s the link.

                And meanwhile we have to put up with this facile fucking shite that’s being spun about Trump being some kind of ‘Manchurian Candidate’ because some fucking emails were stolen and made public.

              • Paul

                Do you want the US to wage a war against Russia or something ?
                You appear to be fostering hatred against that country.

            • NewsFlash

              Maybe you can remind everyone how many foreign News agencies operate within US borders, and then we can compare between the US and Russia, and evaluate in a rational, coherent way to determine which one has the degree of relative credibility that you could have some faith in, we all know the media has it’s problems in reporting the facts, or just as bad, omission of key points, but if you have a diverse range of agencies spewing out stories on the same topic, reading many of them will generally provide sufficient evidence of factually based news representation by repetition of the same key points.

              “And I expect someone to now reply that he knows that the USA is not innocent – but the Russians are so much worse!!!”

              I base my opinion on the general lack of civil rights in Russia, usually countries with poor civil rights tendencies (who have expelled foreign news agencies) have a reputation for propagandists type news agencies, they don’t want the world to know just how out of touch they really are.

              In the world today, there are many countries that fall into that category, and I’m sure your intelligent enough to know which ones they are.

              Oh yeah, how come we never hear about the demise of the Kurds………

          • In Vino

            By the way, how many of those ‘foreign news agencies’ are not privately-owned western propaganda agencies? BBC, Deutsche Welle, etc have lost some of their sheen over the years…

          • Paul

            How many military bases does Russia have on the borders of the US?

            • Psycho Milt

              On the borders of NATO countries? Plenty. That’s why those countries are interested in having their NATO partners support them.

              • Bill

                And there we have it folks. The territorial integrity of the USA is to be regarded as synonymous with the extent of NATO, meaning that US ‘security’ issues stretch to just beyond that point NATO has expanded to.

                “Best” bit is, I’m pretty sure PM’s contention comes delivered with a straight face.

                • Morrissey

                  One only needs to imagine what the likes of Psycho Milt would be posting here if Russian troops were massing on the border of Canada or Mexico, and virtually every Russian politician was engaging in rhetorical mudslinging and downright lying about the United States every day.

                • Gabby

                  They’re in Nato. Russia and Poland are in….?

                • The territorial integrity of the USA is to be regarded as synonymous with the extent of NATO…

                  Well, that would be pretty silly. Almost as silly as asking how many military bases the Russian Federation has on the US borders during a discussion about NATO countries in Europe. The issue here is the Russian government’s relationships with its European neighbours, not its relationship with the USA. It’s Paul who mistook NATO for the USA, I’m just trying to educate him (it’s a hobby).

                  • Paul

                    Do you want the US to wage a war against Russia or something ?
                    You appear to be fostering hatred against that country.

              • In Vino

                NATO is not the USA. NATO is the USA’s encroachment on Russia – the USA’s expansionist construct. Russia has never been as powerful as the USA. Probably never will be. Get real.

      • Xanthe 1.1.2

        Dont write FEMEN off, they have a brave and novel philosophy and the courage to put themselves on the line for justice. Respect them

        • Andre

          I’m impressed by anyone that can make a serious protest about something important that remains on point with that much humour.

          Apologies that I came across as mocking them.

          • Xanthe

            Yeah you are right. humour is intended so it’s respectful to laugh. They are real brave women
            They have an official website femen.org

  2. Stephen Doyle 2

    Fascinating bit of voter analysis from Transportblog. Patterns show little divergence between town and country. Most unlike USA and GB. Less likelyhood of a Trump/Brexit pattern.

    • Ad 2.1

      I was working on a similar post – on whether rustbelt-decline politics were still applicable in New Zealand. The Nunns post says it well without getting too much in to the politics.

      Definitely worth a read for the graphs alone.

    • swordfish 2.2

      An interesting but overly simplistic (and therefore somewhat misleading) analysis.

      There exists, in fact, a massive difference between cities like Wellington, Dunedin, Palmerston North and one or two other Provincial Cities on the one hand … and Rural and Small Town New Zealand on the other (unfortunately, he throws all of the large Provincial Cities like Hamilton / Dunedin / Tauranga / PN into the “small town and rural” category).

      If you exclude the Provincial Cities from the latter category then even Auckland clearly diverges from Rural and Small Town NZ (Nats 47% Auckland / 57% Rural – ST) … (Lab + Green 39% Auckland / 26% Rural – ST). And if you were to isolate the truly rural and small town booths (by, for example, excluding larger secondary towns like Blenheim, Masterton, Taupo etc) then you’ll find that the Nat vote is even higher / Lab + Green much lower).

      That Auckland’s party vote isn’t too dissimilar to the rest of NZ as a whole isn’t in any way surprising – given that roughly one third of voters reside there.

      As I’ve been pointing out for a while now on various blogs (when the topic comes up) , Dunedin and Wellington are now the only Cities where the Left continue to beat the Right (with Cities like PN and Nelson* being fairly evenly divided – but still to the Left of NZ as a whole).

      * City of Nelson (excluding rural and small town booths outside of city boundaries)

      He’s also a little misleading on the geography of the Presidential vote in the US.

      But still an interesting analysis.

      • Peter Nunns 2.2.1

        Hi swordfish, thanks for the thoughtful response.

        I took a few looks at the data before deciding to present it this way. I was mainly interested in whether there was an “Auckland vs the rest” divergence, rather than more general “town vs country” divides. As around 3/4 of New Zealanders live in cities of 30,000 people or over, it would be really difficult to win an election on a “rural areas vs the cities” platform. But it would in principle be possible to assemble a “regions vs Auckland” political coalition, as Auckland only makes up around 1/3 of the country.

        There are obviously quite a number of important variations between different bits of NZ. For instance, you could write an entire series of articles looking at what’s happening in different towns around the country, and why. For instance, why has the Labour party vote share in New Plymouth gone from matching the NZ average in 2002-2005 to persistently underperforming it in 2008-2014? And why is Tauranga so much more right-leaning than Hamilton?

        For what it’s worth, if you exclude the next three largest cities – Hamilton, Tauranga, and Dunedin – from the “Rest of NZ” category I used, it doesn’t change my findings. I didn’t go any further than that as I was hitting diminishing returns on further analysis.

        • swordfish

          Cheers, Peter. A very magnanimous reply to my somewhat mean-spirited initial comment (it’s pretty rare for me to be in an irritable mood, but Wednesday morning proved to be an exception 🙂 ).

          It was, indeed, a very useful and interesting piece of research on your part.

          Over the last couple of years, I’ve been calculating party vote percentages for each New Zealand city (over the series of Elections – 2005-14) ranging in size from Gisborne up to Auckland. That means going through the fairly tedious process of excluding all the small town and rural booths within the electorate but outside the boundaries of the various provincial cities. To ensure absolute accuracy, I’m also including all those voters in Maori electorates who vote at City booths – so I can encompass the entire voting population of each city.

          • Morrissey

            Gosh, swordfish, that sounds like exhausting work. Are you by any chance Dr. Steven Levine?

            • swordfish

              That’s only one facet, Morrissey. Over the longer term, I’ve been doing the same sort of Party Vote analysis for all the suburbs of each city (aggregating individual booth results into a suburban figure). But it’s such bloody tedious work that I’ve only done it in dribs and drabs. Boundary changes, suburbs split between different seats and booths located right on the boundary lines between adjoining suburbs (and one or two other irritations) all make it a bit of a headache.

              Still a long way to go (but already receiving some interesting insights … and I’ve started adding census demographics to make it more useful. Focus at this stage has largely been on the subs of Auckland, Wellington and Dunedin – although finished most of Hamilton, Nelson, New Plymouth and Whanganui too). Unfortunately, the 2014 rule changes facilitating a massive amount of early voting have probably made the suburb-by-suburb analysis pretty much redundant from now on (at the moment I’m covering 2005-11 and probably won’t bother extending it to 14 or 17).

              Stephen Levine ? Ha !, no … but good guess.

              Stephen was, however, one of my lecturers at Vic Uni back in the day (same year as Jon Johansson and that callow young fellow, Robert Salmond).

              I doubt, though, that Levine would be anywhere near as critical of the Israeli Government as I am. In fact, I seem to remember he was something of an Israeli apologist (albeit of the liberal, Israeli Labour Party type). I’m pretty sure he was brought up in a strongly Zionist New York family.

              Interestingly, at the time of Israel’s murderous operations in the West Bank during the Sharon years and through to Israel’s carpet bombing of Lebanon in 2006 … a very courageous young Wellington post-grad and pro-Palestinian (ie pro-International Law and Human Rights) activist was quite prominent in the media (certainly, the Dominion Post and Radio New Zealand). She was a member of the local Jewish community and her name was (and no doubt still is) Alia Levine.

              And I’ve noticed that Stephen Levine dedicates his 1976 book The New Zealand Voter: A Survey of Public Opinion and Electoral Behaviour, to his children … one of whom is named Alia … so, you know, putting 2 + 2 together … might equal 4, might not. But it’s an intriguing possibility.

              Apart from the Zionist background (presumably) influencing his views on Israel, Stephen was a fairly progressive sort of bloke … so I can imagine that – if indeed Alia (the activist) is his daughter – she may simply have applied his broader politics to the Middle East in a way that he was clearly unable to himself.

              • Morrissey

                Actually, I knew you couldn’t be him because I was aware of his views on Israel. I do like the sound of Alia Levine.

                From what I’ve read and heard of him, Stephen Levine seems to be quite civilised, and nowhere near as rabid as Auckland’s disgraceful David Cumin or Waikato’s two-man hasbara Norman Simms (another native New Yorker and, apart from his crazed pro-Israel stance, a witty and charming guy) and Dov Bing (who occasionally emerges from under his rock of academic obscurity to pen bloodthirsty anti-Palestinian Op-Ed pieces for the Waikato Times).

                David Cumin is a particularly nasty operator. He recently dealt with poor old Jesse Mulligan like a tiger deals with a goat tethered to a stake….

                Open Mike 08/10/2016

    • NewsFlash 2.3

      The pollsters in both cases got it COMPLETELY wrong, If you look at the US situation, there are good reasons why the pollsters got it wrong, deliberate misleading, and, the Trump supporters were extremely proud of their behaviour.

  3. Paul 3

    More news you won’t see in NZ media.

    Mosul offensive: Up to 30 civilians ‘killed in US-led coalition air strike’ as Iraqi forces continue push into Isis stronghold.

    Just wondered where the White Helmets are?
    Or do they not assist civilians bombed by the Americans?

    • Where are the White Helmets? Well, in Syria, not Iraq, for a start. Also, unlike east Aleppo, Mosul actually is held by Da’esh and they don’t take kindly to western-funded NGOs on their territory. Maybe there are other reasons as well – why do you ask?

      • Paul 3.1.1

        A tiny bit of research will point you to the links between the Jihadis and the White Helmets.

        • Andre

          Ok, let’s apply a little bit of thought here.

          According to one group of propagandists, the White Helmets are some sort of jihadi theatre piece to manipulate western sympathy against Assad and Russia, and generate positive coverage for what are actually jihadi operations. Corollary: it had some success in east Aleppo going as far as a Nobel nomination, so it would be a good model for jihadis to follow elsewhere.

          According to another group of propagandists, the White Helmets are a home-grown (albeit with acknowledged external help) group formed for first-response assistance to those injured by warfare in east Aleppo. Corollary: as a home-grown local initiative with ongoing local problems they would have no interest in extending operations beyond their immediate area of interest.

          Observation: there are no White Helmets (or similar) getting publicity in jihadi-held areas of Mosul. Which group of propagandists’ narrative does this observation support?

        • Psycho Milt

          And if those links included Da’esh, and if the White Helmets operated outside Syria, it would indeed be odd that they weren’t in Mosul. But neither of those things is the case, so no it’s not surprising at all that they aren’t in Mosul. So again, why do you ask?

          • Paul

            Why do you think?

            • Psycho Milt

              Well, I think it was a snide rhetorical question intended to imply that the White Helmets are some kind of front for US interests in the region, and that the accusation is implied rather than directly stated because if it was directly stated people would recognise it as ridiculous. But I was giving you the opportunity to provide some other reason.

  4. It doesn’t look like a confident or positive start to Labour’s selection year.

    Little: “In terms of big, headline stuff there’s not a great deal more.”
    “There will be some rules about fiscal discipline that we are working on at the moment”

    Still working on policy? Little said he would not announce new policy on January 29.

    ““You can expect to see one or two joint policy announcements in the next few months between Labour and the Greens”

    “…talk to a collection of audiences right across the country on a policy area that we have common ground on. People will see that as the year wears on.”


    “I have to lead a party that starts from 2014 at a 25 per cent vote, polling at the moment at late 20s, 30 per cent sort of mark.

    So we have a lot of work to do, and I don’t underestimate that.”


    I’m not sure that the work Little is currently doing, joining with Greens at the hip and still working on policy as the year wears on, is a winning strategy.

    • Paul 4.1


      • Stunned mullet 4.1.1

        Yes dear.

      • Red 4.1.2

        Russian troll apologist, and shill,

        Paul daily dose is as irritating as fingers on a chalk board

        • Morrissey

          You’re a liar. Paul is, like anyone who has a brainwave, rightly skeptical about the brutal anti-Russian rhetoric of the Democratic Party’s embittered and ruthless right wing faction, and its uncritical parroting by some people—like yourself—on this otherwise excellent site. That does not make him “an apologist for Russia.”

          You are, I repeat, a liar.

    • Johan 4.2

      Pete George, be patient, do not be too concerned, Labour/Greens will be well organized. Be more worried about your own party with Bill showing very little leadership potential and Collins, knife at the ready. When will she strike, a beautiful picture it is for National;-)))

    • The Chairman 4.3

      What you see is largely what you’re going to get?

      Polls to date indicate Labour are failing to significantly resonate with voters, yet Little has warned voters not to expect much more?

      Looks like Labour have thrown in the towel.

      • Johan 4.3.1

        The Chairman, you must be reading your own polls;-) I am more interested in actual recent events, such as by-elections results, and John Key’s sudden leaving of a sinking Tory ship for no transparent reason (not yet anyway).

        • Leftie

          Bang on Johan, it is incredible how those facts are completely ignored by some people.

        • The Chairman

          Not my own polls. The ones that are reported, often highlighted and commented upon here.

          Election results seldom imitate by-election results.

          Key’s sudden departure doesn’t seemed to have improved Labour’s chances as much as some have anticipated.

          With Little ranking so low, it will be interesting to see how English ranks against him in the preferred PMs poll.

          With Labour ranking so low, thus their policy to date not significantly resonating, one would have expected the team would have been called in over Christmas to brainstorm. However, we now have Little telling us not to expect much more.

          Hence, it looks like they’ve thrown in the towel.

      • Leftie 4.3.2

        Complete bollocks The Chairman.

    • Gabby 4.4

      You show me yours, I’ll show you mine.

  5. Paul 5

    Trevett continues to fawn all over the caretaker PM.

    Bill English has a smile for every encounter

    Many posters on this site can see the evident bias in the MSM when reporters like Trevett dribble on about our departing PM, but seem blind to similar bias in reports about Russia, Syria, Libya, Iraq, Ukraine, Scotland……..

  6. Paul 6

    Further consequences of a failed housing policy.

    Schools desperately recruiting overseas to find qualified teachers

    With less than two weeks to go before school starts, a number of Auckland schools are again finding it difficult to fill their teaching roster.

    One says they are recruiting from as far away as England.

    Long Bay College principal Russell Brooke said it was a nightmare to find teachers with the right skill-set, and it’s an issue across all subjects.

    He said he is recruiting as far as England, which not all schools can afford to do.

    Brooke said to get someone up to speed with modern adolescents, is technologically savvy and can teach to scholarship level, is just about impossible.

    Secondary Principals’ Association President Sandy Pasley said most schools were struggling to find skilled teachers and a big factor was the cost of living in Auckland.

    • JanM 6.1

      It’s taken a while, but it would appear that the consequences of teachers being treated like the poorly paid servants of the anxious classes are finally coming home to roost

        • JanM

          Yes, well that just emphasises the point, doesn’t it – if a qualified professional who has taken four years to gain a qualification (probably with a nasty fat student loan as a result) can’t afford to live somewhere, what does that say about how poorly they are valued? A bit like the young striking doctors – it’s has been fashionable for some time to treat the ‘service sector’ like rubbish – it’s about power and control. The building sector has been in crisis for so long now it seems normal, and much for the same reasons.
          In fact the only people who seem to prosper are those in the financial, accounting and management sectors, many of whom we used to call ‘wages clerks’ or the like 🙁

    • saveNZ 6.2

      One of the other problems with the schools is that they also want ‘work ready’ teachers so don’t want to have the bother of hiring new teachers fresh from teachers college.

      Now they want to recruit in more teachers from overseas and that is another issue, the curriculum is different between countries.

      In additions there are more people living in Auckland and so there needs to be more professionals hired to cope with it.

      Pity the government does not think about all the issues, before in real terms cutting the budgets of essential services like public schools while engulfing the services with new people and giving money to their ideological ‘charter schools’ and private schools.

      Saying that I am sure that cost of living in Auckland would drive any teachers out that could work elsewhere.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.3

      I doubt if recruiting offshore is really going to make a difference. If people already living here can’t afford to live on the wages offered then people presently living overseas won’t be able to either.

      And if it’s a lack of skills then the obvious solution is ongoing teacher training. But I doubt if the government wants to cover that cost and simply wants the teachers to pay for it themselves which also requires higher wages.

      Since the 1980s we’ve dumped the costs of training onto the people while also reducing their wages and then we wonder why we’re losing skills.

  7. Sabine 7

    stupid is as stupid does, or i only listen to what i want to hear.


    women complains about the Republican and the turd gutting Planned Parenthood.

    well doh, woman, IF you would have read up on your elected official you would have fucking known that gutting Planned Parenthood together with gutting the Affordable Care Act was the first thing they will do.

    But yeah, Human Resource Woman from Arizona, you better stock up on the Pill, the morning after pill, get an IUD, and start your Health Care Savings Account.

    It’s one thing to vote on ideology, or just out of spite, or other assorted made up bullshite, but its another thing altogether to vote to have your rights taken away and then spend a fucking full page lamenting about it. YOU VOTED FOR IT. Rally behind your Presnit and rejoice.

    • miravox 7.1

      I could almost feel sorry for her… when I get over thinking about how many women and families she helped throw under a bus….

      Nope. I can’t.

      • Sabine 7.1.1

        Well i am sure that we can agree that his Human Resource Person only voted for the Trump because she was in a precarious work situation and thought the Turd would help better her job prospects.
        Obviously. Cause nothing else matters. She too know if she is still young enough can get to experience the awesome female centric healthcare provided by faith and prayer.

      • Macro 7.1.2

        As soon as I read that she voted for the chump…
        Well just a stupid person.
        As you say – she helped throw millions under a bus.

        Nope I can’t feel sorry for her either.

    • Andre 7.2

      Well, the answer is obvious. She and all the other women not in a committed subservient relationship with a dominant male providing for her will just have to stop rooting for the next four years. Or forty, depending on how long the Chump’s Supreme Court picks take to die off. Then when any males looking for a bit of action have to make do with Mrs Palm and her five daughters, we may see a shift in attitudes. Or not.

      • Sabine 7.2.1

        and if you look back in time, you will see that man got to root indiscriminately, some rooted their servants, their slaves, their spoils of war, their children, their wifes without consent and the likes.

        and when wifey dies in childbirth or her uterus falls out of after eleventy children then males just get to ‘marry’ a newer model for the next round of religiously approved rooting.

        and btw, who will be the ‘slut’ or ‘prostitute’ when all women are scared to root cause pregnancy? Your daughter? Or your neighbors daughter? Or the girl / women down the road?

        Cause the once cutting access to Planned Parenthood are for the largest part men.
        Who last i checked don’t get pregnant and stuck with a child they may not need.

        Never mind that Planned Parenthood also offers many non sex related health care services that also affect men.

        • Andre

          It’s 2017. Surely there won’t be a regression to barbaric behaviours and attitudes like that? Not when a new glorious leader President Pussy-Grabber has just been elected to set the example?

          Oh wait…

        • The Fairy Godmother

          Perhaps American women might need to follow the example of the women of Lysistrata, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysistrata. That might be the only way to get anywhere in the male-dominated USA.

          • Sabine

            well frankly some of these women might not want to have their faces bashed in by refusing hubby his ‘rights’. Cause that too was a right not too long ago.

            • The Fairy Godmother

              Good point. Perhaps Margaret Atwood’s “Handmaid’s Tale” is now an accurate prediction.

  8. Paul 8

    Labour leader to speak to Pike protesters

    Labour leader Andrew Little not giving ‘false hope’ to Pike River families ahead of visit to the West Coast

    Labour leader Andrew Little says a third report on whether it’s safe to re-enter Pike River would settle it.

    Re-entering Pike River mine isn’t a case of “any old chump donning some breathing apparatus and going down there,” says Labour leader Andrew Little.

    His comments come after NZ First leader Winston Peters pledged late last year to be one of the first to enter the drift and has since made re-entry of the mine a “bottom line” in any post-election coalition talks.

    Little is travelling to the West Coast on Wednesday to meet with Pike River families and “show them some solidarity” since they started picketing at the road gate near the mine.

    On Saturday Peters visited Greymouth and told the family of the 29 Pike River victims that “here on the West Coast you are a forgotten people”.

    “The Labour Party saying late last year, when some of the families came to Wellington, that if they came to power they would ask for yet another report before going into the mine, probably from the same people that are already saying that you can’t go in, is weak and disingenuous. It means maybe, sometime never”.

    “The growing suspicion around the handling of Pike River is that a number of conflicted parties, that is, the Government and the original owners at the time of the disaster, and Solid Energy, don’t want you to go in because they are concerned as to what you might find – even in a limited entry. That attitude simply reeks of elitism,” he said.

    • saveNZ 8.1

      It it a pity Little and Peters don’t put the blame on the National party and seek to agree on a solution to Pike River with each other, (after all many hope they will go into collation after the election) not snipe at each other.

      It achieves nothing but a gain for National when they are the ones who are denying justice to the Pike River families.

      • Leftie 8.1.1

        I am not going to bag Little for not wanting to politicize the tragedy and to make promises the new government may not be able to keep. National changed the law that effectively makes it illegal to re-enter the mine. National should be forced to not seal the mine until this matter is properly resolved.

        • The Chairman

          “National changed the law that effectively makes it illegal to re-enter the mine.” 

          “Labour leader Andrew Little says a third report on whether it’s safe to re-enter Pike River would settle it.”

          But will a third report get passed the law change?

          And if not, will Labour still keep their promise to re-enter if the third report says it’s safe?

          • Leftie

            That’s what needs to be worked out. If the independent report says it’s safe then they need to deal with the law change so they can re-enter the mine.

    • Leftie 8.2

      “Little has promised that a Labour Government would get an independent assessment of the mine, and re-enter it if it was declared safe.”

      “Little said there were two conflicting streams of advice, and the best way to make a decision was to get an independent report. The Pike River families had accepted that position when he had spoken to them, he added.”

      <a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11782762

      • Sabine 8.2.1

        You sure that is good enough?

        I mean, clearly Andrew Little could just show up, shovel in hand and start digging? Right?

        • saveNZ

          While you are being sarcastic, if you had a loved one in there maybe a practical approach is what you really want, not just, lets get another report on it.

          Little should have agreed with Winston when he said he would enter the mine himself! It’s the stand of solidarity that people want in that situation.

          We used to be a number 8 wire, go to country, not hiding behind endless reports and paper work.

          The Pike River people have been screwed over in the worst possible way, they want actions and answers not more reports 6 years later. Nor does it help Labour to take a cautious approach on this one and let the media spin it Little vs Peters.

        • Leftie

          How? National made it illegal to re-enter the mine.

          • DoublePlusGood

            If only a government had the power to change laws…

            • Leftie

              Have to change the National government first.


              If the independent report says it’s safe then they need to deal with the law change so they can re-enter the mine.

    • mauī 8.3

      Good stuff from Angry Andy. This steals the limelight back off Winston and also shows red, green and black parties have the same goal in mind.

  9. Whispering Kate 9

    Interesting to hear on the RNZ news this morning that Angela Merkel was going to fast track a trade agreement with NZ after discussions with Blinglish while he was over there. Just thoughts here – but when Helen Clarke signed off the trade agreement with China didn’t that start the wave of Chinese coming over here to buy up property like there was no tomorrow and create a new Chinatown in Auckland. Now this Merkel lady is a pretty wily old bird and I am wondering if it is in her mind that a trade agreement with us might allow her to off load and open the flood gates of migrants she has residing over there, to fly out here en masse and we will have a housing crisis the likes of what we are not experiencing at the present time. It may be the same with the UK and the trade deal Blinglish is right now trying to negotiate as well – while its nice to have folks come here to live it might be a good idea to think about the housing side of things otherwise we will have tent cities like slum cities do. Lovely days ahead.

    • saveNZ 9.1

      Interesting thought. Saying that if we got some German builders and contractors over here, they are the best apparently – if you screw up as a builder in Germany you go to jail and you have to guarantee your work for 10 years no excuses…. Because of that high standards of engineering and building…. Of course they have free tertiary education over there too.

      Blinglish will probably go for the chefs, fruit pickers and restaurant managers though as our essential skills shortages… because that is what NZ Initiative tells him we need. Or get the neo Nazi types that Merkel is trying to get rid of.

      Or Europe will give him hope of selling some butter in 100 years time if only NZ converts some Island into a Nauru type concentration camp to hold refugees.

      Who knows, apart from Merkel is a lot smarter than Blinglish!

    • miravox 9.2

      I doubt it would be the case that Merkel would ship the new refugees to NZ anytime soon. Aside from a lengthy administrative process Germany needs more, not fewer working age people to support a declining, aging population. Currently the economy is doing well “as an environment of low interest rates and a record influx of refugees fuel household and state spending.”

      That’s not to say NZ won’t be asked to up it’s pathetically small refugee quota, nor that the appalling housing situation shouldn’t be addressed.

    • Sabine 9.3

      seriously, floodgates of refugees coming to NZ flying here en masse? Like several planeloads a day? Like no tourists, not students, no workers, but plane loads of refugees from countries we don’t want people to come from? Cause all these refugees from Syria and other places don’t have education, have skills, have builders, teachers, nurses and the likes?

      Oh but maybe you are worried about the Property speculators coming in by the planeload, buying properties unseen at auctions to keep them empty and flip the next day? right? right? Cause migrant is migrant is migrant.

      what a fucking sad statement.

      • Sabine 9.3.1

        apart from the fact that it is very expensive to just ‘fly here’.

        One reason a lot of germans come here for six and more weeks is the price of coming here…..several thousand dollars if flying out of Auckland. Seriously the refugees in Germany will have the option of any country in the EU to choose from once they are granted permanent residence. NZ might not be the first country they have in mind.

        • Sabine

          flying out of Frankfurt/Munich/Berlin. not akl of course, but in saying that never fly Air NZ to Germany, they demand money and your first born for the pleasure.

      • weka 9.3.2

        Actually I think she was saying that it might be an issue because of the housing crises here and we should think ahead (good luck with that).

        Refugee, immigrant. My guess is that any increase in German immigration here will be a continuation of all the immigration ie. you get in if you’ve got the dosh (or the lucky few that can marry or get work sponsorship here). In that sense, it is an issue, but that’s to do with our immigration policy and what we value ($).

        • Sabine

          NZ is not on the foremost mind to the German for migrating. That would OZ, who also makes it fairly easy to migrate to if you are a trained/certifide/tradie/master/ausbilder. Hairdressers, Butchers, Cabinetmakers, Builders, Stonemason the likes used to always go to OZ if they could, cause sun and surf, followed by the US – which might just change a bit now.

          NZ is a bit different as the way NZ is shown overseas it seems to be empty and devoid of people and houses but full of the Kea 🙂

          So people come here on Holiday, figure out that really pay ain’t that good, career options are limited, social services are precarious and many decide after their initial holiday that nah, if one has to be poor they might be poor in Germany/Europe.

          Those that want to come here and live love it tho and often end up in the South Island. Cause theres less people 🙂

          But again, i don’t think that People will flood here overnight, and if that were the case, it would be our government at fault.

      • Whispering Kate 9.3.3

        Sabine if you are answering me – I have no objections to refugees coming here, many Middle Eastern people are very highly skilled – its the housing problem I am thinking of – how are these refugees going to be housed and they deserve that more than a lot of people I can think of, because of their terrible circumstances that have made them refugees. Merkel may drive a hard bargain and make that a pre-requisite of signing a trade deal. This government has not made any real difference in law change to address the housing problem or for widening the tax take to allow for infrastructure to be put in place, or hospitals and schools better managed and staffed to be able to manage the already stretched resources they have – or the police for that matter. How fair is it on our already struggling hospitals, schools, police to be able to manage the extra load on them while being penny pinched year on year by miserly idealogy driven Blinglish .

        Blinglish I don’t think thinks further than his nose sometimes.

        • Sabine

          the refugee process in Germany is a long process, it can take many many years before someone is ‘accepted’ . Most of the refugees are now living in limbo in Germany – a relatively comfortable limbo – accepted to stay in Germany but no permit to work, getting housed in centres etc or having to report to a certain office weekly/monthly, but given pocket money, language lessons etc – before they gain proper refugee status that would then allow them to live in the country, work etc to then eventually gain permanent residence or apply to be naturalized.

          So i don’t think that you need to be worried about refugees coming in to further fuck up our already broken housing market.

          However, it would not be to bad to have some german ‘Ausbilder’ (people who through years of training and work have become accredited “Masters’ of their trade and who are licensed to ‘apprentice’ and train others in their respective trades. Especially considering that we have a Housing Crisis and we need more builders and we need better trained builders that be have at the moment.

        • Sabine

          I get what you are saying, but again, i don’t see a Million Germans just sitting on packed bags waiting to NZ, knowing that there is a housing crisis, that the majority of houses are shacks of wood, that the job situation ain’t good, and that if you don’t do well you will be dirt poor at the end of the world with nowhere to go and no social net to catch you fall.

          As for blinglish, to increase the housing shortage is good for his finances.

          Someone posted about dasartly labour MP’s might owning a second house/rental, but i am sure i have seen that the majority of MP’s investing in rentals/speculation/ etc are on the National side.

          So the more people compete for living space the better it is or the monied establishment. And the double dipper is monied establishment.


  10. Andre 10

    As the Chump “drains the swamp” more vile creatures slither from the depths. Is Erik Prince the “tremendous plan” to defeat ISIS?


    • Sabine 10.1

      i am sure there is a lot of money to be made in ‘defeating ISIS’.
      Just as there was a lot of money to be made in Iraq with Blackwater/Xe.
      And he would have defeated the Boko Haram too, he would.


      oh and what about having a private ‘ evangelic’ bringing god to the infidels air force.


      One could say that they drained swamp is only being filled with astute business men and token business women. 🙂

      interesting times, we live in interesting times.

      i like this from his Wiki page

      ” Private security for the United Arab Emirates[edit]
      After Blackwater faced mounting legal problems in the United States, Prince was hired by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi and moved to Abu Dhabi in 2010. His task was to assemble an 800-member troupe of foreign troops for the U.A.E., which was planned months before the Arab Spring.[32] He helped the UAE found a new company Reflex Responses, or R2, with 51 percent local ownership, carefully avoiding his name on corporate documents. He worked to oversee the effort and recruit troops, among others from Executive Outcomes, a former South African mercenary firm hired by several African governments during the 1990s to defeat violent rebellions in addition to protecting oil and diamond reserves.

      In January 2011, the Associated Press reported that Prince was training a force of 2000 Somalis for antipiracy operations in the Gulf of Aden. The program was reportedly funded by several Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates and backed by the United States. Prince’s spokesman, Mark Corallo, said Prince has “no financial role” in the project and declined to answer any questions about Prince’s involvement.

      The Associated Press quotes John Burnett of Maritime Underwater Security Consultants as saying, “There are 34 nations with naval assets trying to stop piracy and it can only be stopped on land. With Prince’s background and rather illustrious reputation, I think it’s quite possible that it might work.”.[33]

      Private equity investor in Africa[edit]
      Prince currently heads a private equity firm called Frontier Resource Group and is chairman of Frontier Services Group Ltd, a Bermuda-incorporated logistics and transport company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.[34] Frontier Services Group is backed by China’s state-owned CITIC Group and Hong Kong-based investor Chun Shun Ko.[35][36] Prince’s ventures advise and support Chinese investment in oil and gas in Africa.[37] Of his strategy, Prince stated:

      Africa is so far the most unexplored part of the world, and I think China has seen a lot of promise in Africa. But the problem is if you go alone, you bear the country risk on your own. You have to get support and maintenance there.[38]

      In May 2014, it was reported that Prince’s plan to build a diesel refinery in South Sudan, in which $10 million had already been invested, was suspended. The halted refinery project was reported to be supported personally by the country’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardit.[34] Frontier Services Group was reported to be paid $23.3 million by South Sudan’s Ministry of Petroleum to transport supplies and perform maintenance on oil production facilities.[39]

      As part of Prince’s Africa-focused investment strategy, Frontier Services Group purchased stakes in two Kenyan aviation companies, Kijipwa Aviation and Phoenix Aviation, to provide logistics services for the country’s oil and gas industry.[34] In October 2014, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority denied Kijipwa Aviation an aviation license renewal.[40][41][42]”

      and Betsy de Vos – token female in swamp is going to manage education in the US is his sister….but somewhere there are dynasties……. lol. Fucking lol.

      • joe90 10.1.1

        and Betsy de Vos – token female in swamp is going to manage education in the US is his sister….but somewhere there are dynasties……. lol. Fucking lol

        Do watch the video.

        Franken asks the Secretary of Education nominee on her views re: proficiency vs. growth. She is not qualified to lead. #DeVosHearing pic.twitter.com/QN1HLsc1WV— deray mckesson (@deray) January 18, 2017


        ( Kakistocracy (kækɪsˈtɑkɹəsi) is a term meaning a state or country run by the worst, least qualified, or most unscrupulous citizens. )

        • joe90

          The full De Vos hearing. She ain’t too bright.

          • Sabine

            born rich, married even richer, never worked in a job, never applied for a job, never went to public school, never send her kids to public school, and is a downright scary fundamentalist catholic nut case as is her brother Eric Prince of Blackwater Fame.

            she was not considered for the job because she has any knowledge she is considered for the job cause she makes money out of Charter Schools. And making money is good.

            or as the prosperity Gospel goes, she is rich, so surely god loves her and that makes her right.

  11. Andre 11

    Yet another chemical implicated in bee declines. Organosilicones, commonly used as surfactants, are usually biologically inert by themselves. But it seems they really help pathogens and nasty chemicals do their work.


  12. joe90 12

    Yes, the company has brought in an anti aircraft missile system to use against Standing Rock protester’s camera drones.

    According to the Army Recognition website, the Avenger AN/TWQ-1 Air Defense System vehicle is a missile mounted system which provides mobile, short-range air defense protection for ground units against cruise missiles, unmanned aerial vehicles, low-flying fixed-wing aircraft, and helicopters.

    The AN/TWQ-1 missile system has been around since the 1980s, however, it has recently been equipped with a “High energy laser weapon used to neutralize small unmanned air vehicles. Also neutralized unexploded ordnance at standoff distance.”


  13. Puckish Rogue 13


    Not what you’re thinking, what I’m interested in is the idea that articles like this are being published not to embarrass the government but instead to help gain support for the government

    On the face of its another heart warming story where the community rally round the nice, old lady and stop the heartless government organisation from messing with her home

    All well and good but when you read the comments you’ll see an over-whelming amount of people who don’t agree with that at all

    There does seem to be more then a few of these types of articles coming out so I’m curious if anyone else thinks this is actually designed to drum up support for National instead trying to embarrass National

    • bwaghorn 13.1

      looks like you’ll need different bait pucky , that tasty morsel hasn’t got a single nibble.

      • Puckish Rogue 13.1.1

        No seriously, I mean I barely read these types of stories anymore because they’re basically the same.

        I’m more interested in what else the story is trying to say, without saying it…blame it on reading too many Jeffery Archer books at a young age if you like

        As I say on the surface of it the story is about heartless govt v community battlers BUT if you read the comments then you’ll see they’re mostly in favour of the govt

        So is this the media supporting the govt by stealth?

        • NewsFlash

          The comments in the Herald are from one particular group of Herald enthusiasts, to prove my point, have a look at the story about Bill English (Saturday Herald) doing a no show at Waitangi, and then have a look at the comments, the story and the comments bear no relationship, and, it’s pretty easy to see what part of the political divide that the commenters come from, no prizes for guessing!

        • bwaghorn

          na just the simple minded haters find it easy to blurt their simplistic cures and answers to lifes problems.

    • Bill 13.2

      I can see how comments below articles can play a significant role in shaping views. Not on the type of story you refer to though.

      Take a bigger and broader political story – something that’s pushing a meme or official narrative. Someone might read the article, but have their views or uncertainties catered to by the comments beneath the article.

      For my money that’s why The Guardian shut down many of its comments sections under the bigger political stories it was ‘running lines’ on. Now it tends to just run the line with no opportunity afforded for feedback…which speaks volumes.

  14. joe90 14

    All the fun of the fair A&P show.

    Gloria Allred says she might subpoena NBC for out-takes of Trump on The Apprentice as part of new lawsuit by former contestant.— Sharona Coutts (@sharonacoutts) January 17, 2017

    This is the plan. Trump made the ENORMOUS mistake of calling the woman liars. Now she has grounds for discovery in a defamation case. https://t.co/QaDJvOlQqp— IMPEACH OrangeJulius (@puppymnkey) January 17, 2017

  15. joe90 15

    When the leader of a party formed by an actual Nazi gets an invitation, you know they’ve given up pretending.

    You know how comedians and people in bands have to go to other musicians’/comedians’ shows to support them because that’s the only way they can make sure they’ll have people at their own shows? The international alliance of hateful white-nationalist politicians is apparently like that too. From an English-language Austrian news site:

    The head of Austria’s Freedom Party (FPÖ), Heinz-Christian Strache, has officially announced his attendance at Donald Trump’s upcoming inauguration, which takes place this Friday. Strache disclosed his plans on his Facebook page on Tuesday morning. … The invitation allegedly came from the US-Congressman from Iowa, Steve King, who is known for his ultraconservative views and strong support for Trump.


  16. Craig H 16


    Bernadine Oliver-Kerby shows her complete ignorance of ACC and insurance…

  17. joe90 17

    Shit’s getting real.

    .@BritishArmy moving tanks through Channel Tunnel in long-planned test tonight – means we can move kit by rail as well as sea & air. pic.twitter.com/cjj4LMsq7x— Ministry of Defence (@DefenceHQ) January 17, 2017

  18. Johan 18

    Why does the management of Stuff website allow their stories to be saturated by idiotic right-wing type comments and upvoted say 300+ times, how crazy is that?

  19. Penny Bright 19


    Seen this ?

    Pullya Bennefitt gate crashes NIKI’S EVICTION PROTEST! –

    Tuesday 17 January 2017


    Penny Bright

    2017 Independent candidate Mt Albert by-election

  20. joe90 20

    Seems a bloke wrote a poem for the Trump inauguration.

    A Scotsman had a few words for the poet.

    From Scotland With Love

    (For Joseph Charles MacKenzie)

    MacKenzie, you poor man’s McGonagall,

    rank mediocrity of wank and shite

    that Burns wid ca’ a bawheid’s doggerel,

    Ah’ll spit a rhyme for ye: Ye cannae write.

    A decorated poet? Aye! A dick

    drawn on yer foreheid wi an inky wid

    be fine and fitting, a humungous prick

    and fuckin big block capitals: NAE GUID!

    Naw, wait! Fuck drawing! Wi black biro and

    a set of compasses, ah wid tattoo

    yer fuckin travesty of verse by hand

    aw o’er yer skelped-arse face in blue

    of Picts and fitba’ strips, the Scottish flag,

    so’s every one ae us Jock Tamson’s Weans

    at wan swatch ae yer ugly mug wid gag,

    boak like at reekin pants wi squittery stains.

    Yer rhyme for Trump’s inauguration wank?

    Huv ye drunk his spunk? D’ye fuckin swallow?

    Like pus squeezed fae a beilin pluke, it’s rank.

    Ye’ve pisht on the Muses and Apollo.

    Best of McLeod? Don’t make me fuckin laugh.

    Yer tangerine nazi rapeclown’s fuckin loathed

    by Scots who mind when rebels wurnae naff

    gold-shittered gobshite Emperors unclothed.

    Wallace and Bruce? Did ye watch Braveheart then?

    Rob Roy wi Liam Neeson? Yer a joke!

    Try John Maclean. Nae bonny hills and glens;

    try our Red Clyde, ye fascist fuck, and choke.

    It’s fit, but, ah suppose, yer numpty’s praise

    shid come in scansion painful as the worst,

    the world’s worst, poor McGonagall: the days

    aheid, we’ll aw be sufferin, fuckin curst.

    And aye, yer Tumshie Trump Train’s on its way

    Towards it’s ain disastrous silvery Tay,

    And yer best hope, McKenzie, is yer shitty fuckin rhyme

    Will no be remembered–

    wi yon prissy-lipped and fright-wigged

    fake-tanned baby-handit Nazi bandit’s

    treasonous dismantling of the USA–

    Will no be remembered–

    wi yon tragic bawbag’s Special Day,

    remembered wi Traitor Trump’s Inauguration,

    remembered wi the Death of a Nation,

    remembered as a literary punch bowl turd,

    to poetry as Trump is to the presidency: a crime.

    –remembered for,

    in the world’s worst poet’s words,

    a very long time.



  21. adam 21

    Ahhh, Dynastic politics is alive and well in little old New Zealand. Like how they call this hard right ideologue, center right – so post truth from the granny – or is that fake news, either way, do we really need dynastic politics in this country?


  22. Paul 22

    We’re in for a messy 2017.
    Remember four of our biggest banks are Australian.

    Kiwis could lose homes if rates rise

    Australian research has found one in five Aussies are walking such a fine line on their mortgage they could lose their home if mortgage rates were to rise by just 0.5 percentage points.

    Christina Leung, a senior economist at NZIER said New Zealand households were not as leveraged as Australia’s but there was still “a large degree of risk there”.

    Leung said Australia’s household debt to disposable income was around 200 per cent while New Zealand’s level was 160 per cent.

    But New Zealand’s level was still higher than prior to the global financial crisis, which meant households were vulnerable to any change in circumstances.

  23. Red Hand 23

    Wellington region bird watching via public transport.


  24. Draco T Bastard 24

    The Revolt of Working Parents

    “There is no way you can be a good mother while achieving what I aspire.”

    “Let’s face it. It’s a man’s world. The woman always stays home with the child.”

    “It’s hard to do this job with two kids.”

    These are just a few phrases working mothers reported hearing from their supervisors when discussing promotions or demotions, according to recent court filings. The subtle—and sometimes overt—perception illustrated by these statements—that mothers are less devoted to their jobs than childless workers—has been dubbed “the Maternal Wall” or “the New Glass Ceiling.” This has led to a wave of claims of gender discrimination based on parental responsibilities, which now make up a growing number of lawsuits against American employers.

    In the past decade, the number of caregiver-discrimination lawsuits has tripled compared to the previous decade, according to research from the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California, San Francisco. Between 2006 and 2015, researchers found that more than 3,000 such cases were decided in state and federal courts, even as overall federal job-discrimination claims were declining. This growing number of lawsuits includes claims from mothers, fathers and those who take care of ill or disabled relatives. These aren’t baseless lawsuits either, as more than half have led to compensation for victims—a higher-than-average success rate for job-discrimination claims.

  25. joe90 25


    The Central Intelligence Agency has published nearly 13 million pages of declassified documents online — documents that previously were physically accessible only from four computer terminals at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.


    “None of this is cherry-picked,” said CIA spokesperson Heather Fritz Horniak. “It’s the full history. It’s good and bads.”
    Nothing in the archive is newly declassified. Although the documents are declassified, redactions do exist throughout the millions of pages.
    The redactions — which Horniak describes as light — were done to protect sources and methods that could potentially harm national security, she explained.
    The archive is massive, and new developments on the CIA’s activities throughout its storied history are likely to come out as the millions of pages are reviewed.


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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government’s Family Package continues to deliver for New Zealanders
    The Families Package helped around 330,000 families in its first year - more than half of all families with children in NZ These families received an estimated $55 per week more from Families Package payments in 2018/19 than in 2017/18, on average Families Package increases to the maximum possible Accommodation ...
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    2 days ago
  • New Zealand retains top spot in global anti-corruption rankings
    Justice Minister Kris Faafoi has welcomed news of New Zealand’s ongoing position as top in the world anti-corruption rankings. The 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index released by global anti-corruption organisation, Transparency International, ranks New Zealand first equal with Denmark and Finland, with a score of 88 out of 100. “This is an ...
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    2 days ago
  • Testing improvements see New Zealand well prepared for Omicron
    New Zealand’s PCR testing capacity can be increased by nearly 20,000 tests per day to deal with a surge in cases as part of our wider COVID-19 testing strategy, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We have continued to adapt our public health response to safeguard the health ...
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    2 days ago
  • 5,000 portable air cleaners for schools on their way
    As schools are preparing to return, Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 5,000 air cleaners have been ordered for New Zealand schools. “As we know, along with vaccination, testing, good hygiene and physical distancing, good ventilation is important in minimising the risk of airborne transmission of the virus that causes ...
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    3 days ago
  • New Zealand to move to Red from 11.59pm today
    All of New Zealand will move to the Red setting of the Covid Protection Framework (CPF) at 11:59pm today as Omicron is potentially now transmitting in the community, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. “Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region are now confirmed as Omicron, and a further ...
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    5 days ago
  • Mandatory boosters for key workforces progressing well
    More than 5,785 (82%) border workers eligible for a booster vaccination at 6 months have received it so far, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. “That’s a really strong uptake considering we announced the requirement the week before Christmas, but we need to continue this momentum,” Chris Hipkins said. “We ...
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    5 days ago
  • NZ to move to Red
    Nine COVID-19 cases reported yesterday in the Nelson/Marlborough region have now been confirmed as the Omicron variant, and a further case from the same household was confirmed late yesterday. These cases are in a single family that flew to Auckland on 13 January to attend a wedding and other events ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to provide further help for Tonga
    Aotearoa New Zealand is giving an additional $2 million in humanitarian funding for Tonga as the country recovers from a volcanic eruption and tsunami last weekend, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. This brings Aotearoa New Zealand’s contribution to $3 million. “This support will ...
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    6 days ago
  • Quarterly benefit numbers show highest number of exits into work
    The Government’s strong focus on supporting more people into work is reflected in benefit figures released today which show a year-on-year fall of around 21,300 people receiving a main benefit in the December 2021 quarter, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni said. “Our response to COVID has helped ...
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    1 week ago
  • Northland to move to Orange, NZ prepared for Omicron 
    Northland to move to Orange Rest of New Zealand stays at Orange in preparedness for Omicron All of New Zealand to move into Red in the event of Omicron community outbreak – no use of lockdowns Govt planning well advanced – new case management, close contact definition and testing rules ...
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    1 week ago
  • RNZAF C-130 Hercules flight departs for Tonga as Navy vessels draw nearer to Tongatapu
    A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules has departed Base Auckland Whenuapai for Tonga carrying aid supplies, as the New Zealand aid effort ramps up, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand prepared to send support to Tonga
    New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today. “Following the successful surveillance and reconnaissance flight of a New Zealand P-3K2 Orion on Monday, imagery and details have been sent ...
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    1 week ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand stands ready to assist people of Tonga
    The thoughts of New Zealanders are with the people of Tonga following yesterday’s undersea volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami waves, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta says. “Damage assessments are under way and New Zealand has formally offered to provide assistance to Tonga,” said Nanaia Mahuta. New Zealand has made an ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Record high of new homes consented continues
    In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year. In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented. Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year. Annual figures for the last nine months show more ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Report trumpets scope for ice cream exports
    Latest research into our premium ice cream industry suggests exporters could find new buyers in valuable overseas markets as consumers increasingly look for tip top quality in food. Economic Development Minister Stuart Nash has released a new report for the Food and Beverage Information Project. The project is run by ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Honouring the legacy of legendary kaumātua Muriwai Ihakara
    Associate Minister for Arts, Culture, and Heritage Kiri Allan expressed her great sadness and deepest condolences at the passing of esteemed kaumātua, Muriwai Ihakara. “Muriwai’s passing is not only a loss for the wider creative sector but for all of Aotearoa New Zealand. The country has lost a much beloved ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Have your say on proposed changes to make drinking water safer
    Associate Minister for the Environment Kiri Allan is urging all New Zealanders to give feedback on proposed changes aimed at making drinking water safer. “The current regulations are not fit for purpose and don’t offer enough protection, particularly for those whose water comes from smaller supplies,” Kiri Allan said. “This ...
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    3 weeks ago
  • Planting the seeds for rewarding careers
    A boost in funding for a number of Jobs for Nature initiatives across Canterbury will provide sustainable employment opportunities for more than 70 people, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “The six projects are diverse, ranging from establishing coastline trapping in Kaikōura, to setting up a native plant nursery, restoration planting ...
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    3 weeks ago