Open Mike 22/02/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, February 22nd, 2016 - 241 comments
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241 comments on “Open Mike 22/02/2016 ”

    • ianmac 1.1

      What is happening in UK will happen here. The lucrative bits of our Health system will be steadily privatised. Hospital meals anyone?
      In the early 90s in NZ our National Government introduced partial charges for patients in Public Hospitals. Didn’t work very well but now under Key, they will be back!

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.1

        Why is it vital that the state cook the meals eaten in hospitals?

        • ianmac

          Because mass produced frozen meals reheated is gross. The interests of the company trumps the interests of the patients.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

            Is public provided hospital food the example you want to hang your hat on?

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              What hospital? Many who need surgery cannot accumulate enough “points” to even get on a waiting list.

              Kafka would recognise this. Yossarian made jokes about it. Brighter future. Yum.

            • McFlock

              Actually, yeah.
              Hospital food, like any mass distributed food, is going to be pretty average.

              But Compass seem unable to achieve even that standard

          • Gosman

            Following your logic everything involved with hospitals such as drugs, bandages, beds, bedding and even the ambulances bringing people in should be provided by the State.

            • Macro

              Exactly – ohhh that was what was happening

              • alwyn

                Gosman suggests the following items “drugs, bandages, beds, bedding and even the ambulances” and you then appear to claim that “the State” in the past manufactured all those things.
                Do you really mean that that happened in New Zealand and if so can you please tell me when this all happened.
                I certainly can’t remember state owned pharmaceutical companies, or blanket makers or any of those other things.
                Even the ambulance service, at least in Wellington isn’t provided by the state.

                • Pasupial


                  The state’s role (at least prior to the recent outsourcing binge) is in the provision of services, not the manufacture of the components of those services. Your argument is akin to saying that; because hospital kitchens do not grow their own food, but instead purchase fresh produce from local suppliers (until recently) to prepare, then they have not created that food out of thin air. True enough, but spectacularly missing the point.

                  Likewise; “drugs, bandages, beds, [&] bedding”, will be purchased from external suppliers, but their specifications will be set by the state. The way these items are used within the health system will be determined by health professionals (well; ideally, though increasingly by; executives, commissioners and consultants these days). An ambulance service may be provided by an external organization such as St Johns, but the minimum requirements of that service will be determined by the hospital(s) it services.

                  The problem with outsourcing services is in the lack of control over the methods used in the external organization. Companies cut corners to maximize profit, unless they are constantly supervised. But that supervision costs, and the point of outsourcing is to save money (on paper at least, until those who signed off on it leave the organization before the hidden costs become evident), so supervision remains inadequate and ineffective.

                  • alwyn

                    I have no problem with anything you say.
                    However Macro was stating, at least by implication, that the state used to provide all those things, not buy them from private firms who manufactured them. I am curious how he came to that conclusion.
                    Actually I was in hospital about two years ago. The meals were provided by an outside firm and were pretty good. Cooking them in-house with hospital employed staff doesn’t really seem necessary.

                • Macro

                  Is there a competition on today to see who is the most gormless?
                  Every hospital I know of has its own Pharmacy. (and yes they do manufacture some of their own medicines.)
                  Every hospital I know of has its own laundry.
                  Every hospital I know of has its own beds. and my uncle (as a Wgtn Hospital employee) used to manufacture some of the special beds they needed for polio patients.
                  NZ used to even manufacture its own blankets, from wool grown in this country.
                  And I believe the Government should be responsible for the provision of ambulance services (and fire for that matter). The reliance on trust for the provision of vital helicopter and ambulance services should not be left to the syphonning off of problem gamblers money from pokies.

            • Kevin

              Just one of those funny things where the State is responsible for the welfare of its citizens Gosman.

              Maybe you should be made to pay for every comment you make on here, I am sure you would not have a problem with that. At least you would then feel you were upholding your ideals.

        • Molly

          1. Any incidents of food safety would be limited to one institution instead of multiples.
          2. Local employment.
          3. Higher likelihood of better nutritional value – for patients with already compromised health.
          4. Local food and ingredients purchased.

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

            Molly, are you arguing for or against state provision?

            • Macro

              We know you are a gormless fool – you don’t have to display it so openly however!

              • Gangnam Style

                Because if the food is not nutritional the people eating it will be back in hospital (sate funded) to get better, you see? Long term thinking that, not that hard really.

                • Pasupial

                  “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”


                  • Colonial Viper

                    Don’t say that, the big pharma types will want a patent and monopoly on our lunch spread too.

                    • DoublePlusGood

                      They’re already making tonnes shoving vitamins in basically everything.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Monsanto already has many patents on food. Now that NZ seems to be opening up to GMOs (probably against the wishes of NZers) we’ll probably find that we won’t be allowed to grow our own non-patented food in a short while.

            • Molly

              What do you think?

              oh sorry, I meant: What? Do you think?

        • Naturesong

          It’s vital that hospitals produce food on site because the meals produced are of a higher standard, cost less, and as a bonus, help the local economy.

          • alwyn

            Now that really shows faith founded on ignorance.
            “the meals produced are of a higher standard, cost less”
            Just what is your evidence for this?

            • Macro

              Having worked in the RNZN for 15 years and for 7 of those years working alongside supply and secretariat officers I can assure you that the local provisioning of food was far and away the best option. (I was also the examining officer for the City and Guilds Cooking exam) Outsourcing of meals means that some of the money originally put aside for the provision of food now goes into the transport of the food, and the profit of the provider.
              Therefore the quality of the meal – for the same amount of money – must drop. But the usual reason given to go to an outside provider is to save money – so the quality of the food provided must be done on an even smaller budget.
              Back in the Navy each ship was given a set budget dependent upon the number of personnel and the supply staff, cooks, and stewards had to work within that budget to feed the ship. You knew if there was a rort going on if sailors started to complain about the quality of the food. The first first place to look was always in the kitchen and the pantry. Too easy to sign for a dozen leg of lamb and receive only 10.
              So if hospitals are supplying poor food to their patients – the first question to ask is – are the cooks being given enough money to provide good food in the first place? and then the second question is how is the money being spent? and where has it gone? Much easier to ask these questions in house.

            • Draco T Bastard

              The only faith and ignorance that I’ve seen is from the RWNJs in their faith that the private sector is always better. Their ignorance comes from ignoring the evidence that the private sector is almost always worse.

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                This is why I proudly drive a Leyland.

                • vto

                  parked in a leaky-building garage, built over a polluted stream, and paid for by a south canterbury finance loan ……… never mind though eh, you can always get non-market labour from some poor country to patch things up for you at slave rates

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Yep, there’s been some fuckups but overall the government provides government services better than the private sector does and does it cheaper.

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                    Which is why the Soviet Union was so famously successful.

                    • Stuart Munro

                      In fact Russia had problems with product quality and corrupt administration long before the revolution – you might like to read Futility by William Gerhardie – it will give you some context.

                    • Gosman

                      Care to explain why East Germany was so site at making things then considering Germans didn’t have that tradition you mention?

        • David H

          Have you ever eaten over cooked and then over frozen food?? The crap they serve in hospitals would make a healthy man sick.. It was better when the food was cooked in the individual hospitals, then any dietary changes could be made with in 1 day, not a week or whatever it is now..

          This was never about the patient this was all about some company making a killing with inferior food, and diabolical cooking practices.

          • Penny Bright

            Whatever happened to the Hippocratic Oath?

            “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”?

            “Do no harm”?

            How many people now have adverse reactions from, or die from ‘approved’ pharmaceutical drugs?

            How much emphasis is placed by our ‘illness-based’ health system on NUTRITION as opposed to pharmaceutical drugs?

            Penny Bright
            2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

        • Tautuhi

          Fresh food and fresh vegetables contain more nutrients than frozen reheated garbage, if you want to recover quickly you need good quality food. Food is medicine.

          I was talking to an Agricultural Businessman at a meeting recently and he stated that vegetables these days only contain 12% of the nutrients today compared to the old vegetable varieties and growing methods of the past?

          With the use of artificial fertilizers and synthetic agrochemicals the plants and the environment are becoming unbalanced.

  1. Craig H 2

    5 years since our world turned upside down.

    Kia kaha Christchurch.

  2. dirty politics – what is it called when a group or individual pretends to be another group and says offensive stuff so that members of that first group can then pour moral outrage on the second group even though the first group have pretended to be the second group and the actual second group don’t know anything about the offensive stuff the first group pretended the second group said?

    IMO this technique is very hollow, obvious and rightwingish – they just can’t help loving the gutter and their dirty techniques.

    • ropata 3.1

      false flag operation

    • Gosman 3.2

      Then I expect you lot will find it easy to expose this ‘dirty tricks’ campaign. Track down one of the people who posted those offensive comments and get them to confess. Then you can bring down this VRWC once and for all. Somehow I doubt any of you will bother though.

    • Anne 3.3

      So, this is the latest dirty political meme? Send off comments filled with filthy language aimed at JK and co. to reputable media sites then shriek horror and disgust at their own creations?

      John Campbell… looks like you might have a dirty political trick happening right under your nose.

      • Puckish Rogue 3.3.1

        Its actually Dirty Tricks to try to take focus away from the issue at hand and place the blame elsewhere

        So well done the Left for trying

        • marty mars

          yeah what are the right frightened of at the moment hmmm…

        • Draco T Bastard

          The issue at hand is that RWNJs have seemingly threatened John Key and made massively inappropriate comments and then blamed those comments on the Left.

          Seems to me that we’re focussing on that and that you’re now trying to distract from it.

          • Wayne


            Do you actually have any evidence at all for this conspiracy theory?

            Or is repeating the conspiracy enough evidence of itself?

            • Draco T Bastard

              This is one of those times where the police should be finding out who made the comments and bringing them to justice which, of course, means naming them.

              Danyl’s post raises enough questions with an implied answer that makes such an investigation necessary. Of course, we probably won’t see such an investigation and so we’re only left with the RWNJ version of events which is, itself, lacking any facts.

              • lprent

                …so we’re only left with /963.89520the RWNJ version of events which is, itself, lacking any facts.

                Yep. The unthinking and the unlinking.

                I just read Danyl’s post and had a quick look around. After having seen Cameron Slater do exactly this kind of thing on a number of unmoderated sites (including this one way back), I’ll call it and say that in my view the Whaleoil group mob has been reactivated to spew crap on the RNZ site.

                If RNZ would like knowledgeable assistance on how to moderate without too much work, I’d be happy to provide it. But basically RNZ need to implement some moderation to handle the self-pleasuring trolls from Whaleoil and Kiwiblog (who have usually been banned or are very cautious in their behaviour here). Because once the loudmouthed arseholes like Cameron and his mates start doing this kind of thing, they don’t stop unless they are forced to.

                And learn to ignore the screams of outrage of ‘censorship’ as their horrendous behaviour is moderated to a level consistent to legal limits. It isn’t like they contribute to that process. Just kick them off the site for months. Sure they will group whine in the bowels of whaleoil, kiwiblag or laudafinem. But anyone with something sensible to say will come back with revised behaviour.

                • weka

                  Is there any way for RNZ’s tech people to see at the back end what is going on, or is because it’s FB it’s relatively blind?

              • Gosman

                You are aware that you could quite easily conduct an investigation yourself aren’t you?

            • Naturesong

              If you are a racist, then by definition you are not of the left

              • Puckish Rogue

                Would you consider Mahatma Ghandhi left or right? I ask because theres some discussion about whether he was racist

              • coge

                In my experience, the left tend to trade off one prejudice for another.

            • Gosman

              He doesn’t need evidence. It is all blatantly self obvious to him that evidence would just cloud the issue.

            • Anne

              So, you’re part of the latest Dirty Political meme eh Wayne?

              DTB @ has made no charges against anyone -unless you’re not aware of the meaning of the word “seemingly”. Is it now an heinous sin to express concern/suspicion about a “seemingly” orchestrated litany of threatening comments on a reputable media site which normally only attracts nominal numbers of comments? And exactly who the “seeming” culprits might be is open to speculation unless/until someone conducts a thorough investigation.

              If no-one (police?) chooses to conduct such an investigation then I am liable to become very suspicious.

              • pat

                sadly it would appear having got away with it in the past it will be applied until such time as it becomes counter-productive……hope it pays well in monetary terms as it must be soul destroying work.

              • Gosman

                You don’t need to conduct a through investigation. All you need to do is ascertain of one or more of them is real or not and what their political persuasion us likely to be. That seems quite straightforward.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Danyl already did that. Indications are that the comments come from bogus accounts.

                  • Gosman

                    Ahhh no he didn’t. He hasn’t done any leg work at all. He certainly hasn’t contacted anybody on the extensive friends list of the people involved and asked them if they in fact knew the person in question.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      You can search Facebook for the profiles captured in WhaleOil’s screenshots. None of them seem to be left-wing activists, or commentators on New Zealand politics, or previous RNZ commentators, or, in a couple of cases, active Facebook users. Although it’s hard to know for sure, because they don’t tend to have any of the autobiographical information or other interactions that normal Facebook users do.

                      As I said, Danyl’s done the preliminary investigation. To go further really does require an official investigation with the full backing of the law with legal consequences for those spewing such hate.

                    • Muttonbird

                      He certainly hasn’t contacted anybody on the extensive friends list of the people involved and asked them if they in fact knew the person in question.

                      – Gosman

                      How do you know? Are you one of them?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      You do, of course, understand that that action you describe won’t prove anything. They will, if they’re the fictitious accounts that they appear to be, say that they all exist, are great buddies and know each other intimately.

            • weka

              “Do you actually have any evidence at all for this conspiracy theory?”

              It’s not a conspiracy theory Wayne, or is RWers calling it a conspiracy theory enough to make it one?

              It’s a theory at this stage, a serious enough one that warrants discussion.

              • Gangnam Style

                Hooton, Farrar & the RW trolls are Right Wing Activists, they seem to be calling these commentators ‘Left Wing Activists’ but I don’t see what makes them so, whereas Hooton & co are actively shoving right wing memes down my throat.

                • weka

                  Pretty much. Looks like classic Dirty Politics to me, so even if it isn’t they’ve got no-one to blame but themselves for being suspects.

                  • Gosman

                    Does that mean you aren’t interested in finding out for sure that they are ‘dirty politics’ operatives?

                    • McFlock

                      Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, but who the fuck are we – David Attenborough?

                      Something took a shit on our car, and the most likely culprit is the waddling, quacking lump of stupid over to the right.

                    • weka

                      We already know they are DP operatives Gosman, that’s why so many people are suspicious this time round. As for this specific instance, of course I think the truth of the situation matters. What an odd question.

                    • Gosman

                      So why don’t you bother actually doing the investigative effort required to find out? It isn’t hard. Most of the people on that list have left a big trail to follow. For some reason you are reluctant though. Why is that?

  3. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    Hooton is the one with the long bow to draw. Thanks for your concern.

    • Gosman 4.1

      How has he a long bow to draw?

      • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1

        Yes, he has. Thanks for your concern.

        • Gosman

          Ummm…. comprehension doesn’t seem to be your strong suit. HOW has he a long bow to draw? What exactly makes you think that?

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Good question. I think it’s something to do with the quality of your concern.

            • Gangnam Style

              + 100 OAB, DNFT etc…

              • Macro

                The must have been eating hospital meals – there is a lot of them around at the moment!

                • weka

                  Not sure about the imagery of Hooton as a longbow man though. Presumably he works for the Sheriff but I’d see him as more cloak and dagger than fighting out front.

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Hooten studies a bit you know – and he’ll be employing the weapon that really beat the French at Agincourt. Not as is popularly supposed the longbow – It was mud that stopped the French chivalry.

                    • McFlock

                      Fascinating battle, actually – there were lots of little factors that by themselves were pretty minor, but added together really fucked things up for the French. The clay in the mud made it harder going for smooth armoured feet than for cloth/leather-shod archers. The command confusion wouldn’t have been so serious with those ods in a more open field.
                      Even the slightly narrowing shape of the field had some pretty interesting consequences regarding crowd dynamics.

                      Just for what it’s worth 🙂

  4. Tautuhi 5

    Something strange going on with the Crafar Farms Deal, Landcorp pulling out of the management contracts?

    Anybody know anything?

  5. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 6

    Danyl gets what no-one in the circle-jerk gets:

    • Ben 6.1

      Indeed. The Labour/Green bloc down 3%, Nats steady and NZF picking up 1%. The Left echo chamber is in full force.

      • Puckish Rogue 6.1.1

        No no you don’t understand, Winston Peters is in the left block so theres no need to worry

        • swordfish

          Or, to put it another way …

          Colmar Brunton (Feb 2016)
          Oppo Bloc 50.0%
          Govt Bloc 48.3%

          Once again, like every TV News Poll (Colmar Brunton / Reid Research) since May 2015, the Opposition are leading.

          Despite your hilarious attempt at satire, Puckers, let’s call it a wild stab in the dark, I think we all know Winnie could jump either way.

          • Puckish Rogue

            “Despite your hilarious attempt at satire, Puckers, let’s call it a wild stab in the dark, I think we all know Winnie could jump either way.”

            I’m certainly not saying Winston will go with National, I was more pointing out the tendency of some on here to count Winston as part of the Left wing block

            For every reason Winston could go right he could also go left so I think its utterly futile to guess where Winston will go until the votes are in and the trading begin

            So yeah I agree with you but its a shame theres many on here that don’t

          • swordfish

            I’m being remarkably generous to you, incidentally, by including the Maori Party’s 1% in Govt Bloc support. Who knows which way they’ll jump in 2017 ?

            Perhaps, if we’re looking at potential coalitions/support arrangements, it might be better to say:

            Colmar Brunton (Feb 2016)

            Lab+Green+NZF+Maori = 51%

            Nat+ACT+UF = 47.3%

            • Colonial Viper

              I’m being remarkably generous to you, incidentally, by including the Maori Party’s 1% in Govt Bloc support. Who knows which way they’ll jump in 2017 ?

              Well Labour better be building bridges with the Maori Party in a bid to gain MMP partners but of course they are not. Labour put on a big campaign to recapture every Maori Seat in 2014 and they will do so again in 2017.

              FPP thinking all the way.

              • swordfish

                True. At the moment, the logic of electoral competition in the Maori seats (well, at least in 3 or 4 of them) – where Labour and the Maori Party go head-to-head as major competitors/antagonists – would seem to inevitably push the MP in National’s direction (despite polls suggesting a large majority of MP voters prefer a Labour-led Government).

                On FPP thinking, if the 1996, 1999 and 2002 General Elections taught us anything, it’s that the voting public need to see a cohesive, united, viable potential Government-in-waiting if they’re to support the Opposition parties.

                You’ve come in for a bit of a bollocking here over recent months, CV, but personally I’ve always admired your sense of urgency, your broad vision, your avoidance of wishful thinking and your strategic nous. Nor do I condemn you for failing to win one of the Bluest Seats in the Country a couple of Elections ago.

            • Puckish Rogue

              The problem for the left and their counting is that yes going by votes only it is close but if you take the Maori Party and their 1% but possibly two seats, Peter Dunnes virtually no votes but one and Acts possibly two votes then that makes the counting quite a lot different and its not quite as close as the Left would like

              I think the only thing that we can probably all agree on is that the most likely outcome is that Winston may well have a big say in the outcome of the next election

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                But, the wider point is that Labour keep announcing policy aimed at people who already vote left, rather than people who currently vote for the government.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  This is true and because of that I don’t sense (not exactly scientific I admit) any real feeling that NZ want a change of government at the moment

                  • swordfish

                    Finely balanced, though trending slightly in the current Govt’s favour.

                    Water. Under. Bridge. Lots. Of. Still. To. Flow. Though.

                    • Puckish Rogue

                      Oh of course, something can always happen but I guess I mean if National and Labour keep doing what they’re doing then I don’t think we’ll get a change of government

                  • Stuart Munro

                    Yeah – but like I’madinnerjacket, you’ll still be saying that when he’s toppled. Maybe your ESP talents aren’t much more reliable than Treasury predictions. I don’t recall them predicting $120 billion in debt – it was all going to be surpluses from here to eternity.

    • They both seem like sensible responses to me – why is asking for the police to be independent from politics and saying that mccaw is entitled to his opinion and others may dislike it, so abhorrent to you bm?

      • BM 7.1.1

        1. Andrew Little doesn’t need to comment on Richie McCaw, it’s none of Little’s business what flag McCaw likes or doesn’t like.

        2. Accusing Collins of politicizing the event when there’s a Labour Float with all these signs saying we voted for homosexual reform, don’t forget that, you owe us is the height of hypocrisy.

        • Colonial Viper

          Little commenting on McCaw is just like Goff commenting on Liz Hurley: inadvisable and unnecessary.

          • marty mars

            it is the opposite actually – did you read what he said?

          • Puckish Rogue

            I have to say that its a bad move by Little, had he said nothing then more then a few people would probably just go “huh what does Richie know” and just ignore but now that Littles put his oar it looks a bit like the old left wing bullying happening

            • alwyn

              You know the rules PR.
              If anyone shows even the slightest hint of agreeing with John Key’s view he has to be abused and silenced. At a minimum people will be encouraged to do it for you.
              Be anti-John Key and you will be hailed as a true patriot and evidence that Key is hated by all.
              That is about par for the course.

        • Olwyn

          1. Little agrees that McCaw is entitled to his own opinion, but also notes that opinions on controversial subjects attract backlash (e.g. negative comments on McCaw’s facebook page). He refuses to express a view as to whether McCaw has been co-opted by Key, saying that McCaw is able to make up his own mind. This is hardly trespassing on McCaw’s business, especially given that Little seemed to have been answering questions that were asked of him.
          2. In the case of Collins, Little was drawing attention to the fact that the police are meant to function independently of the government of the day. Collins, in marching with them, appeared to disregard that boundary. So it was not about politicising the event per se, but showing a compromised relationship between a government minister and the police.

          • Puckish Rogue

            He said he would not put it past Mr Key to encourage people like McCaw to go public with their views. “But equally, I view Richie McCaw as somebody who’s quite capable of making up his own mind and having a view he chooses either to or not express.

            “We know that there’s a bit of a rearguard action by some National Party politicians who are trying to elicit celebrity help to curry more favour to changing the flag. Whether or not Richie McCaw has been put up to that by people, I don’t have a view. He’s quite capable of expressing his own view. He has, and he’s getting a reaction.”

            Hes basically saying that Richie has either been manipulated or paid for his opinion, this is not good by Andrew Little

            • marty mars

              ‘basically’ lol yep well done for the slanted – in fact he said, “I view Richie McCaw as somebody who’s quite capable of making up his own mind and having a view he chooses either to or not express.” as you quote. Basically a fail from you puck.

            • Olwyn

              I do not see any suggestion of payment in that extract. It is publicly known that National is trying to elicit celebrity help in support of a flag change. As to whether or not McCaw is among them, Little does not venture an opinion. So mention of payment, no suggestion that those celebrities who have agreed to support the flag change have been manipulated, and no claim that McCaw must be one of them.

            • Gabby

              He didn’t say he doesn’t personally find him credible.
              Which was nice.

          • BM

            Apart from once again looking like a complete and utter sad sack, what’s he hoping to achieve.?

            No wonder Peters is overtaking him in the preferred prime minister stakes, he’s so miserable and depressing.

            • marty mars

              trying to help and offer support to the nzer of the year is somehow bad in your book – THAT is sad

            • Olwyn

              I expect that Andrew Little is far less exercised by these matters than you are. He was asked questions. He answered them. His answers were reasonable.

          • ianmac

            McCaw said it was time to change the flag. Yes. I agree with him.
            But the new flag design offered is nowhere near worth voting for. Wonder if McCaw really believes the new design is his best choice? Must ask him.

    • Puckish Rogue 7.2

      Good on Crusher for showing support for the people she represents

  6. Gangnam Style 8

    Is there no right wing blog for the RWs on here? So many comments already, or trying to trash the place up to discourage readers I wonder.

    • Pasupial 8.1

      Gagnam Style

      They’re usually easy to spot and scroll past; often no more than one sentence or even just a single word. Also; timewasting links, with no description or quote from the contents to explain why you would want to click on them. But you just learn to spot the names after a while: BM, Gosman, Gormless, PR, etc…

      I assume that they’re out in force today to try derail conversation away from NACT’s handling of the Christchurch rebuild.

      • Gangnam Style 8.1.1

        Thanks, I do scroll past, especially when I see “The problem with the left is…” reminds me when people start a sentence “I’m not a racist but…” you know a lot of tripe is going to follow.

        But yes, spotlight on CHCH today, 5 years, sheesh.

    • Tautuhi 8.2

      Fresh food and fresh vegetables contain more nutrients than frozen reheated garbage, if you want to recover quickly you need good quality food. Food is medicine.

      I was talking to an Agricultural Businessman at a meeting recently and he stated that vegetables these days only contain 12% of the nutrients today compared to the old vegetable varieties and growing methods of the past?

      With the use of artificial fertilizers and synthetic agrochemicals the plants and the environment are becoming unbalanced.

  7. miravox 9

    For a month this summer, our group of five travelled the country to document the stories of New Zealanders dealing with destruction of our rivers and lakes, and urge the government to prioritise the health of all New Zealanders by raising the minimum standard for waterways to swimmable.

    The government will raise those minimum standards. Our waterways will have to be “wadeable”.

    Wadeable. Is that even a real measure?

    • Molly 9.1

      “Wadeable” means that the toxicity is acceptable if it is limited to skin exposure below the knee. (Which can be further avoided by wearing gumboots).

      Swimmable would require a level of non-pollution that would allow someone to *gasp* immerse their heads underneath the surface – and suffer no ill-effects.

      In other words, wadeable is doable. (Or to be honest, “wadeable” is polluted.)

      Skellerups anyone?

      • DoublePlusGood 9.1.1

        It is a marginal improvement on ‘pokeable’, where it is only safe to poke the surface of the water with a long stick.

        • greywarshark

          Thanks Molly for that explanation of levels of unacceptability. That is what we are reduced to in NZ under the barbarian hordes of stinging Gnats.

          And Double Plus Good introduces another measure which enables us to give a hollow ironic laugh and keep going on what seems to be an endless Pilgrims Progress (written in the 1600s by John Bunyan).

          ‘…the allegory, which centres itself in his [Christian’s] journey from his hometown, the “City of Destruction” (“this world”), to the “Celestial City” (“that which is to come”: Heaven…Christian is weighed down by a great burden—the knowledge of his sin— He gets caught in a fearsome swamp and struggles to get free.

          After struggling to the other side of the slough, Christian is pulled out by Help, who has heard his cries and tells him the swamp is made out of the decadence, scum, and filth of sin, but the ground is good at the narrow Wicket Gate.

          So brothers let’s go down, come on down, down to the river to pray.
 Alison Krauss
          Our only real sin will be if we don’t make an effort, and become like Pliable in the story.
          Another cappella version that the singers have worked up very beautifully.


          • Puckish Rogue

            God damn but that’s a sexy song when Alison Krauss sings it, almost as sexy as this:

      • miravox 9.1.2

        Thanks – sooo not good enough!

        For kids that will mean full body skellerups, given the way they splash. Look on the brightside another new fashion industry – waterproof wading suits with triclosan for adventurous children and trampers. Yay!

        Another price of everything and the value of nothing moment.

  8. Puckish Rogue 10

    Because people with a high public profile shouldn’t comment on their preference for a flag change (because, you know, they might influence someone) I await with baited breath the condemnation that will now surely follow Rachel Smalley for offering her opinion

    • mac1 10.1

      PR, (well initialed btw), the following paragraphs from the article to which you have alerted us (and thanks!) state what is a primary concern for the writer.

      “And now they’re rolling out former All Blacks to encourage us to vote for it.

      Dan Carter and Richie McCaw. Both are fine men. Both are experts on the game of rugby. Neither is an expert on design.”

      By acknowledging their lack of expertise in flag design she also acknowledges her own lack. She offers her opinion; it’s worth as much as Carter and McCaw’s.

      It’s her preference.

      Why should we pay attention to it? Only to highlight the point, subtly, that being famous/in the media/ a celebrity is not enough and should not influence a voting choice.

      She does offer some arguments for her liking for the current flag and her dislike of the alternative, however, which are worth considering.

      We should have worried when the government announced the composition of the selection panel. No flag design expertise there. Thereafter the process was flawed.

  9. rhinocrates 11

    Perennial charmers Screechy McHooton, Wailoil and the Princess Party Penguin are up to their usual greasy tricks:

    Hoots, Wail and Farrar are trying to brand opposition to Key as “hate speech” using fake facebook pages, all as a matter of “public interest” of course.

    Hoots is pointing at John Campbell while disingenuously claiming it’s not really all about him. Right.

    Hey Hoots, how about just passing John Campbell’s address on to your thug friends, eh? They do more than just “hate speech” don’t they?

    • rhinocrates 11.1

      Addendum. Hoots is spinning madly in the comments, weasel words like “may have been”, hair splitting etc. Hilarious.

      It’s his typical technique: obliquely suggest something, keep pointing at the target, claim “you MIGHT interpret it that way”, “maybe” etc.

      Fucking coward.

      • weka 11.1.1

        BM posted some links to Key’s FB page recently where he claimed that there were lefties behaving inappropriately on family orientated pages. I thought it odd at the time when I looked at it, but didn’t bother looking to see who the abusive posters were. There wasn’t much to suggest they were lefties though.

        As an aside, was FB even a thing when Clark was in govt?

        • alwyn

          “FB even a thing when Clark was in govt”
          Did the internet even exist?

        • McFlock

          FB began in 2004.
          Myspace in 2003, youtube and Bebo 2005.

          Without looking at the uptake stats for NZ, you’re probably looking at social networking really only becoming big in the last term of Lab5, as web2.0 became the buzzword of the day.

          Prior to that, it was newsgroup discussion lists or largely static websites, rather than websites adapting content to the user, ISTR.

          lol – looked at the nz.politics newsgroup for the first time on well over a decade and it seems to be populated be a solitary doofus who posts copious amounts of complete and utter shite daily. Pity – had some good arguments back in the day. Trouble is that it was an unmoderated newsgroup, with regular doses of what RNZ failed to clean up promptly.

    • Tc 11.2

      Theyve all got livings to make and this is how they keep their paymasters happy.

  10. Karen 12

    Excellent article about the Māori Party support for National’s state house sell-off. Very disappointed in Marama Fox going along with this. Shameful.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      The state houses are being sold off. That’s only half the transaction though. Next question – who is buying them, and are they related to anyone in Parliament in anyway shape or form.

      • Karen 12.1.1

        I don’t care who is buying them, I care that they are being sold. NZ should be building more state houses not selling them.

        • Colonial Viper

          If you only want to look at half the picture, don’t be surprised when you can’t make sense of what you are seeing.

          PS I am not suggesting that there are private buyers who would make the privatisation exercise acceptable.

    • marty mars 12.2

      + 1 Karen – shame, shame shame on the MP for supporting this imo2

    • Tc 12.3

      If you assume the MP is a subsidary of national none of this should be a surprise.

      Look at their track record enabling and supporting this govt they are part of and its very predictable.

      Marama fox is a parata clone and rather nasty when challenged.

  11. greywarshark 13

    Is Farrar actually on about Radionz being taxpayer funded? It would serve his and Slater’s masters and paycheques if they dumped on Radionz so much that it would seem time to close down, on some spurious grounds.

    What they are saying is that Radionz is not pleasing their bosses. And that if it is government funded it is beholden to have to kiss their arses and tiptoe around the little corporals (or generals if you will). Just as Labour and Gnats have acted to have any body receiving public money, stay schtum about failures of the government of the day, especially charities. Muldoon closed charitable status on a church based one CORSO because they dared to mention that deprivation was growing in NZ. See below.

    The kaupapa of Radionz is to be there for the people, keep us informed, let us hear what the other citizens are doing, and what is happening elsewhere. (I don’t agree with a change of name, no matter what other media they may venture into, having alphabet letters is not satisfactory in their case, be Radio+plus and be proud, I say).

    Thinking about the way that the Gnats want to control information about the country’s and people’s status and conditions here, set me thinking about Muldoon’s cutting off a large aid organisation CORSO in the 1970s. Largely, it had annoyed the government and its middle class supporters by drawing attention to deficits and problems occurring here, instead of just looking at troubled people overseas.

    I have looked for relevant work on charities and punishment for truthful reporting about conditions by government. Below are some headings from Google that will give the interested further information:

    New Zealand Parliament – Charities Bill — First Reading…/charities-bill-—-first-reading
    Mar 30, 2004 – The Government’s intention was to tax charities that put their tax-free profits back into the … groups performing advocacy will not be eligible for charitable status. …. We had a case in the House, around 1979-80, relating to CORSO. …. states that an organisation can be removed from the register of charitable …

    New Zealand Parliament – Charities Bill — Second Reading ……nz/…/charities-bill-—-second-reading-instruction-t...
    Apr 12, 2005 – That removes the requirement for the commission to establish and …… They are liable to be stripped of their charitable status by some unfeeling Government …… by crawling to Margaret Thatcher, and treated CORSO cruelly.

    Also this paper might show bias on having muzzled charities putting government patronage ahead of a responsibility to inform the public as to its work, and how it finds the public conditions experienced.
    June 2013
    The History of Charitable Purpose Tax Concessions in
    New Zealand: Part 1*
    Michael Gousmett, FCIS PhD BCom(Hons) BBS DipTchg DipCM, is an independent Charities and Third
    Sector Researcher, and Founding Trustee of The New Zealand Third Sector Educational Trust CC47402.
    Just as taxpayers are required to meet their fiscal obligations or else face penalties, so too should those organisations with charitable purposes that benefit from fiscal privileges be required to demonstrate precisely how it is that they have benefitted the community through their activities, being activities that are both directly and indirectly subsidised by the taxpayer.
    Once charitable status has been granted, we need to go beyond the presumption of charitability to ensure that positive outcomes are being achieved as a consequence of the fiscal privileges available to charities. The nexus between charitable status and fiscal privilege is clear, for without the one the other does not follow.
    This is the first of a two-part article examining the history of the charitable purposes concession in New Zealand

    This paper researching the background and demise of CORSO probably illustrates the factors that led to NZ and the 1984 revolution when the welfare state was abandoned as the goal and materialism and individualism replaced it. The reliance of CORSO on women volunteers who during the 1960’s were entering employment and dropping volunteering and community :

    PDF]Paying the Price of the Failure to retain Legitimacy in a ……/WP47.pdf
    by D Sutton – ‎Cited by 1 – ‎Related articles
    Legitimacy in a National Charity: the CORSO Story. WORKING PAPER SERIES … Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand ….. 19 September 1979 the government legislated the removal of the tax exempt status of. CORSO …l

    Stakeholders: Government-NGO Partnerships for …
    Ian Smillie, ‎Henny Helmich, ‎Judith Randel – 2013 – ‎Political Science
    CORSO, one of New Zealand’s earliest international NGOs, had its charitable status removed in the 1970s for its criticism of government policy,6 and debates …

  12. Draco T Bastard 14

    Britain lobbied UN to whitewash Bahrain police abuses

    Britain has been accused of waging a behind-the-scenes PR offensive aimed at neutering United Nations criticism of Bahrain for its human rights record, including the alleged use of torture by its security forces.
    Bahrain’s young people mark fifth anniversary of Arab spring
    Read more

    Documents shared with the Observer reveal that the UN’s criticism of the Gulf state was substantially watered down after lobbying by the UK and Saudi Arabia, a major purchaser of British-made weapons and military hardware.

    And Saudi Arabia is presently on the UN Human Rights Council.

  13. Good to know that anti 1080 protesters are no longer implicated in this – it always seemed far fetched to me.

    • Magisterium 15.1

      So the culprit was a white male Baby Boomer who did it for personal gain? Wow, never seen one of those before.

      • Pasupial 15.1.1

        The culprit was a selfish arsehole, his age and sex are incidental (though the sense of entitlement may be linked to his perceived privilege).

        At the time the threats were sent, Kerr’s credit card was almost maxed out and he could not make the minimum repayments…

        An ANZ staffer also told the court about Kerr increasing an overdraft facility on his mother Judith’s account from $10,000 to $50,000, which he was permitted to do since he had enduring power of attorney over her estate.

        When the bank contacted Mrs Kerr she “knew nothing” but they approved the application after the defendant provided them with documentation about his authority.

        When you’re willing to defraud your own sick mother (he’s 60 and has power of attorney, so I imagine that she’s in a nursing home), then threatening the health of stranger’s babies isn’t that big a step, I guess. From Marty’s link:

        he became “agitated” and came to believe sales of his own product would increase by 30 per cent if 1080 wasn’t used… Kerr became concerned that 1080 was outdoing sales of Feratox, and would ask company managers on a daily basis how Feratox sales were doing.

        I almost hope that he was a meth-head, as that’d almost go one some way to explaining (not excusing) this pattern of behaviour (agitation, impulsiveness, increasing need for large amounts of money). It’s better than believing that someone could become this much of an loathsome creep naturally.

      • vto 15.1.2

        margarine “So the culprit was a white male Baby Boomer who did it for personal gain? Wow, never seen one of those before.”

        Straight from the annals of kiwiblog (just switch a few bigotries) ….

  14. Grindlebottom 17

    How come I often can’t open some pages on this site recently?

    The latest one that won’t open for me is “General Lord Dannatt: UK should work with Assad in Syria”.

    I’m running Windows 7. The page won’t open in Google Chrome, Firefox or Internet Exporer.

    • Bill 17.1

      I just flipped over to that post. Works fine. (Windows 7 and chrome)

      • Grindlebottom 17.1.1

        That’s odd. It’s still not working for me Bill.

        I’ve been having this problem with certain post pages on The Standard for a few weeks now. All I get is a red flag icon up in the chrome tab (instead of the usual grey square icon) and a blank page. Clicking on any comments for that page in the right hand Comments list also doesn’t open the page.

        Only happens with certain pages: others open fine. Strange. Wonder if something in my browser settings needs changing. I mostly use chrome.

        Edit: Hang on, now it’s opening. It didn’t 3 or 4 minutes ago. I haven’t changed anything in my browser settings. Weird.

        • AJ

          Similar problem recently on two different computers. Opera 12. Quite random. Refreshing doesn’t help.

    • lprent 17.2

      Tried windows 7 with Chrome.48 and Internet Explorer.11, both logged in and logged out. I don’t have any problems apart from more lagginess than I’d like.

      On pages that fail to load, try Shift+f5 or Shift+refresh to see if you can clear any local browser cache.

      Also what is your ISP? It could be that they are caching pages badly. When I get home I’ll have a peek at the logs for any page errors. But I haven’t seen any for previous people reporting something similar.

      • Grindlebottom 17.2.1

        Cheers Lynn. My ISP’s Spark. Using a standard ADSL wireless connection. Seems odd it’s only some pages that are affected.

        • lprent

          What is odder is that only some people appear to be getting the problem and there is no particular pattern to what they are using at the client end.

          It sounds like a caching problem – but pretty difficult to see where it is from.

          For instance my cellphone runs spark. So I ran a test the weekend before last for windows7 + cell spark looking for a ISP caching. Didn’t see any.

          BTW: There were no particular page errors yesterday at around 3pm.

      • William 17.2.2

        I started experiencing similar problems maybe six weeks ago. Various TS pages wouldn’t load but later that day it would be OK. It has now become worse in that on some machines the home page will never load, a blank white screen occurs.

        It has consistently only affected some machines/OS’s.
        e.g. I’m writing this in Firefox 44.0.2 on a Win XP machine which suffers the problem. Pasting the url for this open mike works OK but I cannot get to the home page.
        The same applies to Chrome 48.0.2564.116m & IE 8 (tried that for laughs).

        This machine can also boot to Linux Mint 17 32 bit and everything works fine using the current latest Firefox.
        Another machine running Mint 17 64 bit & FF does have the problem, as does another running Win7 using FF, Chrome or IE11.
        There’s a few other XP machines here running FF that seem OK.
        I’m not experiencing anything similar on other sites.

        Looking at the blank home page using this machine the page source looks like


        That’s all, no actual content.

        Page info says the render mode is quirks mode and the size is 24 bytes, it loads very fast, no lagginess 🙂
        Originally it showed it was modified on 16 Feb, ctrl F5 brought it up to date although I think I have tried to view the page several times since then.
        There’s no button for ‘Media’ or ‘Feeds’ and no metatags listed.

        This open mike page shows render mode as Standards compliance mode.

        I’m connected via vodafone on the ex TC cable network in Wgton.


        • lprent

          What is odder is that only some people appear to be getting the problem and there is no particular pattern to what they are using at the client end.

          It sounds like a caching problem – but pretty difficult to see where it is from.

          For instance my cellphone runs spark. So I ran a test the weekend before last for windows7 + cell spark looking for a ISP caching. Didn’t see any.

          BTW: There were no particular page errors yesterday at around 3pm.

          Try this in Chrome if you are game.
          Right click on failed page & inspect.
          At top of inspector, click on network.
          Click on preserve log in options at the top of the inspector.
          Click on filled dot on left at top left of inspector to put it into record mode.
          Press F5 on page

          After the page has loaded, scroll to the top and have a look at the load. The primary page is the URL. The Size column says if it loaded from cache. It shouldn’t for any post page. Most of the images etc should come from your local cache.

          In the status column 200 means that it was ok or local cache. 304 means that the local cached version was ok and to use that. (failed) says that it couldn’t get it

  15. pat 18

    When democratic checks are blocked, the media knee capped and manipulation of the system rife then the electorate has no alternative….–reports

    …the lesson it would be wise for the government and its facilitators to take from these actions is ample in history

    • Rosie 18.1

      3.25 snap!

    • McFlock 18.2

      and he was doing an interview when someone yelled out “you suck, Brownlee”.

      The thing I don’t get about all the booing and dildo-chucking that’s been happening lately is that it means that either the polls or wrong, or that the polls are correct but the marginalised are becoming more restless.

      The latter is the option that bodes particularly badly for NZ, imo.

      • pat 18.2.1

        believe it is more the later….though the polls are suspect imo

        • Macro

          I think the polls are reflecting the self satisfaction of the polled (those who have homes and can afford landlines) and they are doing ok at the moment because their house prices are going up. That is about as far ahead as most think imo. The polls won’t change much until the bubble bursts, and the sheeple suddenly wake up and find that they are in a bit of strife!
          The restlessness however on the extremities is growing. Those who have been left out of the “economic miracle” that John Key has provided are growing angry that their cries for justice are never heard. I’m not sure we are are back to 1793 as McF alludes to below – but the conditions are growing by the day.

          • Muttonbird

            This. A direct result of the current government’s anti-social policy platform is the growth in inequality, the marginalisation of the vulnerable, the polarisation of the people and the sending of them to the extremes.

      • weka 18.2.2

        The value in the increase in booing etc isn’t that it will shift this or that poll, but that it is building a movement of resistance and protest. At this stage, the polls are irrelevant to that.

        • maui

          I think the value in the raised awareness of protestors is that the general public may start to wonder, why are people protesting? why are they so angry? why is there so much unrest? It begins to sow some seeds of political doubt for them, at least that’s a good theory anyway.

      • Rosie 18.2.3

        “The thing I don’t get about all the booing and dildo-chucking that’s been happening lately is that it means that either the polls or wrong, or that the polls are correct but the marginalised are becoming more restless.”

        I was wondering about that too. My assumption was that it’s the quiets ones you gotta watch out for, that seem to be growing louder, the marginalised restless as you say – February’s activities wouldn’t have happened even a couple of years ago.

        weka makes a good point at 18.2.2, about building a movement of resistance, and how the polls are irrelevant to that at the moment.

        The more that people react to the government at public events, the more courage that gives to those that would never dream to speak up. I hope one day there will come a time when we reach a tipping point and our government becomes widely condemned.

      • Bill 18.2.4

        Why is disdain and a “fuck you” attitude towards them’s that would presume to be our betters a bad thing?

        • McFlock

          Nothing, in of itself.

          When it’s not reflected in the polls, it means that a chunk or the population are being shafted and the regular democratic safety valve isn’t kicking in to give representation to those who have been marginalised.

          It might not lead to 1793 all over again, but it does increase the odds of a nutter throwing something other than dildos.

          • Bill

            Hmm. So you’d favour the state extending its influence and in the process consolidating a sense of legitimacy? (Or something like that.) Y’see, I think that’s the bad thing, but hey…

            • McFlock

              um – no?

              Just that if people A) are getting increasingly pissed off and B) see no way of getting their voice heard in current democratic institutions, then the odds that someone will think they need to yell really loudly, and with violence, also increases.

              • Bill

                Or the other odds – that current illiberal institutions are simply given the long finger as people organise beyond the sphere of influence those institutions have – or simply deny the institutions any efficacy in daily life.

                In effect, a bit like the day the passing KGB started to be stared down instead of scurried away from.

                I think violence is usually the exception and the myth that it’s the ‘go to’ position of any revolutionary process a nice control measure.

                Yet more odds to consider are those for reformists refusing to merely settle for whatever has been conceded, but always formulating immediate new demands off the back of the old ones.

                Maybe there are odds for the stuff in the preceding paragraph being a necessary pre-condition to the stuff of the first paragraph as opposed to both lots of stuff proceeding simultaneously or in tandem?

              • pat

                1793 is always closer than anyone thinks….particularly those with the arrogance to indulge in the manipulation….there is a fine line between control and out of…..

  16. Rosie 19

    Has February been one of NZ’s most active months for protest since dear leader took charge?

    There are a wide range of sectors within society expressing feelings of all round shitiness and dissatisfaction with Key personally and the govt in general.

    4th Feb: Massive turnout for TPPA signing protest, estimates of 15,000 with roads blocked for several hours.

    5th Feb: Awesome lady, Josie Butler, throws a dildo at Steven Joyce at Waitangi, causing an outbreak of international hilarity.

    6th Feb: Key booed loudly by the crowd at Auckland Nine’s Rugby League

    14th Feb Key booed loudly again by the crowd at the Big Gay Out for 3 minutes solid and only gets 20 seconds into a speech before he has to abandon the stage.

    21st Feb. A large crowd gather in Cathedral Square Christchurch to protest their treatment by EQC and insurance companies. Key and Brownlee target of anger and frustration.

    And now today, Brownlee gets mud thrown at him during remembrance ceremony for Christchurch:

    Mud, dildo’s, boo’s. Looks like our government is in the poo’s.

    Clocks’ ticking PM……………

    • BM 19.1

      Gifting the next election to National.

      • Bill 19.2.1

        As opposed to the link ‘header’ “Brownlee bewildered by heckler”, I’m bewildered by the show of mateyness that was on display. Seriously wondering wtf that’s about.

        • weka

          Mateyness on display by who?

          • Bill

            The consolatory pat on the back for Brownlie from an opposition party leader.

            • weka

              Good grief. At least he’s a kind man, I suppose that counts for a bit.

              • Karen

                It actually shows Little is a decent, caring human being.

                I absolutely loathe Brownlee but this was not the time or place to throw shit all over him. It was a memorial service for people who had lost loved ones in the earthquake. Maybe some here should remember that.

                • Bill

                  There is never a wrong time or place for a message well deserved and delivered.

                  Bad form to throw shit at a fucker who actioned decisions that he knew would entail misery and/or death and who then has the gall to turn up at a memorial event…. why?

                  • Karen

                    If you can’t see that a memorial event wasn’t an appropriate place to do this then I can’t help you.

                    • Bill

                      I don’t need help Karen, but thanks anyway.

                      In a sane world Brownlee would have been barred from being there. His attendance, and that of other government ministers, was insulting and grossly inappropriate on a number of levels with regard to people both living and dead.

                    • weka

                      It’s possible that the man knew it was inappropriate, but was desperate. Being able to work within what is socially acceptable is a position of privilege, that’s the whole point, there are too many people who are being denied this privilege now. Something is going to break.

                    • Molly

                      Is it “appropriate” for Gerry Brownlee to attend managed and celebratory events for the earthquake – while being able to avoid meaningful discussion and action for those still hurting?

                      This event – in that respect – is an appropriate time for those who have been marginalised, ignored and forgotten to show their disgust.

                      I feel some discomfort for Brownlee, but the immediate sympathy and concern shown for him is decidedly lacking in his role for reconstruction and others who have suffered far more, and for five long years.

                  • Rosie

                    I’m with you Bill.

                    We can’t judge those whose level of suffering we know nothing of. Are we meant to be behave like the Victorians and be polite and silent under avoidable duress? Such pain can’t always draw at line at societal protocols.

                    Brownlee can handle it. These guys look like they’re going to have get more used to this kind of reaction. They do not deserve our sympathy, or our concern about the correct actions in time and place.

                    Disappointing to see Little give Brownlee a consoling pat on the shoulder, which Brownlee barely acknowledged, being the arrogant fucker that he is. By doing this Little shows he is supporting those who have privilege and power, over and above those who have been shafted.

                    • Bill

                      That last sentence you write was my immediate gut reaction to what I was seeing.

                    • Karen

                      I think this may be the first time I have ever disagreed with you Rosie, but you seem to have missed the fact that it was a memorial service for those who had died. I don’t care how much shit gets thrown at Brownlee when he is at other events but this was a service attended by people who are still grieving. They are the ones I care about.

                      As for Little his was a spontaneous response to a person who had been attacked – whether Brownlee deserved to be attacked or not is not the point. Personally, I’d rather have someone in charge with whose immediate instinct when the person next to them is attacked is one of empathy than someone who jeers because it happened to an enemy.

                      I want a caring society.

                    • Rosie

                      Hi Karen.

                      Yes I’m aware it was a memorial service. What I gather from reports on RNZ, stuffed, and newshurb, the arrested man threw the mud/matter at a time shortly after Brownlee and Little were speaking to one another. This indicates that either the memorial service was over or at least it wasn’t during the time that the names of the 185 dead were being read out.

                      I can’t speak for the people attending the ceremony, and what they may have felt. I’m sure it would have upset a few people. Others may have felt supportive towards the man who took the action.

                      I also can’t speak for the Cantabrians so incredibly let down by this government post 22.02.11. From where I’m sitting I can only be astonished at the level of abandonment. So that is why I empathise with a person who has reached breaking point and reacts.

                      When we think of grief, collective grief in the case of the ceremony, we know that feeling doesn’t exist in isolation. Depending on the circumstances there may also be anger, hurt, frustration, resentment and fear. All these emotions are part of grief. I think it is natural that it was expressed yesterday despite our social protocols and expectations that dictate that it shouldn’t. These protocols exist to keep order and harmony in society but in extreme circumstances these invisible walls have to come down – theres only so much they can hold.

                      No I wouldn’t expect Little to “jeer at the enemy either”. But I wouldn’t expect him to support a bully.

                      I want a caring society too. I have a feeling that the man who threw the mud is reacting to the fact that we have become an uncaring and compassionless society (see my comments on yesterdays post on 22.02.11) It’s not for us to judge if he expresses himself in an impolite way.

                    • Karen

                      Hi Rosie. I am not saying that the man who did this was not justified in despising Brownlee and wanting to humiliate him. I am questioning the timing of this action at a memorial service. It may have been at the end of the service but that would still have had an impact on the other people who had lost loved ones. I do know about grief – I have had my own share of it.

                      I also took issue with this:

                      “By doing this Little shows he is supporting those who have privilege and power, over and above those who have been shafted.”

                      I don’t think this is a fair assessment, but we shall just have to agree to disagree

          • Pasupial


            It looked like Andrew Little patted Brownlee on the back after the code brown incident. I had to watch it a second time to pick up on that myself. I can see why Bill might see that as bewildering mateyness. I think it might be seen by many as classiness, in an attack the errors not the person kind of way. Provided, of course, that Little did use the occasion to criticise the many shortcomings in Brownlee’s handling of the Christchurch rebuild.

            Afterwards, Mr Brownlee had to leave for home to get cleaned up, and thanked an unnamed woman who helped him get clean enough to get in the car.

            He said he would like to know what the man’s gripe was.


            I think it’s pretty clear to most people what the “man’s grip was”.

            • weka

              Shub have updated their page and are now allowing Brownlee to suggest that the man has mental health problems alongside reporting that he’s been arrested and will appear in court.

    • Muttonbird 19.3

      Direct action protest is certainly on the increase and the National party must surely be polling their hearts out in order to find out why.

      Lots of protest action is evidence of a unhappy society. John Key’s government is responsible for this.

  17. Hami Shearlie 20

    So someone covered Brownlee with smelly brown stuff. Better than getting shot like some have had overseas. No harm done to him. It was not the right thing to do on this particular day, but I find it puzzling that anyone noticed any difference? There is always a stench about Brownlee when he is in Christchurch pushing his weight around and bullying so many!

  18. Chooky 21

    Question: So why are European leaders scared to ask the real questions as to the causes of the refugee crisis?

    Answer: Because they helped create the refugee crisis in the first place?

    ‘Human tidal wave’

    “Europe’s migration/refugee crisis is expected to match or even exceed last year’s record numbers. Much of the discussion on what to do centers on the cost of resettlement and whether EU member countries should accept quotas. But why are so many migrants and/or refugees leaving their home countries? And what about the question of culture?

    CrossTalking with Chris Bambery, Sukant Chandan, and Catherine Shakdam.”

    ‘EU ‘cannot handle’ another year of refugees pouring into Europe – Danish PM’

  19. Penny Bright 22


    Obama Admin’s TPP Trade Officials Received Hefty Bonuses From Big Banks

    February 20, 2014
    by Lee Fang

    This post first appeared at Republic Report.

    US Trade Representative Michael Froman attends a leaders’ retreat during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in Bali, Indonesia, Oct. 7, 2013. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara, Pool)

    Officials tapped by the Obama administration to lead the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade negotiations have received multimillion dollar bonuses from CitiGroup and Bank of America, financial disclosures obtained by Republic Report show.

    So – why would the big banks pay USA officials negotiating the TPPA multi-million dollar bonuses?

    Whose interests are being served?

    Follow the dollar ……?

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

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