Open Mike 18/02/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 18th, 2017 - 55 comments
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55 comments on “Open Mike 18/02/2017”

  1. The Chairman 1

    Banks say Reserve Bank has missed its chance for debt-to-income rules

    They said banks were already lending at ratios that were far above what would be considered ideal.

    The bank bosses suggested an ideal level of borrowing would be five to seven times borrowers’ incomes. But their own banks had already blown that out of the water – they said most borrowers were taking loans nine to 12 times their incomes.

    • tc 1.1

      The banks are boa constrictors, if they choose to it’s easy to squeeze the life out.

      They own and control so much of NZ business and the media through either direct ownership or capital supply.

      What they’re really saying is stfu to the reserve bank, we own this joint and will do as we please.

      • The Chairman 1.1.1


        However, I do believe they have a valid point, the Reserve Bank should have acted long ago.

      • Adrian Thornton 1.1.2

        You are absolutely right, well more than half the economic news, both foreign and domestic on RNZ comes directly through bank economists.
        Why RNZ hasn’t got it’s own regular independent group of economists that it refers to to is a mystery…..but then again they had David Farrar on as a panelist on Jim Mora’s show yesterday, so I guess that gives us a fair indication of where RNZ is these days.

    • Tamati Tautuhi 1.2

      The banks have been feeding the bubble, the number and quality of homes haven’t been improved or increased by much in recent years, just the level of debt on houses has increased.

      We have had severe house price inflation which is not recorded in the inflation index ie cost of living index yet mortgages and rents suck up a big % of a households income?

    • gsays 1.3

      hi tc, at the risk of sounding like a scratched record…
      the newspapers in this country are owned by the banks.

      oops.. i see tc has eluded to this already.
      bears repeating though.

  2. The Chairman 2

    Pro-Trump designer receives death threats after Grammys

    • Morrissey 2.1

      False News Business has managed to track down the only two pro-Trump immigrants in the United States. This Murdoch outlet continues to be nothing more than the Cavalcade of Infantilism it has always been.

    • Sanctuary 3.1

      That was an interesting read.

    • Carolyn_nth 3.2

      He had me until he reverted to his old “identity politics split the left” mantra.

      He is correct in saying that the rise of the managerial classes was part of the neoliberal shift.

      He is also correct in saying:

      By the 1970s, trade unions in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom had even begun to construct practical alternatives to the capitalist way of doing things. The arguments of class solidarity and collective action were acquiring an unprecedented degree of persuasiveness.

      But the women’s movement in the UK was deeply integrated with socialist/left wing networks: the same people who were involved in anti-racist, feminist and LGBTI campaigns were involved in union struggles. This could be seen in the way they all were involved in supporting the miners during the miners strike.

      The managerialist neoliberalism didn’t do this as Trotter claims:

      They downgraded the common experiences of economic exploitation which had formerly bound the Left together, supplanting them with exploitation narratives grounded in the experiences of race, gender and sexuality. Capitalism doesn’t oppress humanity, went the PMC’s argument, racism, sexism and homophobia do.

      Neat little bit of sleight of hand there.

      In fact, anti-racism, anti-sexism, and anti-homophobia were becoming increasingly integrated with union and other left/socialist struggles. The neoliberal shift didn’t just downgrade the narratives/experiences of class-focused economic exploitation. They did the same with other forms socio-economic (social and economic justice being intertwined with so-called “identity politics”.

      So we got a highly marketable form of girl power, and women CEOs with shoulder padded “power suits” in Dynasty. Ending the scruffy boiler suits and Doc Martens image of women’s libbers.

      I was there in the UK at the time, and involved in the women’s liberation movement and union struggles at the time – where was Trotter?

      Trotter, still beating the same old drum, doing what he accuses others of doing, splitting the left.

      • Xanthe 3.2.1

        Well i am glad that more commentators are recognising the link between identity politics and the collapse of the left. I am amazed at people who push “let us get our bit for our lot under capitalism and then we will work to get rid of it”, dosnt work that way, once you buy in you are a promoter no matter what you say.

        • McFlock

          Can’t say I ever encountered “identity politics” like that. Although I was a meeting or two where people were asked not to call tories “faggots” or whatever because it’s really difficult to participate in a group where they quite obviously think you’re the first insult imaginable.

      • marty mars 3.2.2

        Thanks Carolyn_nth great to hear from someone who knows what they are talking about based on actual lived reality.

    • Morrissey 3.3

      I would have thought the worst thing that anyone on “the left” could do was to deliver a windy lecture about how we lesser mortals need to respect Deep South lynch law….

  3. Sanctuary 4

    This guy, this guy…

    Trump’s team is so out of it’s depth they haven’t got a clue.

    • ianmac 4.1

      Interesting Sanctuary. Remember when Key would give 4 or 5 answers for you to choose from then leave the question answer ambiguous? So what happens when a politician is blunt and avoids the political Flim flam? Is there any truth in Gorka’s position?

    • joe90 4.2

      Collaborating with fascists is a family thing.

      Gorka was an odd choice of proxies for the White House to put forward in defense of its Holocaust Remembrance day statement.

      He has appeared in multiple photographs wearing the medal of a Hungarian group listed by the State Department as having collaborated with the Nazis during World War II.


      Eva Balogh, founder of the news analysis blog Hungarian Spectrum and former professor of Eastern European History at Yale University, confirmed to LobeLog the identity of the medal worn by Gorka. She said:

      Yes, the medal is of the “vitézi rend” established by Miklós Horthy in 1920. He, as a mere governor, didn’t have the privilege to ennoble his subjects as the king could do before 1918, and therefore the “knightly order” he established was a kind of compensation for him. Officers and even enlisted men of exceptional valor could become knights. Between 1920 and 1944 there were 23,000 such knights. The title was inheritable by the oldest son. I found information that makes it clear that Gorka’s father, Pál Gorka, used the title. However, since he was born in 1930 he couldn’t himself be the one “knighted.” So, most likely, it was Gorka’s grandfather who was the original recipient.

  4. Morrissey 5

    Profiles in Courage. NOT
    No. 2: Simon William “Bill” English

    cowardy-custard n., A coward; a timid or fearful person (prob. suggesting trembling in fear like a custard wobbles.)

    In fact, it was almost unprecedented to have over 60 countries highlight Australia’s offshore detention policy at the country’s four-yearly human rights review at the United Nations last year.

    But here’s the thing: New Zealand was not one of the countries that called Australia out.

    Our silence is being seen as endorsement. And it goes against what the vast majority of New Zealanders want. In fact, UMR research conducted recently found that 79 per cent of Kiwis think the New Zealand prime minister and Government should speak out more strongly against the abuses in Australian offshore detention centres.

    Tomorrow is an opportunity for Bill English to build hope. It’s an opportunity to do what four out of five of us want. If New Zealand won’t use this relationship to stand up for its principles when it comes to thousands of innocent people being detained and tortured in the Pacific by our closest neighbour, what will it stand up for?

    Across the world, basic human rights – ones that New Zealanders died for – are being swept away. This is an important test for our new prime minister. Will he let Australian abuses slide, or will he rise to the challenge when truth or dare gets going?

    —-Grant Bayldon, executive director, Amnesty International NZ

    Profiles in Courage. NOT is an occasional series commissioned by Daisycutter Sports Inc. to highlight the moral (and sometimes physical) cowardice of politicians and their lackeys.

    No. 1: Justin Trudeau

  5. Andre 6

    *snort* the internet of things – who fukn wants it? Are you going to have to update and reset apps for your lights and home appliances all the time, let alone big brother data collection, hacking and weird shit happening when you move house.

    • Xanthe 6.1

      Sorry your light bulb is no longer supported , please replace your bulbs with version 10.2.34 or higher.

  6. ianmac 8

    The image sticks in the mind. Gerry “trapped upside down somewhere.” A bit cruel as some big fat bugs are in real trouble if upside down, legs frantically scrabbling to try and right themselves. How sad ):

  7. BM 9

    House overturns rule from professional wildlife management agency and sanctions killing hibernating bears and wolf pups in dens
    Measure also allows aerial spotting and land-and-shoot killing of grizzly bears on national wildlife refuges in Alaska

    The fuckers that voted for this deserve a bullet.

    Also, I can’t believe how fucked the media is in allowing this to basically go through unannounced if people had any idea this was going on the outrage and protest would have been immense.

  8. Macro 10

    Uh Oh! Trouble Ahead!
    So much for suddenly becoming a continent……


  9. andrew murray 11

    Is it time for you guys to address the apparent significant fall off in open mike comments.
    Have you successfully shut all opinions that look to challenge dogmatic and aggressively stated views of Weka, Marty Mars, Psycho Milt, Andre and less frequently but even more aggressively, those of lprent?
    Is that what you wanted?
    Have you thought about it?
    Can it be talked about?

    • mickysavage 11.1

      Its Saturday in summertime. Comments today are not unusual.

    • Andre 11.2

      Care to elaborate on which dogmatic and aggressively stated views the five of us hold where we’ve “successfully shut all opinions that look to challenge”?

    • Autonomouse 11.3

      Thanks for raising what I’d thought would have been a bit of an elephant in the room. I’ve been a Standard reader for approx four years now, I literally check in on the site around 10 times a day. Breakfast, smokos, lunch, poo breaks, and instead of watching mundane crap on TV, I’m reading the comments section on TS (commented once, but a stereotypical OAB reply discouraged any future engagement).

      I gave up on Whaleoil a couple of years ago due to the self gratifying nature of their comments section. I never warmed to TDB because again, the comments section was just a big knob fest for the contributors. The Standard however was different, dissenting views were portrayed, and although they were met with much vitriol, at least there was something of a balance of opinions for the general readership.

      Another benefit of allowing alternate points of view to be expressed was that it gave the left leaning contributors the opportunity to present strong counter arguments which I believe were powerful in getting centrists to think “sh*t, those lefties have got a point there”

      Anyway, back to Andrew’s comment, he is 100% correct in regard to the significant drop off of comments, I’ve noticed there’s not even enough to get me through my morning cuppa tea and scone as of late. Proofs in the pudding as they say, and given there’s bugger all on telly (as usual), I went back and compared Feb 17 to date, with the same period Feb 16. Total Open Mike Comments 1-18 Feb 2016 = 2,501 vs 1-18 Feb 2017 = 1,422 so that’s down 43%, and let’s not forget that ole Billy Boy announced the election at the start of Feb, so that was a comment fiesta, so lets look at recent comparable weeks, the past 7 days has seen 273 open mike comments, the same week during 2016 saw 970, the week prior in 2017 562 vs 2016 1197.

      I appreciate that TS isnt aiming for some kind of popularity contest and would likely prefer quality over quantity (an analogy for their approach to politics too perhaps), but reading a splattering of comments by the same small group of like minded folk followed by calls of “+100” does not make for overly interesting reading.

      I doubt you’ll care as to what the likes of myself thinks, but the recent hard line approach being taken with those with an opposing point of view (even the hard lefties like Paul & Pat for gods sake) does absolutely nothing for “robust debate” and has turned TS into a bit of a beige yawn-fest.

      • greywarshark 11.3.1

        That’s thoughtfuIl and objective Autonomouse. I would say it probably is effect of numbness and continuing shock from Trump news.

        • lprent

          I suspect much of it is Trump. I tend to go into mild shock each morning as I read the overnight developments. I’ve never spent this much time reading overseas news…

        • greywarshark

          Now I think about number of comments being down and NZ politics – Key has stepped down and everyone loved to hate him. He really provoked large comments just for being so sleek and slimy. Now is the year of election though and for all good men and women to come to the aid of their Party!

      • lprent 11.3.2

        I’ve been around for almost 10 years..

        Numbers of comments go up and down during the electoral cycle and on issues during any given period.
        So does the average size of comments, often not on the same basis.
        Page views go up and down on the same, often not the same as any of the other factors.
        Numbers of posts as well depending also on the number of active authors.

        Quite simply it just depends on what is going on. Feburary 2016 was a bit exceptional in all of our stats compared to any other year. But Dec/Jan/Feb is always the most variable.

        However historically, the slackest time in the cycle is always the start of the year in the election. Right now we have a deadening effect of Trump pulling people away from the site. While we could rant about it, there really isn’t that much to say from a NZ perspective and there is way better content coming in from offshore.

        We have always taken a hard line with people attacking authors on a personal basis regardless how they do it. It takes a lot of work to bring on authors and even more for moderators. This has to be done by other authors who have other things to do and no time to do everything. I take an even harder line during the start of the election year because it is really hard to replace authors and moderators in election years, and that is also when they get the most attacks on their willingness to do to continue doing the roles.

        Paul (I have no idea about Pat) attracted my attention because over a period he had been attacking a moderator because they were moderating and expressing their opinion. He had been warned and he was quite aware of the rules around here.

        As far as I could tell he was upset because a moderator was a woman and a number of people (including me) think that Willie Jackson was a pompous blowhard dickhead who is likely to be a loose motormouth cannon who will lose at least as much support for Labour as he is likely to gain and were willing to talk about it. Rather than deal with the disagreement, he started to have a go at the moderator going as far as accusing her of writing various posts which she had not.

        But as importantly when I looked back over his comments as far as I had time to read (and that was a long way), there was NO substantive content for quite some time. All he was doing was attacking and not providing any robust debate. That really pissed me off – especially the amount of time I spent looking and that I hadn’t dealt with him sooner.

        I’d show you exactly the dearth of intelligence in what he’d been writing, but to write this comment I am taking time off from working over the search and other functions. Until the former is fixed, I can’t give you the comment author link because client search isn’t working.

        They might be hard lefties. But that isn’t what we moderate on. What moderation is for is to protect the site and the key to that is commenter behaviour. Basically in my view whenever we constrain bad behaviour more tightly, then we get gains in the types of and depth of comments over the subsequent 6 months. When we moderate as lightly as we have since 2014 (there was a debate between moderators post-election about guidelines on moderation that I deferred to) we get steadily worsening behaviour and the site gets unreadable. It is now election year, and personally I’m not that interested in experimenting after some of the debacles that showed up late last year.

        BTW: The main statistic that I work off for the health of comments isn’t numbers of comments – that is the least of my measures. It is one that related to comprehensibility and another measuring the level of compression that the full-text index of the comments calculates. I’m interested in a lack of repetition and accessibility of the content.

        After all I have to read them as well.

      • weka 11.3.3

        I doubt you’ll care as to what the likes of myself thinks, but the recent hard line approach being taken with those with an opposing point of view (even the hard lefties like Paul & Pat for gods sake) does absolutely nothing for “robust debate” and has turned TS into a bit of a beige yawn-fest.


        I like it when people talk about the place.

        I felt bad when Paul copped his long ban because I think he basically has his heart in the right place, and I actually think that Pat being banned is a shame too (even though I banned him). Problem is, both were banned for behaviour not politics or views, and if neither of them can stop that behaviour then they need to stand back for a while.

        I’ve been thinking lately that the quality of the debate has improved. Less aggro, more thoughtful comments. Certainly way less of the long subthread where people were bickering at each other.

        If you are finding the place boring, can you please say what it is you want to see happening here? The more specific you can be the more helpful I reckon.

        • Carolyn_nth

          For myself, less is, as they say, often more.

          I tended to scroll past Paul’s comments – which mostly weren’t comments, but links to other stuff. There seemed to be little critical comment by Paul on the content of the links.

          It’s easy to link. But many of us find our reading elsewhere anyway, and there’s a limit to how much I can read or listen to in a day.

          It takes more time to think and write some comments about the content of the links.

          But it is more interesting for this reader.

        • Karen

          I stopped commenting last year but have kept reading the posts on The Standard and checked comments from people whose opinions I valued. In the last month I think there has been a big improvement in the quality of the debate and, in my opinion, this is in part due to the departure of CV and Paul.

  10. I have mentioned that although I like JMG quite a lot I don’t 100% agree with all of his views. However his latest series of posts are very, very interesting.

    … Let’s take a look at that final level, though. The conventional wisdom of our age holds that everything that exists is made up of something called “matter,” which is configured in various ways; further, that matter is what really exists, and everything else is somehow a function of matter if it exists at all. For most of us, this is the default setting, the philosophical opinion we start from and come back to, and anyone who tries to question it can count on massive pushback.

    The difficulty here is that philosophers and scientists have both proved, in their own ways, that the usual conception of matter is quite simply nonsense. Any physical scientist worth his or her sodium chloride, to begin with, will tell you that what we habitually call “solid matter” is nearly as empty as the vacuum of deep space—a bit of four-dimensional curved spacetime that happens to have certain tiny probability waves spinning dizzily in it, and it’s the interaction between those probability waves and those composing that other patch of curved spacetime we each call “my body” that creates the illusions of solidity, color, and the other properties we attribute to matter.

    The philosophers got to the same destination a couple of centuries earlier, and by a different route. The epistemologists I mentioned in last week’s post—Locke, Berkeley, and Hobbes—took the common conception of matter apart layer by layer and showed, to use the formulation we’ve already discussed, that all the things we attribute to matter are simply representations in the mind. Is there something out there that causes those representations? As already mentioned, yes, there’s very good reason to think so—but that doesn’t mean that the “something out there” has to consist of matter in any sense of the word that means anything…

  11. Muttonbird 14

    The current government is really up against it on water quality having overseen a steep increase in dairy intensification and subsequent decline in the health of NZ’s waterways. The public now link the two.

    This issue needs to be the spearhead of opposition election campaigning on environmental issues because it’s one everyone can relate to and that touches even the self-centred National voter. Wider environmental issues are still too complex and contestable to be effective campaign material, imo.

    The tide is turning – people are not happy with water management under National.

  12. sealegs 15

    For all the people that thought they will be in government this year go take a look at the stuff comments on willy Jackson and Labour and Wake Up.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

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