Open mike 23/01/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 23rd, 2024 - 127 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

127 comments on “Open mike 23/01/2024 ”

  1. Morrissey 1

    RNZ National still censoring revelations that IOF soldiers killed hostages on Oct. 7th

    Tuesday 23 January 2024, 6:15 a.m.

    Coming up is "our correspondent Sarah Coates in Jerusalem." Corin Dann chirpily asserts that she is "right across developments."

    It turns out Sarah Coates is an Australian, and her "report" is of a group of hostages' families disrupting a finance committee meeting at the Knesset. Coates says the protest was "dramatic" with lots of shouting, and "people had to be restrained."

    She did not mention the revelations of hostages that Israeli Occupation Force soldiers were ordered to fire on and bomb houses and vehicles which contained hostages, and that the soldiers carried out that order. That is a clearly verboten topic at Radio New Zealand. So much for "correspondent Sarah Coates" being "right across developments."

    Radio New Zealand is still running cover for Israel.

    [This nothing but another one of your broadside attacks on a media organisation and/or journalist/reporter/interviewee. This time it is one of your pet targets, RNZ, but you have so many. However, you failed to substantiate it with a link. So, again, we have to read your raving ranting ramblings to be then directed into a rabbit hole of your choosing that is premium content.

    If only you were a useless little pawn in propaganda wars. However, you are a useful idiot ( who’s stuck in the past, like so many other useful idiots who consider themselves popular pundits and/or media influencers.

    Lift your game – Incognito]

    • Nic the NZer 1.1

      RNZ probably concerned NZ could miss-understand the euphamism of "using a procedure" on Israel's civilians and just how "endangering" this may be to "potential hostages".

      • Morrissey 1.1.1

        The RNZ board's only concern is to stay onside with the government. The government of this country's only concern is to stay onside with the United States.

        The concerns of listeners and the general public do not count in the slightest.

    • Incognito 1.2

      Mod note

    • SPC 1.3

      What if RNZ has already mentioned this and you missed it?

      You would have to write to them about that to know. Why not do that and inform us of their reply?

    • gsays 1.4

      Keep up the good work Morrissey.

      Without yr efforts I wouldn't have known about the IDF murdering and incinerating Israeli civilians.

      And folk wonder why faith in once trusted outfits is plummeting.

      Stuff is much the same. In fact this article can lead you to believe that anything that strays from the official narrative is a, wait for it,… conspiracy!

      • SPC 1.4.1

        Cool, I missed that one.

        The Finklestein quoted was of the Miller Centre staff.

        The Washington Post article was right to note the anti-semitic nature of the fake narratives being created. However it could have linked to the Hannibal directive actuality to put that part of it into better context – except it has not published anything on that topic that I can find on-line.

        Haaretz published the story in December about the Hannibal Directive being applied on October. The Gray Zone did so as well.

        Apparently from mid-day October 7 some hours after the attack began.

        In January 2024, an investigation by Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth concluded that the IDF had in practice applied the Hannibal Directive from noon of October 7, ordering all combat units to stop “at all costs” any attempt by Hamas militants to return to Gaza with hostages,


        The Israeli military implemented the “Hannibal Directive” during Hamas’ attack on 7 October, killing some of its own civilians and soldiers to prevent Hamas from taking them as captives back to Gaza, according to an investigation by Israel’s leading newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, which will be published in full on 12 January.

        The Hebrew edition of the paper wrote on 11 January that “one of the revelations revealed in the investigation is that at noon on October 7, the IDF [Israeli army] ordered all of its combat units in practice to use the ‘Hannibal Procedure’ although without clearly mentioning this explicitly by name.”

        The order was to stop “at all costs any attempt by Hamas terrorists to return to Gaza, that is, despite the fear that some of them have abductees,” the paper wrote.

        The Times of Israel described how the Hannibal procedure, or directive, "allows soldiers to use potentially massive amounts of force to prevent a soldier from falling into the hands of the enemy. This includes the possibility of endangering the life of the soldier in question in order to prevent his capture.”

        A previous Haaretz investigation of the directive concluded that “from the point of view of the army, a dead soldier is better than a captive soldier who himself suffers and forces the state to release thousands of captives in order to obtain his release.”

        November 2023

        Was the Hannibal directive abandoned in 2016 (and if so was it’s application a new initiative?)

      • Morrissey 1.4.2

        Keep up the good work Morrissey.

        Thanks for your kind words, my friend.

        Without yr efforts I wouldn't have known about the IDF murdering and incinerating Israeli civilians.

        I recommend you read The Grayzone, Mondoweiss, and Electronic Intifada. All independent, unimpeachably honest and rigorous sites. They're all online.

        And folk wonder why faith in once trusted outfits is plummeting.

        No one with any sense or morality trusts a thing they read in The Grauniad, the Herald, or the failing New York Times.

        Stuff is much the same. In fact this article can lead you to believe that anything that strays from the official narrative is a, wait for it,… conspiracy!

        Stuff is as sad and untrustworthy as RNZ.

        • Subliminal

          Yes. Thanks for raising these issues Morrisey. An excellent round up of all the IDF killing frenzy from the Electronic Intifada that includes an English translation of the original Hebrew Yedioth Ahronoth article at the end.

          Narrated is surviving hostage testimony of the hail of indiscriminate IDF live fire including tank shelling of Israeli village houses where Hamas fighters were holding hostages. It says a lot for the beliefs of the personnel involved that this kind of death for their own compatriots is necessary.

          Also, the burnt remains of 70 cars is far beyond the damage Hamas would have been able to inflict with any of the weaponry they brought with them from Gaza. Testimony by pilots of US supplied attack helicopters shows that the IDF were also responsible for this.

          Initially, the total of 1400 dead Israeli civilians was the horror headline used against Hamas. As well as decapitated babies which has well and truly been debunked. Now Israel says 'over 1000'. But of these at least 300 are known to be IDF and like it or not legitimate targets for Hamas against an illegal occupying power.

          And now we know for sure that many if not most of the remainder were taken out by the IDF applying the Hannibal directive in everything but name.

          • SPC

            The total Israeli dead was c1200 – 200 were found to be Palestinians out of Gaza. About 100 of them at the music festival site of a total c360.

            It seems the attack helicopters were destroying cars that could be used to take hostages away.

            Some of the Israeli police and IDF personnel killed by IDF action were at locations the Palestinians had over-run (and had been taken hostage).


  2. Sanctuary 2

    You can't tell me Seymour didn't know what he was doing using the phrase "Jai Shri Ram" and praising Modi in this clip. He is deliberately courting BJP supporters in New Zealand.

    The guy is a wannabe authoritarian and is moving his party towards outright Fascism.

    When will the media start taking him seriously instead of treating him as a likeable rogue good for a soundbite?

    • weka 2.1

      The guy is a wannabe authoritarian and is moving his party towards outright Fascism.


      It's been a while since I looked at the markers of rising fascism (US GE in 2016 and so on), but the other thing that is happening is the number of nominal left people equivocating on this stuff and saying it's not so bad or it's not really happening. That's exactly how fascism takes hold. People ignoring what is happening and then by the time they're taking notice it's too late.

      • Robert Guyton 2.1.1

        Brooke van Velden has the same glint in her eye.

      • Heather Grimwood 2.1.2

        to weka at 2.1 : I have had like concerns for some time, his commending of Modi exposes the fact.

      • Rightwing swing is a reality. Trumpism and the internet have swayed many. To grow their patch they have to have a group to "other" and make the distraction and excuse.

        Many of these right wing people have infiltrated all aspects of governance, with the connivance and assistance of the National Party. i.e. Epsom "cup of tea".

        I agree Weka. Seymore is divisive and collecting his like. Who would have ever believed he could be Deputy Prime Minister? Again with the connivance of National.

        Many I know are actually saying this Government has already gone too far. People who voted National, and are not happy with the polygamous marriage. This is not what they expected.

        Citizens have through King Te Huetia, began a call and it has shown the strength of feeling and push back. This is what we have to support, as what has been done is wrong, and what is proposed is dangerous.imo

        We need to physically support local Treaty signing ceremonies, by being there, as a strong message to Act and Atlas their money arm, plus put the ball in PM Luxon’s court.

        • Sanctuary

          "…Rightwing swing is a reality…"

          This goes back to Advantages post the other day. I was amazed that Robert Fico became leader of Slovakia – Slovakia has a broad anti-Russian consensus, yet here was a Putin fan boi from the far right running the place. So how come?

          Well, it turns out Fico opposed damaging neoliberal "reforms" of the Slovak economy proposed by the World Bank, IMF and OECD and only cautiously adopting the Euro. He passed significant domestic labour law reforms in favour of workers and truckers.

          In other words, he gave a two finger salute to the liberal capitalist establishment and people took his neo-Fascism as the trade off for better labour laws & more protection for the economy.

          The left in NZ and the rest of the Anglosphere has to stop being perceived as defending the ever more extreme "centre" and being apologists for the establishment/status quo.

          Seymour hopes to exploit the undoubted wedge between the elite & Iwi consensus on the role of the treaty and wider Pakeha & immigrant disquiet on that by deliberately stirring up race war rhetoric. On the left, we have to make sure we don't just end up trying to stand on the authority of that elite consensus to squash good faith debate. Otherwise, the day Seymour abandons his plutocratic economic program in favour of something more populist is the day he'll sweep to power as a bigger party than National.

        • David

          "Many I know are actually saying this Government has already gone too far. People who voted National, and are not happy with the polygamous marriage. This is not what they expected."

          Then they were incredibly naieve, or they are simply telling you what they think you want to hear.

          The polls closest to the election clearly reflected the likelihood of a coalition of National, ACT and NZ First. The policies of all three parties were well publicised pre-election, and what we're seeing unfolding is simply what was signalled in advance, filtered through the coalition negotiations.

          Interestingly, post-election polls have reflected increasing support for the coalition. Overall % support has risen from 52.81% at the election to 54.4% in the latest Curia poll, and the right/wrong direction has improved from negative 20 to negative 9.5. (Opinion polling for the next New Zealand general election – Wikipedia).

          • Patricia Bremner

            David, They have abolished "Smoke Free" I did not see that in their lists before the negotiations. Many thought they would consider the impacts…. but they have not. The treasury report on removing the EV rebate showed it would cost twice as much to remove the rebate, as to leave it.

            We are supposed to be hard up with National and friends scrabbling to find 7.5 billion for their tax cuts. Guess what, they wasted the planning for new ferries, Lake Onslow, and Light Rail.

            They then spent many dollars removing Maori from signs and letter heads. Some of their moves against 3 Waters have smacked of water control for future PPPs and will cause huge rate rises as Councils can not raise enough funds to cope with infrastructure repairs, and as for removing Maori from Boards. Small minded and racist in my book.

            Now Maori are joining together with other interested parties to query this and especially the attack on the Treaty. The leaked report saw the actions as dangerous and divisive. Mandate my elbow!! Even National’s Potaka has come out against the moves on the Treaty.

            Polls are an indication not a vindication.

            • David

              The smoke free legislation was, to the best of my knowledge, the only example you give of policy not signalled prior to the election. You might be surprised to know that ASH support the government on that.

              "Many have claimed this repeal would jeopardise the Smokefree 2025 goal. However, this is simply not the case. Predictive modelling, which contributed to the scientific underpinning of the legislation, indicated that it would take until 2040 to get smoking rates down to 8 per cent without the law. The reality is that we have already exceeded this expectation. And a closer look reveals that the three headline measures in the act were unlikely to have any impact before 2025."

              Smokefree laws: New Zealand well on track to be smokefree next year – ASH NZ

              • Incognito

                You don’t like losing points, do you, so why don’t stop scoring in your own goal?

                When the National Party first proposed 6.5 percent cuts to agency spending during the election campaign, it was for 21 specific departments. The Office of the Clerk was not on that list.

                ‘Constitutionally concerning’: Govt accused of ‘defunding’ Parliament

                • David

                  Reducing funding for the Office of the Clerk is hardly headline news. The changes being proposed by this government were clearly signalled across the various coalition partners prior to the last election. It may be unusual, but there it is.


                  • Incognito

                    Not headline news, is it? Is “unusual” a euphemism for totally inappropriate and utterly unexpected aka not signalled during the election campaign? Those sound like weasel words from a sly apologist.

           [interviewee shadow leader of the House Duncan Webb]

           [interviewee professor Andrew Geddis]

                    The Office of the Clerk is not even part of the Executive Branch.

                    • Yes thank you Incognito. More evidence of perfidy on every level.yes
                      On their way to “smaller government and greater corporations.”

                    • David

                      "Is “unusual” a euphemism for totally inappropriate and utterly unexpected aka not signalled during the election campaign? "

                      No, unusual refers to the idea that politicians in NZ may actually set about implementing policies they signalled in advance.

                      The Office of the Clerk is being required to find savings in the same way many other government departments and agencies are. As Nick Tuffley pointed out, this was well known going in to the election:

                      National is talking to both ACT and New Zealand First to get the numbers to form a government. "All three want to rein in government spending, return to surplus, and reduce taxes. All three want to restore the tax deductibility of interest expenses for residential property investment, which is likely to immediately perk up investor interest in residential property," said ASB chief economist Nick Tuffley in a note.

                      Explainer: What a National-led government will mean for New Zealand's economy | Reuters

                    • Incognito []

                      Your wilful ignorance is on display. The Office of the Clerk is not part of the Executive Branch. You may want to educate yourself first before you waste anymore of our time and listen to the interview with professor Andrew Geddis and read Marc Daalder’s piece in Newsroom. You may learn the meaning of “unusual” in the relevant context.

                      It appears that the coalition government is so desperate to find the money to fund the over-hyped tax cuts that they are rushing things and making mistakes. Already some of their actions were not signalled during the election campaign, deliberately or otherwise.

                    • David

                      What the coalition government inherited was an increase in government spending as a % of GDP from 17.92% in 2017 to 20.82% in 2022. That places NZ as the 28th highest out of 142 nations for government spending to GDP. The average across the 142 nations was 16.27%.

                      What the coalition government inherited was an auditor general's report that in the past two years (Auditor-General calls for wide-reaching review of failing public accountability (, Auditor-General seeks greater scrutiny of public sector integrity ( outlined serious problems with accountability and transparency for public spending, specifically around three waters reforms, the covid recovery fund, the provincial growth fund, Māori health and education.

                      In that context, your concern over the office of the Clerk just seems a little underwhelming.

                      [You keep moving the goal posts aka diverting and this is the typical behavioural pattern of a troll.

                      There are two points that you keep ignoring and/or downplaying. Policy changes and cuts that haven’t been signalled in the election campaign. And the Office of the Clerk is part of the Executive Branch and therefore shouldn’t be treated “in the same way many other government departments and agencies”, as you asserted.

                      Your troll days are numbered now – Incognito]

                    • Incognito []

                      Mod note

    • SPC 2.2

      It shows Seymour has no problem with indigenous supremacy, where it is a majority.

      The BJP is like a Christian Democrat party/Tory/GOP/National – the Indian National Congress party is a Social Democrat party, like Labour in Israel it is a declining opposition.

      India has a secular constitution, as per the USA (which has a Christian majority).

      Seymour's ACT has a range of authoritarian tendencies, probably because it plays the populist majoritarian card to gain favour for its small government agenda. Given a small government means less provision to the many, it resorts to a mobilisation against minorities. Here Seymour's goal Indians in India against Moslem other, Indians in New Zealand as part of the majority against indigenous minority Maori.

      With Chinese, ACT policy is very pro Taiwan (adopting the policy of the retired United Party). The deputy Brooke van Velden takes the lead on this.

      • Sanctuary 2.2.1

        Seymour is endlessly ambitious, and it is clear his playbook is influenced by the whole right wing Atlas network project. As you say so succinctly it is the Brexit play of using a "…populist majoritarian card to gain favour for its small government agenda…" – Brexit was always about removing the UK from the EU's regulatory environment in favour of a return to Dickensian trade liberalism.

        The NZ media is utterly dominated by the need for "engagement" to juke their online stats for advertising revenue. It is ferociously parochial, provincial and simply refuses to show any curiosity in the intellectual underpinning of the modern far right, and in particular the influence & tactics of far right think tanks that make up the Atlas network simply because such investigations are expensive and produce far less clicks than simply recycling press releases from ACT/TPU.

        But on top of all that, I am convinced Seymour has looked around the world and noticed the rise of right wing strongmen like Orban, Fico, Erdogan, Trump etc and the network of right wing propaganda funded by Russia and China and sees an opportunity to replace National as the party of the right. He fancies himself as a hopefully more successful Oswald Mosley, riding an anti-democratic wave of neo-Fascist authoritarianism all the way to the ninth floor of the Beehive.

        • SPC

          More Edward than Thomas Seymour? Lord Protector for a King of the name. A century before Cromwell.

        • Subliminal

          My two cents worth on this would be that we have two 'populist' leaders, Winston and David. They detest each other and will do what they can to destroy the other. Of the two, only Winston understands at any level what Nationalism means but he has always been more interested in the baubles.

          Putin, Orban, Fico all understand what Nationalism is. They realise that it requires a serious curtailing of global neo conservatism in their neck of the woods. They don't oppose wealth accumulation as such but require that those who make money don't make the rules and they know how to enforce it.

          They also understand that money needs to be put to work making stuff and ensuring as much as possible that sufficient energy and infrastructure exist and are accessible. Immigration needs to be tightly controlled as do money flows.

          National interest is a completely foreign concept to David. He is beholden to those with money and as their servant will never be able to assert the control that you envisage.

          Naked Capatilism did a good outline on Orban.

          • SPC

            Someone who has no idea about the deep state capability to assert an authoritarian regime to support neo-liberal capital libertarianism.

            But the more visible forms are known, more in prison via three strike targeted policing, enhanced state surveillance, prosperity religion and faith based providers in welfare, community health and private contractor security.

            The nationalists oppose international “neo-liberalism”, they pose as social conservative economic nationalists.

      • David 2.2.2

        "India has a secular constitution, as per the USA (which has a Christian majority)."

        For now.

        "The constitution still calls India a secular republic. But the facts on the ground suggest otherwise. Mr Modi’s supporters treat the idea of secularism as a foreign imposition on a grand civilisation, and as camouflage for the mistreatment and suppression of Hindus. In reality it is their aggressive chauvinism that has cost Indian society dearly, and it is Muslims who are treated as second-class citizens. Human Rights Watch warned last year of the government’s “systematic discrimination and stigmatisation of religious and other minorities, particularly Muslims” and of increasing violence by BJP supporters against targeted groups."


        "Many believe that the prime minister will rewrite the constitution if he gains a sufficient majority, though he has dismissed such speculation. Monday may mark another fateful step towards that moment. It may also indicate that he does not need to change the words on paper when he has reshaped his country so effectively already."

        The Guardian view on Modi in Ayodhya: an alarming new era for India | Editorial | The Guardian

        • Obtrectator

          Turkey's been taking a similar sort of path for some time now. Ataturk would hardly recognise the place.

    • Muttonbird 2.3

      Another thing Seymour is trying to do is dilute culture and identity, specifically that of Te Ao Maori.

      He heavily relies on the insistence that NZ should be a 'diverse multicultural' nation saying that Maori history, culture and identity are no different than those of new arrivals, despite Te Ao Maori contributing significantly to the nation's identity. Seymour wants that to end so that NZ is homogenised and just a collection of cultures rather than a unique, distinguishable country with its own identity.

      The insistence is that Maori identity must be diminished and diluted before a 'diverse multicultural' nation can exist. It's nonsense.

      If the great strides over the last 40 years to uphold the importance of Maori and its taonga, and to reconcile injustices hadn't been made, a diminished, diluted and homogenised national identity is exactly what we would have now. This is what he wants…

      • SPC 2.3.1

        Yup, the Atlas Network upholding the global capitalist order works to diminish the

        *size of government

        *separate nation state identity (TOW, Waitangi Tribunal)

        *international common cause of the people (environment/GW action/labour standards/Declaration of Universal Human Rights – government guarantee of education, health, housing adequate income – HRC, UNDRIP).

        • Muttonbird

          Restricted or scrutinised access to the resources with which farmers and miners make maximum profit regardless of the cost can't be tolerated. Three Waters threatened that (along with delivering huge generational benefits to all) and so was subject to a well funded and sustained campaign against.

          Maori identity is intrinsically linked to the living, breathing environment and Maori involvement in the supervision of that environment, even consultation with Maori on that environment is something which Seymour and National and their backers simply must destroy.

          The best way to do that in the wider (thick/white/immigrant) community is to demonise Maori which is what Chris Trotter did on Bryce Edwards' VUW endorsed website. And to frame low income Maori as receiving benefits low income non-Maori do not. They are the enemy:

          Nazi propaganda often portrayed Jews as engaged in a conspiracy to provoke war.

        • AB

          Yet the obvious fit between the ideology of small government/unregulated markets and the denial of minority indigenous rights (particularly in natural resources) goes unnoticed and unremarked on in most of our media. And it's more than a mere "fit" really – it's an essential conjunction. Astonishing.

      • Robert Guyton 2.3.2

        Well described, Muttonbird.

    • joe90 2.4

      Rimmer and the Hindutva mob were celebrating this.

      On Monday, January 22, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will preside at a “sacred” religious ceremony to inaugurate the massive Hindu temple that his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government has had erected in Ayodhya on the site of the razed Babri Masjid (mosque)—fulfilling a longstanding goal of the Hindu supremacist right.

      The Masjid, an historic Muslim shrine dating from the 16th century, was demolished on Dec. 6, 1992, by Hindu fundamentalist activists mobilized by the BJP and its allies in the fascistic RSS and the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP, World Council of Hindus). In defiance of the orders of India’s Supreme Court and under the watchful eyes of top BJP leaders and thousands of security personnel who supposedly had been deployed to protect the Masjid, specially trained Hindu activists razed it to the ground in a matter of hours using axes, hammers and grappling hooks.

      The razing of the Masjid provoked India’s worst communal violence since the 1947 partition of the subcontinent into an expressly Muslim Pakistan and a predominantly Hindu India. In riots and other communal outrages that unfolded across much of north and west India well into 1993, thousands of people, most of them poor Muslims, were killed.

      • Gosman 2.4.1

        There is evidence that there was a significant Hindu temple on this site that the Muslim invaders of India demolished and then built their Mosque in it's place.

        Also do you object to the Turks turning the Hagia Sophia into a Mosque?

        • Muttonbird

          Someone pointed out before it is incredible the way Seymour and ACT candidates are happy to applaud nationalism and traditionalism in certain forms and in certain hands, but not others.

      • Sanctuary 2.4.2

        Seymour will embrace Hindutva Indians, whose spokespeople in mysteriously well funded astroturf "community" groups will become the default "voice of the Indian community" for our lazy media. Six Hindutva "dairy owners" will get free reign in the press to claim to speak for all Indians and paint their opponents as racists.

        Thus emboldened by the endorsement of the next deputy PM, they'll start launching ethnic violence against Moslem Indians, Tamils and Sikhs and it'll spill over into a reaction against all Indians.

        • Obtrectator

          Tewi Seymour (as I've chosen to rechristen him, to acknowledge the recent sudden prominence of his Maori heritage) will give the appearance of embracing anyone if there's a vote or two to be had out of it.

  3. Morrissey 3

    Confirmed: Ukraine war ends with partition
    Kit Klarenberg

    Zelensky no doubt wishes that referendum had gone ahead, therefore likely averting the special military operation. He also surely regrets believing Boris Johnson’s promises of the blankest of blank cheques in return for keeping up the fight.

    Over recent weeks, there has been a flurry of extraordinary mainstream media reports admitting the hitherto unthinkable and unsayable. The war in Ukraine is over, Moscow has won, and Kiev has lost. Badly. Very, very badly indeed.

    Perhaps the most stunning example was provided by a January 6th op-ed in The Spectator, authored by the outlet’s resident “Russia expert” Owen Matthews. A longstanding Maidan acolyte, in June 2023 he published Overreach, a pseudo-psychological account of why the February 2022 special military operation came to pass. Attributing the world-changing action to Kremlin delusions of spawning an illegitimate modern day hybrid of the Tsarist Empire and Soviet Union, his conclusions were stark, forecasting imminent, utter catastrophe for Vladimir Putin:

    “Not only [will] Putin leave no lasting ideological legacy but any legacy of prosperity and stability that he may have created [was] destroyed by his own decision to make war on Ukraine. The price of his illusions was not only thousands of lost lives but also a lost future for Russia.”

    Fast forward to today, and Matthews has a rather different take on things. He observes how there is “one brutal truth at the core of Putin’s maneuverings.” Namely, “the partition of Ukraine has, to a significant extent, already happened,” and “the key challenge facing US policymakers this year will be how to handle that reality”:

    “The past year of fruitless fighting has shown that reconquering Ukraine’s lost territories in their entirety will require many times more blood and treasure than has already been spent – money that the US is increasingly unwilling to provide.”

    The biggest barrier to the Empire simply admitting defeat, is “no one in Washington” wants “to spell it out” to Western audiences. ,,,,

    Read more…–ukraine-war-ends-with-partition

    • Sanctuary 3.1

      A war without a just conclusion is merely a pause. If Ukraine is forced into a fait accompli, they'll restart the war once they've rearmed. Expect a wider alliance including Poland to confront Russia in the next war. If Putin is not defeated it will simply signal a wider war in 2026-28. Restore the 1991 borders, admit a reformed Ukraine into the EU and NATO, and getting rid of Putin is the only formula for a lasting peace.

    • Res Publica 3.2

      How long do you think an independent, democratic Ukraine would last after such a peace deal? You'd have to be a complete muppet to imagine it would longer than a year or so.

      It's like being punched repeatedly by a bully while being constantly asked why you're fighting back.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 3.3

      Russia-propaganda aligned piece from a former journalist for Russia Today and Sputnik – both state funded russian propaganda outlets. Russia is desperate to promote the idea that Ukraine's defeat is inevitable.

      “The past year of fruitless fighting has shown that reconquering Ukraine’s lost territories in their entirety will require many times more blood and treasure than has already been spent – money that the US is increasingly unwilling to provide.”

      The issue with this take is it acknowledges Ukraine has expended blood and treasure – but in fact russia has also lost vast quantities of both, so not necessarily fruitless for Ukraine. Who will lose military capacity first (and it is true – russia started with much more initially)? Ukraine has little choice but to continue, if they want to avoid subjugation and slaughter.

      • Sanctuary 3.3.1

        Thanks for posting this, the OP is a shameless pro-Russian propaganda piece.

      • Morrissey 3.3.2

        Kit Karenberg is an independent journalist, working in London. Where his work appears is not really important, surely. Is Glenn Greenwald any less of an authority because he used to work for that discredited MI5 conduit and traducer of political dissenters, the Grauniad, and has appeared on such ridiculous, partisan television outlets as CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and British state television?

        The sources Klarenberg uses for this article are Owen Matthews, of the rabidly anti-Russian Spectator, and President Zelensky's chief adviser Mykhailo Podolyak. Far from being "Russia aligned", they are staunchly anti-Russian, but they have the integrity to tell the truth.

        You need to read the article instead of calling people names.

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          To suggest that propaganda piece remotely represents Podolyak's position is nonsense – and the fact that Klarenberg quotes a Spectator article that includes a quote from Podolyak – hardly means Podolyak is a "source"! Plus Podolyak's comments in that Spectator piece are far removed from the suggestion to abandon occupied territories to russia. Here is what he said in the article that Karenberg misrepresents:

          To Zelensky’s close adviser Mykhailo Podolyak, the only possible course is for the West to provide enough weaponry for Ukraine to inflict a decisive defeat on Putin. The US needs to ‘understand clearly what is at stake in this conflict… we are at a historical moment when [the West] needs to choose for yourselves a future path for the next ten, 20 years,’ Podolyak told me in Kyiv last month. ‘If we do not defeat Russia now they will invest money in global destabilisation, then [the West] will have to spend much more money in an attempt to defend itself from this growing chaos.’

          Anyone can have a look at Podolyak's twitter feed to get an idea of his actual views – nothing at all in line with Klarenberg – but does give a genuine Ukrainian perspective.

    • SPC 3.4

      There is an American missile that can reach all of Russian occupied Ukraine, and supply of that and more field artillery and ammunition is all it would take to end Russia's ability to make any offensive moves.

      One block is the GOP is nominating Trump who wants Russia to win and to leave NATO. And thus see no point in funding anything.

      Another is the limited supply and pre-existing orders.

      Some say limited numbers and restriction to the purpose of taking out Russian air-defence systems would make the other missiles Ukraine has more effective.

      Given GOP control of funding blocks even that, the USA has to look at increasing production capacity to NATO partners and have them supply some of their stocks to Ukraine.

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    Driving on beaches is a complex issue, surprise, surprise.

    Locals claim "heritage", mana whenua say cultural harvest sites can't be reached without vehicles etc.

    Local councils must consult with the public before making changes and get strong resistance.

    Beaches are classified as roads.

    Not straight forward and many fights result.

    [TheStandard: A moderator moved this comment to Open Mike as being off topic or irrelevant in the post it was made in. Be more careful in future.]

    • gsays 4.1

      I think you are right about a vehicle ban attracting a fight.

      I heard the sad story about Muriwai in the weekend and no doubt there is unreported damage of nests etc.

      We already have a large array of regulations, by-laws and rules.

      What is lacking is enforcement. This cry of banning something is just a knee-jerk reaction.

      Prohibition doesn't work.

      • Robert Guyton 4.1.1

        Try banning cats! Getting cat-owners to agree on a strategy is like herding … hang on!

        Nobody likes to be told that their way has to change.

        • gsays

          If you do wanna talk about fauna being destroyed, it would be hard to go past cats as an apex predator.

          There is very little defence for their activities apart from 'It's a bit inconvenient for me to have to manage their wanderings'.

          My Mum's house is littered with the darlings droppings. (She doesn't keep one herself).

          More than once I've thought of setting an opposum cage up then hosing down any occupants in the morning before releasing them.

      • Robert Guyton 4.1.2

        Enforcement is bloody hard, gsays.

        Wanna be a fisheries officer … anywhere in NZ?

    • Foreign waka 4.2

      That beaches are used like a road is nothing short of astounding. It goes well with the philosophy of exploiting the environment until nothing is left to salvage.

      But naturally (sarc), all those SUVs and four wheel drivers need an outlet to let it rip! I doubt that any of them think about the ecosystem is being ruined.

      On most beaches bylaws request permissions for access if it is for fishing or boat access – its not a free for all – and road rules do still apply.

      And if I am not mistaken, just yesterday the Maori King asked for the same – NZ Herald, 22 Jan, 2024 08:03 AM .

      He is not alone as this was an article last year:

      Off-road vehicles destroying taonga across motu – iwi ranger – Thursday, October 26, 2023

    • Obtrectator 4.3

      If they need to get to "cultural" sites, then OK, but let that be by "cultural" methods of access.

      • Robert Guyton 4.3.1

        That's pretty silly, but okay, what do you mean by "cultural methods"?

        Does Māori culture not include adapted technologies?


  5. Robert Guyton 5

    Funniest line of the day goes to Nick Rockel for his skewering of Shane Jones here:

    "Meanwhile they showed an earlier interview with NZ First heir apparent, Shane Jones. Who has described the Hui as a “monumental moan-session”, which sounds like a review of one of the movies he used to rent on the taxpayer’s coin."

    • Tiger Mountain 5.1

      Self pleasuring is a well acknowledged human trait–but Mr Jones booking his stimulus up on us taxpayers is what rankled perhaps.

    • Yes Robert, Nick Rockel also called Shane Jones the "Great Kumera of the North"

      I laughed at both … Kumera and the movies Always an enjoyable read and often right on point with his descriptors and metaphors.

  6. SPC 6

    Debt to income rules come.

    It's 6 times income for homeowners. And 7 times for investors.

    So $48,000 c MinW * 2 c$100,00 – $600,000 max + 20% deposit minimum.

    $60,000+ MedW * 2 $130,000 – $780,000 max +20% deposit minimum.

    Home ownership could dependent on the area one lives. Or an increase of terrace apartment housing and reduced migration to balance out supply and demand.

    What research has been done as per living costs and money available for mortgage payments is an unknown – rates and or water bills are going to rise a bit. Power bills will rise to the extent migration and electric cars push up demand (mitigated by more energy efficient housing).

    Labour's plan was to encourage the investor class to new builds (on which mortgage payment was allowed as a cost) – National's appears to be change rules to enable greater supply of small builds/mobile homes (factory built) as granny flats and the like. Otherwise abandoning support for Labour's intensification RMA, means developers continue to focus on areas around transport spines – they just need a government that creates more of these, and then extend this to areas with parks (or golf courses that …).

  7. Robert Guyton 7

    Want to pledge your support for this poor, misunderstood Government? Believe they are being picked on by Māoris and Lefties? Here's a letter you can sign and send to Mr Luxon, Mr Peters and Mr Seymour, to show them you've got their collective backs!

    (Sample fragment)

    "It has been concerning to see how you and your government have been attacked for policies that the majority of the country voted for. The rhetoric has been aggressive and misplaced.

    That is why I am writing to you today. Please stay the course and remain committed to defending our freedoms and democracy. It is a key reason why I and many others voted for you. This is so very important to the future well-being of our country.

    Please remember you have a mandate to make these positive changes to protect democracy.

    Thank you.
    Yours sincerely"

    • SPC 7.1

      A lot of money and effort to popularise a right wing narrative.

      A "majority" whose "democratic" mandate to defend their "freedom" is under some threat.

      Chris Trotter has already made the case that those pro Maori should be seen as the left were and spied on by the state. He was once of the left, but I dismissed from that category when he opposed a CGT, because people of his demographic opposed it (privilege of being born in an era where property ownership was the expectation).

      • Sanctuary 7.1.1

        Trotter is on the council of that astroturf creation of the TPU – the self-styled "Free Speech Union" alongside such dubious characters as Stephen Franks, Ani O’Brien and Jordan Williams.

        As such he is now an acolyte of the Atlas Network. He has gone completely down the far right rabbit hole. I would say that as he fearfully twitches the curtains of his villa he sees his political rejection and social exorcism by anyone to the left of David Farrar for his right wing race and culture war rhetoric as simply part of a circular argument for how unreasonable the left has become.

        • Rosielee


        • SPC

          It could be termed having a security state servant mind set.

          There are a number of types of old age insecurity, physical frailty and mental decline and a fear of loss of nativism (society going in a direction away from what it was in their youth because of "other" – Brexit to England pre EEC, 50's-60's assimilation policy here and America birth sex identity, pre critical race theory and feminism in the USA – note the importance of the birther movement as per the non white POTUS).

          • Robert Guyton

            "society going in a direction away from what it was in their youth because of "other" "

            That's genius, SPC.

    • Muttonbird 7.3

      Email address harvesting. Database then sold, or handed on to the Taxdodgers Union and Farrar, or The Platform, or 1ZB.

    • Robert, "droll" comes to mind regarding the letter. They are asking for mockery with this plea surely? It shows they know they are not getting accolades. laugh

  8. Ad 9

    OK so we are according to Prime Minister Luxon sending a team of 6 to assist with security in the Red Sea strait.

    Seems a pretty minimal investment in NZDF staff for the degree of risk to Maersk.

    • Ed 9.1

      So won’t this ghastly government do?

      Next thing Luxon, Collins and Peters will be waving in nuclear ships.

    • Johnr 9.2

      Can someone please assure me that this is an embarrassingly sick joke created by a wag with an evil sense of humour

    • TootingPopularFront 9.3

      Does that mean NZ is now at war with the poorest country in the world at the request of USA/UK to further enable the ethnic cleansing of Gaza?

      • SPC 9.3.1

        Attacks on shipping between Europe and Asia has no impact on Israel's Gaza policy or the USA.

        It does has an impact on shipping costs.

        The Houthi are based in Yemen, but are no more the government there than Hezbollah are government of Lebanon, Hamas government of Palestine or Shia militias loyal to Iran are the government of Iraq.

        They do have a military dominance of the old North Yemen area, sufficient to be well known for human rights abuses of the locals – think Taleban.

        Was military action against Islamic State, a war on Iraq or Syria, both or neither?

        • Ghostwhowalks

          Yes the Houthis are the government of North Yemen- they control most of the populated area, 60% of the countrys 31 mill people

          The Zaydi kingdom ( Houthis are military arm of the Zaydi) ruled the area from end of WW1 to around 1969 and are well established in the armed forces and civil government. Northern Yemen is mostly urban

          South Yemen was the former British Colony, most are Sunni Muslim instead of the Northern Shia sect

          The former government fled to Saudi Arabia. 'Internationally recognised' is just US b.s. It just means a puppet government in Riyadh

          Even the South isnt controlled by Saudi puppet government- the former governors have that

          • SPC

            The thing there is no such thing as a nation state of North Yemen since the merger with the South. Thus it does not have a recognised government.

            Somaliland has been an autonomous part of Somalia for about 30 years, but it has no recognised government either.

        • Subliminal

          The effect is to ramp up the costs for the West in supporting Israels genocide. Exactly as you state. Shipping costs will increase. And then you can also wonder why the Israeli blockade on Gaza does not materialise UK and US carrier groups promoting free maritime passage to Gazan ports and also remember the horrific famine inducing invasion of Yemen that was, prior to Gaza the most severe humanitarian disaster. All weaponry, targeting and naval blockades supplied by the usual beacons of light, the US and UK

      • Ed 9.3.2

        “I’m sorry your Amazon packages are delayed, but you know, there’s a genocide…”

        Shame shame shame Luxon.
        Not in my name.

        • SPC

          I know Amazon uses the word shipping a lot but does anyone get their goods shipped via the Suez.

          They get their stuff from warehouses Amazon has in a lot of places.

          • adam

            And amazon gets it's goods to ship…

            • SPC

              It makes no difference to Amazon logistics across the Atlantic. If it is Asian produced it can go across the Pacific to the USA and restock there if USA sends reserves across the Atlantic in the short term. It is only a matter of weeks going around Africa anyhow.

              No one ordering Amazon will notice any difference (Amazon costs up profits down or pass on costs maybe).

      • Grey Area 9.3.3

        Yes. A day of shame for NZ.

    • Muttonbird 9.4

      Maersk could always try not servicing Israeli ports.

    • adam 9.5

      OK so we are according to Prime Minister Luxon sending a team of 6 to assist with security in the Red Sea strait.

      It worse than that Ad.

      For starter the link to the messed up presso is long – so my point is at around the 17 minute mark. The NZ government has approved NZ defence forces personal to enter into a another countries territory and engage in espionage.

      Well we can't get upset if it happens to us.

      • SPC 9.5.1

        The 6 will be based at an operational headquarters in the wider Middle East and not go into Yemen. Sounds like satellite (AWACS and drone) surveillance to screen ops identifying targets before, during and after.

        A port in Djibouti, aboard ship, or SA.

        • adam

          Not what they said at the presso.

          So I'll take the newshub piece as propaganda after the fact

          Still Espionage no matter what way you wrap it.

          And once again, your link does not say what you imply – you make it up?

          • SPC

            What espionage are they going to be engaged in? That is something you asserted without any evidence.

            The Government said the six Defence Force personnel will be involved in collective self-defence of ships in the Middle East, from operational headquarters in the region and elsewhere.

            They have no operational headquarters in Yemen.

            If you are asserting they said something else at the presser – then identify the difference and provide the time of that.

            As to operational HQ in the region – the US and UK have sea ports in Djibouti, access to SA airfields and such aboard ships. Whether they would be as far away as the the other side of the Arabian peninsular (Persian Gulf) maybe.

  9. Stephen D 10

    In reply to Ad at 9.

    Let’s hope we’re never asked to make a decision to support any action in the Straits of Taiwan.

    • SPC 10.1

      If the Chinese blockade Taiwan (stopping ships and bringing them back into Chinese ports or directing to leave the area), their intent would be to lure in American ships and then sink the fleet with fast missiles.

      Our own policy should be to inform China we are a security ally of Oz, but would not be defending Taiwan in any military way.

      Of course having a policy of protecting shipping from piracy or attacks on ships in peacetime (the Houthi are not a recognised government and have no right to be involved in war beyond their borders) is not the same as trying to lift a sea blockade in a war.

      • Subliminal 10.1.1

        No! thats right! only the US and UK are allowed to do that. Its called the rules based international system of order!

        • SPC

          Some phrases and slogans are cultivated for use by team “mascots (prefer parrot?).

          Short form of linking to the well argued rationalisation of the team narrative – as this has been done to death already and both sides already known the positions/moves of the other.

          It is also an effort to paint those not in lockstep, as of the other team.

  10. observer 11

    Chaotic post-Cab press conference today, as Luxon was asked repeatedly about the Treaty principles bill, and what happens after the first reading in Parliament.

    He kept saying "no intention" to support it, and "no commitment" to support it. Somebody please buy him a dictionary, because those are 2 very different things.

    Reporters pressed him to clarify, but he just Luxoned them ("what I would say to you is, look, it's very clear …") and clarified nothing.

    • Robert Guyton 11.1

      Being "Luxoned" must be soul-destroying for those who love life.

    • Incognito 11.2

      Let it come down to a conscience vote?

    • Ghostwhowalks 11.3

      The words 'no commitment' are because its ACTs policy and getting to 1st reading stage only was 'a commitment' in their coalition agreement

      Its at 5th bullet point .

      No Im not supporting this by putting up the facts

      No intention is because Luxon said thats as far as it goes – many contentious bills die at that stage

      Conscience vote ?
      Wont even have that – let it die a well deserved death in 1st reading stage .

      • observer 11.3.1

        "No commitment" means it's open. Decision not yet taken.

        "No intention" means it's closed. Decision taken.

        If anyone doubts that, try using the two phrases when your partner asks if you're free to help out with chores tomorrow. That will make the difference very clear!

        (Of course, we all know that Luxon really means "no intention", but the farce is that he pretends it hasn't yet been decided, and we should pretend to believe him. The country now faces months of arguing pointlessly about something which is never going to happen).

        • observer

          In fact, it's even worse than that!

          NZF has clearly stated that they will not support it beyond first reading, so the bill is doomed even if National decide to support it.

          “We’ll participate in the process to have the bill tabled in Parliament, debated in Parliament, referred to Select Committee, and after that we won’t be voting for it,” (Shane Jones)

          Prime Minister Christopher Luxon not ruling out voting for Treaty Principles Bill at second reading | Newshub

          It's a remarkable failure of leadership by Luxon. Creating long term division and distress just because he can't manage Seymour. So weak.

          • Anne

            It was noticeable in the post cabinet press conference how often he referred some questions directly to Collins or Peters and let them do the heavy lifting before adding a comment himself. Ardern and Hipkins almost always gave an initial opinion before passing the question on to their ministers.

            The impression I had was that he doesn't have the confidence to give a detailed answer until after the ministers had essentially given him direction.

            • Ghostwhowalks

              Spot On . Its certain that he cant get his head around the idea of deeper questions to his soundbite answers

  11. Anne 12

    Labour is at last showing signs of life:

    I agree with David Clark. This is dangerous territory and we may regret getting involved without a UN mandate. Helen Clark and the 2003 Iraq war comes to mind. She proved right to keep us out of that debacle.

    • adam 12.1

      Could not agree more Anne. The whole middle east is like a ticking time bomb, and we should engage in the space only with the consent of the many, not the few.

    • SPC 12.3

      When the media ask him to explain why Labour provided aid to Ukraine without a UN mandate – what will he say?

      • adam 12.3.1

        Big difference between sending aid, and sending troops in to engage in espionage.

        • SPC

          He could have said that first time, he chose to make lack of "UN mandate" his rationale for a differing position.

          Was he forgetting what the UN Resolution said?

          The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted a resolution Wednesday demanding that Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis cease all attacks on ships flowing through the Red Sea.

          S/RES/2722 (2024)
          2. Demands that the Houthis immediately cease all such attacks, which impede global commerce and undermine navigational rights and freedoms as well as regional peace and security, and further demands that the Houthis immediately release the Galaxy Leader and its crew;
          3. Affirms the exercise of navigational rights and freedoms by merchant and commercial vessels, in accordance with international law, must be respected, and takes note of the right of Member States, in accordance with international law, to defend their vessels from attacks, including those that undermine navigational rights and freedoms;
          4. Commends the efforts by Member States within the framework of the International Maritime Organization, to enhance the safety and secure transit of merchant and commercial vessels of all States through the Red Sea

          As for your point of difference

          Troops who train Ukrainian soldiers to use weapons and 6 personnel who are essentially engaged in a real time training exercise – possibly related to the AWACS (our air force new planes). Because the ops would occur without their presence.

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