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Open mike 20/01/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 am, January 20th, 2015 - 139 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

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Step up to the mike …

139 comments on “Open mike 20/01/2015 ”

  1. Pete George 1

    Further to recent discussions here on begging monks in Auckland:

    Inside the fake-monk scam: beggars recruited in China

    Fake charity “monks” who target pedestrians on New Zealand’s busiest streets are recruited in China and sent here with the promise of making big money, says a woman who trained as a fake nun.

    A Chinese syndicate is behind the scam, says the woman, who was recruited while living in China.

    For a fee of 10,000 renminbi ($2065), she could become a Taoist nun, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) street doctor or a fortune teller. Recruits could make their fortunes on streets around the world, she said.

    “We were told that if we wanted to go to Western countries, then becoming monks or nuns were the better options, because the West is still not so open to Chinese fortune telling or TCM,” said the woman.

    “The cash collected is shared with the syndicate leaders; the percentage split is done by negotiation.”

    The fee she paid got her a grey Taoist nun outfit and materials such as wooden beaded prayer bracelets, amulets and images of Buddha and Kuan Yin (the goddess of mercy) to support her solicitation.

    The week-long training conducted in her native Zhejiang province included how to size up and approach donors, and knowing when to walk away and when to run.

    In the past year, at least three begging monks in Auckland and Wellington have been spoken to by police here, sparking warnings last week for Auckland residents to stop giving money to Queen St beggars.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11388790

    Donor beware.

    • if we ever need someone to run around shouting ‘the sky is falling in’..the sky is falling in’…

      ..we know where to turn..eh..?

      ..btw..are you still repeating that lie from yesterday that you have never ‘copy/pasted’ from slater..?

      • Pete George 1.1.1

        I don’t think I’ve ever claimed I’ve never copy/pasted from Whale Oil.

        I’ve been copy/pasting from Whale Oil quite a bit lately. That’s what tends to happen in blog posts, they’re often built on copy/pastes. It’s also known as quoting.

        I have no idea what point you’re trying to make, but that’s not unusual.

        • phillip ure 1.1.1.1

          (um..!..yesterday..you..)

          “..A bit ironic after you accused me of copy/pasting Slater/Ede yesterday..”

          (to be said in petulant/simpering/whining-tones..)

          today..you..

          “..I’ve been copy/pasting from Whale Oil quite a bit lately..”

          different day – different story..eh petey..?

          ..which one is true..?

          ..short-term memory-issues..?

          ..like a drink or two..?..d’ya,.?…hic..!

          ..and the ‘point i am trying to make’..

          ..is that every word that comes out of yr mouth is lying-spin..

          ..tailored/doctored for what you think will ‘fit’ for whatever bullshit/disruption u r pushing..

          ..i’ve noted it b 4 petey..

          ..u r as fucken transparant as a sheet of plain-glass…

          ..and every word out of yr mouth is rightwing lies/spin..

          ..(it must be a day ending in a ‘y’..)

          • Pete George 1.1.1.1.1

            I’m not aware of ever copy/pasting Ede.

            And the intent of your accusation was not just to quote Slater/Ede was it.

            “..short-term memory-issues..?” /ironic

            “..like a drink or two..?..d’ya,.?…hic..!” /ironic

            • phillip ure 1.1.1.1.1.1

              q.e.d..

              ..a pirouette worthy of a drunken ex-ballerina..eh..?

              ..and executed with about as much grace/style…

              ..”..And the intent of your accusation was not just to quote Slater/Ede was it..”

              what fucken ‘accusation’..?..

              ..i had complimented u for spotting slaters’ u-turn on uber..

              ..are u able to tell the truth about fucken anything..?

              ..and have you always been such a congenital-liar/fantasist..?

      • Skinny 1.1.2

        That gave me a laugh to start my day with the chicken little joke Phil, cheers.

        You would think Pete G would be constructively commenting on the real crime that is on everyones lips and contributing some problem solving idea’s. That of the greedy 1% ripping the other 99% off through tax avoidance, banking ponzi schemes, anti competitive monopoly racketeering.

        The way Pete is carrying on you would think the begging monks scam it’s the crime of the century. I nod my head in disbelief he is so selectively blind.

        • tracey 1.1.2.1

          why can’t he comment on anything he likes in Open Mike?

          the inequality issue has two dedicated posts.

    • tracey 1.2

      You are not saying that there are no “genuine” beggars though are you Pete? I suppose the upside, if there is one, that the people who gave could afford to give. Downside, many will use this experience to stop being charitable to anyone.

      Now, how are we going exposing the tithing scams… 😉

      • Pete George 1.2.1

        I’m not saying there are no ‘genuine beggars’ but it can be difficult if not impossible to tell the difference. Scammers may it more difficult for genuine beggars.

        ASs I’ve said before I think there’s better ways to contribute. I’ve chosen to be a long time contributor to Oxfam for example, who happen to be featured here:

        Top 1% own 50% of world wealth: Oxfam

        I agree that tithing can be abused. I don’t like the concept, it can be used to scam the vulnerable and gullible.

        • tracey 1.2.1.1

          I was just joshing with ya Pete.

          I do think it is a shame that it may make people less likely to give. Even if they give to a scammer ( a dollar or two) it can make folks feel good to give and to think about other ways to give.

        • Paul 1.2.1.2

          Tax beats charity.
          Every day.

          • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.2.1

            ^^^ this.

            As a society we can eliminate poverty but we can’t do so as individuals.

        • mickysavage 1.2.1.3

          What is more important Pete? A quarter of a million kids living in poverty or a few fake begging monks?

      • Paul 1.2.2

        The real tragedy is that the Herald sees this as their main news.
        As if there aren’t so many other current events stories they could put their resources into.
        The corporate media is failing in its duty as the 4th estate.

        • tracey 1.2.2.1

          yes there is an element of “poor rich people being taken advantage of when being compassionate”… a subliminal message to stop being generous… ??

        • tc 1.2.2.2

          Corporate media is masquerading as the 4th estate, it’s not impartial or bound by any ethics, regulation or history of any note to adhere to those quaint principles.

          Controlling the message, suppressing undesired ones and playing it’s part as DP illuminated.

          Look at the apologist piece on charter schools in granny as todays example.

          • tracey 1.2.2.2.1

            from the NZ Initiative (formed from BRT and Business NZ I think)… and who does “Rosie” cite? David Farrar despite their blurb saying they are neutral and rely on research!

    • weka 1.3

      “Donor beware.”

      Far more beggars in need than scammers. I personally don’t mind of I give money to a scammer unknowingly if it means next time or last time the money went to someone who needed it.

      From what I can tell from Pētera’s argument, it’s more important to not support support scammers than it is to support people in need. Beige ethics.

    • Bill 1.4

      What a piece of unadulterated shite. You want people to believe that some shadowy syndicate takes money from Chinese nationals who are led to believe that the streets of ‘the west’ are paved with gold? And then to believe that some un-named woman, who apparently spoke to Lincoln Tan, paid the syndicate money to get abroad, but then pulled out and….fled the country?!

      Really fucking seriously Pete, if you can’t see the likes of this shite as being nothing more than a thinly veiled attack on the poor, (with a little xeno-phobia thrown in on the side), then fuck, there really isn’t so much as 5/8ths of fuck all hope for you.

      By the way Pete, people on visas who cannot work legally and who are all out of cash are more than entitled to beg. But hey, fuck the humanity or any degree of empathy and spread hate and distrust thick and fast Pete….it’s like your sad and bitter old man forte, is it not?

      • weka 1.4.1

        That would have to be one of the better summations of Pete I’ve seen in a while (‘cept for the old man bit).

        The reason he can’t see the thinly veiled attack on the poor is because he IS a thinly veiled attack on the poor.

        • Te Reo Putake 1.4.1.1

          Heh. Nice work, both of you. Word of warning, keep it up and he’ll write a whingeing post about you on YawnNZ. That’ll learn ya!

      • Paul 1.4.2

        Excellent, Bill

      • phillip ure 1.4.3

        @ bill..

        + 1..

        ..vile curtain-twitching small-town (yes dunedin..!)..racism/furriner-fear…..

        ..i wonder if petey wears a handkerchief with knotted corners..on his head..?

        ..and shorts and gumboots..

        ..i kinda picture him that way..

        (and i’m just guessing here..but i think a hobby/pastime cd be gurning..)

      • Pete George 1.4.4

        Lincoln Tan must be writing for an anti-poor campaign, which NZ Herald must be a party to. And the woman’s lying. And the two people reporting being pressured to donate must be part of a big conspiracy too. And the Auckland Council and Immigration NZ.

        Or really fucking seriously Bill you’re making a dick of yourself.

        “it’s like your sad and bitter old man forte” /irony

  2. Ad 2

    Appropriate signal that its Treasury releasing the RMA reform proposals tomorrow, not MFE. And sad.

    Buckle up for a difficult day. Even Dunne is sounding apologetic on it.

    • tracey 2.1

      *sigh*

      Anytime we leave this stuff to a form of self regulation, the sky falls in… and a small number of developers get very rich… and avoid future liability with their sequence of ritual company liquidations.

      This government refuses to place personal liability on developers, which it did quickly to builders (who can least afford it). There is a clue in there.

      Money first…

      • JanM 2.1.1

        It’s not just this government – it was Labour that removed the Romalpa clause for builders which allowed them to repossess materials unpaid for by developers, and also prevented them from holding caveats over properties when money was owed. Builders, electricians, plumbers, etc were just thrown to the wolves and often bankrupted, while developers refused to pay them, liquidated their companies, started up another one and went on to the next project, all with the blessing of the government. I went through this as the director of a small building company ( and was finally bankrupted by a crooked timber company which rorted a guarantee). Interestingly, the IRD usually wiped the unpaid taxes from these small companies with no fuss – evidence of complicity, I thought at the time.

        • tracey 2.1.1.1

          Agreed. I guess I was just referring to them choosing to make builders and designers personally liable during their term but NOT developers, a consciously made distinction. Labour is not a blame-free zone.

        • phillip ure 2.1.1.2

          @ jan m…

          “..It’s not just this government – it was Labour..”

          ..+ 1..

        • Murray Rawshark 2.1.1.3

          And they wonder why people don’t vote for them. Siding with cowboy developers probably cost them tens of thousands of votes. How the hell did they justify it?

        • mickysavage 2.1.1.4

          4th Labour Government Janm.

          There are few other things that some of us are not too proud about from that time …

      • vto 2.1.2

        You have had a lot to do with developers haven’t you tracey… from reading this hobby horse of yours. However your view is tainted by the particular doings you have had, which have been very specific yes… to do solely with leaky buildings as I recall.

        I would suggest that your crusade to place personal liability onto another sector of the business world is short-sighted. It would make no difference to the bad developers – they would just go bankrupt (assets elsewhere) and then rise again from the ashes. Such a personal liability would make no difference to these people.

        And in fact your proposal would almost certainly backfire as those professional and competent developers currently active would likely go away, thanks to the personal liability imposition. The increased risk, without associated return, would make the equation unworkable and they would depart…… leaving us with only those bad developers for whom bankruptcy is water off a ducks back.

        Your crusade also appears to take no account of the place of limited liability companies in the business world – a large but well settled aspect of our business world.

        • tracey 2.1.2.1

          But builders and designers should lose their shirts and that’s tickety-boo, and presumably the government thought it would make the very difference to those groups you suggest it wouldn’t make to developers?

          The logic that saw personal liability imposed on those two groups must apply by extention to developers.

          It’s not a crusade vto it’s about pointing out the inconsistency in the application of policy/law which seeks to punish the more vulnerable (builder) but not the one who takes the profit, liquidates and is clear of liability.

          “a vigorous campaign for political, social, or religious change.” Nope.

          Why would a professional and competent developer go away? They would only need to go away if they were not professional or competent and thereby likely to incur personal liability? Just like the builders and designers who are currently in that category?

          Are you a developer vto?

          Limited Liability companies also need reform with more exceptions tot he liability. Who do you think devised the limited liability framework vto?

          • vto 2.1.2.1.1

            A couple quick points before I have to rush out. I agree that the imposition of personal liability on buidlers and designers appears inconsistent, however that does not detract from the point made above.

            “Why would a professional and competent developer go away? They would only need to go away if they were not professional or competent and thereby likely to incur personal liability? Just like the builders and designers who are currently in that category?”..

            .. Because, as explained and to repeat, the risk has increased without associated return. It is a simple equation. This has in fact happened with some builders, as you ask. (btw what I do is immaterial but we have significant involvement in this sector).

            I understand the apparent unfairness that you outline but I don’t think your suggestions to correct it are the right ones.

            gotta go

            • tracey 2.1.2.1.1.1

              understood

              • vto

                When personal liability was slapped on builders and designers following the leaky home disaster I was gobsmacked. It is was all out of place and context while achieving little in the way of improvement to the problem, which problem was of course largely due to the neoliberal approach to such things i.e. self-regulation / the market will fix these things / appeal to self-interest. As such if there were any personal liability to be imposed anywhere then the politicians who implemented these policies should have been the subject.

                That is the unfairness tracey

            • Draco T Bastard 2.1.2.1.1.2

              Holding people accountable for their actions are most definitely the right ones.

              Because, as explained and to repeat, the risk has increased without associated return.

              You do understand that they’re not entitled to a return don’t you? That it’s not a God given right?

              And it doesn’t actually matter if the bludgers don’t get the return that they want and so don’t build houses – the government can and they can do it without profit and without cutting corners that cause leaky buildings etc.

              That’s something that people have forgotten. When the private sector won’t provide necessary services then the government must step in. Of course, that does mean that the private sector collapses.

              • vto

                “Holding people accountable for their actions are most definitely the right ones.” …
                .. sure take out the llimited liability company so that all business is done in the businesspersons personal capacity. Do you know and understand the history and place of this feature of our current civilisation? The likely effect of the removal of the limited liability company? I know you do DtB. How do you think it would play out? What would the effect be? Wouldn’t like to be the person owning Jetstar… or Spark …. or be a Council officer …. or own shares in the Warehouse … courts would be busy, and so too would insurers (they would have a field day). Have you ever been in business yourself DtB? Where an intimate knowledge of these things can be gained?

                I understand the philosophy behind your point there but practically the changes would be world-changing.

                next:
                “You do understand that they’re not entitled to a return don’t you?”
                Did someone suggest there was an entitlement to a return? Certainly not me.

                next:
                Your point about government doing some of this stuff is your best point and I agree. Governments have done bigger shit than private sector for eons. Government needs to get into house construction in particular, of that there is no doubt. Plenty of past experience at it.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  he likely effect of the removal of the limited liability company? I know you do DtB. How do you think it would play out? What would the effect be?

                  Like this:

                  Of course, that does mean that the private sector collapses.

                  It’s interesting that, once the government supports and subsidies are removed, the private sector fails at its core. The claim by the business people that they’re the ones taking the risk is shown for what it is – bollocks. Its the community taking the risk and the business people walking away with the rewards.

                  • vto

                    You’re too idealistic for me fulla…

                    As for the claim that business don’t take the risk – bollocks. Our business failed once and the risk came to pass. We went back to square one ….. so please don’t make such silly claims.

                    … though some risks are placed elsewhere as you suggest (factored into business already)

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      The amount of risk taken depends upon where you are in the food chain. Small businesses tend to take a lot of risk while large businesses seem to take no risk at all with government often either bailing them out or protecting them in some fashion or other. The preceding discussion about builders and developers is a good case in point.

                      The builders are small, self-employed businesses with turnover measured in tens of thousands while the developers measure their turnover in millions. And yet, despite the developers calling the shots on building sites, it’s the builders who have had the risk placed upon them via legislation. Legislation that seems, from what I can make out, to be about protecting the developers and, indirectly, the banks from their own actions.

                      Never mind the fact that, if the developer does get found against in court they can just shut up shop and not pay while starting an identical business.

        • Murray Rawshark 2.1.2.2

          In other words, let’s not make them accountable because the good ones do nothing wrong anyway and the bad ones won’t take any notice. Weird. I’d rather get rid of them all.

    • Bearded Git 2.2

      Watch Wanaka’s landscapes get destroyed by developers and farmers as this government uses its failed housing policies in Auckland as a fig-leaf for wrecking the RMA.

  3. millsy 3

    Ironically, the RMA was devised, approved and implemented by nearly all the neo-liberal celebrities.

    • tracey 3.1

      It was a monumental piece of work bringing together over 100 different Acts of Parliament. It is nowhere as bad as it has been painted. In any events developers already get fast track preference in Council works departments.

  4. Sanctuary 4

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11388728

    “…Graphic designer Sarah Torrent, 22, spent seven hours being quizzed by officials after landing in New Zealand yesterday and telling border officials she was staying at Dotcom’s house…”

    TBH, this behaviour from a government department is outrageous. Who do they think they are? Jumped up little fucking hitlers. What checks and balances are there on the powers of customs to detain without needing to provide a reason? This looks and quacks like government stooges and goons abusing their excessively arbitrary powers – supposedly granted to detect and stop terrorism – to harass the friends of the enemies of the National party.

    • tracey 4.1

      you cant be talking about NZ. It must be happening in one of those countries that needs democracy brought to their door.

    • @ sanctuary..

      “..This looks and quacks like government stooges and goons abusing their excessively arbitrary powers – supposedly granted to detect and stop terrorism – to harass the friends of the enemies of the National party…”

      + 1..

    • tracey 4.3

      Has the Minister of Customs commented yet?

    • Skinny 4.4

      Quizzed for several hours? Stand over tactic’s you bet, what on earth justifies that? Let me guess perhaps a call to Finlayson or the GCSB or both. Lucky she wasn’t detained and given a few rounds of waterboarding in an attempt to get a confession she is Raw Shark. It’s appears disturbing the long reach of the National party influence our boarder ministry.

      • Sanctuary 4.4.1

        But… but… but…

        She says rude things about the government (sympathetic to the terrorists!)
        Has Syrian parents (all Arabs are terrorists!)
        Speaks Arabic (the language of terror!)
        Once traded in bitcoin (clearly she funds terrorism!)
        She is friends with Kim Dotcom (must be a prostitute or a criminal or maybe she has an illegally downloaded MP3 on her phone).

        While none of these things above are actually against the law, she is clearly an exotic dusky foreigner and as such is not to be trusted by any decent National party flunky. After all, she may be a temptress from the harems of ISIL – an actual Mata Hari bolder than brass and bigger than life! She has clearly been sent to spy on all that is good and decent and upright and western with an eye on all sorts of unspeakable crimes!

        We must be thankful that our small town/small minded border officials are vigilant in leaping to our defense in the name of the “National party, the National government and John Key”, AKA “All right minded New Zealanders”.

        Personally, I am going to start a petition to demand customs officers get bigger shoulder boards, taller, peakier caps and lots more gold braid and medals on their uniforms to better reflect their true importance.

    • joe90 4.5

      This looks and quacks like government stooges and goons abusing their excessively arbitrary powers – supposedly granted to detect and stop terrorism – to harass the friends of the enemies of the National party.

      Desperate losers.

      In short, Dotcom’s legal team has done a fantastic job of defending their client. His lawyers have thrown wrench after wrench into the legal process, appealing at nearly every turn and challenging the validity of the warrant executed upon the Dotcom estate.

      […]

      The bottom line: Kim Dotcom probably won’t be sent to the United States in 2015, regardless of the outcome.

      http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2015/01/why-kim-dotcom-hasnt-been-extradited-3-years-after-the-us-smashed-megaupload/1/

    • Murray Rawshark 4.6

      We have turned into a nasty little country full of shitheads and bullies. I wonder if, after hassling her for hours, did some immigration fool ask “And what do you think of New Zealand?” This is embarrassing. I’m not sorry for being a Kiwi, but I’m sorry FJK is.

  5. The lost sheep 5

    All issues of concern to this blog could be most effectively addressed by a Left Wing Govt.
    So I was genuinely amazed yesterday that virtually no discussion took place of the points Chris Trotter makes in this link provided by Saarbo…

    http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.co.nz/2015/01/2015-2017-struggle-for-time-and-power.html

    Honestly, there is nothing for Left Wingers wanting change to discuss there?

    I acknowledge the ‘brutal truths’ are hard to swallow, but how much more difficult will it be to digest a 4th Key Govt?

    • tracey 5.1

      Hmmmm… “more” effectively maybe.

      I havent read (have now)it but I believe the debate about getting into Govt and then militating change versus discussing the change first is widely canvassed here. I think Ad (might have remembered wrongly) is in this camp… do what you have to get elected, then bring about the change.

      “For those on the left of New Zealand politics it means shutting-up and letting Andrew Little and his team play for power in the only way that holds out the prospect of victory.”

      Gee, I wonder who Mr Trotter means?!?

      • Murray Rawshark 5.1.1

        “Gee, I wonder who Mr Trotter means?!?”

        I think he means everyone but Mr. Trotter. He also seems to be having a bromance with FJK. The talk about FJK understanding the Kiwi psyche and all that makes me sick. He hasn’t even lived in Aotearoa for years and has probably only ever mixed with empty husks like himself. His understanding will all be manufactured by Crosby Textor and Curia polls.

        Trotter’s idea of shutting up is the worst thing we could do. We need to organise and defend the people NAct is attacking, not just wait for FAL, the enabler of squirrels. We cannot be passive subjects. We must act.

        • greywarshark 5.1.1.1

          Why wouldn’t Andrew be able to have a cunning plan that he explains to the voters, not promising lots, but talking about making a change to get on the right track and this is what we are going to do.

          Bugger this idea of vote and hope. Say something and do it within for the first 100 days. Spell out your direction and if it is to get a more prosperous NZ and help viable businesses create jobs it will have something for everyone. And with a living wage it will seem like something to bite into, well made and tasty. And if the wage is set for everyone then no business or sector gets advantage, and it will boost the economy and be like a transfusion of exygenated blood to poor old tired, flaccid NZ.

    • ok..i followed yr urgings..and steeled myself..and went and read it..

      ..and really..it is just trotter banging on and on..

      (as he does..lordy..!..how he does..!..and so so leavened with great chunks of the bleeding-obvious..)

      ..and he’s pushing the incrementalist p.o.v..

      ..urging little to be more/just like key..(who he notes is just like clark..and in that i agree with him..)

      ..so what is new/novel about that..?

      ..that is/has always been trotters’ position..

      ..a comfortable/middle-class fretting at the edges…

      ..what is it exactly u feel needs to ‘be discussed’..?

      ..as i said..there is nothing ‘new/novel’ as far as i can see..

      (..and should i invoice u 4 the time/energy wasted in this exercise in nothing..?..)

    • Sanctuary 5.3

      I’ll tell you what Chris Trotter’s problem is – he is at heart an utter defeatist. The sort of guy who talks a big fight and walks the big walk, but when the hour comes when men and women must gird themselves for the fight as the enemy begins to advance towards the barricades he quietly slips away and flees because, deep down, he never thought his side would win anyway.

      • The lost sheep 5.3.1

        In case you haven’t noticed, the Left have just lost a third consecutive election.

        The current strategy then is crap. It simply hasn’t worked, and if it isn’t changed it will continue not to work, and the Left will not regain Govt. and the power to implement significant change.

        What that new strategy should be is worth discussing?
        (Even if it distracts us from the more vital topics of drug use, conspiracies, vegetarianism, and the upcoming revolution /sarc)

        Successful strategies always require…
        A realistic and accurate assessment of the factors the strategy is attempting to influence.
        A realistic and accurate assessment of the oppositions strengths and weaknesses.
        A plan that sets goals achievable within the constraints of these realities. (That is strength not weakness)

        Self evidently, to date the Left has failed to grasp the realities and set a successful strategy.

        What Chris is saying may not be entirely new, but it is rare thinking for the current Left in my experience.
        I agree with him completely. It is time to get out of la la land and face up to the ‘brutal realities’.
        Which of the ‘realities’ he identifies can you argue are not true?

        Which is better : Making some compromise to the realities in order to get change started, even if that is modest and incremental, or remain morally superior but powerless on the sidelines?

        Wakey wakey folks. Dream time is over. Unless you want the nightmare of a 4th Key term.

        • Sanctuary 5.3.1.1

          His argument is pretty straightforward, actually. Obscure your agenda to the electorate to get elected, then tack left in power.

          • weka 5.3.1.1.1

            Ae. The thought of a 4th term NACT govt tempts me to power at all costs, but then I read Trotter and come to my senses 😉 I would have less of a problem with the strategy if it weren’t for the fact that Labour still haven’t sorted out their internal shit.

          • The lost sheep 5.3.1.1.2

            He is talking about compromising the agenda to meet the majority view, and then using your position of power to advocate for a greater rate of change. (Presumably on the back of the success of your incremental changes)

            A very different, and much more intelligent long term strategy long than simply deceiving the electorate. (result – straight out on your arse next election)

        • weka 5.3.1.2

          The reason the left lost the last election is because Labour still has an internal hotcold war between the neoliberals and the lefties. The rest of us are waiting to see if that’s resolvable. And whether Little and the membership can get Labour past it.

          • The lost sheep 5.3.1.2.1

            I would be asking the lefties to demonstrate they have a strategy that can convince a neo-liberally inclined majority to vote for more definitely Left Wing policies ?

            if they couldn’t, I’d be suggesting they might consider whether continuing to have a divided left was good for anyone?

            • framu 5.3.1.2.1.1

              hold on – its the labour caucus that has the in fighting issue weka describes – not “the left” – why are we responsible for the labour caucus deliberately going against the wishes of their membership and running to the media everytime theyve got a boo boo?

              also – whos this neoliberally inclined majority? – there isnt one. Either inside labour or the country

              • weka

                +1

                I’d like to see,

                More push from the left within Labour, including things that are visible to the wider world so that people can have confidence in the Labour again.

                Visible cooperation between Labour, the GP and Mana. I don’t have much hope of the first two working with Mana, but there should definitely be obvious signs between L/GP.

                Any of those three parties should court/headhunt the bright ones from the Internet Party. Looks like KDC is abandoning ship, so I reckon the IP should let the leaders go. I still think the IP is a good idea, but without Harre and KDC it’s not going to make serious headway before 2017.

                • tracey

                  like labour asking for an amnesty for unpaid taxes… it is Little carrying through his promise to look out for SME’s, but it extends to the greedy at the high end I am sure

                  and supporting the RMA reforms (before even seeing them)

                  • Clemgeopin

                    I am not sure if it was Labour party or just Stuart Nash regarding the amnesty for tax defaulters.

            • McFlock 5.3.1.2.1.2

              thanks for your concern

            • greywarshark 5.3.1.2.1.3

              The lost sheep & framu
              On the basis of ‘not having a policy is a policy’ I would say that framu you are wrong to suggest that this isn’t the case in NZ generally:
              – also – whos this neoliberally inclined majority? – there isnt one. Either inside labour or the country

              If people aren’t overtly neo liberal, by not deciding and acting to vote against it, they just reinforce that system and are part of its onward strangling of NZ.

        • Tracey 5.3.1.3

          chris wants the left to leave little to it… without interference unlike his public lashings of the party in recent years.

        • phillip ure 5.3.1.4

          “..In case you haven’t noticed, the Left have just lost a third consecutive election..”

          ‘in case u haven’t noticed’..’the left’…hasn’t been ‘left’ since the 80’s..

          ..which has got us to the shit-hole we are currently in..

          ..so..more of the same..?..y’reckon..?

          ..just keep veering right..?

  6. Morrissey 6

    “Funny names they’ve got, the presidents of Indonesia, haven’t they.”
    Leighton Smith and his dim colleagues continue to be perplexed by the world

    NewstalkZB, Monday 19 January 2015, 8:40 a.m.

    The shock jocks at NewstalkZB are not exactly into multiculturalism. They have a real problem with the simplest things, such as foreign names and their sometimes tricky pronunciation. Even indigenous names are a problem for some of them: the station’s notorious Drivetime host Larry “Lackwit” Williams often pauses for effect after reading out—and deliberately butchering the pronunciation of—the names of Māori defendants in criminal cases. Williams and his colleagues often take the opportunity to extract Hebdoesque “humour” out of other cultures: the late Paul Holmes was not merely infuriated by the existence of U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, but amused by his preposterous name; Kerre Woodham relentlessly mimicked the accents and pronunciation of distraught Chinese dissidents who tried to protest against her loud support for the Chinese government; Tony Veitch laughed about how the Williams sisters proved that black people were descended from gorillas; and the mere mention of Indonesia’s former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had the likes of the mirthless Glenn ZB and his master Mike Hosking rolling in the aisles.

    Indonesian names seem to be a real problem for these people. Just this morning, the doyen of mindless chatter expressed his bemusement with another fiendishly difficult one. It came during a typically learned and sober discussion about Indonesia’s laudable—for NewstalkZB shockjocks at least—execution of six people for drug smuggling…..

    LEIGHTON SMITH: Anyway, ummm, ahhhhhh, the errrrrr President of Indonesia, Joko…[pause]…or is it Jocko?… [pause]… No it’s Joko….[long pause]…. Funny names they’ve got, the presidents of Indonesia, haven’t they. But then I suppose “Smith” is funny to them. Ummmm, errrrr, ahhhhh…. Anyway, the six people who copped it—do you think they deserved the death penalty or is there a BROADER perspective? I want your calls…..

    ….ad nauseam, ad absurdum….

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Surpluses mean unemployment and deficits bring employment

    Surpluses cause a fall in your net assets. Deficits create private sector wealth while surpluses deplete it. If Government takes in $1000 taxes from private sector but doesn’t spend any of it and they had $100 of their own earnings, their total intake is $1100. The private sector has gone into debt of $1000. Government deficits create private sector wealth while govt surpluses drain it. Learn to love your deficit.

    Profit in the private sector comes almost entirely from the government being in deficit. That’s way over simplified of course as the whole thing is complicated by the financial system that has private banks creating money and lending to the government.

    If the government was the sole creator of money and spending it into the economy and with no other source then the private sectors profit would exactly match the government’s deficit.

    The problem occurs as that private sector profit continually accumulates resulting in ever greater amounts of money in fewer and fewer hands chasing the resources of a single country. This must result in the privatisation of ever more of the countries wealth and the increasing poverty that we see around us. The two go together.

    This is the dead-weight loss of profit. This is how capitalism produces poverty.

  8. Clemgeopin 8

    Miss Israeli’s selfie with Miss Lebanon causes stir and calls for with calls for the Lebanon contestant at the Miss Universe pageant to be stripped of her title for consorting with the enemy. .

    Hatred, enmity, prejudice. A difficult life for the people living in those countries.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/beauty/65180435/Miss-Israelis-selfie-with-Miss-Lebanon-causes-stir

  9. Morrissey 9

    Berliner Zeitung mistakenly publishes anti-Semitic cartoon
    Mistakenly thought that image was a front page of Charlie Hebdo

    By Ofer Aderet 05:43 15.01.15 18

    The daily Berliner Zeitung in error published an anti-Semitic cartoon on its front page, under the mistaken impression that it was a front page of the satirical French weekly Charlie Hebdo. In a tribute to the French magazine a day after the massacre at its editorial offices, the Berlin daily published several of Charlie Hebdo’s past cover pages.

    One of them, however, was a fake, showing a cartoon drawn by the anti-Semitic illustrator Joe le Corbeau. The cartoon showed an orthodox Jew, with a caption saying “1 million rebate out of six, for Palestine.” The word “rebate” is a wordplay suggesting rabbis and rebate in German.

    People at the Israeli embassy in Berlin noticed the erroneous cartoon and pointed out references that should have alerted the editors at Berliner Zeitung.

    These include the fact that the name of the magazine on the cover is Charlo instead of Charlie, and the barcode at the bottom of the cartoon indicates 6,000,000, the number of Jewish Holocaust victims and not a real barcode number.

    Read more…..
    http://normanfinkelstein.com/2015/01/18/je-suis-charlie-sauf-pour-les-juifs/

  10. Paul 10

    ‘Vodafone may lose around 100 permanent customer care staff, with plans to almost halve the size of its consumer mobile service team, extend the graveyard shift to 7.30am and increase outsourcing to a call centre in the Philippines.
    The proposal, outlined in an internal document obtained by the Herald, is part of a restructuring expected to bring 200 to 250 job cuts.’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11388787

    This is what happens when you invite transnational corporations into one’s country, who don’t pay their taxes or have any sense of societal responsibility.
    When are countries and people going to stand up to corporations?
    When there are no jobs left?

  11. Shane Le Brun 11

    My second post over at YourNZ, informally known in these parts as YawnZ
    This story is from a patient with Canadian citizenship, who went home to a compassion club who helped him get off Benzos (valium class of drugs) and reduce his intake of Opiates, (Morphine class of drugs)

    http://yournz.org/2015/01/20/cannabis-and-chronic-pain-a-canadian-story/

    • framu 11.1

      still not going to go there

      yes thats a bit unfair to you – but im not giving PG the clicks sorry

      note: im 100% a supporter of your topic as well

      • Shane Le Brun 11.1.1

        @Framu,
        noted, I’ve talked to the Bomber this morning via email, he wouldn’t repost either, but is looking for an author on the subject this year……..

        I don’t think Pete is all about the clicks, no adds after all….

        • weka 11.1.1.1

          I’m also not going there, sorry, despite being interested in the topic. The man is a blight on the political blogosphere and any attention just supports that.

          If you set up a wordpress and post there, you are more likely to get taken seriously, and you can then ask to guest post elsewhere. WordPress is pretty easy.

          Not sure where else you could get hosted, given you want to post from a centrist perspective. Does this point to a dearth of centrist political bloggers?

          • Shane Le Brun 11.1.1.1.1

            There is certainly a lack of middle NZ blogs, Thedailyblog, thestandard, kiwiblog, whale oil, from left to right…. setting up my own freeby blog now

          • Shane Le Brun 11.1.1.1.2

            There is certainly a lack of middle NZ blogs, Thedailyblog, thestandard, kiwiblog, whale oil, from left to right…. setting up my own freebie wordpress blog now, my reasoning was his blog is neither left nor right, and no adds, and untill 2 weeks ago I have not participated on blogs online at all.

  12. Paul 12

    ‘One of New Zealand’s first charter schools is failing, abysmally, and the Ministry of Education must stop dodging questions.’

    ‘Last year, the first batch of five brave pioneer charter schools began operations. Four received excellent reports from the Education Review Office (ERO).
    School number five, Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru, however, has been embroiled in trouble almost since the first school bell sounded in February last year.
    An early ERO report released under the Official Information Act from an April visit to the school showed problems across the board. A governance facilitator stepped in and the school was reported to be facing problems with management infighting, bullying, drug use, poor teaching, curriculum delivery and student engagement. Over the year, the school roll fell from 61 to 47.’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11388805

    Sadly charter schools are an ideological tool to privatise and monetise education, so the facts they don’t improve education problems is not an issue for Parata and Seymour.
    They desire a failing public system. The elite are educated in their own apartheid system.

    I note this article is written by a research fellow of a neo-liberal think tank. They appear to be writing lots about education at the moment.
    F

    • tracey 12.1

      Business Roundtable reinvented, an article that quotes Farrar. On their website they state

      Now, which of the following “foundations” does quoting Farrar fit into?

      “Every good think tank needs solid foundations. These are ours:

      Credibility: Our research is based on a sound theoretical framework and is peer-reviewed on a routine basis

      Empirical evidence: Our recommendations are supported by empirical, and often international, evidence.

      Non-partisanship: We engage with political parties from across the political spectrum.

      Independence: We are an organisation promoting good public policy, not the interests of individual businesses or industries.

      Commitment to New Zealand: Members and staff of the Initiative share the vision to build a better New Zealand. We believe in a prosperous, free and fair society with a competitive, open and dynamic economy.”

    • Murray Rawshark 12.2

      Wow. Neoliberals now talking about aspiring to failure. Embrace failure! As long as the funding keeps coming from the public, of course. This article is absolutely pitiful and demonstrates the workings of a weak mind besotted with an ideology. It reminds me of a priest justifying why a merciful god allows so much suffering in the world. Excuses for everything, these right wing dreamers.

  13. Colonial Rawshark 14

    US airstrikes may have killed 50 Syrian civilians being held prisoner in Al Bab by ISIS troops.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/01/11/252671/us-airstrike-in-syria-may-have.html

    • tracey 14.1

      means to an end my friend, means to an end… a failed human shield?

      • Colonial Rawshark 14.1.1

        Hi tracey.

        12 innocent lives killed by two French Muslims with AK47s in paris

        50 innocent lives killed by American 1000lb laser guided bomb in Al Bab (some estimates actually say a total of 55 prisoner-civilians and 25 ISIS guards were killed)

        The West better start doing the math on why so many people in the world don’t see our claims to superior civilisation as being much more than laughable.

  14. tracey 15

    I note the Uk’s version of the GCSB (GCHQ) has been revealed through Snowden’s papers to have been collecting emails of journalists

    “The journalists’ communications were among 70,000 emails harvested in the space of less than 10 minutes on one day in November 2008 by one of GCHQ’s numerous taps on the fibre-optic cables that make up the backbone of the internet…

    … New evidence from other UK intelligence documents revealed by Snowden also shows that a GCHQ information security assessment listed “investigative journalists” as a threat in a hierarchy alongside terrorists or hackers.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/jan/19/gchq-intercepted-emails-journalists-ny-times-bbc-guardian-le-monde-reuters-nbc-washington-post

    “nder Ripa, neither the police nor the security services need to seek the permission of a judge to investigate any UK national’s phone records – instead, they must obtain permission from an appointed staff member from the same organisation, not involved in their investigation.

    However, there are some suggestions in the documents that the collection of billing data by GCHQ under Ripa goes wider – and that it may not be confined to specific target individuals.”

    So, why wouldn’t the GCSB have similar ability to have phone records? That means Mr key can just ask GCSB to provide the public with copies of those texts he deleted?

    • Colonial Rawshark 15.1

      Yep, that’s in the space of 10 minutes. It shows how ridiculous claiming that reducing the no-warrant surveillance time from 48 hrs to 24 hrs was a “win”.

      • tracey 15.1.1

        Indeed, and given the software is doing the filtering… 24 hours is probably 23 hours more than they need. Oh how they will be laughing at us all, again.

      • vto 15.1.2

        Yep, and Labour knew that but claimed otherwise… which is a deceit …

        … and which indicates they still have the same level of integrity as when last in government

        … which means they will get viciously attacked when in government again

        some things never change leopards and spots and all that

  15. weka 16

    Alain de Botton on tolerance. He’s talking about relgion, but I think it applies to politics, which then raises the question of whether tolerance and partisan politics can ever be compatible.

    [There are] many ways to be religious and many of the most public ways of being religious that we’re seeing at the moment are perhaps not optimal particularly in their intolerance. Of course, tolerance is right at the heart of many religions, and tolerance does not mean agreeing with people. Sometimes it’s a mistake — we believe that the tolerant person learns to agree or to see the other person’s point of view. No — what tolerance really means is even though you don’t get what the other person’s saying at all, even though you may not even like them, you make an effort to tolerate — in other words, to make space for them — and don’t try and squash their opinions. What we need to learn is how can we live together with people whose views we don’t actually like very much — that’s the far greater challenge — without attempting to convert them or dismissing them and denying their right to exist parallel to us.

    http://explore.noodle.com/post/108575759288/there-are-many-ways-to-be-religious-and-many-of

  16. Colonial Rawshark 17

    India’s “boutique” dairy farms: cows pampered and their social needs catered to

    Al Jazeera

    • Clemgeopin 17.1

      AND in CHINA!
      Here they do not use commercial fertilisers and generate their own electricity!

      The days of NZ dairy prospects are numbered. We need to get afraid and find other means of prosperity NOW.

  17. b waghorn 18

    After noon Is there any standard regulars/readers involved in early childhood education and what are your views on starting school at 6 as opposed to 5 years old.

    • Tracey 18.1

      tell me more

      • b waghorn 18.1.1

        My daughter has turned 5 recently my wife is keen on 6 as a start date for shool ,I was happy with 5 purely on a that’s what’s done basis but am open to new ideas.

        My best mates kids are Steiner kids and are clever enjoyable kids although I don’t have access to a Steiner school I believe they are advocates of not hurrying kids development.

        • marty mars 18.1.1.1

          My son had a look at school at age 5 – wasn’t right so we went the homeschooling way. Did that for a couple of years as part of a Democratic Homeschooling Group. Then he turned 7 and said he wanted to go to school so we put him in (a more child-led school it has to be said) and he loves it, doesn’t want to have holidays – it is so great to see him want to learn and, in his case that had to be self driven almost, when he was ready.

          I think we don’t help our children by putting them into the system early, some are okay but a lot find it overwhelming and that has consequences later.

          • b waghorn 18.1.1.1.1

            Cheers I’ve always had a problem with the way we push kids to grow up fast .

          • phillip ure 18.1.1.1.2

            one thing i found really worked well..

            ..was that at age 10-11 ‘the boy’ was getting good school reports/grades..

            ..so i sat him down and offered him a ‘deal’..

            ..i told him that he could take over the control of his non-school hours..

            ..that (within reason) he cd pay games when he wanted to..read…do whatever he wished..

            ..but that his side of the deal was that he had to make sure his homework (which he knew i ideologically opposed..on the grounds the hours spent at school are enough) was done enough to get by..

            ..and that most importantly his school reports/grades had to stay at the high standard they currently were..

            ..and it all worked a treat..

            ..and i feel it was good in building self-sufficiency/motivation..

            • b waghorn 18.1.1.1.2.1

              Listening to there opinions his huge my oldest step daughter was turning goth and starting to fail in the 4th form (year ?) ,she told us she wanted to change schools and when she did she flourished and has finished tertiary has a great job and is living the dream.

  18. b waghorn 19

    in the hearald
    “Prime Minister John Key says New Zealand’s likely military contribution to the fight against Islamic State “is the price of the club” that New Zealand belongs to with the likes of the United States, Australia, Britain and Canada in the intelligence alliance known as Five Eyes”

    Wars not dirty nasty business it’s just being a club member of planet key.

  19. A Voter 20

    Changing the thread of things a bit about the huge amount of money being spent on sorrow tinge remembrance of the First World War
    Here is Key and another bunch of promoters pushing all the claptrap from the stupid misery of the carnage suffered by many not really knowing what they were fighting over
    Sadly percentage wise of the kill NZ comes out on top of the heap
    Would the little prick like to do something about reparations to the many NZ communities who worked like hell to rebuild their families and self esteem to make sense of the deplorable loss of that war instead of millions being spent on celebrations or supposedly commemorations knowing that the truth can be found in books if only we as a country had an education system that made the time and people available that might allow the truth to be known but that would probably blow a hole in the hypocrisy which this govt prides itself in, allegiance to a capitalist free market warmongering monichist ruling aristocracy not to forget genocidal policies of cultural reintegration
    Stick your money spinning egoistic commemorations up your you know what Key and pay us our money down Does your nz citizenship go back far enough for you to know how it feels to be in a family that has that length of history in this country? We dont need to be reminded we know what kind of people caused that shit but I fear some will never know

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