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Open mike 19/05/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 19th, 2011 - 40 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

40 comments on “Open mike 19/05/2011 ”

  1. Bill 1

    On Morning Report, John Key lamented the fact that children have been pulled into a political conflict. Key reckons they are being used because they don’t understand the issues on an adult political level.

    The conflict is over the closing of their school.

    What is there to understand beyond knowing that you don’t want your school closed?

    And which is worse? Being a child and not couching your feelings in terms intellectual political ‘pragmatism’; or being an adult who is unable to engage with anything other than the cold dismissive hand of government policy?

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      I think the principal of the school made a good case on Campbell Live. Basically Kawerau is a very under-privileged town with lots of gangs and only 10% of high school graduates meet entry requirements for university. The intermediate now has enough computers for a 2:1 pupil:computer ratio, and most of the families of the kids don’t have computers or internet connections at home.
      His point is that intermediate is the last chance where they can try and steer the children away from delinquency and give them hope for the future, before they enter into high school. It’s important to keep it separate from the primary schools, as it helps to make a significant transition and really make the kids positive about learning and education.

      • Bill 1.1.1

        And John Key has been dismissive by suggesting that children don’t understand the issue in adult (read: his) terms. Meaning that children don’t understand. (Which is bullshit.) And has then sought to tarnish the adults involved by claiming they are manipulating children for political ends. (Also bullshit)

        I think the children have a good understanding of what’s going on. And JK is simply being dismissive of the very people who will suffer the real and immediate impacts of school closure. I’d have thought the onus was on the politician to understand matters through the lens of those affected.

        I think it’s reasonable to suggest that school closures have similar impacts on children as work closure/redundancy has on adult workers (sense of dislocation, loss/ disruption of social networks etc).

        Of course, John Key is far from alone in perpetuating the 1950’s/60’s attitude that children should be seen and not heard.

        But I wonder why it is in any way acceptable to casually dismiss the fears/understandings of children on matters that concern them and not accord them and their perspective a due degree of legitimacy?

        Strange that the perspective of a person who will not be affected in any way what-so-ever is given primary focus and that they are allowed to call the shots, innit?

        sigh Representative politics. Don’t ya just love that empowering dynamic?

        • Morrissey

          Of all people, John Key has a monumental amount of arrogance to make such comments. His confused and rambling comments about New Zealand’s “mission” in Afghanistan show a level of understanding and seriousness that most people would not accept in a child.

          Still, he is in the habit of automatically attacking anyone who is not “on message” with National Party propaganda: on his BBC Hardtalk interview, he dismissed the expertise of scientists as “just another view”, he made condescending comments about Keisha Castle-Hughes when she fronted a Greenpeace campaign, and he defiantly told journalists that he “doesn’t rate” the outstanding Jon Stephenson.

    • Darren 1.2

      …….John Key lamented the fact that children have been pulled into a political conflict….

      Unless they live in McGehan Close that is.

  2. RobC 2

    Cunliffe was IMO outstanding in yesterday’s General Debate – when he fires up he puts others above him in caucus to shame

    • Carol 2.1

      Yes, he’s impressive, and a good electorate MP, too. That is the reason I will give my electorate vote to Cunliffe, even though I will also vote Green Party.

    • RobC 2.2

      P.S. And he’s going to town on Red Alert today, some good stuff there too. Who lit a bonfire under him?

      • PeteG 2.2.1

        Maybe he’s trying to recover from his not so outstanding effort from yesterday:

        David Cunliffe, Labour’s finance spokesman, found himself a laughing stock in Parliament yesterday…

        I hope his numbers on the economy add up better than his poll, without any more “computer glitches”.

        • RobC

          Gee, it wasn’t so long ago all the RWNJ’s were calling out Labour for concentrating on the trivial … go back to the cesspit (congrats on your 10,000th post there) where the stunning ignorance of duplicity provides great mirth.

  3. Anne 3

    I’m hoping this is the start of the “real Labour Party”. The one many of us know is there but we just havn’t seen it on public display for a long time. There have been some solid hits by Labour MPs at Question Time in the House lately. Conserving their energy for the big 6 month push before the election? I hope so!

    • Jim Nald 3.1

      People found they got sold a useless tool after watching wankey governtainment infomercial.
      People have not, for two-thirds of the electoral term, been ready to face up to their faux pas.
      They are about ready to revisit how they had voted.

      Would be good about now for some indication that the opposition parliamentarians have been diligently doing their work and are poised to release that post-RWC.

  4. Morrissey 4

    WHO AM I?

    I have been a politician of one sort or another since I was elected to
    the Birkenhead Borough Council back in 1977 .

    I first entered Parliament as a protégé of Rob Muldoon, and was hand-
    picked by him to take over his popular Sunday afternoon radio show
    when he retired.

    As Minister of Police I amalgamated traffic officers and police, at a
    stroke turning jackbooted moustachioed morons into policemen and
    policemen into glorified revenue collectors.

    In my first term as Mayor of Auckland I promoted a motorway through
    Remuera, attacked Asian immigrants, and generally made myself so
    unpopular I made the dishwater-wet bran-flake Dick Hubbard electable.

    In my second term, I ran on a platform of keeping rates down and then
    proceeded to raise them every year I was there. I promised to keep
    spending in check, but instead my council spent like a drunken sailor
    on a Singapore shore leave while borrowing heavily to keep the party
    going. In fact, under my stewardship my council borrowed more than any
    other council in the country.

    I finished this term so unpopular I managed to make the insane self-
    abuser Len Brown electable, and left ratepayers in debt to the tune of
    nearly one billion dollars.

    I am now the ACT Party candidate for the party’s flagship seat in
    Parliament, running a platform promoting fiscal responsibility and
    opposing this government’s unsustainable spending and borrowing.
    (Clearly, someone is desperate for my money.)

    Who am I?


    • PeteG 4.1

      Act are banking on him retaining their lifeline seat but they will probably also lose a significant amount of party vote appeal.

      Imagine if Peters stands against him, the battle of the sedentary.

    • PeteG 4.2

      Not everyone seesa him as a shoe in…

      Doubt over Banks’ ability to win Epsom

      …but political columnist David Slack says with Don Brash at the helm, it’s highly likely Act will get over the 5 percent threshold.

      “It’s then academic whether they play soft or not in Epsom. At that point it actually becomes more important for them to have the bigger numbers. Why would you then give away one electorate seat?”

      Mr Slack questions Mr Banks’ ability to win the seat, suggesting he lacked energy in last year’s Auckland mayoralty race.

      “You’ve got to be able to talk an interesting pitch to your voters and you need to have empathy and insight,” he told Newstalk ZB. “I’m not sure he’s got the pace for it anymore.”

      I heard him on NatRad last night and it seemed the same well-worn polispeak, but I doubt Act will care about that.

      Brash never revealed the results of his scheduled post-coup survey did he?

      • Lanthanide 4.2.1

        “Brash never revealed the results of his scheduled post-coup survey did he?”
        I don’t think the results were ever intended to be public. Of course him going and blathering about them all over the place could easily have created the expectation that they would be public. And probably if the results had been unexpectedly positive they would have published them.

        • Jim Nald

          A bluff that became irrelevant post-coup ?

          • PeteG

            Maybe, both.

            Brash can look on a hardball mission and totally naive at the same time, it’s either a very odd combination, or reason to be very suspicious. I still go for the latter.

            • Morrissey

              PeteG: Unfortunately, Brash is not naive at all. He’s actually very shrewd, and as we saw in his Night of the Long Knives move against poor old Rodders last month, extremely hard-nosed.

              • vto

                Yep exactly, cutthroat and as hard as they come. Like Key, like Jock Hobbs, like Clark, like, well, pretty much almost everyone who gets to the top in business or politics. A broad generalisation I know, but sheesh, you meet these people are they are nice as chips and yes yes lovely lovely and then later when the deal is completed they will turn and cut ya nuts off. Seems to be the m.o. for many of them. Thankfully not all. Bring back Bill Rowling!

                • Colonial Viper

                  Its nice to see PeteG working so hard to soften Brash’s image as the corporate takeover king.

    • prism 4.3

      Who would please you morrissey? Banks is no good, you give his opposite dick hubbard no points at all. So who meets your idea of a good pollie?

      • Morrissey 4.3.1

        Actually, prism, I didn’t write it. I simply reposted it from this site…

        I quite liked Dick Hubbard, for the record. I even, in small doses, liked Banksy’s radio show—especially his “Scumbag of the Week” feature. Unhinged and reactionary—but very funny.

        What’s my idea of a good pollie? Keeping it to New Zealand, I admire and respect Keith Locke, and I am impressed by Jacinda Ardern. Of course, most politicians have qualities that recommend them; I can appreciate that John Key, even though he’s indolent and poorly informed, is a consummate handler of people. Same goes for John (Hone) Carter and Steven Joyce. Phil Goff might be struggling for credibility now, but I can remember him as a compelling speaker in the House.

        On an individual level, most of them are likable and competent enough—Rodney Hide acquits himself very well on comedy programmes, if not on the dance floor.

        Only a few politicians over the years have seemed so despicable that I find it hard to praise anything about them: Stephen Franks is one, and Roger McClay is another.

        • prism

          Just caught up with your reply Morrissey thanks. My question was sincere about your priorities. I thought that Dick Hubbard would be sincere and knowledgable about business needs. I’ll follow Jacinda Ardern. I’m interested in the newer entries coming through the ranks.

  5. joe90 5

    Sciblogs PZ Myers: Evolution is a Jewish conspiracy.

    Does it make you feel all warm and happy and safe to peek into the minds of some of the most ardent Christian supporters of Israel?

  6. todd 6

    Parliament’s Wall of Shame #2

    On 12 November 2010 Pansy Wong resigned as a Minister after misusing her parliamentary travel perks for trips to China on which her husband conducted private business activities, which is specifically prohibited. What is clear is that the couple advanced Mr Wong’s business interests while travelling together, subsidised by the New Zealand taxpayer to the tune of nearly $55,000. To make matters worse, the Wong’s unlawfully registered two private companies to Ms Wong’s Botany Downs electorate office.

    • Morrissey 6.1

      “To make matters worse, the Wong’s unlawfully registered two private companies…”


    • marsman 6.2

      Lets hope the Wongs get a good airing before the election, and maybe Bill English’s rorting of half a million bucks will also get another good airing and bite in the bum for the Double Dipper.

  7. joe90 7

    Climate Progress:Wegman scandal rocks cornerstone of climate denial.

    USA Today: Evidence of plagiarism and complaints about the peer-review process have led a statistics journal to retract a federally funded study that condemned scientific support for global warming

    • lprent 7.1

      Nice article. Now It’d be nice to get local idiot’s (like Treadgold) papers checked in the same way. Unfortunately he doesn’t publish papers subject to either peer review or critical analysis – unless you consider the illiterates of the ACT party as having some scientific understanding that they have never managed to display.

    • PeteG 7.2

      I bet that won’t stop the denialists quoting Wegman as proof of the world wide scientist/capitalist/communist climate conspiracy. The plagarism has been known about for quite a while and that didn’t make any difference to the squealots.

      Climate change denial becomes harder to justify

      In a report titled “America’s Climate Choices,” a panel of scientific and policy experts also concludes that the risks of inaction far outweigh the risks or disadvantages of action. And the most sensible and urgently needed action, the panel says, is to put a rising price on carbon emissions, by means of a tax or cap-and-trade system. That would encourage innovation, research and a gradual shift away from the use of energy sources (oil, gas and coal) that are endangering the world.

      None of this should come as a surprise. None of this is news. But it is newsworthy, sadly, because the Republican Party, and therefore the U.S. government, have moved so far from reality and responsibility in their approach to climate change.

      Seizing on inevitable points of uncertainty in something as complex as climate science, and on misreported pseudo-scandals among a few scientists, Republican members of Congress, presidential candidates and other leaders pretend that the dangers of climate change are hypothetical and unproven and the causes uncertain.

      Not so, says the National Research Council. “Although the scientific process is always open to new ideas and results, the fundamental causes and consequences of climate change have been established by many years of scientific research, are supported by many different lines of evidence, and have stood firm in the face of careful examination, repeated testing, and the rigorous evaluation of alternative theories and explanation.”

      Climate-change deniers, in other words, are willfully ignorant, lost in wishful thinking, cynical or some combination of the three.

      And the GOP has vested interests in remaining ignorant.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      A related article points out the the severe weather that has raged across the US is part of the “new normal”.

      Hayhoe, other scientists, civic planners and a manager at the giant Swiss Re reinsurance firm all cited human-caused climate change as an factor pushing this shift toward more extreme weather.

      “What we’re seeing is the new normal is constantly evolving,” said Nikhil da Victoria Lobo of Swiss Re’s Global Partnerships team. “Globally what we’re seeing is more volatility … there’s certainly a lot more integrated risk exposure.”

      As the climate heats it moves to a higher energy level which drives stronger winds carrying more water and does so more often.

  8. If you want a mind-teasing combination of ideas try this – the self-proclaimed socialist and Jewish Anglophile that David Cameron can’t wait to meet.

    It also echoes the occasional discussions here about the extent to which policy – and its presentation to the public – should be based on a theory of human ‘rationality’ or should appeal to other facets of psychology.

  9. logie97 9

    Joky Hen.
    Just say you do get a mandate to privatise state assets. I am assuming you understand that I already have a shareholding stake in these enterprises. So what say you give us all of our shares – you know issue the 4,000,000 and pop the certificate in an envelope to each and every New Zealand Citizen rather than allow a few greedy Mr and Mrs Aldgate-Whitechapels to buy my shares. I get particularly picky who I sell my things to and would like to see the cut of the jib of a potential purchaser. But most importantly I would like to have what are already mine without having to pay for them again.

  10. M 10

    Bernard Hickey, I salute you – overbetting on growth all right!

    ‘John ‘Smile and Wave’ Key has delivered a ‘Tweak and Fiddle’ budget that will get him re-elected on November 26.’


  11. logie97 11

    Industrial Action.

    I think we need to step back here and give some thought to what the real agenda of the right is. Me thinks it is to finally have a confrontation with one of the remaining larger bodies of collective strength – the public sector unions.

    Don’t antagonise the masses, but quietly pick a fight with the unions – perfect for electioneering. Out in the community, JoBlow does not give a fig for unions.

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