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Open mike 22/01/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 22nd, 2011 - 67 comments
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67 comments on “Open mike 22/01/2011 ”

  1. Jenny 1

    The proposed Government policy of forcing mothers with dependent children to seek work at a time of record unemployment, when tens of thousands of others, many much better placed to hold down a job, still cannot get a start –

    Just doesn’t make any sense.

    Concerns over welfare reforms

    • ZeeBop 1.1

      Welfare is a income support policy to help reduce inequality, help people from losing significant wealth (the rich when they lose their jobs don’t lose their homes as well!), and stop exploitation.

      Now you can reduce benefits and increase the losses for the poor, increase the exploitation and make society less fair,
      or you can force people to work for the benefit, which is a form of exploitation, degredation.

      Or like some, the Greens? argue for the high marginal taxes to be removed that reward people on a benefit for doing nothing that makes them into such social priahs.

      What we need is the job flexibility that the high earners have, to negotiate when they work and when they play, when everyone has access to some play, and the ability to share the risks of work around better. It costs us heaps implementing policies to help working mums get child care, but if working mums did not have to work as much (for more) and could get more flexiblility when they do work then not only would we have better mums, better more productive work places, but we’d have a generation of rounded children growing up.

      But what we have now is the rich shifting risks on to the poor, and the poor failing to raise their children, and that will have cumulative ongoing costs to crime, to productivity and to the wealth of our economy. Its stupid.

    • RedLogix 1.2

      Everytime you read of some rightwing proposal to ‘reform welfare’ you get to hear a long list of whinges from them about how the current system is so broken, but what you have to listen to very carefully is exactly what they plan on replacing the system with.

      Now I am the first to say that the current system is not perfect. Along with several others here (notably Draco) we have consistently pointed to a Universal Basic Income as one constructive way forward.

      But that is nothing like what these rich pricks are wanting for us. When malign actors like Roger Kerr just last week was publically advocating the drastic ‘reform of welfare so as to force people back into work’ and the elimination of the minimum wage… you have to know that what they really want is to reduce ordinary working people back to the status of indentured servant, serfs and slaves.

      And when they talk about this kind of reform around the support of single parents… you have to remind yourself of the bitter history of what went on before we had the DPB. In a society that treated unmarried mothers with appalling disdain and contempt, the options they faced were bleak. Either the mother risked a dangerous abortion, or thousands of babies were removed from vulnerable young women in forced adoptions, or all too frequently the families endured decades of abuse and violence at the hands of inadequate men to whom they were economically bonded.

      We forget far too easily this evil history. And while the DPB is not a perfect system, what went before it was callous and brutal. All the more so for being so casually accepted day in and day out.

  2. Jenny 2

    My guess is, that this is a vicious but cowardly way of introducing cuts.

    Rather than openly and honestly try and argue the case, that in the Minister’s opinion, because of economic circumstances the government needs to restrict these benefits.

    The questions need to be asked.

    Is this an unnecessarily abusive back door method to get those reliant on benefits struck off?

    The government know there are no new jobs being created, in fact the opposite, so why are they doing this?

    What is the honest reason?

    Under these proposals – a sole carer of dependent children gets too soul sick of queuing with dozens of others in pointless rounds of demoralising WINZ “Job Quests” and misses just one, their benefit will be cut.

    Why is the government imposing this drawn out torture?

    Are they to cowardly to admit the truth, that in the opinion of this government, that those who find themselves in such difficult situations, need to rely on private charities from now on?

    Of course if the government did try to openly argue their case for welfare cuts. They would also have to justify why they can effortlessly hand out $billions to millionaires in tax cuts and bailouts.

    • marco 2.1

      Often people on the DPB lack the confidence to move into employment. I don’t believe that sole parents should be forced into work, however they should be doing some form of training depending on their circumstances. It could be something as simple as a positive parenting course or it could be a degree. The point is they should be taking steps to create the most supportive environment for their children possible. Forcing them into work won’t do that, but supported training would help and ensure their children have the best possible opportunity to have a solid and supported upbringing.

      We also need to find a way to change the appalling amount of support we give Invalid’s Beneficiaries, as they do not have a chance to improve their financial position due to being permanently disabled. If that means encouraging DPB recipients into training or ensuring Sickness and Unemployment Beneficiaries are supported into work then so be it.

      • ZeeBop 2.1.1

        One thing I don’t get is how there is no tax threshold in NZ before taxation begins. I presumed this meant the argument for income support was stronger, since the government cannot discriminate against the poorest. If the income poor pay tax on the first dollar and spend every cent just to feed, house themselves (even raid savings) then the government taxing them for services that the income poor cannot access is a form of state slavery, exploitation. So I find it very hard to believe that government could ever legally strike people off the benefit. When criminals come out of jail and go on the benefit! It would be shocking that government would harm children by denying parents the benefit! But of course, it doesn’t make mean politics to say “we’d like mothers to go back to work sooner”.
        My guess is government want mothers to take out student loans, or displace other employed people, so that government can claim the churn as a political victory – much like most crony capitalism nowadays, any activity is cause for a bonus and a self-slap on the back – no matter how costly to the taxpayer, or ruthless, or impinging on rights.

      • McFlock 2.1.2

        “We also need to find a way to change the appalling amount of support we give Invalid’s Beneficiaries, as they do not have a chance to improve their financial position due to being permanently disabled. If that means encouraging DPB recipients into training or ensuring Sickness and Unemployment Beneficiaries are supported into work then so be it.”

        The two are unconnected. You might as well say “We need to fund more drugs or better schools. If that means encouraging DPB recipients into training then so be it”.

        It is simply a question of whether we have the will as a society to help those in need. The current government is addressing the problem “We also need to find a way to give tax cuts to the rich. If that means encouraging DPB recipients into training, stigmatizing the poor and making life shit for everyone else, then so be it.”

      • Jenny 2.1.3

        “Often people on the DPB lack the confidence to move into employment”.


        Marco, I can’t help wondering if you are just using sophistry to try and justify these policies.

        After all Marco, no matter how much training you give to DPB recipients to turn them into confident job seekers is pretty pointless when there are no jobs.

        All you are doing is setting them up for a fall.

        Every week we hear of job losses, due to the recession, no doubt these are all confident and able workers. The last thing they will need is desperate people forced off the benefit probably willing to work at lesser wages.

        capcha – “staff”

      • Vicky32 2.1.4

        “. It could be something as simple as a positive parenting course or it could be a degree. ”
        Why do you assume people on DPB *need* to do a positive parenting course? I spent years on a DPB, and witness married people making a complete hash of bringing up their kids – yet no one suggested a “postive parenting” course to them!
        I did tertiary study when I was on the DPB – part time of course, because my primary job was *actually raising a child*! (Which without a husband/partner to share the load, actually took up much *more* of my time than if I wasn’t a DPB mother). The same caveat applied to getting a job with the results of my tertiary study.
        Then I left the DPB, got a job – then the NATS got into power, the recession hit, and my job disappeared…
        Yeah, getting qualifications realy helped. Not!

  3. Tony P 3

    Once again this government backs the farmers ahead of the environment and DOC.



    • ianmac 3.1

      Appalling Tony. And yet the usual excuse for inaction by Ministers is that “this is an operational matter and we cannot get involved.” I wonder how the new ECan group fits into this?

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      That needs to be reversed immediately. There’s no way the ministers should have forced DoC to give back the lease.

    • RedLogix 3.3

      Agreed… this always happens with the Nats in power… the squatocracy are handed this kind of kid-glove treatment.

  4. T 4

    We really should have comedy news shows like this… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKTAFx-IHdc#t=07m31s

    Even if it means stealing some British/Irish comedians…

    • ianmac 4.1

      The quizzing of the Minister over Student fees in Brit Universities was pretty good. I have never seen or heard such a discussion in NZ where courses that are not going to gain high pays for graduates, are being closed down.

  5. Tigger 5

    Um, WTF? Tolley – really, WTF?

    This perception that NCEA is deficient is fascinating. Anyone care to prove that to me?

    • ianmac 5.1

      Yep Tigger. The last bit was pretty damning of NCEA:
      Tolley: “I just don’t think it’s a problem if a few schools want to stretch a particular group of students.”
      In other words Cambridge stretches students because NCEA doesn’t? Take that you secondary teachers!

      • Tony P 5.1.1

        She said New Zealand’s education system gave schools the flexibility to offer students different options.

        So in the Primary sector that means I don’t have to worry about following National Standards when I go back to school next week.

        And in related news the Dom once again has it’s usual monthly editorial bashing teacher unions.

        • Bob Stanforth

          Ah Tony, methinks you should pay more attention when you go back to school – and if its to teach, god help your pupils…

          You confuse standards with NCEA vs Cambridge, but then Im sure its either willful or because you struggle with basic comprehension.

          And as for bashing the union, there isn’t a single point in that column that isn’t correct – its not bashing to point out facts.

          And in other news, the trend in the Roy Morgan thread seems to be a long time coming up – anyone??? Nah, didn’t think so. Going to be a long wait to get rejected again isn’t it…

          • Tony P

            A state secondary school not implementing NCEA and a state primary school not implementing National Standards in the interests of the children they are teaching are basically the same thing. For the Minister to condone one action but not the other smacks of hypocrisy. There’s no confusion between National Standards and NCEA-both are nationwide ministry controlled assessment systems. It’s just National Standards are ill thought out and will not achieve anything.

            Oh and I don’t need god to help my pupils-I do a pretty good job of it myself.

            • Bob Stanforth

              Only “pretty good”?

              There’s your problem right there. And let me guess, you are happy with that?

              I can imagine selling my skills as a consultant to a corporate client saying Im pretty good. I would be shown the door. Pretty fast.

              • Lanthanide

                Wow, pretty pathetic comeback.

                What if he had said “Oh and I don’t need god to help my pupils-I do an absolutely fucking fantastically amazing job of it myself.”? Would you then criticise him for being arrogant? Or would you just drop the matter because his self-reported measure meets your standards as being better than “pretty good”.

                • Bob Stanforth

                  No, I would feign surprise that a teacher was arrogant and stupid enough to say something as puerile. Wouldn’t you?

                  As for self reported measures, its really all we have to go on for teachers, bit sad really isnt it, especially when being ‘pretty good’ is considered “OK”.

                  • millsy

                    Why do you hate teachers Bob? Why do you begrude every cent they earn?

                    • Bob Stanforth

                      Oh, nice leap but epic fail numbnuts. I hate mediocrity. I would welcome excellent teachers be recognised for that excellence, and picket JK to pay them far more than they are now, rather than the vast mass being paid the same, based merely on tenure. So that the shit ones – and there are – get paid the same as the great ones at the same grade. Stupid.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Oh, nice leap but epic fail numbnuts. I hate mediocrity. I would welcome excellent teachers be recognised for that excellenc

                      Given that our school pupils kick the ass of pupils from countries like the US and UK in OECD rankings, you must recognise the excellence of our teachers already, yeah?

              • ianmac

                In my experience those who claim excellence and say that they despise mediocrity have a problem with facing their own ordinariness eh Bob?

                • Bob Stanforth

                  Happy to be ordinary, in fact I relish the prospect, when I vanish from the big smoke to the provinces of a weekend. But mediocre, nope, not even. Strive in every way not to be. Oh, and never claimed excellence. Dipshit.

                  • ianmac

                    For ordinariness = mediocre.

                  • fabregas4

                    Bob you are ordinary, very ordinary. That old line about teachers pay! Oh dear. It’s only weeks since all Politicians got a pay rise not based on performance (indeed it would be hard to justify one for them on that – increased debt, unemployment up, more crime, less services) but a wage round.

                    Amazingly enough they were paid amounts because they didn’t take enough perks!

                    Most employers pay according to a scale and progressions up it.

                    Lets be honest here teachers have performance appraisal just like everyone else – to state otherwise is very ordinary indeed.

              • Tony P

                I was being modest. I know I do a good job because the appraisal system we have at school shows that. Not only that but the fact parents often ask to have their child in my class must say something. I also know when I haven’t done a good job and work towards changing things. Admittedly not all teachers do a good job but show me an occupation where everybody is perfect. As for “bad” teachers getting paid the same as “good” teachers I think you’ll find that the “good” teachers end up with positions of responsibility which come with extra payment. Anyway how do you tell whether a teacher is “good” or “bad”?

            • ianmac

              Well said Tony. Hear hear!

        • millsy

          The elimination of the PPTA will have the following effects:

          1) It will begin the process of privatisation of the education system
          2) It will hasten the departure of older, more expreienced teachers from the education system as push down teachers wages as school boards hire cheaper less experienced teachers, this will have the knock on effect of pushing down wages across the board – who knows, our teachers might end up being paid the same as supermarket checkout operators?

          Education is a public good and service, not a commodity to be bought and sold. Schools should provice a SERVICE to their communities, not make a profit for their overseas owner.

          PPTA need to step up the fight for the future of our education system. If we put more money into our school systems, and gave schools the support to ensure that EVERY child get a decent education and a good support system in life (if a child cant have a decent environment at home, then we should give them a decent environment at school), we might not have the problems with teenage pregnancy, truancy, crime, unemployment and welfare dependency we (supposedly) have.

          The DomPost’s vision of the education system is one where teachers are paid minimum wage, and where rich schools like Grammar and St Peter’s cherry pick all the best students, and the poor schools are left to fall apart and become sink schools for the students that other schools wont touch, where underacheiving students are kicked out of school because they make their scores look bad, etc.

          The PPTA need to use better tactics, like sit-ins, and and one hour snap strikes, and get the students on side.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      We got rid of the Cambridge type system because it wasn’t good enough and certainly doesn’t produce well rounded and critically thinking people – which is exactly what NACT want which would explain why Tolley supports AGS reducing their students educational environment.

    • Deadly_NZ 5.3

      Hang on Something wrong here, she usually spits the dummy at any one against her beloved NCEA, hasn’t she removed trustees or what ever in schools over this before???

  6. big bruv 6

    How about that latest poll aye guys?

    Down 6%

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      Yeah those are rough numbers for the Left.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Jumps like that should show even imbeciles like you that individual polls aren’t particularly accurate.

      • Bob Stanforth 6.2.1

        So, if individual polls arent particularly accurate, why bother using them as a the basis for a spurious trend?

        Just aksin’ is all 🙂

        • Lanthanide

          It’s called statistics, it’s a part of science.

          • Bob Stanforth

            Wow, wrong side of the bed this morning? Or is it only fact if it fits the argument. Cos its real friggen quiet around here about “trends” when you lose 6%. Wham. Hows that for a trend? 🙂

            Oh, and don’t bother, I know stats very well. You tend to when its part of what you do for a living 😉

            • ianmac

              Some of us will enjoy the challenge of increasing support this year. Of course Bob, it would be a wasted effort to enter meaningful dialog with the entrenched Rightists. Lets talk to open-minded thinking people instead.

            • Lanthanide

              If you know stats “very well”, then you already know the answer to your question. Therefore you’re trolling, or don’t know stats as well as you think you do.

            • Colonial Viper

              You know stats, Bob? Then you’ll know that the effect of a single new datapoint tends to be relatively minimal, in terms of changing a line of best fit.

              Let’s see what the next one or two Roy Morgans say.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Sometimes the pollsters will get an abundance of NACT supporters answering and at other times Left supporters. It should, in theory, average out over time and so the trend as indicated by that average should be more accurate than the individual polls.

  7. Rich 7

    On a different topic, I’m sure this wouldn’t happen here, but just in case, is John Key’s protection officer a studly studmuffin or a donut munching fattie?

    (I believe only the PM gets personal protection here, right?)

    • ianmac 7.1

      Remember the Election night march of John Key into his hall of success? Preceded by a spearhead of dark-suited dark glassed earphones in the ear body-guards, presumably in view of the new PM being at risk from the evil Nat supporters?

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Morality and Capitalism

    Envy, gluttony and avarice are exploited to sell product to consumers. Fear is used to hold workers in check, and to impel governments at every level to submit to the corporation’s demands. Sloth is exploited by the plutocrat-controlled media’s knowledge that a populace kept ignorant of the corporation’s operations are far less likely to oppose that businesses’ actions.

    We really need to start looking at better ways to check the destructive potential of corporations, to bring their actions into the light. And we most definitely need to have their finances open to the public.

    • ianmac 8.1

      This morning on Replay Kim Hill with Christopher Hitchens: contrarian, he said that he was angered by the huge amount of money being made by some – but not earned.
      Corporations? Money traders?

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        John Key has amassed wealth of ~$60m and yet has produced no wealth whatsoever. So, who and how did he steal that amount from?

        • Lanthanide

          Show that John Key has produced no wealth, please.

          For that matter show that he actually has $60M – last time this came up in the comments it was noted that the figure was a journalists guess that has been repeated hither and yon but not actually substantiated.

          • Draco T Bastard

            He’s a money changer. It’s a service job that takes money in one place and moves it to another. It, in and of itself, produces no wealth.

            I got a better idea. Why don’t you prove that he has?

            • Jum

              A Novel, imitating NZ.
              The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson Pages 519-521
              ‘He was asked what was Millennium’s responsibility with regard to the fact that Sweden’s economy was now headed for a crash.
              “The idea that Sweden’s economy is headed for a crash is nonsense Blomkvist said. …
              ‘We’re experiencing the largest single drop in the history of the Swedish Stock Exchange – and you think that’s nonsense?
              “You have to distinguish between two things – the Swedish economy and the Swedish Stock Market. The Swedish economy is the sum of all the goods and services that are produced in this country every day. There are telephones from Ericsson, cars from Volvo, chickens from Scan, and shipments from Kiruna to Skovde. That’s the Swedish economy, and it’s just as strong or weak today as it was a week ago.”
              He paused for effect and took a sip of water.
              “The Stock Exchange is something very different. There is no economy and no production of goods and services. There are only fantasies in which people from one hour to the next decide that this or that company is worth so many billions, more or less. It doesn’t have a thing to do with reality or with the Swedish economy.”
              ‘So you’re saying that it doesn’t matter if the Stock Exchange drops like a rock?’
              “No, it doesn’t matter at all,” Blomkvist said in a voice so weary and resigned that he sounded like some sort of oracle. His words would be quoted many times over the following year. Then he went on.
              “It only means that a bunch of heavy speculators are now moving their shareholdings from Swedish companies to German ones. So it’s the financial gnomes that some tough reporter should identify and expose as traitors. They’re the ones who are systematically and perhaps deliberately damaging the Swedish economy in order to satisfy the profit interests of their clients.”
              Then she on TV4 made the mistake of asking exactly the question Blomqvist had asked for.
              ‘And so you think that the media don’t have any responsibility?’
              “Oh yes, the media do have an enormous responsibility. (NZ Herald) For at least 20 years very many financial reporters have refrained from scrutinising Hans-Erik Wennerstrom (JKeyll). On the contrary, they have actually helped to build up his prestige by publishing brainless, idolatrous portraits. If they had been doing their work properly, we would not find ourselves in this situation today.”
              … Crime reporters were not expected to investigate intricate dealings on the Stock Exchange. One evening paper even took Blomkvist at his word and filled two spreads with portraits of several of the brokerage houses’ most important players, who were in the process of buying up German securities. The paper’s headlines read: SELLING OUT THEIR COUNTRY.’ (JKeyll and Hide and English)

              Stieg Larsson died unexpectedly.

            • M

              ‘He’s a money changer. It’s a service job that takes money in one place and moves it to another. It, in and of itself, produces no wealth.’

              Yes Draco, spot on – money changers were reviled in the Bible too.

              If he wants to better NZ why doesn’t he donate some of his obscene wealth to those helping people in poverty. I think I remember reading some years ago about a NZ business tycoon had a net worth of 270 million and donated 255 million of it to entities that would help people.

              Key needs to take a leaf out of this person’s book because unless someone has an addiction like gambling or hard drugs there should be no way he needs all that surplus to live.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.2

      As an addendum to that I’ll point to this one as well:

      The overall message exuded by the “information” dripping from the upper regions of politics is one of incongruence, if not downright inanity. One of the fundamental syllogisms of elementary logic warns that “if p and non-p, then q,” meaning, in a simplified yet honest translation, that if a proposition and its negation are simultaneously accepted, than everything may follow – and therefore, nothing has more ground than anything else, and so nothing can be relied upon. In other words, everything may be asserted, but (or rather, as) nothing stands to reason. Now, headlines like “McConnell Blasts Deficit Spending, Urges Extension of Tax Cuts” have become common fare served by the American press to its readers. Confronted with these sorts of conflicting assertions, readers have little choice but to admit that the forces that decide their life prospects are beyond their comprehension, and bound to stay there. And where there is ignorance, impotence is sure to follow.

      • ianmac 8.2.1

        Key blasts Beneficiaries.
        Urges Cuts and Cancelling Benefits to Protect Taxpayers Money!

        So. It must be true though I don’t know any who rip off the system.

        • Jenny

          But not so keen to “Protect Taxpayers Money!” when it comes to bailing out millionaires.

          capcha – “false”

  9. Jum 9

    ‘Michelle Boag New Executive Director of Ogilvy one of NZ’s largest advertising agencies’

    I guess we’ll be seeing contracts winging their way to Ogilvy from this government then…

  10. logie97 10

    big bruv, fisiani, burt
    You didn’t address the question in yesterday’s

    Granny sez: f**k the kids

    Comment 16 at 1:36 pm re Kiwi Rail money going to China.

    • Deadly_NZ 10.1

      I think they just could not back up their point of view. Ask for them to add substance to anything they say and it just reverts to the usual run of the mill bene bashing

  11. M 11

    Liked this video from the Automatic Earth re PO and the financial collapse in the US plus the areas people may want to consider for their own financial situation and preparedness for PO.


  12. Paving the Way for States to Wreck Small Businesses and Retired Public Workers

    By letting them go bankrupt and rewrite their obligations to suppliers and to their employees/former employees.


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