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Open mike 19/02/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, February 19th, 2015 - 204 comments
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204 comments on “Open mike 19/02/2015 ”

  1. (my ‘find’ of the morning – so far..)

    “..Yanis Varoufakis: How I became an erratic Marxist..

    ..Before he entered politics – Yanis Varoufakis – the iconoclastic Greek finance minister at the centre of the latest eurozone standoff –

    – wrote this searing account of European capitalism –

    – and how the left can learn from Marx’s mistakes..”



    • CnrJoe 1.1

      Thanks for that Phil. Everyone should read this.

    • Skinny 1.2

      Good read with a cup of joe to start my day in the office, better than the company spin video from the CEO. Looking forward to your Q time critique.

      • phillip ure 1.2.1


        ..re q-time 2 day..

        ..i wouldn’t get yr hopes too high..

        ..it is thursday..after all..

        ..and in nz..despite the fact there are only three hrs spread over three days in some weeks…for politicians to face questions..

        ..the leaders of most of the parties have a long-standing tradition of not turning up for one third of that paucity of time..

        ..why..?..i’m not really sure..but it does piss me off…

        ..not only because of the offence against/contempt of democracy/accountability this clearly shows..

        ..but also because i am left with the third-stringers to comment on on thursdays..

        ..i usually have to resort to serious piss-taking/unloading of vitriol..

        ..there is so little for me to work with..

        ..and i expect today will be no different..

        • phillip ure

          it was a third-stringer thursday alright..but it did have its’ moments..

          ..(clutch cargo was there..!..and a tony ryall doppelganger..!..whoar..!.)

          ..and peters walked away with todays’ ‘big-balls-award’..

          ..for displaying courage under fire..


          • Skinny

            Your review was better than watching it. Guy is Clutch Cago reincarnated, not sure which Tory is paddle foot, however Joyce is a natural fit for Spinner.

            English & Key were lucky the $200 million Keys old employer loss to his shady banker mate never broke earlier in the day.

            • phillip ure

              “..Your review was better than watching it..”

              ..chrs..that’s what i try for..

              ..to wring whatever i can out of what is often an exercise in bare-faced tedium..

              ..with actors so slight you can barely them…

              ..and yesterday wasn’t the worst..not by a long shot…

      • Old Mickey 1.2.2

        Excellent attitude – wish I had plenty of guys like you at my work

      • phillip ure 1.3.1

        @ aj..

        ..early ralph was ‘good’..

        ..ralph who split the progressive vote and let bush jnr. walk into the white house for the first time..?

        ..not so ‘good/’heroic’..eh..?

        ..as it turns/ed out..eh..?

        • aj

          All heros have flaws. He’s a human being after all.
          In my view it was a judical coup – however I understand what your saying…

          • phillip ure

            yes..it was both..the vote-splitting..

            ,..and then the judicial-coup..

            ..but had the vote-splitting not happened..

            ..the scenario for that judicial coup would not have been present..

    • Olwyn 1.4

      Thanks so much Phil for that link. I agree with CnrJoe, that everyone should read it. Varoufakis is not just glumly picking over neo-liberalism’s bones – his thoughts form the background to real practical purpose, which shines through everything he says.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.5

      If my prognosis is correct, and we are not facing just another cyclical slump soon to be overcome, the question that arises for radicals is this: should we welcome this crisis of European capitalism as an opportunity to replace it with a better system? Or should we be so worried about it as to embark upon a campaign for stabilising European capitalism?

      To me, the answer is clear. Europe’s crisis is far less likely to give birth to a better alternative to capitalism than it is to unleash dangerously regressive forces that have the capacity to cause a humanitarian bloodbath, while extinguishing the hope for any progressive moves for generations to come.

      And what we’re seeing is the dangerously regressive forces being unleashed upon the commons to support the rich. We see it here in NZ as well as workers rights are are legislated away while more and more power and wealth is given to the rich.

    • Coffee Connoissuer 1.6

      Systems Analysis:

      Very good but unfortunately the problem is that we have an economic system to facilitate the exchange of goods and services. What it doesn’t account for is that we are people, individuals. Any system has a purpose, the questions that first must be asked before determining the best course of action are

      who and what should the system be for?

      I personally believe that the biggest flaw throughout modern history is that we seem to be focused on the ‘best’ economic system as the focus has been on how to deliver the things that society people by the facilitation of the exchange of goods and services. Socialism built us the infrastructure that the country runs on. As we moved more toward Capitalism, as trade restrictions were removed and technology improved after easier access to resources we saw greater freedom at an individual level … at a price.
      If you don’t have the money then you don’t have that freedom and price then becomes a barrier.

      This ‘price’ was required at the inception of Capitalism (and Socialism) as the world still had to deal with scarcity of resources. This Scarcity includes things like the ability to both access resources given the very limited technology by todays standards and distance again due to limitations in technology. It is therefor not unreasonable to have had the focus

      This is at odds with the technology we have available right now, today. You can order pretty much anything you want in this day and age and have it within two weeks at the outside from most places around the world. So scarcity from access to resources and scarcity caused by distance no longer exist. Not withstanding that there may be genuine scarcity with certain resources, any scarcity is artificial and driven by price itself.

      This only leaves exchange.

      If ‘exchange’ is the only thing left, and we take into account that the reasons behind this ‘exchange’ come from having a mechanism to satisfy human needs and wants and we know that people are not able to access many of their wants and in many cases around the world their basic needs, Then this in itself is a failure of the system given current technologies ability to deliver it.

      When a system fails one of the first things to do is to go back and determine the true requirements of the system. Often when this exercise is done the true requirements of the system have changed for many reasons.
      There are many other failings in Capitalism, it is not a perfect system (most rational people would agree with that, even those on the right of the political spectrum. and certainly not when considered against the backdrop of available technology.

      So what does all of this mean?

      What it means is that there is a strong case for revisiting the purpose of the system that we all live under.
      This starts by simply asking the very simple questions of

      Who is our system for?
      and What is its purpose?

      Without first asking and agreeing on the answers those questions (and the others that will flow from them), in a manner that is solution independent, then we won’t know whether Capitalism is the answer or whether the answer is something else entirely.

      I think the decision to save European Capitalism is a premature one and a missed opportunity to review the system that we have, to determine whether it is indeed fit for purpose or whether in this day and age there are better alternatives that give better outcomes based on the true requirements of the system.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.6.1

        If you don’t have the money then you don’t have that freedom and price then becomes a barrier.

        Which is the whole point of the price system and why, when National and other RWNJs, whinge about regulations increasing costs they’re actually being anti-market. You cannot have something for less than it costs no matter what. Sure, you can get rid of the safety regulations and put a lower price on it but, as Pike River showed, the costs then come as a higher rate of accidents and lost lives.

        So scarcity from access to resources and scarcity caused by distance no longer exist.

        This is incorrect. There is still a scarcity of resources but our technology has allowed us to act as if there isn’t which has run us into other restrictions. Those restrictions become apparent in Climate Change and our polluted rivers.

        And the physical restrictions haven’t really gone away either. There really is only a limited amount of coal in our land and iron in our sands and once they’re dug up and sold they’re gone. There is a way to over come this scarcity of elements such as iron and that is recycling. The limited availability of coal and oil cannot be overcome.

        When a system fails one of the first things to do is to go back and determine the true requirements of the system.

        Actually, that would be to determine the purpose of the system and then the requirements needed to meet that purpose. Considering the economy and scarcity of resources this would also determine the maximum size of the economy as measured by the number of humans.

        Who is our system for?
        and What is its purpose?

        <a href="http://thestandard.org.nz/social-democratic-economy-part-2/"Social Democratic Economy part 2

        Without first asking and agreeing on the answers those questions (and the others that will flow from them), in a manner that is solution independent, then we won’t know whether Capitalism is the answer or whether the answer is something else entirely.

        Considering the failure of capitalism to reduce poverty and, in fact, to increase it and to empower the rich against the many we can determine that capitalism is the problem.

        • Coffee Connoisseur

          “Which is the whole point of the price system and why, when National and other RWNJs, whinge about regulations increasing costs they’re actually being anti-market. You cannot have something for less than it costs no matter what. Sure, you can get rid of the safety regulations and put a lower price on it but, as Pike River showed, the costs then come as a higher rate of accidents and lost lives.”

          When the system is pulled right back to the level of determining true requirements, price and even the monetary system itself don’t exist in that sphere. They simply become possible solutions for meeting the requirements as determined.
          After determining the requirements and thus the purpose of the system we would need to come back to what we have today and work out where we want to go from here and how best to get there.

          The question around scarcity needs to be in the context of what we need to deliver in a short medium and long term time frame. (for the purpose of this let’s say short term 1- 6 months, medium term 6 months – 5 years, long term 5 years to 10 (change them if you need to)).
          If we have what we need for that then it can be argued that scarcity doesn’t exist in relation to demand right now.
          That isn’t to say that a resource isn’t finite or doesn’t require a high level of risk in obtaining it. Where this is the case, this simply means that we have a risk and based on the level of impact should that identified risk come to fruition coupled with the likelihood of it happening will result in us needing to work toward an alternate solution that enables us as a society to avoid that risk altogether.

          Polluted Rivers and climate change come from having a system that doesn’t or no longer meets the true and full set of requirements of the system (as is true with failures in any system).The profit motive,vested interests, lack of serious political will or know-how and ‘the economy’ and its central role in our current system are all barriers that stop us from dealing with these issues in an effective manner. Another failure of the system and another reason to revisit the requirements and as you have said the purpose of the entire system.

          “And the physical restrictions haven’t really gone away either. There really is only a limited amount of coal in our land and iron in our sands and once they’re dug up and sold they’re gone. There is a way to overcome this scarcity of elements such as iron and that is recycling. The limited availability of coal and oil cannot be overcome.”

          Couple of points: They are gone in so far as we have a reliable mechanism or method of accessing these resources. Whether over time we should continue to use this resource in the manner we do in order to satisfy whatever requirements we are using it for is a separate issue but an important one.
          extracting coal or iron is simply one solution to meet a need. Although it may be the one we use now, it may not be the best longer term for reasons such as overall environmental impact, amount of the resource we have and whether or not there are better alternatives.

          As for using Recycling to overcome this scarcity, I completely agree. The issue is the cost and ease of doing so in the current system. This in my view is another weakness of the current system. When the cost of essentially doing the right thing becomes a disincentive to do it at the level that would provide the maximum benefit to society.

          The limited availability of coal and oil cannot be overcome. Again this comes down to scarcity in the short, medium, and long term and again this is a failure of the system and a good example of how the central role of the profit motive and the economy under the current system stop us from directing resources toward finding better and more sustainable alternatives. Again it is arguably a failure of the system.

          “Considering the failure of capitalism to reduce poverty and, in fact, to increase it and to empower the rich against the many we can determine that capitalism is the problem.”

          Agreed. But going through the exercise of proper Systems Analysis in a solution agnostic manner enables you to prove this in an irrefutable manner based on logic and reasoning using a method for fixing (or replacing) systems used and widely accepted in both the public and private sectors throughout the modern world. It also sets you on a path to determining the actual requirements of the system that any alternative system or proposed course of action can be checked against. It puts you in a position based on logic and reasoning that becomes difficult to argue with without first refuting the Systems Analysis you have been through.

          • Draco T Bastard

            The question around scarcity needs to be in the context of what we need to deliver in a short medium and long term time frame.

            Nope. The question of scarcity needs to be addressed within the concept of sustainability. We need to consider what level a resource can be supplied indefinitely. If you consider it only over the short term then you make decisions that will inevitably cause over use and eventual collapse of supply resulting in the collapse of society.

            extracting coal or iron is simply one solution to meet a need. Although it may be the one we use now, it may not be the best longer term for reasons such as overall environmental impact, amount of the resource we have and whether or not there are better alternatives.

            There is only one way to get coal or iron or, in fact, any resource and that is to extract it from the Earth. Technology can help with that extraction giving us better ways and allowing us to reach previously unreachable sources. Once it’s been extracted we can look at recycling to decrease the need to extract more. Of course, coal and other ‘burnt’ resources can’t be recycled.

            When the cost of essentially doing the right thing becomes a disincentive to do it at the level that would provide the maximum benefit to society.

            When that happens then we have proof that the pricing system is failing. Doing the right thing should always be cheaper than doing the wrong thing.

            PS: Can you please learn basic HTML so as to make your comments more readable?

        • Coffee Connoisseur

          Have read the link and agree with pretty much all of what you say except for

          The purpose of a societies economy is simply to provide everyone within that society with the resources necessary to maintain a good living standard, to engage with their society and with rich and rewarding work. Simply stated, not so simple to address in what it actually means. Here’s some thoughts on the matter:

          And this is at the heart of the matter.

          To me you have described the purpose of ‘The System’ or at least what it should be and through this you will get a lot of the same outcomes and come to the same conclusions you have.

          The economy (as we know it) however is simply one solution for delivering this.

          The weakness in the economy model is the fact that both sides Right and Left are wedded to ‘redistribution of wealth’ albeit by different and opposing methods. But again this is another weakness of the system and it impacts our ability to advance as a society as we are bounced backwards and forwards between left vs right mantra without any indication that from a Systems Analysis point of view that either side has the correct solution. How can we if we don’t agree on or haven’t established the purpose of the system let alone the requirements.

          To me, the economy and the purpose of it is to at its most basic level to facilitate the exchange of goods and services.
          The first to google results are:
          “The state of a country or region in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services and the supply of money.”
          “careful management of available resources”

          Both definitions don’t address the fact that rather than an economic system we actually need a people system.

          The economy is one solution or potentially part of the solution for delivering that. It may not be the best one.
          We won’t know until we have been through the analysis to determine the purpose.

          What I would like to do is step you guys through analysis of the system. You have the answers. After the posts from the other day in open mike around A letter from Gen X to Gen Y I went away and looked up definitions around ‘wellbeing’ and would have to agree that it is a better fit than happiness so you have essentially already answered the two most important questions of who is the system for and what is its purpose.
          It could be done on open mike each day with a post titled Systems Analysis.
          The next question that needs to be answered is what is an agreed and definitive meaning for ‘wellbeing’.
          The exercise could quite quickly provide a framework for what The System should do. Much of it covered in your Social Democratic System Part two.
          It could even be written using Unified Modelling Language which can then be critiqued by others around the world. It would then provide a vision for the future of society based on evidence, logic and reasoning. Something (a clear vision) that seems to be lacking from modern politics.

          • Draco T Bastard

            It could be done on open mike each day with a post titled Systems Analysis.

            Or it could be done as a guest post or you becoming an author rather than leaving it within the vagaries of Open Mike.

            • Coffee Connoisseur

              I had considered that, but it is hard to gauge how much progress could be made I am not sure how good a fit it would be for a guest post.

              As an example, the first question to answer definitively first up is what is an agreed definition of well-being? Not really enough for a guest post and sure I could throw up some definitions to help get things rolling but it is important that they don’t come from me.

              The next part is dependant on whether we are able to resolve that adequately and will be dependant on what the answer to the question is.

              If that was easily achieved and answered then possibly the next step would be the development of a definitive and agreed constitution.

              Happy to do it but am not sure that the guest post is the best method. I could see it being used to set the scene of what we would be attempting to do perhaps….

              any thoughts on that?

    • Good comment on this by Michael Roberts on the 10th of this month, points out that Varoufakis is more about burying Marx and keeping Keynes alive.
      His view of Marx is based on basic errors. One that he was dogmatic and produced a ‘closed system’ and two, that he based his view of capitalism on his Volume 2 ‘reproduction schema’.
      “It was this determination to “have the ‘complete’, ‘closed’ story, or model, the ‘final word’, is something I cannot forgive Marx for. It proved, after all, responsible for a great deal of error and, more significantly, of authoritarianism. Errors and authoritarianism that are largely responsible for the Left’s current impotence as a force of good and as a check on the abuses of reason and liberty that the neoliberal crew are overseeing today.”
      …This erratic Marxist, now negotiating with the neo-liberal Euro leaders aims “to save European capitalism from itself” so as to “minimise the unnecessary human toll from this crisis; the countless lives whose prospects will be further crushed without any benefit whatsoever for the future generations of Europeans.” Apparently socialism cannot do this. YV says “we are just not ready to plug the chasm that a collapsing European capitalism will open up with a functioning socialist system”.
      “Instead, according to YV, “a Marxist analysis of both European capitalism and of the Left’s current condition compels us to work towards a broad coalition, even with right-wingers, the purpose of which ought to be the resolution of the Eurozone crisis and the stabilisation of the European Union… Ironically, those of us who loathe the Eurozone have a moral obligation to save it!” Thus YV has campaigned for his Modest Proposal for Europe with “the likes of Bloomberg and New York Times journalists, of Tory members of Parliament, of financiers who are concerned with Europe’s parlous state.”

      Lets see what the Greek people think of this attempt to save Europe from itself.


      • Murray Rawshark 1.7.1

        One more bloke who read a bit of Marx at some stage and wants to save capitalism from itself. How noble of him. You don’t get rid of a disease by genetically engineering viruses to be more potent.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Varoufakis remains the most left wing finance minister in the western world by a country mile. No one even comes close. His point is simple – the radical left have no answers or capability ready to save Greece today, so it has to be a continuation of some variation of capitalism.

          • dave brown

            As I said, let’s see what the Greeks think of self appointed academics speaking shit on their behalf.

            Rescuing Greece is the task as hand, not sacrificing the Greek people to keep the EU bankers and their US banking mentors afloat.

            This guy isnt Greek and didnt nominate himself for the job of Finance Minister, but he has a better take on what is at stake in Europe.


            • Colonial Rawshark

              As I said, let’s see what the Greeks think of self appointed academics speaking shit on their behalf.

              A poll taken a couple of days ago shows that the new Syriza government is seen positively by over 60% of Greek citizens.

              And a plurality of Greeks believe that the new PM Tsipras will be better than any other PM they have had in the last 2 decades.

              In general I like the economists from the University of Missouri.

    • Bill 1.8

      This is the new finance minister for Greece and his honest perspective? Then Greece is truly fucked. This guy, from that piece, is so wrapped up in theoretical ‘dead trees’, that he can’t see his own shit for the amount of paper he trying to wipe his head bound arse with. ( A dirty little (ex) Stalinist promulgating grey and meaningless hues of post-modernism)

  2. stever 2

    Interesting article on bias in an (ex- ??) ABC interviewer…intersting for all sorts of reasons!

    But the comments BLT are good too.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if The Guardian strayed across the Tasman too 🙂


  3. Morrissey 3

    Whispering Venezuela?
    by MICHAEL ALBERT, Telesur, 16 February 2015

    Venezuela has sought a libertarian, non violent, and even participatory path more so then any other large scale project in the world. My title, I grant, is odd, but then so is my subject.

    Many sincere and committed anti authoritarian leftists have been largely silent (or even critically dismissive) for quite a long time about Venezuela. Even during attempts to overthrow the entire Bolivarian process there is much silence. Why are so many leftists so reticent about Venezuela?

    In answer, I have heard that “Generalities won’t clarify, and beyond generalities, I know nothing to say.” I have also heard, “the trends are results of Bolivarian flaws. Since I have nothing positive to say, I think it is wise I say nothing at all.”

    Why do many otherwise incredibly well informed leftists know nothing beyond generalities about Venezuela? Why do many anti authoritarian activists have nothing supportive to say?

    I believe the subtext of both these and many other standoffish or dismissive reactions to Venezuela is alienation from and sharp but often ill informed or misinformed criticism of Venezuelan events. What befuddles me, especially now, is why this condition exists at all, and, given that it does exist, why it leads to silence, or to whispering.

    To my eyes, Venezuela has sought a libertarian, non violent, and even participatory path more so then any other large scale project in the world. I would think that would merit major attention, assessment, lesson learning, and support, and certainly not silence much less hostility.

    Neighborhoods organized, albeit with great difficulty, into councils, and councils into larger communes. Isn’t this what an anti authoritarian, non violent, participation-advocating left wants?

    Grass roots missions to solve social problems? Expanded education and health care? Democracy defended and plebiscites repeatedly taken and enacted? Do these and many other positive trends mean the Bolivarian project is flawless? Of course not. Do they mean that concern and criticism are unwarranted? Of course not. Do they mean the Bolivarian effort will succeed without doubt? Of course not. But the alternative to being a mindless sycophantic booster need not and should not be being silent or derogatory.

    And in any case, why should Venezuela’s project being less than perfect deter people from feeling outrage at the right wing and corporate opposition in Venezuela and at U.S. machinations seeking Venezuela’s collapse? Why should the Venezuelan project being less than perfect prevent support for the best of Venezuela’s efforts as well as constructive criticism of whatever one finds wanting?

    I think no serious progressive person would say the Venezuelan project being less perfect than some abstract textbook conception ought to terminate our support for it. Ought to silence our voices for it. Yet Venezuela being less than abstractly perfect often has had just that effect. Or so it seems to me.

    It behooves us, I think, to ask why.

    I can abstract away from specific people and offer some possible answers, but I have no idea if my answers actually apply. To decide, people who have a hands off or aggressively dismissive mindset will have to interrogate their own motives.

    Is it that some folks believe the flaws of the Bolivarian process are so damning that however well motivated it may be it is going to fail, intrinsically, and since it is going to fail, they don’t support it? This too, seems unlikely. After all, the probability of failure is only enhanced by lack of critical and wise support. If people fear failure, why wouldn’t they work to avert that outcome, even if they feel averting it will be very hard? Isn’t the duty of the revolutionary to make the revolution — and to defend efforts in that direction? Surely it is not, instead, to support only sure things.

    Unlike the above two unlikely possibilities, is it that some whisperers and dismissers feel, “wait just a minute, Venezuela doesn’t match my understanding of revolution, or even of a project moving positively. Venezuela is instead, to my eyes, just another statist, authoritarian, aberration.” Thinking this, such a person will understandably decide not to support Venezuela, though perhaps also not to criticize at a time when doing so would fuel violent right wing agendas. But, I have to wonder, is thinking this due to first hand knowledge? Is thinking this due to extensive examination? Do non supporters have convincing data? Do they have something actual to point at? ……

    Read more….

    • Molly 3.1

      Thanks Morrisey. Interesting so far, will read the link later and see if he has written anything else.

  4. Paul 4

    An interesting read.

    One excerpt

    ‘The USA is best characterized as a decomposing corpse of a nation lorded over by a tiny clique of oligarchs who control the herd by wielding Orwellian methods of mind control. So far gone is the populace that most of them think that things are just peachy—there is an economic recovery, don’t you know—but a few of them do realize that they all have lots of personal issues with things like violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and gluttony. But don’t call them a nation of violent, drug-abusing gluttons, because that would be insulting. In any case, you can’t call them anything, because they aren’t listening, for they are too busy fiddling with their electronic life support units to which they have become addicted. Thanks to Facebook and the like they are now so far inside Plato’s cave that even the shadows they see aren’t real: they are computer simulations of shadows of other computer simulations.’


  5. did you know that in california..

    ..so many people applied for a licence to run a medical-marijuana dispensary..

    ..they had to have a lottery-draw..

    ..and a member of cypress hill was one of the winners..

    ..and he is promising customers beats with their ‘boo’..


    ..and in related news..so much tax has been collected from marijuana sales in colorado..

    ..that it breaches some state law..

    ..so all of the excess tax-take is going to be given back to the citizens of colorado..

    ..w.t.f. r we waiting for..?

    ..mainstream polling shows 87% of new zealanders want prohibition to end..

    ..are the gutless/piss-weak politicians (from all parties) waiting for 100% support..?

    ..if not..what is the actual tipping-point..?..that we have to get to..?

    ..before they will fucken move..?

    • tc 5.1

      You could get some of those beats to accompany that drum you keep banging.

      With the jelly like middle parties in parliament we have not in our lifetime Philip unless there’s a sea change in middle nz which seems to becoming more comatose rather than onto it.

      Go you though, big tobacco and alcohol have to be outed and demonised as one of the first steps to have any chance and their DP minions, Slater, graham etc

      • phillip ure 5.1.1

        @ tc..

        ..87% of middle new zealand want prohibition to end..

        ..they are already there..

        ..it is the gutless/piss-weak -politicians that are the problem..

        ..they are lagging well/way behind..

        ..almost out of fucken earshot..

        ..it wd seem..

        ..and the thing is that many on the right want prohibition to end..

        ..but they are also gutless/piss-weak..in not speaking up/lobbying their mp’s..

        ..and how can the fact that the last strong statement on ending pot prohibition came from..steel yrslves..!..don brash..

        ..how can this not be an indictment of the gutless/piss-weak politicians on the left..?

        ..those who (laughingly) self-regard as ‘progressive’…

        ..on pot..going by their words/actions..

        ..they are total fucken reactionaries..

        ..and are quite content for the madness to just continue..

        • Tiger Mountain

          yes well I damn well want medical grade reefer legally and readily available for my later years if I get “rust” or other conditions and so do most of my friends who are only intermittent or non marijuana users

          so interesting when the yanks strange political system allows a change like this in certain states

          • phillip ure

            another irony is that the new doco on pot in nz..’druglawed’..

            ..also shows clearly how america led/talked the nz govt of the day into prohibition..(for the most unworthy of reasons)..

            ..and now they are galloping away from that mistake..

            ..and leaving us still wallowing in it..

            ..and what really pisses me off..is the silences/from/ignorances of the politicians..

            ..and especially from those who should know better..

            ..from harawiras’ tantrum stopping what was a very effective media-campaign arguing ending prohibition..

            ..(and in doing so..going against the will of most party-members..

            ..it is a strange situation where the party executive/leadership in the main hold opposite views to most of the party members..)

            ..to normans’ ‘not on my to-do list’..

            ..to the fact that i bet most of you don’t know..

            ..that the green party spokesperson on ending cannabis prohibition is kevin hague..

            ..not that you’d know it..eh..?

            ..his silence on the topic has been resounding..

            ..and w.t.f. is wrong with the mainstream-media..?

            ..do their booze-advertisers/sponsers hold that much sway that this is a third-rail/no-go area..?

            ..listen up media..!

            ..87% of nz’ers want prohibition to end..

            ..eaxamples of this happening are breaking out worldwide..

            ,.but here..?..it isn’t a story..eh..?

            ..what’s that..?..you heard a siren..?..you think you might have got an ambulance/late-bill to chase..?

            ..ok..off ya go…

  6. saveNZ 6

    This is the war that the USA and UK “won”. Doesn’t seem to be working for the people there.

    Last year was the deadliest on record for civilians in Afghanistan, the UN said in a report on Wednesday, with more civilians killed in 2014 than since the agency began compiling figures in 2009. While Nato has ended its combat mission, and Barack Obama has declared that America’s longest war is ending responsibly, fighting in the country is intensifying.

    “In communities across Afghanistan, increased ground fighting among parties to the conflict and more IED attacks exacted a heavy toll on Afghan civilians,” said the top UN envoy, Nicholas Haysom.

    The report (pdf) documented 3,699 civilian deaths in 2014, the highest death toll since the UN began keeping systematic record in 2009. Another 6,849 people were injured, bringing the number of civilian casualties to 10,548, a 22% jump from last year. The total civilian death toll after more than a decade of war is now almost 18,000.

    Children were the hardest hit: 714 were killed and 1,760 wounded, an increase in of 40% on 2013. In addition, 298 women were killed and 611 injured.

    The rise in numbers has been attributed to a surge in battles between government forces and the armed opposition, mainly the Taliban. And while the war, for Afghans, is not over, it is clearly morphing. With international forces largely withdrawn from the provinces, insurgents have taken the fight back to the battlefield where indiscriminate weapons such as mortars and rockets prevail.

    As a result, 2014 saw a 54% increase in civilian casualties from fighting, while the number of victims from improvised explosive devices, such as roadside bombs, remained almost the same.


    • Colonial Rawshark 6.1

      The Taliban will be in charge of most of the country again, mere months after the ‘coalition’ packs up and leaves.

      Another western military success at the cost of $$$ and thousands of lives.

    • Once was Tim 6.2

      Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition!

  7. vto 7

    A question:

    If there is more debt in the world now than there is money to repay it (there is) then what happens next?

    • Sans Cle 7.1

      We/they get more creative in creating more money. It’s all an illusion anyhow!
      “money” is created by algorithms, digitally.
      Such is the financial world.
      The trick for capital/financial owners is to get the overlap between the financial world (digital markets) and the real world…..the real world which consists of people, places, bio-physical assets, workers, physical markets.

    • thatguynz 7.2


    • Coffee Connoissuer 7.3

      You revisit the reason for the system itself.
      Who is it for?
      What is its purpose? <<— (centered around the answer to the first question)

  8. Pete George 8

    The Little payment debacle seems to have been played down here. It’s an awful look for Andrew Little and will take a lot to recover from.

    The problems are detailed here:

    1. Hiring a right wing journalist to advise on your Labour Party leadership campaign in the first place
    2. Not paying him promptly when invoiced on 10 November
    3. Not responding to the next three e-mails from Cohen asking to be paid
    4. The Leader’s Chief of Staff gets involved on 22 December and doesn’t get it paid that day or even tell the Leader
    5. Two weeks later still unpaid, and COS gets e-mailed again.
    6. Another three weeks goes by and it is unpaid, and the journalist (NB journalist!) has to e-mail again
    7. The COS finally tells Little at the end of January and Little doesn’t get it paid that day
    8. Another week and another reminder and still no action
    9. Little gives a speech on how Labour wants to help small businesses, infuriating the self-employed journalist who e-mails again, now angry. Warning bells should be ringing loudly by now.
    10. Two more weeks later Cohen writes an article in NBR that appears in their print edition last Friday complaining he has not been paid. The incompetence is so huge that this does not result in a payment being made by end of day, but is ignored
    11. Four days later Steven Joyce raises the non payment in the House and finally it is paid
    12. When confronted over the bad look for the Labour Leader to not be paying a worker the money he is owed, Little gets angry at the media and demands they call him a contractor not a worker!

    It’s not just the public who will be querying his competence, in particular the small business part of the public that Little is targeting for support.

    But when the media spot incompetence they punish it. And when they get a bad reaction from their target they punish that too.

    Little’s learning curve suddenly looks far less favourable.

    • Oh, do fuck off. Little didn’t know about it until recently, so your first 94 points don’t reflect on him personally. He’ll get past it without problem and it’s already dropped off the radar at the Herald and Stuff. Sure, tories like you will try and keep it alive, but SFW.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1.1

        Racist George has merely plagiarised Farrar: he doesn’t have any points of his own.

      • Pete George 8.1.2

        What Little did (or didn’t do) and especially how he reacted to media examination has been embarrassing for him and is a significant setback to his chances.

        He’s shown he can learn from mistakes in the past but he has been slow to learn the implications of this ongoing stuff-up.

        The impression of incompetence is out there and hard to overcome.
        <blockquote<And Cameron Slater points out of course that one of the condemnations in DIRTY POLITICS was that certain journalists did work for politicians, and lobby groups, and other interests without clearly revealing full authorship.

        And it won’t be forgotten easily.

        • mickysavage

          It is such a non story Pete. Let he who has not paid a bill late in their life put his hand up. I am sure no one will.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            The racist will bring it up at every opportunity, then the racist will say: “I’ve seen lots of articles and comments on the subject”.

          • Skinny

            +1 It really made Joyce and Key look shallow. Going off the hammering Gower got on tv3 news Facebook feed Paddy will move on.

            If PG dedicated the same energy into a worthy topic like should the taxpayer continue funding the corporate sport of the America’s Cup people may take him serious rather than belittle him.

          • phillip ure

            p.g is correct when he says it is the reaction of little to media-questioning..

            ..and what that showed..

            ..that has become/is the story..

            ..not the very human ‘failing’ of paying a bill late..

        • risildowgtn

          yawn o and do fuck off already

        • miravox

          Significant? That’s not how you spell minor. Ask Key – he knows.

        • tricledrown

          Chelsea fans push black person off train,then say they are proud to be racist.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Pretty clear it is a media beat up by one eyed political commentators and National spin doctors keen to distract away from the real problems of this government.

          Why are you participating in this game Pete George?

        • Rodel

          “And it won’t be forgotten easily.”

          What won’t be forgotten easily?…yawn

        • Atiawa

          What part of “do fuck off” don’t you understand?

        • tc

          You mean you will not forget it easily but then that is your DP role o beige one.

          Even the hardcore Tories I talk to consider this a load of BS that lowers the other PG even further as a garner wanna be , maybe you and him should collaborate and have a PG squared blog.

      • alwyn 8.1.3

        “Little didn’t know about it until recently”.
        What an amazing statement. When I hire someone to do work for me, which is what Little did with Mr Cohen, I tend to remember that I hired him.
        If I received a bill I would also pay it. After all it would be my, and in this case was his personal bill.
        I hope you aren’t suggesting that he passed it on to McCarten to be paid out of the Labour Party’s Parliamentary Services money which is provided by the taxpayer for carrying out Parliamentary research etc. It isn’t meant for the private expenses of the leader is it? That would be like paying for the “pledge card”, and be illegal surely?
        If I didn’t get a bill, or it went astray, I would also notice that and ask where it had gone.
        Still Mr Little is far to busy for such little details. And after all the guy wasn’t a “worker”. He was only a lower class “contractor” and we don’t care about them do we?
        Of course its dropped off the radar at The Herald and Stuff. They would never bring up anything bad about their mates, would they?

        • mickysavage

          Have you ever paid a bill late?

          • alwyn

            Yes, no doubt. However it was never four months overdue, and I never got repeated reminders.
            I also always apologised and I certainly didn’t disparage the person the way that Little did. That was the line taken by rat-bag developers who don’t play the contractors who do work for them. I thought the Labour Party claimed to be on the contractors side but obviously that isn’t the case.
            In the meantime why was McCarten involved. Was Little expecting him to get it paid, and if so where was Matt meant to get the money?

            • mickysavage

              Ever not paid a bill you disputed?

              BTW McCarten was not involved in the campaign.

              • alwyn

                No, but where do you get the idea that this was what Little was doing? When did he dispute it?
                He didn’t, according to Mr Cohen. He just, either personally or via Matt McCarten, kept ignoring it.
                If I was disputing a bill I would tell the person why, wouldn’t you?

                Anyway, you are probably correct about the MSM moving on.
                I see in this morning’s Dom/Post that Vernon Small is getting back on message.
                He has a 45 column-centimetre story that a sprinkler was running at a building owned by the National Party in Wellington at 8.10am. Watering restrictions limit you to 6.00am to 8.00am apparently.
                Sock it to them Vern. Those evil National Party people should be in jail for such things.

        • te reo putake

          Alwyn, even DPF’s timeline (pagliarised by Pete Beige above) notes that Little only found out the bill was unpaid recently. It went, as you’d expect, to his election committee, not him personally. Do try and keep up.

          • alwyn

            Are you suggesting that Matt was on his election committee?
            He was Chief of Staff to Cunliffe at the time and was surely not involved with anyone’s campaign.
            Why did it end up with Matt to pay, and where did they expect to get the money. When it all became public I note that it was then paid out of Little’s personal account but who was intended to provide the money earlier when the account was passed on to Matt, and the public didn’t know about it?

            • te reo putake

              No. Matt wasn’t on the ‘elect Andrew’ campaign. The bill will have been paid out of the funds raised there.

              • alwyn

                There are a couple of problems with this.
                If McCarten wasn’t involved with the Little campaign, why is he involved with the attempts to pay, or avoid paying, Mr Cohen.
                Matt’s only source of funds would be the Parliamentary Services money that the Labour Party get.
                I wonder if Matt was told to pay it from there but he couldn’t find a way that didn’t fall foul of the Auditor-General.
                You also suggest that “The bill will have been paid out of the funds raised there.”
                According to TV3 it was paid out of a personal account of Andrew Little and his wife. The couldn’t have put money raised for his campaign into their personal account, or could they.

                • McCarten was contacted by Cohen.

                  Re: the payment, the point is that it was paid privately so your beat up about Parliamentary services paying is full of shit.

                  • alwyn

                    You will note that I never said that Parliamentary Services ended up paying it.
                    What I did ask was why Matt got involved in the matter, and I can’t see that he would have done so without being told to by Little, unless Little expected him to either get it paid or dropped.
                    The only way Matt himself could possibly have paid it would have been by using Parliamentary Services, and to do so without bringing the Auditor-General on his head couldn’t be arranged.
                    I don’t really believe Matt was involved purely out of the goodness of his heart and that it had nothing to do with his job.

                • mickysavage

                  There are no problems. McCarten was just being a mate and trying to help a busy leader. The bill was paid privately.

                  • Herodotus

                    I hope if applicable that whoever paid the invoice, if not Andrew little that it is declared as a donation. As did not labours last leadership battle raise issues regarding disclosure ?
                    Hate for a minor non issue continue to distract the media away form “real” and “important” issues 🙂

        • Draco T Bastard

          What an amazing statement. When I hire someone to do work for me, which is what Little did with Mr Cohen, I tend to remember that I hired him.

          It was a political campaign which is run by many people like any large business so it’s entirely possible that Little didn’t know. Would you really expect the CEO of a company to know who the branch manager hired to fix his door?

          And, yes, mistakes in accounting happen especially in, what I suspect, was a manual system.

      • adam 8.1.4

        + 100 te reo putake

    • trendy lefty 8.2

      What a lot of twaddle…at the end of the day, most New Zealanders couldn’t give a fuck about it, and if this is the best you can do to find fault with Andrew Little, then he is doing pretty well.

    • miravox 8.3

      Did you see Hekia Parata signed off on a now failing Charter School after ignoring official advice not to? I wonder how much $$ that bad and arrogant business decision cost… Is it less than Novopay and SkyScore do you think?

    • weizguy 8.4

      Oh, so now you’re able to make a determination about a set of facts. Convenient.

    • Chooky 8.5

      ” Hiring a right wing journalist to advise on your Labour Party leadership campaign in the first place”…this is the most worrying ….as Bomber Bradbury says:

      ….”the issue surely is that Andrew Little was taking political strategic advice from a right wing columnist writing for the NBR, the most right wing Newspaper in NZ. David Cohen, who has also written for the Christian Science Monitor and the Jerusalem Report, is an extremely odd choice as political advisor to the Labour Party.”


      • mickysavage 8.5.1

        Disagree Chooky. Ask if the copy was used. Pollies ought to be confronted by a variety of views and opinions.

        • One Anonymous Bloke


          I’d draw the line at Bradbury’s poisonous opinions but.

        • phillip ure

          the story is changing..!

          ..we were initially told he was hired to get into littles’ head..

          ..and to turn what he found there into coherent script..

          ..to coalesce the contents..

          ..and now he was ‘just a devils’ advocate’…?..eh..?

          ..i think i’ll go with the first story..

          ..(and i wonder how much cohen is getting paid to download what he found in littles’ head..

          ..for the use of the right..?..)

          ..speaking of ‘strategic-nous’…eh..?

          ..that’d be more of that labour party ‘strategic-nous’ in action..


          • Chooky

            +100 pu…i wonder if he advised Little to put forward Shearer to the spy committee

            Interestingly i can not find a list of links to David Cohen’s writings…..I would appreciate it if someone could find them….but what I do recall is his attack on Hone Harawira….arguing that most Aucklanders hated him and wanted to run him out of Auckland …or some such.

            It is right wing attack journalists like this who also write for ‘Jerusalem Report’ that were the real toxic reasons why Mana/Int lost TTT with the help of Labour…and many NZers votes were lost for Mana.

            Interestingly Little appointed Shearer to the spy committee and snubbed Green Maori woman co-leader Metiria Turei ….because he says of Shearer :

            “He understands the social and cultural and ethnic drivers of the risks that are opposed to us today. He has that background.”


            ( I wonder if the Greens and Mana are considered to be Parties of the social, cultural and ethnic drivers that are a seen as a threat by this spy committee?…with expert David Shearer to advise them on such issues?)

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Where were you told he was to get into Little’s head, Phil? A search for the phrase returns zero results.

            take out a few hours to talk with Mr Little and then independently distill his views as they might sound to an outsider.

            I call bullshit. I expect Phil will now bluster and froth, and claim he is right according to his own interpretation.

            Is his spin malicious or simply the product of an over-active amygdala? Who can tell?

            • phillip ure


              ..it was in the first mainstream media coverage of this..

              ..don’t have link/can’t remember where..sorry..

              • Chooky

                the point is …..that it is interesting that Little and the Labour Party are mixing and getting paid help from the likes of David Cohen ( is this where our subs go?)….and no friend of the Greens or Mana ( whom many Labour Party members would like to see as coalition partners)

                ….is this where Little’s real sympathies lie, with the views of the likes of David Cohen? …is Little quite compromised now? ( Little was endorsed by the likes of Michelle Boag and other right wing Nacts….Matthew Hooton?)

                ….inwhich case it is very disturbing for traditional Labour Party supporters, who have a lot of sympathy for other New Zealanders on the Left ….Maori, Pakeha and women …those that the Greens and Mana represent !

                • The Murphey

                  Any entity which is part of the status quo establishment should be considered compromised by default

                  Endorsement in any form ensures business continuity

                  ‘If voting made a difference it would be illegal’

      • He said he was being used as Devil’s Advocate, not to write copy. They bounced policy ideas off him and he told them the likely rightie responses. I could have taken the $950 down to my local and done the same job with much better results.

      • Murray Rawshark 8.5.3

        +1 Chooky. It’s about as bad as getting John Ansell to do election billboards.

    • Tracey 8.6

      Joyce lends $43m to Mediaworks (TV3) in 2011. In 2015 faced with a $45m blow out in his oversight of Novopay TV3 runs a story for two days about this unpaid bill of $950.

      OF COURSE it should have been paid if owed. No question. But why did TV3 choose this as its leading political story two days in a row?

      Can you show how TV3 has punished Joyce’s incompetence in this instance?

      • phillip ure 8.6.1

        @ tracey..

        “..Joyce lends $43m to Mediaworks (TV3) in 2011. In 2015 faced with a $45m blow out in his oversight of Novopay TV3 runs a story for two days about this unpaid bill of $950..”

        + 1..

      • alwyn 8.6.2

        “Joyce lends $43m to Mediaworks (TV3) in 2011”.
        Your memory is leading you astray Tracey. There was no loan at all.
        Saying there was, as some people on the left do, doesn’t make it true.

        • dv

          Not a loan HUH


          MediaWorks’ latest accounts show it has essentially received a $43.3 million loan from the Crown to enable it to renew its radio broadcasting licences for the next 20 years.

          Telecommunications Minister Steven Joyce yesterday said the money was not a loan, but a deferred payment system to help the radio industry during tough times in 2009.
          which MediaWorks is obliged to file with the Companies Office because it is overseas-owned, the private company is paying 11.2 per cent interest on the money, which has been granted for just over four years.

        • Hayden

          You should tell John Key

          “I just raised it as an issue but we’d been looking at it for sometime. My view was it made sense. It’s a commercial loan, it’s a secured contract,” Key said.

        • phillip ure


          that happens with a certain regularity..doesn’t it alwyn..

          ..you come blustering in calling ‘lies..!..damned lies..!’..

          ..and then someone posts the evidence..

          ..that totally punctures yr bluster-balloon..

          ..and you then retire to a sullen-silence..

          ..it is funny to watch..

          ..and has certainly come to define yr modus operandi..

          ..but can i suggest you google what you are calling bullshit on..?

          ..before you make that call..?

          ..(just an idea..!..eh..?..)

          • alwyn

            When I get a “loan” Phil I expect someone to hand over some money.
            That never happened. They were simply given more time to pay for their licenses after the Government changed the rules.
            Stations were able to pay for a 20 year licence paying each year as it came. Thus they would have made 20 payments over 20 years.
            This was changed to make them pay for the entire 20 years in one lump sum at the beginning of the period.
            In return for paying more money, at a later time, companies were allowed, if they wished to spread the payment over a number of years (Four if I remember correctly). If they failed to pay off the money completely the licence was forfeited.
            It was a deferred payment. No-one handed over a “loan” to media-works.
            Try googling it yourself. It is amazing what you might learn.

            • thatguynz

              Dear god Alwyn, talk about arguing semantics. Even the way YOU have described it still smacks of a “loan”. You can put whatever label on it you like but that’s precisely what it was.

              • alwyn

                It is not necessary to address me as “Dear God”
                You Excellency or Your Grace will be sufficient.

                Suppose that someone negotiated with the IRD to pay off overdue taxes over a period of 4 years. Would you really say that they had received a “loan” from the IRD?

                • vto

                  That example is also a form of credit… of which a loan is too.


                • McFlock


                  If I owe you $50, I owe you $50.

                  If I agree to pay to that money by 20 feb, and cannot, and you say “make it 20 march”, I still owe you $50 until 20 march. According to you this is not a loan.

                  If I agree to pay to that money by 20 feb, and cannot, I need to borrow the money off someone. You lend me $50 until 20 march to pay off my debts. I take that $50 note and give it right back to you – for the brief period I have it, i owe you $100. Once I give it back to you, I owe you $50 until 20 march. According to you this is a loan.

                  That’s some powerful bullshit, right there.

                • Murray Rawshark

                  “Suppose that someone negotiated with the IRD to pay off overdue taxes over a period of 4 years. Would you really say that they had received a “loan” from the IRD?”

                  If there were no penalties, yes I would.

                • thatguynz

                  That’s precisely what I’d call it. In fact, it’s also what the IRD call it as they charge interest in that scenario.

                  • alwyn

                    Would you and Murray please come to some agreement on this?
                    Murray says it is a loan if there are no penalties.
                    You seem to be saying it is a loan because there are penalties.

                    I guess that if you can’t even agree on this I am entitled to stick to my view that it is not a loan but a deferred payment. There is certainly not a consensus on the subject of what is, or is not, a loan is there?

                    Any qualified accountants out there who are willing to comment on the matter?

                    • McFlock


                    • RedBaronCV

                      IRD interest and penalties are two different things – interest is at set rates advertised on the website and apply to all. Penalties can be levied at varying rates (there are 3-4 categories) depending on why the money is owed. So if you cheat deliberately and are audited and caught then your penalty will be high, accidental small one off stuff up and maybe none.

                      if money is owed to the IRD and is not paid on time then yes they are loaning money to you and they do charge interest. If a payment arrangement is made ( and stuck too) then a negotiated amount of tax is paid which may or may not include interest or penalties. Don’t stick to the arrangement and the whole amount reappears.
                      Anybody asleep yet??

                      As to the media licences – if there was a choice of an amount say $100 payable today or $30 payable annually over 4 years then there is an amount of interest paid (which is deductible for tax) of $30.
                      However, a deferred payment where the same amount is paid as lump sum or spread over several payments is simply a zero interest rate loan. Anything else is just words from you.
                      It is a contact to pay where consideration is to be given of an amount certain ..blah blah

                      The documents will be recording a loan ( by way of acknowledgement of debt or maybe taking some security.)
                      So yes Media works did get a loan no matter how you like to frame it and yes us taxpayers were funding them.

                      They should have had to borrow it from a bank.

                    • Murray Rawshark

                      If all they charge is interest, it’s a loan. thatguynz and myself are in agreement. You are entitled to stick to your view and you could even keep it to yourself if you so chose.

                    • thatguynz

                      “You seem to be saying it is a loan because there are penalties.”

                      That’s not what I said. I said that the IRD charge interest on overdue payments under a repayment agreement.

    • Skinny 8.7

      If you know Mc Carten Pete it was deliberate, Matt would have made the crybaby wait just like the taxman. I got a good laugh when I heard about this non issue.

      Listening to Plunket he is more concerned about Key & Joyce stumping up $30 million of taxpayers hard earned for the corporate sport of America’s Cup yachting.

      So where do you stand on this real issue Pete?

    • Old Mickey 8.8


      BAd, bad look – McCarten was too busy telling Wayne Eaglson about Sabin to worry about paying workers/contrcators.

      Why is it that guys like Phil Field, Matt McCarten and Andrew Litlle behave so badly towards employees ?

      On a positive note, great move by Andy to not invite Material Turei to the Intel Committee – apart form being hilarious to associate Green with Intelligence, have Shearer there is an excellent move. His inside networks are strong. Creating a distance betwene Labour and Green has to be good for 2017 and beyond – as greens head below 10%, Labour will be above 35%, then its game on.

      • mickysavage 8.8.1

        Cant we be sent better wing nuts? McCarten did not know about the bill until later on and was only trying to help.

        What are you more upset about old mickey? The Government wasting $45 million on Novopay or Little being a bit late in paying a bill?

        • Old Mickey

          The Govt, both current & previous who agreed to Novopay made a bad call. Got resolved, just like previous frigate debarcles, and INCIS etc etc. Am more concerned about Auckland Council IT project – will dwarf Novopay !
          Re Little bill paying – its a bad look for a champion of the workers. Take blinkers off – if it was John Key or Bill English, it would be a hanging offense. I dont care when McCarten knew (December ?), Little must have known, he ran his own campaign, makes his own calls and hired the guy.

          • mickysavage

            Previous government only entered into the agreement. It did not agree to go live on the programme which was a crazy decision and where all the blame should lie.

            • Old Mickey

              Disagree, but that’s democracy.
              I would argue previous Govt should never have signed the contract. Most in IT community said at the time of signed that it was a bad project from day 1

              • mickysavage

                Yep they should have looked four years into the future and seen that National would have gone live with the project even though there were hundreds of bugs in the program, there was no backup and at least one of the eight criteria had not been met. IT WAS ALL LABOUR’s FAULT THAT THEY DID NOT HAVE THE ABILITY TO PEER INTO THE FUTURE … really?

                • Old Mickey

                  Didnt say that at all. Not all Labours fault, but if thats the way you feel about it.
                  At the time it was signed, the high level project plan & spec’s had major holes in it obvious to IT professionals. Warning were given and ignored by both Govts about Talent2 ability in this space, and the archetcecture of the product. I only hope that Govts look at any new IT projects with a better lens and take advice from those who know this stuff.

                  • mickysavage

                    At the time it was signed, the high level project plan & spec’s had major holes in it obvious to IT professionals. Warning were given and ignored by both Govts

                    Citation please. And agreements can be loose but tidied up before implementation which is always the most important time.

                    • Old Mickey

                      This agreement could be loose, but not the sky city convention center one ? Consistency please

                    • mickysavage []

                      Development of the project and go live is all important. And I am still waiting for the citation for the claim that the contract was loose.

                    • Old Mickey

                      You said agreements can be loose – I suppose the ciation is that you are a lawyer.

                      I said “the high level project plan & spec’s had major holes in it obvious to IT professionals.”

                      At the time, IBM, and HP both were quoted in the herald about concerns on the project. NBR ran a piece covering teh awarding of the contract as well. A number of tech blogs also ran pieces about the issue and comparisions to INCIS, and the flaws in the selection/tender process.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      National’s passive management approach to the project – i.e. keeping quiet and aimlessly fiddling in the background while things got more and more out of control – was the key to hugely escalating costs and adverse outcomes.

                      Classic useless laissez faire National Government style.

                  • McFlock

                    warnings from competitors? Big surprise. I’m sure any govt was receptive to IBM’s advice after INCIS, lol

                    Giving a contract to a company that might be hitting above its weight? Not too bad, if it’s well monitored.

                    But ministers signing go-live authorisation for a project when it wasn’t confirmed that even one out of (ISTR) seven or eight “mission critical” requirements had been completed? That’s gross incompetence by the ministers concerned.

  9. Stuart Munro 10

    Little’s bill is trivia – the RWNJs dropped the ball on it – should’ve sold it to one of those debt collection outfits if they’d wanted maximum effect. Gnats – not exactly the rocket scientists of the etymological community.

  10. that sound you can hear in the distance..

    ..is the cannabis plants growing in grey lynn –

    – being pulled out of the ground…


    ..before all the people with clipboards invade the backyards/growing-spots..

  11. Barfly 12

    Latest report on an enormous theft of public monies


    but wait …I hear crickets chirping

    • Old Mickey 12.1

      Profit is theft ?

      • DoublePlusGood 12.1.1

        Yes, that profit should be going to the New Zealand government, for the benefit of New Zealanders. That it is not going to the New Zealand government indicates that the profit has been stolen from its rightful owners due to the mindboggling incompetence of the National government (and their determination to make the country as financially worse off as possible compared to when their government began)

      • Draco T Bastard 12.1.2

        Yes or, to be more precise, profit is a dead-weight loss to the economy.

    • Old Mickey 12.2

      Profit is theft ?

      • In Vino 12.2.1

        Why are you so surprised? Proudhon said that property was theft. Stupid ACT people say that tax is theft. If you look at the exploitation aspect, yes, most of that profit is outright theft. All greedy antisocial people claim that any money taken off them is theft, except Proudhon maybe..

        Your ‘Profit is not a Dirty Word’ philosophy has been ruining our society since the 1980s.

        If it had been presented in its true form (‘Profit-Gouging is not a Dirty Term) maybe more of us would have voted against its advancement.

  12. Pretty sad this

    3News weather presenter Kanoa Lloyd says she gets criticised on a weekly basis about using Te Reo during her segments.

    Lloyd, who has been fronting the weather for TV3 since September, told Radio New Zealand viewers write to her requesting that she stops referring to New Zealand as “Aotearoa”.

    “I thought I had a bit of a thick skin but I’ve never really encountered people who take offence to Maori being used,” she said.

    “I think some people are also a bit challenged by the fact that I sometimes refer to the North and South islands by their Maori names: Te Ika-a-Maui and Te Waipounamu, and I say ‘Kia Ora’.


    A lot of work to do to shift attitudes, a lot of work…

  13. fisiani 14

    Political lesson No 1 for February 2015. If you are asked to work for Andrew Little insist on being paid in advance,

    • Old Mickey 14.1

      Just another gotcha moment in the beltway….nothing to see here, or in the NBR last week.

    • b waghorn 14.2

      Hay you are getting better a getting you’re jokes out earlier in the day, oh wait you’ve taken 2 days to come up with that sad attempt.

    • Murray Rawshark 14.3

      Don’t worry Fizzy, neither you or I will ever be asked. Even though you’re close to him politically, what with spies, surveillance and all that, you have never demonstrated any useful competence.

    • Tracey 14.4

      prominent New Zealander has appeared in court facing 12 charges of indecent assault against two complainants.

      The man made his second appearance in a district court today to apply for continued name suppression.

      Judge Roy Wade denied the application and ruled the man’s name suppression would lapse in 20 working days – at 5pm on March 19 – unless an appeal was lodged in the High Court.

      Most other details of the case are suppressed to protect the identity of the victims.

      The man’s lawyer indicated an appeal would be lodged.

      Judge Wade also suppressed the contents of today’s hearing.

      The man pleaded not guilty and elected trial by jury.

      He was remanded on bail to a further appearance in April.


    • Rawsharkosaurus 14.5

      And how long did it take the National Party to get around to paying the $112,500.00 advertising bill they forgot to pay after the 2005 election?

    • Treetop 14.6

      fisiani some general research would be great to see regarding a non payment.

      1. Have you ever over looked paying a bill?

      2. Did the person who billed you make this known in parliament?

      3. Did you have the funds to pay the bill?

      4. Are you human?

      • fisiani 14.6.1

        Deflection and attempted spin all around. The only way to get Andrew Little ( the union man who claims he supports workers) to pay up his debt was to humiliate him in Parliament. He and his staff has ignored several requests for payment as documented. Amazingly the bill was paid minutes after it being raised in the house. It seems they has no intention of paying the debt. I blame the COC Matt McCarten.

        • McFlock

          I like the way you gave us an executive summary of your comment in the first sentence. Most helpful.

        • Treetop

          “It seems they had no intention of paying the debt.”

          Can you provide proof that there was no intention to pay the debt?

          I also disagree with “The only way to get Andrew Little (the union man who claims he supports workers) to pay up his debt was to humiliate him in Parliament).”

          I do agree with “Deflection and attempted spin all around” via the government.

          Next time it might be over a $10.00 amount.

  14. reason 15

    I’m involved in a Visual project which will display the members of Nationals Dirty Politics club as told in Nicky Hagers book.

    Due to the large number of right wing creeps who appeared in the book and the nature of the visual project it is necessary to split and categorize them into smaller sub groups.

    Work has begun on this but The Standard readers could help the process …….. by putting foward names.

    The perquisite for a nomination would be the persons name appearing in Nicky Hagers Book In a negative way ………………

    Here are the sub groupings and the names within them so far ………… there is an overlap of names in different sub-groups which is fine as it reflects reality.

    The Prime Ministers men: …. Eagleson , Farrar, Slater, Ede, John Banks etc the ones key talks too………..

    The bad bunch in the house : Judith Collins, The Lusk Mob, Mitchell .. Bhatnager … etc

    Chaos and filth + their backers Backers >>>. Slater, Odgers Katherin Rich, British tobacco . Port of Auckland..Fonterra, * Logo’s will be used.

    There are more sub groups but that will do for starters …………………

    • Sacha 15.1

      “Logo’s will be used.”

      Those corporates have form for using trademark and copyright to quietly shut down such actions. I’d reconsider.

  15. A good article on Chelsea FC’s racism embarrassment: http://www.theguardian.com/football/2015/feb/18/racists-paris-chelsea-football-britain

    The good news is that overall the incidents of racism at the games has dropped in recent years. The bad news is the rise of UKIP has encouraged morons to think they have the right to be racially offensive.

    • DoublePlusGood 16.1

      Well, they might have the right to be racially offensive, but really they think that they are absolved from all the consequences of free speech. Like they’re somehow entitled to not be banned from football stadia as a result of their free speech. Or like they’re somehow entitled not to become total pariahs, or lose their jobs, as a result of their free speech.

  16. exStatic 18

    Now, this is interesting. Probably learned more about the Middle East crisis from this as all previous reading.

    • adam 19.1

      That is defiantly a candidate. If not this year, then next. Ummm, and why would you carry a gun there?

  17. weka 20

    Another reason for men who want to change society for the better regarding gender not to associate themselves with Men’s Rights Activists. I think this also falls under the category of things that men as a class are responsible for.

    Content warning for extreme misogyny and rape promotion.

    The founder of a website that is popular with so-called Men’s Rights Activists said this week that the “solution” to the problem of rape in the United States was to decriminalize “the violent taking of a woman” on private property.

    Anti-feminist blogger Roosh Vörek — who goes by Roosh V — opined in a column on Monday that the entire “rape culture” had been created by rules in current law that say women “could not give full legal consent” if they were drunk.

    According to Vörek, laws against rape made “women wholly unconcerned with their own safety and the character of men they developed intimate relationships with.”

    Vörek predicted that after rape was legalized, a woman would learn to “protect her body in the same manner that she protects her purse and smartphone.”

    “After several months of advertising this law throughout the land, rape would be virtually eliminated on the first day it is applied,” he insisted. “Consent is now achieved when she passes underneath the room’s door frame, because she knows that that man can legally do anything he wants to her when it comes to sex.

    Vörek admitted that “[b]ad encounters are sure to occur, but these can be learning experiences for the poorly trained woman so she can better identify in the future the type of good man who will treat her like the delicate flower that she believes she is.”


  18. Murray Rawshark 21

    I dropped into the Whangarei District Court today. It was an interesting visit. They don’t put up lists of defendants and charges on the wall like when PU used to be a bad boy.

    • veutoviper 21.1

      I presume that you are not able to talk about it due to wide ranging suppression orders?

      • veutoviper 21.2.1

        Perhaps Sacha at 21.1.1 was referring to the prominent sports person whose case apparently was completed last week with name suppression lifted. Cannot give a link but have heard about it on Twitter etc but I still don’t know who it was or what the charges were. And frankly, I am not interested enough to find out.

        • Sacha

          I meant when the Speaker blurted in parliament he was using the past tense about the case. Though he is a fool so may be wrong..

          • veutoviper

            Thanks Sacha – now understand your earlier comment. As you say, the Speaker’s foot in mouth moment was something in terms of suggesting connections and that the case he was referring to was essentially over bar finalities. The little reporting available at the end of Jan suggested the latter; but more recent events may indicate a change in plea and/or additional charges having been laid – but don’t want to speculate further.

            Graeme Edgeler, I/S and Matthew Hooten have had an interesting Twitter conversation last night and this morning worth reading in terms of some other possibilities ….

  19. Treetop 22

    David Bains compensation issue is going back to square one. A new inquiry ordered by Amy Adams.

    • dv 22.1

      So another million burnt.
      How much has be spent so far?

      • Treetop 22.1.1

        The main thing is that cabinet are to ignore all previous advice. A fresh look with fresh eyes with NO government interference has its price.

        Justice delayed is justice denied. A jury found Bain to not be guilty.

        Perhaps the bill for a fresh inquiry could be sent to Collins?

        • b waghorn

          I think his conviction was quashed its different to not guilty I believe.

          • felix

            As I understand it he was found not guilty, which means the crown failed to establish his guilt, hence the conviction was quashed. However to be eligible for compensation he must establish his innocence, which apparently is not the same thing as the crown failing to establish his guilt.

            • b waghorn

              Cheers yes I should of used the Google machine before I made the comment.

              • Treetop

                Fine to question. The term acquitted has been used as well. Declare not guilty. I would need to Google to find out the legal definition.

  20. Chooky 23

    “When the Going Gets Tough….Start Lying”

    Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert on HSBC


  21. dv 24



    A prominent New Zealander charged with indecent assault lost his bid for name suppression today.
    who elected trial by jury,
    Heavy suppression orders cover the case, meaning the man cannot be identified, nor can his alleged victims or their ages.

    But the man’s identity will remain protected for another month to allow him the chance to lodge an appeal.
    12 charges of indecent assault against two people

  22. Potato 25

    More reports of a prominent New Zealander in court….


    (edited to remove herald link in another post)

  23. Murray Rawshark 26

    Mike Sabin was at the Whangarei District Court today. I think he must have been giving expert evidence on this amphetamine case. Good to see he’s so public spirited even while trying to solve family matters.


    • idlegus 26.1

      they have comments open on that article? weird…i know mike woodhouses brother in law, i told him about the stories going round the internet about sabin, he was quite shocked to say the least!!!

      • Murray Rawshark 26.1.1

        The media is reporting the prominent person can be sentenced for up to 10 years. An indecent act on an adult has a maximum penalty of 7 years. Look at this from the Crimes Act:
        Sexual conduct with child under 12
        (1)Every one who has sexual connection with a child is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 14 years.(2)Every one who attempts to have sexual connection with a child is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.(3)Every one who does an indecent act on a child is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years.(4)It is not a defence to a charge under this section that the person charged believed that the child was of or over the age of 12 years.(5)It is not a defence to a charge under this section that the child consented.(6)In this section,—(a)child means a person under the age of 12 years; and(b)doing an indecent act on a child includes indecently assaulting the child.Section 132: replaced, on 20 May 2005, by section 7 of the Crimes Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 41).

  24. veutoviper 27

    On a completely different subject – and political etc vein.

    As an older woman etc, just WOW ??????????? at Claire Trevitt’s contribution to this Twitter thread. Bitchy what?

  25. AsleepWhileWalking 28

    Things that make you go hmmm…..

    How would you like your employer to pay you to leave your job ($21 million USD) and take up a public service role? Apparently it is routine.

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