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Open mike 20/04/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, April 20th, 2014 - 182 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

openmike Open mike is your post.

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182 comments on “Open mike 20/04/2014”

  1. What are people’s thoughts here about what part cannabis plays in the synthetic drug issue?

    Is cannabis as risky, riskier or is it safer?
    If cannabis was available the same as synthetics would the problem be better, worse or similar?
    If no synthetics pass the safety test of the new Act and nothing else changes will the problems get better or worse?
    Should the laws related to cannabis use be reviewed?
    Should the laws related to cannabis cultivation be reviewed?
    Should the laws related to cannabis supply be reviewed?
    Should all psychoactive substances be banned (including cannabis)?

    When the Psychoactive Substances Act kicks in we may have no synthetic drugs legally for sale or we may have a reduced number of them for sale. Regardless, we will still have issues with drug use, drug addiction and associated problems – especially health and crime.

    • freedom 1.1

      tell you what Pete. Why don’t you ask those same questions about alcohol use in NZ, then we can have an honest discussion.

      • Pete George 1.1.1

        That’s a different issue, or rather issues. Entrenched issues with no easy solutions. Alcohol is interwoven with the social and commercial fabrics of New Zealand, and impossible to unpick. We have to learn to deal with it better.

        • vto 1.1.1.1

          What on earth makes you think cannabis and other similar things are any different?

          Pete, have you ever smoked cannabis? And I mean, not just once or twice at some pissed party, I mean smoked it enough to learn and understand what happens to the mind ? And Pete, same question with synthetic stuff…

          • Pete George 1.1.1.1.1

            Cannabis has been illegal for how long? Alcohol has been legal for how long?

            Cannabis is substantially supplied via major criminal interests. Alcohol is supplied via long established commercial interests.

            Self supply of cannabis is illegal, self supply of alcohol is legal.

            Cannabis is associated with underground social practices, alcohol is a major part of open and accepted social practices.

            I’m quite surprised you asked that question.

            I’ve never smoked cannabis or used any synthetic or illegal drugs. I don’t have any interest in drugs personally, but I recognise major social issues and growing discussion and demands about the use of synthetics and natural cannabis.

            • vto 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Did you know cannabis used to be legal?
              Did you know alcohol used to be illegal?
              Did you know alcohol used to be supplied by major criminal interests?
              Did you know alcohol is associated with NZ’s worst underground social practices?
              Do you know how much trouble people cause due to cannabis, compared to alcohol?

              … oh forget it

            • phillip ure 1.1.1.1.1.2

              “..I’ve never smoked cannabis or used any synthetic or illegal drugs..”

              gee..!..that comes as no real surprise..eh..?

              ..heh..!

              ..is professional-fretting/auntying/walter-mitty-dreamings of ‘influence’.. yr drugs of choice there..?..petey..?

              ..heh..!

              ..drugs don’t just come in powered/herb-form..eh..?

            • Bill 1.1.1.1.1.3

              ffs PG, please think a wee bit about what you type and then take this morning’s nonsense away from here.

              “Cannabis is associated with underground social practices,” (socialising, sharing, etc)
              “alcohol is a major part of open and accepted social practices” (violence, vomiting, absenteeism, death, etc).

              • FFS Bill, please think a wee bit about what you read before you launch.

                Of course there are positive aspects of underground drug social practices, and of course there many well known negative aspects of open and accepted alcohol social practices.

                • Bill

                  Pete. You wrote about (quote) “underground social practices”. That suggests illegality, unlawfulness, maybe even unacceptable deviance, and as such screams bigotry on your part.

                  You didn’t write about (quote) “underground drug social practices”. That, of course, is something completely different and casts the so-called “underground drugs” rather than the “social practices” in the realms of illegality, unlawfulness etc.

                • freedom

                  “of course there many well known negative aspects of open and accepted alcohol social practices.”

                  Which is why you refuse to ever engage honestly about them because you know they expose the hypocrisy of every bullshit argument ever used against cannabis.

                  Did I mention Yaaaaaaaaaaaaawwwwwn?
                  and how is that weekly budget for poor people coming along Pete?

            • marty mars 1.1.1.1.1.4

              “but I recognise major social issues and growing discussion and demands about the use of synthetics and natural cannabis.”

              pete you are just doing again what you have tried to do previously – that is, take an issue and try to use it to increase your personal profile. Is this part of your factchecker role or smply a personal brainfart. To be honest pete you are a lot dimmer than you think you are and your transparent nonsense is, well, transparent and nonsense imo.

              • Then you will be surprised who else has committed to doing something about this. There’s a growing network of concern and a recognition this needs to be addressed far more proactively.

                It’s a bit sad to see here amongst a number is the only forum obsessed with diverting with petty personal pissiness.

                • freedom

                  “It’s a bit sad to see here amongst a number is the only forum obsessed with diverting with petty personal pissiness.”

                  wtf is that even trying to say?

                  We know Easter is a 4/20 this year but maybe you should have had a smaller cone?

                • So I am correct. They need a leader, a visionary, someone who sees the bigger picture, who isn’t influenced by petty politics but wants that arena to be better, kinder, less extreme – and there is a person within the political sphere who fits the bill, who stands like a colossus with legs astride the political landscape, impervious to the arrows of the unimaginative. Your time has come pete – will you stand tall and accept your destiny. This could be your catapult to the national stage.

                • cricklewood

                  Had you considered Pete, that the pissiness is due entirely to your habit of getting up early and spraying an ever so earnest cut n paste over the various blogs as early as possible.
                  If people really wanted to ‘discuss’ these issues with you they would head over to your place.
                  The passive aggressive behavior you display on here is hardly raising the political discourse and generally sucks a thread into a petty nah nah nah followed by a look at what they said at the standard post on kiwiblog.
                  If your true aim is to improve the standard of political discourse perhaps you should consider your posting habits and the effects they have on it….

                • Tracey

                  do you think alcohol should be made illegal?

            • felix 1.1.1.1.1.5

              What the fuck is an “underground social practice”, Pete?

            • weka 1.1.1.1.1.6

              “Cannabis is substantially supplied via major criminal interests. Alcohol is supplied via long established commercial interests.

              Self supply of cannabis is illegal, self supply of alcohol is legal.

              Cannabis is associated with underground social practices, alcohol is a major part of open and accepted social practices.”

              Pete, you often say that people don’t know you so are wrong to judge, but what you just wrote is breaktaking in its bias and ignorance. Nothing shameful about that ignorance apart from the fact that you seem unwilling to do anything about it.

              You’ve basically just laid out how incredibly disconnected you are from whole swathes of NZ society that use currently illegal drugs.

            • amirite 1.1.1.1.1.7

              Pete, are you aware that a huge chunk of cannabis users in NZ comprises of middle class young professional people?

              • @ amrite..

                ..no they aren’t…they could be extras in trainspotting..

                ..pete has nightmares of hordes of them shuffling towards him..

                ..bongs outstretched…

              • I’m aware of a wide range of people using cannabis. They all either produce it illegally or source it illegally, which means they get it off criminals.

                It’s a lot more complicated than just changing the law (that in itself is complicated enough). If it is de-criminalised or legalised there’s a lot to be worked out about what type of production, distribution and use is allowed.

                It’s not as simple as just passing a bill through Parliament.

        • freedom 1.1.1.2

          YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWN

          come back with some honest material

          Every syllable you wrote oozes deliberate hypocrisy, or is it just wilful ignorance.

          so i will repeat myself,

          YAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWWWN

        • David H 1.1.1.3

          Oh Horseshit you don’t want to talk about Alcohol, because your BOSS says not to. So just stand there in the corner like a good little boy, hold the Comb, and Shut UP.

          • Pete George 1.1.1.3.1

            Totally false claims, totally unsupportable, but you will probably be allowed to get away making false accusations here.

            Dear Right Wingers. Before you tell the Labour Party what it is doing wrong can you firstly get your facts straight.

            Apparently a double standard applies.

            • bad12 1.1.1.3.1.1

              🙄 , 🙄 , 🙄 ….

              • Rosie

                Glad to see you’re getting good use out of your new skill there bad12…………my thoughts exactly, the moment I saw this thread kick off.

                7.05am on Easter Sunday, Pete, really?

                Really?

                🙄

            • rhinocrates 1.1.1.3.1.2

              Martyrdom was a sign of holiness, indicating overwhelming faith and sacrifice.

              Self-martydom is masturbation for the impotent.

    • what are peoples’ thoughts here about what part (former dunne-party candidate for dunedin nth) petey george plays in anything..?

      ..does he just leave a big ‘why?..lord..!..why..?’..in most minds..?

      ..or is it only me..?

      • Paul 1.2.1

        Why do you reply to him?

        • phillip ure 1.2.1.1

          ‘cos if you don’t..he is like a tap..left running..

          ..and i find that laughing at him/his wall-to-wall bullshit..(and hopefully causing/helping others to laugh at him..the former dunne-party-candidate for dunedin nth..see what i mean..?..there’s a giggle or two right there)

          ..works best..

          ..that’s why..

          ..and re the former-candidate in his disciple-stage..

          ..it really was a case of ‘catch a falling star’..for him..

          ..eh..?

          ..(see what i mean..!..the comedic raw-material is there in spades..)

          ..and i haven’t even got to the with bearded-face full-body massages he gives to that edwards-the-younger..

          ..as payment for his weekly mentions in his/edwards’ once-over-lightly roundups in that rightwing-rag..

          ..the man is comedy-gold..!..)

          • phillip ure 1.2.1.1.1

            and by doing that..you can turn him from a rightwing-tr*ll doing his dissembling-work..

            ..into a foil..

            ..to be used to highlight just what utter rightwing bullshit it is he peddles..

            pete george:..i pretend to fret..therefor i am..

          • freedom 1.2.1.1.2

            Paul: “Why do you reply to him?”
            Phillip Ure: “‘cos if you don’t..he is like a tap..left running..”

            a perfect metaphor 🙂

            • Paul 1.2.1.1.2.1

              16 comments (out of 41 in total to date) on Open Mike devoted to responding to a dull diversionary question from PG.

              • bad12

                Exactly Paul, PG likes to lead people round by the nose, that’s where He gets His thrills, only deserving of this, 🙄 ,this 🙄 ,and this 🙄 …

                • freedom

                  Every now and then it is handy to use his blatherings to get readers to face the questions raised by his obvious hypocrisy. And let’s face it, when it comes to Pete crusading on this particular issue, at least the hypocrisy will be consistent 🙂

        • Once was Tim 1.2.1.2

          because its sometimes like investigating the characteristics of a fossil?
          there’s a chance – a hope even that sometimes something worthwhile might emerge – though usually NOT
          in PG’s case, it’s the most charitable explanation

    • These questions are very oddly framed. The issue of risk isn’t a matter of opinion – it’s something which, although complex, can be quantified and measured. Making policy on the basis of ‘I reckon …’ may be flattering to our egos but probably doesn’t result in good policy.

      • weka 1.3.1

        “The issue of risk isn’t a matter of opinion – it’s something which, although complex, can be quantified and measured.”

        How so?

        • How many users of X experience significant side effects compared to users of Y? How much does mitigating factor B reduce side effect C?

          The complexity comes from issues like legality, accessibility, ruling out other factors (such as the crossover between drug use and mental illness), but my point is it’s not a pure matter of opinion as Pete George has framed it.

      • RedLogix 1.3.2

        The other point worth making is that comparing one type of risk/harm against another is usually not valid.

        Personally I believe both cannabis and alcohol have harms associated with them. There is no doubt the risk associated with alcohol is very spectacular and pervasive in our society; but there is good evidence to suggest that there are a less obvious set of risks associated with cannabis of a very different nature.

        For that reason I’m not all that keen on consuming much of either of them. I limit my alcohol to about one or two glasses of red a month, and I’ve not bothered with cannabis since I was a teenager. After a short while I found it boring and I rapidly became suspicious of it’s persistent after-effects.

    • millsy 1.4

      I am more or less anti-drugs, and I wouldnt encourage people to use pot, or any other substance.

      That said I dont judge those who use it, and I dont think people should be dragged through the courts for having a joint in their bag or having a cone with their mates on a Saturday night. I think allowing people to grow the stuff for personal use and allowing tobacconists to sell seed and equipment would be a suitable course.

      • weka 1.4.1

        Do you realise that alcohol, coffee, and sugar are all drugs?

        • RedLogix 1.4.1.1

          Yes but they are not all the same drug.

          Personally I enjoy a little alcohol, but I never get drunk. (I’ve only had one hangover in my whole life and that was a very long time ago. I do feel considerable sympathy for those people who are wired to become addicted to the stuff. It must be an awful life.)

          Caffeine in modest amounts seems to be fairly neutral, but again I find it best to limit it to once a day at most. Sometimes I go off it for months at a time.

          Sugar is dreadful stuff metabolically. I do my best to avoid added sugar completely.

          My point is – while it’s fair to label all three as ‘drugs’; it’s not fair to them treat them all the same. Different risks, different responses.

          • weka 1.4.1.1.1

            Of course, but you can apply that to cannabis and most other drugs too 🙂

            • RedLogix 1.4.1.1.1.1

              Like a lot of people I’m not all that keen on using drugs of any kind, and I accept there is not a neat one-size-fits-all definition of them, nor a nice clean set of risks and harms associated with them.

              Equally I’m not all that enamoured with the legal shambles around them. Prohibition/criminalisation is a crude, counter-productive tool to use in response to the very wide diversity of ‘drugs’ we use in our society.

              As a result I’m caught between a reluctance to see the doors opened to an uncontrolled smorgasbord of ‘drugs’ available anytime, anywhere – and the frank acknowledgement that prohibition just makes matters worse.

              Yet I’ve managed to blithely wander through most of my life quite detached from drugs. This doesn’t make me a better person or special in any fashion – but it does prompt me to ask why it is that some people are so very prone to harm from drug use and others appear to be quite removed from them altogether. I want find out more about the root cause of this difference – and if we understood it better would it help us to move on from this ‘decriminalisation’ dilemma?

              • lprent

                Apart from my ex-addition to tobacco and my occasional taste for alcohol, the most addictive drugs I have ever used are the 4 that I now take daily to make sure that I stay healthy and alive. For some reason I’m addicted to living (to code)

                But I had a few acquaintances who died from heroin in the 70s – mostly from bad drugs or determined suicide attempts as far as I could tell. There have been a whole lot of friends, family and acquaintances I have seen who used illegal recreational drugs. Over the decades I can’t see much difference in outcomes from the ones who used legal drugs.

                Incidentally when I was in my late teens I did try a few drugs. However I was already addicted to writing code so they never had a chance after they interfered with that.

                • RedLogix

                  Heh – the big reason why I drink so little is that any code written the following day – needs a complete re-write the next day after!

                  But I had a few acquaintances who died from heroin in the 70s – mostly from bad drugs or determined suicide attempts as far as I could tell.

                  And yes. I don’t dwell on those memories, but they are haunting nonetheless.

              • weka

                People take drugs for all sorts of reasons, so if we want to look at why some people experience harm from use we need to look past the drug and instead look at the context. Risk from a substance is highly individual, so to my mind it’s a nonsense to look at the risk of say cannabis outside the context of the person using it. Where that gets a bit tricky is the public health aspect, and wether there are untoward effects on society as a whole. But even there, there is no getting around the fact that alcohol is legal for no good reason in terms of risk assessment.

                Some of the contexts connected with risk are poverty, violence, colonisation, oppression, historical child abuse, genetics, family dynamics, biology, mental health, peer pressure, socialisation, self-esteem, the need for self-medication…

                The other thing that’s important to know is that taking drugs is fun! It’s fine that you don’t do this 🙂 but there is nothing wrong per se with getting out of it. And people with the above contexts also take drugs for fun.

                For me this isn’t that hard. Legalise cannabis. We don’t have to even look at legalising other drugs in order to do that. Put in place some good educational resources on use and harm minimisation, some rules around thigns like age or driving etc, and then let people make their own decisions just like we let them make those decisions about everything else. The idea that cannabis is a risk to indviduals or society is a red herring. Yes there is risk, but not in a way that legitimises making criminals out of cannabis users.

                • For me this isn’t that hard. Legalise cannabis.

                  Except that so far that’s proven to be not possible. We don’t seem to have come close. So it is hard. And future prospects look hard.

                  Putting politics and arrogance aside can be hard.

                  What’s needed is a concerted campaign to move things in that direction. Otherwise the next person to come along suggesting something be done will probably be ridiculed and nothing will change. That’s what’s not hard, petty bitching and same old.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    It’s only hard because of idiots like you who refuse to see the sense of simply legalising marijuana.

                  • freedom

                    “Except that so far that’s proven to be not possible.”

                    complete horse shit
                    (we see above you have already called out for the waaambulance )

                    Governments choosing not to even try to do something, is not the same thing as something being possible or not.

                    You could not have supplied a better example of the very central flaw in most of your comments that so many have tried to point out to you so often.

                    Read this slowly…. Just because you say something, does not mean it is true.

                    Now, the obsequious little nugget of nothingness that started your final paragraph…
                    “What’s needed is a concerted campaign to move things in that direction. ”

                    When did you last pick up the phone to the ALCP and say, ‘hi guys, Pete George here, what can I do to help bring balance and objectivity to the discussion of cannabis reform in New Zealand?

                    wow cannabis reform… maybe that is a politically and economically important topic that a fact checking site would be interested in covering ……… cue tumbleweeds

                    • When did you last pick up the phone to the ALCP and say, ‘hi guys, Pete George here, what can I do to help bring balance and objectivity to the discussion of cannabis reform in New Zealand?

                      Last Thursday, after they called me, after I emailed them.

                    • freedom

                      Great to hear that Pete, and what did you ask them?
                      Wearing which hat by the way?
                      What was their response?

                      or is it all secret and stuff?

                      Was your bizarre Easter Sunday questions research for a Politicheck article?
                      If so why did you not say so?

                      Should we just assume everything you now post is for Politicheck research?

                  • rhinocrates

                    Putting politics and arrogance aside can be hard.

                    Indeed.

                    bitching and same old.

                    You da man!
                    Dat’s the bomb!
                    Groovy, man.
                    Like totally cool, dude.
                    Gag me with a spoon!
                    You’re a real hep cat!

                • RedLogix

                  Yes I’m ok with legalising cannabis for the time being. It seems the most pragmatic thing to do at the moment.

                  Some of the contexts connected with risk are poverty, violence, colonisation, oppression, historical child abuse, genetics, family dynamics, biology, mental health, peer pressure, socialisation, self-esteem, the need for self-medication…

                  Absolutely. Yet the tragedy is that in self-medicating the end result is often a compounding and entrenchment of all these issues.

                  I’m with Lynn on this. I too get my fun from solving coding puzzles. Yesterday I worked around 14 hrs on a project, and along the way I finally managed to build and debug a Scalar Kalman filter algorithm that I’ve been thinking about for years. (All actual experts in digital signal processing feel free to LOL now.) And I got a real kick from it – that opportunity to creatively express myself is central to my reason for living.

                  The opportunity to be creative, to excel at some skill or artform, or to work in a group towards a meaningful goal seem to be the three expansive motivations for humans.

                  • Murray Olsen

                    I’m not going to LOL, because I don’t know exactly what you did. However, I am curious as to how you managed to spend years thinking about what I would have considered a fairly simple problem. What made it so time consuming?

                    • RedLogix

                      Well three things; one is that I only looked at it briefly on a handful of occasions over the years – so the total time spent wasn’t all that long. I found the story behind how Rudolf Kalman solved the Apollo lunar landing module radar guidance problem inspiring – and I guess I was always curious to get my head around at least the basics of what he achieved.

                      Secondly most of the references on the web are for the general MIMO case with lots of very abstract matrix maths I’m not at all good at. As a result for a long time I had in my mind a wrong idea about how a Kalman filter actually worked. I had completely misunderstood what the a priori was meant to be in practical terms.

                      Thirdly until recently I didn’t really have a pressing need to make one work, but when faced with the desirability of using one in my current project, I spent a day banging away at the much simpler SISO case and finally the penny dropped.

                      Like a lot of people I can handle maths as long as I can map it onto something concrete in my mind – it’s the pure abstractions that baffle me unfortunately.

                    • RedLogix

                      I have to add that after spending years looking at time series trend plots with conventional filters that always add a phase delay – the first time I saw the Kalman filter respond to a step input with zero delay was rather spooky.

                      I knew in my head that was how it was supposed to work, but actually seeing it was still a surprise.

                      I know this had drifted OT but it speaks to what Lynn was saying earlier above.

                  • Murray Olsen

                    I didn’t think you could drift off topic in open mike 🙂
                    Thanks for your answer. I have problems with abstract maths as well, which is a bit of a drawback in my job as a theoretical quantum physicist, but can also be an advantage. I tend to look more at what can be achieved with real systems than developing abstract theorems.

    • weka 1.5

      “What are people’s thoughts here about what part cannabis plays in the synthetic drug issue?”

      As a friend pointed out recently, the only reason that legal highs are legal and cannabis isn’t is because the law hasn’t found a way to make legal highs illegal (I think there is probably a commerical incentive in there too to not ban them outright). It’s simply an anomaly that alcohol is legal and cannabis isn’t. So let’s stop pretending that this is an issue of risk and safety. It’s not. It’s about the need of some people to control morality and the need of other people to control money.

      The blindingly obvious solution to the very real problems of legal highs is to legalise cannabis. There are risks to many things that humans do. The line that cannabis has risks is a redherring. We already have models for managing risk including harm minimisation, so risk sin’t a good reason to keep cannabis illegal.

      Pete, you are several decades behind the game here. All the questions you are asking have been answered many many times.

      • Pete George 1.5.1

        Pete, you are several decades behind the game here. All the questions you are asking have been answered many many times.

        Blindingly obvious solution or not today, still, nothing has happened about it. Can’t have been obvious enough or made obvious to the right people.

        So should we do nothing now and change nothing?

        • weka 1.5.1.1

          Don’t know what you mean by ‘we’ in that sentence. People have been working in this issue already, and progress has been made. That doesn’t include you as far as I can tell.

          As for the ‘right’ people, you still fail to understand what the issue is here. The ‘right’ people are the people with the power, and those people aren’t traditional cannabis users (they drink alcohol). The reasons they don’t work outside their experience are varied (commerce, control, ignorance). Until the GP came along, there was no-one putting the decriminalisation issue on mainstream agenda. It’s people like you who wring your hands that are keeping the issue unresolved. Your astounding ignorance isn’t the problem, it’s your inability to recognise you are ignorant and do something about it. But beyond that, I am pretty sure when it comes down to it, you want the power to remain in the hands of the few, and that you don’t trust people in general to make their own decisions about drug use. For you, the decisions should be made by people who are of your class and ilk, otherwise you would already be talking to expert drug users and learning from them.

          Plus what Tracey said above about making alcohol illegal.

          • Pete George 1.5.1.1.1

            But beyond that, I am pretty sure when it comes down to it, you want the power to remain in the hands of the few, and that you don’t trust people in general to make their own decisions about drug use.

            You’re a long way off the mark with that assumption.

            For you, the decisions should be made by people who are of your class and ilk,

            And that one. You seem to have pigeon hole pique.

            otherwise you would already be talking to expert drug users and learning from them.

            I’ve been doing that. And I’ve been working now with three parties with various interests in this.

            • phillip ure 1.5.1.1.1.1

              “..And I’ve been working now with three parties with various interests in this…”

              wow..!..(all pomposities/self-regard/importance to one side..)

              ..so yr now a multi-party go-to person on drug policy too..eh..?

              ..is there no end to yr (nelson mandela-like) skills..?

              ..and where do you find the time..?..

              ..’wot with all yr politicheking…eh..?..

              (we are all holding our breath for yr first big scoop/expose..eh..?..

              ..(and don’t disappoint me now..!..i’ve got money on it being a left-attacking little number..

              ..my money’s safe..eh..?..)

              ..i mean those taxpayer union trouts had that provincial flight done by that green mp..eh..?

              ..them breaking that important story must have had you green with envy..eh..?..

              ..you must dream of getting anything like that good at this rightwing-pressure-group thing..eh..?..)

    • freedom 1.6

      In the name of fairness -Pete did ask some questions and if we want him to honestly answer ours …. (like a 40 year old virgin, we must believe there will be a first time)

      Is cannabis as risky, riskier or is it safer?
      It is less risky, in the same way that driving with a seat belt is generally regarded as being safer than driving without one.

      If cannabis was available the same as synthetics would the problem be better, worse or similar?
      There would not be a problem. Period! The entire market would disappear, largely overnight. The residual problems would be the ongoing addictions relating to those who have already been poisoned by the toxic products created and sold under the blinkered myopia of the current hypocrisy. (have to assume you are referring to ‘synthetic cannabis’ even though no such thing exists. It needs to be said that there are also many other ‘synthetic’ products that this new testing might help make safer for all and less stigmatic. Many of the products that this law wants to ban are actually safer, more natural and less risky than some foods sold in supermarkets. Certainly safer than alcohol)

      If no synthetics pass the safety test of the new Act and nothing else changes will the problems get better or worse?
      The distribution of even more dangerous compounds will make the problem a lot worse. You only have to look at the poison people drink during periods of alcohol prohibition/scarcity.

      Should the laws related to cannabis use be reviewed?
      well d’uh

      Should the laws related to cannabis cultivation be reviewed?
      well d’uh

      Should the laws related to cannabis supply be reviewed?
      well d’uh

      Should all psychoactive substances be banned (including cannabis)?
      You do know, that to be anything but a pandering to predetermination, testing must include alcohol right? We all know alcohol has an exemption so the entire testing to make us safer argument holds about as much water as a fishing net. Some schools of thought would even say sugar falls into the category of a psychoactive substance. So yes, let’s review the whole bag of tricks Pete. You may not like the results though. You would have to watch your smug fall away revealing decades of illusion and propaganda.

      • weka 1.6.1

        I think Pete is one of those people who thinks that drugs are the bad chemicals, as if there is some inherent moral underpinning to chemistry.

    • felix 1.7

      Taking Pete’s questions at face value, my genuine response is that they are all mostly irrelevant.

      What’s relevant is creating a society where where young people have faith that their lives are meaningful and worth living, and where adults find enough stimulation and satisfaction in their activities that they don’t feel like wiping themselves out at the end of every week.

      The legality or otherwise of different substances then becomes a non-issue.

      • Pete George 1.7.1

        I think that’s idealistic and unrealistic.

        There’s no sign of anything anywhere close to this being achieved and it’s very unlikely to be achieved.

        Humans have liked using drugs for thousands of years. It’s been suggested that agriculture became established through the desire to produce beer. Whether that’s accurate or not alcohol and other drugs go back a long way.

        Many people want to experience drug effects and that’s not likely to change.

        • felix 1.7.1.1

          Yes Pete but I’m not really concerned with people using drugs per se because the drugs are not really the problem.

          Harmful behaviour is the problem (well actually a symptom of a problem).

          Why are people engaging in such soul-destroying, abusive, hurtful behaviour with such monotonous regularity?

          Why does our society and culture seem to encourage and even reward some of this behaviour?

          Weekly wreckings are an accepted and glorified norm. Why? Who gains?

          Why do we think there is anything natural about a lifestyle with these destructive, regressive activities so ingrained within it?

          • RedLogix 1.7.1.1.1

            Oh yes felix. I shouldn’t say this out loud – but reading these few sentences above brought tears.

            There’s a large pragmatic part of me that just wants to try and muddle on with the ‘realities’ of modern life. Pay the mortgage, hold down that job, dress right and behave right and maybe I’ll get to a decent retirement.

            And the idealist in me weeps.

        • felix 1.7.1.2

          Also Pete, I can’t let this slip by: “a society where young people have faith that their lives are meaningful and worth living, and where adults find enough stimulation and satisfaction in their activities that they don’t feel like wiping themselves out at the end of every week.”

          If you really, genuinely believe that’s an “unrealistic” goal, then what’s the point of all your efforts?

          Seriously. What’s the point? What do you want to see in the world if not that?

          • karol 1.7.1.2.1

            I’m still waiting to see the answer to that question by felix. That’s the guts of it. It’s not just a question of getting facts correct and then miraculously arriving at a (non-political?) solution. We all have underlying values that guide the facts and issues we focus on, and the analysis of such. And it is the difference in underlying values that generally differentiates various poltiical positions: left or right; liberal or conservative….etc.

            That’s why it’s important to make our basic values and perspectives explicit.

          • Pete George 1.7.1.2.2

            You let slip a part of that quote. Here it is with an important final paragraph.

            What’s relevant is creating a society where where young people have faith that their lives are meaningful and worth living, and where adults find enough stimulation and satisfaction in their activities that they don’t feel like wiping themselves out at the end of every week.

            The legality or otherwise of different substances then becomes a non-issue.

            I responded “I think that’s idealistic and unrealistic”. That was in reference to the whole statement.

            I think “creating a society where where young people have faith that their lives are meaningful and worth living” is a great ideal and worth working towards.

            I think “where adults find enough stimulation and satisfaction in their activities that they don’t feel like wiping themselves out at the end of every week” is a fine aim but idealistic and I doubt we can ever get close to to that. For example being a parent wipes you out daily, it’s the nature of the job. It’s not uncommon for parents to want a drink or a smoke at the end of another busy day.

            “The legality or otherwise of different substances then becomes a non-issue.” I took that as meaning that people wouldn’t use drugs any more. That’s naive and unrealistic. Many poor people don’t have the time or money to do drugs much if at all, and most have more sense than to waste their money and minds.

            Drug use and abuse happens across the income spectrum. A wealthy person can be stressed about their money like a poor person stressed about their lack of money.

            And no matter how ideal we can make our society I think there will always be a significant number of people who keep using drugs, so the legalities will remain issues. It’s idealistic to think that it could become a non-issue.

            • felix 1.7.1.2.2.1

              If you’re going to say nothing at all Pete, could you use fewer words? You’re just wasting everyone’s time and it’s becoming clear why.

    • Not a PS Staffer 1.8

      To smoke or not to smoke is not the question.

      Dunne has deeply damaged the credibility of the office of a minister.

      All around the country kids are hearing that the Toxic Shot is legal and that it will not be banned by the minister, whose son is making a living out of selling the Toxic shit.

      No wonder so many do not vote when they see such self serving bullshit.

      Dear Standardistas. Do not engage with Peter George on the decriminalization of Cannabis. etc. It is a smoke screen for his hero Peter Dunne and his drug industry son, James.
      The issue is the moral void that is the Dunnes, Pere et Fils

  2. Paul 2

    Top story in the Herald
    ‘Bubble about to burst’

    If the Herald reports it, the right wing must be worried….

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/personal-finance/news/article.cfm?c_id=12&objectid=11241125

    The actual report.
    12 reasons why we aren’t a rock star economy!

    1) Interest rates have been at all-time lows for almost a half-decade
    2) Property prices have doubled since 2004
    3) New Zealand has the world’s third most overvalued property market
    4) New Zealand’s mortgage bubble grew by 165% since 2002
    5) Nearly half of mortgages have floating interest rates
    6) Mortgages account for 60% of banks’ loan portfolios
    7) Finance, not agriculture, is New Zealand’s largest industry
    8) New Zealand’s banks are exposed to Australia’s bubble
    9) Australian and Chinese buyers are inflating the property bubble
    10) New Zealand has a household debt problem
    11) Government overseas debt has nearly tripled since 2008
    12) The New Zealand dollar is overvalued

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jessecolombo/2014/04/17/12-reasons-why-new-zealands-economic-bubble-will-end-in-disaster/
    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/04/19/12-things-forbes-has-to-say-about-nzs-about-to-burst-economic-bubble/

    Now if the opposition cannot get some traction on Numbers 3, 9 and 11, then they may as well give up!
    This is dynamite.

    • karol 2.1

      Well, Steven Joyce has the perfect response – well that’s if you’re a right winger keen to keep on fiddling until the bubble bursts. He says it’s being “alarmist” and that Colombo is a “bubble-ologist”.

      • Pete George 2.1.1

        That’s very a very selective representation of that article. It wasn’t just Joyce questioning the claims.

        Infometrics managing director Gareth Kiernan…

        …said Colombo had picked out all the high-risk metrics he could find to build an “end of the world scenario”.

        If his predictions ever came to pass then the economy would be in trouble, but no one was really forecasting that to happen, he said.

        Interest.co.nz contributing editor Bernard Hickey…

        …said many of the risks identified by Colombo were real but they were old news to those who ran the economy.

        “For him to come out and say we’ve got a bubble, therefore it’s going to burst, which will lead to a crisis is a little bit simplistic,” he said.

        Kiwis had already seen the Reserve Bank step in to curb the risk of rising house prices by introducing a new loan-to-value ratio, he said.

        “Should we all be running for the hills with our hands in the air screaming the end is nigh? Probably not.”

        Hickey added that it appeared Colombo’s article had not been published in Forbes magazine proper, which was important when judging its credibility. Instead it was published on the Forbes website with a disclaimer saying Colombo’s opinions were his own.

        I’m not sure if Hickey would be generally regarded as a keen right winger.

        • Awww 2.1.1.1

          No control over foreign buyers has influenced:

          Increasing residential house prices
          Over leveraged residential property
          NZ government paying massive supplements to overseas investors via the Accommodation Supplement each year.

          http://www.greenenergyinvestors.com/index.php?showtopic=10738&hl=%2Bzealand+%2Bresidential+%2Bproperty

        • phillip ure 2.1.1.2

          nothing to see there..eh pg..?

          ..now..where can we put more dairy farms..?

          ..she’ll be right..!

          what’s that..?..national have tripled our foreign debt since they came to power..?

          ..no worries..!

          ..eh pete..?

          ..but didn’t they say they had sell off all the assets…

          ..so they didn’t have ‘to run to the foreign bankers..like labour wants to do..’..?

          ..wasn’t that the story/spin..?

          ..so..perhaps you cd apply yr politichek-editor skills to explain that one..?

          ..’cos they not only flogged off the assets..

          ..they have tripled our foreign debt..(!)

          ..w.t.f..!..eh pg..?..

          ..who is telling all the lies there..eh..?

          ..but..really..nothing to see there..eh..?..

          ..you good little rightwing tr*ll you..eh..?..

        • karol 2.1.1.3

          Yes, you’re right. I was selective. I was just laughing so hard at Joyce’s clumsy neologism.

          I think Hickey is a right winger, but one who has become increasingly skeptical about the neoliberal version of capitalism.

          I don’t think there’ll be a sudden catastrophic crisis. But, there will be a down turn as the bubble starts to deflate. And the article does have that quote about the bubble being widely acknowledged.

          • phillip ure 2.1.1.3.1

            @ karol..

            ..i don’t share yr optimism..

            ..we are bubbling like crazy..

            ..we are exposed to the australian bubbles..

            ..we are exposed to the chinese bubbles…

            ..and when any one of those pops..

            ..we go with it..

            ..so it isn’t really a matter of ‘if’…but ‘when?’.

            ..yeah..!..this govt knows what it is doing…

            ..more dairying..!

            ..sell more land..!

            ..dig more coal..!

            ..drill..!..baby..!..drill..!..

            ..more low-wage economy..!

            ..fuck the poor..!

            ..and how about some more tax cuts for the richest..?..eh..?

            ..it’s been a while..

            ..and we spent all the last ones..

            ..buying our share of those power-companies..

            ..eh..?

          • Paul 2.1.1.3.2

            This graph shows an interesting parallel. are we on the brink of a massive world economic crash?
            http://www.marketwatch.com/story/scary-1929-market-chart-gains-traction-2014-02-11

            • BM 2.1.1.3.2.1

              No. What a ridiculous comparison.

            • vto 2.1.1.3.2.2

              Yes we are Paul, it should have happened post-GFC. Governments got taxpayers to bail the corporates out, but it wont last. The world’s banking system is a Ponzi scheme nearing its end.

        • Bill 2.1.1.4

          “That’s very a very selective representation of that article.”

          No it fucking well wasn’t Pete. It was a fair representation of quotes from Joyce including a link to the source. Like I said above, think about what you type and then take your nonsense away from here.

          • Pete George 2.1.1.4.1

            Why so tetchy Bill? Has Easter Bunny not delivered for you yet?

            karol has accepted “Yes, you’re right. I was selective. I was just laughing so hard at Joyce’s clumsy neologism.”

            If I quoted such a small part of an article I suspect you would be lining up to grump at me for that.

            • karol 2.1.1.4.1.1

              Actually, I agree with Bill as well. My comment wasn’t intended to represent the whole article. It was a brief comment focused on Joyce’s clumsy neologism – which I found very funny while I was eating breakfast. The arguments for and against the Colombo argument are being looked at in more detail re-micky’s post.

              • freedom

                that’s why Pete basically copy pastes whole paragraphs/articles, so he has lots of wriggle room when people try to pin down whatever it is he is referring to or is commenting on. He could save himself a lot of hassle (and free up his fact-checking time) if he just posted links to the NZH front page and simply said …

                ‘In the future, we need to discuss what would lead to a real dialogue, allowing us to frame the conversation we desperately need to have”

                … would anyone notice the difference ?

            • Bill 2.1.1.4.1.2

              “Why so tetchy Bill?”

              It’s like this Pete. I’ve no problem with people saying stupid things or jumping on their own wee hobby horses from time to time.

              But for the past wee while most of your comments have been a mix of stuff that’s annoyingly off beam and/or concern troll nonsense. And I don’t like it. ‘N fact, I’m getting really fucked off by it.

              Also, just so you know, I don’t like that even your very occasional sensible comment gets mobbed and even those threads trashed as a result. But then people, I think, are simply and understandably reacting to your comments on the basis of expectation rather than actual content on those occasions.

              Now, go away and think about what I’ve said in light of the fact that I disagree with many of the comments and opinions here. I’m telling (not asking) you do that so that you don’t start whining in some narcissistic or self important way about how your picked on by some kind of evil Labour Party/leftsist hive mind that you sometimes appear to imagine ‘the standard’ as.

              • Now, go away and think about what I’ve said in light of the fact that I disagree with many of the comments and opinions here. I’m telling (not asking) you do that…

                Is it just you doing the whining? Or is it a round about moderator instruction to me to go away and not to comment here?

                • Bill

                  Sheesh, that comment from the guy who accused Karol of misrepresentation up the thread!

                  I’m giving you information based on observation, providing my own opinion and suggesting a course of action. (The telling is to do with a lens you keep at hand for the sake of any reflection)

                  If you can’t see what I’ve been observing, then you haven’t been paying attention to the responses you generate. I mean, it’s all rather fucking blatantly obvious, though…from your latest response it would seem reasonable to assume that you simply can’t understand what people say, or see where they’re coming from, even when it’s fairly straight forward. I don’t expect you to have any insight as to why that might be. I have my own thoughts on the matter. I’ll be keeping them to myself.

                  • Funny thing Bill is it seems to be something peculiar to here, and it doesn’t just happen with me.

                    KIA’s essay is a good example. Most of the initial response was attacking KIA for irrelevant things from the past and attacking me for quoting and linking etc, and denying and diverting.

                    But sometimes worthwhile discussions eventuate. When micky and KIA started actually addressing and debating things it has resulted in some interesting stuff. Neither is right or wrong (generally), they both make some good points from different views.

                    Robust discussion or bitching sessions where no alternative views are tolerated?

      • phillip ure 2.1.2

        joyce calls this guy a ‘bubbleologist’..

        ..can we call joyce what he is..?

        ..’a lying prick’..

      • Paul 2.1.3

        I think Jesse Colombo may know more than Joyce about the matter.
        http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20120516005606/en/Analyst-Warned-Millions-Crash-%E2%80%9808-Age-22

        Wonder how the government will defend their ramping up of New Zealand’s overseas debt( point 11) and not dealing with factors causing the property bubble (point 9)?

        Their management of the economy, so praised by the NZ corporate media, has been wretched (as many of us have been saying for a while)

    • BM 2.2

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_Colombo

      He makes is money off predicting when bubbles are about to burst as Joyce said he’s a “bubble-ologist”.No doubt all his investments are heavily weighted toward ones that do very well when markets crash.

      From experience it’s very hard to find financial opinion that doesn’t have a massive slant that favors the author especially when the author’s American.

      • phillip ure 2.2.1

        @ bm..

        “..From experience it’s very hard to find financial opinion that doesn’t have a massive slant that favors the author especially when the author’s American..”

        so best just stuff yr fists in yr ears and go ‘nah!..nah..!..nah..!’..eh..?

        ..especially when it is something you don’t want to hear..eh..?

        ..something that ideologically-grates..?..

        ..how about nouriel roubini..?

        ..y’know..!..that guy who was one of the first to predict reasons/timeline of the great financial clusterfuck..?..and one who i relied on for the early predictions/warnings@whoar..)

        ..(and ..oh..!..how you all laughed at him..eh..?..’dr doom!’..and all that..?..eh..?..)

        ..well guess what..!..roubini is now saying it is all about to go pop again…

        ..and soon…

        http://whoar.co.nz/?s=roubini

        (oh..!..roubini has also noted that we have the housing market in most peril..

        ..100% mortgage (french def:..’death-grip’)..anyone..?..

        ..and like peter sellars in the final scene of dr strangelove..

        ..you’ll ride that sucker ’till it explodes..eh?…)

        • BM 2.2.1.1

          From what I’ve noticed, in America everyone’s an “expert”, this young guy’s a “bubble expert”.
          All his investment advice/opinion is bubble related.

          The way it seems to work is you’re either a Bull or a Bear, this chap is definitely in the Bear camp so he specifically targets to people who have a negative outlook.
          That’s how he makes his money.

          • phillip ure 2.2.1.1.1

            and yr casual dismissal of roubint..?..is..?

            • BM 2.2.1.1.1.1

              Roubini’s critical and consistently bearish economic views have earned him the nicknames “Dr. Doom” and “permabear” in the media

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nouriel_Roubini#cite_note-NYT-2

              There’s only two ways a market can go, up or down.

              If you pick a position and stick with it eventually you’re going to be right, it’s getting the timing correct which is the hard thing and that’s when you make your money.

              • yr obviously a deep-thinker there..bm..

                ..i’ll just leave you to get on with it..

              • Paul

                From the article you quote….I just copied a bit more as your quote was very selective.

                “Roubini’s critical and consistently bearish economic views have earned him the nicknames “Dr. Doom” and “permabear” in the media.[2] In 2008, Fortune magazine wrote, “In 2005 Roubini said home prices were riding a speculative wave that would soon sink the economy. Back then the professor was called a Cassandra. Now he’s a sage”.[3] The New York Times notes that he foresaw “homeowners defaulting on mortgages, trillions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities unraveling worldwide and the global financial system shuddering to a halt”.[2] In September 2006, he warned a skeptical IMF that “the United States was likely to face a once-in-a-lifetime housing bust, an oil shock, sharply declining consumer confidence, and, ultimately, a deep recession”. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman adds that his once “seemingly outlandish” predictions have been matched “or even exceeded by reality.”[4]”

                So they may have given him those nicknames …but he was accurate in his predictions.
                If this is an example of how you extract quotes to make your points, you are clearly an unreliable source of information.

              • newsense

                I don’t see any response to his critique of issues with NZ’s economy

                • Paul

                  Same…attempts to bluster and divert and a concerted effort to attack the messenger.
                  But no argument explaining why the issues he mentions ( 12 of them!) aren’t a concern.
                  Self interest trumps an ability to look critically at an issue.

          • North 2.2.1.1.2

            What a foolish foolish person you are BM ! – “from experience. it’s very hard to find financial opinion that doesn’t…….etc” – what experience BM ? Establish what you say, please.

            “From what I’ve noticed …….” Well that’s so powerful (not). Say what you’ve noticed BM. And establish how it proves your point, if you actually have a point other than cheerleading for John Key’s omnipresence as claimed by you and various other trolls.

            In fact if you’re going to go into the mythology of US arch-capitalism then it’s extraordinarily dishonest of you not to acknowledge and analyse the place in that of John Key and myriad other banksters.

            Because BM from what I’ve noticed…….Merrill Lynch, Goldmann Sachs etc etc etc.

            Dishonest Dunce BM.

          • Tracey 2.2.1.1.3

            I wonder what keys statements looked like when he was a currency trader and expert for j p morgan? probably self serving like your description of this guy. yet you cannot see his self serving statements as pm for what they are.

          • amirite 2.2.1.1.4

            BM I would put my bets on Jesse Colombo’s forecast over a BSc in Zoology Steven Joyce’s any day.

      • ‘He makes is money off predicting when bubbles are about to burst’

        So, by rightwing logic, wouldn’t that mean he’s very good at it?

        • blue leopard 2.2.2.1

          Exactly

          • BM 2.2.2.1.1

            Yep he makes money telling others what they should do.
            I get the feeling he doesn’t invest too much himself.

            According to Wikipedia

            Jesse took a hiatus from blogging and anti-economic bubble activism after the U.S. housing bubble popped in 2008, and focused on a career as a private investor and consultant.

            In June 2011, Jesse launched his second anti-economic bubble activism campaign to warn of post-2009 economic bubbles.

            Obviously his personal investment results weren’t quite as stellar as he hoped.

            • blue leopard 2.2.2.1.1.1

              I think you’ll find that when an entire economic global system gets a lot of its profits from bubbles it also gets a lot of losses when the bubbles burst ergo there will be a high incidence of losses when the sytem ‘rebalances’; when the exaggerated prices adjust back to realistic ones.

              It appears this is the type of information Jesse is attempting to warn people about. That he has been one of the victims of such an irrational system, doesn’t make his warnings any less realistic – in fact if anything it indicates he is too conservative in his views.

  3. (a re-worked workers’ anthem:..for the use of/by shane jones..and his ilk..)

    (cloth-caps doffed..and placed across hearts:..all together now..!..after me..!..)

    “..the workers flag..is deepest red..

    ..neither poofters nor feminists..share our bed..

    ..we’re kiwi-guys..thru and thru..

    ..and we’ll have none of that funny business..

    ..no thank you..!..

    ..oh why can’t it be – like it used to be..?

    ..when blokes like me – were all you could see..”

  4. Paul 4

    The results of 30 years of neo-liberalism and the cult of corporate and individual greed.
    An ideology afflicting the UK and New Zealand .

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11241149

  5. karol 5

    The Craig manipulators – it’s a family affair.

    And now it looks like a bit of a struggle between McCully and Crafty Craig for the East Coast Bays seat.

  6. North 6

    Hypocrite Hide – butter wouldn’t melt in his Epsom mouth what ?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11241035

    “Oh God…….Hone’s being tricky !”

    • bad12 6.1

      Wasn’t that a laugh, i particularly enjoyed Hides rewriting of history where all along it was an evil plot by DotCom to give money to Banks,

      ”Tried to shower Banks with gifts, but, Banks rebuffed Him”, i just cannot fathom how any of us could have missed this important side to the story,

      A laugh out loud column from a washed up politician that deserves as many if not more of these 🙄 than PG does…

      • marty mars 6.1.1

        Yep what a spew article but good for a sunday lol – I thought this was terrible “Dotcom is not even a New Zealand European but a European European.” Is this an actual distinction? Do some people think like that?

        “Harawira believes “white motherf****** have been raping our lands and ripping us off for centuries”. Dotcom is as white as white.”

        Gutter politics from the gutterdog-Hide. First Dotcom isn’t a ‘proper kiwi’ according to snide-hide and then he’s been ripping us off for centuries – which is it. Hide is a fail as a politician and a person imo and this article is even more evidence of that.

      • Tracey 6.1.2

        thats like saying owen glenn only gave money to peters so he could later bring he and helen down. dont think even the right suggested that?

  7. Red Rosa 7

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9960334/NZ-dodged-bullet-on-Brash-ex-MP

    Still rankles with Brash that he was sacked when he came within a whisker of success.

    But lying over the Brethren was too much, even for the Nats.

    To win next time, they needed a smoother, slicker version of the Extreme Right to lull the electorate.

    And under MMP they needed to double cross Maori, not take them on directly.

    Key fitted the bill perfectly.

    Same policies, though. What has Key done that Brash has disapproved of? The Maori Party have left their people in a worse situation than before, and in total disarray.

    Key’s great success has been to sneak in Extreme Right policies, in several policy areas, under the bland unctuous mumbling of ‘Centre-Right’.

    • Paul 7.1

      Yes, the myth of Key being moderate is exactly that. A myth.
      A story repeated by the corporate media so their owners could loot New Zealand.

    • Awww 7.2

      Brash has always come off as vaguely reptilian, even without the insider details:

      Asked by Hill about Orewa 2005, the welfare dependency speech, Brash said he didn’t even think welfare spokesperson Katherine Rich wrote the welfare white paper.

      This is an outrageous accusation from the former leader. Rich had been given the portfolio by Bill English just after her second baby was born and spent hours writing it.

      The leader’s office edited it two years before Brash was leader, but he seems to think it was beyond a women’s capabilities.

      He may remember Rich’s corrections to Brash’s first draft of Orewa 05, when she took issue with his repeated references to “bludgers”, “satan”, “free lunches”, “ripping off the system taken for granted” and “an army of dependants on the march”.

      Rich said she didn’t think using military language was helpful.

      She vehemently objected to Brash’s intention to bring back adoption, compulsory immunisation and forcing beneficiaries to exhaust other means of income so welfare was the last resort.

      “I’m not comfortable about making those with Downs syndrome, cerebral palsy or cancer prove they are not able to contribute to their own support before accessing welfare,” she wrote to Brash.

      Mothers having second babies would be forced back to fulltime work even when breastfeeding, and Brash was okay with this.

      Rich resigned the portfolio.

      Georgina te Heu Heu had already lost Maori Affairs, and Hekia Parata left the party.

      Other caucus women were unhappy.

      I was flatting with Rich and remember her dismay when Michael Bassett’s Post column slated her for criticising her leader in public, saying she deserved to go.

      I suggested Rich ask Brash to get this mistake corrected (she’d never criticised him), a simple matter, surely. Brash couldn’t, he told her, because he’d read the column pre-publication and okayed it.

      Now Brash is miffed that John Key won’t take his calls, because they once shared a motel room where Brash said he’d hand over prime ministership to Key.

      Big problem with that, Don, you need the numbers and caucus support. You were not a king passing the crown to an heir. Key probably muttered something like: “Yeah, now shuddup and get some sleep.”

      And some wise National insiders probably leaked those emails, printed out and clamped in a big bulldog clip, so Brash would never become prime minister. We’re incredibly lucky they did.

  8. Tautoko Viper 8

    I found an interesting line in Deborah Coddington’s article concerning Katherine Rich who resigned her portfolio due to Brash’s views.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9960334/NZ-dodged-bullet-on-Brash-ex-MP

    “I’m not comfortable about making those with Downs syndrome, cerebral palsy or cancer prove they are not able to contribute to their own support before accessing welfare,” she wrote to Brash.

    Now compare this with the article titled
    “Bureaucratic hurdles mean few parents get paid to care for disabled children”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11240668

    “But many families have been put off by the system, which requires the disabled people to become their parents’ employers, responsible for paying tax, ACC levies, KiwiSaver, annual leave and sick leave.”
    The disabled people are required to set up bank accounts, which some banks do not allow for people who are not intellectually competent.”
    The parallels are obvious. Dodged what bullet?
    Edit Red Rosa is on to it.

    • millsy 8.1

      Most of these disabled clients would have no concept of what an employer is, and the government expect them to be one. Am I alone in thinking that this policy is whacko?

  9. bad12 9

    Just had a watch of ‘The Nation’ on TV3, this weeks program seems to have got at least one commenter hot under the cranial covering,

    Seems to me that the main message from Green Party leader Metiria Turei was that if Labour/NZFirst need the Green Party to guarantee ”confidence and supply” then Labour/NZFirst will need the Green Party ”in Government”,

    Questioned on the ‘meaning’ of this Metiria chose to simply repeat the statement, and a snigger developed when the ”end game” move that i would imagine Labour/NZFirst will put to the Greens after the election was put to Mets,

    ”So you will refuse confidence and supply to Labour/NZFirst if you are not given Cabinet seats and enable a National Government then”,???

    That’s laughable, BUT, i can see this as being the main plank of negotiation with the Green Party after the 2014 election,

    My suggestion to the Green Party is that the correct answer to this little piece of blame gaming which i fully expect to be the negotiating position is the answer that Metiria gave on ‘The Nation’ interview,

    ”The Green Party is either ”in” the next Government or they are not”…full stop.

    • Pascal's bookie 9.1

      “If there’s a minority govt then we’ll have to decide about C&S whenever such votes come up, and such a government would need to talk to us about the shape of any legislation it wants to pass.”

  10. “..If You Support Legal Marijuana, Memorize These 13 Stats..

    With Colorado and Washington starting to tax and regulate recreational weed sales –

    and medical marijuana legal in 18 other states –
    we can finally start to put some hard numbers on the industry’s value..”

    (cont..)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/19/benefits-legalizing-weed-by-the-numbers_n_5173785.html?ref=topbar

  11. captain hook 11

    remember kiddies to keep a smile in your hearts when ya smashing the state. abbie hoofman.

    • it’s a great quote/line..

      “..remember kiddies..!

      ..when smashing the state..

      ..always keep a smile on yr lips..

      ..and a song in yr heart..!”

      and wasn’t it robert crumb/furry freak bros..?

  12. captain hook 12

    I wuz kinda hoping that pete geroge wuz gonna choke on his Easter eggg.
    bit no he’s back.heading the readers list.
    hmmmm.

  13. Penny Bright 13

    Seen this folks?

    Is New Zealand in need of an ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption)?

    I think so.

    http://laudafinem.com/2014/04/19/why-cant-new-zealand-have-honest-and-capable-politicians-is-nz-in-need-of-an-icac/

    NSW Premier Barry O’Farrelly had to resign over his $3000 bottle of wine ‘brainfade’.

    The difference between NZ and NSW is that NSW has an INDEPENDENT COMMISSION AGAINST CORRUPTION (ICAC).

    High time for an NZ INDEPENDENT COMMISSION AGAINST CORRUPTION (ICAC)?

    Some of us have been advocating this for some time:

    Click to access ANTI-CORRUPTION-WHITE-COLLAR-CRIME-CORPORATE-WELFARE-ACTION-PLAN-Ak-Mayoral-campaign-19-July-2013-2.pdf

    Which political parties are now going to pick up the ball, and make support for a New Zealand ICAC, a core election policy?

    In my considered opinion, there would be significant public support for such a policy, especially in light of the latest on-going corruption scandals at New Zealand central and local government level.

    (Remember – in the 2013 Auckland mayoralty, I polled 4th with nearly 12,000 votes, campaigning against corrupt corporate control of the Auckland region, which, in my opinion, shows growing public understanding and concern about this HUGE issue.)

    Seen this?

    http://www.transparency.net.nz/

    Penny Bright

  14. Anne 14

    Oh dear, Tariana Turia is still very bitter and twisted with Labour.

    Labour doesn’t deserve our vote.

    Imo, all she has achieved in confirming is: the creation of the Maori Party was really all about herself.

    • amirite 14.1

      Also, she should have asked – do Maori feel and live better after 6 years of National /Maori Party government?
      I think not.

      • Paul 14.1.1

        Of course, given the Herald’s editorial bias, this was elevated to their top online story.

    • millsy 14.2

      Sir Apriana Ngata, a prominent advocate of Maori economic development and self-determination would be disgusted at some of the stances held by the woman who wants to follow in his footsteps. For a start, he would balk at the continued use of floating sweatshops to fish Maori quota, which Turia and her Maori Party cronies continue to try and justify, instead of encourging iwi to invest in their own boats and crews, creating real jobs.

  15. rhinocrates 15

    This, I need not remind you, is Easter, the time in which we must observe the martyrdom of Pete George the most Holy.

    It is He who has instructed us in the utmost selective pedantry of our sins of lack of reverence for Himself. Let us not forget that. It is we who have crucified Him on the Cross of Snark.

    Let us all retreat to the Hallowed Ground of our Lifestyle Blocks, don the sacred vestments of the Beige Cardigans of Repentance, climb upon our Horses Most High and make the Holy Gestures of the Wagging Finger and the Wrung Hands.

    Then let us Check Our Facts and observe the proper period of Calling For More Study.

    Amen.

    • don’t forget the other ‘holy gestures’..

      ..the slow stroking of the beard..

      ..and the shaking of the head..’no!’..

      ..the looking ‘sad’/disappointed..

      ..and the pursed-lips..

      ..and that ‘beige-cardigan’ had better be a twin-set…

      ..and those grey shoes had better have velcro-‘laces’…!

      ..and those pants had better be permanent-press..!

      ..and that strange ritual that has built up over time..

      ..of ‘followers’ gathering to remember him by smoking joints..

      ..(they say it is because thru is sacrifices for us all..he had none..oh..!..the humanity of the man..!..)

      ..and to chant rounds of:..’more study’..and ‘but what about?’..

      ..and of course how they all affect the pompadour of st petes’ former hero/god-figure..

      ..st peter the dunne…the great- equivocater..

      ..he who pete came to call ‘the fallen-one’..

      ..after the great schism of 2013..

      ..and so it was written..

      ..and so it did come to pass..

      • mac1 15.1.1

        And let it be that the beige cardigan be appointed with leather patches to reduce wear in the penitent’s elbows as he holds his head in his hands whilst at prayer or in conference with his acolytes; as do we poor listeners and readers whilst receiving the Word from Our Pete (aka PG tips!).

        • phillip ure 15.1.1.1

          then of course there is the serious hair-loss..

          ..all from excessive forelock-tugging..

          ..(at/to the pompadoured-one/he-whose-name-must-never-now-be-mentioned..

          ..as i understand it..)

          ..and of course there is also his brave-banner /spitting back into the teeth of ridicule..

          ..of carrying on that now much-sneered-at/reviled facial-hair-affectation..

          ..the roger douglas mo’..

    • greywarbler 15.2

      Rhino
      The satire is….very funny.

  16. fisiani 16

    Imagine a political spectrum as a 0-100 line. 0 = Far left and 100 =Far Right I cannot draw a graph on this posting so bear with me.
    In the 1990’s Labour was probably 20-65 and National was 35-80
    in 2014 Labour is 10-55 and National is 35-80. Each still a 45 point spread. Just a 10 point drift but a significant one.
    Then draw a mean distribution curve graph and you will see that the numbers under the curve are heavily in favour of National
    The 55-65 group of Labour voters have shifted over to National.
    If Labour go further Left eg 5-50 the maths gets substantially worse for Labour
    This assumes that political opinion follows a mean distribution curve graph. It does.
    The vast majority are in the mid zone and these are the voters that National as a mildly Left to moderate Right Party has increasingly gained in 2005,2008 2011 and 2014 as Labour has drifted Left.

    • felix 16.1

      Those numbers are fascinating. How did you make them up?

      • phillip ure 16.1.1

        it’s called a lowest-orifice-pluck..

        • fisiani 16.1.1.1

          Just look at the election returns and remember that in the 1980’s Labour was home to the likes of Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble. Such people in 2014 would never join or vote Labour. Helen Clark kept in power by keeping in the 20-60 range. Labour have changed their rules and have a leader supported by 30% of caucus. The Labour activists have taken over the party and will shape it in their own image. They are delighted. So am I, I can do the arithmetic.

  17. Penny Bright 17

    FYI – seen this?

    Minister for Corruption (sorry – Minister for Justice) Judith Collins promised an ‘Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill’.

    Hardly surprising that this ‘Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill’. has yet to surface in the Parliamentary legislative ‘sausage machine’?

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1310/S00301/bill-supports-zero-tolerance-for-organised-crime.htm

    Minister of Justice

    18 October 2013 Media Statement

    Bill supports zero-tolerance for organised crime

    Justice Minister Judith Collins says the Government’s comprehensive approach to fighting all forms of organised crime will help safeguard New Zealand’s economy, international reputation and public safety.

    This month a number of international bodies are evaluating New Zealand’s compliance with international standards related to financial crimes – including the OECD, which will report on New Zealand’s compliance with an international convention to combat bribery of foreign public officials.

    “I welcome the release of these reports.

    This Government takes all forms of organised crime and corruption very seriously,” Ms Collins says.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/New-laws-to-fight-organised-crime/tabid/1607/articleID/317781/Default.aspx
    New laws to fight organised crime
    Friday 18 Oct 2013 10:33a.m.

    The Government will bring in a bill before the end of the year to strengthen laws against money laundering, identity theft, human trafficking and corruption.

    Justice Minister Judith Collins says she intends to have a comprehensive set of laws in place to fight all forms of organised crime.

    “It’s important to consider bribery and corruption within the big picture of organised crime, which undermines public safety, national security, economic development and good governance,” she said today.

    “This bill will help ensure New Zealand maintains its reputation as a responsible international citizen and that our domestic law enforcement agencies have the tolls they need to fight all forms of organised crime.”

    So WHERE’S Minister for Corruption (sorry – Minister for Justice) Judith Collin’s Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill?

    I checked today on the NZ Parliamentary website:

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/legislation/bills/?Criteria.Keyword=Organised+Crime+and+Anti-Corruption+Legislation+Bill%2C&Criteria.Timeframe=&Criteria.Parliament=-1&Criteria.DocumentType=&Criteria.Status=&Search=Go

    Legislation
    Bills
    This section lists bills before the House and its committees, and provides access to more detailed information about each one. You will also find the schedule of divided bills and progress of legislationhere. To find out more about bills before select committees, see the committee business summary.

    Close Bills search
    Keyword

    Date

    Parliament

    Document type

    Status

    No documents were found

    Oh dear – Minister for Corruption (oops! Justice – yeah right) Judith Collins’ Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill is NOWHERE to be found.

    Talk about the corrupt fox in charge of the chook house?

    Again – file under ‘You Couldn’t Make This Sh*t Up’?

    Penny Bright

    • Naki Man 17.1

      That reminds me have you paid your rates yet Penny?

      • Penny Bright 17.1.1

        Absolutely not.

        Auckland citizens and ratepayers are not being told EXACTLY where our public monies are being spent (which is a statutory requirement under the Public Records Act 2005).

        So – if I’m not being told EXACTLY where my rates monies are being spent, I’m not paying any.

        Not many folks have the guts to do what I’m doing, but, ‘faint heart never won fair go’.

        I take full personal responsibility for my actions.

        Penny Bright

        http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

        • Blue 17.1.1.1

          If you take full responsibility stop bitching about it and face the consequences. It doesn’t take guts to not pay your way in life, it’s laziness and spectacular stupidity. When they order your house sold from under you. will you still be taking responsibility or blaming the Council ?

          • Draco T Bastard 17.1.1.1.1

            She’s got a point – we really should be told exactly where every penny of our money is being spent.

  18. Has Deborah Coddington finally seen the light.
    She is certainly making some interesting comments lately.In fact she is begining to sound like a real Leftie. Perhaps her local Labour Party branch should ask her for a donation .If she lived in Cambridge I certainly would.

  19. Penny Bright 19

    Seen this folks?

    Shining a light on New Zealand CORRUPTION …….

    http://beehive.govt.nz/release/collins-welcomes-transparency-assessment

    Judith Collins 19 NOVEMBER, 2013
    Collins welcomes transparency assessment

    Justice Minister Judith Collins today welcomed Transparency International New Zealand’s evaluation of our nation’s governance and anti-corruption efforts.

    Ms Collins launched key findings from the National Integrity Study (NIS) Assessment tonight, at the annual general meeting of Transparency International’s New Zealand arm.

    “New Zealand consistently ranks as the least corrupt country on Transparency International’s corruption perceptions index,” Ms Collins says.

    “It’s important we maintain our strong international reputation, for being free from – and intolerant of – corruption, to further enhance our nation’s trade, business and economic prosperity.”

    The report evaluates key pillars of New Zealand’s governance system, such as the legislature, executive, judiciary, public sector, law enforcement and business sectors.

    Ms Collins says there are still improvements to be made to counter corruption and bribery and the Government is actively working to implement change.

    “Our efforts include the development of a national anti-corruption strategy, the upcoming Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill, and efforts to raise public trust and confidence in the Courts.”

    Ms Collins says the Government values its close working relationship with Transparency International New Zealand and she looks forward to working through the report’s recommendations.

    “In many ways we share a common purpose – promoting clean government, increasing transparency and reducing corruption. Together, our efforts help ensure New Zealand maintains its reputation as one of the least corrupt countries in the world.”

    Pity about the lack of transparency with Transparency International NZ?

    http://kiwisfirst.com/

    RAMPANT CORRUPTION STINGS TRANSPARENCY INTERNATIONAL

    2 March 2014

    ‘Corruption destroys lives and communities’ is its motto and its publicly advertised mission is to promote transparency which lays bare the conflicts and bribes which suck the soul out of all countries to varying degrees. But Berlin-based non-profit Transparency International is better known for telling the world which countries are doing a good job at combating corruption and which ones are not through its annual ‘perception index’ which rates 177 countries from 1 to 177.

    Media organisations such as Forbes rely on Transparency International’s findings in promoting its own world perspective.

    In its own ‘perception’, Transparency International ranked New Zealand lowest (along with Finland) in corruption – and its local chapter is the non-profit’s golden child and keeper of the faith. In contrast, New Zealanders question a charter which received almost all of its funding from the New Zealand government, routinely turned away new members – individual memberships have been relatively constant at 50 – and declared its “over-arching principle” is it “will not be involved in investigating or exposing individual cases (of corruption)”.

    Finally, a dose of reality has set in, with revelations of rampant corruption within the New Zealand chapter oozing from its opaque façade. Berlin has known since early December that NZ chapter director Suzanne Snively was running a fraudulent company trading on the Transparency International name to sell her consulting services to unsuspecting foreign companies seeking trade with New Zealand. They have done nothing but cover it up. Triple dipping Ms Snively is also a contractor to the New Zealand government and her TINZ salary is funded by the government.

    This week it was revealed that another Transparency International New Zealand director Michael Vukcevic falsely claimed in his CV that he had a law degree and other qualifications in order to get an appointment in 2012 to promote New Zealand’s bid for a free trade agreement in the Middle East.

    Yet another TINZ director Claire Johnstone was a government official running a private consultancy business which promoted her ability to “access grant funding from government for many of our clients”. Her husband Ash Johnstone, a serving NZ police officer, was profiled on the company website as in charge of conducting security background checks for private clients.

    It came to light last year that at least two directors of TINZ made repeated visits to the Ministry of Justice in Cambodia seeking personal fortune on the door-opening coattails of Dame Sylvia Cartwright who was one of two international judges appointed to the Extraordinary Chambers of the Courts of Cambodia, filling a vacuum in the war ravaged country.

    Fraud examiner and former police prosecutor Grace Haden, who was denied membership in TINZ and consequently launched her own “Transparency New Zealand” is not surprised by the corruption or cover up by Transparency International. “They don’t want to know the reality because it differs from the myth they promote.” Late yesterday, Ms Haden sent out an open letter offering Transparency International her services to verify degrees and credentials of its directors.
    ……”

    Seen for yourselves who ‘sponsors’ Transparency International NZ?

    http://www.transparency.org.nz/Partners-and-Sponsors

    Partners and Sponsors

    Cornerstone Platinum

    The Office of the Auditor General

    NIS Gold

    School of Government, VUW
    Ministry for Justice
    Statistics New Zealand
    The Human Rights Commission
    Ministry of Social Development
    The Treasury
    Inland Revenue
    Department of Internal Affairs
    Corrections
    Department of Conservation
    Ministry of Transport
    Civil Aviation Authority
    New Zealand Transport Authority
    Maritime New Zealand
    Te Puni Kokiri
    The State Services Commission
    The Ombudsman
    Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs
    The New Zealand Defence Force

    NIS Silver

    Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
    The Serious Fraud Office
    Crown Law

    NIS Bronze

    NZ Public Service Association
    Sponsors
    The Gama Foundation
    In Kind Donations
    Bell Gully
    VUW School of Government
    PwC
    Deloitte
    KPMG
    Human Rights Commission Launch Day
    School of Government Institute for Governance and Policy Studies Wellington
    Wellington Girls College
    Thorndon New World
    NZTE
    Institute of Directors
    BDO Spicers
    Russell McVeigh
    Chapman Tripp
    Gibson Sheat
    Susan Gluck-Hornsby
    Chen Palmer
    Juliet McKee
    Claudia Orange
    Te Papa

    So – how INDEPENDENT is Transparency International NZ, when so much of their funding comes from NZ Government Departments, which all arguably have a vested interest in maintaining this RORT and FRAUD – that New Zealand is ‘perceived’ to be ‘the least corrupt country in the world’?

    Remember?

    Under NZ Minister of Corruption (oops! sorry – Justice) Judith Collins’ watch – NZ STILL has not yet ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption, and her Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Legislation Bill has STILL not yet surfaced in Parliament.

    Funny that.

    Penny Bright

    SELF-FUNDED full-time ‘anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’.

    PS: What does NZ need for a genuine platform for transparency?

    Try this :

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/ANTI-CORRUPTION-WHITE-COLLAR-CRIME-CORPORATE-WELFARE-ACTION-PLAN-Ak-Mayoral-campaign-

  20. Paul 20

    Australia heading down the savage neoliberal route and copying NZ.
    The consequences of them voting in Tony Abbott now becoming clear.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9961464/Australia-looks-to-NZ-for-disability-reform-ideas

  21. Penny Bright 22

    Good call Green Party:

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1404/S00340/time-for-greater-ministerial-accountability.htm

    Time for greater ministerial accountability

    Saturday, 19 April 2014, 12:09 pm
    Press Release: Green Party
    Time for greater ministerial accountability

    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.

    The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all Ministers to publically release records of their meetings with external organisations, overseas travel, gifts given and received, and hospitality received.
    The records would be released on a quarterly basis and published online.

    “A ministerial disclosure regime will bring a much-needed boost to the transparency and accountability of government in New Zealand,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

    “The public will be able to see, on a regular basis, who Ministers are meeting with, who they’re receiving gifts and hospitality from, and details of their overseas travel.

    “Some of this information is already made public through the Registrar of Pecuniary Interests, but that doesn’t tell us the whole story and it only happens once a year.

    “Regular, proactive disclosure of this information, particularly records of who Ministers are meeting with, will bring a greater measure of transparency to decision-making and will improve ministerial accountability.

    ……………………

    Click to access ministerial_disclosure_fact_sheet.pdf

    I support this proposal.

    “Nothing to hide – nothing to fear?”

    Who is meeting the Ministers?

    Who in this John Key led National/ACT Government is NOT going to support this initiative?

    hmmmm………… let me guess ……

    Penny Bright

  22. Sacha 23

    Penny, this the internet not a gestetner. It has these things called links. Please do not waste our attention by pasting screeds of material we can go and read ourselves.

  23. DunneDeals 25

    Fantastic discussion!

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  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
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  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
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  • Green Party seek amendment to ensure all prisoners can vote
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  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
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  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
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  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
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  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
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  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
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  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
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