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Open mike 21/01/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:50 am, January 21st, 2015 - 268 comments
Categories: open mike, uncategorized - Tags:

openmikeOpen 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 …

268 comments on “Open mike 21/01/2015 ”

  1. “..Can Medical Marijuana Curb Heroin Addiction?..” (ed:..i can confirm the answer to that is ‘yes’..)

    “..New research shows that medical marijuana states have lower opiate overdose rates.

    Maybe it’s time to consider pot as a substitute for smack..”

    (ed:..i was addicted to heroin for approx. 15 yrs..

    ..and cannabis was of great assistance in helping me kick/shed that addiction..(i have not used heroin for longer than i was addicted to it..)

    ..and i think medical-cannabis should be offered to anyone trying to kick anything..

    ..and no..i went nowhere near that vile muck..methadone..)



  2. “..How 3D printing and land reform could help to solve the housing crisis..” (ed:..why are there no discussions of this ilk here in nz..?..why is tearing up the environmental-protections contained in the resource management act the only ‘solution’ this brain-dead/imagination-free government can come up with..?..)

    :..and the small-house movement..?..

    ..they apparently have not heard of that either..

    ..now..3d-printing ‘small’ houses in well-planned clusters..?..)



    • Molly 2.1

      Phil, went to a couple of affordable housing meetings, and realised that they were all still talking about more of the same, and just affordable to build.

      If you are interested in the tiny house movement and other alternatives have a look at these links.

      We The Tiny House People – film by Kirsten Diksen (who has a Youtube channel)
      Jay Schaffer from theTumbleweed Tiny House Company: speaks on The Politics of Tiny Houses
      Dan Phillips (Ted Talk) from the for-profit business of Phoenix Commotion that uses recycled materials and unskilled labour to build and teach at the same time. His workforce then have the ability to work for others or to build their own low-cost dwelling.
      Texas Tiny Houses – works of art that you can easily transport and live in.
      Japanese design of small houses

      There are many looking at alternatives but at personal decision levels, not official ones. In Auckland, a young couple have blogged their projects.

      We had a look at the 3D printing a while ago, but remain attached to the use of good design for site, and the use of local materials. As part of our home ed curriculum we are accumulating materials to build a small cob building for a project.

      If we ever finish it will post link.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      So, a sensible property developer sees all the things we might see as valuable about housing – quality, affordability sustainability, community leadership – not as investments, but as costs. No matter how much land we may release to housebuilders, no sensible executive will ever release so many new properties onto the market that they cause prices to fall. Their shareholders would (rightly) sack them if they did.

      In other words, traditional property developers cannot solve the housing crisis, because they are almost perfectly designed not to.


      There is only one group with a direct reason to build homes with – for example – better energy performance, and that is the people who are going to pay the heating bills: us.

      Actually, that both right and wrong but mostly wrong. When it comes down to it we have an energy budget that equates to the present sustainable rate of generation. We need to know this information so that we can then choose where that budget is spent. The pricing model is supposed to do this but it’s actually terrible at it as it drives a significant minority into not having access to that resource. We see this in people not being able to pay their power bills and/or having enough food to eat despite there being enough of food and power for them to have both.

      But we also need to reform the land market, to make it dramatically easier for those without much capital to buy a plot of land and commission their own homes – either individually or as a group.

      And back to the failed must make land available demand.

      I’m all for people building their own homes but we need to encourage them to build high density in already built up areas while we work to return land back to its natural state.

      • Molly 2.2.1

        Thanks Draco.

        Agree with your final statement. That’s why I’m so keen on cohousing. The residents are not necessarily the builders but they are the developers and as such they get to create their own design. The majority of designs will cluster the homes and design for one big carpark on the edge.

        The lack of ‘dead space’ between houses, and area gain through no driveways or separate parking release land to be utilised for shared spaces including regeneration of natural habitats if that is what is decided upon.

        That option is not available to lower-middle income owners of standard homes on small sections, whether they build or not.

  3. b waghorn 3

    Mr Little on tv3 this morning asked about whether a drought should be declared got caught completely flat footed and decided to take the just flap his lips and hope something good flies out of his mouth approach. 3/10

    • Jenny Kirk 3.1

      Oh for goodness sake, b waghorn. Andrew Little doesn’t have to know everything and dairying in the south – Canterbury – or wherever is a stupid thing to be doing in such a well known dry place.

      • Colonial Rawshark 3.1.1

        to people in rural centres everywhere it is a signal as to whether Labour keeps track of and cares about the very basics of what is happening to the farming sector. The answer unfortunately, remains “No”

        People farming in the Waikato or Bay of Plenty will be very aware of what farmers are facing further down south currently and will note that Little does not.

        • Jim Nald

          Good to hear Andrew Little is out and about, although the general sense or impression I have had is that ‘Labour’ is on summer holiday.

          Am I right? Do please correct me, otherwise.

        • b waghorn

          Labour has Damien O’Connor who is well regarded in farming circles maybe they should have him at the front of all things rural . I know he upset a few with his gaggle of gays comments but onwards and upwards

      • vto 3.1.2

        Yes it is rather astounding what we humans will do at times – fly completely in the face of nature and history… only to get swatted down like a fly some time later and then act all surprised …..

        … good example in exactly this region was the windstorms about a year ago which upturned and wrecked countless irrigators etc across Canterbury. When dairy turned up in Canterbury and all the hedgerows were being taken out to allow the irrigator machines to meander across vast flat paddocks many old-timers said “oh woe, you watch you silly people, the winds will return and you will rue the day you laid waste to these hedgerows..”

        and lo, the winds returned, screaming down the Rakaia and the Rangitata, and instead of screaming over their heads at the height of hedgerows itr screamed at grass height level, destroying all in its path ….

        manwomankind eh? Never learns. Plain silly. Same with investing into reliance on water being pumped and drained and spread onto land by electric and mechanical means – the risk of failure is high …

        • disturbed

          1000% VTO good analogy.

        • Molly

          Watched a good water documentary that outlined the creation of the dustbowl in the US.

          Good old Little House on the Prairie approach to farming, saw acres of natural grasslands burnt off so that they could access the fertile soil beneath. Of course the grasslands held the moisture and nutrients and a natural balance of growth, decay and regeneration was occurring. After a few decades of cropping, with more topsoil lost every year, they reached a point where there was nothing left.

          Just dry dust, and high winds.

          • Rosie

            Hi Molly. I watched a doco about the dust bowl of the 1930’s. They interviewed some families of the Oklahoma Pan handle who grew up in that time. Most of the family members interviewed, now well into in their senior years, were forced off their land due to their impoverished state and made the long journey to California, where they were referred to as “Okies”
            I can’t remember what the doco was called but I wonder if it was the same one.

            Lessons from that era:

            Trust the wisdom of the indigenous people of the plains – the land was unsuitable for cropping. They knew the food yields from that land were low, so that land was never permanently settled.

            If you’re promised a quick easy buck but it looks too good to be true it probably is.

            Don’t fight nature, she will always win. Prevent an economic and environmental catastrophe by only using the most appropriate resources in the most respectful and sustainable ways.

            Did we learn? No.

            • Molly

              Rosie, like you I can’t remember the name but it was an eight part series on either Prime or TVNZ7 a few years back. If anyone else remembers it and knows the name I’d appreciate it.

              It also reasoned that one of the most credible reasons for some of the abandoned cities of antiquity was the loss of renewal water systems , and showed how some were trying to re-establish the underground quanats of Iran and Persia, when the NGO well-systems and pumps were failing due to the depletion of fossilised water and lack of parts and service for pumping mechanisms.

          • vto

            Yep Molly, the lesson was right there in front of us – the dust bowl of the 1930’s mid-west ……

            why was it not heeded? human lust for money and capacity for blinker-wearing is what I put it down to ….

            gotta be one of mankind’s most consistent traits… worth betting a dollar on, are those traits.

            • Molly

              vto, true.

              And even if you had trillions of dollars, they would not be able to restore water to depleted fossil water sources, or refreeze the glaciers, or even grow a full grown kauri in ten years.

              There is a complete lack of reciprocity in thinking that you can continue to take without replenishment… and sheer arrogance to believe that you should.

              • Draco T Bastard

                There is a complete lack of reciprocity in thinking that you can continue to take without replenishment… and sheer arrogance to believe that you should.


                As I say, our economic system is uneconomic. It merely takes without even considering how long that taking can last never mind renewing what’s been taken.

        • left for deadshark

          Very sad but too true.

      • Karen 3.1.3

        It is crazy to put dairy farms in known drought-prone areas.
        Dairy farms need huge amounts of water and most of Canterbury is unsuitable. Not only that, but droughts in Canterbury are predicted to become more frequent in coming years thanks to climate change.

        This has been known for some time, yet farmers were encouraged to convert to dairy and put in irrigation. It cost a fortune, and with all the interest on the loans going to Australian banks, there is is no benefit to the NZ economy.

        • Chooky

          +100 Karen….and people dont seem to realise, or ignore the fact that aquifers are finite and that water taken out of the ground or from rivers at one point …always affects those farmers further down stream…whether by the rivers drying up or the underground aquifers being depleted

          …drinking water nitrate poisoning is also a result for local populations (eg. ‘blue baby syndrome’ warnings to South Island mothers)

          ….not only this , the the cost to tourism by environmental degradation and trashing of our rivers for fishing and recreation and aesthetics is enormous..overseas visitors are NOT impressed

          France designates what crops/farming/ vineyards are suitable for the local natural terroir/environments …and legislates accordingly….New Zealand under John Key Nact has a slash and burn approach to natural resources…..and the environment is being trashed …this is New Zealand’s greatest economic resource

          • Draco T Bastard

            San Joaquin Valley sinking as groundwater stores are depleted

            Now that bounty is threatened by a crisis of geological proportions: The land is sinking – crippling the region’s irrigation and flood control infrastructure and damaging aquifers that are buffers against climate change.

            Nature, though, is not to blame. This problem is self-inflicted, driven by the frontier-style exploitation of the last unregulated resource in California: groundwater.

            How much is the land in Southland sinking as the farmers pump out more and more water?

            • vto

              And note this, from that article;

              “But unlike other Western states, California has no state standards for groundwater management. Instead, responsibility rests with a patchwork of local and regional entities where oversight varies from careful monitoring and allocation in some places to little or no control elsewhere.”

              And in NZ we have this right wing government foisting the same on rural regions of NZ, moving control of our resources from central to local authority. Local authority in NZ regions where this happens is controlled by farmers who simply get distracted by the lure of money.

              We have the exact same thing

        • McFlock

          I’ve been wondering whether the canterbury climate would be ok for olives.
          One of the best decisions NZers made was looking at what grew in similar climates to their locality in the northern hemisphere, and applying kiwi ingenuity to the production – now our wine industry is a bulwark for rural areas.

          • Karen

            Canterbury was traditionally sheep and wheat. Olives could work in some areas, I guess, but may need a longer summer.

            The main thing is you need crops that are deep rooting if you get regular droughts. The surface soil gets dried up very quickly without regular rain. Cutting down the shelter belts has made the problem worse as the wind dries up the topsoil, and eventually will blow it away.

      • b waghorn 3.1.4

        I have know problem with him not being across every topic but he could of said something like’ I haven’t been breifed on that get back to me tomorrow ‘
        Honesty is a good policy I believe

        • Murray Rawshark

          I would much rather hear that than an attempt to disguise a lack of knowledge. That’s the first thing I teach students to stop doing, but in this world of consultants and spin merchants, it’s not easy.

    • weka 3.2

      “Mr Little on tv3 this morning asked about whether a drought should be declared got caught completely flat footed and decided to take the just flap his lips and hope something good flies out of his mouth approach. 3/10”

      And for those of us that didn’t see it, what exactly did he do or say?

    • Te Reo Putake 3.3

      “Mr Little on tv3 this morning asked about whether a drought should be declared got caught completely flat footed and decided to take the just flap his lips and hope something good flies out of his mouth approach. 3/10”

      Mr Waghorn had not had his morning coffee and was completely flatfooted when the Labour Leader talked competently about the effect of the extended hot weather on farms. 3/10

      Actual interview here:


      Little starts speaking (perfectly well) from about the 5 minute mark.

      • b waghorn 3.3.1

        Did you see the actual interview? He’s lucky old what’s his name that was asking the questions is not one of those go for the throat reporters .

        • Te Reo Putake

          Yes, I did. I linked to it and specified when his interview started! The question is, have you? Y’know, with your eyes open. Little does fine, there isn’t a damn thing wrong with his response. What are you on?

        • Karen

          I’ve watched it and have no idea what you are talking about. Seemed okay to me. Not dynamic, but perfectly adequate..

          • b waghorn

            @ te reo putake I just watched that clip now I don’t have very hot short term momery but I’m sure that clip was very kindly edited as he didn’t start his reply with the wairarapa comments.
            If you can prove that was the start of his interview on the clip you posted I’ll humbly apologize.

            • Te Reo Putake

              Watch the whole clip. It’s the entire segment, including the first five minutes with the bloke from fed farms. Then the interviewer introduces Little and says “Good morning and happy new year to you” then directly moves to asking about the drought. No cut, no edit. Straight to the question about the drought.

              • b waghorn

                Your word is not proof they are very good at there job these tech people.
                Could it be you’re running a cover defence.

                • vto

                  mr waghorn, as a farmer I was wondering if you could answer a question related to the issue of inappropriate farming of land in places like Canterbury discussed above

                  why don’t farmers stay within the boundaries of their land and farm with the resources that exist there?

                  Why do they bring water from elsewhere? Why do they dump their waste elsewhere? Why do they bring fertiliser from elsewhere?

                  Why don’t they farm sustainably on the land they have? In other words, use the soil they have, the rain that falls on their land and the sun that shines on their land? Plant and raise what will grow and raise within the conditions on their land?

                  Why do they go elsewhere and upset the balance of nature? Why do they not live within the means of the particular land?

                  Because in not doing so the environment is being thrown all out of kilter and having a great vomit over all of us in return. Serious question – why do farmers not farm within the bounds of the land they occupy?

                  edit: aware that some do, reference is to those that don’t (being the vast majority)

                  • b waghorn

                    That’s a lot to lay on a lowly Shepherd but I’ll have a crack.
                    Humans buy there nature are mostly greedy and self serving and given free riegn seem to be ‘future eaters’ I believe the term is, be it do’dos Moas or the earths resources.
                    My understanding of fertilizer is that at the end of ww2 they had great big munitions factories that were turned to a new use then the marketing came with it. I personally have no problem fertilizer use or irrigation done right ,
                    As for cantubury it sounds like a recipe for failure gambling on being able to store enough water to sustain dairy I milked cows 20 years ago and man those girls go through the water. I heard a story 4 or so years ago about a farmer not needing all his water allocation so he sold it to his neighbour for a healthy profit it makes my guts burn to think about that still.
                    NZ farming was made strong buy our low input farming, sheep and beef farming is still mainly that way.

                    • vto

                      Thanks, good stuff. I think you’re second sentence is the one – it is a large part of human nature to want more and more and those resources external to the particular farm have simply been available for the taking. Particularly in colonised countries and particularly following widespread mechanisation, both of which have made that taking even easier.

                      Those external resources have been there for the taking so they have been taken. It has been simple to do so and the upside has been enormous, so why wouldn’t a person take them?

                      As per exchange last night – it is in our nature to do so, with little regard for the future. Just hope we wake up and learn before it is too late because, as we are rapidly learning, the reaction of the earth to all of that taking has been and continues to be one huge vomit …. all over us

                      shame this national party government and its supporters continue this practice of simple unsustainable greedy taking. shame shame shame

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Nah, fair enough, pal. As you suspect, I’m running cover and the techies at TV3 have edited the clip just to make you look like a tosser. Still great discussion about fertilser with VTO. It’s clearly an area you’re familiar with 🙂

                • Karen

                  Don’t want to go on about this, but as someone who has considerable experience in editing for TV I can assure you there was no edit in the clip of Andrew Little going from Happy New Year to talking about the Wairarapa. Memory is a strange thing – my guess was you were a bit frustrated that he didn’t deal with this subject particularly well (I would agree with this to some extent) and this was reflected in how you remembered the interview.

                  No reflection on you at all. I think we all do this at times.

    • Clemgeopin 3.4

      @ b waghorn.
      Actually, Andrew Little spoke well regarding the drought as well as about the Oxfam inequality report AND the RMA and the housing issue AND the coming Ratana celebrations.

      This is what he said about the drought problem that the government is reluctant to acknowledge:

      “Certainly from what I’ve seen, and I was in the Wairarapa in the weekend, it is intensely dry,” he said on Firstline this morning.

      “I think what has happened this season, although there was a fair amount of moisture in the period just before Christmas, it has dried out very quickly. It looks to me like it is going to continue.

      “I don’t know what the tests are that the ministry applies, but when you hear news of farmers now rapidly destocking and the land’s as dry as it is, I would have thought there was a case there to look closely at it, and to provide whatever assistance is available to farmers.”

      “Without assistance, farmers run the risk of not being able to pay their staff and prepare adequately for the winter”, says Mr Little.

      “We’ve been through periods like this before, so you know that it’s going to come to an end at some point but you want to assist the farmers through a very difficult time, make sure that they can continue to pay their staff and keep their outgoings going until the moisture comes back, the grass and crops can return and they can get their livestock going again and start generating an income.”

      b waghorn, watch that interview here again. You were wrong in your post!

      Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/fed-farmers-drought-an-overused-word-2015012111#ixzz3PR3Ko9f5

      • b waghorn 3.4.1

        Been through this with TRP above as I said if you can prove that your clip is not edited I will eat all the humble pie you wish to serve.

        • Clemgeopin

          Not sure what you mean by ‘clip is edited’. Edited by who? Labour party or TV3?….Unless, the first report you saw was incomplete or faulty and TV3 rectified it later. I don’t know. What time was the interview? Did you watch it live on TV or on demand on their website later? or are you implying that TV3 re-did a freah interview all over again?

          • b waghorn

            I watched just after 7 am the interview started with happy new year then when asked whether a drought should be declared Little looked a bit lost mumbled a few things the wairarapa comment wasn’t the 1 st thing out of his mouth.
            I lost interest a bit after that because I despise poly s pissing in my ear. All I want is a straight shooter and looking at Murray Raw sharks comment in this thread that makes at least 2 of us.

            • Clemgeopin

              Ok. I am not doubting what you say or what you thought you saw, but you did not address all the questions I put. [Not sure what you mean by ‘clip is edited’. Edited by who? Labour party or TV3?….Unless, the first report you saw was incomplete or faulty and TV3 rectified it later. I don’t know or are you implying that TV3 re-did a freah interview all over again?]

              I have no problem you taking any politician to task, including little, as long as it is accurate and fair.

              What you claim is puzzling, based on the following link!
              Take a look again to see if it jogs your memory because you say you ‘lost interest a bit’.


              • b waghorn

                Often on three news in the am you get a live interview with some one and then that interview gets tidied up and used later in the show .
                If 3 wants to be kind to Little that’s awesome in my books hopefully it means the end of the liar key is on its way.

                • McFlock

                  I’d be gobsmacked if tv3 started even editing interviews in a neutral manner.

                  A year or two back I was gobsmacked when comparing the edited reports with the raw footage of the lobby questions: key and the Labour leader had about the same level of placeholders, hesitations, and equivocations/corrections in the raw footage. Of course, when it came to the edited version on polly was all ums and ahs and hesitant 4sec sound bites, and the other polly got longer to expand on an idea at 10sec a time. Guess which way around it went 🙂

            • Murray Rawshark

              To be fair, bw, I have seen a lot worse than what Little did in that interview. I would have given him 5/10. Mediocre performance.

    • ScottGN 3.5

      I didn’t see this since I have better things to do in the morning than watch breakfast TV but one thing I do know is that if Mr Little was caught out this morning he won’t be tomorrow morning.

  4. (this is an interesting development..

    ..and something the labour party should grasp with both hands..)

    “..Democrats Take on Wall Street – With Financial Transactions Tax..”

    ..The House Democratic Party leadership made a remarkable step forward last week –

    – in putting out a proposal for a financial transactions tax (FTT)..”



  5. Clemgeopin 5

    “Roger, Rafa and Novak would play anywhere for money. No wonder each man is sponsored by a bank”


  6. Skinny 6

    Talk of a by election in the Northland seat grows stronger. Looks like Nationals Mike Sabin is heading out the backdoor, which has me thinking.

    I would like to see a different approach taken by the main opposition party’s. A primary contest amongst themselves with the wining candidate becoming the sole electorate candidate running off against the National puppet. The losers are party vote only and endorse the candidate who won the primary. It wouldn’t cost much and not too hard to work a voting structure, proportionate to members plus a cross party voting panel. A couple of hustings and then the major husting with pre and on the day voting. Certainly gain new members for the party’s and a good deal of public interest, local and natiional. Be a great shakedown for future contests.

    • that’s a good idea..

    • Bearded Git 6.2

      Better would be for the Greens not to stand a candidate and suggest their supporters vote Labour. (I voted Green in September).

      This is because if Sabin loses to Labour and Dunne refuses to back the RMA reforms then they are stymied again with only 59 Nats and 1 Act equals 60 votes versus 61 against. This is important and the Greens really should try to throw the seat to Labour for this reason alone.

      • disturbed 6.2.1

        Well explained Beaded Git,
        About time we had straight talk about how the opposition MUST work together to defeat this evil empire we have wrecking our future.

        After all it is in the collective interests of all opposition to reduce the majority of the wrecking ball operators, to reduce their devastation.

      • Skinny 6.2.2

        No best candidate wins the chance to topple the National patsy. Wouldn’t it be great if Peters stood against his sworn enermy Sabin, under my proposed scenario Peters would almost certainly get the nod and a much better tally of the overall vote free of vote splitting.

        • Bearded Git

          That is another option Skinny. Lab and Gr would have to hold their noses but…61-60 on some issues sounds good to me.

    • Clemgeopin 6.3

      A novel idea!

      Not sure about the logistics of it. I didn’t clearly understand what you meant ‘It wouldn’t cost much and not too hard to work a voting structure, proportionate to members plus a cross party voting panel. A couple of hustings and then the major husting with pre and on the day voting.”

      Personally, it would be great if Labour, Greens, NZF agree to endorse Hone Harawira as the joint electorate candidate under the mana banner.

      • Skinny 6.3.1

        Mana is never going to get back into parliament. Hone blew it and frankly couldn’t pull enough votes from Maori outside of his own Rohe. Too much of a loose cannon is the general view of Maori I know.

        • phillip ure

          @ skinny..i think harawira in part ‘blew it’..with/by his reactionary attitudes towards cannabis..

          here i make that case..

          [email protected]:..did wrong-footing it on cannabis cost harawira the election..?..and will he/mana make the same mistakes again in 2017..?

          ed:..the more i have been thinking about it..

          ..the more i think harawiras’ reactionary attitudes to cannabis..

          ..and the tantrum he threw to kill the internet party campaign to drive support for ending prohibition..

          ..and the attendant publicity around that..

          ..would have gone a long way towards causing him to lose his seat..

          ..and i wd submit could be cited as a main reason for that unfortunate outcome..



          • Skinny

            Yes I tend to agree Phil. His attack on pot was stupid when you consider the poor he represents, the simple pleasure is one of the few treats they enjoy. And for those living on a substance income a little cash crop tops up their income. I once held a high leadership position when Mana first formed, spurred on by my Leftie mates. I found Hone too alpha male and it annoyed me that he frowned on my smoking. Helped signal my moving on.

            • millsy

              I thought of all people, Hone would appreciate the illogic of youg Maori being dragged though the court for having an ounce of pot in them…

          • marty mars

            I’ve read your case but it seems to me to be drawing a pretty long bow.

            As you state your impassioned advocacy at the meeting ‘turned’ it – that shows open minds not closed ones. Sure we all know Hone doesn’t rate cannabis, he never has and whilst it is easy to say, “hey mate get with the program” it is also valid to have different views, even strongly different views.

            We are all coloured by our experiences – you, me, skinny, Hone and although we may have had nothing but positive, uplifting contact with weed – many haven’t – and that could be due to the illegality of the activity and the heaviness of the state – doesn’t matter, it is there. And we know that some who smoke just really struggle with it, should keep away from it, not really for them – for all sorts of reasons. And those that do get caught and sentenced end up in that unforgiving environment with all of the ‘ruboff’ that occurs and they come out – some good, some bad and some ugly.

            I don’t see the election loss as coming down to this issue – mistakes were made, big ones and made by Hone and others. The PTB wanted Mana (and Hone) gone especially after the hook up with the Internet party and they used all their dirty tools in their dirty toolbox to achieve that. Whether nicekelvin was active or passive doesn’t matter – he imo isn’t some wide-eyed innocent – crafty that one is, learned at the knee of a master he did.

            I do think your analysis is valuable because all of these issues need to be aired and discussed and debated and sorted – and then we can get on with the jobby of getting Mana back into that uninviting house.

            • Murray Rawshark

              I agree, mm. Anyone who claims Hone lost because of his position on cannabis needs to cut down on their own consumption. I think it was a combination of going with Dotcom and the dirty getting together of the other parties behind Kelvin Davis. The campaign against Dotcom was run at full steam for quite a while, and that didn’t help either.

              Mana does have its own problems as well, but that’s up to them to recognise and sort out.

        • Jenny Kirk

          oh ? and Winston Peters telling NZ First voters to support Kel Davis didn’t have anything to do with it ?

          • Skinny

            Hey Jenny with respect let’s cut Kelvin and his team of Kay & Rudy, Tracey and others some credit for the hard campaigning they done in the region. They really gained mana for the sterling effort helping those who were suffering as a result of the flooding, while Hone was swaning off around the country with the Dotcom circus.

            When Mana’s campaign manager rang me the night before polling day calling out an SOS in West Auckland, I took it instantly Hone was weak there, I asked are you calling me because your light on the ground there? Answer yes, I told Davis election day when he came thanked the local team, to relax I think you have done enough and as it transpired he did.

            • marty mars

              They didn’t gain mana imo – but working with enemies to get rid of someone you don’t like is not uncommon within Māoridom so I suppose they are tika.

              Scoring points off someone who asks for help is low and weak imo – the name dropping doesn’t add credibility it is another expression of that weakness too imo.

              • Skinny

                Marty you can make all the excuses under the sun, however the facts are indeed the facts. Mana was doomed with the Dotcom association the big man himself was man enough to admit it.

                One other thing Marty, Kelvin and his team didn’t need prompting during the flooding they rolled their sleeves up and got on with the mahi, no fanfare or media hype. And the good people of the North rewarded the effort. So you pipe down little man and be a gracious loser.

                • No I won’t pipe down, thanks anyway – and I’m not a ‘little man’ although I’m prepared to give him a fair go for the folks middling along that need a leader of the folks who like a bit of a fair go for the folks in the middle.

                • Murray Rawshark

                  “One other thing Marty, Kelvin and his team didn’t need prompting during the flooding they rolled their sleeves up and got on with the mahi, no fanfare or media hype.”

                  True that, I could tell from the interview I watched (I think, maybe read) with him, where he said he was helping with the flood victims rather than swanning of around the country complaining. Maybe it was a video on Facebook, but that’s how I knew there was no fanfare and no politicking involved. He just got stuck into the mahi. He said so himself.

          • phillip ure

            @ jenny kirk..

            ..of course that was a final tipping-point factor..

            ..but if u read the case i make..i think what i say re the role cannabis/harawira had to play..hangs together mathematically etc..

        • Jenny Kirk

          Thanks Penny. I wish I just didn’t feel/think that the Davos Forum is just another big waste of money and a talk-fest for the very rich (ShonKey included) – Like the final comment says above, “a radical shift is needed ” to get anywhere for the 99% who are not ultra-rich . What will it take to get this “radical shift” started ?

        • marty mars

          “Mana is never going to get back into parliament”

          wrong skinny

          “Hone blew it”

          sure the plan didn’t work doesn’t mean we or he gives up

          “Too much of a loose cannon”

          I know Māori that think like that too – I wonder if it is genuine, an acquiescence to the predominate MSM propaganda, or part of the head above the parapet syndrome.

          • Skinny

            Fair enough mate, I attended a TTT meet the candidate meeting and I will say Hone cleaned the others ( including Kelvin )out in the Q & A part. And I was highly annoyed when Key then Peters sprayed Hone and endorsed voting Davis. So much so I put out a late press release in support of HH. Labour should never have put Davis that far out on the party list ‘again’ so he had to win the electorate seat, it could easily have cost them a win if they had their shit together.

          • Murray Rawshark

            I know an old guy from Ngati Wai very well. He’s a Mormon farmer and has been quite conservative all his life, but last time I saw him he was speaking well of Mana. He has realised that being quiet and leaving the talking to the professionals just results in big bills. Others in his whanau were militant in Mana. I got a real feeling that change is in the air.

            This was before joining with Dotcom.

            • Skinny

              When you consider the alliance with National was hurting Maori in general, and the Maori/Tory party were losing their main players, Mana and Labour would have benefited with the party vote as a natural result. I felt for the grafters, Sykes especially who I feel would have been a shoe in to come in on the party list. Hone’s dismissive approach to Sue Bradford was both disrespectful and arrogant considering her flagging Dotcom ideology was poles apart from that of a party representing the underclass.

            • phillip ure

              @ murray..

              ..my barometer was my sons’ friends..(educated early 20 somethings..the usual multi-cultural mix of these days..)

              ..he reported to me that at the best of times in the campaign..most of them were going to vote internet man..

              (it was indicators such as this that made me optimistic..at that time..)

              ..then..just before the election..after everything went pear-shape..he told me none of them were now going to vote internet-mana..

              ..and yes..the reasons for that loss are multi-fold..

              ..and more than a few weren’t external..

              ..and what concerns me..is that many of those internals will just be repeated..in 2017..

        • North

          Depends on which Maori you’ve talked to Skinny, and when. I talk to many Maori to whom the MSM’s traditional “loose cannon” narrative always was and remains unintelligible. And to many to whom once accepting it now reject it. What I did notice for many months leading up to the election was a much greater readiness to see Harawira as NOT a loose cannon.

          Just as ‘winning’ can falsely define – look at Key – so can ‘losing’.

          This from the diary of Count Galeazzo Ciano (Italian Foreign Minister 1936-43) – “As always, victory finds a hundred fathers, but defeat is an orphan”. You’d expect him to know !

          The reasons for Harawira’s loss are manifold. Some of them sheet home to Harawira’s strategy. Some do not. We know them without trotting them out. In the outcome it’s seductive to default to the dismissive and essentially racist MSM narrative of old. It is also facile.

          That said what concerns me most in the here and now is that Maori north of Whangarei have one Maori parliamentary representative rather than two. That is hardly cause for rejoicing.

          If only, in the event of Sabin’s arse being kicked out of here, Harawira could be multi-party endorsed. I know……a pipe dream.

        • weka

          “Mana is never going to get back into parliament. Hone blew it and frankly couldn’t pull enough votes from Maori outside of his own Rohe. Too much of a loose cannon is the general view of Maori I know.”

          You are of course entitled to your opinion, but let’s just lay some facts out,

          Mana 2011 24,168 1.08%

          InternetMana 2014 34,094 1.42%

          Hone Harawira 2011 8,121

          Hone Harawira 2014 8,969

          The Standard’s ten most commented on posts in 2014

          • tracey

            if a by-election is held and Hone won it, why wouldn’t that be more than a person for person swap? Surely the winner is part of the MMP system, and the election night party votes could be used in any re-jigging?

      • Murray Rawshark 6.3.2

        Hone would get about 17 votes in the general Northland seat. These are the farmers and business people who supported Titford, and probably still do.

    • Gosman 6.4

      A snowball has more of a chance of surviving in Hell than the Opposition has of wrestling Northland from the National Party’s grasp.

      • Skinny 6.4.1

        Rather than stating the obvious Gosman how about you crunch my concept of a primary. Let’s use Auckland Central as an example based on last election, with Adern wining the opposition primary contest. Or shall I call on the wisdom of Pete G and Hooton?

        • Gosman

          It would fly in the face of the purpose of our political system (which is party based). I am not sure it would even be legal as holding an inter-party primary would require some sort of organisation that might not be permitted unless formal agreements are entered in to between parties. It is also likely many people would see through this and be turned off by it. You would then likely get a number of independents standing which would have the same effect that you are clumsily trying to resolve i.e. splitting the opposition vote between multiple candidates.

          • Skinny

            Have to disagree about a formal arrangement and the legality of what I propose. Hope Hooton shows up to enlighten on process. I would keep it informal ‘gentlemen agreement’ winner takes all. I think the gains would out way the losses. The status quo of ‘throat slitting’ is just gifting seats to National. Even see it working in Epsom where the ACT incumbent is heads and shoulders a superior candidate to Goldsmith, well from what I observed at the main meet the candidates gig last year in Mt Eden I attended.

            • Gosman

              Any primary would have to have formal rules not some informal arrangement. For example who qualifies to vote in any such primary. Would it be party members of the relevant parties? If so, then how would this be validated by each party? Also, if it was restricted to party members only, that would mean the larger parties would automatically have the advantage over the smaller parties. It means NZ First or Mana (if they were involved) would be very unlikely to ever get someone selected via such a method.

              • Skinny

                No bit players the 3 main party’s L/G/NZF if they agreed. Party members of the 3, a time available to recruit new voting members. 1 vote value divided and equal so all 3 party’s are level regardless of actual membership numbers. Say 70 % party members vote of the ballot and 30% of the panel made up from 1 from each party. Cream rises to the top, so expect an open contest relatively free of party lines, within reason and they are looking to work together remember.

                • Gosman

                  How would each party validate the party members in each electorate? You would have to either expect each to trust the numbers each party puts forward (unlikely to happen I would suggest) or you would have to allow each party to know the membership details of the others in the electorate in question.

                  Also how is the primary election carried out? Are voting papers sent out to members or do each party get to bloc vote? Your proposal wasn’t clear and seems an odd mix of both options.

                  These are questions that need answering before you can even select a joint candidate. Then the problems really begin.

                • Sacha

                  Your plan only has a point if the combined left votes exceed those of the right. In the Northland electorate, you’re dreaming. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northland_%28New_Zealand_electorate%29#2014_election

                  • Gosman

                    As I pointed out already. However the plan is unworkable in my mind even if they were close. It is likely to alienate potential voters rather than energise them.

          • North

            Suppurating hypocrite Gooseman – stuff all the conventions and proprieties when it suits the Right. “Democracy Under Attack” otherwise. Epsom ? Last not the playground of political chicanery when Rodney Hide won it – early 2000’s wasn’t it ?

      • Bearded Git 6.4.2

        Party Vote in Northland in 2014; Nats 17412 Lab/Gr/NZF 14314.

        Hell must be cooling down Gosman.

        • Skinny

          Thanks Bearded Git for the math! Gosman and his sparring partners well know what I’m getting at. This is as safer a blue ribbon seat as you get, a combined strategy bring the margins a lot closer. Now line up a number of seats with not such a high winning majority and Gosman is wearing thermals in hell.

        • Clemgeopin

          That IS close. Winnable if a single opposition candidate is put forward with support from Labour, Greens, NZF and Mana.

          2014 PARTY VOTES:

          Green Party 3,855
          ACT New Zealand 162
          Labour Party 5,913
          Focus New Zealand 216
          National Party 17,412
          Conservative 2,243
          Democrats for Social Credit 64
          Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party 193
          Ban1080 51
          Internet MANA 601
          Māori Party 210
          New Zealand First Party 4,546
          NZ Independent Coalition 9
          The Civilian Party 7
          United Future 71


          CLENDON, David—–GP 3,639
          NELSON, Craig——-ACT 200
          PRIME, Willow-Jean—LAB 8,969
          RINTOUL, Ken—–FNZ 1,661
          ROBERTSON, Murray–IND 96
          SABIN, Mike——–NAT 18,269
          TAYLOR, Mel——CNSP 1,555
          TIMMS, Glen——-MFP 75
          WILSON, David Angus—NZDSC 173

          Party Informals…..154
          Party Informals…..154

          Candidate Informals—-419

          Looks like a Labour candidate will have best chance of beating a National candidate here if other parties, (other than National, ACT, The Cons and Maori), especially The Greens, NZF and Mana do not field a candidate, but instead endorse and work to help the Lab candidate to win, especially if Sabin has to leave under disgrace. This will boost Labour, Andrew Little and the Opposition and will put the Nats at a back foot, even if the Lab candidate loses narrowly.

          If such an arrangement is made here, then it could be a precursor for future smart electoral adjustments at the next election between these four parties.

          • Clemgeopin

            I am trying to find the expansion of the conservative party initials, CNSP. Tried google and the Cons website with no luck! Do any of you know or guess what those four letters stand for? TIA.

          • Clemgeopin

            What? No views on this from anyone on a hot political topic?!

            I think the joint opposition candidate will have a very good chance of unseating National here in a by election , considering that (a) Key and National have been shown to be dodgy/incompetent in various ways (b) are straight faced lying bull-shitters and untrustworthy, (c) the incumbent is being kicked out in disgrace, AND (d) there is bound to be ‘voter’s remorse’ setting in by now against NATS and ACT and this debt ridden pro rich government.

            What a tremendous boost it will be for the opposition and morale booster for the nation if their joint opposition candidate wins! Worth doing it, I think.

            What do you think?

            • lprent

              The problem in the North is that the electorate is divided into two parts. The Maori electorate where National doesn’t seem to bother standing because they lose so badly and the consequently rather National leaning general electorate.

              3K is a hell of a step even in a general election. In a by-election with something like a 30% turnout at best, you are looking at the Everest.

              Also the idea of political parties cooperating to that extent electorally is laudable and rather naive. They don’t. They are there to promote their own party and the best way to do that is to put up a candidate.

              • Clemgeopin

                The point is to show the voters that the four opposition parties can get united on certain important issues such as trying to wrest the seat from national and increase the opposition number by one while depriving the government of one MP.

                Of course, Nats may still win, but it is worth a try for the opposition to unleash an united and exciting fight together and energise the pro opposition voters, especially because it is a by election and has no party votes counted.

                Of course, nothing can be more likely than Nats winning if the opposition do not TRY to win this by a combined effort rather than simply be pessimistic, selfish, stupid and split the opposition votes between them.

                Anyway, all this is a little premature and academic for now because the Nats may try to protect Sabin and keep him on just like they did to Judith Collins, Nick Smith, Bill English, Gerry Brownlee and Maurice Williamson in spite of shocking disgraceful behaviour from each of those!

    • Murray Rawshark 6.5

      I don’t think there is a party vote in a by election, just the electorate vote. I agree that the opposition should put a single candidate up against NAct, but I don’t expect a win. Pakeha up there are pretty bloody ugly in their addiction to Tory members.

      • Skinny 6.5.1

        Yes quite correct a by election doesn’t include the party vote, that suits a pilot contest even better and saves on resources and costs for the non winning party’s, basically cutting their cost early.

    • tracey 6.6

      would there be a prid quo pro for the Greens in 2017?

  7. vto 7

    Does the tolerance of the “je suis Charlie” Parisians and their grand ability not to be offended by others free expression also extend to people who wish to express themselves by getting around the streets of Paris in the nude?

    If not, why not?

    (prepare for some mighty fine hair-splitting…)

    • Colonial Rawshark 7.1

      The French give out prison time and fines to anyone who mocks the WWII Holocaust. Charlie Hebdo fired a cartoonist in 2009 for mocking Israel. But I guess that’s different, it wasn’t Muslims being mocked…

      • vto 7.1.1

        Exactly. And it is this very hypocrisy that sees the “je suis Charlie” lot smell so disgusting

        • North

          It’s also rather poetic that the hypocrites’ solemn slogan of choice is so easily applied to highlight the fevered hypocrisy.

          “Je Suis Gaza……100 Fold.”

  8. Colonial Rawshark 8

    Do you want to understand how powerful central banking is over a country’s economy and politics?

    Princes of the Yen

    How long term crisis was engineered to forcefully “open up” the Japanese economy to “structural reforms” enabling firesale to big foreign investors.

    • Colonial Rawshark 8.1

      This is directly related to yesterdays discussion on debt levels, the state of the economy, and whether or not the politicians have anything to do with it as “good economic managers.”

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      The initial problem I have with it (Still watching it) is that it simply blames ‘central banks’ rather than central banks that are out of government control and are thus actually in the control of the private sector. This is important as we actually need a central bank that creates the money and keeps track of how much money is in the economy and we need that bank to be answerable to the populace through democratic methods.

      • Colonial Rawshark 8.2.1

        I would not say that the film reveals that the central banks are “in the control of the private sector”. The central banks appear to be under the direction of a small number of trans-national elites who span both private and public sectors and who in fact do not see the two sectors as separate. Just as they do not recognise the sovereignty of individual nations.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Create a bubble and then collapse it. Isn’t this the type of thing that we’ve been seeing for centuries? Where there are always a few winners while everyone else gets to pay the bill?

          • Colonial Rawshark

            It’s only since the 1980s they’ve been doing it to break apart nation states in order to progress the aims and ownership of a trans-national elite class who have loyalty to no country.

  9. Molly 9

    Does anyone else view these floating ostentatious palaces as a waste of resources and a horror of intent?

    I also cringe at the breathless real estate reporting style of the article.

    • Colonial Rawshark 9.1

      The links to the BBC’s programme on the “Super-Rich” is worth watching, in this regard.

      • Molly 9.1.1

        Thanks to Paul, I have it on my list. Will probably do so this weekend.

        I have a relative that works in luxury retail, and tells similar stories of people ordering boxes of solid gold pens at $100,000 each. They are used to subtly indicate their net worth as they sign documents, then casually give them away or leave them behind.

        The admiring relating of this story, was jarred when I expressed my disgust. Made for an interesting few minutes at a family Christmas. 🙂

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Ha! It’s a shock when worshippers of extreme wealth realise that you don’t bow down at the same temple.

    • Jenny Kirk 9.2

      + 100%

    • Draco T Bastard 9.3

      Yes. They’re an incredible waste of resources but that’s entirely how our economic system works. The more waste, the higher the profit. This is why we have personal cars despite the fact that they’re a massive waste of resources.

    • tracey 9.4

      I thought we could ring Putin, tell him we will hold the owner til the Russian police have time to come and get him, and in return we will impound and sell the boat. $450m goes a long way. If the USA doesn’t want us to do it, they know our price 😉

      This is what a currency dealer would do.

  10. Ovid 10

    I think Stuart Nash has gone off the reservation with his calls for an amnesty on tax penalties. For one thing, he’s not on the finance team – it muddies the waters and this matter really falls into Clayton Cosgrove’s revenue portfolio. It’s being reported as Labour calls for amnesty, not “Labour MP calls for amnesty”

    For another, people should pay their taxes and there should be sanctions against those who don’t. The average Joe Blow pays his PAYE and GST. People should not be dipping into the money that belongs to the public.

    I had thought this might have been an offhand comment that he may have just doubled-down on this morning, but it’s an issue he’s been pushing for at least a week

    • “..I think Stuart Nash has gone off the reservation..”

      ..he has never been ‘on the reservation’..

      ..he is/always has been..a rightwing outlier…

      ..he is a rightwing trojan-horse inside labour..

      ..(i mean..he was shearers’ chief-adviser..(!)

      ..’benificiary on a hot tin roof’..?..anyone..?..)

    • Karen 10.2

      I agree Ovid. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Why the hell should there be an amnesty for people who don’t pay their taxes?

      • Clemgeopin 10.2.1

        Yes, most of the tax dodgers I presume would be rich crooked right wing crooks and rogues. Why Stuart Nash wants to bat for them is a mystery! In any case, amnesty would send a wrong message and also be unfair for those that have paid their taxes.

        • Draco T Bastard


          Why Stuart Nash wants to bat for them is a mystery!

          Perhaps he’s one of them and realises that he’s fucked if Labour get in and actually start prosecuting these thieves.

        • Murray Rawshark

          I think a lot of them are small business people or contractors who can’t afford tricky accountants. Many of them will be struggling as bigger businesses don’t pay them for work done, or the general public pay up late. They’re not evaders. They’re just late. They’re probably people who have voted for NAct’s aspirations recently, and Nash may think this is a way of attracting them to Labour.

          • Clemgeopin

            But the tax is incurred on profit after expenses and liabilities. So will exclude unpaid bills/debts, won’t it? And the max tax is not all the profit, but only about 1/3 rd of it. Forgiving tax with an amnesty is not an option. Sure, suspending ‘some’ of the penalty may be, but not all the penalty as it will send a bad message and precedent and unfair to the ones that manage their business well and do the right thing in the first place.

            In any case, the party leader should be the one to make such announcements, unless the issue was discussed by the caucus and Nash was authorised to do so.

            • Murray Rawshark

              Yeah, I don’t particularly like Nash or his idea. If he extended it to student loans, which they class as a tax debt, I might change my mind 🙂

              • Clemgeopin

                I agree.

                Education, including tertiary, and health should be free and universal. Otherwise the wealthy are advantaged over the rest. Make it universal, but raise taxes.

                I favour Transaction tax, capital tax and capital gains tax, living wage and universal basic living allowance for all.

                The inequality should reduce and the society should be fairer and ethical.

      • mikesh 10.2.2

        I imagine the amnesty would apply only to those who “come clean”, and who otherwise would not have been detected.

    • Colonial Rawshark 10.3

      Another right wing driven, Nash fronted initiative. God how I love Labour.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 10.4

      Nash has got it in his head that he is the rising star. A candidate on his way to future party leader and strong potential Prime Ministerial material. The Labour Party is a useful vehicle to his career and ambition.

      Straw poll: Should Andrew Little promote him further up?

    • Oh, great. A Labour MP wants it to be OK for people not to bother paying their taxes, and leaves himself wide open for a National cabinet minister to state the obvious in response:

      McClay says a debt amnesty wouldn’t be fair to those who pay tax on time.

      No wonder Nat bloggers are talking Nash up – he’s a free gift to the government.

      • tracey 10.5.1

        BUT neither robertson or Little has contradicted him, have they? It’s been a few days…

    • marty mars 10.6

      For those interested in understanding the where and how of the term “off the reservation”.




      I think this person sums up well

      “The insensitivity level of the phrase seems to rank somewhere between, e.g., “management has sold us down the river” said to an African-American, and “the traffic authorities need to come up with a Final Solution to the Jaywalker Question” said to a Jew.

      None of those phrases is actually meant to insult the ethnic group whose history inspired it. But turning a historical tragedy into a jesting metaphor can be in rather poor taste even without being intentionally insulting.”

      I’m not trying to have a go at you Ovid – but ‘going rogue’ is my preferred term.

    • b waghorn 10.7

      Little said similar on tv3 this morning about waiving penalties as long as the tax owed was played.

      • Kevin 10.7.1

        And the penalties IS the big problem. IRD are a completely inflexible, bloody-minded organisation with no understanding that everyones circumstances are different.

        For example, Child Support payments MUST be paid by or on the 20th of the month, period, despite the fact that not everyone has been paid by this date. So, as a result you get penalised 10%.

        So someone who is happy to pay their share is constantly penalised for the crime of not being paid themselves before the 20th of the month.

        • b waghorn

          I can a only comment on my own case I was self employed for 7 years and some of them very lean years with the GFC coming in the middle ( no body can stop spending as well as a farmer with a big mortgage if things get tight).
          I managed to pay my PAYE and gst on time ,I did have a very helpful and not to expensive accountant who was part of tax link which buys you a bit of time.

        • tracey

          seems odd that they didnt accommodate you getting that into line around your pay… so only a penalty on the first payment, thereafter you could adjust … did you call them and tell them that you got paid on the 10th and would struggle with the first payment on time?

        • Craig H

          I used to work for IRD in the contact centre – the issue I found was that people were unaware that setting up payment arrangements before the due date for the tax saved substantial penalties, and that IRD can remit penalties or write off debts given good reason e.g. hardship.

          IRD’s inflexibility is often not administrative, it’s legislative – the tax laws don’t always leave room for flexibility…

      • tracey 10.7.2

        exactly. I think this is Little coming through his promise to be supportive of SME’s… but when does the amnesty for everyone who has committed a burglary but not been nabbed begin? As long as they identify which burglary and the police can cross it off the unsolved list.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.8

      Catriona MacLennan: Benefit debt punishment out of all proportion to ‘crime’

      Why are we burdening some of the poorest mothers in the country with lifetime debts while writing off the tax debts of some of our richest citizens?

      Inland Revenue has wiped $5 billion in tax debt since 2008. This includes money owed by property developers who continue to live ostentatious lifestyles, despite failing to pay money owed to the Government, as well as 720,000 companies with unpaid taxes. On top of that, more than one million New Zealanders have had their tax debts written off in the past six years. In the past year alone, the Government has cancelled $930 million in tax debt owed by individuals.

      That can be contrasted with the punitive way in which mothers who owe benefit debt are pursued for the rest of their lives – even if it is plain that they will never be able to repay the sum.

      And Labour’s talking about forgiving the tax fraudsters. You know, the people who steal billions of dollars off of us each and every year compared to the few measly million that benefit fraud, most of which is actually done by employees at WINZ, cost us.

      Labour’s new motto: Double Standards R us

      • Te Reo Putake 10.8.1

        “And Labour’s talking about forgiving the tax fraudsters. You know, the people who steal billions of dollars off of us each and every year …”

        Nope. Complete bollocks, Draco. Nash was very specifically talking about small to medium business, particularlarly in the provinces, which as we know have been abandoned by the Tory government.

        “Nash said this was debt held by small-to-medium business owners, not “large corporates or high-net-worth individuals who have engaged expensive lawyers”.”

        Have a read, it’s actually reasonably sound politics that will be attractive to both the owners of these businesses and the 5-9 workers that the average Kiwi small business employs.


        • Draco T Bastard

          Outstanding taxes have increased in Nelson by $67.9 million (119 per cent), Timaru $15.6m (76 per cent) and Greymouth $5.6m (51 per cent) in the last six years.

          Palmerston North ($139m), Napier ($496m), Whangarei ($86m) also have significant levels of unpaid taxes.

          That’s still significantly more than benefit fraud. Especially where Nash happens to be the MP which has unpaid taxes of about 40 times the national total of benefit fraud.

          Now, chances are that that outstanding amount is due to the old, dysfunctional, Provisional Tax which itself needs reform but there’s no reason to make that reform retrospective.

        • phillip ure

          given everything out of nashs’ mouth is in the cause of neo-liberalism/the rightwing..

          ..and that he wd prefer to see bneficiaries have even more support ripped away from them..

          ..a man who wd do nothing about poverty/inequality..(he’s got his rightwing mates/backers/financiers to think of eh..?

          ..and an mp who is only there because that rightwing-tool garth mcvicar split the rightwing vote for him..

          ..if that had not happened..he wd not be there..

          ..a man who was the cheif of staff/adviser to that brief/disasterous shearer-period..(benny-on-a-hot-tin-roof..?..anyone..?..)

          ..why should we listen to anything this man says..?..ever..?

          ..if the vote isn’t split again for him..he’ll be gone in 2017..

          • Te Reo Putake

            And yet he’s still got more credibility than you, Phil. Funny old world, eh?

            PS, Nash had the briefest of tenures with Shearer, wasn’t there for the ‘roof’ anecdote, and in quitting, showed more political nous in 5 minutes than you’ve showed in your entire life.

            • phillip ure

              i thought he was fired..(my mistake.)

              ..and i’m not walking around proclaiming myself as the future leader of labour/p.m..am i..?

              ..and nash was there for enough of that wretched rightwing-shearer-exercise..to know what he is about..

              .wasn’t he..?

              • Te Reo Putake

                You’re not walking around at all, Phil, if your prolific posting is any guide to your lifestyle. Maybe the occasional excursion to the garden for, ahem, organic supplies, but no exertion that might risk a bead of sweat breaking out. How’s your roof, btw? Need a lick of paint? (See what I did there?).

                • strengthened yr benny-bashing credentials..yep..!

                  ..i see that..

                  ..so..nothing to come back on what i said about nash..

                  ..and taking the ad-hom route to rout..i see..

                  ..the fact of the matter is..that nash and the other rightwingers/poor-bashers in labour..

                  ..are labours’ ‘big-problem’.

    • Bearded Git 10.9

      What I can’t understand is how we got into a situation where people owe $6.8 BILLION.

      This will be treated as an asset (debtor) in the governments books. Larf!

      It must be mostly Nats mates owing the money and so they are not chasing them. On Nat Rad this morning they said the tax department spends $90 million a year on chasing bad debts-this is a pittance when nearly $7 billion is owed.

      I would like to see a list of the people who owe the tax-this should be publicly available as it is owed to the Crown, that is US.

      • Murray Rawshark 10.9.1

        $89 million of that is probably spent chasing up student loans. They don’t seem to write them off like they do corporate taxes.

  11. Penny Bright 11

    Hi folks – seen this?


    Davos delegates don’t care about inequality or your debt

    Elite retreat. World Economic Forum, CC BY-SA
    The world’s rich and powerful are gathering for the World Economic Forum at the Swiss ski resort of Davos to discuss, and hopefully find solutions to, the world’s economic and social problems. The 45th meeting will be attended by kings, princes, presidents, prime ministers, leading politicians and controllers of large corporations. Amidst mutual back-slapping they will deliver set-piece speeches and soothing words at various seminars and workshops to support solutions to the world’s ecological, economic, security and social problems.

    It is right that such events should exist – no nation can solve the problems on its own. In the aftermath of the banking crash and weak economic recovery in Europe, the agenda of the Davos summit is to restore trust in capitalist system and build global institutions for a better future. But this is easier said than done, especially as Davos is often far removed from the concerns of ordinary people.

    The grand narrative of previous summits has been that we must not do anything to upset the rich because a nation’s salvation depends not on having a good system of education, healthcare, pensions and transport, but on keeping people happy even though their wealth is built on the sweat and blood of ordinary folk. Economic policies are increasingly formed to appease financial markets where vast amounts are gambled everyday though they produce little tangible economic activity.

    In this narrative there is no space for workers, trade unions, industrial democracy, or people who want to live fulfilling lives. Markets are supposed to serve society but people are increasingly forced to dance to their short-term financial tunes. How are governments going to develop long-term economic and social policies? There is little sign that the latest summit will signal a much needed change of direction.

    Previous Davos summits have carved out policies for the rich to advance their own interests and done little to check inequalities. Past failures are evident from Oxfam’s latest report which states that very soon 1% of the world’s adult population will own more than the rest. In the UK, the richest 1,000 people have doubled their wealth over the past five years to £519 billion. At the same time, millions of people have seen a real decrease in their income and lack the resources to stimulate the economy. Indeed, rising income inequality in developed economies are forcing even people in paid employment to rely on food banks.

    Food banks are booming. Danny Lawson/PA
    Political leaders at Davos will deliver their ritual affirmation for greater economic competition. Yes, competition gives people choices, but its present state is a cause for concern as corporations are frequently able to hold governments to ransom: “give us what we want or we are off” has become a familiar call from companies to discipline governments.

    The top 500 transnational corporations control 70% of the worldwide trade, 80% of the foreign investments, one-third of all manufacturing exports, 75% of all commodities trade and 80% of the trade in management and technical services. Only four companies account for between 75% and 90% of the global grain trade. Breaking up these global behemoths and making them accountable to the public is not on the Davos agenda.

    Political leaders will talk about tackling public debt, a cue for more austerity, reduction in public expenditure and further privatisation of state-owned enterprises, often at knock-down prices resulting in huge wealth transfers. Even in the western world, the neoliberal experiment for the last 35 years has failed to deliver full employment economic stability or equitable distribution of wealth. Still, politicians won’t rock the boat, though some of the NGOs attending the summit will raise uncomfortable questions.

    Despite the financial crisis, western nations remain addicted to light-touch regulation and supremacy of markets. Despite the biggest banking crash, there has been little effective reform of the financial system as governments seem unwilling to upset the financial wheeler and dealers.

    Low-interest policy has been used to persuade ordinary people to borrow money and stimulate the economy. Personal debt in the UK alone is around £1.432 trillion, just short of one year’s gross domestic product. What if people can’t repay this? It would be good if Davos leaders could on reflect on the consequences of huge personal debts.

    International forums are increasingly essential to solve global problems, but they can’t be addressed by pursuing the interests of the 1%. A radical shift is needed to develop policies that place the interests of the 99% at the heart of the debate.

    Kind regards

    Penny Bright

  12. Morrissey 12

    Norman Finkelstein : Charlie Hebdo n’est pas satirique, il est sadique
    by Mustafa Caglayan, NEW YORK, 19 January 2015

    In Nazi Germany, there was an anti-Semitic weekly newspaper called Der Stürmer. Run by Julius Streicher, it was notorious for being one of the most virulent advocates of the persecution of Jews during the 1930s. What everybody remembers about Der Stürmer was its morbid caricatures of Jews, the people who were facing widespread discrimination and persecution during the era. Its depictions endorsed all of the common stereotypes about Jews – a hook nose, lustful, greedy.

    “Let’s say, … amidst all of this death and destruction, two young Jews barged into the headquarters of the editorial offices of Der Stürmer, and they killed the staff for having humiliated them, degraded them, demeaned them, insulted them,” queried Norman Finkelstein, a professor of political science and author of numerous books including The Holocaust Industry and Method and Madness.

    “How would I react to that?,” said Finkelstein, who is the son of Holocaust survivors. Finkelstein was drawing an analogy between a hypothetical attack on the German newspaper and the deadly Jan. 7 attack at the Paris headquarters of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, that left 12 people dead, including its editor and prominent cartoonists. The weekly is known for printing controversial material, including derogatory cartoons about the Prophet Muhammad in 2006 and 2012.

    The attack sparked a global massive outcry, with millions in France and across the world taking to the streets to support freedom of the press behind the rallying cry of “Je suis Charlie,” or “I am Charlie.”

    What the Charlie Hebdo caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad achieved was “not satire,” and what they provoked was not “ideas,” Finkelstein said. Satire is when one directs it either at oneself, causes his or her people to think twice about what they are doing and saying, or directs it at people who have power and privilege, he said.

    “But when somebody is down and out, desperate, destitute, when you mock them, when you mock a homeless person, that is not satire,” Finkelstein said. “That is, I give you the word, sadism. There’s a very big difference between satire and sadism. Charlie Hebdo is sadism. It’s not satire.”

    The “desperate and despised people” of today are Muslims, he said, considering the number of Muslim countries racked by death and destruction as in the case of Syria, Iraq, Gaza, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen. “So, two despairing and desperate young men act out their despair and desperation against this political pornography no different than Der Stürmer, who in the midst of all of this death and destruction decide its somehow noble to degrade, demean, humiliate and insult the people. I’m sorry, maybe it is very politically incorrect. I have no sympathy for [the staff of Charlie Hebdo]. Should they have been killed? Of course not. But of course, Streicher shouldn’t have been hung. I don’t hear that from many people,” said Finkelstein.

    Streicher was among those who stood trial on charges at Nürnberg, following World War II. He was hung for those cartoons.

    Finkelstein said some might argue that they have the right to mock even desperate and destitute people, and they probably have this right, he said, “But you also have the right to say ‘I don’t want to put it in my magazine … When you put it in, you are taking responsibility for it.”

    Finkelstein compared the controversial Charlie Hebdo caricatures to the “fighting words,” doctrine, a category of speech penalized under American jurisprudence. The doctrine refers to certain words that would likely cause the person to whom they are directed, to commit an act of violence. They are a category of speech unprotected by the First Amendment.

    “You are not allowed to utter fighting words, because they are equivalent of a smack to the face and it is asking for trouble,” Finkelstein said.

    “So, are the Charlie Hebdo caricatures the equivalent of fighting words? They call it satire. That is not satire. It is just epithets, there is nothing funny about it. If you find it funny, depicting Jews in big lips and (a) hook nose is also funny.”

    Finkelstein pointed to the contradictions in the Western world’s perception of the freedom of the press by giving the example of the pornographic magazine Hustler, whose publisher, Larry Flynt, was shot and left paralyzed in 1978 by a white supremacist serial killer for printing a cartoon depicting interracial sex.

    “I don’t remember everyone celebrating ‘We are Larry Flynt’ or ‘We are Hustler,’” he said. “Should he have been attacked?”…..

    Read more……

    • Sacha 12.1

      see comment above.

      • Morrissey 12.1.1

        Look carefully and you’ll see I’ve only posted a taster of the article, and provided a link for people—obviously not including you—who are interested in reading something written by one of the most outstanding scholars in the United States.

        I see others have taken you to task on your vacuous quibbles. Instead of upbraiding me, wouldn’t you have used your time more intelligently by clicking on the link and doing some reading?

    • North 12.2

      Thanks Morrissey – the hypocrisy screams out loud as shown here when Finkelstein gives it to them right between the eyes – Oh the weeping…….


  13. Draco T Bastard 13

    Of Experts, Damned Lies, and Pohutukawa

    who, for example, was the white haired man sitting with the public who summoned Marshall mid meeting into a whispered private conference from which he emerged even more defensive and inflexible?

    Very good question. Who was this person who obviously wields a great amount of power over our lives?

  14. disturbed 14

    Good stuff Penny Wright,

    Well spotted,

    As I said yesterday Davos is another leg of The Infamous Bilderberg Group.

    This Bilderberg Group is the most elitist global power club of industrialists, & corporations along with an array of greedy bought politicians.

    So expect Key will again go see his Bilderberg mates at Davos also.

    Key has previously attended Bilderberg’s unpublished meetings secretly.

    Key with held ths fact, without telling us, so if the shoe fits wear it corrupt Keyster.

    Key has demonstrated he loves secretive dark ops organisations such as his own liaison with his Ede/Slater combo so same Bilderberg black Ops group activities fits perfectly for key’s activities to act in secret.

    • Gosman 14.1

      The Bilderberg Group must be the most publicised secret organisation in the world. For a group that is meant to be trying to manipulate world events behind the scenes it isn’t very successful at keeping itself secret. I even remember a documentary showing people turning up to one of their meetings. You would have thought they could have dealt to pesky journalists to stop that happening.

      • Molly 14.1.1

        Yes, you are right everyone knows about these meetings.

        But most also know, that in the age of technology – the best place to hide is out in the open – and then lie, obfuscate, redirect using external methods.

        Such as MSM, fanatical supporters or blogging comments on a political blog…

        • Gosman

          Oh yes I forgot how perfidious and ingenious we are on the right…

          • Molly

            I assumed that the only way to classify people as perfidious and ingenious, is to label those who practice it as such.

            Thanks for the clarification that it is: we… “on the right”.

            • marty mars

              + 1 Molly – sadly for gossie he isn’t even at footsoldier level yet – his ‘we’ is really a wee we.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              The fact that Gossie identifies with them as “we” is a bit pathetic given that the invitees to the Bilderberg meetings would consider the likes of Gossie common low life, like the rest of the 99.9%.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.2

        It’s never tried to be secret but we also don’t get transcripts of what’s said at the meetings nor the agreements that they come to. Considering that it is a meeting between business and governments these are things that we’re entitled to as they’re obviously having an effect on our societies – a non-democratic one.

  15. Philip Ferguson 15

    These days Labour is very much the party of social liberalism (indeed, National too is fairly socially liberal these days).

    However, that wasn’t always the case. Labour was a strong supporter of the White New Zealand policy in the years after World War 1; the second Labour government went along with keeping Maori out of an All Blacks team to South Africa; and the third Labour government, especially Kirk, were anti-gay rights and anti women’s right to abortion. The first homosexual law reform bill was actually put forward by a National MP, Venn Young.

    An interesting piece on Labour’s socially illiberal past here: https://rdln.wordpress.com/2015/01/20/labour-always-in-the-rearguard-never-the-vanguard/


    • Murray Rawshark 15.1

      Big Norm’s government came down hard on bikers, coming out with slogans about taking the bikes off the gangs and such like. Several police districts went well outside the law in attacks on biker meetings, seemingly to official approval. I also heard from a journalist friend that he wasn’t all that hot on freedom of the press.

  16. Philip Ferguson 16

    In New Zealand, the women’s liberation movement largely emerged on the campuses, albeit by women active in the anti-Vietnam War movement and left groups like the Socialist Action League.

    In Britain three struggles by working class women in 1968 were pivotal. Two of them – a fight by fishermen’s wives for better safety conditions on trawlers and by London bus conductresses – are very little known about these days. The other struggle – by women at Ford’s massive Dagenham car plant – had passed into the mists as well, except a couple of years ago a ‘feel-good movie’ was made on their struggle, ‘Made in Dagenham’.

    Although there were certain distortions in the movie – the makers even admitting they downplayed the class politics and up-played a feminist take in order to make the movie more commercial – it’s still a very interesting movie.

    I used to teach the British sixties, so I was really interested to see the film when it first came out. It’s also been on TV here – I think it was on Xmas/New Year 2013/14. The ‘feelgood factor’ makes it fit in as Xmas/New Year fare (it was made by the same folks that made ‘Calendar Girls’). Anyway, I have a review of it, which also contextualises the actual struggle that occurred in 1968. It’s here:


  17. Gosman 17

    Looks like another Socialist ‘Paradise’ is heading rapidly for economic collapse. Amazing how it seems to be the Socialist nations that tend to fall over when Socialist theory suggests it is Capitalism that is inherently unstable and destined for destruction.


    • McFlock 17.1

      Sleep through the GFC, did you?

      • Gosman 17.1.1

        I’m not sure the GFC led to major shortages of toilet paper and other key items in places like the US.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          A 9% increase in family homelessness in the USA between 2007 & 2009 says that Gosman won’t recognise an economic collapse until the pitchforks come out.

          • Gosman

            I’d suggest not having enough toilet paper in the shops would qualify as an economic collapse. Wouldn’t you agree?

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              When you’ve decided whether to suggest it or not I’ll still think homelessness is a more useful measure.

            • Draco T Bastard

              There may have been toilet paper in the shops – doesn’t mean that the people without homes could afford to buy it.

        • McFlock

          unaffordable is unaffordable, whether it’s on the shelves or not.

          • Gosman

            We are talking unattainable not unaffordable. Noone is able to access sufficent supplies of toilet paper in Venezuela (except I suspect those closely connected with the government). This just doesn’t impact on the poorer sections of society.

            • mac1

              “Let them use the hebdomadaire.”

              Marie Antoinette, when asked whether the French peasants had enough toilet paper.

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              A rise in homelessness leads to an oversupply of toilet paper. The Gosman index tells us all is well.

            • McFlock

              god forbid the middle class or wealthy experience hardship alongside the poor

              • Gosman

                I like how you can brush off shortages of toilet paper as if it is merely the middle and upper classes experiencing what the poor suffer daily. Not many people at the lower end of the income scale in NZ go without toilet paper I would suggest.

                • McFlock

                  Would you? That’s super.

                  Now go to google maps. Look up Venezuela, look up New Zealand. Notice that their borders do not overlap.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Gossie forgets that western governments and central banks put in over US$20 trillion to bail out those malfeasant banks.

                    Of course those same elite are happy to let the people of Spain, Greece or Venzuela go under and drown.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.2

      As I pointed out to Hariet the other day – Venezuela is still capitalist. As CV said it’s also being attacked financially by the US and other Western nations.

  18. Gosman 18

    Looks like Venezuela is actually implementing policies that many leftists here wish to see put in place in NZ


    “Juan Pablo Fuentes, economist at Moody’s Analytics, explained,”The decrees that President Nicolás Maduro recently announced will do little to lift the economy or slow inflation. The focus of Maduro’s announcements was a series of fiscal measures aimed at increasing tax revenues, including a new luxury tax, an increase in the sales tax for alcoholic beverages and the elimination of some tax exemptions.””

    Should be interesting to see how the Venezuelan economy recovers as a result of these measures or if gets worse. I know what I have my money on.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1

      On Earth, the NZ Left is far more interested in lessons that can be learned from the Scandinavian model. Plus what McFlock said about your honesty and integrity.

      • Gosman 18.1.1

        I’d suggest some maybe. Some dislike any form of Free market Welfare state. Scandinavian countries tend to have very open markets which is not something an awful lot of hard left leaning people like very much.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          The conclusion to the article is Maybe the Scandinavian economies will muddle through. But there are reasons to stay alert to the region’s problems.

          As I said: lessons to be learned.

          • The lost sheep

            What specific lessons from Scandinavia do you think are applicable to the NZ situation OAB?

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              A lesson can be instructive without being applicable. Is there a chance we can discuss this without you attempting a false narrative?

              Finnish education is a case in point. So is the GINI. There’s a reason the World Bank talks about “Getting to Denmark”.

              • The lost sheep

                You introduced the Scandinavian theme into the discussion OAB. How does it become a ‘false narrative’ when I follow up on your lead?

                Yes, Finnish education is excellent, and the emphasis on high level qualifications for teachers is something I would love to see adopted here.
                But on the other hand, if you talk about ‘GINI’ then you should also understand that Finland has one of the fastest rates of increasing inequality in Europe.

                And if you talk about ‘getting to Denmark’, you should be warned that the Danes have the highest rate of personal indebtedness in the World, pay the highest tax rates, have a crap education system, the worlds highest cancer rates, and the Danish Govt. is currently warning that their pattern of very low growth in productivity / unrealistic wage increases are causing a slide in competitiveness that seriously threatens Denmark’s ongoing prosperity.

                Norway is a model in lots of things, but we would have to double our NZ GDP levels to match the wealth that supplies the Norwegian Social welfare state. Lucky they have that oil.

                Sweden is fueled by intense corporate industrialization….

                Lessons yes. But not simple or easy ones.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Clearly, the World Bank’s talk of “Denmark” uses “Denmark” as a metaphor, rather than the more literal interpretation you’ve chosen.

                  It’s a false narrative by virtue of your decision to frame lessons as “applicable” rather than instructive.

                  Did I say the lessons were simple and easy? No. in fact, I used them as a contrast to Gosman’s feverish assertions about the Left.

                  And you knew that.

                  • The lost sheep

                    Nonsense OAB.
                    And I’ve been here long enough by now to know your angle pretty well.
                    You’re a sniper at heart. Get off a shot or two, but always have a plan for retreat close at hand.
                    One of your classic exit strategies is the one you are attempting here – laying down a smoke screen of semantics and hoping you’ll confuse the enemies view of the battlefield.

                    The narrative here is very clear.
                    Gosman brought up Venezuela as evidence that the policies many Leftists here wish to see do not work, and you jumped in and countered with the view that learning lessons from Scandinavia was of far more interest to the Left.

                    Now if ‘learning’ isn’t ‘instructive’, then what is?
                    And if ‘instructive’ doesn’t have the potential to lead to ‘applicable’, whats the bloody point of it?
                    Just a barren indulgence in intellectual masturbation?

                    So my points were completely applicable to the instructive nature of the narrative.

                    And nonsense again that the World Bank were using ‘Denmark’ as a ‘metaphor’.
                    They used the word Denmark, because Denmark was exactly the literal country they see as the ideal starting point for the discussion on future models of economic and political development.

                    Link below is very instructive, essential reading for anyone on the Left interested in Scandinavian lessons.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Funny, that was the other link I considered citing.

                      Learning certainly begets application; your ability to articulate a tautology is testament to that.

                      Whether the applications one learns from are universally applicable is another matter. I’ve suggested income equality and education as places where applications abound.

                      Speaking of education, your support for a government that destroyed the right to collective bargaining, signalled well before the election, makes you a very special creature to be pretending concern about this country’s future, especially after the way you cited your Dad’s policics, eh.

                    • The lost sheep

                      “makes you a very special creature to be pretending concern about this country’s future”

                      Despite your sanctimonious observation yesterday that the Left was superior in the way they “understood the value of diversity”, you are actually extremely intolerant when it comes to diversity of political thought aren’t you OAB?

                      There are only 2 modes you can comprehend, you only value one of them, and you are as intolerant and dismissive of the other as any RW Bible belt gay hating red neck.

                      I am exactly what I say I am, a lifetime Left wing voter currently so pissed off with the lack of unity, vision, practicality, intelligence, and leadership of the NZ political Left that I am unable to bring myself to vote for them.

                      I might just stick around and keep reminding you of that. Anything that helps break down the smug ill founded sense of superiority of people like you has to be good for our country.

                      Glad we agree on the value of the Economist article. Will post a little further on that tomorrow.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      you are actually extremely intolerant when it comes to diversity of political thought aren’t you OAB?

                      There’s no need to be tolerant of political thought which aims to harm most people to extract even more privilege for the few who are already the most well off and powerful.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      What CR said: I respect political thought when it qualifies as thought.

                    • tracey

                      the lost sheep

                      Gosman also has an M.O. And venezuela is one of his to show how “socialism” fails people. he then spins like a top about why the GFC etc is not a failure of capitalism.

                      So perhaps OAB and Gosman are just different sides of the same coin cos when you wrote

                      “… Anything that helps break down the smug ill founded sense of superiority of people like you has to be good for our country.”

                      I thought of Gosman

          • miravox

            “As I said: lessons to be learned.”

            The first would be voting the Social Democrats back in now the economic liberals have done the damage.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              The social democrats still show a limited understanding of the low carbon future that we are rapidly descending into. (But then again so do all political parties).

              What would really help parties like the Democrats for Social Credit (and NZ politics in general) is halving our MMP threshold to 2.5%. That means a party would would get into Parliament if they won enough votes to get at least 3 MPs.

  19. I think the image associated with this story is a bad mistake. Bomber has blown the shark with this one. I haven’t seen this type of image before and I am a bit shocked that he has done it. This will end very badly imo.


  20. greywarshark 20

    @ marty mars
    I agree. It’s ‘overkill’. I won’t put into words what his response reminds me of, but I do think more restraint is needed on his part. And would result in more respect for him.

  21. Ovid 21

    Text of the State of the Union, which President Obama is delivering right now. Interesting policy platform he’s pushing – paid sick leave, help with childcare and free education in community colleges (kinda like our polytechs, but course credits can be transferred to universities).

    Doubtful if any of this will make it through a Republican majority Congress, but he talks a good game.

  22. Colonial Rawshark 22

    Soldiers of the Donetsk Peoples Republic proudly show that they have taken control of “Donetsk International Airport” from Ukranian/Kiev forces.

    Sadly, what was a modern international airport is nothing but a shit pile of rubble. Who knows how many lives was lost for this insanity.


  23. Michael 23

    Pres. Obama’s state of the union address was very impressing.

    • I found it depressing, relentlessly compressing PR fluff, and ultimately distressing in its focus on the infallible greatness of the US empire.

      • Colonial Rawshark 23.1.1

        Obama should do what Vladimir Putin does every year – a 3hr press conference in front of the world media, no teleprompters, no scripts, no questions barred.

    • tracey 23.2

      it’s like Boko Haram doesn’t even exist

  24. (how does this guy..sitting in england..know so much about the new zealand mainstream-media..?..

    ..those putting the whore in journalism..)

    “..George Monbiot:..Our ‘impartial’ broadcasters have become mouthpieces of the elite..

    ..If you think the news is balanced – think again.

    Journalists who should challenge power –

    – are doing its dirty work..”



    • Fantastic piece from Monbiot. Should be front page of every goddamn news outlet, but that ain’t gonna happen! Nuggets:

      Our ‘impartial’ broadcasters have become mouthpieces of the elite
      If you think the news is balanced, think again. Journalists who should challenge power are doing its dirty work. Until I came across the scandal currently erupting in Canada, I hadn’t understood just how quickly standards are falling. [Saga of conflict of interest and attempted cover up by a bank and a senior reporter, and threats to other journos]

      A study by the Cardiff School of Journalism examined the BBC’s reporting of the bank bailouts in 2008. It discovered that the contributors it chose were “almost completely dominated by stockbrokers, investment bankers, hedge fund managers and other City voices. Civil society voices or commentators who questioned the benefits of having such a large finance sector were almost completely absent from coverage.” The financiers who had caused the crisis were asked to interpret it.

      The BBC’s business reporting breaks its editorial guidelines every day by failing to provide alternative viewpoints. Every weekday morning, the Today programme grovels to business leaders for 10 minutes. On BBC News at Six, business representatives outnumbered trade union representatives by 19 to one.

      Those entrusted to challenge power are the loyalists of power. [Hence the rise of social media and people such as Russell Brand…]

  25. Draco T Bastard 25

    Right of Reply – Scoop Responds To The Daily Blog

    The following comment was submitted to The Daily Blog at 4pm for publication on an item published yesterday & headlined “Scoop’s latest attempt to rebrand itself”.

    In the post by Martyn Bradbury it was asserted that Scoop’s essay on Friday, “Reinventing News As A Public Right – A Public Conversation”, which launched Scoop’s, “State of NZ News Media – A Public Conversation” editorial series, was a “desperate attempt” at rebranding.

    In his post after first agreeing that NZ News Media is in a parlous state, Bradbury concluded, “I don’t think Scoop, with its looming internal problems will be around long enough to be part of the solution”.

    • Murray Rawshark 25.1

      Bomber doesn’t seem to do the left very many favours at all. I’d rather lose his blog than Scoop, if we had to lose one.

      • Scoop is a valuable resource but its huge volume of in-depth research is simply indigestible for the casual reader. I think it needs a redesign and better curation of stories.

        The Daily Blog is in sore need of a rethink as well, it just doesn’t look professional at all. I admire Bomber’s passion and hard work but he’s a bit OTT, spraying friendly fire and crushing dissent

        • Murray Rawshark

          I agree that Scoop could be more accessible, but they are reviewing stuff with the Chrysalis Project. I really don’t bother with the Daily Blog any more, although John Minto and Keith Locke write some good stuff now and then.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Yeah, I don’t bother with TDB as it’s got a horrible interface and most of it’s just whinging. Get some good stuff from Minto, Locke, Rankin and Genter but they don’t post often enough to make TDB a daily read.

  26. So where is the thunderous condemnation of Boko Haram? More thunderous is the silence emanating from just about everywhere, including New Zealand.

    We present ourselves as a caring compassionate nation. So where is the horror and the outrage?

    • Colonial Rawshark 26.1

      Too many things to be outraged about these days.

    • Ovid 26.2

      #bringbackourgirls is probably as impotent as #jesuischarlie

      There are currently 59 groups designated by the US State Department as foreign terrorist organisations, Boko Haram was designated as such in November 2013.

    • Kim DotCom is the real threat to NZ, stop raising inconvenient facts.

      • Colonial Rawshark 26.3.1

        French Algerians who said they were from Al Qaeda Yemen shot up people in Paris so that means NZ should send soldiers to fight the few thousand ISIS gunmen in Iraq, because the US (nor the Iraqi security forces they spent billions to train) somehow can’t handle it themselves.

        Geddit? Because that’s all the sense western leadership is making right now.

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