Open mike 21/07/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 21st, 2016 - 136 comments
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136 comments on “Open mike 21/07/2016”

  1. Paul 1

    The final betrayal.

    About the only thing the Lange government did that was right was to make New Zealand nuclear free, thereby banning US ships from our ports, because of their refusal to confirm or deny the presence of nuclear weapons on board.

    Indeed, there are many who believe that this was the useful distraction to keep sufficient New Zealand eyes off the ball as Douglas’s coup d’état unleashed the neoliberal revolution that would devastate our society.

    And the neocons now running this country have reneged on that.
    Another sad day in this country’s history, as we slide ever more into an enclave of corporate America.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11678267

    • DoublePlusGood 1.1

      Well, if New Zealand still believe in a nuclear free New Zealand, perhaps a flotilla of protest boats can be arranged and the ship might find it a bit difficult to enter the harbour and dock?

      • Why would we protest? We won the argument and the US has backed down. Whatever ship they send will almost certainly be diesel powered and not nuclear armed.

        • Puckish Rogue 1.1.1.1

          Are you feeling all right? Lately when I’ve been reading your comments I’ve found myself agreeing with you more often then not…

        • DoublePlusGood 1.1.1.2

          Are you sure though, because I hear that they don’t tend to confirm these things. Perhaps the ship should be boarded so an inspection to ensure compliance with New Zealand law can take place?

          • te reo putake 1.1.1.2.1

            I imagine our PM is looking forward to being piped aboard. No doubt he’ll be able to sign it off as compliant in his usual relaxed way. In a more serious vein, I think just about every bit of floating hardware the yanks employ can be identified online. I don’t think there will be much doubt about the nature of the propulsion and weaponry of the ship they send our way. The visit is about shoring up the relationship, not creating a diplomatic incident.

    • TheExtremist 1.2

      Ban on Nuclear Weapons I agree with but what seems stupid that there is a ban on nuclear powered ships but not on land based nuclear power.

      I can’t see why a there is such hoopla over a nuclear powered ship.

      • Ovid 1.2.1

        It won’t be nuclear powered. The only active vessels in the US Navy that are nuclear powered are aircraft carriers and submarines. All their other ships are conventionally powered. Further, with the exception of their missile submarines, there are no nuclear weapons in the US Navy arsenal.

        We get regular port visits from other nuclear powers – France, China, the U.K. If people want to use the opportunity to protest the US , that’s perfectly acceptable. But don’t do it under the mistaken belief that this visit is dishonouring our law.

      • McFlock 1.2.2

        Ships occasionally get driven onto rocks.

        That’s an extra hazard you don’t get with static, land based sites.

      • weston 1.2.3

        obviously if there was a meltdown of a nuclear reactor within auckland or wellington harbours all of our fish for hundreds of miles would be history etc have you heard of fukishima ?

  2. Paul 2

    I don’t often agree with the chief executive of big banks, but I agree with ANZ’s boss here.

    NZ better off without housing investors

    House prices in New Zealand are five times what they were 25 years ago. In Auckland, they are seven times higher.
    People trying to pay those prices often have to compete with investors who already have a home but want to profit from buying another.
    Mr Hisco told RNZ the country would be better off without them.
    “You know, right now, if investors were not in the market at all, I think that could turn out to be a good thing in the long run,” he said.
    “If they weren’t in the market, that would ease upward pressure on prices and maybe make it easier for first-home buyers,” he said in a statement.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/business/309091/nz-better-off-without-housing-investors-anz

    • tc 2.1

      Pretty obvious if the goal was to have affordable homes, which it isn’t.

      Under national these are just trading units needed to prop up the numbers, if you can’t afford them never mind plenty of foreign speculators can.

      Ah the blighted future, where garages substitute for state houses now demolished or sold by national.

      • Paul 2.1.1

        The facts the banks are so publicly demanding change would suggest a crash isn’t far away.
        Banks don’t turn away the massive profits they make from mortgages unless there’s a pressing reason.

        • Sabine 2.1.1.1

          as long as we can import people into this country without stop the crash is not gonna happen. Demand/Supply.

          The question is however how much have the banks gotten themselves in a pickle by lending to investors who don’t even own one physical dollar. How long can they go on and accepting ‘mortgages’ as deposits to buy even more ‘mortgages’.
          The average citizen in NZ can only pay so much rent…..before they end up in the streets or garage.

        • Editractor 2.1.1.2

          I found this bit in a similar article interesting:

          “But, because New Zealanders aren’t good savers banks have had to borrow from offshore to fund this rapid expansion in housing lending. And this funding supply is not endless unless banks want to pay higher prices for it. I doubt banks can keep lending at the current huge volumes anyway.” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11678081

          Assuming the banks put their own interests first, perhaps the price of overseas loans has become high enough now that the business model doesn’t have such great returns anymore. And now the banks want to shore up the loans they have made so they don’t vapourise. Also, as the recent moves won’t stop foreign buyers who can borrow cheaply in their own countries, perhaps “our” banks are worried they are going to lose market share to overseas banks.

        • Reddelision 2.1.1.3

          Keep praying for it Paul you have been harping on long enough for it, a correction will happen and you can tell us all, I told you so. I reckon it will probably rain in the next year as well

    • mikesh 2.3

      True enough, but not everyone wants to buy. How would one distinguish between those who rent because they can’t buy, and those who rent because it’s more convenient for them to do so.

    • save nz 2.4

      Yes that’s rich coming from ANZ, first there is the issue of the new migrants who are actively being recruited by National and neoliberal business owners. Migrants need places to buy and rent (something like 67,000 – 120,000 last year (if you count in foreign students on work visas), funny never mentioned….. Even with Labour’s new house building policy… do the maths… it’s not going to work if nothing is done about migration…

      If there are no investors, there are no rentals, therefore more people are homeless because National are not only not building more social housing, they are selling them off but also bringing in more people to live in the current houses from offshore. This is great election time, as homeless and the dispossessed don’t vote and less poor people in Auckland where 1 in 3 votes (apparently) are cast.

      One thing about housing to be aware of, is that this was a pivotal issue last election. Every article in the herald was about poor 1st home owners not being able to get a house and investors were to blame. What happened? Labour thought this was a massive problem causes by local investors, and needed more taxation and what’s more people need to work harder and longer for their retirement by raising the age…. Hmm not popular as working harder and longer so that cheap workers and rich investors can stream in and their aged parents to be supported by current tax payers was not considered fair… the 1st home owners did not like it either and failed to vote for them…

      Now lets see about the new loan ratios. It now takes a 20% deposit for a 1st home owner, so new people to the country with savings are in a much better position than the Kiwi on local wages, and the 40% investors deposit, again this is helping those who are richer, not poorer….

      Housing is such a fucked up issue now, that there is no easy answer. But the answers coming out, seem to be able screwing over locals who paid the taxes that created the infrastructure… not sure that is going to be popular.

      Personally I’m not keen on subsiding $125,000 per house for infrastructure in Auckland so that someone from another country can come in and likely vote for the Natz… and then tell me how uncompetitive and lazy I am and if we pollute more, screw people over more and do it like their country we are all going to be better off.

      We’ve been hearing this for 25 years, neoliberalism has not worked and globalism is just to keep the ponzi scheme going as the locals run out of money.

  3. Paul 3

    Housing crisis also a worry for older homeowners, new survey shows

    The new HRV State of Home Survey of 1450 New Zealanders found that​ 57 per cent of those who own a home with a mortgage regularly review it to try and pay it off sooner.
    And just 51 per cent of people feel they have enough savings to fall back on in case of any adversity.
    Renters are more likely to say that they find it hard to save (61 per cent).

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/home-property/82289592/housing-crisis-also-a-worry-for-older-homeowners-new-survey-shows

    • Paul 3.1

      Johnny Moore: I blame baby boomers for housing mess

      There’s a housing crisis. Or there’s not a housing crisis. Where you stand on this probably depends on what colour tie or blouse you wear to political fundraisers. I think our whole take on housing is anti-human and a symptom of a greater sickness that’s going to have to be addressed at some point.

      Personally, I blame Baby Boomers for the whole mess. They had their free tertiary education, milk in schools, a huge state housing sector, benefits, baches for poor people and a state that ensured they were clothed, fed and sheltered.

      Then they sold the lot. Cashed it all in. They all got a house with a yard for next to nothing and everyone that came after started paying for both themselves and those that came before.

      Do you know who is charged with fixing this housing problem? A bunch of upper-middle-class boomers who all own property, many owning multiple properties, some owning property portfolios.

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/82319303/johnny-moore-i-blame-baby-boomers-for-housing-mess

  4. amirite 4

    Today’s editorial in the Dominion Post is bagging Todd McClay for his selective memory loss over China’s trade threats; yet it fails to point that Key is still denying that such threats were made.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/82300223/Editorial-Todd-McClays-remarkable-loss-of-memory-about-a-threatened-trade-war?cid=app-android

    • Paul 4.1

      That’s because the owners of Fairfax have a vested interest in Key holding onto power.

    • tc 4.2

      That’s called balance under the DP model. They can say they’ve criticised the govt and run with the issue.

      Most ministers are expendable, Key is sacrosanct so brand shonky can do a shuffle call that refreshing his team and consign dullards like McClay to oblivion.

    • When you owe the bank a thousand, it’s your problem. When you owe the bank a million, it’s their problem. In Trump’s case, the banks would be well aware that he’s serial liar and regular bankrupt. Not the kind of guy they want running the economy.

      • b waghorn 5.1.1

        That’s the thing with trump would he really act against the banks , or is he just trying to scoop up some Bernie supporters?

        • te reo putake 5.1.1.1

          There is no chance that a man who owes what success he has had in business to to the banks regularly bailing him out is going to rock the boat. He’s a conformist at heart.

          But it’s all a moot point, because he’s not going to be in a position to do anything. He can’t even convince the Republican party to meaningfully back him, let alone the institutions who quietly bankroll Presidential campaigns.

    • dv 5.3

      Apparently Trump wants to put back a form of the Glass Seagal act.

    • Paul 5.4

      This might be the reason…….

      Wall Street Angry that Trump Says Restore Glass-Steagall

      On July 18th, Rob Nichols, the President of the American Bankers’ Association, which is controlled by the mega-banks, struck back against Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump. Nichols criticized Trump’s insistence to restore the Democratic U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s top reform of the U.S. economy, the Glass-Steagall Act, which prevented another taxpayer bailout of Wall Street firms for their gambling losses — it was the law President Bill Clinton with overwhelming Republican support in 1999 repealed. Trump is committing himself against that Clinton-Republican repeal of FDR’s law. Trump insists it be restored so that there won’t be a repeat of the Bush-Obama Wall Street bailout.

      https://off-guardian.org/2016/07/20/wall-street-angry-that-trump-says-restore-glass-steagall/

  5. The Guardian has done a survey of local Labour branch leaders. It finds that support for Corbyn is waning at that level of the party and that UKIP is regarded as a major threat, particularly where that party has replaced the Tories as the second most popular choice.

    One oddity, though, is that there doesn’t seem to be any idea from the grass roots as to who would be a good replacement for Corbyn. The take home being that he hasn’t done a great job so far, but there isn’t anybody available who is likely to be better.

    However, the survey was done prior to the withdrawal of Angela Eagle, who had been under vicious attack both verbally and physically by Corbyn supporters, and the confirmation that lefty Owen Jones would stand for the leadership.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jul/20/labour-supporters-have-cooled-on-corbyn-guardian-survey-finds

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/ng-interactive/2016/jul/20/where-labour-is-headed-constituency-parties-have-their-say

    • Paul 6.1

      I would not trust the Guardian as a reliable source.
      It is a propaganda outlet for the Blairite faction.
      Sadly it has become a shadow of its past, now simply parroting the liberal view of the establishment.

      • Meh. Characterising anything not perfectly ‘left’ as Blairite is childish.

        Read the opinions in the survey. They’re not the words of the Guardian (or their overwhelmingly left wing writers), they’re from local branch activists who are in touch with what members and local voters feel. It’s an interesting and honest snapshot of the dilemma UK Labour faces.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1

          Meh. Characterising anything not perfectly ‘left’ as Blairite is childish.

          Whereas the Guardian consistently backing Blairite MP leadership contenders (and their views) against true left wingers like Corbyn does indeed warrant the paper being called Blairite.

          I thought a ‘true Marxist left winger’ like yourself would have identified that, TRP

          Have you read through weka’s post on Anti-Corbyn media bias?

          • te reo putake 6.1.1.1.1

            Meh, again. The paper has always been left/liberal. It’s not afraid to point out the failings of the likes of Blair and his successors and in previous decades it was equally hard on the failures of Wilson, Benn, Foot etc. It’s writers are, for the most part, left wing, even in the sections of the paper that aren’t overtly political. Even the football pages have a left lean. It would be ridiculous for them to pretend there isn’t a problem with the Corbyn leadership, nor to identify solutions, if there are any to be found.

            • Morrissey 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Te Reo, like you I read and largely enjoy the dear old Grauniad. However, despite being more generally intelligent and urbane in tone, when it comes down to political bias it’s not really a lot better than the likes of the Scum and the Daily Wail.

              The Graunida has a history of cowardly and unethical behaviour, editorially and from some of its “feature” writers. Who can ever forget, or forgive, the scurrilous attack by Emma Brockes on Noam Chomsky? It was forced into an abject, humiliating apology on that occasion…..

              https://www.theguardian.com/media/2005/nov/17/pressandpublishing.corrections

              • Cheers, Morrissey. While I prefer the Grauniad over all others, I do find myself drawn to the Mirror of late. They seem to have a renewed sense of independence and have been championing the left and left causes quite regularly.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.2

          The Guardian, as documented by the LSE, has a significant anti-Corbyn bias. I note that they chose which comments to highlight.

          • save nz 6.1.1.2.1

            Yep The Guardian is going down hill in their treatment of Corbyn. Big political bias there and their readers are noticing.

            Who knows what to believe anymore. And interestingly the bias of the media is their demise, you trust them less..

            The brilliance of the right, is though this slow but relentless lowering of standards, slowly but surely, everyone has less, less money, less rights, less community, less trust, society shaped into their image of an untrusting compliant worker with zero rights and ability through community action to challenge.

            The Guardian started out better, but is lowering it’s standards too…

      • Bearded Git 6.1.2

        +100 Paul…the current Guardian editor must be a Blairite or even further to the right.

    • swordfish 6.2

      Alas, Smith and Jones

      ” … confirmation that lefty Owen Jones would stand for the leadership.”

      You sure about that, TRP ? I think you may be thinking of Soft Left Labour MP Owen Smith.

    • swordfish 6.3

      From The Guardian:

      Six months ago the Guardian conducted a similar survey against a backdrop of euphoria over huge rises in membership after Corbyn’s election in September. While support is more muted by comparison, party officers report that he remains ahead and likely to win.

      Yep, the latest (mid July) YouGov of Party Members suggests the same thing. 90% of the Labour Membership voted to Remain in the EU Referendum, so the vote for Brexit clearly came as a massive shock. That caused a brief backlash against Corbyn – as shown by the late June YouGov Poll of Party Members – but that anger seems to have subsided, with Corbyn clearly back in strong frontrunner position.

      YouGov Poll of Labour Party members eligible to vote in Leadership election.
      (15-18 July 2016)

      Voting Intention

      Corbyn: 54%
      Eagle: 21%
      Smith: 15%

      Runoffs
      Corbyn vs Smith
      Corbyn: 56%
      Smith: 34%

      Corbyn vs Eagle
      Corbyn: 58%
      Eagle: 34%

      Women members remain strongly pro-Corbyn – the fairly scurrilous attempts to shift them towards Eagle, and then Smith, appear to have failed. Although the campaign of hysteria being waged by the Blairite/Brownite factions will no doubt intensify over the next couple of months.

    • Paul 6.4

      Guardian’s Corbyn survey
      by Seamus Padraig

      The Guardian (with a few honourable exceptions, such as Gary Younge) has consistently operated as the house organ of the Blairites, eager to spread the latest slander and calumny against Corbyn.

      Their latest hit-piece on him, like so many others, desperately tries to convince us that night is day and day is night. Bearing the authoritative sounding title, ‘Labour supporters have cooled on Corbyn, Guardian survey finds’, the article spends a considerable amount of time implying that Labour Party members are now turning against him: “Enthusiasm for Jeremy Corbyn has waned since the start of the year among Labour supporters, according to a survey of more than 100 constituencies across the country.”

      …….But after twenty-two paragraphs of trying to convince us that Corbyn is responsible for just about every misfortune on earth—with possible exception of the Ebola virus—we finally come to this little gem:

      James Schneider, a Momentum spokesman, said of the survey: “There does appear to be a disparity between the CLP secretaries and executive officers and the membership as a whole. If you look at the YouGov poll, support for Jeremy Corbyn is up.”

      That’s right! This Guardian’s survey is only a survey of Labour’s elites—who, we already know, detest Corbyn: “The Guardian interviewed Labour chairs, secretaries and other office-holders, past and present, as well as councillors from 101 of the 632 constituencies in England, Scotland and Wales on Thursday, Friday and Monday.”

      https://off-guardian.org/2016/07/21/guardians-corbyn-survey/

  6. Pasupial 7

    “The patient should be centre to all of this; what is best for the patients of the southern region.”…

    He said it was still too early for the public to have a say…

    When asked about fears the rebuild could adversely affect the medical school, Mr Blair took issue with the ODT.

    “What about picking some of the opportunities that have been identified in [the rebuild report] and … helping us get the community and public behind an exciting opportunity?”

    When advised it was not the ODT’s role to be a cheerleader, he said: “It’s not your job to be focusing on the negatives and criticisms, either”.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/391011/general-hospital-possible

    That seems to reflect poorly on the quality of journalism in the; Hawke’s Bay Today, newspaper. Though; “APN’s two largest shareholders are the Australian fund manager Allan Gray Australia[2] and Rupert Murdoch’s News Limited”, which might explain that.

    If journalists are expected to simply regurgitate press releases and the official line, rather than question their “betters”, then how can the public be informed to have their say in the process?

    Health Minister Dr Jonathan Coleman should not have kept secret official advice about the pros and cons of sacking Southern District Health Board members, the Chief Ombudsman says…

    Dr Coleman had also withheld an admission that the board was “heavily reliant” on consultants as it had lost so many finance staff. A sentence criticising DHB management was also redacted.

    When the advice was requested a year ago, Dr Coleman’s office claimed a right to “free and frank” communication to withhold the sections, which Dr Coleman has now released.

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/391023/advice-about-board-should-not-have-been-secret

    • weka 7.1

      Re the Southern Partnership Group, looks like the govt and MoH finally have their hatchet men to take tertiary services away from Dunedin and centralise them in Chch and further north despite Otago and Southland people having made it very clear they don’t want that. Plus they have a plan for not making that too obvious, can’t have thousands of people marching down George St again, although with any luck this issue will peak in the election year.

      • Pasupial 7.1.1

        Well, the medical school already has bases in Christchurch and Wellington (which seems to be stretching the definition of Otago to me). Once the Dunedin hospital loses its teaching accreditation in more departments than orthopaedics, then it’s likely to become more for nurse than doctor training. Once the tertiary education goes, the tertiary services won’t be far behind.

        The Dunedin medical establishment has been challenged in a new report which takes aim at a claimed use of public sector resources for research and private work.

        Released yesterday, the report was written by consultants as part of the planning of the delay-ridden $300million Dunedin Hospital rebuild.

        It is the second time a strategic service report has been produced. The first, 18 months ago, cost $300,000 – but officials commissioned another one.

        The other potentially controversial aspect of the report is a suggestion that some rural hospitals could do with fewer beds…

        Association of Salaried Medical Specialists executive director Ian Powell was annoyed by the report when contacted for comment.

        He believed the criticism over non-clinical time was “simply wrong”.

        “It’s a red herring in terms of the redevelopment of the new hospital. It seems to reflect some other rather petty agenda.”

        Doctors had a specific entitlement under their public health employment agreement to undertake clinical audits, mortality reviews, and professional development as part of non-clinical time, Mr Powell said.

        “[The report writers] are perpetuating a negative ill-informed leadership culture in the district health board.” …

        Southern Partnership Group chairman Andrew Blair said the plan looked at future population and demographic forecasts, and “considers challenges and potential solutions at a high level”.

        http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/390026/medical-questions-confront

        Blair seems to be not so much a hatchet man himself, as a public face striking poses and spewing calming banalities. Meanwhile, the real chopping is being done behind closed doors until eventually; some Fankensteinian creation is released on the unsuspecting public.

  7. Morrissey 8

    Clinton-Led Democrats Are Now “to the Right of George W. Bush” on Palestinian Rights
    by GLENN GREENWALD, The Intercept, July 13, 2016

    There are countless ways to see that the rhetorical monuments of magnanimity, humanitarianism, and equality that Democratic Party leaders and their loyal followers love to erect in honor of themselves are nothing more than manipulative, self-glorifying dreck. But few pathologies illustrate that deceit more potently than their utter indifference, and now — in the Hillary Clinton era — outright contempt for the plight of Palestinians and their steadfast subservience to right-wing Israeli nationalism. As Demos’s Sean McElwee put it: “The Democratic platform is now officially to the right of George W. Bush on Palestine.”

    Hillary Clinton herself has covertly run one of the most anti-Palestinian, pro-Israeli-aggression presidential campaigns in modern history — from either party. That’s not surprising given her general militarism and the dominance of American-Israeli billionaire Haim “I’m a one-issue guy, and my issue is Israel” Saban in funding her campaign and the Democratic Party generally. Surprising or not, though, the Clinton-led Democratic Party’s hostility toward the most basic precepts of equality and dignity for Palestinians, and its willingness — its eagerness — to support and cheer for the most extremist Israeli acts of oppression, racism, and decades-long occupation, is nothing short of despicable.

    Read more….
    https://theintercept.com/2016/07/12/george-w-bush-v-clinton-led-democrats-on-palestinians-equality-and-the-israeli-occupation/

  8. save nz 9

    This is actually from the ‘comments’ section on what is going on at British NHS…

    “I’m pretty sure that Brexit will lead to privatisation of the NHS. it’s probably going to happen anyway, but Brexit will expedite it (Aaron Banks who bankrolled the Leave campaign is one dodgy character).
    I work in a London NHS Trust and the majority of my work (admin) has been transferred to India as this is much cheaper. This is happening throughout the Trusts in London. Trade deals with India and China risks exploitation of their workers, with few labour laws to protect them.
    We will still lose jobs, it will just make us even cheaper to replace; I’m not sure how Brexit overcomes this.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jul/20/david-cameron-accused-gross-negligence-brexit-contingency-plans

  9. Andre 10

    “The differences are stark — and I’m not just talking about the fact that one party representative was more willing to trust the interns with selfie duties.”

    http://www.vox.com/2016/7/20/12240656/paul-ryan-selfie

  10. save nz 11

    FBI arrests senior HSBC banker accused of rigging multibillion-dollar deal
    Mark Johnson and a colleague allegedly defrauded clients and ‘manipulated the foreign exchange market to benefit themselves and their bank’

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jul/20/hsbc-mark-johnson-stuart-scott-arrested-currency-exchange

    • adam 11.1

      I would not expect any charges though.

      Arrests mean nothing, unless you are poor.

  11. Chooky 12

    Male political health regulators influenced by overseas multi billion dollar Big Pharma turn fascist!

    …not only are the elderly and those in chronic pain and terminally ill denied medical cannibus for pain relief

    …but against all the evidence natural health vitamins and minerals will be banned for well New Zealanders who use them as a preventative against chronic ill health

    ‘Effect of Natural Health Bill

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201809100/effect-of-natural-health-bill

    “Canterbury University psychology professor Julia Rucklidge says new regulations on health products could mean people won’t be able to access products that can help their mental health. Professor Rucklidge’s studies have shown how micronutrients could be an alternative to traditional medication for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The Ministry of Health is currently working on a list of approved substances which will not need specific approvals but Julia Rucklidge says a lot of products will become inaccessible as nutrients will be banned for no good reason.”

    • save nz 12.1

      +1 Chooky. Shocking. Yep nutrients are now not profitable enough to be considered medicine.

    • DoublePlusGood 12.2

      What a load of crap, the government isn’t going to ban vitamins and minerals – they’re just putting in place a regulatory system to ensure public safety and protect against fraudulent or unsafe products. Companies can and will be able to get approval for their products if they’re manufactured appropriately and aren’t making bogus claims.
      Would you prefer that people be able to buy fraudulent or harmful products?
      Also, you do know that Big Pharma have big interests in Big Vitamin, right?
      Save nz: you should take a look at the pharmaceutical schedule some time, there are plenty of nutrients registered as medicines.

      • Chooky 12.2.1

        DoublePlusIdiot…( corporate apologist and shill) Have you even bothered to listen to Professor Julia Rucklidge?

        are you part of the male fascist problem which wants to restrict preventive medicine?

        …you make bogus claims…natural products are already tested for safety and measured from stats on hospital admissions their effects are far safer than the adverse effects of corporate BIG Pharma products and their side effects ( these are often not tested properly and have terrible side effects and health outcomes)

        …Big Pharma wants to squeeze out anything competitive ,innovative and comes from small companies…no wonder many people no longer go to their doctors or choosing to go to doctors who provide alternative natural health cures

        …Big Pharma wants to reduce the doses of natural products so they are ineffectual and at the same time it is in competition …the big boys want to take over all the world’s natural health resources ( just look at the patents Big Pharma wants to take out on plants and indigenous peoples’ plants remedies and medicines used for thousands of years!

        …I expect you would also support corporate Monsanto taking a monopoly on the worlds seeds and food production too?!

        We need the protection of BIG BOY shills like you like we need a hole in the head

  12. Chooky 13

    Hone Harawira sounds positively statesmanlike compared with Kelvin Davis…what goes around comes around

    ‘Labour relishes challenge if Mana, Maori Party join forces’

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/201809085/labour-relishes-challenge-if-mana,-maori-party-join-forces

    “Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis says he can’t wait for Mana and the Maori Party to mend fences – because he says Hone Harawira won’t be able to resist the temptation to wreck the whole show.”

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/mediawatch/audio/201779410/dirty-politics-players-back-in-the-frame

    • Dialey 13.1

      Yep, it seems Labour never learns – instead of slagging off other potential allies, they need to reach out to them in the fight to remove the National government

    • North 13.2

      Davis has always been painted up as a wonder boy. In fact he’s as much a slimy careerist as any of them and frankly not to be trusted.

      • Rosemary McDonald 13.2.1

        “Davis has always been painted up as a wonder boy. In fact he’s as much a slimy careerist as any of them and frankly not to be trusted.”

        Hmmm…and yet he was voted in, while HH went down.

        I guess that’s just how democracy works.

        FWIW…having been Up North during the 2014 General Election and the by election (the one brought about by the downfall of He Who Shall Remain Un-named), pretty much the same comments were made about Hone Harawira as you make about Davis.

        HH has never held back from slagging off Maori MPs….what is that about?

        What is going to be interesting is how Marama handles the Morgan/Flavell/Harawira Old Boy’s triumvirate.

        • Bearded Git 13.2.1.1

          This was the Te Tai Tokerau result:

          DAVIS, Kelvin LAB 9,712
          DEARLOVE, ClintonIND 454
          HARAWIRA, Hone MANA 8,969
          PAENGA, Te Hira MAOR 2,579

          Hone had a rough campaign, with a car crash at a crucial time, the relationship with KDC not working out and a strong and vicious campaign from the right for National voters to support Davis to get Hone (and especially the Mana Party) out.

          Despite all of this Hone lost by just 743 votes. With a steady campaign he will win it back next time. It will be a cakewalk if he can come to an arrangement with the MP, but my guess is he would win anyway.

          • save nz 13.2.1.1.1

            Hope Hone wins it and Labour does not anger left voters again by such a pointless exercise leading to their own demise…

            Do a deal with Hone. Kiss and make up, to a cordial relationship. There is a bigger enemy called National to fight.

            • Pasupial 13.2.1.1.1.1

              The telling thing about the Te Tai Tokerau result is where the votes came from. Each candidate’s support in order of those who made a valid party vote (of parties that got over 1000 votes in the electorate):

              DAVIS; Labour 63.97%, NZF 51.88%, Nat 45.10% Green 40.21%, Māori Party 28.30%, IMP 2.99%
              HARAWIRA; Labour 26.44%, NZF 27.76%, Nat 10.84% Green 41.83%, Māori Party 29.17%, IMP 90.39%
              PAENGA; Labour 4.57%, NZF 11.26%, Nat 28.90% Green 11.50%, Māori Party 38.22%, IMP 1.32%

              http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2014/elect-splitvote-69.html

              Davis won the seat with the support of National and NZF voters (ACT, UF, Consevatives & Focus were also on his side, in similar proportions but with lesser numbers).

              • Draco T Bastard

                Davis won the seat with the support of National and NZF voters

                Yep, both National and NZ1st see Davis as a safe pair of hands to protect the status quo.

        • North 13.2.1.2

          Rosemary, being “voted in” is not a faultless indicator of wonder, or truth, or genuineness, or absence of guile. Look at Key.

          Furthermore Davis pointedly demonised and slagged off Hone in a way that I recall Hone never did in respect of him. And he’s started it again.

          I am grateful for his efforts re Serco but the truth is that he’d known for a long time that the justice/penal system was being stacked against the poor and Maori and he did and said nothing. He even chose to ignore communications from a source intimately familiar with justice system discrimination against the poor and Maori. Hone did not.

          Finally, imagine the fury which would have erupted had Hone hung around the corridors of Parliament in wait for Key to accuse him of gutlessness re New Zealanders caught up in Australia’s sortie into xenophobia. As did Davis. Good on him but the double standard is appalling.

          • Rosemary McDonald 13.2.1.2.1

            North….Hone is sneaking under the covers with the Maori Party. The Maori Party is an amoral, conscienceless tool of Key and the National Party.

            With the same degree of selective amnesia….

      • marty mars 13.2.2

        I agree – i dont trust him yet –he has done some good things but my radar still pings.

  13. Paul 14

    Just wish the Labour party in new Zealand heard this interview with Thomas Frank on Nine to Noon.

    Why are working class Americans supporting Donald Trump?

    In his new book ‘Listen, Liberal or What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?’ New York Times best selling author Thomas Frank argues America’s Left has abandoned its working class roots to pursue a new class of supporter – the elite professional. He argues the Democratic Party has failed to do anything really meaningful about income inequality over the last few decades . And with no one championing the economic needs of ordinary workers this leaves rich pickings for Donald Trump.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/201809104/why-are-working-class-americans-supporting-donald-trump
    [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ntn/ntn-20160721-1006-why_are_working_class_americans_supporting_donald_trump-048.mp3" /]

    Here is another link to his important message.

    Thomas Frank admonishes, ‘Listen, Liberal!’ How the Democratic Party failed

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      It’s obvious why the working class support Donald Trump.

      It’s because they are redneck, racist, ignorant, uneducated, misogynist, gun loving haters.

      (Thomas Frank is quite right when he says that the Democratic Party now appeals to an affluent white collar social strata in the US).

      • Paul 14.1.1

        Good interview with Kathryn Ryan.
        Did you hear it?

        • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1

          At 9 minutes in right now…

          • Paul 14.1.1.1.1

            Love to hear your feedback.

            • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1.1.1

              After having listened to the whole piece I have to shakes my head. Particularly Bill Clinton and the Democratic Party of his day being people who hated the blue collar working class and thought the future for the party should be that of white collar entrepreneurs and innovators.

              Anyone who support Killary for Prez needs to listen to how even PhDs like Thomas Frank have been reduced to casual labour and low incomes by the economic system brought in by the first Clinton administration.

              Also, many thoughts on the end…the sections of society that the Democratic party has blown off for decades now…have finally found somewhere else to go, even if it is a grotesque and ugly place (Trump).

              • Paul

                Anyone who support Killary for Prez needs to listen to how even PhDs like Thomas Frank have been reduced to casual labour and low incomes by the economic system brought in by the first Clinton administration.

                The casualisation of the labour force and the hollowing out of the middle class in the US is a warning to the Blairites presently running the UK and New Zealand Labour parties. The professional classes they are appealing to are about to disappear.

    • weka 14.2

      “Why are working class Americans supporting Donald Trump?”

      I think that’s misleading. Some working class Americans are supporting Trump, and it’s definitely worth looking at why that is. But others aren’t, and that’s equally important.

      • Colonial Viper 14.2.1

        outside of the affluent coastal areas I would suggest that Trump’s support in whiter, low and lower middle socioeconomic groups is climbing fast. You might console yourself that not everyone in those groups support Trump, and they never will, but the trend is there and strong IMO.

        • save nz 14.2.1.1

          I heard that it is actually a richer demographic that were supporting Trump. So maybe the terms ‘blue collar’ and ‘liberal’ mean different things to different people.

          USA are different because they have a much more diverse industry and segments of population are less educated and their is no social welfare. If you make one mistake, you can be finished (i.e. get sick). So they still have working class and poor.

          In NZ we used to have a huge middle class, and still do, if we still have the 65% home ownership base. In my mind, if you own a home, you are middle class, if you are educated you are middle class. Middle class can be income poor, but to my mind they are still middle class….

          Most of those posting on this site, in my view are middle class… maybe they feel they are working class and hate middle class, but to my mind the are still middle class…

          NZ Labour are all middle class people who think there are still a lot of working class… that is why they struggle at elections with identity. National and MSM have devised a division between the middle class who work and those on benefits. Each blaming each other for their lack of income. To win the election the left need to break that division and discourse or at least lesson it, with a message of unity and what is really causing inequality – neoliberalism and have some sort of plan to u turn and transition away.

      • Craig H 14.2.2

        I can’t remember where I read it so can’t provide a citation, but I recall reading that the main reason blue collar workers support the republicans against their own financial best interests is because of social issues – guns, welfare queens, LGBT issues etc.

    • Chooky 14.3

      +100 Paul…that was a really good interview!

    • rhinocrates 14.4

      From the video of the talk, a very significant quote: “There is no solidarity in a meritocracy.”

      While there are differences between Labour NZ, Labour UK and the Democrats, that self-congratulating circle jerk of bourgeois meritocrats have taken over. It tells you why Mumblefuck felt good about shitting on beneficiaries when Norman Kirk would have been at their side, why ‘Very’ Little crumbles like a stale meringue over the 90-day bill and is so half-arsed with TPPA.

  14. Richard McGrath 15

    Power to the people!

    35,000 hungry Venezuelans cross the bridge to Colombia desperate to find food, medicine and other basic items:

    • Colonial Viper 15.1

      This is what you get for opposing American banks and American corporations.

      The transnational capitalist vultures are circling the country.

    • Paul 15.2

      America has a lot to answer for.

  15. joe90 16

    WaPo has a crack at finding out about Meredith McIver, the speech writer who took the fall for Melania Trump.

    There’s not much there.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/07/20/who-is-meredith-mciver-the-trump-staffer-who-took-the-fall-for-melanias-speech/

  16. Paul 17

    This level of migration is causing our housing crisis.
    Why won’t the government deal with it?

    69,000 people in one year.

    By comparison, here are the populations of our 8th to 15th largest cities.

    Palmerston North 83,500
    Nelson 64,800
    Rotorua 56,800
    New Plymouth 56,300
    Whangarei 55,400
    Invercargill 50,300
    Whanganui 39,400
    Gisborne 35,700

    Record migration for 23rd month in a row.

    Migration is continuing to break records.

    Official figures show a net gain of 69,100 people in the year to June, the 23rd month in a row it has been at record levels.
    On a monthly basis, the number of people coming to live here, or return home to New Zealand, rose to 5700.
    More people are coming to live here from India, China, the Philippines and Britain.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/309129/record-migration-for-23rd-month-in-a-row

    • save nz 17.1

      @Paul – just a snippet on what’s happening in Auckland. The other day a 16 yo Chinese new migrant came into a car yard in Auckland and bought a $50,000 car with a cheque, for his sister who was arriving that night from China. The car yard seller who was a young hardworking Maori guy, had to go with the 16 yo Asian guy to the bank to get the cheque cashed at the bank, before he got the car. The asian guy could not speak much english. When they got to the bank, the bank staff member (indian ethnicity) apparently ordered the Maori guy away from the Asian guy obviously thinking (because he is Maori) he must be some sort of criminal trying to take the Asian’s money. The poor Asian kid, was trying to say in broken english it was ok… Let just be glad the bank staff didn’t have guns or maybe that’s the next step in banks, shoot out anybody Maori who looks like they don’t belong in the bank!

      That is the state of Auckland. Now the locals seem to automatically be considered to be some sort of criminal and we have 16 year olds buying cars with cheques double the yearly income of local sellers…

      I don’t blame the migrants at all. But there is always trouble with inequality and we have the ability in NZ with such a small population to eliminate poverty and racism… pity we are going in the wrong direction.

      • Colonial Viper 17.1.1

        Not just going in the wrong direction; accelerating in the wrong direction.

    • Puckish Rogue 17.2

      I guarantee you that if Labour/Green got into power then then amount of people emigrating here would slow down very quickly 🙂

      • Stuart Munro 17.2.1

        Yes, many unpopular and irresponsible policies will be curtailed.

        • Colonial Viper 17.2.1.1

          NZ should implement Winston’s policies. Reduce immigration numbers by up to 90%.

      • Graeme 17.2.2

        Yeah, just like in ’99 when the right trolls were wailing that a Labour government would tank the currency by 20% and kill the economy. And it did. And the economy going, big time for us.

        I got that argument from a neighbouring shopkeeper, and fellow tourist retailer, on the eve of that election. My only response was “So?”

        It’s the same situation now, a National government trying to keep New Zealand’s economy going with sugar (immigration) when what it really needs is meat and fresh veges, read agricultural ad manufactured exports and inbound tourism.

        The demand on our dollar for the sugar fix of immigration is working against most of the economy. It’ll be very good to see it end and we get back to something sustainable. It was very pleasing to hear the Reserve Bank spelling this out in black and white this morning.

    • srylands 17.3

      The Government has limited capacity to reduce migration.

      Read this Fallow article

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11471134

      Half of all visas are work visas. We need these people to meet skill and labour shortages.

      Most of the rest are students. You want to stop those?

      Then there are returning New Zealanders and Australians.

      So yes you can reduce migration, but to do so materially will have significant costs – either reduced foreign exchange from students and/or labour shortages.

      • Herodotus 17.3.1

        “Half of all visas are work visas. We need these people to meet skill and labour shortages.”
        So the returning Kiwis don’t have the skill set that nz needs, yet they had the skills that a buoyant Australia, Europe the Middle East wanted ?
        And we are not preparing our own people with the required skill set thus requiring NZ to entice hired help to meet our requirements offshore. IMO someone is not preparing our youth accordingly.

        • save nz 17.3.1.1

          Yep, whenever I go around Auckland I demand that the government gets more Pita pit and McDonalds restaurant managers (a known NZ high skills shortage). I also demand that Chorus immediately employ more migrants because they are doing an impeccable job rolling out high speed broadband. We don’t have enough construction workers but that is ok, because if you can’t speak english then you don’t notice that the steel is substandard and the building is leaking or if you do, harder to alert anyone… As for fishing and farming and fruit picking, these are highly skilled jobs and locals are no longer suitable. Why the hell, should employers be expected to train anyone, let alone give a young person experience, what a waste of resources!! There are so many new cars on the road, we need more motorways too, but don’t worry we may get a walkway over the harbour bridge in Auckland in 5 years or so if we are lucky but of course being a private partnership the local walkers must pay for the privilege. Don’t forget to pay your rates Aucklanders, we need 69,000 new houses per year at $125,000 per house for infrastructure. The cows need milking and the burgers need managing and those ‘essential’ workers need houses! Don’t be selfish Locals! Work harder, pay your taxes and don’t expect any welfare for the future – how can we pay for all these retirees with the economy in such decline!!! sarc.

  17. Puckish Rogue 18

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11678728

    No matter your feelings on the police you’d have to say that’s clever

    • adam 18.1

      My main consern is that no other criminal activity happened. They did not in this case, but boy it seems they that walk a fine line.

      Do like
      ” It must be authorised at the most senior levels within the police force and must only be used as “a last resort” when other investigative options have been exhausted.”

      • Puckish Rogue 18.1.1

        Yeah imagine the resources and work it’d take to set up and just one little slip could ruin it through, the guy did seem quite thick which helped

        • adam 18.1.1.1

          Mind you in the case of murder, I’m very happy they use up resources to get it right.

          He seemed smart enough to get a good lawyer though.

  18. Andre 19

    Lovely photo of a lineup of grumpy Trumps as Cruz doesn’t endorse him.

    http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/rnc-2016-donald-trump-unity-225915

  19. save nz 20

    Do we really live in this country? Do we really love carbon that much?

    Cars can cross the harbour bridge for free, but non polluting cyclists and walkers are to be charged $4 -$6 per return journey under the proposed SkyPath public private partnership.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/309130/council-should-put-brakes-on-skypath-residents'-group

    In addition this also has caught my eye on the absurdity of NZ public transport.

    “A disgruntled former Wellington City Council advisor has slammed the organisation’s “disgusting toxic culture” which he says is worse than that of Siberia or Kazakhstan.”

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/wellington-council-slammed-over-cycleway-project-2016072111?ref=newshubFB

    Please, please can we just sack all the executive transport staff in NZ and just start again!

  20. James 21

    I see both fairfax and newshub (NZHerald) have withdrawn from sending teams to the Olympics after a stosh with SkyTV.

  21. emergency mike 22

    The attempt to wipe out Corbyn’s membership support by requiring recent or new members to pay £25 in a two day window has failed. 183,000 people pay up. Poor old Labour party might have to listen to the silly people they are supposed to represent.

    “Last year, 113,000 people paid £3 to register as Labour supporters, about eight out of 10 of whom backed Mr Corbyn.”

    Now 183,000 pay £25 in 48 hours. Is there any chance that Labour will get the message? Or will it be “Dang, should have made it £100 in 24 hours. Oh well whats our next idea to fight Corbyn give the finger to our membership?”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-party-183000-membership-applications-in-48-hours-a7146976.html

  22. Chuck 23

    Great to see 5,000 of our fellow kiwis become more independent and start to take control of their own situations.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1607/S00300/5000-more-people-independent-of-benefits.htm

    • Draco T Bastard 23.1

      Chances are it’s actually 5000 more people thrown on the scrapheap by this government.

    • McFlock 23.2

      If I thought that meant those 5,000 people now had jobs, I’d agree.

      As it is, with these bastards the headline should probably be “5,000 more people abandonded to poverty, hardship, homelessness or crime by this government”.
      edit: snap dtb

    • weka 23.3

      National finally got out their magic wand and created a whole bunch of new jobs?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 23.4

      Data is understanding.
      Analysis is a choice.
      I can show you someone who’ll give you a counterview.

  23. ianmac 24

    Morgan Poll out. Bad!
    During July support for National jumped a large 10% to 53%, now well ahead of a potential Labour/Greens alliance 37% (down 5.5%). If a New Zealand Election was held now the latest NZ Roy Morgan Poll shows National, with their biggest lead since May 2015, would win easily.
    See Daily Revue.

    • Sacha 24.1

      That size jump seems dodgy, not that I pay much attention to single polls. Details here: http://www.roymorgan.com/findings/6902-roy-morgan-new-zealand-voting-intention-july-2016-201607211639

    • schwen 24.2

      OMG! What a disaster! How could this have happened so quickly when the UMR poll showed the Green/Labour MOU was working so well?

      • Maz 24.2.1

        Based on those numbers, National would be keen to go to the polls early.

      • save nz 24.2.2

        Property is not the answer Labour, why do they have to go against the 65% Pakeha property owners and keep sighing about capital gains taxes and the 40% house drop article, and I even saw compulsory land seizures! (Who know if this is even true??). National actually were the ones going on about land seizures but suddenly MSM switched to Labour being for it. Housing is a massive issue that Labour screwed up on last time.

        If Labour campaign on TPPA, which middle NZ are a lot more worried about then maybe they might get the jump they got last time! There is a reason that Clinton, Trump and Sanders are all saying they will not bring it in. It is a vote killer!

        Not to mention National imported another 5700 migrants and returnees that month.

        Apparently the last election was lost with just 10,000 votes so it is very significant.

        National will cling to power even if immigration destroys the country and we no longer own our own assets or sovereignty.

        • save nz 24.2.2.1

          Not only that, they keep blaming technology for job losses… They just look like Dinosaurs, I think most people feel it is globalisation and free trade that is a big problem…

          To explain the rise of Trump… America as a country is a lot richer, but most people are poorer….

          “America is a vastly wealthier country today than it was forty years ago. Furthermore, on a per-person basis, the country’s wealth has increased far more over the past four decades than it did in the thirty years immediately after World War II.

          Here are the numbers: between 1945 and 1974, per capita GDP in the U.S. grew from $17,490 to $27,837. That is an impressive improvement, but it pales in comparison to what has happened since: in 2014, per capita GDP was $55,185, i.e., almost exactly double what it was in 1974. In terms of economic output, the country is twice as rich per person now as it was then.

          Where has all this money gone? The answer ought to shock anyone who cares about either economic opportunity or increasing inequality. The average household income of the bottom 50% of American households was $25,475 in 1974, and $26,520 in 2014. In other words, half the population has gotten essentially none of the extra $10 trillion dollars of national wealth that the American economy has generated over the past forty years.

          Keep in mind that this group includes fully half of the nation’s middle class, by every standard definition of that category.

          Meanwhile, over this same time, the average household income of the top five percent of American households (most of the members of this group would not, of course, consider themselves rich, let alone part of the actual plutocracy) has gone from $187,729 to $332,347. As for the really rich, the numbers are truly staggering: in constant, inflation-adjusted dollars, the household income of the top 0.01% (roughly, the nation’s 13,000 richest households) increased by about seven-fold, from less than $5 million to more than $30 million per year.”

          http://www.salon.com/2016/03/02/listen_to_the_donald_trump_voters_it_has_taken_an_ignorant_demagogue_to_tell_truth_about_gop_humiliate_party_establishment/

      • swordfish 24.2.3

        “OMG! What a disaster! How could this have happened so quickly when the UMR poll showed the Green/Labour MOU was working so well ?”

        Yes, very droll.

        Heading on back to reality for a moment …

        … UMR Poll has an impressive track record for accuracy …

        Daily Review 21/07/2016

        • maninthemiddle 24.2.3.1

          The UMR tends to show National lower than other polls. National has frequently been in the low 40’s in the UMR polling.

  24. maninthemiddle 25

    “The nett migration of 67k people in the end of March year and tourism is currently the only thing holding up the internal economy. ”

    Net migration is a response to NZ’s success, not only a cause of it. So what if it drives growth? So what if Tourism (only 5% of our GDP btw) is booming. Your next post listing the ‘only things holding up the internal economy’ will have to much longer if it is to be even close to accurate.

    Oh and here’s this from the OECD:
    The OECD wrote about NZ “inflation and inflation expectations are well anchored… Strong fiscal monetary policy frameworks and a healthy financial sector have yielded macroeconomic stability, underpinning growth. Employment is high, in large part thanks to flexible labour markets and ample immigration, business investment is robust and households and firms are optimistic.” https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/investing-in-nz/opportunities-outlook/economic-overview

    • lprent 25.1

      Sorry hit the wrong button on a phone (at the cure concert) and send your message to openmike. 2nd time recently.

      Neither the treasury nor the reserve bank agree with you about the effect of nett migration on the internal economy. They seem to think the way I do.

      Could someone give this economic illiterate links and quotes from treasury and RB?

  25. Jenny 26

    Is the age of coups over?

    Weapons and the monopoly of violence is not the only strength that an army has over a civilian population. Organisation is the other key strength of an army. Without organisation no matter what advantage an army has in weapons these weapons are useless without organisation. In the past just the fact of being an organised force, with the latest weapons, and empowered to use lethal force, could see a relatively small number of armed men, dominate millions.

    But this military advantage of superior organisation has been countered by the rise of social media.

    When the military had the advantage of organisation and top down communication, and could move as one, (compared to a disorganised and fragmented population, kept in the dark and starved of news, coups were much easier).

    In the age of the internet tens of millions of determined and informed citizens can be on the streets within a matter of hours, swamping any possible military force through their sheer weight of numbers.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11676168

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