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Open Mike 22/01/2018

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 22nd, 2018 - 262 comments
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262 comments on “Open Mike 22/01/2018 ”

  1. Bill 1

    Just had a quick squizz through a blog on the sidebar I hadn’t noticed before.

    exhALANt. Looks good.

    • Carolyn_Nth 1.1

      Thanks for the heads up. Does look interesting – bookmarked.

    • Morrissey 1.2

      It does indeed look good, but I question the placing of John Campbell and Jon Stewart alongside the likes of Chomsky, Snowden, Hager, and Mihi Forbes.

      I still can’t forget Campbell’s gleeful endorsement, night after night, of the National Party’s dirty tricks campaign against David Benson-Pope, and I can’t forget, or forgive, Stewart’s smarmy “Team Civilization” speech after the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

      • Gabby 1.2.1

        Bensonpope made quite an impression on you I take it.

        • Morrissey

          Not at all. I am on record here and on other fora criticising him for his thuggish behaviour in parliament—particularly his yelling out “Send him HOME!” whenever the subject of Ahmed Zaoui came up.

          But the National Party and its media accomplices, like Campbell, didn’t attack Benson-Pope on those grounds. Instead they recycled wild accusations about him abusing school children, which were nothing more than a National Party dirty tricks campaign. None of the charges had any validity, but that didn’t stop the ridicule and the traducing of him In parliament and in the media. National MPs bawled “Pervert!” and “Child molester!” when he got up to speak, and perhaps the most sickening sight of all was when Judith Collins, of all people, stood in parliament, smirking at him and holding a tennis ball.

          Campbell thought it was all great sport, and didn’t relent in the slightest even after Benson-Pope was reduced to tears under the National Party-led vilification.

  2. Ed 2

    Oxfam report – Huge wealth gap in New Zealand where richest 1% own 30% of wealth

    Another article that shames our country and shows how far we have fallen since the advent of neoliberalism in the 1980s and our further lurch to being an extremely unequal society after 9 years of Key’s regime.

    The richest 1 per cent of Kiwis have bagged 28 per cent — $42 billion — of the wealth created in a single year.
    Meanwhile, the poorest 1.4 million people (30 per cent of the population), got barely 1 per cent — $1.5b — of all the wealth created in 2017.
    The research also showed a mere 10 per cent of New Zealanders own more than half the nation’s wealth and the inequality gap had widened significantly in the past year.

    It would be great to think that senior members of our government sat down and read the Oxfam report mentioned in this article. Then looked a the policies they have put forward to deal with issues of poverty in New Zealand. Then ripped them and listened to the suggestions made made by Rachael Le Mesurier.

    Oxfam NZ executive director Rachael Le Mesurier said.

    “People of the poorest population tend not to vote.
    “Extreme inequality also fractures our society creating ‘us and them’, the haves and the have nots. This is not okay. “Fundamentally it’s trapping millions of people in poverty globally.”
    “Governments can tackle extreme inequality here and globally by ensuring the wealthy and multinationals pay their fair share of tax by cracking down on tax avoidance — then using that money to make our country and the global economy a fairer place.
    “To end the global inequality crisis, we must build an economy for ordinary working people, not the very few rich and powerful.”

    Her suggestions….

    tax the rich
    tax multinationals
    use tax to make the country a fairer place

    I would add – remove all the laws in the country that enshrine neoliberalism and enact new laws that create a socialist state.

    • Hornet 2.1

      “Socialism is the Big Lie of the twentieth century. While it promised prosperity, equality, and security, it delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery.”


      • millsy 2.1.1

        Yes, because having guaranteed housing, healthcare and employment is hell on Earth.

          • Ed

            Venezuela destroyed by capitalism not socialism.
            Pay attention.

          • McFlock


            I can’t help but suspect that the Telegraph article’s attempt to draw a line from Corbyn to the Khmer Rouge somehow suggests that its description of Venezuelan conditions and challenges might not be entirely impartial.

            • Hornet

              It may not be. But it’s hard to fault the observation of what is happening in Venezuela. Whatever the lens.

              “Tearful Venezuelans had gone weeks without basic food items like milk, flour and toilet paper. It’s a sad but common part of daily life today in crisis-ridden Venezuela, a country that has the world’s largest proven reserves of oil. Colombian officials estimate that about 100,000 Venezuelans crossed the border. ”

              • McFlock

                It may not be. But it’s hard to fault the observation of what is happening in Venezuela.

                I don’t doubt you’d find that difficult. After all, confirmation bias is a wonderful thing.

                • Hornet

                  Are you suggesting all is well in Venezuela?

                  Edit: http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/05/26/venezuelas-problems-are-political-not-economic/
                  “Venezuelans go without basic goods like toilet paper and nourishing food; and the government appears helpless to deal with murder, robbery, assault, and corruption. Vigilantism is replacing formal policing. People die in pools of their own blood in filthy hospitals for lack of prescriptions and care. To save energy and ease the strain on the budget, government employees are required to show up for work only two days a week.”

                  “ismo — which is nothing more nor less than authoritarianism — has ruined Venezuela, as authoritarianism usually does. With unchecked political power, dictators are free to engage in any dumb idea they choose without a reckoning. For those who think Deng’s China or Pinochet’s Chile are examples to the contrary, note well that neither saw any economic thriving until they embraced a market economy, and only an economic illiterate or a moral idiot would encourage other countries to try their path with all the human rights abuses and instability that come with dictatorship. Chile mercifully passed into democracy with a push from the Reagan administration and its economy does well, while the Chinese Communist Party’s dictatorship breeds corruption and mismanagement; its economic model is obviously shaky, if not terminal. The comparison between Chile and Venezuela is also quite telling.”

                  • McFlock

                    Are you suggesting all is well in Venezuela?

                    Not at all.

                    I’m suggesting that you’ll post any old shit as long as you agree with its narrative, and that you’ll ignore patiently quantified data models if you disagree with where they point.

                    I don’t know why things are bad in Venezuela. I know a few years ago there was an attempted coup that focused on the now disfunctional oil companies, but maybe the leadership is corrupt. Maybe it’s a mixture, maybe one begat the other, maybe the shortages are the result of trade issue “encouraged” by the US – FFS Cuba put up with embargoes and crop burnings for decades, who knows what the CIA is up to.

                    But I am pretty sure that any relationship between someone like you (who will uncritically link to articles that compare Corbyn to Lenin) and the truth is at best purely coincidental – and quite frankly would be a statistical aberration.

      • Carolyn_Nth 2.1.2

        Oh, so you present one guy’s reckons as evidence. He has an academic background, and he is also a right winger – a “liberal”, published on a website that claims to be “the leading organization opening the hearts and minds of 14–26 year-olds to the values of the free market, individual freedom, and strong personal character.”

        The post you link to has little evidence, just claims, like this about socialism:

        delivered poverty, misery, and tyranny. Equality was achieved only in the sense that everyone was equal in his or her misery.


        Because, what I am seeing from the inequalities inherent in capitalism, is a great life for the few, and plenty of misery for large numbers of people.

        He argues that capitalism is based on human behaviours, which are ignored by socialism:

        The failure of socialism in countries around the world can be traced to one critical defect: it is a system that ignores incentives.

        In a capitalist economy, incentives are of the utmost importance. Market prices, the profit-and-loss system of accounting, and private property rights provide an efficient, interrelated system of incentives to guide and direct economic behavior. Capitalism is based on the theory that incentives matter!

        Ah but collaboration is a fundamental characteristic of human behaviours within society – without it there would be no society or development.

        Thanks for your propaganda for the few.

        • Draco T Bastard

          collaboration is a fundamental characteristic of human behaviours within society – without it there would be no society or development.

          Or rich people to bludge off of society.

        • Hornet

          Soviet Russia is probably the best example. Poverty, misery and tyranny aplenty. For other material on socialisms failures:

          From the final link
          “Rolling blackouts are causing infant deaths in hospitals where backup generators have ceased to function; the country is on pace to hit 700 percent inflation; outside of active war zones, the murder rate in Caracas is the highest in the world.”
          How does that rate on your misery monitor?

          “Because, what I am seeing from the inequalities inherent in capitalism, is a great life for the few, and plenty of misery for large numbers of people.”

          Capitalism and socialism are both imperfect systems; it just so happens that capitalism can work, socialism rarely does.

          • UncookedSelachimorpha

            You seem to have mixed up ‘Socialism’ with ‘Communism’.

          • adam

            Funny, don’t you like your freedom Hornet?

            Those bloody Russians beat up the Germans in WW2 – what were they thinking ah?

            • Hornet

              The Russians were hoodwinked by Hitler, and found they had a common enemy. Aside from that, any association between the Soviet Union and freedom is purely accidental.

              • adam

                Odd view of history, so it was an accident that those pesky russians beat your boy hitler.

                • Hornet

                  “Odd view of history”

                  That Hitler hoodwinked Stalin?

                  “so it was an accident that those pesky russians beat your boy hitler.”
                  I didn’t say it was accident. I said they became an ally with Britain out of mutual distaste for Hitler. Meanwhile, you have yet to come even close to condemning the totalitarianism, and acknowledging the ultimate failure, of the Soviet regime.

                  • adam

                    Your boy hitler was a totalitarian, and you have not condemned him yet.

                    “Meanwhile, you have yet to come even close to condemning the totalitarianism, and acknowledging the ultimate failure, of the Soviet regime.”

                    That comment means either your very dumb, or have not read anything I’ve ever said. Seriously the leninist project put back socialism back by 100 years, I think most here agree with that assertion, except unreconstructed marxist leninists.

                    Do you understand political economy? Or are you going to keep proving your ignorance?

                    • Hornet

                      I despise Hitler, and what he stood for.

                      But you have walked down a pathway and got lost. The Russians were hoodwinked by Hitler, who then invaded. And you still haven’t condemned soviet totalitarianism.

                    • adam

                      The lack of comprehension on your part hornet, makes me think you went to a private school. Your a purist, indeed a right royal marxist leninist in your modus operandi .

                      Oh well if you can’t work out where I stand from previous posts. I leave you to your hard right puffery. I’ll remind you, your boy hitler was a capitalist, .

                    • Hornet

                      “The lack of comprehension…”
                      …was on your part, and you inadequate knowledge of history. It was principally because Hitler hoodwinked Stalin that the USSR joined the allies. Until then, the Soviets were allies of Germany.

                      I’m accommodating for those who wish to learn:

                      “The invasion of Russia by Nazi Germany in 1941 shattered their formerly expedient pact and sent the USSR into the arms of the West.”

                      “I’ll remind you, your boy hitler was a capitalist”

                      Hitler was an evil dictator. And his politics were confused. If you can point to any reputable sources for your claim, I’d be interested to read more.

                      In the meantime, try finding capitalism out of this:

                      “The term “National Socialism” arose out of attempts to create a nationalist redefinition of “socialism”, as an alternative to both international socialism and free market capitalism. Nazism rejected the Marxist concept of class conflict, opposed cosmopolitan internationalism and sought to convince all parts of the new German society to subordinate their personal interests to the “common good” and accept political interests as the main priority of economic organization.”

                    • adam

                      Hoodwinked, you implication that one man, hitler, was nazi germany , is quite frankly wrong.

                      The major corporations helped keep capitalism in place within all the fascist countries of Europe. Ever heard of IBM, ever drank Fanta? Just a couple, let alone all the car and other manufacturer companies. Ever heard of a guy call Albert Speer, he was a capitalist and in charge of war production.

                      Your right, they rejected free market capitalism, but not corporate or centralised capitalism. You should really read up on how capitalism works sunshine, you seem ill informed.

                      You could read up about Singapore, or Pinochet’s Chile to get a feel how it works. Saudi Arabia is another truly brutal capitalist country. Franco’s Spain was capitalist.

                      Do you even understand what your saying by capitalist, because it would appear you don’t – especially your warped ideas about how a fascist economy works. Italy was capitalist as well.

                    • Hornet

                      “, you implication that one man, hitler, was nazi germany , is quite frankly wrong”

                      I implied no such thing. But it was Hitler who made the decision to invade Russia. You seem to be moving as far away from the core point as possible to avoid admitting you were wrong.

      • Socialism was the only thing that saved capitalism – for a short time. It failed because capitalism still didn’t work even with the socialism bringing up the living standard of the many.

        Throughout history capitalist systems have destroyed the society that they arose in. As they are destroying our society now as it brings about the 6th Extinction Event and all so that a few greedy schmucks can have ever more.

        Tell me, how well will you be doing once you and your children are dead?

        Because that is what capitalism is bringing about.

      • Ed 2.1.4

        And neoliberal capitalism is doing such a great job for our country.
        You should look at the same of the stats for New Zealand in the 1960s and 1970s.
        Maybe the 1% like yourself couldn’t access Ferraris, but the rest of us were employed, secure and had access to free education and healthcare.

        • Hornet

          Most likely because we lived in a world in which our mum (the UK) bought all our produce, or told our sisters and brothers to buy our produce. By the mid 1980’s that world had long ceased to exist.

          • Draco T Bastard

            No, that wasn’t it. It was because the wealth got out to the general populace and the rich were well taxed.

            As with all countries we’ve never needed trade to utilise our own resources for our own benefit. IMO, trade has actually kept us back as we focussed upon producing more of the same cheap shit (Primary produce) rather than developing our own economy to provide what we needed.

            Our present economy is a massive waste of improving productivity and efficiency.

            • Hornet

              No it isn’t. Our present economy is employing more people than ever before, producing more trade than ever before, and delivering a standard of living higher than ever before.

              • Meanwhile we have higher poverty than ever before.

                • Hornet

                  Not globally, we don’t.

                  • adam

                    The ultimate rwnj rebuttal- it’s not as bad as them… (which I’m going to guess is somthing racist – because that seems to be normal with your ilk)

                    And why is that, well not because of rwnj like you Hornet. Thank the left, thank the Christians and Socialist who agreed we can do better. And did.

                    • Hornet

                      “The ultimate rwnj rebuttal- it’s not as bad as them… ”
                      No, I didn’t say that. My claims have been about global poverty. But I repeat what I said earlier. Our present economy is employing more people than ever before, producing more trade than ever before, and delivering a standard of living higher than ever before.

                      “Thank the left, thank the Christians and Socialist who agreed we can do better. And did.”
                      There are many things socialists have done better. Destroyed economies. Slaughtered dissenters (including, btw, Christians). Starved citizens.

                      “Can a moral case be made for taking the rightful property of one American and giving it to another to whom it does not belong? I think not. That’s why socialism is evil. It uses evil means (coercion) to achieve what are seen as good ends (helping people). We might also note that an act that is inherently evil does not become moral simply because there’s a majority consensus.”

                    • adam

                      If all you read is far right loony publications like that, the only logical response – is move away from the elephant, your standing to close.

                    • Hornet

                      Adam you can shoot the messenger,or you can respond to the points I made.

                • Ed

                  You are wasting your time with this poster. He and James are just aggravating pests.

      • Stuart Munro 2.1.5

        Where socialism failed it died of corruption, not elitist bullshit about envy. Capitalism is failing for the same reason.

        • Hornet

          Stuart socialism failed (and continues to fail) because at its core it is an unworkable system. Capitalism is imperfect, but it is self correcting. Socialism is imperfect, and then countries run out of money.

          • Stuart Munro

            I really wonder what impels you to flaunt your ignorance in this manner on a serious political site.

            Socialism in the modern context is never fully implemented. The regimes that purported to do so fell very far short of the ideal, but they operated for 60 or 70 years nevertheless – as long as any modern capitalist state has done without a depression. They were riddled with corruption. They claimed in fact to be communist, but were totalitarian and despotic. An uncorrupted communist society would have chosen democratic processes to suppress corruption.

            In NZ in the last three decades we have seen extremes of capitalism that have destroyed the basis of our economy. We are no longer a farming society, but a real estate speculating one. In spite of overwhelming public sentiment, governments continue to sell land offshore and propose to sign the frankly lousy TPP. Capitalism has no mechanisms to correct these failures – we are obliged to fall back on older civil means of punishing corrupted politicians.

            The more common and more successful Fabian socialism which operated in NZ was a raging success. It inspired Popper to write The Open Society And Its Enemies. You are merely one of its enemies.

            • Hornet

              “Socialism in the modern context is never fully implemented.“
              That’s an age old excuse, that you seem to believe excuses it’s abject failure.

              “The more common and more successful Fabian socialism which operated in NZ was a raging success. “
              No, it wasn’t. It was only viable when supported by guaranteed market access for our produce. It was an unsustainable dream, lived in a bubble.

              “In NZ in the last three decades we have seen extremes of capitalism that have destroyed the basis of our economy. “
              That is the height of ignorance. I can only assume you know nothing ng of the countries growth in exports, market diversification and employment.

              • Stuart Munro

                Socialism is the only form of society that succeeds. You might long for a society with entrenched systemic poverty like India has under capitalism, but no representative democracy can aspire to such a backward state. Our people must prosper – not just those advantaged by inherited or stolen wealth.

                “It was an unsustainable dream” Poppycock – it only became unsustainable when the political leaders of the time betrayed the populace and looted the public estate to enrich themselves instead of tooling up for the change in circumstances.

                “I can only assume you know nothing”

                Yes, fall back on insults you empty bag of wind.

                Over the last three decades NZ has lost capacity in most of our productive industries, with the possible exception of dairy, which relies on unsustainable access to fresh water and to cheap foreign labour. In the meantime the capital value of such farms has risen so much that interest costs absorb much of any profit deriving from increased production.

                We don’t build cars any more, or process most of our fish. Gangs of underpaid foreign workers have displaced local pickers and pruners. Post-earthquake construction has been conducted principally by foreign workers instead of upskilling locals, all of which over the long term represents a significant loss of capacity.

                If someone had deliberately set out to ruin a prosperous country they wouldn’t have done a thing different – and your mythical capitalist self-correction is nowhere in evidence.

                • If someone had deliberately set out to ruin a prosperous country they wouldn’t have done a thing different – and your mythical capitalist self-correction is nowhere in evidence.
                  From what I can make out a few did purposefully set out to ruin a prosperous country. It’s far easier to get poor people to work to make a rich person richer than a well educated person who’s financially independent.

                  Capitalism requires poverty.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Yes, I think the exploited foreign workers prove that – no degree of local poverty is sufficient to make some local bosses as profitable as they desire.

                    Some discussion here: https://www.jstor.org/stable/4418024

                    • Poverty and Capitalism

                      While it may be possible to mitigate poverty through social transfers, it is not possible to eradicate the processes that create poverty under capitalism. Eight such processes are discussed: i) the creation of the pre-conditions; ii) petty commodity production and trade; iii) technological change and unemployment; iv) (petty) commodification; v) harmful commodities and waste; vi) pauperising crises ; vii) climate-change-related pauperisation; and viii) the un-required and/or incapacitated and/or dependent human body under capitalism. Ways to regulate these processes and to protect against their impacts are discussed.

                      Poverty and Capitalism (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/24119508_Poverty_and_Capitalism [accessed Jan 23 2018].

                • Hornet

                  “Socialism is the only form of society that succeeds”

                  “To anyone not blinded to reality by their ideology, it is no secret that socialism, because of its inherent and essential nature, is, and must always be, an abject and disastrous failure. The failure of socialism and social engineering by “the best and brightest” of left-wing liberalism is once again being proven, the latest evidence coming from communist China, Canada, Britain, France, and Australia.”


                  So, are you happy with the way socialism is working here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Laos), or here (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_rights_in_Cuba), or here (https://panampost.com/trino-marquez/2013/07/18/venezuela-the-failure-of-socialism/) or here (https://www.cnbc.com/2015/07/01/greek-disaster-is-all-about-socialism.html) or any number of other references.

                  But your defence of the indefensible is at least humorous.

                  • RWNJ ignores all evidence, as presented by real research by the likes of Piketty and others, that shows that capitalism is the problem and not socialism. It was the height of socialism in the Western world after WWII where we also had the highest standard of living improvement.

                    It is since then and the implementation that we’ve seen an increase in poverty across the Western world.

                    • Hornet

                      None of which you support with any evidence whatsoever.

                      “It was the height of socialism in the Western world after WWII where we also had the highest standard of living improvement.”
                      Really? Socialism in the Western World? So how many people did the USSR slaughter? China?

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Perhaps you should address your own blindness before embarrassing yourself in front of others Hornet.

                    Your antics are not amusing and your arguments are not informed.

                    Run along and play with your fellow travelers – you’re not up to arguing here.

                    • Hornet

                      Translation – “Stuart can’t follow the argument so throws toys from cot”.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      You don’t have an argument Hornet, beyond bleating “Socialism baaaad”. You don’t even know what socialism is, you confuse it with communism and totalitarianism.

                      If you want further instruction from me you’ll have to pay for it.

                    • Hornet

                      “You don’t have an argument Hornet…”
                      Read the numerous references I have provided. You are in a heightened state of denial.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      Why would I read your sources – they’ve misled you to the point of fatal ignorance. I worked with soviet crews, saw first hand what was wrong with their system. But backward far-right nutbars always think they know better.

                    • Hornet

                      “Why would I read your sources…”
                      That statement sums you up. Ignorance is bliss eh?

                    • Stuart Munro

                      No moron – real experience trumps the maunderings of biased fools like yourself.

                      I have seen the truth of the soviet failure first hand and your callow reckons aren’t worth the pixels they’re written in.

                      Now, run along and play with your fellow ‘true believers’ – your view of socialism is a belief system, not a rational conclusion. It is hide-bound ignoramuses like yourself that led Karl Popper to his discovery of falsifiability.

              • That’s an age old excuse, that you seem to believe excuses it’s abject failure.

                Communism is control of the means of production by the workers through a democratic system. None of the so-called communist countries meet that minimum requirement.

                It’s not to excuse the abject failure of those systems. It’s to point out that the failure was down to the top down hierarchy. Exactly the same way that capitalism fails.

                No, it wasn’t. It was only viable when supported by guaranteed market access for our produce.

                Which logically means that capitalism must also fail without such guaranteed access to international markets. Guarantees that cannot be made and are, in fact, not coming. Even our FTAs aren’t guaranteeing that access as China’s threats to our exports prove.

                The only sustainable means is to live within our means, within the resources available in NZ and to minimise international trade.

                • Hornet

                  “None of the so-called communist countries meet that minimum requirement.”

                  There is no pure ‘capitalist’ nation either. Yet I’m not the one making excuses.

                  “Which logically means that capitalism must also fail without such guaranteed access to international markets.”

                  International trade is at the very heart of capitalism, making your comment a nonsense. A bit like saying ‘socialism must also fail without a central planning authority”.

                  “The only sustainable means is to live within our means, within the resources available in NZ and to minimise international trade.”

                  Tried, and failed. International trade has liberated billions of people from poverty, and opened nations and its peoples up to a vast choice of goods and services. If you want to live in the sort of environment your describe, I invite you to do so. North Korea springs to mind.

                  • There is no pure ‘capitalist’ nation either. Yet I’m not the one making excuses.

                    Yes you are or, to probably be more precise, you’re ignoring all the evidence that shows that capitalism is a failure.

                    International trade is at the very heart of capitalism, making your comment a nonsense.

                    It was your logic. We may have been somewhat socialist after WWII but we were still a capitalist economy dependent upon trade. You said:

                    It was only viable when supported by guaranteed market access for our produce.

                    Which must also apply to capitalism.

                    A bit like saying ‘socialism must also fail without a central planning authority”.

                    Socialism doesn’t have central planning. That said, we do need coordination and cooperation.

                    Tried, and failed.

                    Not really. All developed economies developed locally before allowing international competition. And even then they seriously regulate access.

                    International trade has liberated billions of people from poverty

                    No it hasn’t. It’s induced ever more poverty.

                    and opened nations and its peoples up to a vast choice of goods and services.

                    Most of which most people can’t actually access. Which is the very definition of poverty.

                    If you want to live in the sort of environment your describe, I invite you to do so. North Korea springs to mind.

                    And I suggest you try Somalia for what you have in mind. That, at least, is an accurate representation of the end result of capitalism.

      • Ed 2.1.6

        Your source is weak.

    • We need to set up our society so that people can’t afford to own a huge amount of wealth. Maximum income with good capital taxes would easily achieve it.

      We cannot afford the rich.

      • indiana 2.2.1

        You want a society that aspires to be poor?

        • ropata

          Do you think it is morally acceptable that Jeff Bezos (CEO of Amazon) has $100 billion in the bank while his minimum wage workers need food stamps to get by?

          • indiana

            If you are morally concerned about how much money Jeff Bezos has, stop buying stuff off Amazon, after all he’s not forcing you to use his service.

            • Draco T Bastard

              But he is getting massive government subsidies in the form of food stamps.

              If a business cannot afford to keep it’s employees in good health then that business should collapse. And that’s pure neo-liberal ideology.

        • Draco T Bastard

          No, I want a society that doesn’t have rich people in it. Where everyone has access to the necessities of life and the resources necessary for them to be creative.

          Neither of which is happening under capitalism.

          • ropata

            NZ is already unbelievably rich the problem is a few greedy arseholes hoarding all the resources for themselves. That’s Capitalism: making money off money, clipping tickets, screwing markets, insider trading, regulatory capture. In the endgame it creates a massive slave class — already modelled by the USA (prisoners), China (factory workers), and the Middle East (Indian labourers).

        • Draco T Bastard

          BTW, all the poor people out there never aspired to be poor – the rich made them that way so that they could be rich.

        • pat

          how about a society that changes how it quantifies ‘success’

          • indiana

            There are plenty of examples to quantify success, but society is not necessarily the main driver.


            • Draco T Bastard

              A few people start off poor and become rich. This isn’t great advertising as 1) for them to become rich they’ve made others poorer and 2) there’s so very few of them compared to the 7 billion people in the world.

              • indiana

                …so by your logic, NZ as country should not aspire to become wealthy as it will make other countries poorer, and that is so morally inconceivable that we should not hold out any hope for Jacinda’s child’s generation.

                Socialism, the university of life you never graduate from.

                • No.

                  People shouldn’t be allowed to become rich as that makes others poorer. In fact, capitalism requires poverty.

                  And NZ is already a rich country – we have many resources per capita. Those resources are our means. Fairly distributed and used would mean that no one would be living in poverty.

                  Thing is, they are our means. Exporting them makes us poorer. The same applies to other countries and so us importing resources is making other countries poorer. In fact, we can see that over the last couple of centuries as resources have been exported out of poor countries to rich countries. The rich countries became much better off while the poor countries are still poor and that was most definitely at the expense of the poor countries.

            • Pat

              indeed there are plenty of ways, unfortunately the only one we appear to use is the accumulation of wealth which involves numerous negative impacts

      • cleangreen 2.2.2


        Good one Draco.

    • Tuppence Shrewsbury 2.3

      So, what your really saying is that the bottom 30% were each over $1000 better off under National?

  3. eco maori 3

    The sandflys are using a dum ass trick like they did with wearing a black beany and the think they are invisible lol.
    I will sue there assessor for hundreds of thousands for the way they breach my human rights and the rights of all my children. And I’m going to sue for loss off the potential earnings of ECO MAORI from the Internet this could be millions. The sandflys can carry on underestimate Me I will make my move when the time is right. I see we came from ASIA I have a lot of respect for Asian one just has to learn there cultures to understand why they do things and how they think. Ana to kai

  4. eco maori 4

    Maori origins Asia Ka pai

  5. Bill 5

    Anyone who has been treating mainstream reporting on Syria with a degree of skepticism might, or will find this long detailed piece by Eva Bartlett of interest. In it she rather methodically and meticulously deconstructs attacks made on her journalistic integrity by, among others – Snopes, The Guardian, Ch 4 news and La Presse.


  6. Carolyn_Nth 6

    An interesting article by Rod Oram on Newsroom – kind of a letter from the US where he has been travelling. it’s about the decline (and hopefully reinvention of the US).

    Oram says that Martin Luther King predicted the current moral decline of the US, based in extensive inequalities.

    Oram refers to a quote attributed to Martin Luther King shortly before he was assasinated:

    “We have fought hard and long for integration, as I believe we should have, and I know that we will win. But I’ve come to believe we’re integrating into a burning house.”

    “I’m afraid that America may be losing what moral vision she may have had. And I’m afraid that even as we integrate, we are walking into a place that does not understand that this nation needs to be deeply concerned with the plight of the poor and disenfranchised. Until we commit ourselves to ensuring that the underclass is given justice and opportunity, we will continue to perpetuate the anger and violence that tears at the soul of this nation.”

    Oram sees Trump as someone who has cleverly exploited this decline and the related fractures in US society, politics and economy.

    Oram also refers to the protests against Trump this weekend, and is optimistic a new, better US is on the rise.

    • Ed 6.1

      That quote of King’s is spot on.
      It is class that trumps everything.

      • Bill 6.1.1

        Class doesn’t “trump” everything, but it’s a crucial component of any rounded analysis…just as gender or race are.

        Any of those three, if separated out and held aloft as the fundamental basis for analysis, leads to partial and skewed understandings.

        • The Chairman

          If we were all classed as equal wouldn’t gender and race become irrelevant?

          • Bill

            How so? You’re saying by “classed as equal” that there would be economic equity, yes? But the woman is still dominated by the man and the black or brown skinned person by the white skinned person. (Off the back of cultural and/or historical reasons etc)

            And pretty soon that all bleeds back into economic arrangements and….square one all over again.

            • The Chairman

              “How so?”

              In all aspects of life.

              • Bill

                So okay, your saying if issues of class and gender and race have been resolved, then there will be no ongoing issues of inequality pertaining to gender and race. Sure.

            • andrew murray

              At least I would assume Ed refers to class as being the divisions that allow degrees of access to ‘power’.
              Within that frame, it can be reasonably argued that both race and gender are subsets of class inequality.

              • weka

                most people would take Ed’s comment to be about socioeconomic class though, esp as it was a response to the comment with MLK’s quote. I guess he can come back and clarify.

    • ropata 6.2

      The USA is not one nation, it’s a federation and it’s cracking at the seams. Washington DC is now totally corrupted and it would be best for the States to disunite from this dysfunctional system.

    • False Prophets vs Real Profits

      Denigrating the basic comfort to be found between people and communities which society needs to keep cohesive and for all to prosper as a “weakness”, all while tearing up and deliberately breaking the social bonds between individuals, families and whole communities and the very support structures that they need to keep life itself together.

  7. Andre 7

    #MAGA MuellerAin’tGoingAway

    Heh. One of the government functions that will keep going through the shutdown is Mueller’s investigation into the Chump campaign.


  8. cleangreen 8

    “Climate change is the nuclear moment our our generation”. Quote PM Jacinda Ardern.

    We must use less truck freight transport on roads and switch to using rail to lower the carbon emissions and arrest the risk of climate change accelerating.

    Today’s major report on RNZ ‘Nine to noon report’ is again warning us all that coastal erosion is becoming a clear hazard now.


    Monday 22 January 2018 Previous episodes
    On today’s show



    In this next article last year the outgoing ‘National government’ was quick to bury it’s head in the sand on this serious issue.



    [long cut and paste deleted. Please quote pieces to support your comment, not long tracts. People can click through to read the whole thing.

    Also, if I have to spend time trying to figure out which are your words and which are the quotes, I’m more likely atm to just delete. Please come up with a system that makes it clear what are your words and what are the quotes. You can use the tags, or you can use characters. e.g.

    body of text

    – weka]

    • RedBaronCV 8.1

      Now isn’t that interesting – actually its much less than I would have thought in some areas.
      46 km of railway – have alternative plans drawn up & activate closer to the time. 43000 houses – about 4% of the housing stock – how many are permanent dwellings as opposed to holiday homes – what is the built quality – how many can be shifted and are worth shifting? Are there clusters in some areas – that could be shifted at once.

      Looks like we need to designate some land for “new” suburbs in some areas – and have a “shift it Saturday” – where south D takes it’s houses & migrates up onto a hill. At $10000 a house we are looking at $430m spread over a number of years . And houses at risk, not moveable & not yet flooding could be used as a reserve rental stock.

      The airports – can swift public transport mean another nearby airport could be used? We have a lot of airports & this might be a good occasion to rethink about fewer & fast trains to areas around the airport.

    • Sacha 8.2

      Please do not paste the full text of articles.

    • weka 8.3

      moderation note to respond to, thanks.

  9. Puckish Rogue 9

    So random musings from a right-winger time…

    Jacinda Ardern is basically PM for as long she wants and is Labours answer to John Key.

    Every time theres some news they may want buried (like why the first 100 days has been a bit slow or trying to hide the extra payments to tribes) they can trot a pic of Clarke taking the kid to preschool or if someone criticises Jacinda then you can bet the media will jump all over it as bullying.

    2020 election well you have preschool, 2023 you’ve got starting primary school etc etc

    So how is Jacinda like John well first off educationally speaking neither are what you would call academics in that John has a BCom from Canterbury and Jacinda has a BCS from Waikato

    Both went overseas, both did quite well in their respective fields and both are very media savvy as well as both having the ability to say nothing but still making their respective supporters believe they walk on water (absolutely have a conversation about that)

    Both are probably more intelligent than their respective critics and opposition give them credit for and both mangle the language (poverdy anyone?)

    Being that Jacinda is the PM for as long as she wants (and i do mean she, most certainly not anyone else) I just hope that she does a good a job as John Key did

    I do of course admit that I am biased therefore I may be completely wrong about all this

    • adam 9.1

      Says the little racist Puckish Rogue.

      Like the poor me at the end, and the overly concern trolling – the new truly woeful Puckish Rogue.

      Seems all you lies about a 4th term, have forced you like your mates, to make up new lies.

      Sad man, just sad.

      • weka 9.1.1

        Um, what is racist about PR’s comment?

        • adam

          It’s a dig at him.

          And a reminder of his past behaviour here. One should be reminded, when one sinks that low.

          • Puckish Rogue

            You going to post a link to this or just keep running your mouth?

          • weka

            if you’re going to do that can you please link? Not a great fan of carrying over conflicts from past convos unless there is a good reason.

            • adam

              Absolutely, can you show me how to search past comments, becasue all I get is two pages of PR’s post, they cover time since his return. Not the one that got him banned.

              Edit: Because puckish has no recollection of being banned. Also my point I might add.

              • weka

                thanks. I find it easier to use google by site advanced search. Put the full TS URL in the ‘site or domain’ field, and whatever key words you can think of. You’ll still have to scroll through but you can narrow it down by dates too. It’s better than the internal search engine.


                • adam

                  Thanks not having much fun, really, really not having much fun. But been mildly enjoyable reading some old posts.

                  Will keep plodding on – got a new phrase I hope will help – “banned until 1 month after the election”

    • Reality 9.2

      A cynical soul aren’t you? Have you forgotten John Key’s use of his son and daughter with their various publicity episodes, particularly Max and his gay slur to a cyclist. And his clutching of Richie at every opportunity. And his bad taste radio episodes. Well the occasional photo of a little Gayford- Ardern I think would be mild in comparison. I can’t imagine them doing anything stupid with their baby as far as publicity goes.

      • Puckish Rogue 9.2.1

        Sure its not a perfect comparison but wouldn’t you agree theres some similarities between the two and I do hope the media give their kid a chance to be a kid

    • weka 9.3

      Hey PR, thank-you for raising the standard of RW comment here a couple of notches, much appreciated.

      • Puckish Rogue 9.3.1

        Well thank you very much, its unexpected but a compliment is always nice to recieve

        • weka

          You laid out your argument well, and there was minimal taunting.

          • Puckish Rogue

            Its damn hard to taunt when your team loses 🙂

            • weka

              lol. Well the righties had a go at it here for a few months since spring, but I hope they take your lead now 🙂

              • Puckish Rogue

                i think we all can agree I shouldn’t take the lead in anything

                • weka

                  very self deprecating PR, you surprise me. How about we settle on you setting a good example?

                  edit, you realise you’ve set the bar now.

                  • Puckish Rogue

                    Hey if it helps make the site more welcoming to posters i’ll give it a go

                    • weka

                      mate, anything that gets more interesting political discussion and less people bitching at each other the better. Better for those already here, and better at attracting others to comment.

                      (lol, I feel I need to put a caveat in now, given your history, but I’m not quite sure what it is).

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      As Rocky Balboa so eloquently put it:

                    • weka

                      ha ha.

    • Stuart Munro 9.4

      It’s early days for Jacinda, but there seems to be some intention of keeping promises – something no-one could accuse Key of.

      It will of course take a long time to build NZ out of the hole neo-liberalism and naked corruption have dropped us into.

      In the meantime though, perhaps you should contain your criticism to items where the government is erring. If Jacinda keeps her promises and repairs some of the wreckage the last government wrought then there is nothing wrong with positive press – it’s only when the positive press is used to cover up failures and corruption, which is all it did under Key, that it becomes odious.

      • Puckish Rogue 9.4.1

        “It’s early days for Jacinda, but there seems to be some intention of keeping promises – something no-one could accuse Key of.”

        Labour pre-election pledged to re-enter Pike River mine and thats now a firm maybe plus depending on how you want to see it the whole TPP thing is a back track also and its been less than 100 days

        You’re right, maybe they will keep their child away from the media (hopefully they will) but considering the media coverage I doubt the media will respect their wishes

        • veutoviper

          “I do hope the media give their kid a chance to be a kid.”

          Jacinda and Clarke were interviewed on this very point this morning and it was pretty clear that they have this well in mind – sorry won’t try to find the video in the plethora of interviews etc. Think it was the TVNZ Breakfast interview with Tame.

          Both Jacinda and Clarke are well versed/qualified in media management and IMHO their announcement on Friday was timed to coincide with the end of the holiday period and the back to work for the government and the impending end of the first 100 day period.

          The Labour Caucus (and many of their families) convened for a two day retreat near Martinborough yesterday where they are currently reviewing the first 100 days, what still needs to be done in the next 10 days, and drawing up the next 100 day plans. The PM is expected to give a news conference/stand-up this afternoon on the next steps in their planning etc. In other words, IMHO they announced the baby news on Friday, have given 48 hours or so for Babymania, and now the PM’s focus etc will be back to government business.

          Tomorrow Tues morning it is back to Wellington for the first Cabinet meeting with Winston etc. – so back to BAU.

          An interesting aside to the above (again I cannot give a link as it is lost somewhere in the plethora of interviews etc I have ‘indulged in’ over the last 48 hours and it would take hours to find) is that:

          Drumroll ….

          Ardern mentioned in passing in an interview (yesterday Sunday I think) that Winston Peters has actually been/still is formally Acting PM for the two or so days of the Labour Caucus Retreat in the Wairarapa.

          A test run and/or a middle finger salute to the naysayers who are predicting Armageddon when Peters takes over as Acting PM in June?

          • Puckish Rogue

            “A test run and/or a middle finger salute to the naysayers who are predicting Armageddon when Peters takes over as Acting PM in June?”

            Could well be but I don’t think most (imho anyway) people have a problem with Winston being PM temporarily as i think most would probably say that was a big part of the negotiations but if, no matter how unlikely, Winston is still the leader at the next election then things would get very interesting

        • alwyn

          Do you remember how Labour were going to ban foreigners buying New Zealand houses, and that the ban would be in place by Christmas?
          Became they would introduce a bill and it wouldn’t affect all foreigners but you can’t expect too much can you?
          As she said ‘Labour would ban sales of existing houses to non-resident, foreign buyers “by Christmas”‘.

    • mac1 9.5

      Dear Puckish Rogue,
      I don’t believe that the Labour Government can be blamed because you think a hundred days has been somehow slowed down.

      “(like why the first 100 days has been a bit slow)”

      I’d blame the idleness of holidays boring you, or longer summer days, the heat, the cricket, whatever.

      But not the government. Even nanny state cannot alter time- Maui and his brothers could, but not the government……


      • Puckish Rogue 9.5.1

        My mistake, I meant ticking off the first hundred days achievements

        Also the Disney movie Moana would have been a lot more interesting had they used a few more of Mauis backstory

    • Incognito 9.6

      Jacinda Ardern is basically PM for as long she wants and is Labours answer to John Key.[sic]

      An interesting thesis that, based on your other comments in this thread, seems to refer to the respective popularity of said leaders and the rather huge and unique privilege this offers.

      I’d argue that the persona of Key and Ardern is developed/developing by an interplay of inner and outer forces & influences. Ardern is or will be Labour’s “answer to John Key” because that’s what the general public believes and thus has come to expect/demand. The MSM, pundits, the Opposition, the NZ Labour Party & Caucus, the coalition-Government, etcetera, will all contribute to this collective projection.

      When Key became leader of the National Party in 2006 and PM 2 years later his persona was not identical to the one when he bailed out in 2016.

      Ms Ardern’s persona is also not static & fixed and time will tell how it will develop but suffice to say her personal trajectory may be very different from Mr Key’s – I certainly hope so …

      IMO John Key cultivated & milked his popularity like a Fonterra for mostly personal ‘profit’; the National Party (and a few ‘hangers on’) benefitted by riding on his coattail and hanging in his slipstream – it was good (for them) while it lasted. So far, I cannot see this happening with Jacinda Ardern – being in power can do ‘funny things’ to people – but I could not possibly comment on why I doubt that it will happen in the foreseeable future …

  10. cleangreen 10

    Tut tut tut, PR,


    You are really hurting at loosing the “greedy mantle of the scroundlous defunct National Government” aren’t you; -, poor thing.

    At least Jacinda will get real about climate change not like your hollow lot ignoring the problem.

    • Naki man 10.1

      You are rambling you silly old fool, define “loosing”.

      [Loosing is what happens to commenters who try to start flame wars on TS – weka]

      • adam 10.1.1

        Oh look another troll, desperate for attention, going for the spelling mistake.

        Does it feel so good?

        • alwyn

          The problem is that it isn’t a mistake.
          He almost always uses “loosing”.
          I’ve 1questioned him on what it is supposed to mean but no explanation is ever forthcoming.

      • veutoviper 10.1.2

        SCREAMING —

        The word is “losing” not “loosing”.

        VV AKA The Spelling Pedant

    • Puckish Rogue 10.2

      Naah I got over that pretty quickly (plus it wasn’t going to change anything anyway) and as I say “Jacinda Ardern is basically PM for as long she wants and is Labours answer to John Key.” so its not like I think National will be back in power any time soon

      All she has to do is cross over into National territory as John Key did so successfully and she’ll be remembered as being as, if not more, popular than John Key

      • BM 10.2.1

        All she has to do is cross over into National territory as John Key did so successfully and she’ll be remembered as being as, if not more, popular than John Key

        Ardern getting more than one term still hangs on the economy staying together and voters not feeling like they’re going backwards., this baby stuff is just icing.

        Also some people like icing, some like a tiny bit of icing, some don’t like icing at all and just prefer the cake.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Does it though, Jacinda is very popular so even if the economy tanks, Labour can lay the blame at Nationals feet and because Jacinda is popular she’ll be believed by enough voters (as was John Key) and Labour will get another term

          Although if, for whatever reason, Winnie is the leader at the next election it’ll be a complete bloodbath and National will be back in

          But most likely Labour will be in power for easily two terms, maybe three

          • BM

            Does it though, Jacinda is very popular so even if the economy tanks, Labour can lay the blame at Nationals feet and because Jacinda is popular she’ll be believed by enough voters (as was John Key) and Labour will get another term

            You think people are that stupid and shallow?

            Btw you can’t compare Key to Ardern, Ardern came to power with the economy in good shape, Key came in at the start of a global recession.

            If the economy bombs, it will be on Labours head.

            • Puckish Rogue

              Its less stupid and shallow (and remember these are the pretty much the same arguments the left used against John Key) and more that Jacinda is an excellent communicator and that people warm to her and want to believe her which sounds a lot like John Key

              John Key managed to sound both confident and switched on while still being “one of the blokes” and it worked really well for him and Jacinda is managing to do what works really well for her so i think she’ll be able to sell it to NZ especially since she’ll be given the kudos of keeping labour together (though those kudos should probably go to Little)

              “Btw you can’t compare Key to Ardern, Ardern came to power with the economy in good shape, Key came in at the start of a global recession.”

              The circumstances are slightly different but I’d make no difference, if you swapped Key for Ardern the results would still be the same and that is they’d both win, helped by third term-itis sure but they’d still win

              • Stuart Munro

                Your determination to establish this false equivalence is nothing if not heroic.

                Shouldn’t you be touting the innumerable virtues of the Gnat ‘government in waiting’ instead?

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Well ok what part of what i wrote do you disagree with?

                  The bit where i say Jacinda is an excellent communicator, where I say she can sell it or that if the circumstances were swapped she’d still win?

                  • Stuart Munro

                    The suggestion that the left loathed Key because he was popular is profoundly misleading.

                    “pretty much the same arguments the left used against John Key”


                    The left loathed Key because he was a liar and a demagogue – his popularity, like Trump’s, was essentially a tool to mislead people.

                    Now, you may wheel out Pike River and pine trees and a number of other instances of broken promises – but frankly, not yet. These matters have yet to be determined, and it remains to be seen whether they will actually fail.

                    The public may even forgive some of these issues or ones like them if the government is candid about its reasons for abandoning any of them – but should that occur it would be in stark contrast to the almost compulsive lying and misdirection that characterized the Key Kleptocracy. That vile piece of scum never gave a straight answer about anything. Or is that something you “can’t recall”?

              • BM

                I can tell you now Keys clowning and schtick would have bombed if National hadn’t successfully rebuilt the economy and he wasn’t such a powerhouse on the world political stage.

                People would have been “What’s he doing clowning around? do your job, Man”.

                Key was a PM first and the goofy funny guy second, Ardern needs to be a PM first and a mother second, if she’s going to be anywhere near as successful as Key.

                It’s going to be a big ask, and the voter will tire pretty quickly of Ardern if they don’t think her mind’s on the job.

                • Pete

                  When Key was in the spotlight a lot over the GCSB and Ian Fletcher, and then the Jason Edes episodes, was he just clowning and being a “goofy funny guy”?

                • Grey Area

                  ….and he wasn’t such a powerhouse on the world political stage.

                  Apart from photo opportunities what did this “powerhouse” of yours actually achieve on the world stage?

                  People would have been “What’s he doing clowning around? do your job, Man”.

                  Many of us were doing exactly that.

                  Key was a PM first and the goofy funny guy second,

                  Depended on what hat he was wearing at the time. And the blokey goofball schtick came very easily to him.

                  • BM

                    Apart from photo opportunities what did this “powerhouse” of yours actually achieve on the world stage?

                    Hmm, shame to see an obviously intelligent person blinded by their political prejudices.

                    You could learn a thing or two from Ad.

                    • McFlock

                      Letterman top ten. World shaking.

                      Oh, and told the BBC that water quality scientists were like lawyers – will fabricate results on demand. Sort of a precursor to Trump’s cabinet choices

                    • BM

                      Obviously some sort of left-wing reality disconnect.

                      I was never a great fan of Clark, but like John Key she was an excellent political operator.

                    • McFlock

                      What did JK achieve on the world stage?

                      Free trade deal with a major power?

                      Going into larger roles on the world stage within 6 months of leaving office?

                    • Grey Area

                      No the alternate reality you are speaking of is Planet Key. I saw Key very clearly from the moment he came on the scene for what he is.

                    • BM

                      Sad guys, really sad.

                    • McFlock

                      I note you’re not actually saying what Key did to be a powerhouse on the world stage… just saying how sad it is people don’t agree with you.

                    • BM

                      What a pointless exercise that would be, those left-wing blinkers have blinded you.

                    • Muttonbird

                      It’s pretty telling that when pressed BM can’t even name one thing Key, who in his words was “such a powerhouse on the world stage”, did on that stage.

                      Ardern has already done more than Key ever did by forcing Australia to back down on tertiary fees for Kiwis and insisting on Kiwi houses for Kiwis.

                      Key was the master at swanning around in his dressing gown at diplomatic events, and of course he was known worldwide for harassing female service staff. That’s about it.

                    • McFlock

                      I mean, he played golf with Obama, but did that lead to any major foreign policy advances?

                      Snuggled closer to the yanks, but pissed off the Chinese talking about NK. The TPP fizzled. Fucked up the KDC extradition.

                      Foreign policy-wise, if he was a “powerhouse” he wasn’t connected to the grid or any functional machinery. No real achievements in his wikipedia page.

                    • Muttonbird

                      Shit, maybe playing golf with Obama is what BM means by “such a powerhouse on the world stage”?

                    • McFlock

                      It’s so shallow it just might be true…

                • Stuart Munro

                  This constant fatuous rubbish about Key’s economic acumen is really rather pitiful. Did wages grow vis-à-vis comparable OECD countries? Nope. Did our debt decrease? Nope. Did our credit rating improve? Nope – it fell twice.

                  It’s fair to say that the Key ‘economic miracle’ is no more substantial than that of previous self-styled thaumaturgists. The Nobel will not be going to NZ economists any time soon.

              • Kevin

                “Btw you can’t compare Key to Ardern, Ardern came to power with the economy in good shape, Key came in at the start of a global recession.”

                Key did come in a the start of a global recession, but after 9 years of savings and net govt debt at record lows, English had a great starting point which he commented on at the time.

            • ropata

              BM: Ardern came to power with the economy in good shape, Key came in at the start of a global recession

              ???!!! NZ now has record external debt and the Briefings to Incoming Ministers were a litany of disasters. But in 2008 Cullen had left the accounts in very good shape, as you well know.

              BM: If the economy bombs, it will be on Labours head.

              Bullshit unless you want to blame Key for the GFC and recession of 2008/9 as well. National presided over a fake economy so I would find it hard to blame Labour for the Nats dirty tricks of the last 9 years. Fiddling with stats and cooking the books and hiding OIA requests. What a pack of bankers they were.

        • Robert Guyton

          And as we all know, John Key took the cake.

  11. Morrissey 11

    “Kneel down time!”
    The Patriots bore their way to another Super Bowl appearance

    AFC Playoff, Sunday 21 Jan. 2018 (Boston time)

    The New England Patriots hold a four-point lead over the Jacksonvile Jaguars. There’s still more than one and a half minutes of “playing” time on the clock. In any real sport, that would be more than enough time for a lot more action.

    Not in the NFL, however, where time-wasting is the main strategy of every team. The Patriots have the ball, which in this sport means guaranteed possession for four plays. Therefore it’s pointless to hope for anything unexpected or spontaneous to happen.

    One of the commentators yells gleefully: “Kneel down time!”

    Both teams stand up from the last scrimmage and start shaking hands with more than 15 seconds still on the clock. The coaches, holding clipboards full of color-coded instructions, are jubilant. The crowd, instructed constantly to “Make Some Noise”, seems happy.

    • Kevin 11.1

      Morrissey, I enjoy your commentary, but talking about a game you obviously know nothing about makes you look like a twat.

      • Morrissey 11.1.1

        Thanks for the concern, Kevin, but I’m afraid it’s much to late to stop me looking like a twat.

        I am intrigued though: what gives you the impression that I “obviously know nothing” about American football?

        • Gabby

          Morrie I’m no expert but some would have it that in the distant past a sarker team, on managing to goal a ball score in the start of the first period, may have as it were parked a bus, not to put too fine a point to it, across their goal to the immeasurable chagrin of their opponents. There is an obscure rumour, no names no pack drill, that a knvish lout of a sarker baller may once have feigned injury in order to prevent the opposition from progressing advantageously gamewise. Can any of this be true? What portents might it hold for the advancement of our cause onwards to the broad sunlight uplands of victory?

          • Morrissey

            You might not think you’re an expert, Gabby, but rest assured: you know a lot more about the game than, say, McFlock does.

        • Kevin

          Well, to make it as simple as possible;

          Passing plays stop the clock, running plays do not (unless the ball career runs out of bounds). The team with possession has 45 seconds from the whistle to start a play or they are penalised. Therefore, with less than 45 seconds of game time time remaining, the team with possession keeps the clock running by ‘taking the knee’ where the QB takes the snap, starting a running play, then kneels down to end it and keep the clock running. With less than 45 seconds of game time remaining there is no point starting a new play so the game is effectively over.

          Hope this makes sense!

          • Morrissey

            I know all that, Kevin. What you’ve written backs up what I wrote—that the game is built around stoppages. There is a multiplicity of methods to stop the game, as I pointed out.

            Same goes for basketball, volleyball and baseball. The Americans are very good at ruining games.

  12. savenz 12

    This is a weird case of poisoning that is still a mystery. You have to wonder why there has not been a thorough police investigation to check it is “accidental” – being that nobody has found any food or reason for the poisoning around, it apparently happened within minutes and paralysed 3 people, and the children were not harmed.


    • Stuart Munro 12.1

      Botulism was a red herring thrown into the story. It was not a likely cause – though present in NZ it is relatively rare here – an anaerobic bacteria sometimes found in mud at the bottom of pools. The more probable culprit is a widely used poison, which the reporters did not want to guess at for political reasons.

      • veutoviper 12.1.1

        1080 was mentioned in the actual audio recordings of both of these reports on RNZ National this morning – as having been tested for as a possibility but not as a confirmed cause – but not mentioned in the written reports on the website. So you need to listen to the recordings:

        5.30am News

        and on Morning Report

        AND just as I was typing the above the RNZ National 2pm News also did an item on 1080 in relation to the case and the details of recent 1080 drops in the area:


        • Stuart Munro

          Well that’s good – but the speculation about botulism was floated in November – and those stories didn’t mention 1080.

          • veutoviper

            Agreed that the earlier stories did not mention 1080 – that is why it stood out to me this morning. However, there is also the aspect that presumably if 1080 or similar is involved then the case for ACC compensation is strengthened as opposed to a ‘medical’ condition such as botulism. The family’s $$$ situation is understandably of prime concern now.

            • weka

              Interesting if food poisoning is not covered by ACC. I would have thought that it was an accident, as opposed to disease that arises for other reasons. But possibly ACC is turning it down because the cause is unknown.

              • solkta

                I’m very sure that getting a disease is an accident very nearly 100% of the time. Only the very mentally disturbed would get one deliberately.

        • weka

          If they don’t know the cause how are they tying the illness to the meat eating?

      • mauī 12.1.2

        I can’t see it being a man-made poison myself. Poisons like 1080 and others have been widespread for a long time, and so has pig and deer hunting all over the country. We would have seen this sort of thing before, not out of the blue like this.

        By the way I have seen evidence that pigs do feed on poison baits, but they eat anything so I guess that’s not surprising.

        • weka

          I tend to agree. What’s interesting me now though is if they don’t know the cause how are they tying it to the eating of the meat? And the point about the family and media having been told it was botulism is valid. Got to feel for the family. Dealing with the health system can be very hard when the illness is unknown.

          • McFlock

            The meat would be the only common and new possible vector preceeding the infection/poisoning.

            So all the veges they had would have either been eaten from the same source days before, or not everyone had the swede, sort of thing.

            That is, of course, assuming that the worst case didn’t happen: that they presented, everyone fixated on botulism and so never more than cursorily(?) considered other sources. Which would suck.

            • weka

              That makes sense but I was wondering why they were assuming food poisoning as opposed to other pathologies. So yes, they can narrow down the food that might be responsible, but if they don’t have an actual pathogen, then why assume it was food?

              • weka

                e.g., virus, external toxin (pesticide) etc. One would hope they did work through all that, but I’ve seen too many episodes of House 😉

                My main point here is why do media releases about botulism in the absence of a positive test? Better to say “we don’t know”, as much as people don’t like doing that.

                • McFlock

                  probably because they still think it’s the most likely cause, regardless of the test.

                  I doubt they’d be trying to prevent a panic or something so coming up with a false reason for the public – pretty solidly seems to be a one-off.

                  To flip from House to CSI, apparently some juries now tend to think the prosecution is incompetent if DNA tests weren’t done, even if the accused’s presence at the scene isn’t debated. Similarly, the botulism test might clinically (depending on circumstances) be regarded as the complete proof of confirmation (minimal false positive results) but with a low disproof (very high false negative rate). Not very sensitive, but highly specific.

                  Also, we don’t know if other likely causes were tested for and those tests more reliably excluded the other factors – or the pattern of illness doesn’t match the vectors those conditions are transmitted by.

              • McFlock

                Well, we don’t know the specifics of the case to that detail, but things like:

                proximity to the meal,
                lack of traces of likely poisons in the home (e.g. fly spray or bora bomb – something to disrupt nerves),
                the incidence limited to one household rather than a cluster of neighbouring homes,
                different people with different times spent in the home coming down in the same manner (if it was dodgy wallpaper like the old Victorian arsenic green then people who spent all day in the home for a while would have come down before people in and out for school or work),
                not everyone ate the salmon mousse made from tinned salmon,

                and so on would all point to the the specific food as the most likely source.

                • weka

                  yes, but I think that just takes us back to wondering if they were that rigorous, and why name botulism in the absence of a positive test.

                  • Andre

                    Could be a bit of chinese whispers if somewhere in the chain between diagnostician and report, a phrase like ‘symptoms are consistent with botulism’ became just ‘botulism’.

                    • weka

                      I could see that happening. Also sometimes doctors like to say something even if it’s not quite right, than say nothing, because they feel pressured to be the person that will do the saving (or at least the knowing).

                    • McFlock

                      True, both.

                      At least it seems to have been a one-off incident.

                    • weka


        • Graeme

          Pigs will eat the possum carcasses and ingest 1080, which will accumulate and may kill the pig. If the pig was still mobile when it was “harvested” you’d need to eat a lot of the pig to be at risk.

          http://www.centralhighlands.qld.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/IPA-1080-PA5.pdf 1080 is used to target pigs in Queensland.

          “If a hunter shot a 60 kg feral pig that was in the latent period following ingestion of 3 kg of 1080 bait (at a rate of 1152 mg 1080/kg), and based on the unlikely assumption that half the ingested poison has become evenly distributed through the carcass, that hunter would need to eat 36.1 kg in one sitting before being at risk.”

          So unlikely that this was caused by someone shooting a pig that had ingested 1080. Finding a carcass that had died from 1080, that could be another story.

          • Stuart Munro

            “If a hunter shot a 60 kg feral pig that was in the latent period following ingestion of 3 kg of 1080 bait (at a rate of 1152 mg 1080/kg), and based on the unlikely assumption that half the ingested poison has become evenly distributed through the carcass, that hunter would need to eat 36.1 kg in one sitting before being at risk.”

            This sounds a particularly dubious example, in part because wild pig behavior would not typically involve stopping at 3kgs of bait. The pig would eat all the bait available.

            1080 toxicity is put between 0.5mg/kg and 10mg/kg.
            The assumption that half the poison is not absorbed or available is arbitrary.
            Given the variation in assigning toxicity, the figure of 36.1kg is unprofessional nonsense.

            It is reasonable to assume that if secondary toxicity is sufficient to kill pigs or dogs that consume possums, that humans would be at risk if they joined that food chain. It is not necessarily safe to consume considerably less than potentially lethal doses – negative effects may commence at substantially lower levels.

            • Incognito

              Ingestion of cooked meat from 1080-poisoned animals is not thought to constitute a human health hazard due to the low concentration of toxicant present in muscle tissue, and degradation of fluoroacetate at cooking temperatures. (Temple & Edwards 1984) Poisoned carcasses are a significant risk to dogs due to their susceptibility and feeding habits. (Gooneratne et al. 1995)

              Temple WA & Edwards IR (1984) Toxic ducks – 1080 residues in game birds : An exercise in applied toxicology. Vet. Hum. Toxicol. 27(1) : 20-21


              • Stuart Munro

                Thanks for that – I’ve found a variety of sources, some of which are less sanguine about degradation – though offal as a primary location for most oral poisons makes sense.

                Temple & Edwards notwithstanding, I won’t be queuing to try 1080 killed pork.

      • McFlock 12.1.3

        It’s only more probable if it was anywhere near the hunting zone at around the same time as the hunting occurred.

        It seems this is not the case.

        It could be anything – hell the pig might have eaten funny mushrooms, some random poison a nearby farmer had sly-dropped without telling anyone, or there was some random thing in the pig that we might not even see again.

        The botulism test might also have a pretty high false negative rate, or maybe whatever the pig had was similar to botulism but different enough to not show up.

        I don’t know. But I know enough to know that there’s still some things we don’t know about poisons and viruses and what’s in our forests.

    • Why wasn’t there a complete set of blood-tests done at the time to determine the probable cause?

      In this day and age doctors shouldn’t be guessing as to what’s wrong.

      • Stuart Munro 12.2.1

        Cost. Those tests are contracted out and have become very expensive. Last tropical suite I had to do was $400. Botulism is rare in NZ – though more common in other countries. Testing every local poisoning event for it would be foolish. Given that no cause has been identified however there is still some spadework to be done.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Yes, I’m fully against the national health service using contracted parties to do the testing. They tend to be more expensive and less up to date.

          Research indicates that there’s a reasonably cheap, quick blood test available.

          • Stuart Munro

            Private model means no cost savings are passed on. They turn into ‘profits’ instead.

          • McFlock

            Draco, your research indicates that a better than current diagnostic test was in small-scale assessment a couple of years ago.

            It might still be being looked at, or that study you pointed to might not match larger scale trials, or there might not be a lab in NZ certified for it, or it might even have been used in this case.

            You might be drawing a long bow there

      • McFlock 12.2.2

        What Stuart said.

        And sometimes “viral infection of unknown type” is the best we can do (if that), even if the patient is at death’s door and every conceivable test is done. Mate of mine was within hours of dying, but fortunately recovered. The best guess was a virus similar to meningitis, but all the tests came back negative. Probably just some virus that most people never have a problem with but clocked off in his case for some reason.

        Not to mention the workload for labs. They’re already understaffed.

        • joe90

          My mate the nurse reckons every year the ICU he works in sees patients admitted in dire need of support with some dying, yet nobody has a clue about what exactly ails or kills them.

          • McFlock

            Not even after the third diagnosis? Yeah, they never covered that in House…

            We know a zillion times what we did 100 years ago, and in another hundred years they’ll think we were in the dark ages.

          • Descendant Of Sssmith

            Aye friends daughter was in hospital a couple of months ago along with four others who had no previous contact with each other.

            All had severe vomiting and stomach pain and were placed on drips.

            The best they could be told it was likely a virus and for about 50% of the people who have those symptoms they have no idea what the virus is or what to test for as the virus is likely unknown.

        • Draco T Bastard

          They’re already understaffed.

          Which simply should not happen.

          • McFlock

            Another case of cascading shoulds.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Yes. We should actually have enough medical staff employed to ensure that an adequate level of service is provided.

              It’s not really expensive as we do have the people available both to do the training and to provide that service.

              • McFlock

                The world would be so much better if everything were changed to your approval, eh.

                How many people would we need in order to provide a full range of screening and diagnostic tests for every person who contacts primary or secondary healthcare services, or “should” we just restrict it to hospital admissions?

    • Morrissey 13.1

      It’s nothing more than a smear job by a Democratic Party loyalist. Why would you bother posting up such rubbish?

      • adam 13.1.1

        Come on any attempt to break up the left is the order of the day by the rwnj’s Morrissey – you must have must have missed the “rwnj news letter” that arrived just after the election.

    • Ad 13.2

      Good fun!

      • Andre 13.2.1

        With an added bonus of rarking up moonbats!

        • Morrissey

          Fool, I’m sure you have read nothing of Glenn Greenwald, so here’s an introduction for you. I highly commend it to other, more serious, people by the way…

    • Ed 13.3

      Just another smear attack on Greenwald.

  13. Graeme 14

    I too wondered about the origins and source of that pig.

    Had some South Asian gentlemen wanting to buy some goat carcasses once. Took a lot of discussion to get them to understand that they weren’t fit for consumption (they weren’t even fit for dog tucker, they were headed for the gut hole) and that it was illegal for me to sell meat to people on health grounds.

    Ooops, that was meant to be a reply to Stuart Munro at 12.1

  14. joe90 15

    This, from the woman who reckoned Arabs hated Jews more than they loved their own children.


    In 1958, then-foreign minister Golda Meir raised the possibility of preventing handicapped and sick Polish Jews from immigrating to Israel, a recently discovered Foreign Ministry document has revealed.

    “A proposal was raised in the coordination committee to inform the Polish government that we want to institute selection in aliyah, because we cannot continue accepting sick and handicapped people. Please give your opinion as to whether this can be explained to the Poles without hurting immigration,” read the document, written by Meir to Israel’s ambassador to Poland, Katriel Katz.

    The letter, marked “top secret” and written in April 1958, shortly after Meir became foreign minister, was uncovered by Prof. Szymon Rudnicki, a Polish historian at the University of Warsaw.

    In recent years, Rudnicki has been researching documents shedding light on Israeli-Polish relations between 1945 and 1967.

    The document had not been known to exist before this time, and scholars of the mass immigration from Poland to Israel that took place from 1956 to 1958 were unaware of Israel’s intent to impose a selection process on Jews leaving Poland – survivors of the Holocaust and its death camps.


  15. eco maori 16

    That was not road rage I was just pissing the sandflys off looks like the sandflys got a direct line to the Rock radio. I know you 2 are up to something Thane and Duncan. Ana to kai

  16. eco maori 17

    The sandfly haven’t got anything better than to harass me I have nothing to hide I advertise who I am ECO MAORI ON MY OLD TRUCK would you do that If you were guilty of the crimes they have told the whole world that I have done no. I could just hop on a plane and go to Australia no i’m staying to look after my whano .I am going to make the justice system treat brown people with the same respect as europeens .I had at least 4 of these muppets interfering with my trip Home from Tauranga to Rotorua .I could see the smoke coming out there ears they don’t like It when I check ALL THERE MOVES .
    Go pick on someone who deserves your attention I can smell the muppets a mile away .I don’t mention all the plays the muppets make in a day but I see them all fools .
    Ana to kai

  17. Morrissey 18

    Zbigniew Brzezinski armed and bankrolled Osama bin Laden;
    His daughter seems to be of similar moral stature…

  18. joe90 19

    Nobbling climate science, one agency at a time.

    The Silencing Science Tracker is a joint initiative of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law and the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund. It tracks government attempts to restrict or prohibit scientific research, education or discussion, or the publication or use of scientific information, since the November 2016 election


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