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Open mike 21/08/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 21st, 2015 - 61 comments
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61 comments on “Open mike 21/08/2015 ”

  1. Paul 1

    The opposition and other progressive forces in the country must maintain a sustained attack against the bias in the media.
    Target the main puppets and always question their impartiality.
    When being interviewed live make these accusations.
    Control the corporate media, don’t let it control you.
    It will never accept a progressive victory in the elections unless the opposition exists on its terms.
    Follow the SNP and break your dependence on the corporate media.

  2. swordfish 2

    Is there a purge of Corbyn supporters currently underway in the UK Labour leadership election ?

    The Independent http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/labour-leadership-longtime-supporters-of-party-claim-they-have-been-barred-from-voting-in-purge-10464046.html

    The Guardian http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/aug/20/labour-leadership-election-rejected-supporters-express-their-anger

    Need to remain cautious, of course…could be just the usual cock-ups…long-time Labour Party activists, members, even former candidates being told their application to vote has been rejected.

    But, read through the above stories – along with the Twitter accounts of both Owen Jones and JeremyCorbyn4Leader over the last 24 hours – and you’ll get the distinct impression that it’s specifically the known Corbyn supporters who are being rejected.

    • rhinocrates 2.1

      Snap, I was just about to post this:


      The author of this article is less equivocal.

      A lot of those being purged are young members who are the future of the party.

      It just shows what the old guard of a dying party will do to hang on to their privileges and control. They’ll keep it out of office, they’ll trash every principle it once stood for, they’ll destroy its future, but God damn it, they’ll keep their expense accounts!

      • swordfish 2.1.1

        If that proves to be the case then it’s an extraordinary scandal.

        Corbyn’s been packing out 1000+ venues throughout the UK for weeks (2000 at Newcastle a night or so back). They’ve had to move rallies to larger auditoria and set up overspill rooms. It’s a “democratic explosion unprecedented in British Political history”, as The Guardian’s Seumus Milne puts it.

        He’s 32 points ahead of his nearest rival in the latest Leadership poll and 7 points ahead among the voting public. And he’s probably personally responsible for inspiring more than 100,000 new members / sign-ups.

        The notion that this is all the product of some sort of nefarious Trade Union manipulation or Militant Tendency ‘Entryism’ is hilarious. What’s more it was the Blairite David Miliband who advocated this whole ‘3 Pound sign-up’ inclusiveness campaign to widen Party participation a few years ago and Tony Blair was reportedly highly enthusiastic (he welcomed it as “something I should have done myself”)……Right up, of course, until it all backfired a few weeks ago.

        But the Entryism accusation does give New Labour establishment Grandees – its College of Cardinals – a motive to try and turn this election if they want to (doomed as such attempts may be).

        It’s a real concern, though, that UK Labour announced a couple of weeks ago that it will:
        (1) continue to purge / reject voters even after they’ve voted in the leadership election – ie right up to the moment the results are ready to be declared (a decision that shocked the British Electoral Reform group whose commercial arm is overseeing the vote)
        (2) provide no details of the final vote (numbers/breakdowns) publicly. They will simply announce the winner.

        Ample opportunity, perhaps, for A Very British Coup.

      • greywarshark 2.1.2

        Even Le Pen in France has had to save the Party and break with Daddy who keeps rising like a zombie to utter something notable in the negative racist style he favours.

    • freedom 2.2

      It all seems very very familiar.
      Party apparatchiks actively working against the clear wishes of the people it purports to represent whilst distorting information, ignoring the public voice & openly manipulating the process of the candidacy selection. The name Henry A Wallace springs to mind.

      Have often wondered what the US [& the world] might have overcome had the peoples’ choice won the 1944 nomination for President.

      We all understand how private schemes and public dreams are different beasts in the political machinations of an election. We all know history is written by the winners. But one truth exists regardless of poll results, all societies get faced with diverging pathways now and again. 1944 America had its choice made for it. 21st Century Britain now faces a similar situation. Once again it seems the will of the people is powerless against the influence of the powerful.

      Back in 1944, the World War was ongoing. It consumed whatever resources it demanded and devoured people as easily as oil and steel. Externally, the USA was seen as a cohesive strong society with a proud and longstanding belief in freedom for all the world.
      Internally, the USA was in nothing short of social turmoil as the people were steadily and progressively forging their will for equality and stating clearly how the increasingly invasive influence of big business was destroying the country’s ability to deliver Lady liberty’s promises.

      In the build up to the 1944 Convention Henry Wallace was Vice President. An intelligent experienced administrator with many years of public service under his belt. He was an editor, a mathmatecian, he meditated. He was a practicing statistician and had a degree in animal husbandry. A man from the land who who laid the groundwork for hybrid crop development. He was the Secretary of Agriculture and Wallace chaired the Economic Defense Board, the Supply Priorities and Allocation Board, and the Board of Economic Warfare as a member of President Roosevelt’s secret “war cabinet”. He was President of the Senate, and would lead several diplomatic missions to Latin America and Asia and the Soviet Union.

      Truman sold socks. Yes that is a bit harsh but what had he actually done to equal the experience and the ability of Wallace? Truman had been a Senator of no real accomplishments for ten years and prior to his rise to the senate had spent time as a Presiding Judge on a County Court. He was not a lawyer. His biggest achievement prior to winning the ’44 nomination for Vice President was as head of the Truman Committee which was formed to expose waste fraud and corruption in wartime contracts. (the irony is palpable when one considers the unfettered growth in such activity once he was ceded the Presidency in 1945) Basically he was a small businessman, who was co-opted into public office with zero hands on experience of the complex issues facing a post-war world.

      Truman was barely on the radar as a candidate until a few weeks before the Convention began. The stories of what happened at the ’44 Convention are varied but there are few who would dispute the final vote was a sham fuelled by career promises and crony deals. Overnight, after a dubious adjournment, the delegates supporting Wallace were effectively locked out. As is the way with politics, big business won out and Truman was elected as running mate for Roosevelt. A year later Truman dropped the first atomic bombs before going on to oversee the biggest growth in peacetime arms manufacture the world had ever seen.

      Henry Wallace spoke freely with anyone and had a huge public following but once he delivered the ‘Century of the Common Man’ speech his big plans for a better world were quickly becoming thorns in the paw of big business. His comprehensive real world grasp of the post-war challenges was head and shoulders above any other candidates. His policies were plans for the very world that the War was supposedly being fought for. No wonder that some inside (& outside) his party became dedicated to derailing his nomination.

      Wallace campaigned on better health care, better social services, fair pay for fair work, free education, progressive tax systems. He spoke passionately on peace as a means to progress, he saw opportunities for better race relations and most importantly wanted the US to lead a downscaling of the industrial military machine that had been borne in the battles raging across the globe. Wallace was an obvious threat. Is it any wonder he is a minor footnote rarely referred to in US politics.

      Things are not much different today, in fact many arguments could be put forward to say things are far worse.

      The post war world was a gold rush in waiting and claim jumpers were ready to fight for every scrap of power they could claw at. The social policies of Wallace were anathema to the avarice we now witness as the status quo. He believed in the potential of people, the rights of workers, the rights of minorities, the rights of all peoples of the world to have the opportunity to live in peace. Your basic left wing nutbar some would say. I hazard a guess that Corbyn would agree, it all seems very very familiar.

      • freedom 2.2.1

        oops: “……. had the peoples’ choice won the 1944 nomination for Vice President.”
        an inconvenient phone call made me miss the edit -sorry

        • greywarshark

          Thanks freedom. I suppose you have seen the comments I put up on Hiroshima Day. I found a detailed and apparently authoritative story in The Atlantic I think about the methods used to decide about dropping the two nuclear bombs. And whether their terror balanced fairly against some more war dead over months of face-saving negotiation as the USA held onto the bombs as a last resort.

          • freedom

            With Truman out of his depth and people like Byrnes running around doing god knows what behind the scenes, it is little surprise that cool heads like Secretary of War Stimson resigned only weeks after the bombs were dropped. Then again, he was seventy three. But I am not so sure he would have left so quickly had Wallace been in the oval office instead of Truman.

            As the information you pointed to shows, history does suggest there were many in the administration who were beginning to see a post war world of atomic threats as a very destabilising apparatus for global peace to be built upon. There were certainly some experienced bodies in the administration who appear to have become very uncomfortable with the direction their caretaker President was taking. These views were largely based on simple and sparse knowledge of the device’s existence, without even seeing the weapon in operation. It is not unreasonable to assume that after the Trinity Test the cacophony of protest behind closed doors was much louder than the historians can prove. We can only daydream about alternative decisions in the days that followed.

            As far as the decision to drop, well, no matter what details emerge, what battle plans are uncovered, what meetings are declassified, I will forever hold the opinion that inviting the nations of the world to send representatives to further test firing of the weapons would have immediately achieved the desired peace. If peace was what the powerful desired.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.2

        Your basic left wing nutbar some would say.


      • Paul 2.2.3

        Oliver Stones Untold History of the U.S. tells the story of Wallace very well.

      • gsays 2.2.4

        thanks freedom,
        ive learnt something today,
        well written.

  3. Tautoko Mangō Mata 3

    Some recent articles on TPPA
    1. “NAFTA countries reignite negotiations over TPP auto-parts dispute
    Negotiators for Canada, the U.S. and Mexico are meeting in Washington to try to break a deadlock over autos – one of the biggest stumbling blocks to a massive Pacific Rim trade pact between 12 countries.”

    2. Congress Is Sick of the Secrecy Around the TPP
    And Senator Sherrod Brown is blocking a key Obama nominee to show it.
    ““The Administration would rather sacrifice a nominee for a key post than improve transparency of the largest trade agreement ever negotiated,” Brown said in a statement. “This deal could affect more the 40 percent of our global economy, but even seasoned policy advisors with the requisite security clearance can’t review text without being accompanied by a Member of Congress. It shouldn’t be easier for multinational corporations to get their hands on trade text than for public servants looking out for American workers and American manufacturers.”


    3. Even Climate Change denier is convinced !!!!
    Lord Christopher Monckton: TPP is Anti-Democracy


    4, http://www.bilaterals.org/ for news from several TPPA countries

  4. Skinny 4

    Refinery and their boss strikes black gold then turns pipe off for the workers down below. Left to scrap over the occasional drop ‘a 0.5 per cent pay rise’.


  5. Tautoko Mangō Mata 5

    Video from Wikileaks on TPP published 18 Aug 2015.
    Includes Pilger and many other speakers.

  6. Draco T Bastard 7

    This article by Mike Treen on Nationals legalisation of zero hours contracts is pretty much a must read

    I believe that the government is vulnerable on this issue. Whatever the initial intention of Woodhouse and his advisers it is clear that what has come back from Cabinet is so watered down as to be less than useless. They law is a danger to workers and will legitimise practises that they government had promised to end.

    Considering that this is a National government I don’t suppose we should be surprised by the attacks on the workers. What we should be is angry.

  7. Blue Horseshoe 8

    John Oliver ‘- marketing to doctors

    • northshoredoc 8.1

      USA isn’t NZ.

      • crashcart 8.1.1

        Not yet, but if we give John Key enugh time and a TPP to back him then it may not be long until we are.

        • northshoredoc

          You do know that Key and NZ would be well to the left of centre from the USA political perspective. I also find it cute that some in NZ think the USA and multinationals spend their days trying to subvert NZ for their own evil needs.

      • Blue Horseshoe 8.1.2

        Stupid response

        NZ MoH web site defers and links to the CDC on many pagesof the web site, and takes direct inputs from the CDC when making decisions on multiple levels

        Nz and USA only two countries which currently allow direct consumer marketing by pharmaceutical companies

        As two examples of how NZ is the USA. There are more that involve the CDC, FDA & MoH which as a doctor you must surely be aware of

        You’re being deliberately misleading or extremely ignorant

        • northshoredoc

          I quite agree that your response is stupid.

          • Blue Horseshoe

            You can’t dispute the examples which showed up the stupidity of your “usa isnt nz” comment, so once again you come back with a facile imbicilic comment

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              If those examples had in fact exposed any stupidity you’d have a point.

              • McFlock

                butbutbut the MoH website taking direct inputs from the CDC when making decisions on multiple levels (or whatever the fuck BH was trying to say) is totally relevant to drug companies offering inducements to doctors who prescribe their drugs.

  8. McFlock 9

    Greg O’Connor again calling for all police to be armed with firearms.

    I wonder if he has shares in Glock…

    • crashcart 9.1

      The funny thing is that all of the recent incidents in my opinion demonstrate that the police have the tools to deal with these incidents with the equipment they have.

      Thus far they have aprehended all suspects with no injury to any officers or the public and without (so far) any of the suspects being killed either.

      The US police would love this sort of a positive outcome. Of course they armed all their police long ago and we can see how that turned out.

    • joe90 9.2

      I certainly have no love for the law but from from what I’ve heard about the incident here in Whanganui this was attempted murder.

      Seems the offenders fired at arms length but missed because they were so pissed and stoned and when the cops legged it ditching their high-vis gear and headed off into a paddock Dolphy* and co spent considerable time staggering around in the dark trying to hunt them down.

      (nice enough kid but never had a chance, unwanted, uneducated, dreadful family violence, institutionalised at fourteen etc etc..)*

      • McFlock 9.2.1

        Yeah but at the same time we don’t want it to turn out like the US, where some cops level lethal weapons at anyone poor or brown they pull over for minor traffic infractions.

  9. esoteric pineapples 10

    The dark side of low milk prices – heavily pregnant cows being sent off to the meat works – http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/agribusiness/71202444/Culling-of-dairy-cattle-increases-as-farmers-look-to-maximise-milk-profit-in-hard-season

  10. Barbara 11

    Well folks, on a lighter note, I have just prepared a cheese/tomato tart ready for dinner this evening, I had just sat back, logged in to see the comments for the day and the darned phone goes, I thought typical – well would you believe it, it was a young woman asking for me by name, when confirmed, she then went on to say “this is a phone call from John Key ” – I interrupted her and said “I can’t stand the bastard” and hung up on her – my partner is chuckling away here – oh boy did it feel good – I am still chuckling away myself – the poor girl is probably still getting over it – it would be interesting to see how many of these cold callers are getting a tirade of abuse from people. Have a good weekend.

  11. Professor Longhair 12

    One “northshoredoc” asserts, without bothering to back up his assertion with any evidence, the following….

    Key and NZ would be well to the left of centre from the USA political perspective.

    On what basis does he/she make such a claim? I see that our friend Blue Horseshoe has already pointed out that northshoredoc is stupid, so I’ll resist hurling any further epithets at the poor fellow.

    I am willing, furthermore, to allow northshoredoc the opportunity to redeem himself by explaining why he made such a remarkable, evidence-free statement.

    Away you go, northshoredoc. The floor is yours….

    • northshoredoc 12.1

      Go away Morrissey.

      If you can’t figure out how NZ even under the current government is well to the left politically of the Democrats I would suggest you concentrate on your job as a second rate stenographer.

      • Morrissey 12.1.1

        Go away Morrissey.



        NZ even under the current government is well to the left politically of the Democrats

        You did not say that. You said: “well to the left of centre from the USA political perspective.” Key and his cronies may be “to the left” of the people that have been prosecuting illegal wars in the Middle East and Africa, jailing whistle-blowers and murdering and terrorizing political dissenters. But they are NOT “to the left” of mainstream political thought in the United States or New Zealand. The political establishment is far to the right of the general public in America, just as it is in New Zealand and Australia and the United Kingdom and Canada.

        The two main political parties, which have a stranglehold on political institutions, are notoriously corrupt and do not represent the public’s views in any meaningful sense.

        Your confused comments indicate that you have little or no understanding of the depth and complexity of political debate in the United States. Are you aware of how popular Bernie Sanders is? Have you even heard of him? Or Ralph Nader? Or Noam Chomsky? Or Elizabeth Warren?

        I would suggest you concentrate on your job as a second rate stenographer.

        Oooohhh, now THAT hurts.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.2

        Geezus mate, the US Democrats would be considered a war-mongering crony corporate right wing party of state sponsored terrorism and torture in most developed countries in the world.

        Let’s invite Hilary to give us a speech shall we? It’ll only cost us US$275,000.

        Meanwhile let’s not forget that it was Clinton who eviscerated social welfare for poor families and their children, and passed NAFTA which gutted the US blue collar working class and American industry.

        • northshoredoc

          “Geezus mate, the US Democrats would be considered a war-mongering crony corporate right wing party of state sponsored terrorism and torture in most developed countries in the world.”

          Yes my point exactly.

          • Colonial Viper

            I can confirm that I’d vote NZ National Party ahead of US Democratic Party any day of the week…heaven forbid those are the choices given to us.

            • northshoredoc

              The US political establishment would consider our healthcare, education and social welfare system a step away from communism.

              • Morrissey

                Most people in the United States want a fully funded public health care system, and they do not want the poor to be punished for being poor. That’s been shown in poll after poll after poll.

                You are conflating the stance of the political class, which serves the private medical lobby and the armaments lobby, with the views of the population, which it ignores. You can recycle the deranged rhetoric of the extreme right all you like, but that doesn’t change the facts of the matter.

    • Glenn 12.2

      The US websites I have been looking at are commenting how over the last 30 years both Democrat and Republican parties have moved so far to the right that Reagan and Nixon would these days be considered too left wing to be presidential material. So I guess Key must be “left wing” somewhere between Reagan and Nixon in his politics.

      • Morrissey 12.2.1

        Fair comment Glenn. But, as the Professor picked up, the political parties are not representative of public opinion. Poor old northshoredoc confused the brutal policies of the political establishment with “the USA political perspective”.

        American people are much more serious and moral than the small elite that has control of the levers of power.

        • Paul

          As are the people of the UK well to the left of Labour there.

          • Morrissey

            Good point Paul. I note that the Labour Party’s Blairite establishment and its media parrots are working round the clock to smear Jeremy Corbyn.

  12. esoteric pineapples 13

    Here’s an interesting fact. The second biggest shareholder in Rupert Murdoch’s parent company for Fox News is the nephew of the King of Saudi Arabia – http://bigthink.com/Resurgence/sharia-prince-owns-stake-in-fox-news-parent

  13. Morrissey 14

    “I’m a big fan of tasers.”
    Jim Mora’s light chat show is actually getting WORSE.

    The Panel, Radio NZ National, Friday 21 August 2015
    Jim Mora, Andrew “Dire” Clay, Neil Miller

    Incredibly, this dog of a program somehow continues to decline in quality. But then what else can we expect with guests of this calibre?

    First discussion for the day: Should the police be armed or not? Miller opined that New Zealand is an “out-lier” on this issue, but that nothing will change until not only policemen, but members of the public start getting shot.

    Of course, members of the public are getting shot—by the police. Sadly, however, neither Jim Mora nor Andrew “Dire” Clay had the presence of mind to remind him of this.

    Miller then announced how much of a fan he is of police using tasers. Clay, who often refers to himself as a “liberal”, endorsed Miller’s view, burbling: “I’m a big fan of tasers.”

    To introduce some informed comment on to the program, the producers had arranged for Mora to cross to Deakin University Associate Professor in Criminology Dr Darren Palmer, who quickly and eloquently showed that neither Clay nor Miller had a clue what they were talking about. Politely but devastatingly, he showed that every single point that they had made was fallacious.

    Neil Miller had nothing at all to offer by way of counter-argument. However, once he had departed, Miller said: “Very cynical comments from an academic, I must say.”

    It would be interesting to see if Clay and Miller maintained their enthusiastic pro-taser stance if either—or preferably both—of them were to be set upon and perhaps paralyzed by a gang of licensed thugs in police uniforms.

    Masochists can read more about Andrew “Dire” Clay HERE…..

    Open mike 04/12/2013

    Miller-watchers might like to peruse the following….

    Open mike 10/08/2012

    • Paul 14.1

      Miller and Clay sound appalling.
      Do you know what they have done in life to get a platform to espouse their repugnant views?

      • Morrissey 14.1.1

        Neither of them has any discernible talent, as far as I can see. Clay has made some astonishingly ignorant comments on his many appearances on this chat show—-on one memorable occasion he expressed anguish at finding out “that the Khmer Rouge was SUPPORTED by the United States for political reasons! It just does my head in!”

        Open mike 28/03/2013

        That revelation of horrifying government cynicism has not stopped him from going to Afghanistan to “support our troops”, which is really, of course, supporting our government’s decision to send them there. His anti-war comments have ceased since his government-sponsored trip.

        While Clay comes across as well intentioned but a bit dim, Miller is an altogether nastier case. I’ve written about him before….

        Open mike 02/12/2013

        As the late great Bruce Jesson used to say, a lot of people go a long way by being pushy and self-centred. That’s certainly the case with Neil Miller.

    • Gabby 14.2

      To be fair, he said “Very SENSIBLE comments”

      • Morrissey 14.2.1

        Thanks for that Gabby. Now I am totally embarrassed. I am a more abject human being than any of my critics here has rated me in the past, and Neil Miller is a far better human being than I have been portraying him to be.

        I thought I heard him say “cynical”, but there you are—-another Breen mis-step.

        What’s even more impressive is that Mr Miller made that generous comment after Dr Palmer had shown him to be utterly ignorant and out of his depth.

        Well done, Neil Miller—and thanks for correcting my horrible misconstrual, Gabby.

  14. Blue 15

    This is front page news in the Guardian:


    Didn’t seem to get much attention over here and it’s our endangered species.

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