Open mike 21/11/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, November 21st, 2019 - 127 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

127 comments on “Open mike 21/11/2019 ”

  1. Climaction 2

    How much damage to the environment has NZFirst caused? First the Kermadecs, now the first government to commit to meaningful climate change is sunk

    • Sabine 2.1

      what about National and their – please split these 100.000 direct 'donation' into handy 14.000 dollar donations so as to make them legal? Oh of course, its nationals so it must be ok.

      Please be fair and if you rage against one party rage against all the parties that pull equal shenanigans.

      and establishing a target and nothing much more is not 'meaningful' nor is it a fight, but it is for sure a very serious attempt at being seen as proactive.

      • Climaction 2.1.1

        Thought this government was going to be different and transformational?

        so how is it relevant to rage against National, when there ability to achieve meaningful change from opposition is nil, when the active members of this government are actively sabotaging important work through side shows and deceit

        • You_Fool

          This government was never going to be different as soon as it needed NZF.

          The only way to get transformational leadership is to vote Green, even then it requires that the Green vote is high enough to require significant input into the next government.

        • Sabine

          the thing is that they all do it and you rather then whinge about 'them will /should be better', they aren't.

          they are in it for a paycheck, a perk or several for life and that is it. I think that soimon, jacinda and the whole heck of them would not be as successful in private business simply because they are not good, nor insipriational, nor hard workers. So politics it is. Sadly, you and i will only ever get some crooks to vote for.

          • Climaction

            Except James Shaw. His selfless work on the environment can not be said to be all about the pay check.

            i suspect your right about the rest though. Two second rate provincial lawyers. a fry cook and whatever the hell rimmer did.

            • Sabine

              I have no more use for him then i have for Cloe Swarbrik.

              Nice suits, empty tho.

              • observer

                OK, so you have no time for Shaw, Swarbrick, Ardern … are there any actual human beings in NZ you would like to see on a party's list?

                "I'm holding out for a hero" is a cheesy song, not a smart political strategy.

                • Sabine

                  you still don't get it?

                  I don't need to like any of these people.

                  I just need to vote for them once every three years and as always i will vote for what i consider the lesser evil. Which currently is Labour/Greens and to some extend even NZ First.

                  But what i do want from people who live of mine and your tax dollars is some guts, some conviction and some actual deeds. Currently we have none of that. We get a few band aids so that our elderlies don't freeze in their iceboxes, we get a few band aids so the environmentally inclinded shut up until the next decade and the next labour goverment ( if by hten we still have a government), and so on.

                  So' I will support you no matter what' does not work for me, never did never will.

                  And yes, in a better world we would have polititians rather then empty suits that would be pulling a shift in a back office taking calls.

                  Also ‘i need a hero’ is not a cheesy song, its literally a women crying out for a one night stand. It was considered a feminist song in the late seventies, you know…rather then the bullshit ….’soon you be a women soon’…:)

                  • observer

                    That's not an answer. You've simply put words in my mouth.

                    I wouldn't expect you (or anyone) to say "I will support you no matter what". That's absurd. Nor do I need you to like them as people (again, not what I asked).

                    But if the candidates available are not acceptable to you, it's reasonable to ask who is. If nobody, then what?

                    All you've offered is general slogans and rants. Unfortunately, governments have to be people instead. There really is no way of getting around that fact.

                • Climaction

                  Sabine’s problem is that James was corporate, went politic to fight for what he believes in, but didn’t hang the suit up, throw the soap away and grow dreads.

                  want business, soft national and non wellington professional voters to vote left? Keep James Shaw. He’s achieving across the board

              • solkta

                OK boomer.

      • alwyn 2.1.2

        "please split these 100.000 direct 'donation' into handy 14.000 dollar donations so as to make them legal".

        You seem so sure that your fantasy represents reality Sabine. Just like a number of other commentators on this blog. What evidence do you have? Surely you are not like that odious little creep Ross. He claimed he had recordings of phone conversations that would prove his deranged claims but when he finally produced some nobody but little Jamie could find anything at all that showed that he was anything other than delusional.

        Now, surely you aren't like him? What is your evidence?

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          This 'matter' of splitting donations is the subject of a current SFO investigation.

          The rush to judge NZF in the court of public opinion is a puzzle, but truth will out.

          • alwyn

            You are telling me that it is only under investigation?

            Gosh from some of the comments on this site I had thought that they must have come to a conclusion, held a trial and that the hanging would be at dawn tomorrow.

            I mean from lprent we had

            "Bearing in mind that we have had the National party revealed as doing something even more dodgy (and probably illegal) last year with an allegation from their ex-party whip saying that the National party leader was involved in advising the break up of a $100k donation into $14k chunks to avoid declarations." That sounds rather more than just an investigation taking place.

            Then from Mickysavage we have

            "It is funny that the leader of the party being investigated by the SFO for rorting the election system should be demanding that the leader of the party who is not accused of anything should take action against the leader of a third party that appears to have been really cute with the law but has not necessarily done anything illegal." That sounds as if it is all over doesn't it?

            But hey, Winston has to be protected because when he goes the CoL goes.

            Now what is the actual evidence again? All that JLR released was that Bridges wanted to ensure that the donations were correctly reported.

  2. Jimmy 3

    I see Mr Trump is in even deeper trouble!

    • Sabine 3.1

      i pointed out the company he kept well before the election, and what can one say………maybe it ain't you, but the company you keep lets us to believe that it is you.

      • joe90 3.2.1

        Ken Starr reckons it might be time for Republican Senators to visit the White House and let tRump know that it's all over.

      • Dukeofurl 3.2.2

        She forgets that the aid was only 'unblocked' as it became public knowledge and there was an outcry.

        The Ukraine President had actually agreed to an announcement about 'investigation into the Bidens' and said announcement was about to be made… the outcry came about a day before .

        That Congresswoman, from upper NY state , once she started spouting the Trump lines, apparently her democratic opponent suddenly had a massive surge in donations made online

        • joe90

          Ukraine got the aid because tRump had no legal authority to block it, and it was delivered without his consent.

          President Donald Trump says he lifted his freeze on aid to Ukraine on Sept. 11, but the State Department had quietly authorized releasing $141 million of the money several days earlier, according to five people familiar with the matter.

          The State Department decision, which hasn’t been reported previously, stemmed from a legal finding made earlier in the year, and conveyed in a classified memorandum to Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. State Department lawyers found the White House Office of Management and Budget, and thus the president, had no legal standing to block spending of the Ukraine aid.

        • Sabine

          She did a really good job in raising a million dollar for her opponent NY21.

          just read the comments, and yes she did raise over a million dollar for Tedra Cobb. Well done Elise.

          Nunes is so far doing a good job in raising a few hundred thousands of dollars for his opponent in California22.

          ah man. one can't make this shit up.

          all the money/debt in the world and not one bit of class, intelligence, gut feel, instincts, forsight, hindsight, any sight. Seriously Team Trump are the biggest fucking losers on the planet.

        • mauī

          The BBC must have accidently left out the very un-quid pro quo thing he would go on to say later in the testimony.

          "That was the problem, Mr. Goldman. No one told me directly that the aid was tied to anything. I was presuming it was."

          • The Al1en

            Perhaps you should read the article.

            “He then confirmed the president had sought an investigation in exchange for a White House visit for Mr Zelensky – a quid pro quo (a favour in return for a favour).”

            "I know that members of this committee have frequently framed these complicated issues in the form of a simple question: Was there a quid pro quo? As I testified previously, with regard to the requested White House call and White House meeting, the answer is yes."

            “The word “bombshell” gets thrown around a lot these days, but Mr Sondland’s testimony, which represents a shift from his earlier closed-door statements, is a watershed moment in these impeachment investigations.”

          • Macro

            You really have to stop watching Faux News.

            That quote you make is taken completely out of context. Sondland was quietly trying to cover his ass at that point, because he, and all the others in the loop, are just as deep in the shit as Trump. Sondland doesn't want to go to jail so he is spilling the beans, in an effort to curry favour. Fact is there was a criminal conspiracy Orchestrated by Trump and Giuliani to bribe the Ukraine Government to carry out a spoof "investigation", so Trump could run deflection in the forthcoming 2020 elections.

            • Macro

              Sondland – The U.S. ambassador to the European Union testified that he and senior administration officials “followed the president’s orders” to work with Rudy Giuliani to pressure Ukraine into announcing investigations into Joe Biden and the discredited conspiracy theory that the country helped Democrats in the 2016 election. Gordon Sondland testified that he, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, and special envoy Kurt Volker coordinated with Giuliani at the “at the express direction of the president of the United States” to pressure Ukraine into launching investigations. Sondland said he directly communicated the “quid pro quo” arrangement to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Sondland also provided House impeachment investigators with emails and texts showing that acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Perry, and others were all aware that Trump conditioned a White House meeting for Zelensky on his willingness to launch investigations. “They knew what we were doing and why,” Sondland said. “Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret.”

              That is essentially a bribe. And that is an impeachable offence.

      • Sabine 3.2.4

        “We followed the president’s orders,” Sondland said, in a statement full of these blunt statements that fit beautifully in headlines.

        “Everyone was in the loop,” Sondland said of the scheme to extort Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky into making public statements to back Trump’s conspiracy theories.

        “A lot of senior officials,” he noted, naming names: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and their respective staffs — and he brought emails to back these accusations up. Pompeo, in particular, is implicated in discussions about the specific language they wished Zelensky to use in order to stoke lies about Biden.


        “We followed the president’s orders,” Sondland said, in a statement full of these blunt statements that fit beautifully in headlines.

        Be best, or be better.

        Next, bye.

  3. Adrian 4

    No mention of Chinese Communist Party donations to NZ1 Foundations I notice.

    Sounds like the main complainer is a Nat supporter who wants his poxy 5 grand back so he can add it to the hundreds of thousands of Beijing Government money. Good on ya mate ! Hypocrit and arsehole.

    • Karol121 4.1

      He may have figured that a win or place bet on the New Zealand First (NZF) horse would have been very much an outside bet, but combined with the influence that NZF would have had over other horses in the race if one or other of the other two came in neck to neck, the return was likely to be enormous.

      So NAT and LAB, combined in that post election combination, might have actually provided for a very large collect by him by way of an extra bet, but I cannot suggest this to have been his position.

      The old days of first and place bets are finished, and more sophisticated punt arrangements seem to now be preferred.

      But it is possible that he may have collected big on some other bet placed, or that others might have in a similar way.

  4. Adrian Thornton 5

    Julian Assange's Extradition Case is the MOST IMPORTANT Press Freedom Case of our Lives

    Sweden Drops Julian Assange Rape Investigation

    “The evidence is not strong enough to form the basis of an indictment,” says deputy director of public prosecutors

    • Sacha 5.1

      Your excitement is obvious enough without the bold capitals.

    • aj 5.2

      Thank you Adrian. As Corré says, it's shameful and a stain on the British justice system

      • francesca 5.3.1

        It was the Swedes who were avoiding due process. There was no need to question Assange in Sweden, when he'd declared his willingness to be questioned in the Embassy.Also he was under house arrest for 18 months before being granted political asylum in the Embassy There was absolutely zero reason why the Swedes could not have questioned him then.For the umpteenth time, Swedish prosecutors were able to question Assange in the UK.There's nothing unusual about it.

        All this has already been pointed out by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer

        "● Disregard for the Mutual Legal Assistance agreement: Melzer again pointed to the refusal of Swedish prosecutors to interview Assange, noting that this “raises serious doubts as to the good faith motivation of the Swedish prosecution"

        As it turns out Assange had every reason to fear the Swedes would turn him in to the US if he landed up in Sweden

        • The Al1en

          Of course it's the right of the suspect to determine the whereabouts investigator interviews take place, especially when they've gone to court to avoid extradition, then fled like a coward to a foreign embassy, but yeah, the "fear the Swedes would turn him in to the US if he landed up in Sweden", how did that work out as a plan? Don't answer, I don't care for your spin.

          Whether he should be sent to the states for the wikileaks dumps is one thing, after all he did sanction the leaks, and they have a lawful right to go after him for that, but in many people's eyes he'll always be tainted more for failing to front the rape allegations.

          All this torture talk is wank. His reality has come home to roost, and like most times when it catches up, it hits hardest on the weak. It's like now he knows what it's like to be f*cked without consent and it's a bust. Karma?

          • Francesca

            Come on

            If the Swedes had been interested in bringing Assange to "justice" They would have pursued all avenues

            They didn't, and let the whole thing go dormant for 9 years

            You have got a lot of

            ugly anger but no argument , same as the Swedes

            • McFlock

              "pursued all avenues".

              Why "pursue" if there's no chance of arrest and trial?

              • francesca

                Because they could at least get to the stage of deciding whether charges should be laid , or the case thrown out.
                And of course, McFlock, in the end they did question him at the Embassy, in 2016, which they could have done all along, so clearly they felt it was worthwhile

                • McFlock

                  Except that the interview changed nothing, so obviously it was pointless to do it in a protected area.

                  As for "deciding whether charges should be laid", again, if it were as clear cut as that then the British Supreme Court would have denied extradition. And Assange's legal team did a better job of making that argument than you ever have.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    "Except that the interview changed nothing, so obviously it was pointless to do it in a protected area."

                    Could you expand on your reasoning, i.e. that the 2016 interview was pointless? Do you think that the interview would have been less pointless if it had been conducted in an 'unprotected area' (?), and if so, why?

                    • McFlock

                      The prosecutors had already informed Assange's lawyer they had enough evidence to arrest unless a second interview dramatically changed the picture.

                      If the interview had left the prosecutors no evidence to discontinue those proceedings extant at the time, in an unprotected area (i.e. Sweden) he would have been arrested and quickly brought before a court (as per Swedish procedure).

                      If the interview had made it clear the allegations were all bunk, protected area or not the proceedings would have been discontinued then and there.

                      The proceedings continued but did not lead to an immediate arrest and court appearance. The interview changed nothing. From a criminal procedure point of view, the interview served no purpose.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      If the Swedish prosecutors believed that they had enough evidence to arrest Assange prior to the 2016 interview, and the interview changed nothing, then why didn’t the prosecutors subsequently arrest/indict Assange? After all, they've had plenty of time to prepare, and Assange hasn't been in a 'protected area' for some time.

                      Seems extraordinary to me that Swedish prosecutors would choose to drop their investigation into the more serious allegation (of rape) prior to the statute of limitations expiring in 2020.

                      "In 2013, Sweden tried to drop Assange extradition but the English Crown Prosecution Service dissuaded them from doing so."


                    • McFlock

                      Cliff notes from the UK court judgements:
                      UK procedure = complaint, investigate, charge on prima facie evidence, throughly investigate, court.

                      Swedish procdure: complaint, investigate prima facie (intial interview), thoroughly investigate (second interview), charge, straight to court. In both jurisdictions, going to court before you've thoroughly investigated = shafting your own case.

                      As for choosing to drop proceedings before the statute of limitations expires, the official comment was that so much time has passed that evidence will be less reliable. I suspect "Assange will drag out the process in the UK until the clock ticks out" was also a factor.

                      Oh, and if someone had lumped me with an Assange-level headache for several years and then wanted to drop it, I'd be pissed, too.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Spare a thought for the alleged rape victim(s), denied their day in court. Ah well, the Swedish and U.K. justice systems did their best.

                    • McFlock

                      🙄 you were talking about the CPS.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Swedish prosecutors have declined to investigate further, and the U.K. judiciary has had its pound of flesh:

                      His assertion that he has not had a fair hearing is laughable. And his behaviour is that of a narcissist who cannot get beyond his own selfish interests.” – Judge Snow

                      Time for the U.S. 'courts' to have a go.

                      Wonder if there'll be anything left when they're finished. Still, not our worry, eh.

                      2008, The Economist New Media Award
                      2009, Amnesty International UK Media Awards
                      2010, Time Person of the Year, Reader’s Choice
                      2010, Sam Adams Award
                      2010, Le Monde Readers’ Choice Award for Person of the Year
                      2011, Free Dacia Award
                      2011, Sydney Peace Foundation Gold Medal
                      2011, Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism
                      2011, Voltaire Award for Free Speech
                      2012, Big Brother Award Italy 2012 “Hero of Privacy”
                      2013, Global Exchange Human Rights Award, People’s Choice
                      2013, Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts
                      2013, New York Festivals World’s Best TV & Films Silver World Medal
                      2014, Union of Journalists in Kazakhstan Top Prize
                      2019, GUE/NGL Galizia prize
                      2019, Gavin MacFadyen award

                    • McFlock

                      The Swedish prosecutors are faced the fact that the dude ran out the clock on any chance of a successful prosecution. Don't go pretending it's a fickle decision.

                      As for the yanks, they suck. But so does Assange, so I'm a bit ambivalent about the entire thing. I hope the UK kicks out the extradiction request, but I'm not inclined to put much effort into condemning it.

                      edit: how many awards should be good for discontinuing a sexual assault investigation? Are they like supermarket purchase stickers, where you have to collect a couple of dozen before you can trade them in for a couple of crystal tumblers?

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      Curious – why do you "hope the UK kicks out the extradition request"? Do you think the US request is unwarranted, are you concerned about what might happen to Assange when he is extradited, or is it something else?

                      Reckon Sweden will have picked up a few more ‘reward stickers’ for the timely dropping of their investigation – or maybe these things just happen.

                      Assange faces US extradition hearing as Sweden drops rape probe

                    • McFlock

                      I think the US charges are generally over-inflated. Espionage Act, weren't some of them? ISTR that was pretty thin, based on supposed "encouragement" and "assistance" for Manning.

                      Now, if some of the charges involved allegationsd of electoral interference for 2016, I'd definitely be suspecting that maybe the yanks had a point for those.

                      As for the Swedes' choices, frankly I'd trust them over Assange, the yanks, or even the brits. Just my perception, though.

            • Adrian Thornton

              "You have got a lot of ugly anger but no argument , same as the Swedes" yep Francesca you are right on the mark there, I couldn't have put it better. Some seriously twisted world views get unleashed here, Al1en usually commenting gleefully somewhere near the top of that stinking pile….McFlock a close second.

            • The Al1en

              “Come on”

              And if he was so keen to clear his name he wouldn't have run away and hid for all those years, but at least with him being legally banged up in Belmarsh for his skipping bail, we can't blame the prosecutors for not doing their jobs properly this time.

              • McFlock

                I believe the skipping bail penalty is finished, so now he's banged up in Belmarsh because he has form for skipping bail and therefore they won't give him bail to skip again.

                • The Al1en

                  Well you wouldn't trust him not to run away again, would you? Not even if he took large amounts of other people's money to use as a bail bond.

                  And to repeat what I’ve stated on here before, he shouldn’t be extradited to the u.s.a, but deported back to Australia.

                • francesca

                  Yep, the the good old sycophantic UK doing the bidding of the Trump administration .

                  • The Al1en

                    Who benefited from his Clinton emails dump. Strange old world, eh?

                    • Adrian Thornton

                      Love the way you conspiracy peddlers have to constantly turn logic inside out, contort it this way and that to make these nutty stories that are feed to you make some kind of vague sense…which of course they don't.

                      It would be quite funny if it wasn't so sad.

                  • McFlock


                    which goes back to the biggest oddity of all – if he was genuinely afraid of a covert US-invented case against him in Sweden, why did he flee to the protection of the USA's closest ally…

                    • Brigid

                      You know very well that Ecuador, at the time that Assange sought refuge in their embassy, was not USA's 'closest ally'.

                      You really are grasping at the finest scrap of straw now.

                    • Brigid

                      On the expulsion of US ambassador Heather Hodges in April 2011 by President Correa of Ecuador he said: “Mrs. Hodges has never treated our government well. Though our relations with the US are quite stable now, unfortunately, some US officials are spying on our police, trying to accuse me of corruption”.


                    • The Al1en

                      You've clearly misunderstood the comment "why did he flee to the protection of the USA's closest ally…" which refers to running away to the UK – The u.s' closest ally.

                    • McFlock

                      no, the country he went to after his lawyer was told that formal charges were likely after the second interview.

                      Going to ground in an embassy was just stupid.

  5. Ad 6

    On RNZ this morning it was impressive to hear the President of the NZ Deerstalkers Association complaining that 1080 should not be dropped by DoC at this time of the year because it might be inhumane to young deer.

    Even Corin Dann had to ask the obvious question about why they are complaining about harm to deer when their whole purpose is to shoot them dead in the first place.

    Minister Sage brought the discussion back to the reality of a massive mast year and actually protecting highly threatened native species.


    • Dukeofurl 6.1

      Thats a good point. Many people die in hospital too, doesnt mean we shouldnt have them as you have to think of the actual intent rather than a minor side effect

    • solkta 6.2

      And no complaints from him about it being inhumane for target species.

    • Adrian Thornton 6.3

      If any govt is serious about protecting " highly threatened native species " one of the first things they would have to do is start an eradication programme of those invasive apex predators the Rainbow and Brown Trouts from our water ways and seriously look at curtailing whitebaiting in some way.

      As I have said on here before I interviewed Bod McDowall about ten years ago about NZ fresh water fishes, and he said off the record that most of the large native species where headed toward extinction though environmental degradation of one form or another (mainly farming of course) introduced predators and whitebaiting.

      Bob McDowall

      Giant Kōkopu

        • Adrian Thornton

          Thanks for that, I will have to track down a copy of that book. I actually quite like Trout as a fish species, I have kept them and grown them from fry in aquariums, just as a matter of interest, and found them to have quite a bit of character, but are hyper aggressive, so not too good with other fish, and they grow extremely fast, are very territorial, all the things you wouldn't want to introduce into a foreign environment you would think.

    • bwaghorn 6.4

      Quite a large difference between a quick death from a bullet and writhing in pain kicking you guts for hours!!

      Not anti 1080 but just thought I'd give you the hunters probable perspective.

    • Sabine 6.5

      open it for hunting. Deer is good eating. 1080 aint'.

  6. Peter 7

    It was like the Queen had died. It was as if the most alarming constitutional situation since 1506 had arisen.

    A snowball was rolling down the hill getting bigger and bigger and was certain to engulf those in its path.

    Yes, the grave tones of Matthew Hooton on RNZ talking about the New Zealand First funding episode. Sorry, talking about Jacinda Ardern's responsibility around the New Zealand First funding episode.

    No shrill shrieks to attract others to push the ball down the hill, just solemn mode. And gravitas furthered with, "What I’m about say I checked with a professor of constitutional law and a senior partner of a very major law firm…"

    My start to genuflect interrupted by a massive involuntary chunder.

    • Buster12 7.1

      Even NoRightTurn thinks its her problem, you wouldnt call him a right wing shrill would you?..

      • Peter 7.1.1

        There is a situation for her to deal with. You get that in the job. Is it the biggest constitutional crisis we've ever had? Or could have?

        I recognise it has political importance. That's why Hooton is trying to portray it as a game of tennis between master players on a packed centre Wimbledon Court, watched by zillions on electronica all round the world with the result seeing the extermination of all the citizens of the country of the loser.

        It's another game of knockabout tennis on a suburban or country court on a Thursday morning.

    • Anne 7.2

      You can always tell when Hooton goes into super-hyper mode. The tone of his voice drops a decibel or two and the words come out of his mouth slow and measured. It's the brief moment when us listeners sit up and wonder what earth shattering event has just occurred… followed by a slump back into normal mode and a sigh of general deflation.

      It's a tale often dispersed with faint giggles in the background emanating from Mike Williams signifying that normal discourse has temporarily halted but will shortly resume.

      • Wensleydale 7.2.1

        What is the point of Mike Williams? Seriously. You could replace him with one of those nodding dogs that sit in the rear window of your car and I doubt anyone would notice.

    • Pat 7.3

      Hooten dangerously good at his job and Kathryn Ryan a big fan girl who gives him too much leeway to practise his art….this a full court press to push support parties below threshold and no expense is being spared…..guess all that Chinese donated money to the National Party had to find a home somewhere

  7. "The likely benefit of hiding in an embassy for years to avoid due process."

    It was the Swedes who were avoiding due process. There was no need to question Assange in Sweden, when he'd declared his willingness to be questioned in the Embassy.Also he was under house arrest for 18 months before being granted political asylum in the Embassy There was absolutely zero reason why the Swedes could not have questioned him then.For the umpteenth time, Swedish prosecutors were able to question Assange in the UK.There's nothing unusual about it.

    All this has already been pointed out by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer

    "● Disregard for the Mutual Legal Assistance agreement: Melzer again pointed to the refusal of Swedish prosecutors to interview Assange, noting that this “raises serious doubts as to the good faith motivation of the Swedish prosecution"

    As it turns out Assange had every reason to fear the Swedes would turn him in to the US if he landed up in Sweden

    Read for godsake

    • RedLogix 8.1

      And facing an effective death sentence … 175 yrs imprisonment. I suppose all those who so vociferously called him a 'rapist' here for so many years must be very pleased with themselves now.

      • Sabine 8.1.1

        How is Chelsea Manning doing? She still in prison?

        Oh, yeah, that is exactly where she is.

        North Bethesda, Maryland, U.S. Chelsea Elizabeth Manning (born Bradley Edward Manning, December 17, 1987) is an American activist and whistleblower. … Manning is currently in jail for her continued refusal to testify before a grand jury against Julian Assange.

        No people simply point out that the man is a bit of dick, and may even be a little bit at fault for getting himself into that position.

        • RedLogix

          Right from the outset it was obvious the Swedish 'prosecution' was politically motivated and his fears of being extradited to the USA were justified. These claims, that many lefties sneered at for so long, are now proven beyond all doubt.

          But now you seem to be implying that because Manning is in prison for telling the truth, therefore Assange should be as well? And because a man is a 'bit of a dick' … this now rates an effective death sentence in some concrete hell hole?

          Still it's highly likely the UK is going to hand him over to the Americans , so you should be very pleased with yourself. You win; enjoy it.

          • Sabine

            We judge women who have children without husbands, who have sex without being married and there you have a responsible partner who wants the sex but no babies and he fucks it up for no reason other then himslef. Maybe really that actually needs to be seen as what it is and spoken of as is. A dumb stupid penis driven action that got himself into the biggest shitpile of the world.

            As for him being handed to Trump? No i don't enjoy that, i would not enjoy that for anyone. Trump now needs someone he can offer to the altar of his base – lest they abandon him – and Assange would be good for that.

            But that too is Assanges fault for literally reading the Trumpster wrong and hoping that the guy who is a sadistic fuck will give him clemency or something. So in all of your hand wringing about the fault of others, all i ask is that Assanges fuck ups should be equally be considered a reason for his current predicament.

            And meanwhile Chelsea Manning is still in prison for upholding her convictions. And i see no hot tears from the Assange is hard done by crowd.

            • RedLogix

              And i see no hot tears from the Assange is hard done by crowd.

              Maybe because you haven't looked. Manning may get less overt attention, but she has certainly not been ignored. Her plight as a whistleblower is equally appalling and significant.

              But that's the point … you seem to have a great deal of sympathy for Manning that I share with you. But for some reason you characterise Assange as a 'dick' who is still somehow to blame for what is happening to him.

              • Sabine

                i have a great deal of Chelsea Manning as she not only did what she believed is right, but she also accepted the punishment for it. – This does not mean i think she should have gotten accused/prosecuted/judged, far from it.

                As for Assange, i had a great deal of time for him until he started behaving like a dick. When one sits in a glass house one should not start throwing stones. Firstly and secondly if it is ok for Chelsea Manning to go to prison, if it is Ok for Snowden to hide in Russia then it would equally behoove Assange to use his brains every now and then rather then just demand to be treated differnently then all the others.

                And yes, with his sexual partner he behaved like a dick (unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases are often kept abay by using condoms or so we are told), and then subsequently ever since. For a supposedly smart man he behaved like an idiot. And he should have known that he is wanted, he should have known that the Yankees will not be kind, he should have known that he needs to treat lightly and he gave no shits about nothing. And that is part of the narrative no matter how unpleasant you may find that.

                Idiocy, Stupidity, Arrogance do not protect one from harm. Personally i believe that him betting on Trump was his biggest idiotic action since fucking without that darn condom.

                In all things that happen to us we are always a bit to blame. And so is he.

                • RedLogix

                  Ah no … it's not OK for Manning to be in prison for the rest of her life, nor for Snowden to be stuck in Russia indefinitely. But Assange is different because … sex.

                  By this logic all whistleblowers and journalists are required to live blameless, sex free lives in order that they remain above all possible reproach on their characters. In the meantime the actual war crimes they tell the truth about just aren't important any more.

                  • Sabine

                    oh boy!

                    Oh no its not ok for all of them to be in prison for the rest of their lifes as what they did was the right thing to do. Firstly.

                    Secondly., Snowden is in russia in exile- and he most likely knows that it will be for the rest of his life, and Chelsea was in prison – and without clemency from Obama would be there for the rest of her life, and currently is prison for refusing to testify about Assange. Personal responsability, they do it!

                    By my logic, all whistle blowers and journalists have enough brains, and should have enough brains to know that if it goes all wrong life as it was is pretty much over. And frankly, most of them do, and they don't end up holed up in a room in an embassy somewhere because they fear being arrested after fucking up a consensual booty call. He would have done much better demanding political asylum anywhere on this planet and demand his day in court, under the cameras of the world yadda yadda yadda….instead he was hoping for a US government that is more favorable to him, bet on Trump, and loses as everyone who works with that shitface does. Cause Trump only has clemency at heart for one person, himself. All others are simply there to advance his agenda and once that is done they have no more uses for them, And that is Assanges dilemma atm. He has outlived his usefulness.

                  • McFlock

                    because … sex.

                    ..ual assault.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      The Swedish investigation into the alleged rape / sexual assault by Assange has been dropped – maybe it has served its purpose.

                    • McFlock

                      And maybe that's just what a rapist/sexual assailant wants you to believe.

                      But my point was that me wanting Assange to have faced a court wasn't about "sex". It was to face up to sexual assault allegations.

                      And one thing that really makes me think some people would be happy for him to actually get away with rape because wikileaks is when they imply the investigation and grounds for extradition related to consensual sex rather than sexual assault.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      No need to be cute, McFlock – when you write "a rapist/sexual assailant“, you mean Assange, right?

                      And are you suggesting that dropping the investigation now plays into Assange's hands because it creates the impression that Sweden is making way for US extradition proceedings? What a manipulative monster he is!

                      Could the Swedish prosecutors have sustained their investigation until the statute of limitations ran out in August 2020, maybe out of respect for the (alleged) victims? We'll never know.

                      IMHO it's pretty scurrilous to suggest that anyone "would be happy for him [Assange] to actually get away with rape" – inflammatory even.

                    • McFlock

                      I mean maybe Assange.

                      "Maybe" it's all a big con on behalf of the US (that's what you meant by "served its purpose", right – that the charges were fabricated for the yanks?)

                      "Maybe" a sexual offender kept running any lying and running and ended up turning himself into a bargaining chip.

                      We'll never know because the guy who skipped on the Swedes in August 2010 dragged the extradition hearings out until May 2012, and now there's only a year for the most serious charges to run out the statute of limitations.

                      And I can't see any other relevance a list of awards has in relation to sexual assault allegations against the recipient of those awards other than to try to somehow minimise or deflect from those allegations. Feel free to come up with a decent excuse, something other than "he's such a great guy let's talk about that rather than the allegations against him". Please. Because one thing has not a damned thing to do with the other.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      The thread in which I listed Assange's modest collection of awards and honours began with Adrian's comment (@5) on "Julian Assange's Extradition Case is the MOST IMPORTANT Press Freedom Case of our Lives", and "Sweden Drops Julian Assange Rape Investigation".

                      I appended that list of awards/honours to my comment @9:17 pm partly because of its relevance to “Press Freedom” and partly because I thought it might annoy you, but you are unflappable – no-one could think that suggesting 'some people' "would be happy for him [Assange] to actually get away with rape" was a sign of irritation. Nevertheless, that’s a mighty fine pearl you're working on laugh

                    • McFlock


                      Nested ten deep, the subthread subject matter had moved into very different territory.

                • Brigid

                  Of course he should have used a condom. Perhaps he is a bit of a dick. Who hasn't behaved like a dick sometime? But you seem to choose to ignore the fact that even if he'd behaved with decorum of the highest order, he still would have ended up in jail on some trumped up charge.

                  Does it not bother you that he is being charged while all the media outlets that published the wikileaks files remain untouched.

                  Doesn't it bother you that he was spied on while in the Ecuadorian embassy, that Moreno allowed the British into the embassy to remove him and incarcerate him.

                  If your sympathies actually lie with the women Assange was involved with they may be misplaced as they have declared they had no desire to have him charged.

                  Or is it simply a calvinist desire to punish, because we all must be punished.

          • Nic the NZer

            Yeah, welcome back. Its same same here and that kind of comment passes for a notion of justice for some.

      • greywarshark 8.1.2

        Good to hear some sense about Assange's situation Red Logix.

        • RedLogix

          The credit goes to regulars like francesca and Bridget who have been firm and clear on this story all along. My respect goes to them.

          And to be fair to everyone else … I would love nothing more than for the divisiveness and bruising this whole affair has caused to be ended and healed.

    • Sabine 8.2

      the swedes hid in an embassy for years to avoid due process?

      oh my.

  8. Gosman 9

    Further to the discussion yesterday about the term "indigenous".

    There seems to be a broad agreement that the definition of the term seems to be related to the point at which Europeans first came across a group of people (although there may be exceptions to this).

    This is the a run down on the current view as far as I am aware. Maori are indigenous to NZ but the Celtic people are not indigenous to England. Possible exceptions may include the Japanese who may or may not be regarded as indigenous to the Japanese given the existence of the Ainu people. Han Chinese may be indigenous to parts of China but not the entire country. Malays are treated as being indigenous to Malaysia (at least according to their own laws) yet are actually not the original people in the area. Shona people in Zimbabwe are indigenous but the Ndebele who live there are not possibly despite nither of them actually being the original inhabitants of the land (which are likely the San people). All First nation /American Indian people are indigeous to the entire American continent regardless of where they live. Arabs are indigenous to Arabia but not to most of the Arab World.

    Is that view correct?

    • Dukeofurl 9.1

      So your main point is … to cut through to the chase …why cant 1948 be counted as the cutoff date for being indigenous .

      You are not really interested in the Ndebele are you?

    • McFlock 9.2

      Maori are indigenous to NZ but the Celtic people are not indigenous to England.

      Do the "Celtic people" still exist as a cultural group in England?

      But when the Romans went in, the Celts could be regarded as "indigenous" or "native" in the common use of the term, e.g.:

      The native peoples under Roman rule became Romanised and keen to adopt Roman ways.

      That excerpt from Wikipedia is simply used to show that the word "native" isn't restricted to people encountered by modern Europeans. Another example (this time using the term "indigenous") is the wikipedia entry "Taiwanese indigenous peoples".

      Basically, the term seems to encompass the people who were first into an area compared to other ethnic groups. Eurocentrism is your spin, for whatever reason.

      lastly: Wictionary:

      indigenous (not comparable)

      1. (chiefly of living things) Born or engendered in, native to a land or region, especially before an intrusion. [from 17th c.]
      2. Innate, inborn. [from 19th c.]
      3. Of or relating to the native inhabitants of a land.
      4. Of or relating to a language, culture, or ethnic group that has not spread by colonization, or that has been on the receiving end of colonization.
  9. joe90 10

    And then they steal the children.

    There are 28 pages detailing the periods, pregnancies and reason for the pregnancy (whether by rape or not) of teen girls in custody, some of whom are as young as 12. There may well be reasons for the government to track whether or not a woman is pregnant, and how far along in her pregnancy she is, but there’s no reason to track the cause of her pregnancy. It’s pretty fair to assume that they’re not doing this because they want to ensure women know all the options regarding their pregnancy. It’s almost certainly an attempt to bar them from getting abortions.

    • Sabine 10.1

      they have stolen over 5000 children and nary a noise.

      I guess its ok, these are the children and babies of undesirables, and 'her fucking emails' .

  10. Sabine 11

    Interesting news.

    Tuesday's resolution was opposed by Israel, the United States and three Pacific island nations that depend heavily on U.S. aid and tend to vote with Washington at the UN: the Marshall Islands, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia.

    Speaking on background, an official at Global Affairs Canada said the vote sends a message that Canada does not agree with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's assertion on Monday that Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territories are "not, per se, inconsistent with international law."

    • Dukeofurl 11.1

      World oddities .

      Crimea occupation by Russia is illegal , but not the Nato occupation of Kososvo

      Turkeys support for the puppet state of Northern Cyprus is OK , while Russias support of puppet state of South Ossetia in Georgia isnt.

      The US occupation and control of Chagos Islands and Diego Garcia ( still UK territories)in the South Indian Ocean is OK despite it being illegal under UN rules about splitting of territories and evicting its resident people when Mauritius became independent. ICJ has also ruled the split was illegal.

      a wiki leaks dislosure UK wanted to declare a marine reserve – the worlds largest-to prevent the Chagossians from returning , while allowing US to remain at Diego Garcia. This has now occurred

      • Brigid 11.1.1

        The expulsion of the Chagossians was one of the many disgusting acts of the UK government. To avoid using the phrase "permanent inhabitants" they declared them 'belongers' of Mauritius and the Seychelles and only temporary residents of BIOT

        "This devise, although rather transparent, would at least give us a defensible position to take up at the UN."

  11. ianmac 12

    Thanks Peter. Question Time today:

    Yes Nick Smith must be pissed off! A barrage of questions re the National Electoral spending tricks of the Electoral Act was the response to Nick Smith trying to trap the Minister of Justice. Brownlee tried to block the Government response. Brilliant.

    And the multi-million dollar warning that should Smith or Bridges repeat outside what they said in House, they will be sued for defamation.

    Question 9

  12. McFlock 13

    Great "seemed like a good idea at the time" moments from history #5739: Julia Roberts was suggested to play Harriet Tubman when the project first floated 25 years ago.

    According to Howard, a “then-president of a studio sublabel” praised the script and then suggested Roberts play Tubman. “Fortunately, there was a single black person in that studio meeting 25 years ago who told him that Harriet Tubman was a black woman,” Howard wrote in the Times piece. “The president replied, ‘That was so long ago. No one will know that.'”

    Diversity in the boardroom heads off stupid plan at the start.

  13. Eco maori 15

    Kia Ora 1 News.

    I new a couple who had a daughter on that flight it stuffed them up.

    And they try and brand me A troll.

    Its great to see people cleaning up the rubbish in Tangaroa.

    Ka kite Ano

  14. Eco maori 16

    Kia Ora Te Ao Maori News.

    I think it's great that people in jail for less than 3 years get back the right to vote. 59 % them are Maori that was suppressing Maori in my view.

    One must take care of there drinking Wai take care of all Wai a cheap testing kit is cool.

    I can see how much Mana Tangata Whenua O Aotearoa Culture has been blessed with .

    Ka kite Ano

  15. Eco maori 17

    Kia Ora breakfast show.

    Edd TV.

    Are there no positive Tangata Whenua stories.????????????.

    I think every City should have a company that has a Charter to provide employment for people who are discriminated against in mainstream business .

    Data is the new gold it needs to be controlled to protect the many from the greedy

    Ka kite Ano

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