Open Mike 21/04/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 21st, 2017 - 113 comments
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113 comments on “Open Mike 21/04/2017”

  1. Xanthe 1

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11842034
    Who pays to bring these crazies here for a week?
    Its an outrage !

    • Anne 1.1

      Mike Pompeo :

      Trump’s CIA Director. Member of the Tea Party crackpot movement. Climate Change denier extraordinaire. Belongs to the subversive outfit NRA. Vehemently opposed “Affordable Care”. And it goes on…

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Pompeo

      I strongly object to NZ even allowing this individual with an embryonic brain to set foot in our country.

      • Anne 1.1.1

        Came across this info. from Barry Soper of all people. He has his uses after all.

        Five Eyes was a clandestine club for more than 60 years until it was declassified just seven years ago.

        It’s been described as the inner circle of allies who don’t spy on each other but do spy on virtually everyone else.

        The no spy rule extends to not tapping the phones of their leaders or their officials.

        Whether they spy on each other’s citizens is a grey area though with some observers saying they do, which they’re certainly capable of, to get around laws preventing them from spying on their own citizens.

        Yes. They do spy on other’s citizens and have done so for decades. My father, if he were still alive, could attest to as much and btw he was innocent of the “crime” some attributed to him.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11842124

      • greywarshark 1.1.2

        Who pays? We could tell you but then we’d have to kill you!

        • Anne 1.1.2.1

          The NZ taxpayers pay that’s who. I don’t begrudge their annual get-together (or bi-annual as the case may be) but I do begrudge us having to pay for types like Mike Pompeo.

          I wonder if the other bastard Peter Thiel will be in attendance? I suppose we will be paying for him too.

    • They’re here to organise the hunt for the Vault 7 source. So much for Volodya.

      “Having exclaimed that WikiLeaks is “a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors like Russia,” laying the blame for every embarrassing leak at Moscow’s footsteps, the FBI and CIA have admitted that they are searching for an “insider” (not a Russian) who exposed thousands of top-secret documents that described CIA tools used to penetrate smartphones, smart televisions and computer systems.”

      http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-04-20/

      Probably doesn’t mean the DNC hacks were also a leak, of course…

      • Xanthe 1.2.1

        ” A dog handler was seen hopping out of a police vehicle, which had a dog in the back, dressed in civilian clothing” (nzh)

        I tell ya these guys are seriously weird

  2. AsleepWhileWalking 2

    Demand for social housing in Auckland decreased.

    Actual quote (I swear I didn’t make it up) from the article:
    However, the report also showed the waiting list had decreased slightly in Auckland, where demand for housing was greatest and where the Government has been concentrating its supply efforts.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11842084

    • Jenny Kirk 2.1

      That’s because they’ve put everyone into motels !

      But yes – I agree with you, what a load of tripe – that comment is.

      • The Chairman 2.1.1

        “That’s because they’ve put everyone into motels !”

        Yes, at an outrageous cost to taxpayers.

        So much for National’s astute fiscal management.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1

          National considers government money going to its supporters as ‘astute fiscal management’.

  3. “In China, our biggest export market, government health guidelines are aiming to halve the amount of meat consumed by 2030 out of concerns over environmental impact. If that initiative is successful, it would see a reduction equivalent to the total current consumption of meat in the United States.

    We would be wrong to assume the dietary profile of the global population in 2050 will match that of the western world today. Plants will inevitably play a much bigger role on our plates than animal products do now – check out how different the millennial generation’s diet is to the baby boomer’s.

    What does that mean for our business and for New Zealand in the future?”

    LandCorp boss gazes into his crystal ball

    [link fixed – weka]

    • Ad 3.1

      That was an excellent article – Carden’s one in particular could go up here as a post all by itself.

      The article notes a 405 ha dairy farm being converted to avocados.

      There are some pretty large avocado farms already in the far north, and they are exactly what we need.

      I bet there will come a point in some of those marginal northland hill country farms where it’s more economic to let them revert back to Manuka scrub and farm them for Manuka honey, than it is to just keep drystock on them.

      • greywarshark 3.1.1

        Ad
        A concentration of avocadoes is another sort of monoculture which brings the possibility of economic collapse of a farm and even region from some likely virus spreading organism. Robert Guyton’s approach would be better with avocadoes predominating amongst a mixed horticulture.

        • Ad 3.1.1.1

          When I drive through Marlborough through thousands of acres of monoculture, it’s still water dependent in an arid land.

          But runoff is tiny, export profile is through the roof, downstream value-add is excellent, towns prosper and grow.

          So thousands of tourists call in to those wineries and raise their glasses to it all.

          And no more cows anywhere.

          • greywarshark 3.1.1.1.1

            Ad
            You don’t mention my point about the danger of trying to establish new industries with horticulture, and how they are not healthy for the environment and prime targets for some organism.

            We have to do things differently and more thoughtfully than go after the gold rush effect which can be short-lived and harmful in the medium term.

            The winery people are an example of gold rush. Knowing some contract growers, it can be very stressful, and in rushes people pour investment in until there is a glut and then the market fails. At least the wine market adds value and has made its name from its elegant product, not commodity wine. But no doubt soon there will be Chinese wines as good competing?

            • Ad 3.1.1.1.1.1

              New Zealand has been able to sustain its agricultural market premiums in every bit of supermarket space other than dairy. You look through apples, wine, avocados, cherries, olive oil, kiwifruit – we retain those global margins for the right reasons. There aren’t any developmental binge-purge cycles that I can see in horticulture now.

              As for the Chinese, to get the kind of quality and market price that we command, they tend to simply buy a share in the whole company like Synlait or Silver Fern Farms. They have no chance of competing in China for our quality of production, and they know it.

        • Cricklewood 3.1.1.2

          Those avos are undoubtedly injected with phosphorus acid on a regular basis to keep phytophera at bay.
          Its the only way they are viable as crop in much of New Zealand.

      • Psycho Milt 3.1.2

        Much as I love avocados, and although they have a useful amount of fat in them, they have almost no protein (like a lot of plant food). There’s nothing inherently “better” about avocado farming than meat or dairy.

        • Ad 3.1.2.1

          Let’s see; on dairy v avocados, compare:

          – Environmental impact, including water supply and wastewater runoff
          – Product quality and total quality control to source
          – Product control
          – Water use
          – Capital per hectare
          – Scarcity
          – Soil
          – Local grower control

          This is not a food protein substitution argument.

          But the owners of the 405ha farm could figure it out, so they made their decision to convert from dairy to avocado.

          • greywarshark 3.1.2.1.1

            Also an argument for avocado, they don’t go ‘off’ in a short time because of such things as refrigeration breakdown like milk does. If there is a delay in the finishing and transport lines, they don’t have to be poured away creating pollution whether on land or river. Cheese can’t be made in large enough amounts to use up waste milk and probably even a local pig farm couldn’t use it, if it could be transported there. In other less intensive days the whey was often fed to pigs.

            However avocadoes can be left for a while if there is some breakdown and if they did go off they could be composted carefully with balance of the right mix of roughage etc.

            As I said before we don’t want to have a binge system with avocadoes so as not to over produce and because of the dangers of monoculture and pests. We did have troubles with kiwifruit and wine and had to pull out part of the crop.
            We are now importing kiwifruit from Italy and I hope that works out well for us, balancing the seasons in the different hemispheres.

            • David Mac 3.1.2.1.1.1

              I wonder what opportunities a speedy Brexit might create for NZ growers?

              As the road to a London market gets bumpy for Spanish citrus growers are Kerikeri growers looking good?

              I think the Trade Dept of a progressive govt should be hacking tracks. Identifying potential future markets and advising the respective bodies, gearing up. I fear we ain’t.

              I fear we are getting the basics wrong, I think we should be quadrupling our money and printing/filling Mandarin yogurt tubs rather than shipping tonnes of the raw material. We should be turning our trees into bits for Ikea rather than freighting raw logs.

              • greywarshark

                Value-added. That has been talked about for decades but since we adopted the cargo cult attitude of wait for the market to arrive and the
                viewpoint that nothing can be discussed that might be risky and fail, and that government can’t be trusted to do anything worthwhile, we haven’t dared to try anything. Because trying and failing proves that one should never have been unwise enough to start, so stick to the knitting that’s all we know.

                I remember a business writer on an executive of Fonterra’s saying he was very able on commodities but not the man to lead into value-added and I have the feeling that they are still regarded as not doing enough with manufacture in NZ. They could have set up a satellite company that could develop products and test markets with a budget to allow R&D which would allow some failures I don’t know. They might have and I don’t know it. Any Fonterra buffs around?

                Our R&D spending has always been a much smaller percentage than other developed countries. Perhaps we aren’t really developed at all, we just hanker for what the big boys have and copy them, usually with an inadequate budget. And gaps which leave out certain aspects of the system we intend to copy which will ensure that it isn’t as effective in this country as elsewhere.

                And I can’t give you details of the matters that I am talking about but I have just recognised them cropping up regularly, and noted our propensity for this.

      • bwaghorn 3.1.3

        ”I bet there will come a point in some of those marginal northland hill country farms where it’s more economic to let them revert back to Manuka scrub and farm them for Manuka honey, than it is to just keep drystock on them.”

        don’t know about northland but in central north island its been happening for a while , not just reverting but actually planting the new improved manuka, paying big bucks for marginal land too

        • David Mac 3.1.3.1

          It’s a great Northland story bwag. Those associated are doing the district proud.

          I’ve often heard the sentiment: “They don’t do anything with it, that whole tract of Maori land is reverting to scrub.”

          They were right, it was. They fished, played with their kids, a faith in their land.

          Now!!! A particular hapu were featured on Country Calendar. They have an impressive professional approach to the good fortune their valleys of Manuka blossom and non-union member workers have brought them.

          They still fish and play with their kids, not quite as much but geeez those fullas have got a honey of a boat.

    • Jenny Kirk 3.2

      Interesting story. Can’t come soon enough if we are to save the braided rivers and other waterways from total ruin. And the McKenzie country as well.

      • gsays 3.2.1

        But Jenny, that water is just wasted, as it only runs to the sea.
        Might as well use it for intensive farming. (Wink)

  4. red-blooded 4

    Interesting to hear the CTU and specific unions like the NZEI arguing that the government’s proposed pay equity bill reinforces inequality by requiring claimants in female-dominated jobs to compare themselves to others in the same sector or industry. This really limits the groups that can be helped, as often the whole sector is female-dominated, making any comparison a heck of a lot less helpful.

    Plus, BTW, really interesting to hear Jim Bolger speaking out against neoliberalism and trying to say that he didn’t intend to destroy unions with the extremist Employment Contracts Act. Yeah right, Jim!

    • tc 4.1

      Love the way these Tories attempt to rewrite history.

      Bolgers no better than key except not as ruthless so Shipley nailed him. Collins couldn’t even get close to jk.

      He used the dissention rogernomics caused to get elected then let Richardson, English etc mug NZ, flog a generator, smash health, unions, welfare, create leaky buildings, Ignore akl transport issues etc leaving a mess the incoming govt had to sort out.

      Sound familiar ?

      • Whispering Kate 4.1.1

        I thought I was hearing things as Bolger fired his broadside into the Good Ship Neo Liberalism – is he trying for penance in his old age – bit late now. I noticed the RNZ news didn’t give the comments he made much air time – but its timely in election year for a committed Neo Liberal ex PM to come out in public in Espiner’s interview with him and say the entire experiment was a complete failure and that it rewarded the rich and penalised the poor – who would ever have believed it!!! Fun and games ahead this election year methinks.

        • Johan 4.1.1.1

          Certainly has taken Bolger a long time to see the light and develop a conscience.
          Perhaps with one foot in the grave, he is going over some of his past abuses against his fellow man?

          • greywarshark 4.1.1.1.1

            I think that saying sorry and admitting past mistakes is a bit of hooey, it sort of ennobles the person and the idea is that everyone looks at them respectfully and forgives them because of the admission.

            Stuff that. Try to do the right thing at the time, spend a week of intense discussion with a range of people looking for ways to achieve change bringing improvement, without drastic, scorched earth measures.

            My current favourite quote which will be appropriate for as long as the human race can still have the chance to think and that ability.

            “The problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.” (Bertrand Russell)

            These from George Bernard Shaw
            He knows nothing; and he thinks he knows everything. That points clearly to a political career.
            GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Major Barbara

            My specialty is being right when other people are wrong.
            GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, You Never Can Tell

            The salvation of the world depends on the men who will not take evil good-humouredly, and whose laughter destroys the fool instead of encouraging him.
            GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Quintessence of Ibsenis

            Remember that the progress of the world depends on your knowing better than your elders.
            GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, A Treatise on Parents and Children

            There is the eternal war between those who are in the world for what they can get out of it and those who are in the world to make it a better place for everybody to live in.
            GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, On the Rock

            Read more at http://www.notable-quotes.com/s/shaw_george_bernard.html#ssLxXPPdTHHDdXcV.99

            • Cemetery Jones 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Ah, George Bernard Shaw. Here’s British author Robert Harris on Shaw:

              GEORGE BERNARD SHAW went to Russia in 1931 with his mind made up. Soviet Communism was a wonderful thing and nothing would convince him otherwise.

              When a junior British diplomat, Reader Bullard, made “some disparaging remark” about one of Stalin’s show trials, he later noted in his diary how “Shaw grew quite indignant and said: ‘But they confessed.’

              “I replied: ‘Yes, one of them confessed that he lunched with Colonel Lawrence at the Savoy in London on a date when we know he was in India,’ but Shaw waved the argument away.”

              At a subsequent banquet in Moscow, “Shaw waved his hand at the excellent food and said ‘Russia short of food? Look at this!’ ”

              http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3571011/The-Left-blinds-itself-to-the-truth-about-bin-Laden.html

              • greywarshark

                Shaw sounds as if he didn’t like to have his pronouncements found false.
                That doesn’t mean that they aren’t amusing or witty or profound when they are general.

                People hate being told that the Gnashionals have mucked up the country, and are feeding us half-truths. Whether Communism, Fascism, Capitalism there are the fervent followers. It’s a lesson to us all, to not accept any ism, unequivocally. Keep thinking, be sceptical to some extent.

                I’m interested in your anecdote but it doesn’t affect the effectiveness of his comments many of which apparently are picked out from his fiction.

            • Johan 4.1.1.1.1.2

              To greywarshark,
              Time to have a reality check, most people do not live in your world of navel gazing, about the Russells, Shaws, Platos and Socrates. The majority of the people are struggling to put a roof over their head and enough food on the table, while the greedy 1% are manipulating everyday things to improve their lot further.
              Pontificating and navel gazing does what to improve our lives???

              • greywarshark

                Johan
                If you want to be a lowly peasant manipulated by ideas from those who don’t give a stuff for you and who will abandon you to all those things you say that the ordinary person is worrying about go ahead and plot your life on the downhill slope.

                The trouble with being a human is that there is intelligence coming from your brain different from the type that insects have, who can order their lives very well. We have to choose what we do and keep thinking. It is lack of thinking along different lines, asking questions, not accepting every explanation and excuse that we are given, not learning about other thinking people’s view of the world that leaves us in an almighty mess. Those who are older than you should be apologising to you for not having realised the need to think and make changes before we got to this type of mess. But unfortunately as young people we thought as you do in your comment.

                If you do want to get yourself out of the economic mess we are in I suggest you think about it, and see what other people are recommending, before you get caught up in some violence which is coming to the boil and showing up like a geyser here and there as somebody’s stress pressures to breaking point.

                Think about things eh instead of making a virtue of being a poor beggar of a dumb ass. Navel gazing isn’t in it, it’s head stuff not studying parts of the body.

                • Johan

                  greywarshark

                  A little over the top there!!! You know shit about me, my age my background etc. You have a bad habit of pontificating about things despite the tiny bit of information that is being given. Get real and spout off your bullshit to someone else. I have always voted and canvassed for candidates who represented the center-left of the political spectrum, in a hope of developing a better society.

          • tc 4.1.1.1.2

            Yes developing some form of moral compass once they no longer either need or participate in the troughs and trinkets probably.

    • millsy 4.2

      In my opinion Ruthenasia did more damage than Rogernomics.

  5. Sanctuary 5

    I was interested in this story from the UK – http://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/labour-mp-john-woodcock-says-he-cannot-support-voting-to-make-jeremy-corbyn-prime-minister-a3517721.html

    John Woodcock was chairman of the “Labour Friends of Israel” committee for eight years, a group that acted as a branch of the deep UK establishment commitment to support of Israel by being a kind of gatekeeper for advancement in Blairist “New Labour”. Basically, if you hadn’t prostrated yourself before Israel via this committee, your chances of getting ahead were considerably diminished. He was also the Labour chairman of “Progress”, the Blairite ginger group within the UK Labour party, until 2015. The guy is basically a fanatical neoliberal standing in a seat whose main industry is the British nuclear weapons program. He is also clearly in the wrong party (Mr. Woodcock represents Barrow and Furness, a seat he took over with a solid 6,000 vote majority and he now clings to with a slender 800 votes).

    An electoral loss for UK Labour that saw the ouster of Mr. Woodcock would have at least one silver lining, but I am wondering, if Labour does lose 20-30 sears and with some Blairists refusing to stand again, how much would such a defeat represent a uniting moment for UK Labour by clearing out the worst of the Blairite vipers?

    Anyone know of any good UK political websites that might help?

  6. dv 6

    It seems the new skilled immigration rules of a salary of 70k, will cut out basic scale teacher and nurse immigrants!!!

    • s y d 6.1

      why would NZ need nursing & teaching immigrants when….

      “Hundreds of nursing graduates are failing to get job offers straight after graduating, according to their union. The New Zealand Nurses Organisation says there could be a “talent pool” of about 400 people waiting for jobs, with about 40 per cent of graduates failing to get straight into the industry’s main first-year recruitment programme.
      Sarah Lacey, 24, of Levin, graduated from Massey University about a year ago and has not been able to get into the Nurse Entry to Practice (NETP) programme.
      She felt a “little exploited” after believing the country needed more nurses. “I feel like I was promised all these things: a job, a satisfying career. And I’m still struggling.”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/86827680/Wellington-nursing-graduates-say-there-are-not-enough-jobs-in-the-industry

      and

      ‘Only 15 per cent of new graduates are picking up permanent posts in schools despite a national shortage in some subject areas.
      New teachers who don’t nail down a job end up bouncing from school to school, often as a reliever, and have limited access to mentoring and professional development, says the Ministry of Education.”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/education/78191595/Big-drop-in-teacher-graduates-getting-a-job-prompting-a-return-to-bonding

      • dv 6.1.1

        Auckland Syd?

        • s y d 6.1.1.1

          so we need to bring in overseas immigrants, cos Wellington? I’m fairly sure that people in NZ can move for work.

          • dv 6.1.1.1.1

            Yes but the salaries are not good enough for teachers and nurses to live in Auckland.

            • Carolyn_nth 6.1.1.1.1.1

              So a richer class of immigrants will be able to afford the living in Auckland, but even more of those who do essential work, will not be able to live here?

              • s y d

                So… salaries for NZ workers are insufficient to survive in Auckland, but the same salary (or less, perhaps?) is sufficient for an immigrant in the same circumstances?

                • Carolyn_nth

                  It’s not just about the salaries they earn here. think about it. Someone on a fairly high income overseas, probably has some savings to bring to NZ to buy property at a price many Kiwis can’t compete with.

    • Carolyn_nth 6.2

      So the government wants to restrict immigrants to those who can bring money and push up the cost of housing even more than it currently is?

    • saveNZ 6.3

      Don’t worry DV, sounds like their is still plenty of appetite to keep NZ a low wage economy for Bill English.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11842468

    • Cinny 6.4

      My 12 year old was wondering about the change in immigration, she asked why it is determined on someones earnings, she said that rich people can live anywhere they like.

      She feels that money or earning potential should not be the deciding factor. She said the islanders that come over to do the apples are awesome people that enhance our community, and did not believe a wealthy person would be more valuable than a bunch of happy, friendly, community minded islanders.

      She told me that national seems to care about money more than people.

      12 years old and taking an interest in how the country is run, I’m proud of her.

      • dv 6.4.1

        Good one Cinny.

      • Red 6.4.2

        Good on her for a view But that’s why 12 year olds don’t run the country, thankfully

        • Cinny 6.4.2.1

          Some days it seems like 12 year olds are running the country (unfortunately they are not as caring as my girl) Red, but not to worry the day after the spring equinox everything will change.

  7. ianmac 7

    It just seems so very wrong.
    “Bill O’Reilly, who has been ousted from his top-rated TV show on Fox News over allegations of sexual harassment, will receive almost US$25 million (NZ$36m) for agreeing to leave the company…”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11842402

    • weka 7.1

      seeing as how Fox knew about his behaviour and were happy to pay out internally until the advertisers found out and started pulling their money, I’d say it’s reasonable to assume that Fox aren’t that bothered by sexual harassment so why not pay their big star on his way out the door. It sends a message to all those fans.

    • Ad 7.2

      Fox will replace him with someone just as good – and if they wanted a challenge they would just hire Steve Bannon outright. He would star. Failing that someone straight out of Breitbart.

      O’Reilly ruled for several decades because he was incredibly good at hitting the public sweet spot of rage and anxiety again and again and again.

      • Andre 7.2.1

        Hell, they should just go for gold … Alex Jones.

        • One Two 7.2.1.1

          Replace one actor with another actor…sure

          That’s the way programming operates

        • joe90 7.2.1.2

          … Alex Jones

          Barking…

          A rare and at times unhinged portrait of President Trump’s favorite conspiracy theorist, Infowars host Alex Jones, is emerging in an Austin court this week, as the radio star seeks to retain custody of his three children from ex-wife, Kelly Jones.

          Lawyers for the bombastic broadcaster are attempting to persuade the jury that he is merely a “performance artist”, someone who should be separated from the outrageous character he plays on-air. His ex-wife is arguing the opposite: Jones in private is the same person at home and with their children that he presents to his millions of conspiracy-hungry viewers, including Trump.

          Here are some of the high-lights (or low-lights, depending on your view) coming out of Austin, Texas, where the two-week trial is taking place:

          1. Jones claims chili affects his memory, and thus was the culprit behind him forgetting details about his young children.

          2. Marijuana is too strong these days because of billionaire financier George Soros.

          3. Jones can allegedly be found frequently drunk and shirtless.

          4. He’s still bitter that his 9/11 truther theories never garnered a Pulitzer award.

          http://www.motherjones.com/media/2017/04/alex-jones-custody-battle-infowars

      • Johan 7.2.2

        O’Reilly’s success was very much contributed to his fan base of the red-neck populace and the repetition the words and language that they wanted to hear and feed on.

      • ianmac 7.2.3

        One informant tells me that O’reilly represented an income of about $400million to Fox. Another company, was it Murdock, has connections which will bring in 10 times that amount for Fox without O’Reilly, so cheap at the price to get rid of him. I can’t reference this but maybe some sleuth will verify the substance, – or not.

    • JanM 7.3

      Dorothy Parker “You can tell what the Good Lord thinks of money by the people he gives it to”

  8. Ad 8

    OMG the Democrats are going to have a go in Montana:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/rob-quist-montana-democrats_us_58f8d7e6e4b018a9ce58eb82?hzp&ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009

    This, after pretty good results in Kansas and Georgia.

    DNC going after these kinds of states would be like Labour going after Waitaki or Nelson. Electorates with 15 – 20,000 seat majorities.

    Trump is one of the best renewal programmes to have happened to the Democrats in a long time – far better than Obama was (outside of his own Presidency).

    It certainly makes me think again that Labour does not need to give up on the rural voter and the rural seats, so long as it has the right kind of candidate with the right kind of feel for communicating well.

  9. Adrian Thornton 9

    Jim Bolger…

    “Neoliberalism has failed and suggests unions should have a stronger voice”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/91769882/the-9th-floor-jim-bolger-says-neoliberalism-has-failed-nz-and-its-time-to-give-unions-the-power-back

    Interesting how Bolger recognizes this obvious fact, but both Palmer and Moore remain defenders of the faith…and there in lay’s the root cause of Labours failure, today and into the future..still pursuing and advocating for ideology that has failed both economically and more importantly socially.

    Turn labour Left.

    • Anne 9.1

      Always had a soft spot for Bolger. Never believed he was a hardened neo-liberal. More like he was inveigled into it by Ruth Richardson and co., saw the light and did a David Lange… sacked Ruth and had a ‘cup o tea’.

      Then along came Jenny…

    • Bill 9.2

      A revised version of a comment that I dropped late last night…

      Liberal politics is either dead or dying just about everywhere you look.

      That’s why people (misguidedly) voted Trump.
      That’s why people backed Sanders.
      That’s why the SNP killed off Scottish Labour.
      That’s why the Canadian Liberals opted to outflank The New Democratic Party on the left.
      That’s why Mélenchon seems to be coming up ‘from nowhere’ in France.
      That’s why Corbyn was voted to lead UK Labour (twice).

      It’s the inability of liberals to see the wall, never mind read the writing on the wall, that leads to them joining with the rest of the establishment in a state of shock and puzzlement about what’s happening.

      And, like I say – it’s happening everywhere…well, almost everywhere 😉

      Our first step on the way to decency will be parliamentary expressions of social democracy replacing the ‘death bed’ liberal democracy.

      The next step will be when the left reforms and reorganises throughout society with an eye to the past so that it avoids the obvious and disastrous pit falls of authoritarianism/statism.

      • Ad 9.2.1

        The next step is a very uneven breakdown of some more states, with fewer staying solid.

        The left’s global decline within that is largely irreversible, and no alternative to the Social Democrat order other than theocracies, militant dictatorships, and tiny vassal states has emerged.

        We remain a slightly worsening but stable state – as we have for my current lifetime.

      • Adrian Thornton 9.2.2

        @Bill +1

    • bolger

      “Bolger says neoliberal economic policies have absolutely failed. It’s not uncommon to hear that now; even the IMF says so.

      But to hear it from a former National Prime Minister who pursued privatisation, labour market deregulation, welfare cuts and tax reductions – well that’s pretty interesting.

      “They have failed to produce economic growth and what growth there has been has gone to the few at the top,” Bolger says, not of his own policies specifically but of neoliberalism the world over.

      He laments the levels of inequality and concludes “that model needs to change.”

      But hang on. Didn’t he, along with Finance Minister Ruth Richardson, embark on that model, or at least enthusiastically pick up from where Roger Douglas and the Fourth Labour Government left off?

      Bolger doesn’t have a problem calling those policies neoliberal although he prefers to call them “pragmatic” decisions to respond to the circumstances.”

      classic – so jim enacted and enjoyed the benefits of neoliberalism and now laments how it didn’t work – I’m not crying tears for that guy and his tears are false ones in my book.

  10. Bill 10

    A bit of a long cut and paste, because I’m not sure about access to the page without signing in. If you can view it, I’d recommend reading the entire article, because it suggests that in terms of politics, Scotland has already left the UK standing.

    But now the (Scottish) Greens seem ready to change strategy.

    Chapman (Scottish Green co-convenor) told the National: “I would be quite happy for us to support non-Green candidates if it meant getting Tories out of Scotland and making sure we had elected representatives who walk the walk of the politics of the new Scotland we want to see.

    “It’s going to be a difficult election for everybody in Scotland, coming so soon after the council elections, and the outdated system of first past the post makes it particularly difficult for us in some ways.

    “I think what we need to do is use this as an opportunity to talk about the kind of Scotland we want to see, the kind of politics we want to see, and I’m hopeful we can agree to say let’s back the candidates who offer those kinds of views and that kind of outlook for Scotland.

    Well said.

    The First Minister has talked about a progressive alliance – the Greens look set to actually do it. But what do they get in return for this selfless gesture?

    For the Greens to set aside the usual pointless party hostilities and not stand against the SNP in hopeless seats is a big step. For the SNP to acknowledge this by advising their supporters to vote Green as their second choice in the council elections would be an appropriate expression of thanks.

  11. mauī 11

    DJ Melenchon with his latest track (you’ll need to turn on subtitles). He’s also a candidate in the French election and has his own hologram 🙂

    https://youtu.be/RDTxeY7akNA

  12. The Chairman 12

    Is the Green’s new power proposal to cover 75% of the average winter cost increase an example of their new self imposed fiscal constraints?

    Is that what prevented them from covering 100% of the average winter cost increase?

    • The Chairman 12.1

      And lets face it, with the high cost of power now days, some are struggling to pay their summer power bills. Therefore, how about a little something more for them?

  13. greywarshark 13

    I came upon these quotes from Vladislav Surkovs Twitter feeds. Sounds similar to a modern-day Rasputin (is that a joke? I leave it for you to decide.)

    Vladislav Surkov
    @therealsurkov
    Personal adviser of Vladimir Putin. Political technologist, stage manager, surrealist poet & aspiring ventriloquist. aka Nathan Dubovitsky, aka surkovnotsurkov.

    Vladislav Surkov‏ @therealsurkov Apr 9
    “In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything & nothing.”

    Vladislav Surkov‏ @therealsurkov Apr 2
    I grow weary of right-leaning socialists and left-leaning capitalists. Beware of the center ground as there lies boredom and mediocrity.

    • Poission 13.1

      “In an ever-changing, incomprehensible world the masses reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything & nothing.”

      I believe that the moment is near when by a procedure of active paranoiac thought, it will be possible to systematize confusion and contribute to the total discrediting of the world of reality.

      Salvador Dali

      • greywarshark 13.1.1

        Poission
        Gosh I don’t feel well. No wonder he was painting people with four eyes and heads on backward. I just noted in another comment that Nietzsche said something like We take an interest in art in order not to die from truth.

        I think they are trying to tell us something uncomfortable and I have just been reading about the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising on 19 April by young idealistic Jews. Is that why I am becoming very interested in art? Perhaps I should lie down and psychoanalyse myself.

      • Incognito 13.1.2

        If the world of written science fiction were ever to be translated into the language of visual art, Philip K. Dick would probably be Salvador Dali. His vision does not depend on Picassoesque transformations of the familiar into the grotesque so much as a jumbling of the familiar into sometimes deeply disturbing new combinations, whose disturbing aspect is not attenuated but rather accentuated by their very familiarity. This is the kind of landscape where heads sprout like mushrooms from blank desert sands or weird alien faces stare at each other nose-to-nose with an ethereal ballet dancer formed by the gaps between them. Nothing is what it seems. Nothing is real. Everything is real.

        https://www.sfsite.com/07a/pe155.htm

        I have previously quoted PKD here; you can look it up if you like.

  14. joe90 14

    I guess Assange is relieved Moreno won.

    .

    US authorities have prepared charges to seek the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, US officials familiar with the matter tell CNN.

    The Justice Department investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks dates to at least 2010, when the site first gained wide attention for posting thousands of files stolen by the former US Army intelligence analyst now known as Chelsea Manning.
    Prosecutors have struggled with whether the First Amendment precluded the prosecution of Assange, but now believe they have found a way to move forward.

    During President Barack Obama’s administration, Attorney General Eric Holder and officials at the Justice Department determined it would be difficult to bring charges against Assange because WikiLeaks wasn’t alone in publishing documents stolen by Manning. Several newspapers, including The New York Times, did as well. The investigation continued, but any possible charges were put on hold, according to US officials involved in the process then.

    The US view of WikiLeaks and Assange began to change after investigators found what they believe was proof that WikiLeaks played an active role in helping Edward Snowden, a former NSA analyst, disclose a massive cache of classified documents.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2017/04/20/politics/julian-assange-wikileaks-us-charges/index.html

  15. Joe Carolan on fbook – and yep I agree

    “Why I won’t be voting Labour anytime soon in New Zealand. The low pay and housing crisis here is caused by runaway greedy capitalism, not workers like me from other countries.”

    in response to this

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/04/we-ll-cut-tens-of-thousands-of-immigrants-little.html

    • McFlock 15.1

      I tend to agree as well. Unemployment is almost always the result of economic policy, not immigration policy.

      • Karen 15.1.1

        There is a problem with immigrants coming here for low wages jobs and being exploited by greedy employers but the answer is to increase the minimum wage and tighten up employment regulations. There are also infrastructure and housing problems with too many people moving to Auckland but the best way to deal with that is to incentivise work opportunities in other parts of the country and stop property speculation.

        I am not at all happy with the Labour Party blaming immigration for the problems NZ has. It panders to xenophobia instead of looking at the real reasons for the rise in poverty.

    • Jenny Kirk 15.2

      Oh dear – it appears that neither marty mars nor mcflock (nor Joe Carolan) – have been keeping up with what’s been happening in NZ – especially Auckland – the last few years.
      Streams of immigrants (thousands more than we used to take in a decade ago) coming in each year – pushing house prices up by paying far more than they’re worth, stretching our education, health and hospital services until they’re about to crumble, adding to Auckland’s traffic congestion – but they don’t realise that, and have taken a snitch on Andrew Little’s immigration policy .
      Get real, guys.

      • marty mars 15.2.1

        grow up jenny kirk – your view of the world is only one small narrow view not shared by heaps of people or even many – try being humble and listening instead of arrogant and telling.

        are you a capitalist jenny kirk – is that why you want to blame others for your own capitalist tendencies?

        • Barfly 15.2.1.1

          “grow up” = insult

          “your view of the world is only one small narrow view not shared by heaps of people or even many – try being humble and listening instead of arrogant and telling.”

          =insult x 2

          “are you a capitalist jenny kirk – is that why you want to blame others for your own capitalist tendencies?”

          = insult x 3

          pretty sad frankly try playing the ball not the person

      • McFlock 15.2.2

        Hey, the question was about immigration and jobs – Labourers, specifically.

        You can talk about house prices and impact on infrastructure (although you still end up with the same question “where’s the government management of these things?”), but the simple fact was that Little was linking immigration to unemployment. It’s the style of the time, but it’s bullshit.

        So we ditch immigration by half. You know what happens then – as soon as people start to pick up more jobs, the reserve bank shits a brick and raises interest rates to make it less attractive for businesses to take a risk by expanding, and therefore unemplyment goes back up again.

        6-8%, or thereabouts, if you count it consistently. We never go down to 1% unemployment, like inflation goes down to 1% on occasion. Why not? Because that’s how the economy is managed. The government could boost infrastructure spending by $10bn/yr, and we’d still have this level of unemployment because the OCR would be adjusted to obliterate the private sector employment levels.

        Aggregate unemployment and underemployment is unrelated to immigration.

        • Jenny Kirk 15.2.2.1

          Joe Carolen and MartyM quoted “the low pay and housing crisis” and this is all part of the same thing – McFlock – too many immigrants streaming into our country is causing problems – housing, employment, health, traffic – problems in every direction.

          • McFlock 15.2.2.1.1

            Fair enough, in which case in relation to pay and housing I also say it’s government policy that’s the problem – not having living wage laws, making immigrants depend on employers for visa sponsorship and therefore be reluctant to make complaints to officials, and as for housing a solid 15 years of shit government policy got us where we are today.

            Blaming immigrants for our problems is barely even blaming the symptom rather than treating the disease. It’s like blaming the improvised splint for the open fracture in your leg. Sure, it’s not idea, but it’s still better than nothing until you actually face up to treating the injury.

            • David Mac 15.2.2.1.1.1

              I feel our crap situation with housing is all of our own doing.

              We’ve created a situation whereby the best and safest investment anyone can make is in a house.

              When we allow pirates like Eric Watson et al to gut our grandparents of their nest-egg we only reinforce this predicament. They’re right, the safest place for their dosh is a 3 beddy in Kelston.

              When that happens we don’t grow NZ, we bleed each other, I get a step up, my brother Kiwi steps back. It’s playing monopoly with yourself. Of course I’ll win, sort of, my other half loses.

              Somehow we need to stop playing monopoly with our own houses, it’s getting us nowhere and cast our eyes elsewhere.

          • Anne 15.2.2.1.2

            A few people here seem to be getting their knickers in a twist over your comments Jenny Kirk. Little is NOT blaming individual immigrants for the problem. He is blaming the NAct govt. for allowing too high a rate of immigration to occur without sufficient infrastructure in place to cater for them. The bulk of them are living in Auckland and the pressure on housing, transport and the ever increasing problem of gridlock traffic on our roads is becoming untenable for everyone. We need to drastically reduce the rate of immigration until the infrastructure is set in place – either in Auckland or elsewhere in the country.

            This is not racist, zenophobic (call it what like) but plain, common sense!
            All the Labour people I know welcome people of other ethnic origins. They bring a richness of culture, music and cuisine to the country but it needs to occur in a more controlled way which is not what is happening under this government.

            • marty mars 15.2.2.1.2.1

              Meanwhile the real cause, of out of control capitalism, goes unchecked, ignored and wished away. The original post was about that leap of imagination, about looking beyond easy targets and scapegoats and considering deeper reasons rather than business as usual pretend politics.

              • Graeme

                Immigration is the symptom, out of control capitalism is the cause.

                Controls on immigration are controls on capitalism. These will control the effects of immigration which decreases wages, and increases property prices. The intent and effect of the current immigration policies are pure, uncontrolled capitalism.

                • Anne

                  Controls on immigration are controls on capitalism.

                  Then bring it on!

                  Btw, in contrast to the problems related to… too high an immigration rate over a short space of time, our refugee intake from war-torn countries should, for humanitarian reasons, be increased.

                • “Immigration is the symptom, out of control capitalism is the cause.”

                  yep – treating the symptoms won’t fix the cause – treating the cause will fix the cause. Focusing on the symptoms will reduce the likelihood of addressing and treating the cause imo.

              • Macro

                Anyone who has sat in the arrivals section of Auckland international airport and witnessed the constant stream of new arrivals can see for themselves that our open door policy can not be sustained. There is now 1 flight every 3 minutes at Auckland domestic and international but now there are so many arrivals at the international terminal that many aircraft cannot arrive at the terminal but passengers must disembark on the tarmac and be bused to the terminal.
                This situation has been steadily getting worse over the past 18 months to the extent now that if one is planning to use the Airport one needs to factor in hours of time for traveling to and from and transiting thru security etc not minutes.
                True many are visitors – but an increasing number are not. The increasing pressure on housing, roading, and parking in Auckland is evidence of it. If you have not visited Auckland in the past 18 months you really are not fully aware of the current situation.

                • Yep rampart capitalism is the cause of a few things not just the housing homeless crisis and the immigration crisis but also the fresh water crisis, the excessive dairy farm crisis crime and prison crises, health ,education, mental health, suicide, inadequate infratstructure for 100 year events ,drought crises and so on. Your airport inconvenience is also caused by out of control capitalism.

            • McFlock 15.2.2.1.2.2

              Is it immigration that dragged its feet on public transport and roads?
              Is it immigration that leaves tens of thousands of homes as unoccupied speculation commodities?
              Is it immigration that’s taken a back seat on infrastructure development?
              Is it immigration that makes Auckland the beginning and ending population centre for both immigrants and people from the regions?

              No.

              But immigration does seem to be an easy target to shift focus from the hard solutions to those problems.

  16. ianmac 16

    Just looked at Gareth Morgan’s Newsletter about his Roadshow. Impressed by the photo of one of his Hall filled Meetings.
    Vast majority would be under 40yo with many younger than 30. (Remember the National Party photos with every head grey?)
    At that show my guess is that maybe 1,000 attended.
    What does this show? And why has Gareth increased the number of his meetings?

    He must be doing something right.
    I am a Labour-Green Supporter but….
    http://www.top.org.nz/events?utm_campaign=aklevents&utm_medium=email&utm_source=garethmorgan

  17. the Weatherman 17

    It is a horrific experience to be suspected of being a cyber terrorist or the like by the Five Eyes partners. They go in for pre-emptive, extra-judicial action frequently; they destroy the lives of innocent people, get away with it and never say sorry and are never made accountable.

    The consequences for these people is ruin and often death.

    But for them, all it takes is to be suspicious in terms of political or personal affiliation or connection. Ancillary facts about a person, not relating to crime but to political and personal affiliation, is enough for them to justify to themselves their actions. Increasingly, we will see them going after people for people potential future threats: including anyone who is seen to be sniffing around in arenas they consider their domains: economic spheres, diplomatic spheres, and the like. This will soon include (more) journalists, and any other sort of researcher. It is already happening. Cases don’t come to light.

    A number of people were falsely suspected of being Rawshark, for instance. As a result, those suspected were gone after in a relentless, abusive way – in ways that can only have been meant to intimidate and disrupt. Those people were innocent.

  18. hectorjones electrical 18

    There are 2 ideas of public policy: kindness (to the core) and short-termism, and I’m just not sure which is central to us.

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