Open mike 22/03/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 22nd, 2010 - 37 comments
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37 comments on “Open mike 22/03/2010”

  1. Sanctuary 1

    “The essense of democracy is working towards inclusiveness”. Not one man one vote then. Pita Sharples may be hot on Kapa Haka, but his Greek is shocking.

    Pita Sharples view of the world: Destroying democracy in Auckland to hand power to a minority of rich white businessmen = bad. Destroying democracy in New Zealand to hand power to a minority of rich brown businessmen = good.

    • The funny thing about the SuperCity seats is the rumour that Sharples was given the choice; seats or rugby on Maori TV. Supposedly he chose rugger, thinking it would be exclusively on Maori TV. Which it ain’t anymore.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.2

      I think his point is that ‘one man one vote’ is not enough.

      Democracy is more broadly about particiation in civic life. Civic isn’t from the greek, but it’s still relevant and the Athenians would certainly recognise the concept. It stems from civis and gives us city. ‘Civilised people’ thus carries the meaning ‘people that have learned to live peaceably together’.

      Demos simply means ‘the people’ and Athenian democracy was very different from a simple ‘one man, one vote’ principle. A civilised people, should govern their city (which equates to nation, nation states are more civilised than city states as they have more people civilised together peaceably). A nation that is less inclusive in terms of civic particiption is, by definition, less democratic

      If we want to talk about the essence of what ‘rule by the people’ means, then in fact, we do have to look at who ‘the people’ are and how much participation they have. The more people that are included in that group of civic participation, the more democratic. I think Pita’s Greek is just fine.

    • prism 1.3

      Sanctuary you are getting carried away with your rhetoric. Pita Sharples is referring to the concept of equity, that everybody having one vote doesn’t result in equality of opportunity and services.

      • jcuknz 1.3.1

        In my younger impressionable days I read nevel Shute’s “In the Wet” and was quite impressed with the concept of the seven vote system .. I wonder how that would be adapted to the New Zealand situation.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    No, prism, Sharples clearly stated on Morning Report this morning that one man one vote was, in his view, “merely one model”. Given that getting rid of representative democracy is a clear agenda item of many Maori radicals (who want equal representation – as in 12% lording it over the rest – based on the “Treaty Partnership”) then it is hardly rocket science to work out where Sharples is coming from.

    Given these comments will go down with the Pakeha majority like a pork chop in a synagogue I think even your feeble and half hearted defense of this silly old fools utterances is suicide.

    • prism 2.1

      True Sanctuary I did hear Sharples rail against the one man, one vote system. But I am looking to see what he is getting at and believe that it is the equity issue he is stressing. He has not explained his thinking well if that is the fact, and his media announcements need to be more careful I think.

  3. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/21/opinion/21dowd.html?th&emc=th
    Worth a read if you are not a catholic, perhaps even if you are.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      I’m still amazed that there’s a Catholic Church still – it’s been corrupt for centuries.

  4. Auckland down, Hamilton next? The right-wing tsunami sweeps on down the country. Hamilton Employers Assoc and a previous right-wing Mayor Margaret Evans, are talking about a conglomeration of 11 councils into one giant entity. Save $50 million sounds good. Got to act to balance Auckland’s supremacy.

    I heard a quote this morning from past Mayor Margaret Evans and earlier from an Auckland woman, both finding fault with local government and calling on the authority of comments from “people” or “everyone” that it was too expensive, slow, inefficient and incompetent and therefore should be dealt to. The two women spat out their anti-council opinions as if tried beyond all patience. The attitude from these middle to upper class women was to dismiss local democracy and citizens rights and services as expensive and unwieldy. Joanne Black wrote a piece in the Listener at the time of last local elections, saying she was voting to prevent the sociopaths and another derogatory term I can’t remember, from getting elected.

    I can understand Dunedin people hating their Council after being loaded with an extremely expensive sports stadium that there was active opposition to. Now their long-enjoyed Regent theatre is facing closure if it cannot raise its share of the money for essential work in the short time the Council has decreed.
    I can understand the anger of people who have been left with leaky homes that had passed all council requirements. But that situation was not all councils making. They were left as the last control after building regulations had been wiped and financial speculators had put on their building hats. The market ruled and caveat emptor. It’s the same with the cubicle farming and indeed with irrigated and fish farming. There is an opportunity to make money, let’s go for it no holds barred.

    But I fear that radical changes to Council structure would diminish services and responsiveness and leave citizens having to deal with a remote, rigid, cost-containing wall of a private- enterprise type entity. It would in truth be a monopoly not governed by the market or the people and not to be sanctioned when slow, inefficient or unresponsive, or go into liquidation if there was bad governance. It would be a slush fund eventually for those who wangled their way to the top and handed out contracts to their friends, cost savings would be lost but there would be regular purges of vulnerable departments to keep up the pretence of ‘cutting out the fat’.

    • Bill 4.1

      I used to think of Hide and his cronies as a gaggle of little Napoleons. Now I’m thinking they fancy themselves as kiwi versions of Russian oligarchs.

      And they’re somewhat ironically, simply putting the necessary state communist structural precursors in place. What would have been a highly centralised and massively inefficient bureaucratic structure will go in. But in line with post Soviet Russia, the main intention of this bureaucratic centralism will not be to deliver or manage societal services. And any wrestling with the inherent inefficiencies of an unwieldy behemoth struggling with its managerial functions will be a mere distraction and sideline to its main purpose and function as a pipeline delivering goodies to a single terminus.

      What we call this shit? Crony communism? Corporate communism? Something more immediate than ‘an attack on democracy’, surely?

      • prism 4.1.1

        Funny about connections between corporatism and communism becoming apparent. I don’t know a lot about Russian changes but my understanding is that their business entrepreneurs and/or politicians tended to come from the secret police, and wealth has flowered for some with the right stuff.
        Ditto China (about the wealth, think people aren’t being so badly treated.)

        I fell over the doorstop of a part diary of German Jew Victor Klemperer who amazingly disciplined himself to chronicle much of his experience throughout WW2. After the fascist forces of Hitler and his cohorts (see tube of Eddie Izzard having a go at Hitler) there was a period of living under communist control. (I think he was in Dresden then, only the firebombing of that city stopped the last Jews there from being sent to camps). He found that there seemed to be little difference noticeable from the two ideologies by the man in the street, he being the main observer still.

        • Bill 4.1.1.1

          Heard a flippant comparison between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany that ran along the lines that the Soviet state would coerce and fuck you over ‘for your own good’, whereas in Germany the state would coerce you and fuck you over ‘because it could’.

          Anyway. It’s not by accident that a pact was signed between Germany’s National Socialists and the Soviet Union’s Communists.

          Oh. And then there is Ewen Cameron, operation paperclip and mind control (MK ultra) … think Guantanamo and wherever else… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCRzEmU9Aj8&feature=player_embedded

          Worth the 8 minutes. Naomi Campbell also went into Camerons’ experiments and work in her book ‘The Shock Doctrine’

  5. The ideal seat for Phil Twyford to stand in at the next election is …. (drumroll)

    Epsom

    Just think. If anyone is capable of driving a stake in the heart of Rodney Hide and the Act party it is him. The campaign will need to be a different one this time however, he will have to actively seek the electorate vote from Hide. But if he succeeds Act will be toast. I would gladly donate to such a campaign.

    This would be a fascinating battle.

    • lprent 5.1

      Actually I was just thinking the same thing yesterday. For that I’d even hit the streets and burn shoe-leather…

      • Tigger 5.1.1

        Genius idea. With a decent Nat candidate and vote splitting it would make an interesting race (and if the Nats didn’t put a blue chip candidate in here it could possible even be better for Labour)…

    • gingercrush 5.2

      LOL Labour winning Epsom will never happen. No matter how you try and campaign there.

      • What even if perk buster gets busted on a taxpayer jaunt to a friend’s wedding in the UK and then to Disneyland and even if same perk buster totally destroys Auckland’s local democracy while at the same time ensuring that Aucklander’s rates bills will increase?

        • felix 5.2.1.1

          That all makes it more likely that the Nats would win it, assuming they want to. I don’t seriously see Labour taking it though.

          And Hide’s such a bargain for the right-wing voters of Epsom – five right wing MPs for the price of one. At the moment he’s probably viewed as a bit of an embarrassment by many in Epsom but he’ll have to do worse than that before they give up their sweet 5-for-1 deal.

  6. Adrian 6

    Yeah, lets get rid of all the constraints and regs that govern business and go with self regulation, because it works so well, just like in the financial services industry.

  7. Pascal's bookie 7

    Caption contest:

    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2010/03/in_the_moment.php?ref=fpblg

    “Cat herder of the year prepares to dispose of teabags”

  8. New Zealand photo journalist Margaret Moth has died in the USA aged 59. Her story was on tv a while ago, and how she recovered from having part of her jaw shot off in Sarajevo in 1992.
    In the 1970s, Moth worked as a camerawoman for Television New Zealand in Dunedin. She was also a fearless skydiver and an enthusiastic bell ringer. Interesting woman.
    These excerpts came from the Stuff site.
    She changed her name from Margaret Wilson to Margaret Moth, …
    “I recall her saying she in fact wanted to change it to Tiger Moth but it wasn’t allowed…she loved the Tiger Moth aircraft.”
    Moth was diagnosed with cancer more than three years ago and entered a hospice in Rochester, Minnesota.
    She said
    “I would have liked to have gone out with a bit more flair but I feel I can die with dignity. I don’t think it matters how long you live, so long as you can say: ‘I’ve got everything out of life’,” she said.

    Another journalist to revere is the Russian journalist killed a while ago. A book about her has been published. She fearfully (she must have been afraid) related the terrible happenings in that area of the world. Things the world should know about but it is not easy reading apparently. It was reviewed by Nat Radio by Don Rood this morning. Its around $50 so if you can’t afford it request it at your local library.
    Nothing but the Truth by Anna Politkovskaya
    Published by Harvill Secker

    • jcuknz 8.1

      It was great to work with the material she shot … that is what I primarilly remember of the woman from those Dunedin days. Sad to learn she went out from the big C. rather than something quicker.

  9. BLiP 9

    Wanna be John Key’s friend, then be careful what you say, even if it is honest concern:

    Alesyia is hurt at being “de-friended” on Facebook by Prime Minister John Key: “I’d been one of around 5000 ‘friends’ of John Key’s for quite some time, and on Wednesday, for the first time, I posted a message on his wall. My polite but forthright paragraph voiced my concerns over his intention to support commercial whaling and suggested that he pay attention to the opinions of the people he was elected to represent. Within hours, my message had been deleted and I had been ‘de-friended’. Although I can see the funny side, I do find it a disturbing that Mr Key deals with dissenting views in such a petulant manner. I guess I won’t be getting a Christmas card this year.

    • Rex Widerstrom 9.1

      That’s what I love about the new media. “Defriending” is so much more dignified and far less obtrusive than fronting a public meeting, getting asked questions, and sticking your fingers in your ears going “Lalalala I can’t hear you” 😀

  10. Kevin Welsh 10

    Last night I watched an article on Sunday about Cliff Robinson, a 73 year old New Zealander who has been caring for his two disabled children (now in their 40’s) without any financial help from the government.

    This got me thinking, how on earth in a supposedly civilised 21st century country like New Zealand, can we consider giving tax breaks to multi-millionaires, while people like Cliff Robinson just have to make do?

    This is wrong, and it made me angry.

    This same situation applies to a considerable number of New Zealand families. They took a complaint to the Human Rights Commission who found in their favour. The government has now decided to appeal, which could take up to five years. Tony Ryall, when quizzed about it, said words to the affect of “… its a difficult one”.

    Bollocks.

    Its an easy one. The fact that you are a spineless member of an ideology driven government is what is ‘difficult’.

    Grow a pair you twat.

    • prism 10.1

      There is a self-sufficiency, government hands-off ideological attitude to many of the problems that families face. There is a government reluctance for social welfare to be made available on the basis that families should manage their own affairs. It means paying money out to help care for the vulnerable and govt doesn’t want to recognise the importance of such care. They will say they don’t want to interfere with families, the true attitude is that people must bear their own burdens.
      It took years of lobbying for disabled people’s advocates, often parents, to get help from the government. Grandparents now trying to bring up their grandkids, people fostering children outside the controlled social welfare, often receive little monetary or other assistance. Also this parent looking after his adult disabled children referred to above.
      It comes down to children, parents and carers not being regarded as important citizens in their own right, also because they will form the future shape of the country.

      • Descendant Of Smith 10.1.1

        While I agree that more support needs to be given to parents with families with disabilities I think there are a few issues that don’t help those at times who advocate for such support:

        1. Continually comparing with support given to those who have accidents. This is a different issue with a different social contract and a different funding mechanism. At one level – the amount and type of care needed – it’s only semantics but at another level it’s not.
        2. Comments such as no financial help from government when this is generally not true. I don’t know the circumstances of the particular case but would the adult children not for instance be getting a benefit of some sort. That is government help. There would also be help with medical costs and accommodation costs. Many of the full-time carers, predominantly women because the husband has buggered off, would be getting a benefit of some sort as well.
        3. Focusing on I want to be paid for caring for my own children. It’s a tough one but it moves the focus away from the person who needs caring for which should be the primary focus – and in some cases the best care will not and does not come from the parent. Deal with the care needs first and then look at what support might be needed for the caregiver to make it work.
        4. A focus on the illness not the disability which puts forward a one size fits all approach.

        Some policies such as income splitting would help some of these families by ensuring that they could manage much more easily on one income. Often one partner cannot go out to work as they have disabled children to look after. Opposition to this type of policy never seems to consider this aspect.

        In the times we spent at Starship, Ronald McDonald House with our own children it was quite evident that we were the exception as a couple. So many mothers raising these kids on their own. Maybe we could extend child support rules for beyond 18 for children who need caring for so the absentee parent continues to share some of the burden. They fathered the child after all. This should appeal to the right wingers who believe people should take responsibility.

        Respite care options should be much better and varied to take into account individual cases.

        There is a big difference between the illness – the medical condition and the disability – the impact. The degree of disability depends on a range of things from how supportive and skilled the family are, to the support services in the neighborhood / local community, the attitude of the person involved. All these things can make an enormous difference in the support needed.

        Too much of the assessment of need is superficial using semi-skilled people who sometimes haven’t even stepped foot in the home of the person they are assessing. The biggest change that could be made is to first improve the assessment of need.

    • jcuknz 10.2

      I join you in your disgust at the current government on this matter but we need to remember that the problem is of long standing and previous governments didn’t do anything about it either.

      • lprent 10.2.1

        On a side issue, and just as matter of interest – are you starting a blog? I clicked on your link and got a no such domain…

  11. prism 11

    The Pig Industry Board is presenting itself through Sam McIvor as being squeaky clean. Self-regulation is all we need they say, and we have passed muster according to a survey and report released. Much was said about how the pollution was dealt with from the farms. But not a mention was made of the long stall imprisonment of sows, not just for short-terms while farrowing. It appeared a deliberate effort to turn attention away from concern for pig welfare.

    Regulation by a determined and ethical government is needed to watch over this bunch of slippery dealers. The industry’s name will be smeared in its own swinish faeces if it doesn’t shut up and accept regulation.

    • lprent 11.1

      The pig industry board needs more people from outside the pig industry on it….

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1

        The pig industry board probably shouldn’t have people from the pig industry on it at all. I was going to say that the board should have adviser from the pig industry but then I thought about it a bit more and realised that wouldn’t be any better. So, an industry board made up of elected people that have no connection to the pig industry with advisors from our universities. The idea is to bring the industry into public accountability.

        Aren’t we supposed to have an elected government for this?

  12. randal 12

    congrats to rod oram for spilling the beans on epsom.
    looks like it is about to go labour for the first time in a long time.
    and this government looks to be becoming a transitory phenomenon.

  13. freedom 13

    And the violence committed is good for whom? Sooner rather than later, one of these rugby players who commit assaults have to be jailed. The ‘one rule for them, one rule for everyone else’ has gone on long enough

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10633614

    • Descendant Of Smith 13.1

      I can’t see that there is one rule for them one rule for everyone else.

      I’ve known plenty of people who have not gone to jail for a first offense and I’m not aware of many of these players being repeat offenders. This goes for league, soccer, or whatever sport.

      I’m aware of a few golf rage incidents where those players haven’t gone to jail either.

      I have no doubt that repeat offenders will go to jail at some point but lots of sports bodies have good programs around the players to prevent this from occurring. It makes much more sense for these players to have that type of support around them with good efforts made to rehabilitate than to throw them in jail.

      Maybe you should be arguing for that level of support to be provided to other first offenders – we may have a less violent society then. Throwing them into an institution where violence is rife sort of defeats the purpose.

      The fact that it’s a rugby player is sort of irrelevant.

      BTW there are plenty of rugby players in jail. I assume you are only referring to high profile, well paid rugby players.

      • Draco T Bastard 13.1.1

        Leaving someone unconscious after a fight usually results in jail. Of course, he hasn’t actually gone to court over that only over his name suppression that got lifted.

        I tend to agree though, jail probably isn’t the best option and we need to make more effort to rehabilitate people.

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