Open mike 18/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 18th, 2010 - 106 comments
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106 comments on “Open mike 18/11/2010”

  1. Jenny 1

    .
    Labour party fanatic attacks McCarten campaign

    After rudely shouting Matt down and refusing to allow him to speak with demands that he concede to Labour, a Labour Party heckler makes the claim that McCarten only wants the minimum wage to go up to $15p/h so he can can take bigger union fees from the people of Mana. In my opinion this sort of sectarian behaviour by Labour supporters hurts more than helps Labours image.

    Labour supporters don’t behave like this with the right, instead displaying a pathological hatred of anyone to the left of them.

    Why won’t the left try to work together against the common enemy?

    McCarten defended himself by saying he had a democratic right to stand.

    • The Voice of Reason 1.1

      You must have the wrong link, Jenny. The Herald report shows a local voter being shouted down by McCarten and one of his team while the voter is being interviewed. Still, foolish of the man not to want to work together to fight the common enemy, Labour, by using the uniting tactic of vote splitting.

      • Jenny 1.1.1

        MMP works to the benefit of unity. Parties that are less sectarian can make coalitions, those that claim to be the one true religion don’t and instead would rather be in opposition than form coalitions.

        If McCarten did win the Mana seat, (unlikely in my opinion), and was to hold it through the next election this would be one (and maybe even more seats) on the left of the house and would be a big nail in the coffin lid of a National led coalition government.

        The tendency of such a breakthrough on the left would be to draw Labour more to the left.

        Obviously, this is further to the left than some in the Labour Party would be comfortable with, hence the number of wistful comments on this site wishing for a NZ First breakthrough. This is because some feel more comfortable with a Labour led coalition to the right of the political spectrum.

        My fear is, that if by the time of the next election, the Labour Party haven’t got over their sectarianism that they would rather throw the election result over to the Nacts rather than try to form a coalition that takes them outside their comfort zone. (Name-check the Brown Labour Party here)

    • Lazy Susan 1.2

      That guy Cheriton seemed to typify the defeatist attitude among some members of the Labour party. He kept repeating the mantra “it’s never going to happen”. So I guess he’s happy to accept what crumbs the right might throw out rather than identifying the real enemy and fighting for a roll back in the huge shift in wealth, from the majority to a tiny wealthy elite, that has taken place over the last 25 years.

      He’s out there attacking McCarten for fighting for a $15/hr minimum wage the very day after it’s revealed that the Westpac chairman’s pay last year totalled $5.5 million. Cheriton and like minded Labour supporters really need to get some perspective and understand how bad things have got and how far removed society has become from the founding principles of the Labour movement. There’s a long fight back ahead and only unity on the left will win that fight. The right are big and powerful enough already without the likes of Cheriton lending a helping hand. I honestly thought at first that he was a NAct stooge.

      • The Voice of Reason 1.2.1

        So how does having a 3rd left candidate in Mana build unity, LS?

      • mickysavage 1.2.2

        Cheriton was right in that McCarten is not going to win. All that he is going to do is make it slightly more likely that National will beat Labour.

        Given the events of just the last 24 hours and the attacks on basic workers’ rights by the Nats why would he want to do something which may increase the chances that they will remain in power?

        Don’t get me wrong I admire McCarten’s passion and his contribution to left politics. But he has made the wrong decision here.

        TVOR is right as are you LS. Unity is vital for the left. McCarten should have backed Faafoi and Labour and not stood.

        • Bored 1.2.2.1

          Mickey, you may be right tactically in Mana BUT think of it this way….

          * McCarten and a large chunk of the left still regard Labour as a centre right party, any movement to the left has to them been too slow, and Goff is just another right facing careerist tainted by the Douglas years. So why not expose to Labour what it has been too slow to appreciate: that it cannot ignore the working poor in favour of the middle classes and expect their vote.
          * McCarten does not really care if he ensures a Labour defeat, realistically the elected person will be up for re election within a year, and their vote is surplus to requirement to National.

          I for one say go McCarten, make Labour take another long hard look at themselves.

          • mickysavage 1.2.2.1.1

            Bored.

            Guess who said this less than a month ago?

            And just when the left were still hugging each other in delight, the Labour Party for the first time since who knows when got excited about being left-wing again.

            Labour Party president Andrew Little set the scene by giving a speech I’m sure he had always wanted to give.

            No more “measured and responsible” nonsense that was the norm under Helen Clark’s regime. It was good rousing stuff. It wasn’t revolutionary – that would be too much to expect – but it showed Little’s real emotional connection to the workers’ cause.

            Little’s example fired up the latent leftie sentiments still lurking in the faithful. Even Phil Goff got in on the act, revelling in his new role as the “left-wing” leader, dissing everything he once advocated for on behalf of his old boss Roger Douglas.

            It was a bit forced and it was hard to swallow his Road to Damascus conversion. But I’ll play along for now.

            But most of what the conference did mattered little. It was rather the universal acceptance by conference attendees that the new-right experiment was wrong and it’s now over.”

            I do not disagree with your synopsis of McCarten’s current position but it contradicts what he sad not very long ago. And why attack and weaken Labour at the very time the collective consciousness is developing in a way that McCarten approves of?

            • Carol 1.2.2.1.1.1

              I don’t have strong views on the Mana candidates and am just watching to see how it plays out. But, micky, I don’t see a contradiction in the McCarten quote you posted and his standing in Mana. In the quote he said:
              It was a bit forced and it was hard to swallow his Road to Damascus conversion. But I’ll play along for now.
              But most of what the conference did mattered little. It was rather the universal acceptance by conference attendees that the new-right experiment was wrong and it’s now over.”

              So Mana marks the point when he stopped playing along & chose to focus on what he perceives as a lack of depth to Labour leaders’ conversion. Where’s the contradiction?

              He sees the strength exposed at the conference being the desire for a shift away from neoliberalism by many Labour supporters & others on the left. So isn’t that what McCarten is aiming to target at Mana?

              • So why should the Labour Movement be punished because McCarten has reservations about Phil Goff?

                And a resounding win to Labour in Mana after what was a significant shift to the left would reinforce that decision. The danger is that if Mana is not a good result then some may use this as an argument that Labour should move more to the centre.

                Sorry Carol but McCarten’s decision still does not make any sense to me.

                • Carol

                  micky, I only point to the fact that, from McCarten’s expressed views, I don’t see any contradiction. Whether his judgement is correct is another matter. I don’t have a definite position on what is happening in Mana.

                  I read your views, and then those of people like Jenny above, and I can see some merit in both views. I do want a Labour-led government next year, like their change in focus, and think there’s some useful talent in Labour, and definitely DON’T won’t another NACT term, but also have some reservations about Goff.

                  I don’t know enough about Mana, McCarten, Goff or Fa’afoi to be certain of how things will play out, or how I would want them to unfold. I was not living in NZ in the last couple of decades of the 20th century, and did not witness Goff supporting Douglas, the rise of McCarten or the rise & (beginning of) fall of The Alliance.

                • Bored

                  Just walked to work and listened to the radio…it just reinforced who the audience for “centrist viewpoints” and the status quo is. Maybe Matt is still listening to the same Labour paradigm over the airwaves and has decided that the rhetoric, the mindset and the frame of reference did not really match his expectations. Perhaps he sees it as I do, a smokescreen for more of the same by the same people.

                  You are right, it damages the left on this one seat, but if the Labour message is strong enough, expressed by the candidate, the leader and the party they should whip all comers. I suspect that this is at the heart of the issue. Could it be that Labour cannot represent this type of electorate with any certainty of support against another left candidate? Does that tell Labour something about their positioning.

                  I think that McCarten running might just be the best thing for Labour prior to the general election next year.

                  • M

                    ‘I think that McCarten running might just be the best thing for Labour prior to the general election next year.’

                    Yes, I think so too, as he will keep them on their toes.

                    The way Labour treated its supporters 84-90 was terrible and although better from 99-08 still dragged their heels in giving help to those most in need. Does anyone remember the family in the Sunday paper where the mother’s present for her 30th birthday was a haircut? I think this embarrassed them into implementing WFF. Labour was also slow to drop the automatic $20 deduction from a benefit when a person engaged in some work – only came in the last phase of their governance. Not every voter has a short memory.

                    Labour is going to have to show true repentance before it can be fully supported by its old faithful base. To give full reconciliation before they really change would be like a woman being bought off by an unfaithful lover with a mumbled sorry, box of chocolates and a bunch of flowers.

                    If Labour is to gain a stronger foothold in voters’ hearts then it needs far more public mea culpas than just the Labour Party conference.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      To give full reconciliation before they really change would be like a woman being bought off by an unfaithful lover with a mumbled sorry, box of chocolates and a bunch of flowers.

                      You forgot the hopeless attempt at a home cooked dinner of spag bol.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  To be honest, McCarten standing in Mana just shows that we need STV for electorate voting. This would still see the “resounding win” that you want to see but it will be for the left rather than for Labour.

                  Still, if the left in Mana have the most votes overall and the NACT member wins that would also show a need to dump FPP.

                  • swordfish

                    I see the MSM (for example, Tracy Watkins/and even to some extent the usually-sensible Vernon Small) are still pushing the idea that Laban’s 6100 majority is the benchmark and that anything much less for Fa’afoi would signal a clear defeat for Labour. (The Nats are suggesting anything below 3000 would be a massive coup for them).

                    Watkins – strongly influenced by Farrar – is suggesting that Laban holds the seat for Labour with “one of the country’s biggest majorities”, while Small thinks Fa’afoi is “likely to win because of the massive majority Labour takes into the campaign.” Both describe Mana as “heartland Labour” and a “red-ribbon” seat.

                    Reality check:

                    (1) Two-thirds of current Electorate MPs have majorities larger than Laban’s.

                    (2) A huge chunk of Laban’s 6100+ majority came from non-Labour people who – with the luxury of two votes – could happily cast their Candidate-Vote for Laban. With only ONE by-election vote, most of these 4500 voters are likely to return to their respective parties. The Party-Vote, then, is THE REAL BENCHMARK – a mere 2500 majority for Labour.

                    (3) And then, of course, TURNOUT, TURNOUT, TURNOUT !.

                    I’ve argued this before on this site and I’m just gonna have to keep on doing it.

                    • All the best Swordfish for Saturday.

                      BTW very incisive comments. You obviously understand the area well. We need a Swordfish in each electorate.

                    • gingercrush

                      And how many of those two-thirds are National held electorates in rural and provincial New Zealand and such majorities were made at a time when National’s party vote at an election was an all-time high for a MMP election. In otherwords Labour majorities were always going to be down because their party vote was much lower in 2008 than it has been previous election while National’s is higher.

                      A 6, 000 vote majority for any Labour candidate was significant in 2008 and thus signals that such a seat is very safe for Labour therefore Labour should do very well in the electorate and anything else really is a disappointment.

                    • felix

                      gc you miss swordfish’s central point:

                      Winnie Laban has a lead of 6000, Labour’s is only 2500.

                    • The numbers are close to Mt Albert’s. I thought at the beginning of that campaign that Labour could be in trouble. But a good campaign by David Shearer and a disaster by Melissa Lee and the end result was clear.

                      The lesson is that the local candidate has to be good. My impression of Faafoi is that he is good but Parata is no Lee. So the result will be awaited with interest.

        • Jenny 1.2.2.2

          .
          MS you could just as easily argue that in the interest of left unity Faafoi should have backed McCarten. This is because a McCarten victory will bring one, and under MMP possibly even another left seat into parliament. This would strengthen the chance of a Labour Led coalition government next term.

          As matters stand at the moment, Labour will not have the coalition partners necessary to govern next year.

          In the interests of left unity Labour supporters should vote Matt McCarten into Mana.

          MS as you said, “Unity is vital for the left”.

          I couldn’t agree more.

          • the pink postman 1.2.2.2.1

            The fact is that Labour is the only party for Lefties ,warts and all .
            the other fact is ,like it or not . if Labour moves to far to the Left we lose the voters . The Tories have a field day connecting us to “the Commies” The result more bloody National governments. Just look at how many times they have won in the last 50 years. The same results if we are seen as too close to unions. .Out come the Tory propogander machines .”Who runs the country the Unions or the Government.” What surprises me is that a political activist like Mat McCarten is not aware of this. Socialism and Social Democracy has to be applied slowly but surely. We have to have the majority of the public behind us then we win and win well.
            Mat McCarten has disapointed me , a possible anchor for the Labour Left he has betrayed us all.

        • Jenny 1.2.2.3

          .

          micky savage:

          Cheriton was right in that McCarten is not going to win. All that he is going to do is make it slightly more likely that National will beat Labour.

          Given the events of just the last 24 hours and the attacks on basic workers’ rights by the Nats why would he want to do something which may increase the chances that they will remain in power?

          MS I think your logic is faulty on this one. McCarten is doing nothing to increase the chances that the Nats will remain in power. (In fact the opposite.)

          Firstly as you well know know, no matter who wins in Mana it will not upset National’s present majority in the House.

          Secondly, as you also know, the only way that Matt McCarten’s campaign could could possibly keep National in power, is if Matt won the Mana seat, and then gave his vote to the Nats.

          Is this what you are suggesting, when you claim that Matt McCarten “may increase the chances that they (National) will remain in power”?

          What else could you be suggesting?

          MS, I would like to challenge you, to explain clearly, how you think Matt’s campaign would keep the Nats in power.

          My guess is you can’t.

          • mickysavage 1.2.2.3.1

            Jenny

            Labour losing a log time held stronghold would be a significant blow to morale and would give National undeserved momentum.

            Matt will not win. If he takes enough votes off Faafoi Parata may come through the middle. This is a FPP election. Think FPP.

            • Olwyn 1.2.2.3.1.1

              When St Paul had his moment at Damascus, it changed the way he behaved. He no longer sought out little Christian communities to haul before the authorities; he instead hot-footed it around the Mediterranean telling everyone what a good thing he was onto.

              Similarly, Labour’s return to its roots ought rightly to show up clearly in a bi-election in a poor area, and this in fact may be happening, even if it is not shown in the TV coverage. If it is happening, then Matt McCarten ought not to pose a threat, since a left wing candidate with a party machine behind it has more show of making something happen than a candidate from a fledgling party with a narrow band of issues to discuss.

              Right wing politicians can get away with holding no position and simply being personable, but this approach does not work for the left. People who vote for the left expect more than a smiling face and a feigned interest in their concerns from their representatives.

              • prism

                Right wing politicians can get away with holding no position and simply being personable, but this approach does not work for the left. People who vote for the left expect more than a smiling face and a feigned interest in their concerns from their representatives.

                That puts it well Olwyn. I guess right wing supporters expect and receive commitment and payout with no ‘feigned’ interest from their candidates. The have nots and only justs are not so glamorous and easy to satisfy, but some of their votes will flow to the right if they can be tickled right (to catch the fish). The left to ensure election success need to tickle some of the right, and they are in the position to demand payout ensuring more than feigned interest in their wants.

                • Olwyn

                  What I mean is, it is more readily assumed that a right wing candidate will attend to right wing interests – it is after all, the easy default position. By wandering around being personal, he may get to sway a few undecideds. But it cannot be so readily assumed that a left wing candidate will attend to left wing interests, because attending to those interests is not an easy default and requires effort and commitment. So being personable without revealing any clear commitments makes the left wing candidate look less than trustworthy, more a like careerist than a genuine representative.

            • The Baron 1.2.2.3.1.2

              Fail. Stick to conveyancing, Greg.

              I’ve never heard a more anti-democratic rant anyway. Your problem seems to be that someone dared to stand on Labour’s god given turf. Well sorry pal, it just because it was Labour’s long time stronghold that you need to stave off significant momentum doesn’t mean you are the only ones allowed to stand candidates.

              Surely you trust the people of Mana to make the right decision, and reflect on just how many good years of representation they had from Labour?

              Oh no, you just want them to be forced into binary choices that suit your binary world view.

              Still curious as to how your Te Atatu candidacy is coming along – do you live in the electorate?

              [Why don’t you do mickysavage the courtesy of using his screen name Baron? — r0b]

              • Colonial Viper

                Come on Baron, its a bit too late for you to do the white as driven snow act.

                After all its no accident that Rodney Hide survived in Epsom for so long – strategic electoral politics by the NATs. You know the calculations undertaken in this game full well, there is no need to pretend.

              • The Baron

                Noted thanks r0b – admit I have been waiting for that too.

            • pollywog 1.2.2.3.1.3

              In the best interests of a stronger left and a willingness to ‘keep the bastards honest’ and to preserve the integrity of parliament, Goff should stand down Fa’afoi and throw their campaign weight behind McCarten.

              Fa’afoi is not worthy nor ready to represent ‘his’ people !!!

            • prism 1.2.2.3.1.4

              If Labour decided to work with Matt, if he won, then it would be in the MMP spirit ms.

              Matt upset the Alliance party when he stood for the Auckland mayoralty. Anderton didn’t agree with it. McCarten did it then because he wanted a left choice for voters, as he is saying in Mana. If there is a big difference in what he is asking for and his general stance on local and national problems, then it throws the lack of Labour commitment into relief. Matt is a good yardstick to measure the left by.

              • Matt’s experience with the Auckland mayoralty campaign is a very good reason for him not standing this time.

                He ran a good campaign and highlighted many important issues. He also took Christine Fletcher out and let John Banks win. From memory the margin was about the size of McCarten’s vote. I am no fan of Fletcher but she was not too bad as Mayor and had been able to work with the City Vision councillors and get some good things done.

            • Jenny 1.2.2.3.1.5

              MS I guess, I guessed wrong. Good on you for your come back.

              I hope you forgive me but I think your comeback is a bit weak.

              micky savage:

              Labour losing a log time held stronghold would be a significant blow to morale and would give National undeserved momentum.

              First off. You have offered up a only a subjective reason, rather than any material way that Matt’s Campaign might help National.

              ie that National would feel encouraged and Labour would feel discouraged.

              Since we’re dealing in the subjective, conjecturing how people in these parties would feel at such an upset.

              I would like to posit it is just as likely that National might feel concerned and worried to learn that they could lose their majority in the house.

              And Labour could be encouraged at the possibility of new coalition partner arising to their left.

            • felix 1.2.2.3.1.6

              Mickey I see your point but when you say “Labour Movement” it seems to me like you’re thinking of the “Labour Party”.

              Seriously, if McCarten can take enough votes from Labour by representing working class people’s interests that the Nats win in Mana, then the Labour Party deserve to lose the seat.

              If Labour stand up for the people they claim to speak for – and run a candidate who can speak for them – they’ll piss it in. If not, ce la vie.

              Or as Lockwood might say “The solution is in the members’ own hands”.

              • Felix

                Yep I am equating Labour movement with Labour Party. Blame it on my DNA.

                Over the past month Labour has moved solidly to the left. The Mana campaign may not reflect this but the thinking is way different now.

                Labour is representing working class people’s interests. It is not in power so right now this involves standing up in Parliament and continuously saying what a stupid idea the tories’ reforms are and at the appropriate time voting against them.

                The way that I see it this is the difference. In opposition you speak and vote against, in power you change.

                Labour may not have changed too much too quickly last time but I have this really nostalgic memory of things moving in the right direction.

                • lprent

                  You’re lucky. I tend to think that way myself (in a semi-private manner) because of a lack of any other politically credible and coherent (ie not the greens) vote winning (ok I just lost the alliance fragments, the hardline socialist fragments, the communist fragments, and most social activists unable to cooperate together) parties dedicated to the public interest (ok Act, NZF, and Dunne just disappeared) over the long term (darn I lost National as well). Ummm kind of leaves me with Labour…..

                  However if I ever express that belief in the actions of my public persona helping to run this site, then I can expect to be dealing with e-mail and commentary from both authors and commentators for some time and at some length. Since I’m not the Labour party; just a member, I don’t bother. Besides it is more fun pricking holes in other peoples balloons than standing up and defending a party.

                  It is even more fun keeping just enough of a rein of the boisterous crowd around here with their widely varying beliefs that they can argue without coming to flamewars. I’m pretty sure that is useful as part of the dialogue of the left between themselves and with the participants of the right who can argue.

                • felix

                  I don’t disagree with anything you’re saying, Mickey, but the thing that troubles me is this:

                  If the Mana by-election isn’t a good time to demonstrate the new thinking, the shift to the left, the genuine concern for working class people, then when is?

    • millsy 1.3

      That labour supporter sounds like a Blairite Rogernome to be who should just piss off to National.

      The guy effectively wants wages and conditions held down.

      Captcha: disturbed

    • Green Tea 1.4

      Sorry, but Labour have failed to deliver for working people – that’s why Matt McCarten is standing.

      Why don’t the Labour Party faithful just admit they’re pissed because he’s highlighting the inconvenient truth that Labour doesn’t give a shit about working people? What’s the real purpose of accusing Matt of vote splitting? Is it in the hope that he’ll back off and give the hopeless Kris Faafoi a free ride into Parliament?

      • Bored 1.4.1

        Thanks Green Tea, that makes the point for me, there is a lurking suspicion in my mind that the peoples flag is a shade of pink with Labour, served with Chardonnay.

        I was listening to a social commentator who made the point strongly that the bulk of the population define themselves as, and have become “middle class” in their minds. When we mention “working class” very few of us recognise that we are all to some extent “working class”, unless of course we have transcended this position to be independent or an employer / owner / rentier. It might help Labour if the membership all examined their “relations to production” as defined by Marx…going by that standard the proletariat with “middle class” pretensions is disturbingly large.

        • M 1.4.1.1

          Yes Bored, you’ve got that right about the subtle shift in people defining themselves as middle class over the years. I think it has been used as a means of pacifying and then controlling most working people by making them feel better about themselves socially and economically and maybe for the more insecure to have someone else to look down on.

  2. In June 1991 in an address to the trilateral commission David Rockefeller was quoted as saying, “We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected the promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world-government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the National autodetermination practiced in past centuries.”

    If you want to know what that means, Ladies and gentleman I give you William Montague the third

    What do you reckon can Labour step up to the challenge issued by John Key and stop the rorting? Or will we go to slaughter like the sheep mentioned by William Montague the third.

    • higherstandard 2.1

      You sound like an advert for the Glenn Beck show.

      If you don’t believe me have a lookee at this.

      http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,602223,00.html

      • travellerev 2.1.1

        Dear HS,

        I know this is very hard for you to understand but Glenn Beck is a paid mouth piece for the ruling elite.

        He is used to make people like you very confused. And judging by your reaction it works.

        This is a very revealing documentary about Fox news. It’s from 2004 and Beck has only started his dancing bear routing in the last year or so but never the less it is very informative.

        Here is an open letter from Alex Jones to Glenn Beck confronting him about his antics and before I get another barrage over me about Alex Jones; apart from his views on 911 and the TSA and police state activities and his passion to stand up for what he believes is right, I probably don’t share a whole lot of his other views (Christian, Anti abortion, Pro weapon, Anti illegal alien (He has a huge and culturally and racially mixed audience and his problem with illegal aliens is not with them being mostly Mexican but with they way they have been used to break the labour movement so wages went down and he sees them as victims also from the “Free trade” agreements ) )

        He is however becoming a force to be reckoned with in the US (and around the world) as a result of a huge grass root support (From both the the left and the right) financed by nothing other than money bombs (Days on which people can give him money which they seem to do in huge numbers) and the sale of video’s and books and the ads from people who sell from natural soaps and how to grow food in your backyard DVDs to millionaires who want to get people to learn how to defend themselves with guns. He is able to get through to people via the internet and other non mainstream media outlets and he does so refusing to have anything to do with the big news corporations and is therefore to most people more accessible and trust worthy and he uses that to bring issues such as the TSA harrasment, 911 survivors etc, straight from the people affected by it to his audience avoiding any intervention from the big News corps.

        It is our contention (Glenn Beck has about 5 people on his staff monitoring Alex Jones’s show 24/7) that Glenn Beck is used to divert people from Alex Jones’s news cast by usurping his over the top American ranting style (well worth having the occasional listen to because it is so hugely American, informative and its free) and messages in order to break his popularity .

        I know that HS you really don’t have that many brain cells available and that you would be a prime Glenn Beck target because rather than applying those few brain cells and actually try to learn something you take his cue and run with it. Don’t worry you’re not alone. In fact quit a lot of people here probably fall for the same tactic.

        Kind regards,

        Trav

    • Bored 2.2

      Feck that was brilliant, keep em coming.

  3. Maybe Mark Solomon and Rick Tau could explain how Ngai Tahu has enough money to splash around so they can attend every race meeting held in the South Island. Both these greedy magpie maoris are on the treaty gravy train. Both are scum criminals laughing at silly white man.

    • freedom 3.1

      by default are they not also laughing at Maori who like many of the silly white man, are also facing declining standards of living

    • hateatea 3.2

      Have you evidence that the money that they may or may not spend at the race meetings that they attend comes from Ngāi Tahu? Granted that Mr Solomon is the Kaiwhakahaere and receives payment for that role but that is his to spend as he wishes.

      I am unaware of H R Tau (Rik) being in receipt of payment from Ngāi Tahu.

      If your assertion is that iwi money is being used you should notify the relevant authorities rather than readers of this blog.

      Being Ngāi Tahu, having participated in the Treaty process and attending race meetings do not make people criminals nor scum fortunately for you as you must have done at least one of these things yourself.

    • prism 3.3

      d4j That’s ugly and your pseudonym sounds pseudo d4j. That sort of malicious smug racist talk doesn’t advance thought on the problem. KKK stuff.

      • dad4justice 3.3.1

        Would you like the name of Mark’s dealer? Yeah right. Ask Rick about the CFM Picnic Fund then run.
        Don’t call me a racist you thick morons. These two should be behind bars.

  4. freedom 4

    The Prime Minister of Greece says what we all know. Carbon Tax is a revenue generator with nothing to do with environmental issues.

    • nzfp 4.1

      Hey freedom,

      Carbon Tax is a revenue generator with nothing to do with environmental issues

      What? No…. You don’t say? Maybe Carbon Tax is needed to fight terrorism? See my post from yesterday at “17 November 2010 at 1:03 pm” for a laugh… All about Carbon Tax and fighting terrorists.

      • freedom 4.1.1

        Yes i am preaching to the choir in regards to the motive for a Carbon Tax, the reason i posted the above link was it is a Prime Minister saying it is. This is a first, and will probably fall under the knife of a revisionist edit over the next few days and it will be explained what he really meant to say, that we all took it out of context, and he never really said it anyway as it was all just lights reflecting off swamp gas, or some equally vapid economic coverstory

        – re your link yesterday, loved it.
        he should write his own sitcom,
        instead of playing out the tragedy he has cast himself in

  5. ianmac 5

    Yesterday in the House Anne Tolley was pleased to report that “60% of schools were somewhat ready to institute National Standards.” Well I thought. Things seem to be looking up for Anne. But then I find that just 80 schools out of 2,000+ schools were surveyed! Remember when 240 protesting schools were regarded by Ann Tolley as insignificant?
    “The ERO evaluation was based on information collected from 80 primary and intermediate schools during term three this year.”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10688355

    • freedom 5.1

      ‘somewhat prepared’ is a phrase I would prefer not to see used to describe the implementation of massive changes to the education system in New Zealand

      let’s look at it another way
      The building’s foundation was ‘somewhat prepared’ before the construction began.

      The brakes on the vehicle were somewhat prepared to face the steep gradient.

      i am ‘somewhat prepared’ to face the day after only one cup of coffee,
      but i would never consider that to be an alert and competent state

  6. nzfp 6

    Here’s another wee gem:
    The MailOnline reported Wednesday 17th November 2010 “Days after British Gas raises bills by 7% firm announces profits will be more than £2.2BILLION”
    The Mail Reported that:

    Earlier this month, Centrica-owned British Gas said it would put up its prices by 7per cent on December 10, blaming a 25 per cent increase in wholesale gas prices.

    While at the same time:

    The amount of gas and oil it produced was expected to rise by 50 per cent year-on-year, helped by drilling new wells in the North Sea.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      Drilling new wells is expensive. By definition, the new wells must be more difficult/costly/risky to produce than the old wells, or they would’ve drilled them first.

      Having said that, you’d think they could absorb a 7% price rise into their 2.2B profit without too much fuss.

      • nzfp 6.1.1

        Ae L,
        That’s the point! Someone is rorting the system. Of course now they are blaming the cold winter:

        The UK’s biggest energy supplier benefited from one of the coldest winters in 30 years, which caused shivering households to crank up the heating, helping sales of gas by volume to rise by 8 per cent in the period.

        But the old winter had a negative effect:

        Despite the huge profits hike at the residential arm, the British Gas services business saw operating profits fall 3 per cent to £109 million in the first half of the year as the big chill sparked a record level of callouts.

        the next quote is telling…

        The company’s engineers repaired up to 35,000 boilers a day during the coldest period, the firm said, while volumes at its Rough gas storage facility in the North Sea fell to record low levels.

        Something which seems to be a function of lack of investment in infrastructure.

        Nationalise the natural monopolies and provide them at a loss to the rest of the economy and watch the system literally light up.

        While your at it – take the Publicly owned Bank of England – outlaw fractional reserve banking – and invest debt free UK pounds into rebuilding the UK infrastructure as well as investment in green sustainable energy.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          While your at it – take the Publicly owned Bank of England – outlaw fractional reserve banking – and invest debt free UK pounds

          ^ +1

          The interest and fees charged by the banks (not just to us as individuals but to SME’s and indeed to entire countries), as well as their ability to instantaneously tighten money supply to the whole economy with their control of credit, has become a systemic burden on society.

          Do NZ homeowners struggling to pay off their mortgages understand that they go to work every day to benefit the incomes and lifestyles of banking sector shareholders in Sydney.

  7. Colonial Viper 7

    Looks like our PM is on a charm offensive to NATs core rural constituency

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4356722/PM-slams-Save-the-Farms-lobby-group

    “PM slams Save the Farms lobby group “

    Mr Key told farmers that sales to foreigners prevented farm prices from falling dramatically.

    Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard did not agree with him, Mr Key said.

    “But I, for the life of me, cannot see why farm purchase prices could stay at this level if there were no overseas purchasers available.” Mr Key told the conference he had accepted an invitation from the Save the Farms group to speak to them.

    They wanted no sales, leasing agreements or corporate ownership stakes for foreigners in any farms, orchards or vineyards.

    “That is pretty hardcore and that’s putting it bluntly,” he said. “I don’t think any country I’ve seen actually has that level of prohibition on it – maybe North Korea.”

    • Bored 7.1

      Its all a bit of a laugh really, farm prices if the economy was “rational” would reflect the productive return. That this is so far out of whack with reality demonstrates very clearly that the world view of capitalism has yet to accept that you cann no longert mortgage today on tomorrows expected returns. In the case of farms it is the expectation that you can afford the capital cost of the farm by paying next year or the year after with constantly increasing production and returns. Like the rest of the growth model we are addicted to this ignores that only some many cows can eat as much grass as it is possible to grow, and therefore productive capacit is finite. In fact it is going to decrease as fuel and chemical inputs become less available and cost more. Expect a lot of bankrupcies.

      If I were a foreign investor with surplus cash I would not be buying right now, best to wait for the prices to crash.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        One reason foreign currency rich countries like China are buying hard assets now and not waiting for their prices to crash is that they are worried that the USD and other foreign denominated holdings they have now are going to become worthless in the foreseeable future.

      • ianmac 7.1.2

        What bothers me is when the investment of the business (dairy farm) is running at a loss in spite of record payouts, and if the mortgage is too tough, the investor (dairy farmer) demands to get as much money as he can from foreign buyers, with the consent and approval of John Key. Surely it is the responsibility of the farmer to be prudent rather than greedy? And if he gets it wrong like all the other folk in the country, he should face the fact of mortgagee sale without inflating the cost of land in the future.

    • Red Rosa 7.2

      North Korea? More like Iowa, JK. They take their prime farmland seriously.

      You cannot simply rock up and buy land in Iowa.

      http://www.extension.iastate.edu/ag/staff/info/PM2019.pdf

      Not that FF would want to know.

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Vodafone: our heart belongs to Telecom http://goo.gl/oQKyQ Well, it appears that the “competition” understand that having multiple networks is a waste of time and money. So, when are our parliamentarians going to do the same and renationalise the telecommunications network?

  9. Finance Minister Bill English says Westpac should front up to its customers and explain why it is paying its New Zealand boss a record $5.59 million in a tough economic environment.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10688329

    yeah fair enough Bill, but it sounds like you’re a wee bit jealous you can only screw a few thou at a time out of the great unwashed in the current climate…

    …unless you do a ‘hit and run’ through a blind trust under the gov’t guarantees scheme on an unsuspecting finance company

    even then it’s not like you’re gonna do anything about a fatcat salary cap other than what you’ve done…issue a press statement saying you think its a bit off…

    PFFFFT you may as well have done nothing which in effect is what you will do !!!

    if you really want to go in and bat for the little people. Get the wunch of bankers to wipe transaction fees on ATMs and make dishonour fees for failed automatic payments illegal.

    its fucking criminal that they can charge us a flat fee of up to $25 per failed AP but only pay out a percentage of interest on the balance of an account.

    they should charge a percentage of interest on whatever was in the account when the payment failed and just the once, not for every single transaction.

  10. ak 10

    (wunch! love it, ta poll)

  11. ianmac 11

    A “wunch of bankers…” Wow! Do they wear a lot of jewellery and wear very dark glasses and live in guarded mansions and get escorted by dark men wearing dark glasses?
    Actually Polly the PSIS and Kiwibank are as generous as any, and both strangely enough are NZ owned. At least until John and Bill take over as a wunch of wankers, or even a wunch of bankers.

    • nzfp 11.1

      as a wunch of wankers, or even a wunch of bankers

      Oh… huh… is there a difference…?

    • pollywog 11.2

      Actually Polly the PSIS and Kiwibank are as generous as any…

      Kiwibank still charge 7 bucks as a dishonour fee on a missed automatic payment.

      it’d be different if they honoured the payment and then charged for covering the shortfall, but nah…and its not like it cost the bank time and money for a real live teller to set up a payment, or do anything, cos it’s AUTOMATIC.

      i set ’em up from home, online and it costs me $2 for the privilege of doing it….like WTF is that all about as well ???

      so how is it banks can afford to pay their execs millions ?…by creaming off and preying on its less affluent customers in times of hardship and oh yeah, power companies do the same.

      if some cant afford to pay their power bill regularly and have to redirect AP money towards more pressing needs, how the hell can they afford to pay the $25 dishonour fee ?

      it’s bad enough being poor, but to be fined and punished for it as well is a bitter pill to swallow.

  12. Jenny 12

    .
    Flood tides in England

    Who can I blame for rising seas

    I blame the penguins.
    I blame the penguins with their mighty march,
    They set a bad example
    Small and fat and smelly,
    they waddle carelessly
    across nature’s boundaries

    I blame the gazelles
    The ones with black stripes
    on brown and white bellies,
    I blame them for the rising seas
    Elegant and clumsy like a herd of dusty bees
    migrating across the plain
    from a scarcity of their own making
    that evicts them from the savannah

    I blame the sky.
    I blame the sky above the penguins stream-lined heads
    Uncaring the rings of Saturn rotate around their orbit
    And Neptune, Pluto, Mars, the Moon,
    All smugly complimenting each other,
    By circumnavigating celestially

    I blame the sky and the Earth itself.
    When under a thousand gazelle hooves
    Tectonic plates shift, and continents drift.

    I blame the sea, pouring itself over the sand
    following the bad example set by the penguins
    I blame the sea
    I go down to the salty water
    And like King Canute shake my fists at the surf
    as it breaks on the shore
    and shout;
    ‘go back to where you came from you whore!’

    Ellen Factor

  13. Mrhappy 13

    … So is it Wong of me to inquire why this government is so totally Worthless??

    • ianmac 13.1

      I have just come in from sewing some pansy seeds in my garden. The sparrows flew away when I laughed at the irony. Hope the flowers flourish.

  14. Fisiani 14

    Did the thugs and bullies from Kris Faafoi and Matt McCarten’s camp have a suicide bid in their bad behaviour to John Key today in Porirua. Please let it be on all news broadcasts.

    • Vicky32 14.1

      Something was, but heaven only knows what really happened! 3 News’ bias is so well known to me that I have to discount everything they say when I hear Patrick Gower’s ugly voice…
      Deb

      • Anne 14.1.1

        It was your typical MSM TV beat-up about nothing. Apart from one lady McCarten supporter who was a bit ‘in your face’, there was no thuggish, bullying, suicidal behaviour as portrayed by Fisiani. A bit of chanting from some Labourites in the background and that was all.

        One thing that really does annoy me though is the inevitable Labour activist who falls straight into a trap set for them. In this case Patrick Gower asks where a woman lives? “Dunedin” she proudly announces, thus giving Key the opportunity to brand the whole group as “a rent a crowd”.

        • Pascal's bookie 14.1.1.1

          Q: In this case Patrick Gower asks where a woman lives?

          A: Why don’t you report on the issues?

          • Anne 14.1.1.1.1

            Not sure what you’re insinuating Pb. Live the other end of the island mate. Couldn’t hear what issues were involved. Saw the TV3 item and was refuting Fisiani’s claims. A mildly negative comment about a protestor is not a deadly sin. She didn’t know how her answer would be portrayed. All the more reason to be careful – especially in the penultimate day of a campaign.

            • Carol 14.1.1.1.1.1

              I understood PB to be answering Gower’s question. ie Why doesn’t Gower report on the issues?

              • Pascal's bookie

                Yep, if gower asks a stupid question, ask him why he isn’t doing something useful instead.

                (and not meaning it as a criticism of the woman Gower chose to use to extend his stupid meme)

  15. NickS 15

    /facepalm
    http://lindsaymitchell.blogspot.com/2010/11/advice-for-national-turn-problem-into.html
    http://lindsaymitchell.blogspot.com/2010/11/act-mps-bob-each-way.html

    It’s like these people live in a fantasy world, in which sexual discrimination and violence is either doesn’t exist, or is “not a problem” (translation; it’s their own fault). More disturbing is the commenter how treats taxes as though they’re the source of your legal rights and is deluded enough to think that anyone not on a benefit doesn’t pay net tax.

    Sheesh, I know Lindsay’s to the right, but I assumed she didn’t entirely ignore reality, and that the comment threads didn’t contain the same delusional bullshit as kiwiblog and the sewer…

    And going back to the gold standard? I’d find it lawl-tastic if it wasn’t for the seriousness over it.

    • Carol 15.1

      Oh, it’s the individualist philosophy. Ie, they basically have little understanding of social processes and assume everybody has the same privileges and choices. No individual is anything on there own….. no (wo)man is an island.

      • Zorr 15.1.1

        Temptation to troll those stupid RWNJs… rising…

        Though they would probably be too dense to even realise

        • NickS 15.1.1.1

          There’s also the fact you’ll probably get deleted/ban-hammered. Which is why I wisely posted here instead…

    • NickS 15.2

      Didn’t think/get to edit in time:

      Part of the problem with the gold standard is that it’s a choice made on scarcity, scarcity which could be interrupted easily by new discoveries of gold, sea-water processing finally getting off the ground or worse yet, off world gold deposits. Along with the whole “tradition” meme.

      Question is, why not pin currency to energy instead? Or sheep? Or randbots? (If one tends towards the absurd, though it does take a certain special type of mind to think Ayn Rand’s works have any more resemblance to reality than Stalinism, or communist utopias.Energy’s a bit easier to handle though than a quarter of a randbot, and less messy.)

      • KJT 15.2.1

        Currency does not have to be based on anything. 98% of money now is fiat currency issued by private banks.

        Its issue is too important to be left to banks instead of being under democratic control.

        There are well known problems with resource based currencies and no real reason why a currency should be resource based to be credible.

        All currency is a token of labour productivity, present or future.

        The trillions of US$ debt at present exceeds any possible future US productivity many times.

        For a sustainable economy we need to return to the idea of money as a medium of exchange, not as a commodity which can be magically increased in a computer unsupported by work.

        The central bank should be the only issuer of money and the whole concept of interest and charges on the economy by the financial sector needs to be revisited.

        Their share of GDP has grown rapidly since the withdrawal of restrictions on them since the 70’s (80’s in NZ) without any corresponding benefits to society as a whole.

        Instead we are all supposed to have austerity imposed on us to pay their gambling losses.

    • prism 15.3

      I see from LMitchell’s profile on her blog that she started her social welfare crusade in 2001. I wonder what unfortunate event happened in her life at that time?

    • M 15.4

      Lindsay Mitchell is a truly remarkable woman – it would take some doing to best her meanness.

      Having read her letters to the Dom over the years it would appear she hates her fellow wo/man and for anyone down on their luck, they’d better lucky up quickly or if she had her way she’d beat them with the big stick.

      The funny thing with people like her who believe in individual responsibility or user pays is that they haven’t had much bad luck or are unlikely to do so, but if anything goes wrong they’re first in line with palms outstretched. I remember Jenny Shipley getting her angioplasty on the public – if she truly believed in individual responsibility and user pays she would have fronted up to a private hospital and shouldered all the cost herself if uninsured or would have had most of the cost defrayed by health insurance – she certainly could afford it.

      Nice ‘girls’ like Jenny and Lindsay have had education, have married nice guys, have never missed a meal in their lives (Jenny is real evidence of that) and have managed to position themselves into careers or activities that mean they have some form of fulfillment.

      If a person is unemployed because the economy is in freefall or unemployable through a bad family situation whilst growing up with education not high on the priority list, learning disability or chronic health condition then they should just get over it and pull themselves up by their bootstraps, by gum!

      Women who have had to flee relationships for whatever reason with children in her dream world are useless eaters who deserve nothing – if mothers can’t get a job by the end of the week with free childcare then sod them. Wonder if she advises them to go on the game? It would be interesting to know what percentage of women on the DPB remarry to escape the scourge of been labeled a DPB slapper – I know women who have done this and it’s awful – I feel sorry for the men involved as well as these women.

      Live in crappy accommodation or don’t have enough money for food (no, not talking about the drink, ciggies or TAB crowd here) then tough shit, get asthma and starve.

      • Vicky32 15.4.1

        “It would be interesting to know what percentage of women on the DPB remarry to escape the scourge of been labeled a DPB slapper – I know women who have done this and it’s awful – I feel sorry for the men involved as well as these women.”
        I almost did! (And would have if I could – thanks be to God that it all went pear-shaped owing to his immigration (from Germany) issues. What an escape and it was all so unnecessary, though I didn’t think so at the time.)
        Deb

  16. NickS 16

    Via Pharyngula:

    The Shadow Scholar

    The man who writes your students’ papers tells his story
    By Ed Dante

    Editor’s note: Ed Dante is a pseudonym for a writer who lives on the East Coast. Through a literary agent, he approached The Chronicle wanting to tell the story of how he makes a living writing papers for a custom-essay company and to describe the extent of student cheating he has observed. In the course of editing his article, The Chronicle reviewed correspondence Dante had with clients and some of the papers he had been paid to write. In the article published here, some details of the assignment he describes have been altered to protect the identity of the student.

    The request came in by e-mail around 2 in the afternoon. It was from a previous customer, and she had urgent business. I quote her message here verbatim (if I had to put up with it, so should you): “You did me business ethics propsal for me I need propsal got approved pls can you will write me paper?”

    I’ve gotten pretty good at interpreting this kind of correspondence. The client had attached a document from her professor with details about the paper. She needed the first section in a week. Seventy-five pages.

    I told her no problem.

    Excuse me while I put my jaw back in place…

    *ahem*

    The best part? The seminary students getting his company to write for them, about teh evils of teh modern world, like homosexual marriage, gays, evolution, lying.

    The worst, teachers? nurses and anyone with serious responsibilities using the service.

    The moderately troubling bit? The science and engineering students getting him to do their work, especially post-grad stuff.

    This guys a fricken genius too, as he’s able to take any information and make sense of it to produce professional looking documents (well, close enough to professional), and he’ll be in business until we have expert systems capable of analysing writing styles and digging out rapid changes. And as for research papers? Given some the horrors I’ve seen published [insert standard “this methodology section is making my eyes bleed” story here], or heard published, with the right name attached, it’s not that hard…

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    5 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    6 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    7 days ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    7 days ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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