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Open Mike 21/01/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 21st, 2017 - 120 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

120 comments on “Open Mike 21/01/2017”

    • Bill English had a good international trip by most accounts. He represented New Zealand well as Prime Minister.

      • Didn’t appear on any foreign television shows saying puerile things then?
        Did you comment on Key’s idiotic interview at the time, Pete?

        • James 1.1.1.1

          Gee you live in the past. Move on man.

          You will still be blaming Key when English wins the election.

          • Robert Guyton 1.1.1.1.1

            The past, James?
            Key’s still an MP, isn’t he?
            Or has he been spirited away, along with any memory of his parcle-tongued reign?
            I suppose what you’re hoping, James, is that we’ll give English a clean “bill” of health and forget that he’s been polluted by Key’s behaviour for 6 years, trained by the same people Key was and complicit in the disgraceful things Key did, and that he’ll still have Key whispering in his ear now. But no, James, we’re not so easily bamboozled, especially by someone as shallow and obvious as you.

          • red-blooded 1.1.1.1.2

            “Gee you live in the past. Move on man.”

            Good advice. Will English et al finally stop blaming Clark for all NZ’s ills?

          • Paul 1.1.1.1.3

            Good point.
            When will National stop blaming Labour?
            They’ve been in power for 8 years and still we hear it was Labour’s fault.

            • fisiani 1.1.1.1.3.1

              A Labour government puts NZ back a decade so National will take full responsibility in 2018.

          • Whispering Kate 1.1.1.1.4

            That’s a bit rich James – that’s all that National has done since it came into Government – it was all Labour’s fault until it was just ad nauseum listening to it. You are pathetic.

        • Pete George 1.1.1.2

          I’ve criticised Key a number of times in the past, but I don’t know what relevance that has now. How much have you criticised Turei and Shaw?

          From what I’ve seen English represented New Zealand well in Europe, especially for a rooky PM. Did you see it differently?

          • Robert Guyton 1.1.1.2.1

            I asked, Pete, whether you’d commented on Key’s “performance” during his interview while overseas; you know, the one where he denied the parlous state of New Zealand’s environment and the views of Mike Joy. It was, by many accounts, a cringe-worthy interview and certainly the interviewer expressed his disbelief at the then Prime Minister’s slippery tongue. I wondered if you’d written a post on that, hoping to read your thoughts on that issue, given that you have commented on the present Prime Minister’s foreign visit here on a blog that has readers who like to think more deeply about such things. So, Pete, did you?

            • Pete George 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Key made many trips overseas and had quite a few interviews. I’ve criticised him for puerile behaviour. But you are diverting into history (with a lot of vagueness). Sharpen up.

              The subject here was how English presented himself on his trip over the last week or so. Reports have generally been favourable. Do you disagree with them?

              • “The subject here was…”

                Thanks, Pete. Gotta go now.

              • Tricledrown

                The polls show that.
                National back up Labour down.
                English just has to not fuck up.
                Not likely.
                Labour Greens need to get non voters out and unseat Dunne.
                To stand any chance.

                • James

                  Unless those non voters vote for national. And some of them will.

                • Adrian Thornton

                  Poor Labour held prisoner by it’s own neo liberal economic ideology, unable to mount any kind of meaningful attacks or counter punches to National, who only have to hold their boat steady to probably win, yes even with English at the helm.
                  Watching Labour slowly drown in a pool of it’s own discredited ideology is really depressing stuff.

                  • red-blooded

                    Adrian, if you’re so saddened by what you see as Labour’s depressing fate, how about you:
                    1) Get involved in the party and promote your vision of its problems and possible solutions – help rescue it from what you see as its slow demise, and/or
                    2) Stop stirring against the party that you claim some association with/ loyalty to (enough to be depressed on its behalf).

                    Sadly, I strongly suspect you won’t do either of these. (With friends like you, who needs enemies?)

                    BTW, you (and others) tend to throw the term “neoliberal” around pretty loosely. Labour isn’t big on transfer of assets from the public to private sector, and that’s a cornerstone of neoliberalism. Just saying…

                    • Adrian Thornton

                      Red blooded, fair comments, I will answer both as best I can.
                      I had been involved in the party ( long ago) but was left very disillusioned and gutted by the core ideology that was being pushed at the time.
                      1. I thought about becoming involved more directly again last election when Anna Lorck set up her office next door to my shop. However after becoming aware of her completely out of touch policies around seasonal labour (amongst other things) there was no way I could get behind her.
                      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503459&objectid=11720136
                      …and sure as hell not Nash in Napier.
                      So that door was closed.
                      although that being said, I am still very active politically, just not through normal party structures.
                      2. ‘Stirring’ although I would use the word critiquing, the party is I feel my, and every labour supporters obligation and responsibility to critique the direction of the party should they feel it is being led astray.

                      I am a very loyal friend, so I have been told.

                      Labour since Douglas is responsible for major asset sales in New Zealand, and until it fully rejects that laissez faire centrist ideology, then that is what Labour will perceived to be, and to some extent stand for.
                      Labour have never apologized for selling our assets.

                      The reason I am so hard on Labour, is that they are so far removed from real working families now, that they, without the slightest hint of embarrassment suggested $5-600,000 homes in AKL as being ‘affordable’.
                      But I also believe that in the core of the Labour Party, is the structure that represents our only real hope of breaking the chains of neo liberalism, and working together as a country back toward a more equal, fair and caring society for all…but that will only happen, in my view, under a left Socialist Democratic Labour.

                      But unfortunately that is nothing like our Labour Party today.
                      From their own website,
                      Fixing the Housing Crisis…
                      ‘They are too focused on looking after those at the top rather than families in the middle.’
                      Not ‘looking after’ working families..no just the middle class,
                      yes that’s Labour in their own words on their own site!

                    • Leftie

                      Adrian, the current Labour party is not the same Labour government of the 1980’s. And aren’t you being rather skewered with cherry picking Labour’s website by misquoting there?

                    • Leftie

                      +100 Red-Blooded.

                  • The Fairy Godmother

                    We are all neo-liberal in that we live in a neo-liberal system and do neo-liberal things. Certainly some more than others, like choosing the cheapest power or phone company for instance. I think we need to look at the neo-liberal aspects of our lives and try and change them. Then there could be real change.

                    • weka

                      that’s an interesting take TFG. Leaving aside those who have little choice, how many people opposed to neoliberalism live that out in their lives?

                    • Ad

                      Choosing the best customer service or best price does not make someone a neoliberal. Just makes you different from a doormat.

                  • Leftie

                    Adrian. If memory serves, didn’t you say on TBD, sometime back, that you preferred the National government to remain in power?

                    • Adrian Thornton

                      Leftie, Well I wouldn’t say I prefer National to remain in power, however I am in the same camp as Slavoj Zizek, I believe neo liberalism, and especially center left neo liberalism to be a political disease, and radical action needs to be taken to avert disaster… I will leave Zizek to explain better than I…..

                      I know this is a quite unpopular position, and I am fully prepared to debate my own stance on it and could be persuaded otherwise, if arguments to the contrary offered another way to turn Labour back to a Socialist Democratic Left platform…still, as I have also said, Labour was radically changed ideologically by an internal revolution in 1984, and I believe that consequently an internal revolution within the party will be needed to remove the ‘new labour neoliberal’ ideology from the party.

                      BTW as to your comment that I…”skewered with cherry picking Labour’s website by misquoting”
                      I have done nothing of the sort, my quote was taken directly from the official Labour site. This was their wording, and as I am sure you well know, wording, and word placement in politics is very very important, so don’t come at me with that rubbish.

                    • Leftie

                      Adrian, pretty sure that’s what you said on TDB when you were asked if you wanted National to stay in power. And as for “They are too focused on looking after those at the top rather than families in the middle.” Sounds like Labour were talking about National. Best you put up a citation, so your quote can be read in context.

                      BTW, has National ever apologized for selling off our assets, past and present? Will John Key apologize for what he has done?
                      As Andrew Little said “I don’t see how I can be personally held responsible for the actions of predecessors.”

                      <a href="http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/08/30/waatea-5th-estate-labour-vs-nz-first-the-fight-for-maori-votes/

            • Morrissey 1.1.1.2.1.2

              That particularly shameful interview was on BBC’s HardTalk programme….

      • North 1.1.2

        Poor Pete also having trouble letting go. WTF does one do when le raison d’etre has fucked off ? Oh that’s right, redeploy the ‘suckshin’. Tasty !

  1. HDCAFriendlyTroll 3

    “Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans, and people of the world: thank you.

    We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore its promise for all of our people.

    Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for years to come.

    We will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.

    Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent.

    Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning. Because today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

    For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.

    Washington flourished – but the people did not share in its wealth.

    Politicians prospered – but the jobs left, and the factories closed.

    The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.

    Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s Capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

    That all changes – starting right here, and right now, because this moment is your moment: it belongs to you.”

    Read the rest of President Trump’s great, great speech here:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/01/20/full-text-president-donald-trumps-inauguration-speech.html

    • Paul 3.1

      He basically criticised every politician sharing the stage with him for their betrayal of America’s working class.

      ‘Today’s ceremony however, has very special meaning, because today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, DC. And giving it back to you, the people.

      For too long, have reaped the rewards of government while people have borne the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered period, but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs and while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

      That all changes starting right here and right now, because this moment is your moment. It belongs to you. It be longs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America. This is your day. This is your celebration. And this, the United States of America, is your country.’

      ‘Today we are not merely transferring power from one Administration to another, or from one party to another – but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.’

      • Andre 3.1.1

        Do you believe he means those things and will work for them?

        • Paul 3.1.1.1

          No.
          But there are many desperate people in America who will.
          And desperate people turn to demagogues.

          • HDCAFriendlyTroll 3.1.1.1.1

            You have every right to be skeptical, Paul. If Andrew Little gave the same speech I’d be critical too. But if just for a moment you can imagine Donald Trump, President of the USA, delivering on his promises, wouldn’t that make America great again?

            • Leftie 3.1.1.1.1.1

              When do people like Trump ever deliver on promises? Was America ever, really great?

      • HDCAFriendlyTroll 3.1.2

        Call it Left, call it Right. What it amounts to is a massive shift in power. It’d be like as if Colonel Viper got made moderator-in-chief.

        • Paul 3.1.2.1

          I agree – a significant change in power.

        • Xanthe 3.1.2.2

          ” Colonel Viper got made moderator-in-chief.”

          I vote fot that. Would actually be a considerable improvement IMHO
          And yes thats my genuine opinion. The moderation here sucks! . Often used to win the argument rather than foster dialogue

          • HDCAFriendlyTroll 3.1.2.2.1

            Authors shouldn’t be able to moderate their own posts. Too much skin in the game.

            • weka 3.1.2.2.1.1

              “Authors shouldn’t be able to moderate their own posts. Too much skin in the game.”

              The moderation you’ve been objecting to today was not done by the post’s author. Nor was your own moderation today.

            • Sacha 3.1.2.2.1.2

              Only if you take conflicts of interest seriously, unlike some politicians..

              • weka

                How is moderating one’s own post inherently a conflict of interest?

                • Sacha

                  You are right. Sorry, paying too much attention to distant politicians.

                • HDCAFriendlyTroll

                  Um, because authors put a lot of energy, thought, and effort in writing threads and somebody may come only with perfectly legitimate on-topic criticism that doesn’t fall within the moderation rules but still get moderated because in the author’s eyes his or her work is being unfairly attacked.

                  Or if you want the short version some authors can get rather touchy about people saying bad things about what they’ve written. Especially if they’ve put a lot of work into it.

                  • weka

                    Can you please provide three examples that demonstrate what you are suggesting? That’s links to specific moderation, plus an explanation from you of which bit you think is the moderator objecting to someone saying bad things about what they’ve written. Thanks.

          • weka 3.1.2.2.2

            Moderation on TS isn’t to foster dialogue (that’s up to the authors and commenters). It’s to prevent the worst of the trolling and derailments from wrecking the place and putting people off esp authors (and to protect the site from legal issues).

          • HDCAFriendlyTroll 3.1.2.2.3

            And speaking of Colonel Viper where is my BFF? I thought his latest ban would be over by now. Surely he’d be in here or over on the other thread celebrating President Trump’s inauguration.

        • Muttonbird 3.1.2.3

          Banned for four weeks. The first of many this year I predict.

          Anti-worker anarchists like Trump and CV will fail in the short and long term.

          Especially CV who has no redeeming points whatsoever.

    • Tricledrown 3.2

      Whatever with a Goldman Sachs cabinet the Vampire capitalists are in charge.
      No chance of any change.
      All talk and no trousers.

    • Foreign waka 3.3

      HDCAFriendlyTroll
      History will be the judge on that.
      Even best intentions will not be able to restore the jobs in any country as robotics will have the greatest impact since the industrial revolution.
      He will be faced with a choice between finding a peaceful way of transition that includes education, income and poverty, health and elder care, institutionalized racism, civil rights, personal responsibility … shall I go on? Or using force, at home or abroad. As the nature of work and income is about to change in very profound ways neither Trump nor any other leader will escape the fact that new ways of society structures need to be found.
      With the speech Trump gave and the absolute alignment with the military (its called having a buck each way), my prediction at this stage is not as rosy as yours. History has shown that it is the lazy mans walk and what more – talk – that always has mapped the future (may I stretch at this junction “man as “men”) and aggression, stand over tactics, oppression are hailed as virtues. And to make it really scary, using “above all god” in the parting sentence is concerning. There are parallels to a speech some 80 odd years ago.
      So again, the jury is out and history will tell.

      • garibaldi 3.3.1

        What could possibly go wrong when you’ve got god on your side and a gun in your hand?

  2. Paul 4

    The bad news.
    1. The beating of war drums with China.
    2. His focus on a law and order society.

    Chris Hedges describes the speech as exhibiting the feeling of a crisis cult. It highlighted the worst aspects of American exceptionalism and imperialism.
    He says the promises won’t be delivered and then the state will be used against the vulnerable.

  3. North 5

    Yeah…….it is what he said. He also sought to paint patriotism and prejudice mutually exclusive. Is that the predominant lesson of history ? Don’t think so.

  4. Diogenes 6

    It seems that Dame Paula Bennett of Waitakere, whose idea of job creation was permanent multiple security guards at WINZ offices, will be visiting Kaikoura to reassure shaken locals.

    She may have to bring her new labour market program with her.

    [your comments should come through now.] – Bill

    • Wensleydale 6.1

      Kaikoura needs to immediately erect a large sign at the town’s perimeter saying, “Sod off, you nauseating hypocrite!”

  5. North 7

    I notice your canard re what he said being “left wing” is no longer up Paul. How come ? You deferring to Archie CV Bunker are you ?…….editing, leaving it to ACVB to deliver the “tremendous” left wing news are you ?

  6. Penny Bright 8

    The future Independent MP for Mt Albert Penny Bright explaining to Auckland Mayor and Councillors how the private procurement model breeds corruption.

    🙂

  7. Carolyn_nth 9

    Therersa May – warning corporations about shirking their tax-paying responsibilities (another rightee stealing lines from the left, while promoting so-called “free trade” and “globalisation”. In this NY Times article, it talks about NZ as being one of the countries the UK is aiming to make free trade deals.

    Her defense of free trade was slightly jarring coming after Britain’s decision to quit the largest free-trade grouping on earth, the European Union, judging that control over immigration and complete sovereignty mattered more.

    She also spoke at a time when free-trade deals are increasingly unpopular, particularly among the people she was accusing the crowd in Davos of ignoring, and with President-elect Donald J. Trump talking of protectionism and criticizing free-trade pacts.

    But with big multinational banks and companies already announcing that they will reduce their staffing in London because of the vote to leave the European Union, known as Brexit, Mrs. May was eager to reassure them that Britain would emerge bigger and better from the divorce.

    Britain wants to negotiate trade deals with “old friends” and “new allies,” she said, adding that tentative discussions have begun with Australia, India and New Zealand, and that China, Brazil and the Persian Gulf states have expressed interest in striking trade deals.

    Britain is especially keen to do a deal with Washington, and Mr. Trump has said he is eager to start. But until Britain formally leaves the European Union, deemed unlikely before March 2019, it can only discuss such deals, not sign them.

    Hmmm… isn’t Trump talking out against any trade deals that don’t strongly benefit the US? A trade deal between the US and UK that strongly benefits both, and previously overlooked middle and low income people? I’ll be interested to see how that goes down.

    • HDCAFriendlyTroll 9.1

      “Strongly benefit” are your words. What Trump has said is that America will no longer act where there is no benefit and that they recognise the right of other nations to act in that nation’s best interest.

      • mpledger 9.1.1

        American has always acted for it’s own benefit. It’s just they have done so, so badly that, looking back, it seems as if they haven’t.

  8. Diogenes 10

    It seems that Dame Paula Bennett of Waitakere, whose idea of job creation was permanent multiple security guards at WINZ offices, will be visiting Kaikoura to reassure shaken locals.

    She may have to bring her new labour market program with her

  9. James 11

    Was expecting to see a bit of a drop (just a small one) in the last poll (Roy Morgan – but yeah) for national post keys departure.

    But very happy to see a small rise for English and national and a drop to labour. A good way to start an election year. Will be interesting to track the rest of the polls coming up.

    • It was a negligible change for National.

      It was also a negligible change for Labour, down 1.5, but now people are insisting that Labour+Greens matter a combined drop of 3.5% must be a bit worrying for those who thought the MoU was a game changer, and those who thought Key’s self demotion was a game changer.

      Labour’s start to the year has been very disappointing. Picking a fight with Peters and pledging a bill to circumvent workplace safety that one had previously lobbied for is an odd stance.

      Little’s delay in announcing he wouldn’t stand in Rongotai was also odd, he should have dealt with that immediately King announced she was standing down, he knew it was coming. Instead of putting it to bed last year he has put his indecision on show at a time he needed to be making a strong start to the year.

      Relying on Mt Albert to kick off their campaign proper is very risky. Labour (and Greens) cannot make it look like a cosy campaign jack up, unless they are seen to compete seriously it could easily backfire.

      Ardern standing looks a bit like rearranging the deck chairs. It would have been better to have new talent on show, someone like Deborah Russell would have looked much better.

      Little conceded that polls were bad – “I have to lead a party that starts from 2014 at a 25 per cent vote, polling at the moment at late 20s, 30 per cent sort of mark. So we have a lot of work to do, and I don’t underestimate that.”

      That hard work should have been evident from January 1 in election year. Labour need to be careful they don’t sleep walk to an election nightmare.

      • mlpc 11.1.1

        Serious question: why would anyone think that the MoU was a game changer?

        Who was it going to gain votes from?

        Not NZ First voters, because the Greens are only really after the youth vote and think that baby boomers have a lot to answer for.

        Not National voters because they all think the Greens are even further left than the most extreme Labour MP.

        Has it done anything, other than signal that Labour doesn’t think it can win?

        • James 11.1.1.1

          I think it was a terrible decision by labour – prob a better deal for the greens.

          It will be a movement of votes between the two and more moderate voters moving away to nzf or nats

        • Xanthe 11.1.1.2

          They didnt think!
          “Conventional wisdom” is that MMP parties have to declare who they are with before the election. Its crap but has become a “fact” . Its because they believe the public are too dumb to understand MMP. Winston has never bought into this doctrine and he gets along ok.

        • Leftie 11.1.1.3

          John key running away after National’s whopping defeat in the Mt. Roskill by election, and with a general election just around the corner, sent out signals that he thinks National isn’t going to win. John key did say if National lost he would quit politics.

      • Tricledrown 11.1.2

        Agreed.

      • Fisiani 11.1.3

        Good post. Labour ought to win the election given how popular they are. Opinion polls show we are heading in the wrong direction. English cannot debate and is a loser. Yeah Right.

        • Leftie 11.1.3.1

          Fisiani. National lost the flag referendum, the Northland and Roskill by elections, and failed badly in the local elections, all in a row, so much for that “popularity” and “opinion polling.”

    • mlpc 11.2

      Also interesting to note that most of the polling was done before English made his comment about many Kiwis cringing at Waitangi.
      Next time the Nats will be further ahead.

  10. Diogenes 12

    Dame Paula Bennett of Waitakere, whose idea of job creation was permanent multiple security guards at WINZ offices, will soon be visiting Kaikoura to reassure shaken locals.

    She may have to bring her new labour market program with her ..

  11. Paul 13

    Brilliant take down of Bob Jones.

    ‘Bob Jones can now descend back down into the abyss whence he came.

    This isn’t surprising. Jones is a corpse compelled by witchcraft to say the most obviously racist thing in any given situation. The only joy he can extract from this mortal plane comes when he’s raining blows on those he believes are beneath him, be they beggars, flight attendants, reporter Rob Vaughn, or victims of indecent assault who he believes have themselves to blame for making the “silly” mistake of walking in a park.

    “If I’m a rich old white man. Everyone else should be a rich old white man,” he whines with each rattling breath. “And if they’re not, they’re lazy or criminals or even Māoris.”

    http://thespinoff.co.nz/society/18-01-2017/opinion-bob-jones-can-now-descend-back-down-into-the-abyss-from-whence-he-came/

    • Red 13.1

      Now now Paulsky, breath, the alternate view is that jones just believes the purpose of government is to protect liberty and property rights and equal oppportunity and let people get on and be responsible for their lives, in contrast to nanny state from cradle to grave and assume every necessity for life is and entitlement Now I agree sir bob may have expressed his opinion in a provocative way but no need for your support of hate speeach, agism and bigotry against elderly white folk

    • NewsFlash 13.2

      A couple of years ago, Jones had a piece in the Herald’ bitterly complaining about how NZ has now become the biggest “nanny state” in the world, probably one of the few things that I could find to agree with him.

  12. Paaparakauta 14

    Dame Paula Bennett of Waitakere, whose idea of job creation was permanent multiple security guards at WINZ offices, will soon be visiting Kaikoura to reassure shaken locals.

    She may have to bring her new labour market program with her.

    • NewsFlash 14.1

      It is interesting that ex PM had an army of protectors around him at all times, weird for a little country like NZ, when you compare the PM’s of, say the UK and Australia, where they’re ability to mix with general without the need for “men in dark glasses”, it really does say a lot about the divisiveness of the man, that is if you can call him a “man”.

  13. Glenn 15

    Chilly morning. Extra blanket on the bed and new snow on the mountain.
    What a stuffed up summer.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/news/88610721/mt-taranaki-gets-a-dusting-of-midsummer-snow

  14. swordfish 16

    Testing

  15. johnm 17

    Neoliberals Know The Price Of Everything And The Value Of Nothing

    My father likes to say that some people know the price of everything and the value of nothing. The same could be said of the neoliberals of the world, who–in case you missed my previous piece–are now transcendent in most policy circles across the world.

    To review, the neoliberal agenda is one of deregulation, unfettered trade, fiscal austerity (with the attendant reduction in social programs), privatization and tax reduction. Fundamental to the neoliberal ideology is that government regulation and planning of economic activity are inherently flawed and cannot bring about the desired ends of efficiency, prosperity and social harmony.

    Instead, price is the great and sufficient transmitter of information across the economy and across society at large. Price is the best barometer for all decisions. Hence, the emphasis on privatizing almost everything in society including education and health care.

    Neoliberals believe that voting with your money is at least, if not more important, than voting in elections in a free society. The freer the market, the more choices consumers will have, and the more competitive the market, the better the quality will be.

    There are several problems, of course, with the price mechanism. First, it only takes into account costs which are directly borne by the provider of a product or service. So-called externalities such as pollution and climate change are not tallied in the price. In order for those costs to be included, say, by the imposition of a carbon tax, the government would have to intervene, something not consistent with neoliberal ideas.

    Second, such a monomaniacal focus on price alone pre-empts a broader view of social goals, reducing them merely to price signals. But not every social good can be reduced to a price signal in a nominally “free” market.

    http://www.countercurrents.org/2017/01/16/neoliberals-know-the-price-of-everything-and-the-value-of-nothing/

  16. Penny Bright 18

    How corrupt is New Zealand?

    Seen this?

    https://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-NZ/50DBSCH_SCR6208_1/2064c8e8f81a4

    “The Finance and Expenditure Committee has considered Petition 2011/101 of Penelope Mary Bright and 13 others, requesting

    That the House conduct an urgent inquiry into why New Zealand Auditor-General Lyn Provost did not disclose that she was a shareholder in Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd at the time she declined to conduct an urgent investigation into the failure of the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand to carry out “due diligence” on the increased risk of money-laundering arising from the New Zealand International Convention Centre (Bill) 2013.

    We have no matters to bring to the attention of the House. ”

    Time for the House to include the proven ‘anti-corruption campaigner?

    I think so.

    Penny Bright

    2017 Independent candidate
    Mt Albert by-election.

    • saveNZ 18.1

      That’s pretty disgusting. It has been know for a long time that if you want to launder money you go to Sky City. There’s some roulette type game that you can bet your money on black and red and only if it goes to one number on the board you lose. That way you can bet your money, have a huge chance of winning and then ask for your winnings in a cheque. That way if IRD, social welfare or anyone else asks where you got your house/Mercedes etc when you earn zero income you say ‘I won it at Sky City and here is my cheque to prove it.

  17. Andre 19

    Now that Trump has shown that just spewing out a firehose of bullshit can be a successful electoral technique, we need to more on guard than ever. Unfortunately, when processing a lie, the mind first admits the possibility that it might be true – and then many minds never take the next step of rejecting it.

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/01/donald-trump-lies-liar-effect-brain-214658

  18. Carolyn_nth 20

    I went on the Auckland women’s march. RNZ says over 1000 attended – I’d say a few thousand – was quite a big, peaceful and good humoured march.

    There was no real police presence. I think we were meant to walk on the footpath. But people just started walking in the road – and that’s how it proceeded.

    I didn’t realise there was also an anti-Trump march planned for 1pm at Aotea Square, Auckland. I had left by then. TV1 on the two planned marches

    And it says:

    One American man told 1 NEWS he had turned up and out to march in Auckland “for equality, against greed and power”.

    Green MP Julie Anne Genter, investigative journalist Nicky Hager and climate change activist Aaron Packard will be speaking at the Love Trumps Hate event in Wellington.

    Speakers from the trans community, the union movement, the Mexican community, the Palestine solidarity movement, the feminist movement and the climate justice movement will be appearing at the Aotearoa Against Trump event in Auckland.

  19. red-blooded 21

    Just back from the Dunedin Women’s Rally (one of more than 650 events throughout the world linked to the March on Washington). While it was sparked by the dreadfulness of Trump’s views and actions towards women, the focus was very much on lifting up and affirming women’s worth and power here in Aotearoa and supporting others in their struggles internationally. I hope other rallies were equally uplifting and strengthening.

    • adam 21.1

      Good, but have you organised more? Or are you working together in the future?

      • Carolyn_nth 21.1.1

        The speakers did say this is just the beginning of action…. we need to be a movement!

        Photo I posted on Twitter: signs + pussy hat

        Not my signs or hats. Some US-ians, I think.

        The NZ demonstrations were organised by some US women living in NZ.

        We need a whole big, broad movement – for a fairer, more sustainable, and collaborative society, where everyone has a living income and access to affordable health care, education, etc.

    • weka 21.2

      Great to hear that red-blooded. Thanks to you and Carolyn for the reports.

  20. HDCAFriendlyTroll 22

    You mean like saying you’re against Donald Trump’s inauguration is not the same as saying you’re against Donald Trump.?

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • weka 22.1

      who said that?

      • HDCAFriendlyTroll 22.1.1

        You did.

        Open Mike 17/01/2017

        referring to:

        Women to protest Trump’s inauguration

        [don’t tell lies about my views or comments. You are the one in that thread who said, and I quote, “Obviously the march is against Trump’s *inauguration*, not Trump himself.”. You obviously missed the point of the moderation, which is to reduce the amount of time moderators have to spend on these kinds of derailments. You are now banned from the Pike River thread, and this is also a warning to not misrepresent my views or comments or risk a site wide ban. – weka]

  21. Cinny 24

    It appears that the outgoing government would rather be taken to court than tackle the cannabis debate.

    Grey said the Ministry of Health’s claim that CBD was of the same property as the psychoactive constituent of cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was incorrect.

    “The Ministry of Health want CBD to be covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act, but they can’t get any experts that will say that it is,” Grey said.

    Comments to that article were interesting..

    ‘The police need to be freed from chasing cannabis users so they can focus on the meth epidemic.’

    ‘Just legalize it now like they are around the world… Funny how it is “bad” for you, till a company gets involved’

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