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Open mike 22/05/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 22nd, 2011 - 39 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step right up to the mike…

39 comments on “Open mike 22/05/2011”

  1. Carol 1

    Tunisia, Libya, Syria, Bahrain. and now….. Los indignados:


    On Friday, some among the young protesters, dubbed “los indignados” (“the indignant”), told the Reuters news agency that they feared the police would forcibly disperse the demonstrators.
    The protesters have departed from years of patience over government austerity measures and a youth unemployment rate of about 45 per cent, making their voices heard before the polls.

    They have called on people not to vote on Sunday for the two main parties, the Socialists and the centre-right opposition Popular Party. Spaniards elect 8,116 city councils and 13 out of 17 regional governments on Sunday.

    Spain pulled out of recession at the start of last year, but the economy has failed to gain serious momentum and unemployment has spiralled higher.

    The protests have resonated through Spaniards of all ages, including those who remember unrest which swept much of Europe more than 40 years ago.

    One of the protesters said:
    “I’m protesting because I’ve got no job future in Spain even though I’ve finished my degree in tourism,” said 25-year old Inma Moreno on Madrid’s Puerta del Sol plaza.

    Well, tourism is a significant industry, but as Top scientist Sir Paul Callaghan said in a speech at the Labour Party conference, it’s not one a government should be foregrounding to lead economic recovery. It’s not a business that developes the “real” economy.


    Callaghan challenged Prime Minister John Key’s emphasis on tourism as a means of boosting wealth, saying to meet National’s goal of catching Australia, businesses would have to produce an extra $40 billion in exports.

    “Instead of 1000 people visiting Milford Sound every week, we’d need 60,000,” he said, and even then New Zealand would remain behind because tourism created only $80,000 in revenue per job annually.

    He compared that with Fonterra, which created $350,000 per job annually, or US-based Apple computers, which produced $1m-plus per job.

    “The more tourism, the poorer we get. Tourism is a great industry, but it cannot be a route to prosperity.”

    But our dear leader has no experience working in an industry that would be innovative and productive.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      It’s not a business that developes the “real” economy.

      Or a real society with real culture. What it develops is a nation of serfs.

      But our dear leader has no experience working in an industry that would be innovative and productive.

      Our dear leader has no experience in any industry that actually produces wealth. All he’s ever done is work as a parasite that got rich off the backs of millions of hard working people the world over.

    • ianmac 1.2

      Although torism gets jobs for the supply industry it always seems to me to be fragile. An increase in fuel costs can devastate the industry as can a serious terrorist threat, so then the tourism industry, jobs, infrastructure disappears overnight. So yes. Jobs/industries with substance.
      Will Labour produce a plan? Yes it will.

      • prism 1.2.1

        A diversified business environment would be good ianmac. Tourism is dependent on fossil oils, even the few that sail or row themselves, when they need rescuing. But our animals are also vulnerable to foot and mouth disease. Even a hint of this sort of threat can cause a quick shut downs to our exports. I understand that there is a vaccine available for it but our country is not one for precautionary measures.

        If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Wait till the disaster occurs and go into authoritarian crisis mode, like Tony Blair presiding over a killing regime wiping out pet animals and rare breeds with rare genes.

    • johnm 1.3

      The world’s governments are denying the realities of Peak Oil and Climate Change that are doing so much accumulated damage that continuation of capitalistic economies is impossible.

      Capitalism demands steady growth in order to pay off debts. The resources demanded by economic activity are simply no longer available. There isn’t more oil, coal, grain, lumber, steel, metals, minerals and fish available this year than there was last year. There is less of all of these things and more people who demand a share.

      Until we recognize that our economic systems are based upon a fundamental lie we are trapped.

      • prism 1.3.1

        johnm I was just thinking of the throwaway society. Style and appearance is everything, a person who isn’t cool and in with the culture is nothing. Clothing shops abound and from my experience in dealing with secondhand clothes, many don’t bother about their clothes, just spoil them, toss them out, buy more.

        So we in NZ and elsewhere are with our savings and investments. Go for style and the appearance of companies without taking note of the substance and history, then they waste the investments, they virtually go down the drain, and it is expected that more will always be as widely available as women’s clothes in the high street.

        Our government can’t even encourage a strong, reliable superannuation fund now sagging in the resolve at the first downturn. Other countries have such strong pension funds that they could buy us lock, stock and barrel. Perhaps that would be the best thing? We don’t ever seem to have a government with politicians who can keep us on prosperity road without excess or making an unreasonable grab of resources, and also to support and encourage everybody to be good, keen workers and providers of social good.

  2. PeteG 2

    Labour Party president Moira Coatsworth got my hopes up with this:

    Her political driving force is to reverse the “divisive and corrosive” impact…

    then dashed them:

    …of growing inequality in society.

    I thought she was going to say the “divisive and corrosive” impact of negative campaigning.

    • Armchair Critic 2.1

      That says more about you than it does about Moira Coatsworth or the Labur Party, PeteG.
      If you are more concerned about the impact of negative campaigning than you are about increasing inequality in society, IMO you have a warped sense of priorities.

      • Lanthanide 2.1.1

        National have done nothing but campaigned negatively since 2005, and probably before then.

        They’d now managed to convince a large number of the public that Labour managed the economy badly and put us into debt with their free-spending ways. They love to repeat the distortion that government spending increased massively between 2004 and 2008, but really the 2008 levels were on par with 2000, for example.

        So yes, if you’re really so against negative campaigning, Pete, you should start with National.

    • prism 2.2

      The Labour Party President is telling the facts Pete G. Sometimes they are negative. That’s an inconvenient truth. Suck it up.

  3. I thought I’d give you some light Sunday morning reading. I’d have put it in the socialising section if it weren’t for the fact that it is about Wall street bankers and what they get up to when nobody is watching.
    Remember John Key and his visiting strip clubs to “entertain” his customers?
    The Sexual Underground Of Bankers
    Strauss-Kahn and The Secret Culture of Aggressive Sexuality In The High Pressure World Of Bankers and Banksters

  4. And if you think that since Merrill Lynch, John Key’s bank, is not named it must be free of the sex taint, think again. In the late nineties a spate of allegations against the the bank most especially of sexual harassment and discrimination was settled almost exclusively out of court.

    Some of the complaints featured the way male bankers used sex and strip clubs to exclude their female colleagues from partaking in the process of making huge and profitable deals.

    This article claims the bank defended twice the amount of such cases as your average Wall street bank.

    • Armchair Critic 4.1

      Morning ev, how are you? I see neither of us have been taken away in the rapture.
      I’m with you on this one. To provide a bit of an alternative take on it, I’m more concerned about what they were doing than where they were doing it.
      The point that they are parasites sucking the life out of the economy gets lost amongst the salaciousness of the “they went to a strip club” bit, and the “they are sexist bastards” bit. Sure, they have no respect for women, and that is worse than just ruining the economy. The fact that if they were not such terribly misogynistic bastards then we could have had them and their female colleagues suck the life out of the economy isn’t much consolation on a misty Sunday morning.

      • travellerev 4.1.1

        Good morning AC.

        I hoped but there you have it, the rapture gave it a miss. LOL.
        I agree. Another way of looking at it is that if they had more respect for women i.e. the female force they would not have become bankers intend on sucking the life out of our communities and environment.

        We wouldn’t need a rapture then, we’d be in heaven today.

        • prism

          Cripes T.ev you have an idealistic attitude to womens ability to resist cultural mores. Women are different to men, but not that different.

          • travellerev

            I agree with you. Let’s not forget that Hillary Clinton, Thatcher and Condi Rice were of the female persuasion and have/had no problems with being ruthless.
            I am not saying all female force is good. Kali after all is the goddess of death and destruction in India.

            What I’m saying is that male and female as forces and energies can balance each other but it still requires a massive amount of work and goodwill.
            The banking world and the corporate world have a tendency to stray to the male side of things I hope you will agree with me though.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    Good column by Matt McCarten today.

    Remember the Apple and Pear Board? What about the forests? Our trees are overseas owned and are cut into logs that are driven straight to the wharves by a few exploited sub-contract drivers. If we took a longer view, we would build secondary industries around our wood, creating tens of thousands of jobs.

    Remember when we sold off Telecom for a song? The overseas shareholders have made their investment back many times over. What did we get? A predator monopoly that artificially kept prices up for two decades that now leaves the state to pay for the new internet infrastructure it should have built.

    I’m not even including the Aussie banks that ship billions of our money offshore each year. I could go on. Just tell me what the benefit is of selling off our public utilities to foreigners?

    Now Key tells us we can flog off our power companies and our national carrier, Air New Zealand – that is until their new owners mess them up, forcing us to buy them back again at a loss. Don’t even get me started on the railways.

    While we all twitter on about the minor stuff in the Budget, our politicians from both main parties ignore the real problem.

    Repeat after me loudly – the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes.

    I’d go for a shorter quote but that end bit nails it. A free-market economy while selling our assets off to overseas interests has left us all worse off. And there doesn’t appear to be a party or politician around that will admit it.

    • johnm 5.1

      Matt McCarten is 1000% right. But we can’t wake up the self-absorbed (I’m alright with my tax cuts) apathetic politically dumbed down NZ public to vote to save us(Now too late) from these ruthless asset strippers.
      I know if I sold my only asset,a house,for a short term financial gain including overseas trips and then rented my house back!!! Ultimately I would be a hell of a lot poorer!

    • ianmac 5.2

      If Key/Joyce were consistent they will lead the Election with:

      In a major Election Speech today, John Key called on all good Kiwi Mums and Dads to sell their Assets and instead use their capital to invest in Finance companies, the Sharemarket and in the various Mining Companies that have sprung up around the country. “It makes sense,” he said with a boyish grin. “It worked for us. We sold your Assets to get at the capital and while unemployment has risen to 23% it is not our fault, its the fault of the last Labour Government. They should have called for Asset Sales sooner. So Mums and Dads, help save NZ and sell up and invest.”
      But the mike was left on and when Key turned to Joyce he was heard to say, ” Reckon we pulled the suckers in Boss?”

      • travellerev 5.2.1

        Key would have learned from the best!

        • ianmac

          Travelev: So true or maybe Key taught them? I still wonder about the mechanism which will be available to us before the next election which will show whether the National Plan is working (per Budget), or whether it is fraudulent. Thus from your link:
          ““They would never know. They would never be able to know how much money was taken out of that,” says one employee, referring to the huge profits the bank stood to make on the transaction. “Never, no way, no way,” replies her colleague.”
          Easy to change a few words and attribute it to Key/Joyce?

          • travellerev

            In a book by Frank Partnoy (an ex banker and now professor in law) called Infectious greed Andrew Krieger was pin pointed as patient Zero in the trade in the newly decriminalised derivatives trade. The event? The attack on the New Zealand dollar in October 1987 the Thursday after Black Monday.

            John Key has stated that he has dealed with Andrew Krieger in millions of dollars but that he did not start with Bankers trust until August 1988. This is when the bank registers officially. The bank started operating a year before however and the timeline shows that John Key left the bank he worked for in the spring of 1987. He was prohibited from working for the competition for three months making it very likely that he started to work for bankers trust in the early autumn of 1987.

            Further more in three articles in the NYtimes archives (Andrew Krieger was a bit of a legend because of his attack on the new Zealand dollar and his apparent over estimation of his portfolio by about 60 million dollars if I am not mistaken) He left bankers trust in December 1987 or January 1988. He started to work for Soros in March 1988 and left Soros in June 1988. By the time John Key said he dealt in millions of dollars with Andrew Krieger (Which he only did while attacking the NZ dollar) Andrew Krieger had left the trading business and did not return until 1991 making John Key’s assertion he worked with Andrew Krieger much later than the attack a lie.

            Why is this important? John Key was a party in the first Derivatives and forex attack on a currency. His speciality? The bonds and Derivatives trade.
            He was headhunted by Merrill Lynch to become their world wide head of Forex and European head of their Bonds and Derivatives trading.

            He was a member of the Forex Advisory committee for the NY federal reserve bank a committe his boss shared before him with Robert Rubin widely touted as the most corrupt corporate individual ever and responsible for the repeal of the Glass Steagall act.
            In fact he was involved with the first case of the federal reserve having to bail out the banking system and the collapse of the LTCM hedge fund, the collapse of the Thai bath and the Russian rouble.

            If you consider that the Derivatives trade according to another corrupt individual is touted as the Weapons of financial Mass destruction of Wall street you get an idea of how dirty John Key really is.

  6. johnm 6

    Larger Profits + Safety Shortcuts = Death Pike River?

    This report of 29 Miners killed in 2010 in West Virginia due to neglect of safety procedures to my mind parallels the preventable accident at Pike River.
    “.that the accident was the result of safety violations by Massey management. In truth, the Upper Big Branch mine was more or less a death trap.”
    “In the investigators’ own words, “The disaster at Upper Big Branch was man-made and could have been prevented had Massey Energy followed basic, well-tested and historically proven safety procedures.” The message couldn’t be any plainer: Had Massey paid as much attention to mine safety as it did to company profits, those 29 miners would still be alive.”
    “As Gary Hardesty, an AWPPW (Assoc. of Western Pulp & Paper Workers) safety consultant, once put it, “Because maintaining a safe facility costs money, many companies see safety only as another form of overhead.””
    “And, of course, there’s another component to this tragedy, one reflecting organized labor’s unfortunate loss of influence, not only in the industry but in the country at large.”
    “Statistics show that 92-percent of all mine accidents occur in non-union facilities.”

    I am personally convinced that the above equation applied at Pike River. But I invite anyone here to shoot me down on this if they can! Also look at the ruthless sidelining of the Union in the Hobbit controversy,though safety was not compromised in this instance.

    Refer link: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/05/21-3

    And if you want to protest about safety?
    “Because coal mining is a close-knit community, once your name gets put on a company shit-list as a “union activist” or “union sympathizer,” it’s going to stay on that list, and you’re going to find it difficult to get hired anywhere. Coal miners might be a remarkably tough but courageous breed of worker, but, tough or not, they have to work to eat, and there are only so many mining jobs to go around. Few are willing to rock the boat.”
    My deepest sympathy to the families who lost loved ones at Pike River.

  7. Anne 7

    Saw Phil Goff on Q&A this morning. Have to agree with Jon Johannson. He was at his equivocal worst. Hinted at policy announcements he planned to reveal later this morning at the Congress but refused to give any detail. As Mike Williams said: he’s got an audience of thousands watching Q&A so why didn’t he take advantage of it?

    If he felt compelled to reveal all to the delegates first, then perhaps he should have stayed away from Q&A.

    • ianmac 7.1

      Perhaps a good move to keep ’em on the edge of their seats waiting, waiting, waiting until the anticipation becomes intense. A bit like coitus Anne?

  8. Anne 8

    Ooooh… eeeehh…aaaaahhhh…oioioioi – yes.

  9. prism 9

    Waiting for coitus with an older person would require patience, determination and stimulation. So if that analogy is appropriate then keeping up questioning and policy suggestions to the older Labour politicians may prevent impotence when the test comes.

  10. randal 10

    wham bam thank you mam, but I ‘m going to vote for anyone who says they will require every vehicle on the new zealand roads to have adeqquate mufflers. after the last binge of infantilised noisemaking it may be too much to hope for.

  11. millsy 11


    A much bolder move would be to merge all the CRI’s and the Ministry of Science and Innovation into a new super 21st century DSIR and tell it to go off and make magic.

  12. Draco T Bastard 12

    Wow, Bill English managed to say something intelligent:

    He’s called prisons a moral and fiscal failure and there are other ways of dealing with criminals and potential criminals.

    “The public service has done a lot of very smart work on this and, over the next two or three years, we’re going to see the need for prison beds drop a bit at least.”

    Although, I haven’t yet seen any Nact policies or programs that would achieve this. They did take an axe to several of the successful programs that Labour had supported though.

    Garth McVicar, being the idiot that he is, said:

    “Just as they were starting to bear fruit through the ‘tough on crime’ message that they were sending out, he capitulates and waves a white flag,” McVicar told ONE News.

    “It just sends the wrong message to criminals. I know people think criminals are dumb but they’re quite smart and they’ll understand if we’re not going to build more prisons out there, then ultimately we’re not going to send them to prison.”

    No evidence to back his claims of course but plenty worldwide that he’s talking out his arse.

    • D they are going to bring back the death penalty.
      Which has my vote.

    • millsy 12.2

      McVicar shouldnt be worried. Lynching will be brought back soon, if not already. And that intolerant bigoted bastard will be the one pulling the rope up to hang that ‘dirty nigger’.

      Trust me.

      The guy has gone from being an advocate for victims, to an advocate for a punitive socitey where violence, bullying and humiliation are used to enforce the social control in repressive society where women, the young, gays, solo mothers, maori, and the poor are completely stripped of their rights and made non persons.

      • Jum 12.2.1


        You only had to read McVicar’s words, in between the lines, to understand way back that sensible sentencing was not his end goal. Control over societal freedoms, esp. for women and return of the ‘traditional’ family, which held its own horrors behind closed doors, was always his end goal. With National and Act, Maori and United Future support he will get it. If women can’t see that the few freedoms they have gained will be swiftly taken away then they will regret it.

  13. randal 13

    so get tough on crime in time for the election. how neat is that. bill english is not as silly as he looks. anyway national being national if they said it (crime) was going away then it would. yeah right.

  14. Carol 14


    I quite like the Goodbye Kiwi vid

    The PSA one is short & snappy, but I’m not sure about the message. Brian Edwards talks to much in one vid.

  15. Draco T Bastard 15

    Kiwi wage slaves lagging behind
    Yes, that is actually the headline from the granny. It has lovely bits of information in it like this:

    National secretary of the Service and Food Workers Union, John Ryall,
    has had reports of employers getting workers in for unpaid “trials”. They will work for as much as two weeks in cleaning jobs or in restaurants, supposedly getting trained for new roles but essentially working for no pay. “These are small operators and employers who think they’ll get away with it, looking for every opportunity to use unemployment to their advantage,” says Ryall.

    And when the economy is so fucked that there’s 2700 turning up for 150 jobs I’m sure these lying, stealing scum can get away with it for quite some time.

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