Open mike 20/06/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 20th, 2012 - 240 comments
Categories: open mike, uncategorized - Tags:

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

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

Step right up to the mike…

240 comments on “Open mike 20/06/2012”

  1. Te Reo Putake 1

    Winston Peters quoted on RadioNZ as wanting to renationalise the stolen assets at the price paid. I’d go further; the price paid or current price, whichever is lower. And payment made over ten years, no interest paid.
     
    NZF’s stance should answer any lingering questions about his coalition options as well. Sorry, John.

    • Carol 1.1

      Good on Winston!

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/108681/opposition-attempts-to-slow-progress-of-asset-sale-bill

      New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is pledging to buy back any shareholding sold under this legislation, if the party holds ministerial posts in the future.

      And what’ up with the Maori Party? Schizoid, much!

      Opposition amendments sought to make the four companies subject to the Official Information Act and to block those companies from being removed from the State-Owned Enterprises Act in the first place.

      The Maori Party voted with the Government against most of those amendments, but opposed the substantive bill.

      • deuto 1.1.1

        I have also been wondering what is going on with the Maori Party and was mystified by their voting last night in the Committee stages of Part 1 of the Bill.

        Last Thursday when the Bill passed its second reading stage, only 2 of the 3 Maori Party members voted (against) – hence the 61/59 result. Presumably the member who did not vote was not Flavell as he put out a news release that very day on the MP website unequivocally restating that the Party was against the partial sales – and also that they would be making sure that Hone did not forget to vote! And then one of their three MPs did not vote……..

        http://www.maoriparty.org/index.php?pag=nw&id=1893&p=another-mistake-from-harawiras-party-.html

        • yeshe 1.1.1.1

          A very, very passionate speech in the House debate a few minutes ago by Parekura Horomia .. including the nugget that according to what Chris Finlayson has told him ,Chris Finalyson as Minister of Treaty Negotiations is so opposed to the MOMS bill that he has no involvement in it anywhere … could this be the ‘Marilyn Waring’ we so urgently need ? Anybody know more ????

          • deuto 1.1.1.1.1

            Heard Pare while doing other necessary things so couldn’t totally focus, but he seemed to be in fine ‘Pare’ form and there were a few things he said that I want to go back and check as soon as it is up on In the House. My feeling is that there is a lot going on behind the scenes there.

            Re Chris Finlayson, I can well imagine he is caught between a rock and a hard place in terms of the ToW implications if not the overall ideology of asset sales. Trying not to get my hopes up.

    • Out of touch with reality, pandering to ignorance.

      I’d be very surprised if Labour would go along with this sort of attempted sabotage. How does that make their coalition options look?

      • Te Reo Putake 1.2.1

        Ha, failed political candidate and serial liar Porkies George is worried about Labour’s options. Desperate much, Pete?

        • gareth 1.2.1.1

          To be fair it’s a valid question, would Labour support a policy of renationalisation as per NZ First? I guess they could countenance that with how much of the vote NZF receives in the next election but I’m sure Mr Shearer would be asked in an election run up if he would support/ be prepared to negotiate on such a policy.

          • McFlock 1.2.1.1.1

            Actually, pete was asking about what Labour’s coalition options would look like if it decided to make a similar announcement.
                 
            Answer: no change – ACT/Nat out, Maori party doubtful, and the hairstyle will go with whomever.
                 
            I don’t see that mana or green would have to much of a problem with it. Maybe friction with MP depending on how much iwi corps picked up, but it’s not a game-changer.
               
            So will Labour follow suit? Or top winston? 

      • Vicky32 1.2.2

        Out of touch with reality, pandering to ignorance.

        Somewhat like the Bouffant then? I heard him say on Radio NZ this morning that losses in government revenue from asset sales would be made up for by higher petrol and tobacco taxes! WTF?

        • Pascal's bookie 1.2.2.1

          Here it is (text version):

          http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/108721/dunne-reassures-mps-about-asset-sales

          basically saying that seeing the asset sales will leave a hole in the accounts, he’ll do his job and collect the taxes the government is owed. Thanks Mate!

          • Jackal 1.2.2.1.1

            Dunne is a senile old fool! His argument to sell our assets amounts to more taxes and ensuring people keep smoking. FFS!

            • fender 1.2.2.1.1.1

              What a load of crap this Dunne can spout, revenue from tobacco sales will be falling wont it ?, that is why the never-ending price hikes have been adopted, apparently.

              Its good we have smokers to pick up the shortfall of the lost dividends, thank goodness we havnt made smoking illegal yet.

    • Fortran 1.3

      Will it be Labour policy in 2014 ?
      Or Or…………….

  2. rosy 2

    Julian Assange has walked into the Ecuadorian embassy in London and requested asylum.

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has sought political asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

    He walked into the embassy in London’s Knightsbridge district and asked for asylum under the United Nations Human Rights Declaration.

    A man speaking from the embassy said the whistleblower had arrived there today.

    Ecuador’s foreign minister Ricardo Patino also confirmed the Australian had taken refuge at its embassy and that the country’s government was weighing up the request.

    A message was posted on the Wikileaks Twitter account, saying: “ALERT: Julian Assange has requested political asylum and is under the protection of the Ecuadorian embassy in London.”

    Ecuador is considering the request.

    • Carol 2.1

      Bold move Why Ecuador?

      • Carol 2.1.1

        Ah! Maybe this:

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10814226

        In November 2010 Ecuador’s deputy foreign minister said the country was offering residency to Assange. However, Correa told reporters the following day that neither he nor Patino had approved the offer and that it would need to be studied.

      • Nick 2.1.2

        Anywhere that the Yanks cant extradite him from: they want some revenge for the extraordinarily damning revelations Wikileaks made on US operations in Iraq (e.g the helicopter gunship shooting unarmed jornos). It will be interesting if the US attempts to render and Guatanemo Assange.

      • Te Reo Putake 2.1.3

        Why Equador? Maybe it’s a South American machismo thing. Perhaps they just totally respect the kind of guy who doesn’t take no for an answer?

      • mike e 2.1.4

        banana republic for the banal

    • joe90 2.2

      Bold move Why Ecuador?

      President Rafael Correa?.

      In December 2008, he declared Ecuador’s national debt illegitimate, based on the argument that it was odious debt contracted by corrupt and despotic prior regimes. He then pledged to fight creditors in international courts, and succeeded in reducing the price of the debt letters and continued paying all the debt

      […]

      Correa has not renewed United States Southern Command’s lease of Eloy Alfaro Air Base in Manta, ending U.S. occupancy of this military base in September 2009

      • Jim in Tokyo 2.3.1

        Assange did a very interesting extended radio interview on ABC Radio National a couple of weeks ago in which he very clearly put forward his side of the story and kind of hinted that he was almost out of options. Anybody interested in the case should give it a listen.

        http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/julian-assange—what-next3f/4055974

      • Bored 2.3.2

        Bradley Mannings case seems to encapsulate the modern imperial dilemma the USA military faces: denial of incontrovertible evidence as a matter of policy. It is standard shoot the messenger territory.

        Maybe the message is slightly more sinister, like “You might have seen us do something highly criminal but you must not say or show anything of this because if you do we will come after you”. Chasing Assange and Manning is retribution, pure and simple, a message not to fuck with the Empire.

        • BLiP 2.3.2.1

          .

          Heh! had to laugh when I saw that the US State Department was offering New Zealand advice on human rights issues.

          • Draco T Bastard 2.3.2.1.1

            I was somewhat taken aback by that as well but I also believe that we do need to do something about all the shit that goes down in NZ that has a distinct flavour of slavery about it. And John Key saying it’s already against the law doesn’t count for much if we’re not enforcing that law.

  3. The asset sale referendum (supposed to be “citizen initiated”) has been hijacked by parties as an excessive attempted filibuster, and as a massive extended campaign rort. It’s an abuse of voters and taxpayers.

    Severely flawed referendum promoted as filibuster.

    I strongly support a better means of citizens being involved in the democratic process, but they only way that will happen without parties abusing the process more and more is for citizens to establish their own lobby system.

    • felix 3.1

      I’m not convinced that you know what quite a few of those words mean.

      Filibuster for a start.

      • Uturn 3.1.1

        He appears to using standard polliespeak:

        support; I want to run things my way.

        better; to do somethng my way, preferably with me as autocractic supreme leader.

        citizens; anyone who agrees with me.

        parties; anyone who doesn’t agree with me.

        involved; other people doing my bidding or doing things my way of their own free will.

        democratic; me telling people what to do.

        process; people doing what I say.

        happen; events that support my perspective.

        abusing; events that don’t support my perspective.

        establish; to accept me as leader before anything begins.

        lobby; acts that support me as leader.

        system; a series of acts that support me as leader.

      • Pete George 3.1.2

        Filibuster – to impede (legislation) by irregular or obstructive tactics

        • felix 3.1.2.1

          And a petition impedes legislation how?

          • freedom 3.1.2.1.1

            I think he is suggesting that by supporting the Citizen Initiated Referendum Petition, Politicians should then be barred from utilizing the professional tools of the trade that are at their disposal whilst in the House. Thereby allowing whoever is in power to do whatever they want.

            -You know Pete all about finding new ways to improve the functioning of Democracy.

          • Pete George 3.1.2.1.2

            Russel Norman has been trying to get asset sales stopped until after the referendum – he’s asking for legislation subject to an unknown outcome of a referendum that may or may not happen.

            I wonder if he would support this approach to legislation approval if Greens manage to get into a coalition government with Labour.

            Fracking shouldn’t be banned until a referendum?
            Oil drilling shouldn’t be banned until a referendum?
            Nothing should be done about child poverty until a referendum?

            • freedom 3.1.2.1.2.1

              but isn’t that the exact type of involved citizen-driven Democracy that you are crying for every day. You should be first in line to shake his hand for his efforts in restricting the ideological steamroller of exclusionary Government policies

              p.s. you still have to answer how this is not a Citizen Initiated Referendum . . . .?

            • felix 3.1.2.1.2.2

              “he’s asking for legislation subject to an unknown outcome of a referendum that may or may not happen.”

              And you want to impede that legislation, Pete?

              Not sure what you’re saying here. What’s Norman actually doing apart from petitioning the govt not to do something?

              And why shouldn’t he?

              You’re talking as if he’s stolen the keys to the debating chamber and won’t let anyone in.

              • Citizens have to fund any campaigns for referenda or elections from their own pockets. Norman is funding his petition actiovities from parliamentary resources.

                If a referendum happens it will be a multimillion dollar expense, being used by parties to enhance their 2014 campaign.

                I think that’s very unbalanced in favour of encumbent parties and MPs who already have significant monetary advantages when it comes to any sort of campaigning – unlimited free travel for example.

                I’m sure if National initiated a referendum to promote their MOM they would be getting cricised a bit here. And if Labour/Greens form a government in 2014 and National started a anti-CGT petition they would get a bit of crticism here? I’d certainly blast them for it.

                Wouldn’t you?

                • felix

                  Not sure whether you’ve given up arguing that there’s a filibuster involved going on and are trying to change the subject to avoid embarrassment, or you’re trying to give an example of what one looks like.

                  • Norman is trying to use a petition/referendum to delay legislation taking effect – so he he trying to use what is supposed to be a citizen tool to push his agenda in the house.

                    But Labour have been trying more filibustering – at 7.33pm last night, during the second reading, they tabled a large pile of amendments to try and delay proceedings by wanting to debate each one.

                    Most (or all) were trying to change a word or order of words that made no meaningful difference. These were rejected by the chairman, that was questioned but the Speaker supported the chairman.

                    • John M

                      “Norman is trying to use a petition/referendum to delay legislation taking effect – so he he trying to use what is supposed to be a citizen tool to push his agenda in the house.”

                      So it’s not the citizens who are using the referendum? I think you need to go back and understand the meaning of civil society and the role it plays in democratic systems of government. Your analyses stifles democracy and is wrong for this reason.

                    • Talking of the role of people in democratic systems, there’s an organisation calling themselves “People’s Power Ohariu” that purports to give the people of the electorate power, but it seems to have been set up simply as a two issue pressure group asking people to comment on those issues.

                      Being so active promoting and trying to prove one side of an issue doesn’t give an impression of balanced or democratic people’s power, does it?

                • freedom

                  “(supposed to be “citizen initiated”)” your words Pete

                  Initiation is a very direct and clear action with no ambiguity in its translation. It has nothing to do with how a process continues, it is by its nature, a beginning.

                  You insinuated that the process of the Referendum’s origin was not initiated by a Citizen, or did you just mis-speak, again. It is so hard keeping track of what you say and meant to say and might have suggested and actually wanted to state whilst trying to infer that the statement you mistakenly said did not actually mean whatever the hell you are trying to say.

                  • John M

                    Pete George says: “Being so active promoting and trying to prove one side of an issue doesn’t give an impression of balanced or democratic people’s power, does it?’

                    Well, Pete, that’s precisely what democracy is and allows. Democracy doesn’t require an individual or group with a particular view to “give an impression of balanced or democratic people’s power”. You’ve made this phrase up as if it means something when the reality is it’s a load of complete and utter bullshit. “..[A]n impression of balanced or democratic people’s power.” Please don’t insult our intellegence with such meaningless claptrap. All I can do, and this is being pretty generous to you, is to guess that what you mean is that lobby groups have a responsibility similar to, for example, the media to be ‘fair and balanced’. The fact of the matter is, Pete, they don’t. ‘Democratic people’s power’, (as opposed to “balanced…people’s power”, which is what makes your statement the load of bollocks that it is and is where you’ve gone wrong) would, I think, refer to the right for citizens to organise to achieve a particular end, in this case change the government’s current policy of wanting to sell certain assets. The meaning of ‘democratic’ means both the right to do this and the rights of others to do the same but with a contrary objective, in this case arguing in support of asset sales. Your view of democracy is wrong because you seem to be saying that for an action to be “democratic” it must present a “balanced” view and, importantly, that if it doesn’t there’s no place for it. This view is getting pretty close to being fascist.

                    Now, you obviously support the government’s current plan around asset sales. I say this because Dunne and UF support that plan and you, seemingly at least, support Dunne and UF. If this is the case you should be lobbying in support of those sales which may include, if you decide to make it part of your strategy, attacking the arguments of those who say those sales should not happen. Instead, Pete, you’re attacking the right of those people who do not want asset sales to organise in ways they decide may be an effective means to achieve their objective, and in-so-doing you are attacking democracy itself. You’ll find this is what’s really getting up people’s noses and why people increasingly can’t take what you say seriously.

                • mike e

                  pompous git National are using tax payer assets and $120 million to hand to their mates so they can gouge the NZ public

              • Electoral law expert Graeme Edgeler…

                …said that while the Greens’ strategy was allowed, he did not feel it was appropriate.

                “The reason that we give parliamentary parties money is so that they can keep us informed of what they’re doing so that they can effectively do their jobs in Parliament.

                “Using the money as a direct funding of people to go out and get signatures is a step more than any other party has done to date, and that might be a little concerning if it is seen to be appropriate.”

                When political parties’ spending was reviewed in 2010, Mr Edgeler asked for use of Leader’s Office money on gaining support for a referendum to be banned.

                “If you’re not allowed to tell people to vote a certain way in a citizens-initiated referendum, why can you spend money telling them to sign their name on a petition to get a referendum? It seems an odd distinction.”

                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10813920

                I agree with Graeme.

                • felix

                  Good for you, Pete.

                  Now about this filibuster…

                • Pascal's bookie

                  So the upshot is that in 2010, when the rules were revised by the government, this question was explicitly considered.

                  Seems your problem is with the governing parties in whatever coalition held power in 2010. It would be odd if those parties were complaining about this now don’t you think?

                  Wouldn’t they be engaging in low and nasty politics if they were complaining about the Greens doing something that they themselves explicitly decided was ok just 2 years ago?

                  • deuto

                    Exactly – it was explicitly decided not to ban such use of parliamentary monies.

                  • they themselves explicitly decided was ok

                    I’ve seen nothing that suggests that was the case. Have you?

                    Edgeler: “Using the money as a direct funding of people to go out and get signatures is a step more than any other party has done to date, and that might be a little concerning if it is seen to be appropriate.”

                    That suggests this could be new misuse of CIR that wasn’t foreseen back then.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      “When political parties’ spending was reviewed in 2010, Mr Edgeler asked for use of Leader’s Office money on gaining support for a referendum to be banned.”

                      What do you think they were talking about in that quote Pete?

                    • deuto

                      And also from the Herald article that you linked to at your unnumbered comment above @9.44am but selectively quoted from (omitting the following bits):

                      The payments were permitted under parliamentary rules, but it was believed to be the first time the fund has been used to gather support for a party policy.

                      The Greens spent $47,000 of their annual leader’s fund to pay signature collectors in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin, and planned to spend around $76,000 in total.

                      Communications director Andrew Campbell said the party was proud to spend part of its $1.3 million leader’s budget to fight asset sales, and would consider the strategy again.

                      “Compared to other campaigns who might spend hundreds of thousands of dollars paying pollsters …

                      we would rather use the leader’s budget to campaign on issues we feel are important to New Zealand.”

                      He added: “This amount is a drop in the bucket compared to the $120 million the Government is going to spend on investment banks and PR firms to sell our assets.”

                      Parliamentary Service general manager Geoff Thorn said that the Greens’ spending was within the rules because they were not asking the public for votes, membership or money.

                      Mr Thorn said the people collecting the signatures were not Parliamentary Service employees, and engaging contractors was within the definitions of what Leaders Office money could be used for.

                    • The Parliamentary Service Amendment Bill finally resolved the question of what you could spend parliamentary money on, and what you couldn’t (or at least, that was the hope!).

                      It was the law which expressly allowed spending on election advertisements (as long as they didn’t expressly seek votes, membership or donations), but not during the election period, when Parliamentary money couldn’t be spent on election advertisements (as defined in the Electoral Act) at all.

                      New in the bill was an expansion of the prohibition to advertising that expressly promoted one of the options at a CIR or other referendum (so that the Green Party, for example, wouldn’t have been allowed to spend Parliamentary money telling people to vote “yes” in the smacking referendum – or was it “no”?).

                      I looked at that, and thought, good idea, referendum advertising should be treated the same as election advertising. I then suggested: if you’re going to ban the use of Parliamentary money promoting one option in a referendum, shouldn’t you also ban it from being used to promote a referendum petition, which seemed quite similar to me.

                      The Ministerial Advice on my submission, which is signed off by the Government, looked at this and said, basically “we don’t agree with Graeme’s suggestion, the spending should be allowed.” The bill then received a unanimous Select Committee report, which adopted the government’s position (ultimately, ACT voted against, but for an unrelated reasons).

                    • deuto

                      @ Graeme – thanks for that further background. I found it very interesting and follow your reasoning to exclude referendum petitions etc. However, as you have confirmed, this was not accepted and included in the revised rules; hence, it would appear that the Greens were within their rights in using their Leader funding to hire contractors.

                    • hence, it would appear that the Greens were within their rights in using their Leader funding to hire contractors.

                      I think I was quoted as saying almost exactly that. Entirely permissible.

            • grumpy 3.1.2.1.2.3

              Smacking will be banned despite a referendum?

            • Foreign Waka 3.1.2.1.2.4

              Two wrongs (3,4,5,…) don’t make one right

        • Bored 3.1.2.2

          Urgency: push through fast so democratic process does not get in the way.

    • felix 3.2

      Also Pete, it rings a little hollow to say you “strongly support” citizen involvement in the process and reject party involvement, considering that you’ve been trumpeting the involvement of several parties in your own recent project.

      Not many citizens joining up though.

      The referendum on the other hand is attracting enormous citizen involvement, yet you deride it as a stunt.

      Hmmm.

      • Pete George 3.2.1

        The “enormous” citizen involvement (which I presume to be mostly genuine) is being cynically exploited by political parties.

        And the citizens have been given false hopes that it might actually achieve what they want.

        I can see a growing desire for citizens to be heard – not just on assets, but on class sizes, TVNZ 7, Super etc etc. There’s a real feeling out here that is attaching to any issue of the day.

        I think the only way to achieve this properly is to take it out of the hands of politicians. So if citizens are serious about having an effective voice that will need:
        – citizens to have a major discussion about exactly how this can be done
        – citizens need to democratically decide how to define this
        – citizens need to keep control of the process

        Of course that’s just my ideas on it (although I’ve discussed it widely) – and the knockers and the apathetics will probably ensure it never happens.

        • felix 3.2.1.1

          Pete, you’re the knocker in this instance. You’re putting yourself on the wrong side of democracy and I suspect the wrong side of history.

          It’s the ordinary people excercising their democratic rights that you’re knocking, whether you intend that or not.

          And all because you’re pissed off that other people with more experience at organising are doing a better job of it than you.

          Learn from them, Pete. They’re doing exactly what you say you want to do, and the opposite of what you actually do.

          Don’t be a hater, Pete. Don’t let it make you bitter. You’ve got important work to do.

          • John M 3.2.1.1.1

            Felix, I think Pete’s comment here says it all really: “Being so active promoting and trying to prove one side of an issue doesn’t give an impression of balanced or democratic people’s power, does it?”

            This is pretty much proof poor old Pete ain’t the sharpest knife in the drawer and on democracy and politics generally he simply hasn’t got a clue. Sorry Pete, I mean no offence. It’s finally become clear that you don’t know what you’re talking about.

          • Pete George 3.2.1.1.2

            felix, you’re aware of less than 10% of what I’m doing. And I can achieve tangible results: /open-mike-20062012/comment-page-1/#comment-484989
            – in this case with the help of others from here.

            • John M 3.2.1.1.2.1

              So much for your “I’ll discuss anything with anyone” remark. You’ve not repsonded to one single point made about your apparent lack of understanding of how democracy works. Good one, Pete.

    • freedom 3.3

      Q: In what way was this not a citizen initiated Referendum?

    • vto 3.4

      “I strongly support a better means of citizens being involved in the democratic process,”

      If you are saying that with your United Future hat on then you’re talking bullshit. Peter Dunne has shat on the people with his arse-sniffing ways over electricity privatisation.

      And anyway, that statement of yours is bloody useless fullstop. Woop-de-doo a politician says he wants more people participation. Amazing.

    • Daveosaurus 3.5

      Yes, Pete, damn those citizens. How dare they presume to have any say on what their Lords and Masters decide is Good For Them?

  4. ad 4

    Wonder what Gordon Campbell is proposing here on Scoop yesterday:

    “In a parallel universe, David Cunliffe would be Labour Party leader, and it would be him going around the country making effective speeches sticking it to the government over its lack of long term planning, and abysmal short term political management. Hold on. In fact, it is David Cunliffe who is currently doing a better job of making Labour look like a credible alternative government.”

    And also some off vox pop poll on Livenews yesterday:

    LiveNews Poll
    “Who is your preferred leader of the Labour Party?”
    • David Cunliffe (52%, 34 Votes)
    • David Shearer (26%, 17 Votes)
    • Jacinda Ardern (9%, 6 Votes)
    • Grant Robertson (6%, 4 Votes)
    • David Parker (3%, 2 Votes)
    • Phil Goff (2%, 1 Votes)
    • Andrew Little (2%, 1 Votes)

    Anyway, in case you’re interested in scene-setting speeches, David Cunliffe’s next one is this weekend. “The Dolphin and the Dole Queue – economic development and the environment”.

    Should be good and solid like the last ones.

  5. Te Radar’s new TV series on the Pacific: patronising the natives and whitewashing imperialism?
    http://www.readingthemaps.blogspot.co.nz/2012/06/te-radar-in-pacific-new-journey-same.html

    • Uturn 5.1

      That’s a good article. I dunno what Te Radar personally thinks of the TV he makes. Maybe like the people in the Fijian army it is simply a means to an end, whether they agree or not, or are aware or not, of the wider context.

      I can just imagine the viewer horror, if during his self sufficiency experience he started in on the likelihood of widescale availiablity of such a life or if it could be acheived. I pretty sure he put two and two together on that one, since he did outline quite early on that when you start from nothing, you don’t even have soap to wash. Probably to confront the guy, as a stranger, with questions based in reality, apart from being rude, would be awfully depressing and he might agree and start crying which is a bad look for a comedian.

      I follow the rule that if it’s on TV, it’s bollocks. If there is no choice but to support oneself by participating in bollocks, that’s a tough choice, to bollock or starve, and it remains their choice.

    • ianmac 5.2

      Remember during the 08 ? Election that Te Radar piled in to the anti shower head debate for Bill English? He was part of the mocking group who romped into a shower with not one shower head but three! Then he had the cheek to front the Conservation Simple Living Series. Right off him.

      • Uturn 5.2.1

        I don’t remember that. lol. Clearly he is a man of contradiction.

        Or is he?

        If I play Te Devils Advocate for a moment…

        Was his mocking of the shower head/flow rate issue backed by support for free market individualism; an understandable reaction to what, at the time, was interpreted as a series of central government intrusions; a self-interested paycheck issue; or anarchism – where each may choose to shower how they please? Until we know Te Answer to that, you might be able to get back onto him?

        • Bored 5.2.1.1

          I went off Te Sonar years back, funny but well out of his depth on real issues, RWNJ views…

      • Vicky32 5.2.2

        Remember during the 08 ? Election that Te Radar piled in to the anti shower head debate for Bill English?

        From what I hear of him when Kathryn Ryan has him on every Friday, he’s a ghastly little man…

  6. captain hook 6

    what I cant understand is why lower decile schools cannot pay decent bonuses to obtain better teachers.

    • Carol 6.1

      They probably don’t have many wealthy parents contributing to the school’s funds.

    • ad 6.2

      Interesting parallel in National Radio reporting this morning that the government programme to partially pay for the student loans of doctors if they are, in return, bonded to stay in rural and hard to staff areas of New Zealand, there are no new GP’s taking up positions – they prefer to go to hospitals instead.

      So even a massive cash intervention doesn’t work, for doctors.

      If after Key’s national league tables reinforce the stigma of the Deprivation index funding weighting, there’s something that can bring transformational teachers to a poorly-performing and poor school, it will have to be quite a programme to do it.

    • bad12 6.3

      A school with a lower decile does not necessarily mean that the quality of those teaching in it are of inferior quality to those teaching in schools with higher deciles,

      The decile rating is more to do with the income expected to be earned by the parents of the children of the schools, ie, the ‘poorer’ the suburb in monetary terms the lower the decile rating,

      It is my belief that there is NO question of teacher quality in particular in the Primary school area, and, should a basic test of achievement be taken across the Primary School decile range many of the decile one schools would score equally as well as the higher decile schools,

      However,

      There is a section of society, usually contained within the lower decile schools as far as child education goes where education, for what ever reason, is not seen as a priority,

      It is these children, not at school as often as they are, that are failing and in any measurement of schools at Primary level would by their larger numbers in the lower decile schools lower the measurement of achievement in the lower decile schools as measured against higher decile schools,

      It is these children, more often not at school than attending, who will leave the primary school system barely literate or numerate, unable in many cases to read, write, or add,

      The answer to this age old problem, and yes, its been in the education system from day one, isn’t in meaningless tests of various Primary School’s achievements as measured against each other, nor is the answer in meaningless finger pointing at teacher quality,

      The answer to this age old problem is in getting those children into a classroom, any classroom and ensuring they cannot leave the Primary School system until such time as they have achieved some form of education in literacy and numeracy…

      • Fortran 6.3.1

        bad12

        Good comment, thanks.
        Deciling is only to do with Finance not teaching.

        • bad12 6.3.1.1

          Aha, you can perhaps see where i am going with this, at the point of the recent fury over Hekia Parata’s parroting of some failed right wing ideology that there is a large cohort of children who leave the primary school system barely literate or numerate and therefor this MUST be the fault of teachers National simply lost the plot and any ability to address this issue,

          IF we are able to spend billions of dollars on this system of education then i would suggest that instead of wasting monies upon stupid testing of schools against each other in some wank-fest of a futile competition or pointing the finger at the teachers in the classrooms where MOST of the children they teach are learning and achieving a reasonable start in the education system we identify those children who are NOT achieving and provide the regional schools with the ability to physically pick these kids up in the morning and deliver them to such regional centers where they and their education can be more intensively managed,

          It is patently ridiculous for the likes of Parata and National to expect teachers to halt in the educational efforts of a class of children who are up with the program to try and get the same level of achievement from the 1 or 2 children in that class who for whatever reason are not able to achieve to the same level as the rest of the class….

        • Vicky32 6.3.1.2

          Deciling is only to do with Finance not teaching.

          Which reminds me that the other day, I heard a lot of weirdness about ‘white flight’ from low decile schools. How is that possible? By definition people who live in the area of low decile schools are low income people, so how can they afford to move, or to take their kids across town to a high decile or a private school? There seems to be a very wide-spread and very wrong belief that all poor people are Maori or Island, and all Maori or Island are poor…
          I had the weird experience of being one of two or three DPB women in a high decile area… the snobbery at that school was unbelievable! One of the girls in my son’s class is now a well known actress and every time I see her on TV, I think of her mum looking down her nose at me and my son…
          High decile school, it was – but at least two of the teachers were awful! 🙂

  7. prism 7

    So the Defence Department/Immigration staged a mock refugee arrival at Devonport, hiring actors for refugees to make it more realistic. Perhaps the raid on Tuhoe by the police was a similar exercise and Maori were not advised of this. They should now apply to the Police Dept for payment due for the roles they unwittingly played in this undertaking of a dramatic training scenario.

  8. Dv 8

    So they think a loyality scheme will encouage nz to hold the shares.

    First point the market price will reflect the bonus offer.

    Two if i was an overseas enitity i would set up a nz holding co to buy them.

    So i could sell my shares and get the value of the bonus offer.

    Would that work?

    • Chris 8.1

      They haven’t announced what the scheme will involve yet so no-one knows.

      I would assume though that the incentive will only apply to NZ individuals. Pretty sure that’s how the Aussie example they keep referring too worked.

      Also the market price will not reflect the bonus offer as once the shares go to market they will likely no longer carry the incentive. Once again this is based on the Aussie example.

  9. prism 9

    Go Assange, and when you are in Ecuador invite the two Swedish bimbos to holiday with you.

    • just saying 9.1

      Care to elaborate, Prism? On what appears to be a deliberately offensive, and ignorant comment…..

      • grumpy 9.1.1

        …don’t think prism needs to….speaks for itself really.

        try to keep up.

        • just saying 9.1.1.1

          Oh really? Maybe you could describe what the comment is saying then.
          Explicitly.

          • grumpy 9.1.1.1.1

            Explicitly???

            The chicks were only too happy to shag the left’s latest bad boy – until they found out he was also shagging the other.

            Read the news reports, just a normal Saturday night in this part of the world.

            • McFlock 9.1.1.1.1.1

              that’s pretty explicit. Nice minimisation of rape complaints.
                   
                     
              Personally, I think he should go to Sweden and face the charges. I’m sure Ecuador has an embassy there, too, if the US try to extradite him.

              • Vicky32

                that’s pretty explicit. Nice minimisation of rape complaints.

                I fear you’re being a bit naive there… Grumpy’s actually right – the women set Assange up… they were neither raped, nor in any way innocent. It was all a set up, and Assange deserves a refuge.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Refuge from what? Justice? This is Sweden we’re talking about, a developed, democratic country with judicial traditions similar to ours. If I was charged with something there that I did not do, I’d fancy my chances, just as I would here in NZ. Especially if I had his money and his lawyers.
                   
                  His defence is pretty similar to Mike Tyson’s, which was, in essence,  ‘well, what’d she think would happen?’ Guilty or not, the man is a sleaze. That’s nothing to do with his day job, although he clearly wasn’t above exploiting his status for sexual gratification, this is about whether his reprehensible behaviour was also criminal.
                   
                  Assange should be defending himself in court, not bottling it to South America.

                  • muzza

                    None of you were there, and quoting from the news media on such a subject is a waste of time…

                    Pretending you know what happend is nonsene, there is much more to the wikileaks than is ever going to see the press….

                  • prism

                    TRP
                    This is more than a sexual assault complaint so don’t oversimplify it to make a point. There is no doubt much pressure on Sweden from the USA. Assange does not want to find himself being picked up neatly and given the good old USA justice.

                    • just saying

                      Oh really Prism?
                      What other crimes should Assange be immune from prosecution from due to his VIP status? I suspect Assange thinks much as you do – that he is a special case, and shouldn’t have to answer for his actions the way mere mortals have to.

                    • Vicky32

                      Assange does not want to find himself being picked up neatly and given the good old USA justice.

                      Absolutely right! He might never be heard of again if that happened….
                      Just Saying – at least one of the women making allegations has been linked to the American alphabet soup agencies.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Cheers, Vicky, the fact that one of the women is linked to the CIA makes all the difference, because as we all know, it’s impossible to rape anyone linked to the CIA and international law gives Saint Julian immunity from prosecution in such circumstances, even if the other victim isn’t linked to the CIA at all. Glad you’ve cleared that up. BTW, did you read the link below? No, obviously not.

                  • prism

                    I think Assange is probably very like you just saying, always pushing the boundaries of whatever particular belief held.

                  • just saying

                    Vicky 32 at 3.58 pm – I’d like a link for this claim please. I’ve followed this case from the beginning because of the apparent victim-blaming, rape-culture aspects. I’m aware of such allegations, particularly in the beginning of this story, many originating in the Assange defense team. And I’m also aware of allegations being soundly debunked. If you know of some new information I’d be genuinely interested to hear it.

                    • Vicky32

                      I’d like a link for this claim please. I’ve followed this case from the beginning

                      I had all the links some time ago, when it all first came up… I’ll see if I can find them again.
                      TRP, don’t be any stupider than you have to be! I presume you know very well what I meant – that the woman was using and being used! To say that one woman lies about rape is not the same as saying that we all do! Aside from anything else, calling it rape is an absurdity in itself – the charge is one that exists only in Sweden, and more properly amounts to Assange have (allegedly) refused to use a condom for the second bout of the night!

                    • McFlock

                      Sounds like it’s at the very least worth investigating
                               
                      Consent in the first case seems to rest on an abuse of privilege at the very least, and the incident you call “the second bout of the night” lost consent on two counts – the unconscious can’t consent, and she’d previously made it clear “no glove, no love”.
                           
                      I guess in your world prostitutes can’t be raped, either. 

                    • QoT

                      You are wrong, Vicky. And wrong again. In fact, Assange would be more likely to be tried for rape by an English court than a Swedish one.

                      (Go on, please try to make this all about me picking on you, and not about me actually refusing to let rape apologist bullshit go unanswered, you know you want to.)

                • QoT

                  You are, quite simply, a fucking rape apologist, Vicky. Oh look, and unlike you I have sources for my claims.

                  “He described Assange as penetrating one woman while she slept without a condom, in defiance of her previously expressed wishes”

                  “she therefore tried to turn her hips and squeeze her legs together in order to avoid a penetration … [she] tried several times to reach for a condom, which Assange had stopped her from doing by holding her arms and bending her legs open and trying to penetrate her with his penis without using a condom”

                  Those are his lawyer’s words, Vicky. But I suppose that just like them you think that when a woman feels intimidated into continuing sex she never consented to it’s magically not rape.

  10. Pete 10

    I was concenred by media reports on the US assessment of human trafficking in New Zealand. So I went to the source. NZ is classified as a Tier 1 country, i.e. “Countries whose governments fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards” – so it’s not as damning as the media makes out.

    That said, the US State Department has some suggestions on how NZ can further protect people against human trafficking:

    Recommendations for New Zealand: Draft and enact legislation that will expand New Zealand’s current anti- trafficking legal framework to prohibit and adequately punish all forms of human trafficking; update the 2009 national plan of Action to reflect the current trafficking in persons situation in the country; make greater efforts to assess the full extent of sex and labor trafficking occurring in New Zealand; significantly increase efforts to investigate and prosecute both sex and labor trafficking offenders; investigate and prosecute employment recruiting agencies or employers who subject foreign workers to debt bondage or involuntary servitude; continue and increase efforts to proactively screen vulnerable populations, including women in prostitution, foreign workers, and illegal migrants, in order to identify and assist trafficking victims; increase efforts to identify and assist child sex trafficking victims; continue to make proactive efforts to identify victims of labor trafficking, particularly among populations of vulnerable foreign laborers; and implement an ongoing anti-trafficking awareness campaign directed at clients of both the legal and illegal sex trades.

    They all sound very reasonable. Perhaps there needs to be some more coordination between the Department of Labour, the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Police too on these issues.

    • muzza 10.1

      The US State Department needs to get it own house in order before it even begins to commnet elsewhere..

      Dyncorp still getting plenty of contracts still, and lets not forget the UN sex scandals in Bosnia etc..

      Think these people care about protecting anyone, well they do, but only themselves, at the cost to the rest of us!

  11. vto 11

    .
    Oh to be
    wild and free…

    • deuto 11.1

      Wonderful, vto – have saved as a pick-me-up for those dark, depressing days/momemts.

      For others, a short 2min video of the (natural and wildlife) wonders of the world, with David Attenborough reciting a Wonderful World.

    • ianmac 11.2

      Yes vto, a Wonderful World. As a retired person I can afford the time to really look around me too. Wish I had done more while working and raising a family.

  12. Jackal 12

    National whinging about the referendum

    It was amusing to see the weaselly Bill English whinging about the Green party yesterday, because they’re gathering signatures for the Save our Assets petition. I guess he doesn’t really like the idea of the people having a say in what the government does…

  13. Uturn 13

    Last night there was an article on the news about Customs and the Navy engaging in a boatpeople refugee exercise. The scenario was that a boatload of Sri Lankan refugees made it to NZ. Nathan Guy said it was necessary to emphahsise that he did not respect anyone who thought they could get in NZ that way.

    I wondered how it would be that any number of boatpeople could make it all the way to NZ from Sri Lanka in what would usually be a derelict hull with insufficient food or fuel and no experienced crew. I had to conclude that such a journey would be remarkable, bordering on impossible, and that anyone who could do it with the passengers still in the hearty faux-accented high spirits of the imitation potential terrorists would in fact be of a greater level of heroic expertise than that of Sir Ernest Shacklton – and deserving of respect.

    Sadly, I think it was just an exercise in ignorant racism at 6pm, with a bit of post-dated policy justification thrown in.

    • Te Reo Putake 13.1

      You are dead right that it’s next to impossible. It’s not just the Tasman that will stop anyone foolish enough to try; the Torres strait is one of the most difficult stretches of water on the globe, as it’s shallow and volatile due to its tidal nature, and full of islands and unmarked reefs.

      • Kevin 13.1.1

        In April some Falun Gong / Chinese boat people had stated they intended to sail here, across the Tasman, but made it only as far as Darwin:
        http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/boat-people-seeking-asylum-in-australia-4826231
        Considering the type of unseaworthy boats these refugee’s use it would be highly unlikely that any of them would make it across the Tasman which is reputed to be stormy and treacherous to cross.
        Regardless of that challenge, Australia has toughened it’s attitude towards boat people and some are considering New Zealand as an alternative, therefore we should at least be prepared.

        • Chris 13.1.1.1

          I don’t remember properly but wasn’t there a boat load of refugees from Sri Lanka that the Australian Govt refused a few years ago that were going to come to NZ?

          • McFlock 13.1.1.1.1

            So we’re up to two whole boats that apparently had the objective of getting to NZ in the last few years, neither of which made it.
                   
            Yes indeed, break out the gunboats and detention centres. 

                 
            There are a lot of issues facing NZ, even one or two international threats, but floods of boat-people aren’t on the list. I just can’t decide whether it’s a distraction du jour or our standard “we can be as good as Aus” cultural cringe. Probably both. 

            • fatty 13.1.1.1.1.1

              “Yes indeed, break out the gunboats and detention centres.”

              The guns and detention centres should be reserved for the immigrants who come into NZ with their wallets loaded

              • Bored

                I reckon if they can make it over the sea to us in their sinking bath tubs we need to welcome them with open arms as the brave resourceful types we need (rather than fat cats padded by their wallets).

                • McFlock

                  yeah, pretty much.
                  I would have thought the tories would want them, too – might help the jafas get them their Americas Cup. Maybe even a Whitbread.

                • Vicky32

                  I reckon if they can make it over the sea to us in their sinking bath tubs we need to welcome them with open arms as the brave resourceful types we need

                  Seconded! 🙂

              • higherstandard

                “The guns and detention centres should be reserved for the immigrants who come into NZ with their wallets loaded”

                Why’s that ?

                • fatty

                  “Why’s that ?”

                  Because they are more likely to buy up resources, take control of industry and increase profits for themselves.
                  Because they help to perpetuate our ‘top-down’ economy where the trickle down is a torrent up.
                  Because they are more likely to hog resources and speculate on the market, instead of creating real worth through hard work.
                  Because they often have little idea of cultural subjugation / Maori history / Maori knowledge / Treaty…and they worsen our already pathetic concept of ‘bi-culturalism’.
                  Because they drive up house prices.
                  Because they are more likely to send profits overseas.
                  Because they are more likely to look for short term economic gains at the expense of the majority’s wellbeing.
                  Because they are more likely to vote for NACT to protect their investments.
                  Because they will see NZ as a greedy self-serving chance to make a buck and do not realise that NZ used to be an egalitarian society.
                  Because when we import highly educated people it means we have no reason to support younger generations and we turn education into a comodity.
                  Because their ideals are often based on the concept of individual responsibility.

                  • higherstandard

                    So a whole lot of unfounded opinion on your part is reason enough to detain legal immigrants at gunpoint……mmmmmmmmm OK………do you channel Winston often ?

                    • McFlock

                      So a whole lot of [reasonable summaries of the relative danger of rich vs poor immigrants] is reason enough to detain [parasites who looted other countries and now flee with the cash] at gunpoint [to stop them doing the same thing to us].

                       

                      FIFY.

                    • higherstandard

                      The comment made by “fatty” was

                      ‘The guns and detention centres should be reserved for the immigrants who come into NZ with their wallets loaded.’

                      …….. why should these legal immigrants…. indeed why should any legal immigrants be subjected to being detained at gunpoint ?

                    • McFlock

                      Nice insertion of “legal”. Makes your whining seem reasonable.
                           
                          
                      Fiscal solvency is currently viewed as adding positive points to an immigration application.  In fact, it could well be a strong indication of net harm that the prospective immigrant did to the nation they just left, and could well do to NZ.  

                    • higherstandard

                      Um what ?

                      It’s whining to expect immigrants not to detained at gunpoint ?

                      “Fiscal solvency is currently viewed as adding positive points to an immigration application. In fact, it could well be a strong indication of net harm that the prospective immigrant did to the nation they just left, and could well do to NZ. ”

                      Really ??? Anyone immigrating to NZ with a positive bank balance should be suspected of fraud, theft or similar nefarious activities ??

                      You’re making Winston’s rants to the grey rinse brigade look positively pro-immigration.

                    • McFlock

                       

                      It’s whining to expect immigrants not to detained at gunpoint ?

                       

                      It is when that action was proposed for poor people who can’t afford to get off a plane with a bank cheque in their bag.
                       

                      “Fiscal solvency is currently viewed as adding positive points to an immigration application. In fact, it could well be a strong indication of net harm that the prospective immigrant did to the nation they just left, and could well do to NZ. ”
                      Really ??? Anyone immigrating to NZ with a positive bank balance should be suspected of fraud, theft or similar nefarious activities ??

                       

                      Well, the alternative is just to let them in, then pay for 70 cops and a helicopter to raid their mansion with the FBI, or alternatively just wait for the scandal to brew when the wealthy immigrant turns out to have serious links to organised crime and a repressive regime back home.
                           
                       
                       

                    • higherstandard

                      “It is when that action was proposed for poor people who can’t afford to get off a plane with a bank cheque in their bag.”

                      I can’t recall proposing that should be the case.

                      “Well, the alternative is just to let them in, then pay for 70 cops and a helicopter to raid their mansion with the FBI, or alternatively just wait for the scandal to brew when the wealthy immigrant turns out to have serious links to organised crime and a repressive regime back home.”

                      Now you are just being facetious.

                      The vast majority of immigrants to NZ are not crooks, certainly in no higher proportion than those who were born here, positing that just because an immigrant to NZ arrives with a healthy bank balance they should be treated poorly is frankly ridiculous as are the comments of ‘fatty’.

                    • McFlock

                      “It is when that action was proposed for poor people who can’t afford to get off a plane with a bank cheque in their bag.”

                      I can’t recall proposing that should be the case.

                      Indeed, because naval vessels approaching boats of immigrants never have their weapons cleared for action /sarc

                      “Well, the alternative is just to let them in, then pay for 70 cops and a helicopter to raid their mansion with the FBI, or alternatively just wait for the scandal to brew when the wealthy immigrant turns out to have serious links to organised crime and a repressive regime back home.”
                         
                      Now you are just being facetious. The vast majority of immigrants to NZ are not crooks, certainly in no higher proportion than those who were born here, positing that just because an immigrant to NZ arrives with a healthy bank balance they should be treated poorly is frankly ridiculous as are the comments of ‘fatty’.

                      If we are going to treat poor immigrants the way australians do, we should have the decency to treat the more dangerous wealthy immigrants in the same way. That’s all fatty and I are suggesting.
                      Or do you think that the rich deserve better treatment than the poor? 

                    • higherstandard

                      I really don’t know what the you are on about !

                      Fatty appeared to me to be commenting that immigrants arriving by plane who happened to be wealthy should be detained at gunpoint.

                      I queried why that should be the case at which stage he produced a diatribe against immigrants who might have some cash in the bank.

                      How one can compare immigrants of any sort arriving by plane with illegal refugees arriving by whatever means is somewhat perplexing.

                    • McFlock

                      Fatty appeared to me to be commenting that immigrants arriving by plane who happened to be wealthy should be detained at gunpoint.

                      Because that’s what the navy do to poorer immigrants.

                      I queried why that should be the case at which stage he produced a diatribe against immigrants who might have some cash in the bank.
                      How one can compare immigrants of any sort arriving by plane with illegal refugees arriving by whatever means is somewhat perplexing

                      “illegal refugees” is an oxymoron, which is possibly why you are perplexed.
                         
                      Their refugees status might be declined, in which case they are sent back, but if they are refugees then they are legal immigrants.
                            
                      That’s why the Australians sought the “pacific solution” with the gunboat thing. Keep them off Australian soil so that you don’t have to give them residency, even after 2 or more years of bureaucratic detention while their case is investigated.

                    • fatty

                      higherstandard…my comment that “The guns and detention centres should be reserved for the immigrants who come into NZ with their wallets loaded” suggests that wealthy immigrants will contribute less to NZ than poor immigrants.
                      Your reference to Winston shows you miss the point of the comment (again) and take everything at face value. You inability to think laterally is a serious disability, all we can do is keep trying to explain things in the hope that your brain kicks into gear.
                      You claim that: “Fatty appeared to me to be commenting that immigrants arriving by plane who happened to be wealthy should be detained at gunpoint.”…shows you are either completely dumb, or just playing dumb… either way you are the former.

                      “How one can compare immigrants of any sort arriving by plane with illegal refugees arriving by whatever means is somewhat perplexing.”

                      There are so many comparisons that can be made between the two, its a shame that making a comparison perplexes you. Life is full of opportunities for a comparison…I really don’t have time to spell things out at your level,…McFlock did his/her best, but it appears to be a waste of time.

                    • higherstandard

                      “Because that’s what the navy do to poorer immigrants.”

                      Um no they don’t – immigrants coming into NZ legally of any sort are not detained by anyone.

                      Refugees may be detained at the port of entry, whether they have a shit load of cash or not will make no difference to whether they are detained if they are seeking to enter illegally.

                      ‘…… suggests that wealthy immigrants will contribute less to NZ than poor immigrants.’

                      i don’t believe there is no evidence to support this contention, certainly your list of points against wealthy immigrants is facile drivel in the extreme.

                      . ….. I find it seriously odd that you two have some beef with wealthy immigrants.

                    • McFlock

                      “illegal refugees” is an oxymoron, which is possibly why you are perplexed.

                    • fatty

                      “I find it seriously odd that you two have some beef with wealthy immigrants.”

                      Of course you do, because you cannot comprehend the power issues between classes and how immigration effects the structure of society.

                      “your list of points against wealthy immigrants is facile drivel in the extreme”

                      Which one do you want me to explain?…I don’t have the time to go through all of them

                    • higherstandard

                      McFlock

                      ‘ “illegal refugees” is an oxymoron, which is possibly why you are perplexed.’

                      Not the point at all, as Fatty has once again commented he has a beef with immigrants who come here with some wealth behind them for some rather odd reasons.

                      For the sake of clarification once again he commented that

                      “The guns and detention centres should be reserved for the immigrants who come into NZ with their wallets loaded.”

                      …….and then justified that comment with a range of non-sensical arguments which effectively boil down to the fact that he doesn’t think he would like them or they way they might vote.

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, it is the point because NZ politicians are trying to jump on the “asylum seekers in boats” bandwagon that the Australians have. Even though many of them can’t make it to Australia. Following the Australian model, yes those asylum seekers will be detained at gunpoint. Even if their method of entry is irregular (but not illegal), it’s still bullshit.
                               
                      So if we are going to do it for poor people, why not the rich? After all, the rich have the power to do far more damage than the poor.
                       

                    • fatty

                      “Fatty has once again commented he has a beef with immigrants who come here with some wealth behind them…and then justified that comment with a range of non-sensical arguments which effectively boil down to the fact that he doesn’t think he would like them or they way they might vote.”

                      You’ve said that 2 or 3 times now higherstandard and I have asked you which one you want explained…but you have avoided this. You keep taking cheap shot and when I call you out you go silent. Choose one and I’m happy to explain it to you…if you don’t want to get schooled, then your accusations are unfounded.

                  • higherstandard

                    Mc F

                    Rinse and repeat for the tenth time… Fatty continues to talk about immigrants not refugees, immigrants. I’m am not arguing that rich people or poor people or brown people or white people or polka dot people shouldn’t all be treated the same when or if they are trying to enter or stay in the country illegally.

                    Fatty

                    Why would I bother your unsupportable idiocy is there for all to see, although I am intrigued for you to confirm if you believe all immigration to be bad or whether it’s just immigration by those you perceive to be wealthy.

                    • McFlock

                      It’s amazing how you almost make sense if you take all the context away from your comments.
                                 
                      As far as I know, almost all the people floating towards Aus (and allegedly NZ) in rotting hulks are asylum seekers. Refugees. Not illegal immigrants (i.e. aiming to escape detection and live covertly in NZ after landfall). Directly comparable to a wealthy person who steps off a plane, just as legally. If deploying the navy to detain asylum seekers before they get off the boats  (again, with weapons cleared for action as a “safety” precaution) is legitimate, then detaining and interrogating (with weapons drawn, just as a “safety” issue) rich people as they step off a plane is just as legitimate. 
                             
                      And who’s more dangerous to NZ – a Somali who’s prepared to flip burgers to support his family, or a rich guy who might have mob connections or a history of fraud? 

                    • fatty

                      “Why would I bother your unsupportable idiocy is there for all to see, although I am intrigued for you to confirm if you believe all immigration to be bad or whether it’s just immigration by those you perceive to be wealthy.”

                      Lame answer higerstandard…you are looking a little desperate…pick a statement or continue your lowerstandard.

                      but to answer that question, in no way do I consider all immigration to be bad…
                      immigration can be very positive for NZ, we need it at economic, cultural, and social levels. anti-immigration is moronic, stupid and often racist.

                      you picked a statement yet? it should be quite easy for you if they are all unsupportable as you claim

                    • higherstandard

                      McFlock

                      It’s amazing how you continue to argue a point that wasn’t being discussed.

                      Fatty …….. so it’s a case of not so well off immigrants good, well off immigrants bad… don’t you think that would be a rather odd measure to be applied by the Department of Internal affairs when assessing whether to grant citizenship/residency.

                      Oh and if you are desperate to expound on your list of reasons why rich immigrants are bad feel free to fill your boots.

                    • fatty

                      actually you made this point here:
                      “So a whole lot of unfounded opinion on your part is reason enough to detain legal immigrants at gunpoint……mmmmmmmmm OK………do you channel Winston often ?”

                      Then you kept repeating that my statements are unfounded.
                      I want to clear up anything you cannot understand.
                      …which one do you need clarification on?
                      Its a simple question…please don’t continue to dance around it and make yourself look stupid

                    • fatty

                      “so it’s a case of not so well off immigrants good, well off immigrants bad… don’t you think that would be a rather odd measure to be applied by the Department of Internal affairs when assessing whether to grant citizenship/residency.”

                      Sorry, I’m not going to answer than kind of ‘NZ Herald poll question’ and get sucked into your binary simplicity…but I will note that they currently do the opposite

                      “Oh and if you are desperate to expound on your list of reasons why rich immigrants are bad feel free to fill your boots.”

                      Your lowerstandard gets even lower. do you always have such little confidence in your logic?
                      When you get the confidence to ask me about one of my statements, then let me know…currently, your hole of ignorance is getting deeper…feel free to keep on digging.
                      One statement…should be simple?

                    • higherstandard

                      As I said Fatty any of these unfounded accusations accusations you made to support your statement that

                      “…..The guns and detention centres should be reserved for the immigrants who come into NZ with their wallets loaded.”

                      “Because they are more likely to buy up resources, take control of industry and increase profits for themselves.
                      Because they help to perpetuate our ‘top-down’ economy where the trickle down is a torrent up.
                      Because they are more likely to hog resources and speculate on the market, instead of creating real worth through hard work.
                      Because they often have little idea of cultural subjugation / Maori history / Maori knowledge / Treaty…and they worsen our already pathetic concept of ‘bi-culturalism’.
                      Because they drive up house prices.
                      Because they are more likely to send profits overseas.
                      Because they are more likely to look for short term economic gains at the expense of the majority’s wellbeing.
                      Because they are more likely to vote for NACT to protect their investments.
                      Because they will see NZ as a greedy self-serving chance to make a buck and do not realise that NZ used to be an egalitarian society.
                      Because when we import highly educated people it means we have no reason to support younger generations and we turn education into a comodity.
                      Because their ideals are often based on the concept of individual responsibility.”

                      Fill you boots if you’re desperate to do so

                      But I’d be more interested in what type of immigration you consider to be good.

                    • fatty

                      ok…so you have let me choose my statement…i will go with – “Because they drive up house prices.”

                      http://www.interest.co.nz/kiwisaver/52140/migration-policy-linked-inflated-housing-prices-government-spending-and-low-savings

                      A financial report from Bill English states: “There are indications that our high immigration rate has pushed up government spending, house prices and business borrowing.” (pg. 9)

                      So, our immigrants are pushing up house prices…they can’t be the poor immigrants, can they?

                      Can you grasp that? Since that answer took me about 2 mins, the rest must be true…unless you want me to explain another? Pick another one…fill your boots

                    • KJT

                      And because they are used by employers both to drive down wages and avoid training New Zealanders.

                    • fatty

                      “and avoid training New Zealanders.”

                      true…the link between our immigration policies and student loans (education as a commodity) is rarely examined, even though the link is obvious.
                      Why invest in education when we can just import it?…the problem is that our younger generations suffer by becoming socially and economically excluded. Its the current bottom line before ethics, NZs future and wellbeing.

                    • higherstandard

                      Last time I looked 95% plus mortgages were available in NZ, these are available to immigrants wealthy or not and you ignore the insatiable appetite of NZers for housing which is likely to have far more impact on house prices than immigrants be they wealthy or less so.

                      Try again and feel free to explain what type of immigrants are acceptable to you ?

                    • fatty

                      “Last time I looked 95% plus mortgages were available in NZ, these are available to immigrants wealthy or not”

                      I think you misunderstand how immigration increase house prices…it is immigrants who come in and pay with cash, all they do is inflate the bubble further. Immigration effecting house prices has absolutely nothing to do with them having access to mortgages. Mortgages are irrelevant to the argument the immigrants increase house prices.

                      “and you ignore the insatiable appetite of NZers for housing which is likely to have far more impact on house prices than immigrants be they wealthy or less so.”

                      True, NZers are obsessed with accumulating property due to it being overvalued…guess who are the people coming into NZ and inflating the bubble?
                      http://www.landlords.co.nz/read-article.php?article_id=3846

                      “free to explain what type of immigrants are acceptable to you ?”

                      Immigrants who are wealth creators…who help to create a bottom up economy…our current policies of importing wealthy people perpetuates our top down economy where the ‘trickle down’ is actually a torrent up. Our immigrants should be people who NEED to move here, not so much people who can pay to move here. We should increase our levels of refugees and shut off the inflow of people who buy their way into the country. We should be bringing in more refugees…our current levels are too low.
                      Try again….

                    • higherstandard

                      Mortgages can be accessed by immigrants who don’t have the cash to buy a house outright.

                      “Immigrants who are wealth creators…who help to create a bottom up economy…our current policies of importing wealthy people perpetuates our top down economy where the ‘trickle down’ is actually a torrent up. Our immigrants should be people who NEED to move here, not so much people who can pay to move here. We should increase our levels of refugees and shut off the inflow of people who buy their way into the country. We should be bringing in more refugees…our current levels are too low.”

                      Have you got any data or links to suggest that refugees are wealth creators to a greater extent than immigrants who are either of low wealth or high wealth ?

                      How many refugees do you think it’s appropriate that we take on an annual basis ? I was under the impression that we one of governments currently host the bulk of the refugees who are annually resettled in new countries under UNHCR.

                      I disagree that “Our immigrants should be people who NEED to move here, not so much people who can pay to move here. ”

                      I believe that immigrants to NZ should be people that we (NZ) needs here.

                    • fatty

                      “Mortgages can be accessed by immigrants who don’t have the cash to buy a house outright.”

                      True…and that has absolutely nothing to do with immigrants coming in with cash and pumping up the housing bubble.

                      “who are either of low wealth or high wealth”

                      Don’t be sneaky…you were talking high wealth, not high and low wealth. Shifting the goalposts is lowstandard…I’ll rephrase your question for you:

                      “Have you got any data or links to suggest that refugees are wealth creators to a greater extent than immigrants who are high wealth ?”

                      In my quick search I could not find any data/reports where the economic benefits of refugees are compared to wealthy immigrants…nothing to say either way, so it comes down to an ideological belief in equality, or inequality. If growth comes from the bottom up, that is far more beneficial to society than our current top down approach. And refugees do create growth.

                      http://www.immi.gov.au/media/publications/research/_pdf/economic-civic-social-contributions-refugees-humanitarian-entrants-literature-review.pdf

                      page 1 states: “after successful integration they make permanent cultural, social and economic contributions.”

                      How many refugees do you think it’s appropriate that we take on an annual basis ? I was under the impression that we one of governments currently host the bulk of the refugees who are annually resettled in new countries under UNHCR.

                      Way more than our current levels…maybe a couple of thousand, and reduce the wealthy immigrants. We only accept at most 750 a year.
                      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/5835596/Shock-over-low-tally-of-refugees

                      “I believe that immigrants to NZ should be people that we (NZ) needs here.”

                      Me too, and the last thing we need is more rich people controlling resources, forcing others into poverty and pushing up house prices. I’m against inequality, I see it as a burden to NZ, not something that should be fostered through immigration.

                    • higherstandard

                      Very Bomber Bradburyesque – I’ll just agree to disagree with you and leave it there.

                    • fatty

                      “I’ll just agree to disagree with you and leave it there.”

                      Thought so…I figured those links were a waste of time

            • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1.1.1.2

              There are a lot of issues facing NZ, even one or two international threats, but floods of boat-people aren’t on the list.

              Yes they are, not immediately but most definitely on the list.

              • McFlock

                Seriously?
                         
                My figuring is that a bigger problem would be the affluent trying to enter and stay, but they’d be coming in by aircraft.

                   
                Quite a boats few don’t make it to Aus, or from Cuba to the US. The % of successful transtasman buckets would not be that high, as far as I can tell. We might get stowaways or a container load, but Aus is a bigger and closer target, anyway.
                         

                • Draco T Bastard

                  A collapsing global financial system that’s going to make feeding in the over populated areas even harder – yep. Throw in climate change and as the world warms and the tropics become uninhabitable, even more so. Sure, no a high percentage will make it but 2% of 200m+ is still more than we have now and we still don’t know if we can support what we have once fuel becomes scarce.

                  Of course, they may all go to Australia but we do need to be prepared for those that come this way.

                  • McFlock

                    I think a reasonable estimate of the natural refugee immigration lines is to mirror the lines of human expansion. When was NZ first inhabited? Evidence suggests not very long ago, compared to the Americas or Asia.
                            
                    I don’t think even 2% would aim for NZ, especially by rotting fishing boat. The biggest issues would be the ones we’re used to – overstayers, stowaways and people jumping ship. Maybe a Tampa-style ship, but not so often as to be beyond current capabilities.
                        
                     

                    • Campbell Larsen

                      Irrespective of how many or when, one thing is certain – we should not be treating people like Australia treats its refugees.

  14. This is for Jared who thought that investing in Future liabilities is something different than investing in Derivatives such as Futures for example.

    The Cullen fund, like the Greek Sovereign Wealth Fund, started investing in 2002- 2003.

    The Greek were “assisted” by Goldman Sachs and the Cullen fund had a Merrill Lynch banker on its board of “Guardians”. Talk about a fox in the hen house.

    We are now the proud owners of a stack of Derivatives probably to harsh to wipe you butt with and no good for anything else to the value of the $ 19 billion and the 20th largest in the world at that.

    And… $112 billion in off the book Derivatives that is almost six times the size of the Cullen fund and 70% of the total NZ GDP.

    • Chris 14.1

      So we have a $112 billion asset that’s not on the books – good to know.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.1

        “Asset” is financial lingo for dangerous money losing toxic waste that you get buried under.

  15. Here is something for “The Standard” community to take some credit for.

    In April Anthony R0bins posted: Another asset sale lie

    This quoted thorough research and provided extensive quotes.

    It isn’t a “loophole”, it’s simple a lie. The distinction between voting and non-voting shares is just a smokescreen. National clearly promised to retain 51% of the income from these public assets.

    I agreed with the concerns raised.

    The post concluded: “Hey Peter Dunne – are you going to vote for this latest lie?”

    Anthony started the ball rolling, Peter Dunne played ball and here’s the end result:
    Govt closes asset sale loophole
    Government U-turn on SOE sale cap

    The power of blogs can work when things are done thoroughly and co-operatively.

    • McFlock 15.1

      It’s not the power of blogs, so much as the power of Dunne when he’s watched like a hawk and his electioneering for once wasn’t vague enough to avoid cornering him like a rat in a trap.
                
      All he has to do is get national to postpone the issue until after a referendum. 

    • r0b 15.2

      On the face of it this looks like a great result, and credit due to Pete George and Peter Dunne. Will look in to it for a post tomorrow…

    • Lanthanide 15.3

      It’s good that they’ve actually changed the legislation to stop it, but Key said in the middle of April, in no uncertain terms, that they wouldn’t be selling more than 49% anyway:

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/6749323/Key-No-tricks-in-state-assets-sales

      You’re also playing up the “power of blogs” here, when really there’s nothing in this story to suggest that the blog on the standard made any difference at all, since it referred to other MSM sources in the first place.

      • Pete George 15.3.1

        Vernon Small spotted the change and wrote an article on it.
        Anthony spotted that, researched it and blogged.
        I spotted that and discussed and expanded on it here
        With the help of Vernon’s and Anthony’s research and information I put a case to UF.
        UF put a case to National.
        Result.

        As with most things in politics (and life) there were many involved, but starting with an observant journalist (how often do we criticise them?) and a chain reaction of efforts there is a positive (albeit modest) result.

        Where’s the problem?

        If we all work positively a bit more and work together a bit more (rather than wallowing in bitch and moan) then things will work better. Many small positives can build into significance. That’s the reality of getting results.

        • McFlock 15.3.1.1

          Anthony spotted that, researched it and blogged.
          I spotted that and discussed and expanded on it here

          “Expanded on it”? You made the least comments I’ve seen you make in a thread about UF (4), most of which were along the lines of “I’ll find out if this really is an issue and get back to you” or words to that effect.
               
          Your comparative silence said more than your waffle ever does, and now you’re claiming credit?

          • Pete George 15.3.1.1.1

            Criticised for not saying enough now? Some will never be happy.

            I saw what Vernon had identified and Anthony had come up with and added the key leverage – the UF/National C&S. And my “comparative silence” may have been because I was busy doing other things.

            But I don’t really give a toss what you think, I knew I’d be knocked here whatever I said. The important thing is there has been a positive result, however anyone wants to imagine it came about.

            And I’m sure some will recognise that working together is more likely to be successful than bitching apart.

            • John M 15.3.1.1.1.1

              Hi Pete. Do you think CIR are democratic? Give us your thoughts on what civil society is? Why don’t you actively lobby for asset sales, if that’s what you believe should happen, instead of attacking the means opponents use quite lawfully to achieve a desired result? I take from your silence that you don’t know. Cheers, John.

              • John, I think CIR are an attempt at pacifying democracy that are severely flawed in practice, designed by politicians to be too slow and inflexible, and easy to ignore.

                One question set in stone two months ago may be irrelevant in a year’s time when (if) the referendum eventuates, and it’s far too simplistic.

                We need a far more rapid, interactive and multifaceted way of connecting people and politicians. What’s been gone by People Power Ohariu has some good aspects of this but being associated to one side of just two issues it will struggle to get credibility.

                I started to actively explore better local democracy a year ago by proposing a new political party (that was more publicity than realism). I was going to stand as an independent until UF asked me to stand for them. That had some risks but it had more benefits, as it’s turned out far more benefits.

                But most of what I do is independent of UF. The election campaign enabled me to make many contacts, especially amongst other parties and MPs. I’m working on ideas here with people from several parties with a common interest – better democratic process. As a result of that I was asked to speak recently at a mostly Labour Green TVNZ 7 meeting.

                Independently and coincidentally an initiative at Otago University started last year and has been organising public meetings on issues, and have been very successful. I started to promote what they were doing and report on the meetings and keep the discussions out on the internet. I’ve been talking to them on mutual plans to build on this.

                I’ve also built relationship swith local media – not enough yet but the network is growing. I’m just a part of a much bigger thing here.

                My plan was to help establish better information sharing, public interaction (meeting), online discussion and use of as much different media as possible. There are others here on the same page. And once proven at a local level the aim was to spread it outwards and eventually upwards.

                Ultimately the aim is countrywide network of discussion and poll/referenda structures that people of different ideals and aims can work under, and arrive at a majority opinion that becomes srong enough to be a powerful people’s lobby.

                But it’s not just for people to find a way of pushing politicians, along the way I’ve built contact and relationships to different degrees with a number of MPs who have a bit of caution about sharing their power but generally see the benefits of more cooperative interparty and inter-politician/people approach.

                I know people in other areas who want to do somethimg similar on a regional basis with an aim to network that.

                What I didn’t plan on was the speed with which I could get active in national politics, and that’s taking a lot of my time. I do a lot more than you see here, it’s easy to get dragged into the fray here.

                But so far this year the progress has all been good, things are happening and different people and different initiatives are lining up.

                There’s a lot more to it, I’ll probably get told off for posting this much here. But if you’re seriously interested in widening the scope of what you’re doing I’d be happy to help.

                The most important thing is finding ways of working together across a broad range of aims to build a common voice, but keeping independant voices of our own.

                And finding a workable balance of representative democracy and people power.

                And accepting that none of us will get exactly what we want as individuals.

                I think the time is right for this to happen, many people want to be heard more. We need to find an effective way of doing that, and not just abuse politicians while we demand they instantly fix everything.

            • McFlock 15.3.1.1.1.2

              I have no problem knocking people who keep national in power. 
              As far as I’m concerned they are actively supporting thieves and killers.
              I will not be nice to such people. 

            • bad12 15.3.1.1.1.3

              Perhaps you would care to say something about this, the ‘Hairdo from Ohariu’ also known as the Minister of Revenue Peter Dunne appeared today at the Parliaments Finance and Expenditure Committee,

              Asked by committee members how He as Minister of Revenue proposed to fill the revenue gap in the Governments books caused by the 49% sell off of assets Dunne replied that this had already been sorted by the raising of the excise tax upon tobacco products…

              • This more accurately shows what he said:

                Revenue Minister Peter Dunne has reassured opposition MPs the Government will raise more than enough extra tax to cover any loss of income from the partial sale of state assets.

                Mr Dunne has told Parliament’s finance and expenditure select committee a series of changes have been put in place which will increase the tax take.

                Opposition members on the select committee used Mr Dunne’s appearance to question him about his support for the partial privatisation of four state-owned energy companies.

                Labour’s state-owned enterprises spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove asked about the loss of $100 million in income once shares in the assets were sold.

                Mr Dunne replied that better policing of the tax system, plus increases in tobacco and petrol taxes, would raise an extra $1.734 billion over five years.

                http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/108721/dunne-reassures-mps-about-asset-sales

                • Pascal's bookie

                  how is any of that stuff that’s going to fill the hole anything other than “Doing his job”. Is he saying that without the hole, he wouldn’t bother doing that stuff?

                  It makes no sense Pete, does you no credit pimping this guy mate.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  So more taxes is the answer? I though only socialists did that? And has anyone told the ACT party’s last remaining MP that he’s a member of a Government whose economic policy relies on taking even more money from NZ consumers and taxpayers via the IRD?

                • John M

                  “Revenue Minister Peter Dunne has reassured opposition MPs the Government will raise more than enough extra tax to cover any loss of income from the partial sale of state assets.”

                  Where’s the logic in this staement? It’s as if the government knows the sales are bad but is going ahead with them anyway. And who says this numbskull policy isn’t ideologically driven?

                  • BernyD

                    Scare tactics, they no we have no money, we may even have to raise taxes.
                    The other option is of course …

                • bad12

                  So, what both you and the ‘HairDo from Ohariu’, Dunne, seem to be saying is that despite every assurance otherwise from the Slippery National Government excise taxes on petrol and diesel are in fact NOT really spent upon roading infrastructure,

                  And,

                  Rack-raising the excise tax upon tobacco products was NOT anything to do with having users of tobacco products give up such usage but simply a general revenue gathering exercise from a stupid Government having found an addicted group in society who can neither quit the use of the product nor avoid paying the extra tax…

        • Te Reo Putake 15.3.1.2

          The problem is your claimed involvement, Pete, which reads less like the truth and more like a potential Pseud’s Corner entry. As a proven liar, Tory lickspittle and all round waste of bandwidth, there aren’t many people here willing to give you credit. Perhaps you could start to earn some credibility by publishing the ‘case’ you put to Dunne.
           
          That’s the bit in this timeline that seems completely unlikely to me. That and National apparently listening to Dunne, when its far more likely they were listening to focus groups, reading the media and watching the polls plummet.

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    Agreement with US sees NZ as ‘de facto’ ally

    A leading academic says New Zealand has become a “de facto ally” of the United States after signing a sweeping agreement on military cooperation in Washington early today.

    The Washington Declaration was signed by US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta and Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman at the Pentagon today.

    Is it just me or was there no notification that this sweeping agreement was being negotiated?

    And Labour proves again that it’s out of touch with reality:

    Labour today welcomed the declaration and stressed the importance of New Zealand maintaining an independent foreign policy. </blockquote
    You can't have an independent foreign policy when tied to the US.

    • muzza 16.1

      This arrangement appears simply to reaffirm cooperation between New Zealand and a friendly country on issues where it is sensible to talk and work together on matters of mutual concern.” –

      –Phil Goff showing what a sold out puppet he is..

      Hey Phil, perhps they can send us some drones!

  17. the pink postman 17

    Im surprised that nobody has mention the mock arrival of boat people staged by National yesterday. The comments by Williamson about boat people charging down Queen St makes me wonder if the Nats are going mad!
    On a more serious note does anyone in their right mind believe that these poor desperate boat people could travel thousands of Ks in their tin buckets.My own personal view is that these brave people would certainly make better citizens than the millionaires National allowed in because of their wealth ,Dot.Com .is a good example,

    • Te Reo Putake 17.1

      Uturn beat you to it, Postie. Comment 13 above. I do agree that there is a hint of madness about the exercise; perhaps somebody in Government got Dad’s Army on DVD for their birthday!?

  18. Herodotus 18

    only a few weeks ago we were asked for our thoughts on Auckland’s 10 year plan then this. Are not one of councils principle tasks- Collection of rubbish? And the current rates that are covering rubbish are now going to be required to subsidies what? What spending has this council obligated to but cannot cover unless increased rates (Which were voted down) or reduced services that ARE currently already being paid for by rates. This council is a shame, and a disservice to the community it is suppose to serve.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/7047346/Rubbish-collection-could-cost-7-50
    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/auckland-s-new-rubbish-collection-policy-4939329

    • muzza 18.1

      http://www.interest.co.nz/node/58080/bonds

      “The Auckland “Super City” Council wants to lift its net debt as a percentage of total revenue limit to 275% from 175%, to prevent a breach of the existing limit, with its debt forecast to almost treble to NZ$12.5 billion over the next decade.”

  19. Draco T Bastard 19

    Now this should really throw the cat among the pigeons. People doing things because it makes them happy rather than for more money.

    Just more proof that our socio-economic system is just plain wrong.

  20. captain hook 20

    yeh…
    I forgot about the ‘arrival’.
    who did the catering?
    why wasn’t someone killed and their lives changed forever so we can remember them at the next olympics?
    has mark has his ibogaine yet?

  21. risildo 21

    It is just so that the U.S.A can get their hands oh him.nOthing less Nothing more than that.
    Assange is a HERO in Italia.
    In such a fascist country their love of a hero who will stand up for the truth is very much respected 🙂

    And Yes Vicky It is a setup and corrupt

  22. QoT 22

    Testing, testing, nothing to see here …

  23. For all those struggling to put a name to what is happening and what must be done here’s a good book by Alain Badiou.
    The Rebirth of History: Times of Riots and Uprisings.
    “What is going on? Of what are we the half-fascinated, half-devastated witnesses? The continuation at all costs of a world-weary world? A salutary crisis of that world, racked by its victorious expansion? The end of that world? The advent of a different world? What is happening to us in the early years of the century – something that would appear not to have a clear name in any accepted language?
    Let us consult our masters: discreet bankers; media stars; hesitant representatives of major commissions; spokesmen of the ‘international community’; busy presidents; new philosophers; factory and estate owners; stock market men and boards of directors; chattering opposition politicos; urban and provincial notables; economists of growth; sociologists of citizenship; experts on all sorts of crises; prophets of the ‘clash of civilisations’; heads of the police, justice and penitentiary systems; profit assessors; productivity calculators; the prim editorialists of serious newspapers; human resource directors; people who in their own view are of some account; people one would do well to not take for no-bodies. What have they got to say about it, all these rulers, all these leaders, all these opinion-formers, all these thimble-rigging tyrants? 
    They all say the world is changing at a dizzying pace, and that, if we are not to risk ruin or death (for them it comes to the same thing), we must adapt to this change, or, in the world as it is, be but a mere shadow of ourselves. That we should energetically engage in incessant ‘modernisation’, accepting the inevitable costs without a murmur. Given the harsh competitive world that daily confronts us with challenges, we must climb up the steep slopes of productivity, budget reduction, technological innovation, the good health of our banks, and job flexibility.
    But, no!  etc etc.

  24. Vicky32 24

    Re Assange and rape allegations…
    As I said above, I had heaps of links and information about this case, but don’t have that any more, so I asked my good friend Google. Being what it is, all the top 10 are American, full of bitterness and ‘righteous’ rage, and so I am having a very hard time finding anything that’s not barking right wing pro-war madness… (Take not TRP – yet another view of yours is exposed as a right wing one!)
    Here’s a start…
    http://rixstep.com/1/20111114,00.shtml
    http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/world-news/rape-victims-had-hidden-agenda-julian-assanges-lawyer_100472894.html
    That will do for a start…

    • Te Reo Putake 24.1

      Boy, you really are having difficulty with this, aren’t you? Assange is a chicken, too scared to defend himself in court in Sweden. Sweden, a country that has an exemplary judicial system. Ironically, it has a reputation for being great place for real political asylum seekers to find refuge. Ecuador, not so much.
       
      Instead of seeing the cowardice he has shown in the last two days, ripping off his mates and running away, you try to minimise his alleged crimes, as if they don’t matter. He’s being asked to answer allegations of rape. He should face his accusers and win the case. What is it that you don’t understand about this? Instead of wasting your time trying to google his lawyer’s attacks on the victim, read the Handmirror link.
       
      None of us are above the law, V, but someone who has made his name with a website dedicated to transparency really should front up, don’t you think?
       
       

      • Vicky32 24.1.1

        None of us are above the law, V, but someone who has made his name with a website dedicated to transparency really should front up, don’t you think?

        What I do remember from the links I had before, is that the Swedish prosecutor who was over-ruled when she wanted to prosecute, but then got another chance, was determined to hand Assange over to the Americans.
        However, it’s already crystal clear that you believe that the Americans can do no wrong, so you can’t see why that’s a terrifying prospect for Assange. Front up? He did, idiot… he went to the British authorities, and turned himself in, at the same time as your American idols were demanding that he do what he’d already done!
        Another link – one a bit too leftist for your comfort, but you ought still to read it…
        http://www.internationalist.org/freejulianassange1012.html
        Because I fear that you won’t read it, here’s an extract..

        Democrat Dianne Feinstein, head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, notorious for covering up CIA torture, called for Assange to be prosecuted under the 1917 Espionage Act. Democratic turncoat Joe Lieberman, head of the Senate’s Homeland Security Committee, wants to investigate the New York Times as well. And Attorney General Eric Holder vows to “close the gaps in current U.S. legislation” by enacting new laws infringing on freedom of speech. But that may take some time. They yearn for an Official Secrets Act like in Britain, so they could stop publication of anything by slapping a “D Notice” on it. They wish they were back in the post-9/11 days when they rammed through the U.S.A. PATRIOT Act with a near-unanimous vote before anyone bothered to read it.”
        And another :

        Assange is supposedly being held only for questioning. Yet he stayed in Sweden for 40 days after the allegations were first made, seeking to speak to the prosecutor, who would not see him and finally let him leave the country legally. He offered to be questioned at the Swedish embassy in London, to no avail.
        The allegations were first made on August 20 by a prosecutor in Stockholm. But, as Assange’s attorney in London, Mark Stephens, said in an interview with Channel 4 News (7 December), “the most senior prosecutor in all of Sweden looked at them, and she said there is not a shred of evidence here that warrants an investigation” of rape or sexual harassment. So in less than a day, the main accusations against him were dropped.
        Weeks went by, and then “a politician got involved with these women and took them off to another prosecutor, in Gothenberg, and we’re now seeing these warrants coming out suspiciously close in time to the date of the release of the cables.” This kind of “witch-hunt,” Stephens said, suggests that this affair is “politically motivated, there are darker forces at work.”

         

        • Te Reo Putake 24.1.1.1

          You’re babbling. This has nothing to do with America. Britain and Sweden are sovereign countries with independent judiciaries. Assange has tried everything to avoid facing a return to Sweden to clear his name and lost anyway despite appeal after appeal. There are no grounds whatsoever for him to avoid putting up his defence. Yet he refuses to do that and now the gutless egotist has done a runner. 
           
          If the yanks wanted him, btw, they’d have a lot better chance of extraditing him from the UK than from Sweden. Funny that, eh?

          • Vicky32 24.1.1.1.1

            If the yanks wanted him, btw, they’d have a lot better chance of extraditing him from the UK than from Sweden. Funny that, eh?

            So, why haven’t they? Man, you’re changing your story… I don’t know why you’ve got your knickers in a knot about this so much…
            (To translate to a language you’ll know better, “You’ve got your panties in a bunch”)
            Did you read the link? Silly me, of course not! I truly can’t be bothered with you any more, especially as you don’t want to see anything that might upset your precious right wing world view. You disgust me.

            • Te Reo Putake 24.1.1.1.1.1

              Niiice. Way to miss the point, V. The yanks could already have him, if they wanted him. This isn’t about the US, it’s about an alleged rapist doing a runner.

            • Vicky32 24.1.1.1.1.2

              Having just heard TV3’s take on the Assange item, full of the kind of smug “we’ve got yet another enemy of demawcracy here, boys” tone that TV3 do so well, I’d just like to give my hypothesis…
              Under British law, Assange has done nothing that would warrant handing him over to the filth so they could do whatever takes their evil morally shrivelled little fancy.
              However extradition to Sweden on ‘rape’ charges, would enable the Merkins to blues up to the Swedes and say “Hand him over, minions”.
              If you won’t read the link, and it’s clear that you won’t, (“ooh, it looks comman1st to me, I can’t read it, my eyeballs will be tainted”) then there’s nothing more I can say.
              Idiot.

              • McFlock

                Seriously? Your position is that the swedes are closer allies to the US than the UK is?

                • Vicky32

                  Seriously? Your position is that the swedes are closer allies to the US than the UK is?

                  Seriously, you get a C- for comprehension. I said “Under British law, Assange has done nothing that would warrant handing him over” or even prosecuting him in the first place! Under British law he’d be free as a bird, and the Swedes are the ones who claim he committed an offence. The Swedes have also previously indicated their desire to hand him over to the Americans. Do try to keep up! Sigh… 

                  • McFlock

                    If he’s broken a US law, they do a kim dotcom in the UK. Extraditions happen all the time, even if the wanted person hasn’t committed a crime in the country they are currently in.
                           
                    If the Swedes “want to hand him over” to the americans, the English really want to do so. Who is the yank’s biggest ally? Sweden or the UK?

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    So what? The alleged offences occurred in Sweden. It’s their laws that count. The UK court system has gone through every possible step and ultimately decided there is no reason why he should not put his case in the country where the alleged offences occurred.
                     
                    You think he’s innocent don’t you? So why isn’t he defending himself? Why is he running and hiding instead?

                    • Vicky32

                      You think he’s innocent don’t you? 

                      Oddly enough, yes I do. This is the quintessential he said/she said situation, and the woman’s subsequent actions cast doubt on her version of events.

                       

                  • McFlock

                    By the way, I might only get C- for comprehension, but I still know that a woman who’s asleep isn’t consenting to sex.
                       
                    I also know that “no” and “stop” mean, respectively, “no” and “stop” rather than “yes” and “keep going anyway”.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Assange dragged down and discredited, Wikileaks permanently maimed, enemies of imperial state secrets and military malfaesence effectively silenced.

                  Job well done.

                  Please all, go back to gossiping and moralising over Assange’s supposed sexual misbehaviours because that’s whats important to us all in the long run.

                  • QoT

                    Seriously, CV? If Wikileaks can be brought down because of one dude, Wikileaks sucks according to any measurement of How To Build Your System-Undermining Project.

                    And I’m going to assume you haven’t actually bothered to investigate the “sexual misbehaviours” Assange is accused of. Because I’d hate to think you were the kind of person who thinks pinning a woman to a bed and penetrating her despite her protestations is just some silly little accident.

                  • McFlock

                    Option b:
                    Assange discredits all his good work by being a rapist and then pretending it’s all a US conspiracy when a police complaint is made.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Like I said, it worked a treat. Move the focus on to discrediting one man and his out of control sexual behaviour.

                    The masses can then moralise and orbit their outrage around it 1000x more fervently than any other similar incident which has occurred in Sweden or in the UK over the last year, because this particular man has international celebrity, and because of his celebrity, making an international soap opera out of his behaviour while out of pants is absolutely valid. And we should all participate and wag fingers as a group because that will help us all out somehow.

                    • McFlock

                      Making all rapists accountable for their rapes, whether they are celebrities or not, will help us all out.
                           
                      All I’m saying is that Assange should defend his charges in court so that the truth can come out. And yeah, I have slightly more faith in the Swedish justice system than just assuming they’ll rubberstamp the wishes of the US.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      There’s nothing more enjoyable than watching a celebrity figure crash and burn, the moralising is usually fun and we can pretend that its so very important that the famous person be made a public example of.

                      Lest by not focussing on the celebrity figure enough we somehow metaphysically let all rapists in Sweden and the UK over the last 12 months off the hook.

                      (Not sure I can even name 3 other rape cases which has occured in those countries over this same timeframe but since they are not celebrity cases I reckon I can safely ignore them without being accused of downplaying their criminality).

                    • QoT

                      CV, the fact you seem really, really insistent on categorising people’s responses as “moralising” is just … well, a little creepy.

                      It’s not shallow “oh my stars” pearl-clutching to be critical of the fact that, yet again, a high-profile dude has been accused of rape and everyone has immediately leapt to his defence (it wasn’t rape! They’re CIA plants! He’s so amazing he wouldn’t need to rape anyone!!!!!)

                      It’s called rape culture, and some of us have an interest in challenging it. Your interests seem to be more in telling us all to sit down and shut up, which is … kinda the opposite.

                    • McFlock
                       
                       

                      Lest by not focussing on the celebrity figure enough we somehow metaphysically let all rapists in Sweden and the UK over the last 12 months off the hook.

                       
                      Oh bullshit. Are you saying it’s the only rape case in either country in the past year? No? Then how are other accused or convicted rapists being “let off the hook”?
                          
                      Yes, it is international news because of who Assange is. Maybe he did it, maybe he didn’t. But fans immediately claiming that he is innocent on the basis of other internet fans’ rumours? They belittle endemic sexual assault as an issue in favour of a guy who is not the be-all and end-all of democratic freedom.
                            

                       
                    • Colonial Viper

                      Assange is quite possibly, or even probably guilty.

                      But pointing fingers and eagerly participating in a celeb downfall while moralising all the while?

                      But fans immediately claiming that he is innocent on the basis of other internet fans’ rumours? They belittle endemic sexual assault

                      So, as we all seem to want to do, let’s make an example out of the prick, extradite him as if he is a cop killer and show the world who is right and who is wrong in our moral outrage.

                    • McFlock

                      Ok, so let’s summarize what you wrote: He’s probably guilty, but shouldn’t be extradited for rape. If he’d killed a cop he should be extradited.
                        
                      Oh, and I’m just making an issue out of it because he’s a celebrity, not because he’s refusing to face the criminal justice system of one of the more humanitarian nations on the planet.
                        
                      At what point between rape and cop-killing should he be extradited?  Maybe if he’d pulled a Tony Veitch?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      One of the most humanitarian legal systems on the planet??? Sure in some ways. But not in others.

                      Had Assange consented to the extradition he would have entered the Swedish legal system, which has two main features:

                      There is no such thing as bail; you’re either accused of a non-coercive crime and let out on licence, or you’re on remand until trial.

                      Sweden has a distinctive system of extradition — especially to the US — in which someone accused of a crime in Sweden (and hence on remand) can be “loaned” to the US for prosecution there.

                      This process does not exist in many other countries.

                      http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/06/20/rundle-assange-makes-his-escape-into-a-diplomatic-storm/

                      At what point between rape and cop-killing should he be extradited? Maybe if he’d pulled a Tony Veitch?

                      Sorry you can’t seem to determine or perceive a continuum of severity between the above crimes but I trust that the legal eagles can. One other thing – I’ve read several commentators claim that in Sweden, Assange faces a system of closed hearings which is not open to the public. Does that sound like “humanitarian” justice to you?

                      Oh by the way, when was Assange formally charged by Swedish authorities with rape? Because you like to bandy around the “rape” allegation as often as you can there must be a current criminal charge of rape against Assange, right? Right?

                      To me this doesn’t look 100% like a prosecution, and it looks somewhat like a persecution.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Hey McFlock, what’s your explanation for Swedish authorities refusing to question Assange for almost 2 years (during which he had offered to fly to Sweden just for that purpose) including the time he was detained by UK authorities under house arrest.

                      Then, once Julian had been detained in Britain for seventeen months, she [Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny] has continued to refuse to question him either at Scotland Yard, or the Swedish Embassy, and my son says the reason for this is that once he’s questioned, then they have to either let him go or charge him, and obviously they have no evidence to charge him

                      http://www.rt.com/news/julian-sweden-prosecutor-rights-284/

                      Yeah that’s real “humanitarian” right?

                      Like I said, lots of features of a persecution, not a prosecution.

                    • McFlock
                       
                       

                      Yeah – not hugely impressed by an uncited opinion piece from a guy who is an active assange supporter.
                           
                      As for “Assange faces a system of closed hearings which is not open to the public. Does that sound like “humanitarian” justice to you?” In the case of trials for sex crimes – not a bad idea. Although closed hearings don’t seem to be the norm, so again I wonder how much is wiki-spin.
                        
                      By the way, sex without consent = “rape”. A complaint was made, and he left the country. After being questioned already. But (according to your link) his mum says it’s a beat up and he’s offered to be questioned again, on his own terms. Sorry, cops don’t work that way.
                         
                      Here’s a question: if it was a trap to put him in custody so he could be “loaned” to the CIA, why didn’t the yanks arrange a real doozy of a case so he could be arrested immediately then shipped out? Rather than making the complaints inconclusive enough to give him an opportunity to leave? Wouldn’t all your worst fears have been primed and ready for the operation from the get-go?
                         
                      Oh, is it “persecution” or an “absolute duty to prosecute“:
                       

                      a prosecutor is in principle obliged to, as far as possible, follow up a crime investigation and, when there is sufficient evidence, take a decision to prosecute.

                       Again, doesn’t sound like that bad an idea.
                          
                      But the real issue for us is: why do you think rape (or, if you want to minimise it, “complaints of non-consensual sex” – I see the “sex by surprise” minimising line has died off – because it’s bull. But then it did serve to muddy the waters for folk like you) should not be an extraditable offence?

                       
                    • Colonial Viper

                      it’s a beat up and he’s offered to be questioned again, on his own terms. Sorry, cops don’t work that way.

                      The British had Assange under house arrest for 17 months.

                      Why have Swedish authorities not questioned him during that time? Either at Scotland Yard, the Swedish Embassy, or any other venue of their choosing in the UK?

                      Here’s a question: if it was a trap to put him in custody so he could be “loaned” to the CIA, why didn’t the yanks arrange a real doozy of a case so he could be arrested immediately then shipped out?

                      People in charge being too smart. Sure they could have done an extraordinary rendition, for instance.

                      So, ship him out to Sweden then, the prick deserves what’s coming to him anyways. I have nothing vested in Assange and I don’t care much for gossip and moralising on the downfall of celebs.

                      Mind you, if Assange ends up at a supermax facility in the US or some other unspecified location soon after that, I trust you’ll be the first to say you were wrong all along.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Oh yeah you keep going on about “rape”.

                      Charges have been laid against Assange then?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Anyways its great to see the Swedish consistently supporting the US in Afghanistan, and hell, even increasing its commitment of men and materiel several times to help out in the US War against Terror.

                      Good stuff Sweden, the US appreciates it I am sure.

                      http://www.thelocal.se/22372/20090930/

                      Currently it looks like Sweden has 500 combat soldiers on the ground – but up to another 400 military personnel in support roles. 900 peeps. Not bad effort eh!

                    • rosy

                      Another way of looking at it…

                      WikiLeaks’ alleged source Bradley Manning faces trial in the US and the possibility of spending the rest of his life in prison. Sixteen supporters who allegedly took part in attacks on PayPal, Mastercard and Visa, the online equivalent of sit-in protests, for their boycott of WikiLeaks each face up to 15 years in prison and await their day in court.

                      A group of alleged UK hackers belonging to the Lulzsec group will each face their trials next week. And the WikiLeaks submission system remains down, as it has for nearly two years.

                      But we’re not looking at any of that. We’re looking at the Ecuadorean embassy – the aftermath of a few days in Sweden.

                      This author, a former Wikileaks staffer, believes Assange has escalated the situation himself by refusing to take options that might have resolved the case.

                    • McFlock

                      CV,

                      The complaints are about sex without consent. You’re the guy who said he probably did it – why the sudden obsession with whether a charge has been laid or whether he’s just wanted for questioning? Or is this another line in the extradition sand for you?
                           
                      As for why the Swedish police apparently didn’t interview him in the UK, I have no idea whether this is true or not. “Team Assange” (as one of your links put it) have spread quite a bit of disinformation themselves on this issue, generally minimising whether there was a crime at all (“sex by surprise”, “unprotected sex is illegal in Sweden”, etc) or attacking the complainants personally, as well as using every opportunity to belittle the Swedish justice system (The place isn’t Fiji or Uzbekistan, FFS). At the moment I trust “Team Assange” about as much as I trust a CIA press release. 
                           
                      And I think the UK is a closer ally to the US than Sweden.
                           
                      And if Assange does get shipped off to the states, you know what? If it happens after he gets a fair trial and gets shipped off after being found guilty of rape – no retraction from me. If he gets immediately shipped off, no trial or anything – yep, you’d have been correct all along.
                         
                      But that doesn’t excuse pretending that any rape complaint is not serious enough to count as a “real” rape. Sex without consent is rape. Do I support extradition proceedings against rape suspects? Damned straight I do.

                  • Vicky32

                    Job well done.

                    Exactly! That’s the whole point I was trying (and failing) to make, well done CV…

  25. Vicky32 25

    I guess in your world prostitutes can’t be raped, either.
     

    The words gullible, and idiot spring to mind… I suppose you think that Nice Mr Bush really invaded Iraq because Saddam really had WMD? 
    And Guantanamo Bay prison really contains the worst and most stinkin’ evil terrorists in the world?
    Prostitutes have got nothing to do with this case, you’re just trying to paint me as some kind of anti-woman creep – newsflash genius, I am a woman, and last I looked you most definitely are not. 😛
     
     
     

    • McFlock 25.1

      So because Assange did some good things for democracy, he is incapable of rape? Oh wait, his lawyers claim to have evidence of ulterior motives (as do some unsourced internet sites), they can’t be spinning the truth at all. How gullible are you?
           
      And prostitutes are about as relevant to this case as whether he raped a woman after previously having had consensual sex with her (sorry, “second bout of the night!”) or not previously having sex with her. Prior relationship does not overrule current consent.
          

  26. Colonial Viper 26

    Mass UK police privatisation predicted

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/jun/20/g4s-chief-mass-police-privatisation

    Won’t this be fun.

    • fender 26.1

      They really are down with the sickness.

      The comments are all for it, not.

      We might be lucky to have the same if NAct get a 3rd term, or even sooner perhaps, they do policy on the hoof so well after all.

  27. Vicky32 27

    (Go on, please try to make this all about me picking on you, and not about me actually refusing to let rape apologist bullshit go unanswered, you know you want to.)

    Of course it’s about you! It’s about your desperate need for attention, especially from me. (Goodness only knows why, but it’s what you’re like).
    The Swedish charge doesn’t exist in British law. That’s a fact.
    I am not an apologist for rape – I am a straight woman, and therefore have had experience of such things. You however, are an apologist for the Americans… or you’re extremely dense. Pick one. 🙂
     

    • McFlock 27.1

      “The Swedish charge doesn’t exist in British law. That’s a fact.”
      No, it’s a falsehood.
           
      Unless rape isn’t a crime in the UK.
             
      Oh, but he did so well showing up the yanks, he can’t possibly have done anything like what they say. It’s all a conspiracy by those crazy swedes…l  /sarc

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