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Open mike 21/09/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, September 21st, 2015 - 50 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

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

Step up to the mike …

50 comments on “Open mike 21/09/2015”

  1. adam 2

    It was great to see a reflective piece from mickysavage yesterday. Politics as the media would like it, would be 30 sec sound bits and move on. Funny how in line with the current government that line of thinking is.

    But, the reality is – politics impacts on peoples lives. It was wonderful to see many people write about that, really well. I know I appreciated it.

    I think people forget they are the ones with the true power. If they take the time to reflect. And I suppose that is what I’m say, the great majority on a treadmill of constant pressure and worry/stress – they hardly get the time to just stop and reflect on issues.

    The social aspect, of socialism needs to be promoted – it is in this space, that people get to reflect.

  2. The Chairman 3

    Latest poll: Winston Peters Kingmaker

    Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/poll-shows-winston-peters-kingmaker-again-2015092020#ixzz3mIqoqZka

    Which way will Peters go?

    Josie Pagani: Labour needs to upset some people and take some risk

    http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/panel-discuss-jacinda-ardern-new-australian-leader-video-6390531

    Thoughts?

  3. vto 4

    It is no wonder that Richie McCaw is a great fan of John Key. Both think the ends justify the means. In fact it is a basic right wing trait – cheat and lie and deceive to “win”.

    Bunch of losers

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/opinion/72236294/cheating-richie-mccaw-provides-fuel-for-critics-at-rugby-world-cup

  4. jenny kirk 5

    In the Herald this morning – talking about a homeless man. It is absolutely disgraceful that Housing NZ no longer operates a waiting list, nor deals with prospective tenants. It has wiped its hands of the need to house extra people.

    Housing NZ referred calls to the Ministry of Social Development, saying it only dealt with tenants. It also said it no longer operated the waiting lists for its own houses.

    An MSD spokeswoman said there were 4541 people “on the social housing register” – the name currently given to the waiting list.

  5. Tautoko Mangō Mata 6

    TPPA- 19 Sept 2 015An analysis of intellectual property and digital rights from Drew Wilson on Canada’s FreezeNet.

    His conclusions:
    “Still, what we were able to find, there are some definite winners and losers. The winners, as far as we can determine, would be major corporations in the music industry, film industry, and major software development corporations such as Microsoft, Apple, and Sony to name a few. The losers, on the other hand, are consumers, users, citizens, consumer rights advocates, free speech, democracy, privacy, and a whole lot more. If you value your personal rights, you would be against this.
    Many who do follow this have one very common concern about this: secrecy. If advocates for the trade deal say this is great for everyone, why keep the details and the text secret? For many, it has an air of “they have something to hide” and seeing leaks like this only justifies that belief.”

    http://www.freezenet.ca/an-analysis-of-the-latest-tpp-leak/

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 6.1

      Also on the topic of TPPA and TTIP:
      Here is a Greenpeace comment on the EU proposal for a new Investor State Dispute system.

      16 September 2015
      by greenpeace — last modified 16 September 2015

      The European Commission’s modified plan for an Investment Court System under an EU-US trade agreement (known as TTIP) continues to give foreign investors a privileged justice system to challenge EU standards on the environment, health or social rights, warned Greenpeace. As long as the Commission is not prepared to reopen foreign investor privileges in the separate EU-Canada trade agreement (known as CETA), the changes announced today would be ineffective, said Greenpeace.

      EU trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström recently said that she was not prepared to modify the CETA agreement, which contains a different mechanism to settle investment disputes. Corporations with a Canadian subsidiary could resort to private courts under CETA. The Commission recognises in today’s plan that what it describes as “treaty shopping” is likely to be a problem, but fails to clarify how its provisions to prevent it would actually work.

      Greenpeace EU legal strategist Andrea Carta said: “The EU-Canada agreement could work as a back door allowing multinationals to circumvent any improvements against private corporate justice in TTIP.”
      http://linkis.com/z0lDu

      It is good that the EU Commission has put the proposal out there into the public arena. It also reinforces the fact that the TPPA has been kept secret because of the complicity of the negotiators like Tim Groser. There is no excuse for making regulations and rules in secret, signing them off and expecting the uninformed public to accept them when they are revealed (as a fait accompli) to show that the public have had their sovereignty diminished.

  6. arkie 7

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/rural/284768/agresearch-'to-axe-20-percent-of-science-staff

    “AgResearch is to announce this week that 20 percent of its science staff are being made redundant.

    “But Waikato University agribusiness professor Jacqueline Rowarth said she had also heard redundancy announcements were imminent and the numbers she had been told were more than 20 percent of science staff.

    “I thought it was actually over 80 that they were laying off,” said Ms Rowarth. “And the challenge with understanding what they mean by science staff is, are they actually scientists with PhDs, are they the researchers in general or are they technical people doing that valuable work supporting the scientists?”

    “This is a major concern for a group that is supposed to be pushing back the frontiers of science,” she said.

    “What I would generally say with scientists is that while I hear AgResearch scientists are not engaged with AgResearch, you bet they are engaged with their own work and trying to push back the frontiers of agricultural science for the benefit of New Zealand. ”

    This is incredibly disappointing. Science and specifically agricultural science is central to the development and advancement of our industries and economy. How can we encourage our students to enter the sciences if this is how we treat working scientists? Yet another thing to privatise?

    • Key’s a corporate weasel. He won’t have any respect for or see any point in funding scientific research, except at its most applied levels where there’s a clear return on investment, ie product development. His government mostly consists of other corporate weasels or under-educated buffoons. It’s been a grim outlook for crown research institutes for the last seven years and that outlook will continue as long the current government does.

  7. millsy 8

    Syriza has won the Greek election overnight. Despite their capitualtion to the EU the Greeks has decided that they would rather be screwed over under Tspiras than the old guard.

    • swordfish 8.1

      Yep.

      Syriza (Left) 35%
      New Democracy (Right) 28%
      Golden Dawn (Far Right) 7%
      Pasok (Centre Left) 6%

      The strongly anti-austerity minority of Syriza MPs left the party to join Popular Unity – but unfortunately the Left-wing PU only received 3% of the vote, not quite enough to win any seats.

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-34307795

      http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2015/sep/20/greek-general-election-results-alexis-tsipras-syriza-meimarakis-new-democracy-live#block-55ff06d5e4b00e7fa1597f67

      But will Syriza slowly transform into tomorrow’s Pasok ?

      • Olwyn 8.1.1

        In light of what you are saying here about Syriza, I think that this post by Stephanie Rogers is one of the most important posts of this year. http://thestandard.org.nz/labour-values-are-more-than-a-talking-point/

        It seems like Syriza has won the election because people see them as having been defeated, hopefully temporarily, by the EU establishment rather than acting as its proxies. This translates into believing that they will advance the interests of the Greek people where the opportunity arises, rather than try to persuade them that their interests and the EU’s demands coincide.

        I point to Stephanie’s article because it stresses the importance of positioning – without it the relation between means and ends gets obfuscated. For example, English’s end in selling social housing is privatisation, but we are told it is a means for putting social housing in more suitable hands. And their is a difference between addressing climate change as an end in itself and using the idea of climate change to the end of breaking a miners’ union. Syriza may have caved to the EU, but so far at least, they do not share the same ends, and this shows in their positioning.

      • Pasupial 8.1.2

        The Greek; “reinforced proportionality”, system seems a bit strange from here on the other side of the world. At least their 3% threshold is more democractic than our own 5%, but the 50 seat winner’s bonus is unsettling. That’s a sixth of the seats in parliament!

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elections_in_Greece#Electoral_system

        93.68% of votes counted towards 250 seats, so Syriza would have got 38% of these proportionately. But with the bonus sixth get 48% of the parliamentary seats (95+50) off 36% of the vote.

        At 89% counted, Popular Unity are 0.14% (6568 votes) short of achieving representation. But even in the unlikely event they get that off specials, and the late count, that’d only give them 8 seats. They are looking more like the Popular Front of Hellena at this stage.

  8. millsy 9

    If agriculture is as important to us as everyone says it is, then AgResearch should be at the vanguard of R and D. But it seems that this is a case of pubkic bad, private good.

  9. swordfish 10

    British Army General comes pretty damn close to threatening military coup if a Corbyn-led Labour Party won a future Election.

    Hi @BritishArmy. One of your generals is threatening a coup in The Sunday Times. Any chance of an investigation?! pic.twitter.com/nk6kZQ0zG9— Owen Jones (@OwenJones84) September 20, 2015

    • vto 10.1

      Not a single military can be trusted to not turn its guns on the people it purports to protect.

      In fact this is the history of all militaries, including NZ’s. Well, in fact, NZ’s isn’t actually NZ’s it is the crown’s, tasked with protecting the crown’s position. If the position of the people of NZ happen to line up with the position of the crown then we can expect protection, but if the two positions do not line up then the people lose.

      Never trust an army
      Ever

  10. swordfish 11

    The influx of people signing-up to be British Labour Party members in the wake of
    Corbyn’s victory means the Party’s membership is now greater in number than that of the Conservative, Lib Dem and SNP Parties combined. Labour has been transformed into a genuine, mass-participatory, grassroots movement.

    Polling evidence over the last couple of decades suggests that – in terms of policy positions – the British electorate remains almost as ideologically polarized as it was during the Thatcher years. Under Blair/Brown, meanwhile, the major parties (ie political elites) greatly
    de-polarised, moving towards tweedledum / tweedledee politics, with Labour capitulating to the neo-liberal (most recently, pro-austerity) elite consensus.

    The rise of Corbyn on the back of a burgeoning new social movement is a corrective realignment, returning to polarized parties for a polarized British Public, albeit with major issues like Immigration cutting across the divide.

    • weka 11.1

      Is that membership increase likely to translate into increased membership input into how UK Labour operates? I think Corbyn said that there would be changes whereby members can be more involved in policy development, but am unclear how that actually works there.

      as an aside to that Swordfish, the GP had something like 6,000 members a year ago and are seeking to double that this year. In a NZ context is 6,000 a lot for a party the size of the Greens?

      http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1509/S00261/lisa-owen-interviews-green-party-co-leader-james-shaw.htm

      • swordfish 11.1.1

        I’ll take the Green Party membership question first…

        “is 6,000 a lot for a Party the size of the Greens ?”

        Yeah, a pretty good number, especially if they’re on target to doubling that figure (although you always have to be a little bit wary of claimed numbers from party officials). Represents maybe 2-4% of Green voters (depending how far it’s grown over the last couple of years)

        Compare to the historic membership of other parties in NZ

        What’s happened over the last 60 years (hand in hand with the partisan de-alignment of voters) is a quite dramatic fall in membership of the two major parties (despite occasional, short-lived revivals).

        It was estimated that about a quarter of all NZ adults were members of one or other of the two main parties in the 50s (nothing like that sort of participation rate anywhere else in the western world) …….. by the 1990s that had fallen to just 2%

        Labour

        When Labour first took power in 1935, it only had a branch membership of just over 8,000 (albeit with a larger TU affiliate membership) ( = about 2% of Labour voters)

        By the 1938 Election, it had surged to a little over 50,000 ( = 9% of Labour voters)

        Stayed at about that level (or a little lower) through the 40s and 50s, then a spectacular collapse to only about 14,000 by the late 60s / early 70s ( = 2% of Labour voters) . Mainly due to a mass exit (or at least membership lapse) by working (rather than middle) class supporters (which, in turn, aided the rise of middle class activism in the Party and dominance of caucus over the following 20 years)

        Party Presidents Arthur Faulkner and especially Jim Anderton rejuvenated the Party through the late 70s and early 80s with a modernisation drive that purportedly massively increased membership to as much as 60-80,000 (roughly 8% of Labour voters) (including my parents who had previously let their membership lapse). It has to be said Anderton was one of the most dynamic Presidents Labour’s ever had (and members knew it at the time, too). Though he was helped, of course, by Muldoon’s inate ability to massively polarise the electorate.

        By the end of the Fourth Labour / First ACT Government in 1990 and all the profound disillusionment that went with it, membership numbers had drastically sunk to a new low of around 7,000 (not much more than 1% of all Labour voters) (I think Micky has said he let his membership lapse around this time).

        So, it had basically become a low-membership, elite-driven cadre party.

        Reached its nadir in the immediate wake of Clark toppling Moore in 1994. Jack Elder, caucus secretary and member of Moore’s Right faction leaked membership figures to the press, revealing that it had fallen from 5,600 the year before to just 3,600. (So, probably half or less of current Green Party membership)

        By 2002 Election, it had risen to 14,000 (with Labour’s rising fortunes)

        Then by 2008, it had shrunk again to around 10,000 (with Labour’s declining fortunes)
        ( = a little over 1% of Labour voters)

        So, if that 6,000 claim by the Greens is correct, and if their numbers are continuing to rise , they may just be getting fairly close to Labour’s membership numbers. Which is extraordinary ……. (although it’s been said that Labour’s numbers are rising too)

        National

        In the 50s, the Nats were supposed to be the largest voluntary organisation in the country and allegedly one of the largest mass membership parties in the world (relative to population)

        But it’s generally agreed that they grossly inflated their numbers with a very loose definition of “member”. My great aunt once bought a raffle ticket from them in the late 50s and suddenly discovered that this apparently now made her a member of the Karori branch of the National Party.

        In 1938, a couple of years after it was formed the Party claimed 100,000 (26% of all Nat voters) (though most of that was the combined membership from the former Reform and United (Liberal) Parties. They weren’t all new members).

        By 1946 180,000 (35% of Nat voters)

        It claimed 250,000 members in 1960 (representing 45% of its total vote at that year’s election – although, like I say, including many raffle ticket buyers like my great aunt, totally unaware that they were actually members)

        By the early 70s, it had fallen dramatically to about 145,000 (25% of Nat voters), but that was still, of course, vastly larger than Labour’s membership at the time. Then shot up during the early years of the Muldoon government to about 200,000 (mid-late 70s) (close to 30% of Nat voters), before plummeting to 100,000 by the mid 80s.

        National’s membership apparently revived a little during Labour’s turmoil in the late 80s but then …….

        ……. The sheer extremism of the Bolger/Richardson Government tore the absolute living heart out of the Party, whole branches (and, in particular, older members) left en masse, so that it collapsed to about 30-40,000 in the early-mid 90s (only around 5% of Nat voters)

        So, National completely lost its long-standing, broad-base mass membership.

        Membership continued to spiral down throughout the late 90s / early zeros to possibly below 20,000.

        Not sure of more recent figures, but there’s presumably been a bit of a revival since Key. (probably = about 3% of Nat voters)

        So, Labour membership maybe 1-2% of its voters
        National membership perhaps 3% of its voters
        Green membership 2-4% (if they make it to 12,000, they’ll be close to 5% of their voters)

        • John Shears 11.1.1.1

          Thanks for your research SF interesting info.

        • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1.2

          But it’s generally agreed that they grossly inflated their numbers with a very loose definition of “member”. My great aunt once bought a raffle ticket from them in the late 50s and suddenly discovered that this apparently now made her a member of the Karori branch of the National Party.

          I’ve heard that fathers were signing up their wives and children into the National Party – often without the knowledge of the wives and children and some of the children still being in the cradle:

          National’s success in the 1950s to 1970s was built on a low-fee broad membership recruited by face-to-face canvassing by elected officials and other active members, which by the early 1970s was claimed by party officials to be around 200,000, a high figure in a population of three million. While most members were passive—whole Families were signed up—the large subscriber membership meant there were National party members in almost every society, association, club and special interest organisation, ranging from national and regional business lobby groups such as Federated Farmers, the Manufacturers and Retailers Federations and the Chambers of Commerce, through professional associations such as the Law and Accountants Societies to local business and ratepayers associations—and throughout the less formal local business network organisations such Rotary and Lions clubs informal sports and other clubs.

          NZ Government and Politics, Fourth Edition, page 368

          My bold.

          I suspect that a large part of the drop in National Party membership has come about because of the tightening rules about who can join a political party such as being over 18 and having to sign for themselves.

  11. shorts 12

    when life imitates art

    david cameron and #piggate

    Black Mirror “The National Anthem”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Black_Mirror_episodes#Series_1_.282011.29

    hilarity and disgust abound

  12. McFlock 13

    Hmmm.

    It’s a sitting day in parliament, isn’t it?
    Should someone get David Seymour to blow into a bag? That might not be uranium on his breath…

    • weka 13.1

      want to give us a clue?

      • McFlock 13.1.1

        lol
        thing came up in my facebook feed about how he was in the pub this morning watching rugby – “Can you believe some people tried to keep this illegal!”

        Nobody tried to keep rugby illegal. Nobody even said the pubs couldn’t apply for special licenses.

  13. Morrissey 14

    “Matthew’s quite right….I actually tend to agree with Matt.”
    Hooton talks, Mike Williams agrees with nearly everything

    From the Left and From the Right, Radio NZ National, 21/9/15
    Lynn Freeman, Matthew Hooton, Mike Williams

    lackey /ˈlaki/ n. 1. a servile follower; hanger-on 2. a liveried male servant or valet 3. a person who is treated like a servant

    Mike Williams was in the same class at Karamu High School as the late right wing ranter, Paul Holmes. One wonders if he allowed Holmes to dominate all conversation as he allows another right wing ranter to do every Monday morning on Radio NZ National.

    I tuned in a few minutes into today’s edition of this long-running comedy of embarrassment. Maybe I missed something good at the start. The very first words I heard were: “Matthew’s quite right.” Things continued in that vein, with Hooton doing all the talking, and Williams murmuring agreement. There WAS one moment when Williams actually stirred himself to express disagreement with Hooton, but otherwise it was all “Matthew’s quite right”, “I actually tend to agree with Matt, Matthew”, “Mmm, exactly” and “Mmmm.”

    We join the program a few minutes in, as Hooton finishes the first of his extended orations….

    MIKE WILLIAMS: Matthew’s quite right.

    Williams made little contribution to the discussion, other than to agree with Hooton. He even kept quiet when Hooton announced that the government’s cancellation of the Shanghai Pengxin farm deal meant that Key’s regime was “well to the left of Helen Clark.” This consistent and continual failure by Williams to hold Hooton to account for such sweeping and preposterous statements gives the impression that Williams tacitly agrees with him.

    Next topic was the sacking of columnists by the New Zealand Herald. The level of commentary from both Hooton and Williams was abysmal….

    MIKE WILLIAMS: John Roughan is from the right and Brian Rudman is from the left. And they are both very good journalists. Unlike Mike Hosking, whose columns are full of trivial stuff.

    LYNN FREEMAN: He’s “not a journalist”, remember!

    MATTHEW HOOTON: Wee-e-e-e-lll, this is a bit tricky for us… [snicker]… because WE are from the left and from the right.

    MIKE WILLIAMS: Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm.

    MATTHEW HOOTON: John Roughan and Brian Rudman both parrot their respective party lines.

    MIKE WILLIAMS: No that’s not true. That’s not true.

    MATTHEW HOOTON: Brian Rudman is the spokesman for the Grey Lynn liberal left.

    MIKE WILLIAMS: He’s not here to defend himself.

    MATTHEW HOOTON: And John Roughan is John Key’s biographer! Frankly, getting rid of these elderly columnists and replacing them with real journalists would be a good thing.

    After getting the last word in there, Hooton went on to dominate the talk about the final topic for the day: the change of leadership in the Australian government. That “discussion” finished like this….

    MATTHEW HOOTON: … frankly, after the SHAMBLES of the last Labor government, with Rudd and Gillard!

    MIKE WILLIAMS: [appreciative guffaw] Hmm, hmmm, hmmm, hmmm.

    Tune in next Monday morning for more from Hannity and Colmes.

    • ianmac 14.1

      Morrissy. The parts that Mike agreed with Matthew I tended to also agree. Just because they are on opposite sides politically does not mean that everything that Matthew says is wrong/lie. Unless you automatically disagree with Matthew then you would disagree with Matthew’s long summary of the failings in the Key Government delivered this morning. John would say “Ouch!”
      It is just that we left leaning folk are not “seen” as a viable alternative – yet.

  14. Morrissey 15

    That’s about all that Williams does, however: say ” I agree with Matthew.” If that was all he did, it would be bad enough, but he also stays quiet and neglects to contradict Hooton’s incendiary remarks and his flagrant distortions. Today Hooton did nearly all of the talking, apart from one fleeting disagreement, which Hooton ignored and Williams failed to pursue any further.

    Hooton’s “long summary of the failings in the Key Government” focused on the flag distraction. That’s a perfectly acceptable topic on which the likes of Hooton can make a pretence of being independent; on all of the substantial issues, he is solidly behind Key.

    Sadly, Williams seems content to grunt his agreement over these minor points, but he has rarely if ever forced the issue and confronted Hooton on important and substantial matters. Hooton never got a free ride like this when the person “from the left” was Laila Harré or Matthew Campbell.

  15. Draco T Bastard 16

    Yanis Varoufakis – ‘Left should beware of friends who fear confronting the rich’

    “I’m sure Jeremy Corbyn understands that he will be met with fierce resistance. There will be all sorts of underhand strategies for pulling the rug from under his feet.

    The character assassination has already begun, and will intensify if the establishment begin to fear that he will damage them.

    That is, of course, true. We are already seeing the character assassination from the Right-wing from both inside and outside of Labour. We just have to hope that Labour stay strong with the backing of the Labour members – especially the new members.

  16. Tautoko Mangō Mata 17

    New Anti-Globalist and Anti-TPP Left party formed in Australia

    It is worth watching the q and a video in this post.

    http://personalitycafe.com/current-events/658402-new-anti-globalist-anti-tpp-left-party-formed-australia.html

    ,,,and the times, they are a-changing

  17. half crown 18

    On Monty Pythons Flying Circus we had,
    What have you got to eat?

    Spam, eggs chips and spam, chips eggs and spam, spam chips and spam, spam spam spam spam spam spam spam spam.

    On the news we now have

    Richie McCaw, rugby and all blacks, All blacks, rugby, Richie McCaw, allblacks, Richie McCaw rugby, rugby rugby rugby rugby rugby fucking rugby.

    Ah well, it keeps the peasantry amused, like in ancient Rome, throw a few more Christians to the lions whilst we screw them over things without them noticing like the TPPA.

  18. Morrissey 19

    Today Josie Pagani called that neocon shill Nick Cohen a “wonderful journalist”.
    Until that moment, she hadn’t said anything particularly idiotic.

    The Panel, Radio NZ National, Monday 21 September 2015
    Jim Mora, Tony Doe, Josie Pagani

    After the 4:30 news on every episode of this light chat show, it’s time for the “Soapbox”, where the two guest Panelists are given the opportunity to talk about a topic of their choosing. Quite often these comments are thoughtful and well presented: the best of them, by people of the calibre of Dita Di Boni, Gordon MacLauchlan, Anna Chinn, Selwyn Manning, Gordon Campbell and “Bomber” Bradbury, have been excellent.

    Too often, however, the commentary standard has been abysmal: the National Party’s éminence grise Michelle Boag ranting angrily against oiks who dare to publicly doubt the word of politicians, John Barnett denouncing Robert Fisk (“I don’t know why anybody would listen to him”), Joanne Black praising the “brilliance” and “eloquence” of Barack Obama in 2008, Chris Trotter sternly admonishing those who criticized the verdict in the Trayvon Martin murder case (“You have, even in this case I think, to trust the jury”) [1], S.S. “legal advisor” Stephen Franks pontificating in a deadly serious tone about the “wickedness” of people in jail. Bizarre, cranky and substandard contributions have also come from Denise L’Estrange-Corbet, Christine Spankin’ Rankin, Michael Bassett, Andrew “Dire” Clay, Barry Corbett—the list goes on and on and on. Last year, Jane Clifton made one of the most hare-brained contributions: “Well, I need to know this: why is it still impossible to get pantyhose that won’t ladder?” [2] Then again, maybe she was just trying to be funny.

    Today Josie Pagani went first, expressing her rather confused opinion about the re-election of Syriza in Greece, and its implications for other countries. Then it was time for the other guest…

    JIM MORA: Tony Doe, what’s been on your mind?
    TONY DOE: I want to talk about socks.
    MORA: Socks?
    TONY DOE: Yes, socks. ….

    He then embarked on a long, tiresome, unfunny riff on the subject of socks. To make it even worse, it soon became clear that he was reading it out. After the longest minute and a half of the century, he stopped talking and the other two were obliged to say something—anything….

    JOSIE PAGANI: Hashtag personal problems!
    MORA: I’ve never felt that emotional about socks.
    JOSIE PAGANI: I still don’t!

    Thus far, Pagani’s contribution had not been particularly brilliant or even interesting, but she had not said anything ridiculous or offensive.

    Then she blew it. During a discussion about the sacking of Herald columnists, she referred to “the wonderful journalist in Britain, Nick Cohen.”

    [1] http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-19072013/#comment-664870
    [2] http://thestandard.org.nz/292069/#comment-822620

  19. Kea Keith 20

    I am a science teacher with 36 years service. Last year the government spent tens of thousands putting me through a sabbatical fellowship so I could pump science to kids better. But I cannot lie to children- there are no such things as careers in science the way there once was. I see my son’s employer AgResearch is to shed ca 20% of its scientists. That will leave them with a bit over half the crew they had when the wreckers got into power. Same story at DoC. Conservation science slashed. My blood boils when I hear the tossers talking up the knowledge economy and STEM subjects. They only want casualised contractors to serve the FIRE economy.

    • Chooky 20.1

      @Kea Keith …commiserations on the death of science in New Zealand…and the death of hope for our children….we are in the dark ages

      …and doesnt jonkey nactional have a special science advisor?…Here is SIR Peter Gluckman’s statement

      ‘Message from the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Advisor,
      Professor Sir Peter Gluckman’

      http://www.pmcsa.org.nz/

      ( he should be de-knighted )

      • Anne 20.1.1

        I put him in the same category as “Sir” Peter Sharples. Both academics who have sold their own people down the river (scientists in the former and under-privileged Maori in the latter) for 30 pieces of silver.

  20. Chooky 21

    The Great Un-banking Movement

    http://www.rt.com/shows/keiser-report/315145-episode-max-keiser-809/

    “In this episode of the Keiser Report, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss the great un-banking movement as more people choose not to “buy in” when the banking system seems rigged against them. In the second half, Max interviews investment banker Ned Naylor Leyland about the latest in yuppie gold pools and pet rocks.”

  21. sabine 22

    surely this would never ever happen here

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/21/business/a-huge-overnight-increase-in-a-drugs-price-raises-protests.html

    “Specialists in infectious disease are protesting a gigantic overnight increase in the price of a 62-year-old drug that is the standard of care for treating a life-threatening parasitic infection.

    The drug, called Daraprim, was acquired in August by Turing Pharmaceuticals, a start-up run by a former hedge fund manager. Turing immediately raised the price to $750 a tablet from $13.50, bringing the annual cost of treatment for some patients to hundreds of thousands of dollars. ”

    ……..

    ” Amgen has won federal approval for Repatha, a cholesterol-fighting drug.New Cholesterol Drugs Are Vastly Overpriced, Analysis SaysSEPT. 8, 2015
    Leonard S. Schleifer, left, chief of Regeneron, and Elias Zerhouni, head of research at Sanofi. The companies developed Praluent.New Drug Sharply Lowers Cholesterol, but It’s CostlyJULY 24, 2015
    A demonstration last year against Gilead Sciences, whose hepatitis C drugs, which cost $1,000 a pill or more.Drug Prices Soar, Prompting Calls for JustificationJULY 23, 2015
    Cancer Doctors Offer Way to Compare Medicines, Including by CostJUNE 22, 2015
    Turing’s price increase is not an isolated example. While most of the attention on pharmaceutical prices has been on new drugs for diseases like cancer, hepatitis C and high cholesterol, there is also growing concern about huge price increases on older drugs, some of them generic, that have long been mainstays of treatment.”

  22. Kea Keith 23

    What do you have to do to get your comment accepted? I wrote a considered piece about AgResearch an hour ago and it doesn’t show. This has happened before. Unless I get an answer I won’t bother again!!!!!!!!

    [We are a happy bunch of volunteers. Have only just got to this – MS]

    • Anne 23.1

      If you are a new commentator Kea Keith then your initial comment automatically goes into moderation. I think it is a counter measure against unsolicited spam. After that… your comments will appear immediately you hit the submit button.

      Also, from time to time a technical hitch will occur which causes some comments to disappear down a digital ‘drainpipe’ and they have to be fished out by a moderator who isn’t always immediately available.

      Hope that clears it up for you. 🙂

    • Chooky 23.2

      @ Kea Keith( at 20 above)……it is an important subject you write upon….really it is hard to tell what this government is up to….it is so self- evident that science education and science post grad research is important for a nation

      …..maybe jonkey wants to create a real estate/bankers paradise … a kitsch tacky Hollywood Disneyland playground ….out of a commodified New Zealand?!

      … too bad about the local native New Zealand inhabitants ….we are just to be the uneducated serf zombies …forget about people like Ernest Rutherford and other notable New Zealand scientists who had free tertiary scientific education and science research jobs to go to both in New Zealand and overseas

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

      ….hence jonkey’s obsession with changing the real flag…to wipe out our proud NZ history …and in science …and replace it with tacky meaninglessness…with him as King John and mega rich… cavorting with the Hollywood mogul and starlet set

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