Open mike 23/06/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, June 23rd, 2015 - 251 comments
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251 comments on “Open mike 23/06/2015 ”

  1. The Lone Haranguer 1

    So Colin Craig is on the ropes and the Conservatives are, (according to the NZ Herald at least), dead meat without him.

    Be careful what you hope for. His primary agitator is Conservative Party Board member John Stringer, a former National party candidate for Chch Central. And from memory he also boasts of an earlier job in the UK Conservatives under Margaret Thatcher

    So if the CP dissolve from infighting and lack of visible leadership, where will their 3.75% or so constituency return to? Primarily to the Nats of course.

    Labour is way better served with the Conservative Party under the threshold, and getting gifted 25-35% of their vote via MMP.

    • Sabine 1.1

      and if the conservatives stay they will form a coalition with National. so it does not matter essentially, as the voters of the conservatives would not vote for Labour anyways.

      I don’t see the issue really, other then that the National Party might not want the out and proud conservative force on their team. Might be better hiding them in a third party that one does business with because it serves a Purpose?

      • weka 1.1.1

        How can the CP form a coalition with National with 3.75% and no electorate seat?

      • The Lone Haranguer 1.1.2

        Sabine, you assume that they will somehow, miraculously, cross the 5% threshold.

        Im with the Herald – they are deadmeat and if they survive (doubtful in my view) any votes they get will go into the pool to be split out amongst the parties in Parliament

    • Puckish Rogue 1.2

      While I would like to agree with you, being a National voter and all, I see most of the vote going towards NZFirst being that most of Colin craigs supporters will be nutters

      • Sabine 1.2.1

        the same could be said about the current National Voters.
        Really, one good thing National did in the last seven years that went to the profit of the country and not just themselves. And would you think that the national party of past would be happy with the current lot.?

        Nutters, define Nutters. As Winston is making more and more sense lately if one is wanting a government that does not sell the Country by bits and pieces to overseas interests.

        • Puckish Rogue

          Well his conspicracy theories for one thing

          • Sabine

            what has National done that was to the benefit of all of New Zealand.
            You voted for them as per your comment above. Why?

            And no, Labour does it too does not count.

            A proper selfish reason as to why you thought National was better for you, the country then any of the other parties?

    • Lanthanide 1.3

      Christine Rankin was on RNZ this morning saying she was seriously considering leaving the party. She definitely would if Craig somehow stayed on as leader, and probably would even if he didn’t. IIRC she also said she didn’t want to be leader, and Craig had to plead with her over several weeks before she finally agreed.

      Of course, that could just be a coded message to the board, telling them to make her leader or she walks.

    • millsy 1.4

      The left should keep an eye on the Conservatives. The country had a lucky ecape in 2011 and 2014, but 2017 maybe different. Garth McVicar and Rankin may yet change their minds and decide to stand. Then we will have nowhere to hide.

      • Puckish Rogue 1.4.1

        In 2008 National gained power with the Conservatives, in 2011 they kept power without the Conservatives and in 2014 they again kept power without the Conservatives

        National didn’t need the conservatives then and certainly don’t need them now and won’t need them in the future when they keep power in the 2017 election

  2. Save NZ 2

    Hopefully Winston can pick up the Conservatives votes rather than National. The Northland result shows with collaboration and a strategic approach, the Nats can be beaten.

    Nat voters clearly are not happy with the Nats either, and with each new scandal more room grows for them to be defeated.

    Of course there has to be an acceptable alternative vision to vote for….. and the non Nat parties not splitting in each other’s faces or a truce of some sorts….

    • Puckish Rogue 2.1

      The stronger NZFirsts postion becomes the weaker the Greens barginning position becomes

      • weka 2.1.1


      • Save NZ 2.1.2

        Not if NZ First are taking votes from the Nats.

        The party who needs to change the most is Labour. To win Labour needs to change, if they can’t change at least stand down not to split votes.

        Labour are the Nats in sheep clothing and half their supporters know it.

        It’s on the ethics Labour are failing and big issues like clear views on trade and foreign policy. They had Brian Gould do their review, but did they take any thing away from it.

        • Puckish Rogue

          That may be but if Labour has the option of
          A. Labour/NZFirst/Greens or

          then they’d go B everytime

          • Save NZ

            So what, the Greens have never been in power anyway.

            With all the dirty politics they all have to collaborate to defeat National.

            Labour has lost so much support. They probably will need 2 partners to govern.

            If NZ First, Labour and Greens need to hedge their bets by an alliance between the 3.

            Greens and NZ First should have a private meeting to see what they can agree on.

            TPP for one and more controls on housing and immigration could be another.

            • Puckish Rogue

              I think the only thing WinstonFirst will agree to is that the Greens stay out of power

              • weka

                you think that because it suits your trole agenda here.

                But most observers of Peters know that the only thing you can say about him is that he is unreliable and unpredictable. None of us know what he will do.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  If you look at past history you’ll see Winny is not particuly keen on the Greens being in power, that Labour have shafted the Greens in favour of NZFirst and that Winston has shafted Labour in favour of National (arise Sir Winston anyone..?)

                  But yes he is unpredictable

                  • weka

                    Peters is quite capable of supporting the GP being in power if it suits his agenda eg he gets the baubles he wants.

                    • Save NZ

                      These days NZ First is more Green than Labour.

                      Unless it is just Labour messaging, or lack of it…

                      Saying that had a look on the Labour Facebook and it is looking better than it used to. They have got the hang of petitions, they just need to have a look at their overall policies…..

                      Change from Lite Blue to Lite Red.

                      Get some spine and actually start taking people to court to Send that message.

                      Collins and her Kauri and Milk interests.

                      Key and his constant lies.

                      There must be some sort of consequence to take Key and Collins to task on corruption and deceit other than a debate in paliament?

                    • weka

                      NZ First would be a great party if it weren’t for Peters 😉

                  • b waghorn

                    Winston has always said he would negotiate with the party with the most votes so unless he retires or the labour/green block can get near 50% he’ll go with the nats .
                    The full page he had in a farming mag two weeks ago left me in know doubt he can’t work with the greens and national really is his natural home.

                    • Lanthanide

                      He’d negotiate *first* with the party with the most votes.

                      Which is actually a meaningless statement, because if you don’t actually negotiate with all of your potential suitors, then you haven’t negotiated at all.

                    • Save NZ

                      I don’t mind Peters. He is his own person at least, not just led by blind ideology. I think NZ First is better with him.

                      Greens do need to lighten up against farming.

                      There are lot’s of Green and responsible farmers out there. Don’t brand a few bad ones (possibly Government owned Landcorp conversions) with the same brush.

                      The Nats prob only converting forests to farms it to sell it off the conversions to the Chinese and overseas buyers anyway.

                      If you come from a rural background you don’t mind farming and farming is a lot harder than city people realise with constant droughts, floods exchange rates and fluctuating prices.

                      Farmers are actually caught out by climate change more than most.

                      In addition responsible farming is a lot better for the environment than residential developments sprawling out or industrial wastelands.

                      Back to common interests between Greens and NZ First, NZ first complaining about how our raw logs are exported and we are not converting them to higher value goods (similar to Greens complaints) and NZ First against all our farm sell offs (similar to Greens).

                    • b waghorn

                      Yes lanthanide “talk “would of been the better word to use.
                      Save nz now that I’ve been looking I don’t think the greens are anti farming but they need to work day n night to combat what looks to me like a concerted effort by some in the rural sector to frame them as farming haters.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Plenty of farmers have a green-ish outlook. A minority to be sure, but not a tiny minority.

                    • weka

                      The Greens aren’t anti-farming at all. Read their policies.

                      “There are lot’s of Green and responsible farmers out there. Don’t brand a few bad ones (possibly Government owned Landcorp conversions) with the same brush.”

                      I agree that are lots of good farmers out there (I don’t know many dairy farmers though 😉 ).

                      But I also think that farmers need to take responsibility within their industry esp the fact that they let Federated Farmers be seen to represent them. FF are irresponsible environmentally. I don’t think we can say that there are a few bad farmers when industrial dairying has caused and continues to cause such widespread long term damage.

          • maui

            Labour would need 40+% of the vote to go for option B, that isn’t going to happen anytime soon. They have to work with the Greens if they want to be in power.

  3. Michael W 3

    I know the TPP has been already done to death but… Per the following video the TPP locks in the privatisation of the provision of welfare services. It also goes on to discuss bank bailouts and so forth.

    It is food for thought

    • Save NZ 3.1

      Considering even the right wing Herald is polling huge support AGAINST TPP by the public, why the F are the politicians trying to PUSH it through. There is nothing for NZ and they know it. There is nothing for the US public either which is why at least they are suggesting support for all the jobs lost (hello they know jobs are going to be lost but still forcing it through), all I can think of, is with the whip up of ‘fear’ against everyone Muslim or Chinese and possibly even an uprising of the poor with the growing world inequality, they feel some sort of one world economy supported by one world military will safeguard interests… I mean it is out there stuff…. but what the F is the reason they are trying to force through a dead duck that has so many problems in secret and why are not more opposing politicians 100% opposed?

      Look at Labour – at least do a conscience vote to see how many MP’s support TPP and then come out and publicly say Labour is AGAINST TPP. We don’t need Bin Larden to destroy Democracy, the dumbo bureaucrats a doing a great job by themselves with big business (all the bad ones like Oil and tobacco) lobbyists and corrupt politicians.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        Considering even the right wing Herald is polling huge support AGAINST TPP by the public, why the F are the politicians trying to PUSH it through.

        Because it’s what their owners, the US corporations, want.

        There is nothing for NZ and they know it.


        Labour and the rest of the Left parties, including NZFirst, need to come out and say that they won’t be signing up to the TPPA.

        IMO, we actually need to be dropping from all FTAs that we’re presently signed up to including the WTO. We replace that with a set of standards that other countries need to meet to be allowed to trade with us.

        It’s an interesting point but the whole market idea is about freedom to trade and that means being able to chose if we trade or not. All these FTAs are actually about forcing trade upon us whether we like it or not. That forcing is, without doubt, actually causing damage to NZ and other countries.

    • Save NZ 3.2

      Thanks Michael thats a good link. Hope someone sends it to Grosser.

      • Potato 3.2.1

        On a slightly lighter note (but still TPPA) , how about we make this our temporary national anthem ?
        Cut the Crap – the Gasworks Community Service Band

  4. Gosman 4

    As predicted by myself the Syriza led Greek government is coming to terms with the fact they have to follow sensible economic policies.

    • vto 4.1

      Like using pie-in-the-sky debt machines which churn euros out like printed confetti eh gosman…so sensible… so sensible it has created this very mess

      • Gosman 4.1.1

        Seems like Syriza wants to still be part of the game though vto. Must be something to it if a political party elected on a mandate to do away with Austerity has basically conceded much of what it stated it was against just 6 months ago.

        • vto

          the world of debt is finite gosman, surely you realise this… it is simple mathematics that sees it failing…. it is called a Ponzi scheme by others…..

          yet you support it

          • Gosman

            Whether I support it or not is not really relevant. My views on economics are a world away from most people here. That is a given. What is interesting is why a political grouping that should share views expressed by many on here (including yourself I believe) has suddenly changed tack and have agreed to adopt policies that I generally support as opposed to the ones they previously promoted. Why do you think they didn’t just stick to their guns?

            • vto

              It is entirely relevant as it highlights the thinking behind your views. Supporting a system which results in debt-slavery and is completely and utterly unsustainable is just nuts …. and makes all your other points on the matter worthless

              • Gosman

                Why do you think Syriza is bowing to pressure and agreeing to continue to be part of this system promoting “Debt slavery”?

                • vto

                  Why do you think Greece should rush back to the system which has destroyed it and is completely and utterly unsustainable?

                  • Gosman

                    Personally I don’t think Greece should be in the Eurozone because the Government is incapable of pursuing fiscally sensible policies however the fact remains that they are attempting to remain and by essentially agreeing to the Austerity imposed on them by the rest of the Eurozone members as I predicted would likely happen. You seem very reluctant to address the reason they are doing so despite the Greek people voting for a party that apparently was against these sorts of policies.

                    • vto

                      Rome wasn’t built in a day was it ………

                      this Greece situation is just the beginning gosman, just the beginning….. the system which has unravelled them is steadily unravelling itself. Actually it isn’t the beginning, it is now part way through…

                      If you don’t accept this then how do you see the current financial model playing out over the next few decades? Just more of the same?

                    • thatguynz

                      Being a NZ “right winger” and not part of the 1% I would have thought you would be intimately acquainted with voting for a government that doesn’t act in your own best interests. Perhaps you could answer your own question Gos?

                    • Tracey

                      I wonder how further cuts in government spending under the austerity measures proposed works in light of this:

                      “The budget deficit is an outcome – of decisions made by both the private and public sectors to expand or contract activity; of the levels of both public and private employment; of the amount collected in tax revenues.

                      However while the Chancellor can’t “eliminate the deficit” he can cut government expenditure and investment. Or increase government expenditure and investment.

                      In other words, it is not possible to assess the stance of the Chancellor’s fiscal policy from estimates of the public sector deficit – the outcome. But an expansionary fiscal policy can lead to growth in activity and employment, so that, in a recession, public sector expenditure and investment creates employment, generates tax revenues, saves on benefits and welfare payments and thereby reduces the deficit.

                      A policy of fiscal consolidation or contraction, at a time when the private sector is in a slump, suffering from an overhang of debt, weak productivity, a lack of confidence and is hoarding cash and withholding investment, will cause the deficit to rise.

                      So the debate is not between those who would “slash the deficit” and those who would “postpone” the reduction in the deficit.

                      Instead the debate is between those who would cut expenditure and investment in a slump, as opposed to those who would stimulate public expenditure and investment at times of private sector weakness…”


                      As I understand it the Greek crisis is about repayment of debt. So, everyone outside Greece is focused on ways to get their money (Interest and principle) out fo Greece in the short and long term). That means the initial focus is not really from a starting point of how do we get Greece back on its feet to becoming a thriving nation able to employ its citizens but rather how do we ensure a money stream to satisify at least our interest payments is established. This, imo, has inherent problems.

                    • Gosman

                      Yep vto. There is no difference in the situation today with the multiple financial crises over the past 200 odd years. Countries and people will continue to muddle along the best they can. There is no viable alternative waiting in the wings to take over our current system as much as you and people like you on the left would like to make believe there is.

                    • vto

                      Thanks mr gosman, that’s what I thought….. you have an inability to see anything outside your current paradigm… all of 200 years – pheweee eh, such a long time. 200 years is about the length of time many empires and systems last before their inbuilt failings rise to the surface ready to be squeezed like a pus-filled sore…

                      Just like our current capitalist one….. which had its rough beginnings in many senses around 200 years ago….

                      And now has pus oozing out everywhere – like Greece…

                      you really should open your eyes

                    • Gosman

                      No Tracey, it is about ensuring Greece is fiscally sustainable long term. The only way they can do that is by raising taxes and cutting expenditure. Noone else is going to give them money to spend more.

                    • Olwyn

                      It is interesting, Gosman, that you are not pointing to any kind of ‘rising tide lifting all boats’ but are instead gloating about the difficulties the Greek government faces in trying to free their citizens from imposed austerity. I think that most people accept that the Greek government is acting in good faith, is unlikely to achieve everything that it wants to, and that Greece could even end up being forced out of the Euro-zone. However, none of this makes the forces they are up against good or right. And it seems that you no longer insist that your way of going about things is better for everyone, but now think that austerity must be imposed on some so that others can prosper.

                    • Gosman

                      I’ve never made out that Austerity will lead to better times for everyone. Quite obviously if you were one of the lucky Greek people who used to receive a generous pension at 55 your life is likely to be much harder now. Equally if you were one of the people employed in an inefficient and overstaffed publically owned company you are unlikely to get such a cushy job in future. But if the Greeks wanted to have such a lifestyle they should have tried to ensure that it was sustainable. It wasn’t hence the need for Austerity.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Utter fiction Gosman.

                      The true story is that the Troika knew Greece was indebted to its eyeballs, technically insolvent, was in massive danger of default – yet kept lending Greece billions of dollars. Debt which is now rightfully considered odious, and should never be repaid.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      There is no viable alternative waiting in the wings to take over our current system as much as you and people like you on the left would like to make believe there is.

                      WTF are you on about Gosman.

                      1) Break up all TBTF banks
                      2) Reinstate Glass Stiegal, but tougher.
                      3) Implement a stiff FTT
                      4) Shrink the financial sector to no more than 5% of any given economy.
                      5) Put money creation back into the hands of sovereign states, not private banks.

    • halfcrown 4.2

      How’s it going in the Ukraine ?

    • Tracey 4.3

      you and millions of others predicted it… it’s still not a done deal and it is still not exactly what the EU wanted, say, before the last Greek election.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.4

      Right, so Europe is following through on it’s threat to cause another major global economic disaster.

      • Gosman 4.4.1

        The syriza led Greek Government seems to be giving in. Why are they doing this if it will lead to economic catastrophe?

        • Clean_power

          Tsipras has no choice or he’ll find himself out of a job in a matter of weeks. The party is over for the Greeks. Pay your debts or else…..

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Said the mafia loan sharks with the base ball bats and knives

            • Gosman

              Why do you think Syriza is kowtowing to the demands of the Eurozone members?

              • They’re not kowtowing. That’s why the neg’s have been dragging on so long.

                • Gosman

                  They are agreeing to look at Pension reform and increases to VAT. These were two areas that were apparently sacrosanct only a week or so ago. On top of that they have also agrred in principle to running increasing primary budget surpluses for the next few years. This is a key feature of Austerity not of a policy of using the State to spend it’s way to a solution. Please advise me how the so called anti-Austerity platform they ran on has been satisfied by the proposals they have made?

                  • It hasn’t because, unlike you, they operate in the real world. Blackmail is hard to respond to, but they haven’t rolled over. What they have done is forced the bankers to compromise as well. That’s a major step forward for the Greek people and a fulfilment of their electoral pledge. The real pledge, btw, not your strawman.

                    • Gosman

                      How have the bankers compromised? They are still getting the Greeks to follow policies that you would regard as “Neo-liberal”. If they follow through on their committments they would actually be far more right wing than the past Greek governments as they will privatise more State owned assets than was done over the past 5 years.

                    • Because that is less than what was originally demanded. Sheesh, like trying to reason with a puppy.

                    • Gosman

                      In your mind the fact that Syriza is not having to adopt as strict a range of austerity policies as they could have been forced to follow is a massive success for them is it?

                      If so it would explain why the left is on the back foot in many places around the world.

                      I’m cool with you believing people are striking a blow against right wing policies if you only adopt 75% of them instead of 100%. Whatever makes you feel at ease with supporting ideas that I agree with. 😉

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Gosman rejoicing at the combined financial might of the IMF, ECB, Germany and Eurozone members crushing down and bringing 12M Greeks to heel.

                      What a prick.

            • Clean_power

              No, the debt needs to be paid, so Greece has no choice whatsoever. By the way, how is that anti-science of yours going?

              • Tracey

                Of course they have a choice, it’s the capitalist way

                First, they need to hire Donald Trump’s lawyer

                “Atlantic City lawyer Viscount doesn’t believe Donald Trump himself should be held accountable for any of his company’s bankruptcies — his creditors, he said, knew what they were getting themselves into when they lent Trump money over and over again. “They’re all big boys and girls,” he said. “They’ve all played this game before, in the insolvency space. The company that possessed his name filed bankruptcy because it was overleveraged. What does that tell you? People want to lend him money. He does grandiose things with it.

                …Viscount doesn’t think Trump has misused the system at all. “Chapter 11, in my view, is the ultimate business transaction forum,” he said. “It’s the place you go to keep a business alive and well. He’s done nothing inappropriate.”


                So you see, there is support for Greece defaulting and basically becoming bankrupt, from the doyen of capitalism and freedom the USA

                Those banks knew the risks when they lent, they factored it into the interest rate. They knew they might not get the principal and some interest back.

                So, yes there are choices. And those choices have consequences but to make it sound like the lending of money was a gift from a benevolent parent is nonsense. It was a money-making decision to lend money in exchange for projected return.

                • Draco T Bastard


                  This is something that the RWNJs don’t seem to understand despite the fact that they go on about taking risks all the time. They seem to think that people who take risks should always become super wealthy and that they should never lose no matter the risks that they’ve taken.

                  • Gosman

                    Who has ever claimed this? I believe you are creating a strawman argument here.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      You did actually throughout this thread when you keep saying that Greece needs to face reality and agree to the demands of the troika. You’ve been doing it for months.

                    • Gosman

                      Ummm… no. I have never stated that people who take risks should always become super wealthy either as part of my highlighting the problems of Greece or in any other post I have made here.

              • maui

                How the hell does any country pay back $250 billion euros? Sounds a lot like extortion if you ask me.

              • No, the debt needs to be paid, so Greece has no choice whatsoever.

                Comments like this show that, today, supposed ‘common sense’ puts a priority on returns to private capital over public welfare. Dickensian.

                It’s ‘gotcha’ time for Greece. First comes the easy cash then comes the snare – loan sharkery on a global scale.

                The creditors clearly have the money to save Greece but have decided that an immediate return on their money is more important than preventing widespread hardship.

                Turning the screws at this time also has the added advantage of showing, not just the Greek people but all of us, just who is the boss.

                And the hardship that will result isn’t all about people not being able to retire at age 55 or have a guaranteed, cushy public sector job as Gosman seems to think.

                Greek unemployment has been above 25% for some time.

                Austerity can only push that higher.

                Apparently this is all very moral and ethical on the part of the creditors. Apparently the Greek people are just getting what they deserve.

                What a fine old world of moral rectitude we all live in.

                Message – courtesy of global financiers – to all of us:

                Careful of your next step; there’s precipitous cliffs either side of the pre-designed crumbling ridge you’re all walking along. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Now, take our tender hand – extended only to help you … of course.

                • Draco T Bastard


                  The banksters are setting themselves up as the new dictators.

                • greywarshark

                  Is Greece’s situation a little like Germany’s after the band of avenging finance ministers punished them for WW1 wasn’t it. Impoverishing a whole nation wasn’t a good idea it transpired. Then a whole lot of expiration happened. In Greece what group is likely to be the scapegoat for the country’s ills?

                  On that note Jung in talking about the Shadow says –
                  The world today hangs by a thin thread, and that thread is the psyche of man. ~C. G. Jung
                  The supreme danger which threatens individuals as well as whole nations is a psychic danger. Reason has proved itself completely powerless, precisely because its arguments have an effect only on the conscious mind and not on the unconscious. The greatest danger of all comes from the masses, in whom the effects of the unconscious pile up cumulatively and the reasonableness of the conscious mind is stifled

              • Colonial Viper

                Hey Clean Power, debts which can’t be repaid, won’t be repaid. Greece has defaulted on it’s debts several times since the 19th Century, it should do so again.

                Better than impoverishing an entire nation for the banksters.

                • Clean_power

                  Easier to say since you do not leave in Greece. Maybe some homeopathy remedy can alleviate thirst, hunger and even pay the Greek debt.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    Maybe you can fuck off with your pro-bankster inhumanity

                    • Clean_power

                      Is that your level of discourse? Maybe some vaccine against anger could help? Ooooops.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      There is no discourse with barbarians. Global insurrection against the banker occupation.

                    • greywarshark

                      Why do you waste your precious time and intellect on even noticing these morons who are so weak-minded and malicious that they make a game of stupid comments about our future. They are disposable, and dispensable, and there would be a net gain if they weren’t around.

              • adam

                Wow, Clean_power just read a few books, a few on economic history would be a good start. I know it’s all the rage with you new Tory’s to just go with your feeling on issues. But, nothing beats free thinking though…

              • Draco T Bastard

                No, the debt needs to be paid,

                No it doesn’t. The people who made the loans made them with the understanding that they were taking the risk that they weren’t going to get the money back. Greece should simply default. It is actually the correct thing to do.

              • halfcrown

                “No, the debt needs to be paid,”

                So when is Germany going to pay there’s?

                “The Federal Republic of Germany’s creditors — 20 countries including Greece — indeed agreed at a London conference to write off 55 percent of the country’s 32.3 billion Deutsche marks of foreign debt. “More than 50 percent of Greek debt needs to be written off,” says top Syriza economist John Milios. “The solution that was given to Germany at the London conference in 1953 is what we must do for Greece.”


    • millsy 4.5

      The thought of the Greeks having free health care, and a generous welfare system, and extensive worker protections keeps Gosman up at night,

      So he has to email his paramour, Merkel, to starve them into submission, just like her predecessor, between 1941 and 45 — Dont forget, a lot of old Nazis drifted into the Christian Democrats…

      • Puckish Rogue 4.5.1

        There nothing wrong with having free health care, and a generous welfare system, and extensive worker protections but someone has to pay for it and the Greeks wern’t

        and before you ask I don’t hate the unions, schools or any other random organisation you’re about to ask me why I hate them

      • Gosman 4.5.2

        They can have all those things if they want. They just have to pay for them themselves instead of expecting German and other Europeans to do so for them.

        • millsy

          Well by the sounds of it, a lot of Greek businesses pretty much only paid taxes when they felt like it.

          • Gosman

            Agreed. Yet Syriza hasn’t made much of a difference to resolving that problem. One thing I thought a left wing government would want to do would be to ensure the taxes it gets from the wealthy are paid but it hasn’t happened for some reason.

            • lprent

              Your comment is complete crap. The problem in Greece wasn’t tax evasion, it is legal tax avoidance. Changing tax laws and then implement them takes time. Usually more than a year, and typically closer to 2 years to untangle a web of special cronies legislation accumulated over decades.

              And that requires some stability to work in. Which they don’t have.

              Even then it will takes years to make any significant difference to the tax revenue. The rich will attempt to avoid it, requiring court cases before they start to obey the laws.

              They have only been in power for less than 6 months.

              You really do appear to be particularly stupid at present.

              • Gosman

                I would think for a left wing government dedicated to ensuring the wealthy elites in society pay for the social programmes you want to protect that tax reform would be top of any legislative agenda. What measures have the Syriza government proposed around this area in the past 6 months do you know of? I don’t expect them to have been fully implemented I accept but I would expect the proposals to be out there and being developed in to policies.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  There have been hundreds of pages of proposals to the Troika, Gossie.

                  • Gosman

                    They don’t need to wait for the Troika to approve reforms to the Greek Tax system. They can just go ahead an start implementing (or even developing) the policies. The Troika wants to see an effective Tax collection system. They are hardly going to object to the Greek government doing so.

                • lprent

                  I’m sure that if you look you will find some on their legislative calendar. All I did was look at the logistics of such legislation.

                  To achieve what you were suggesting, I’d have to consider that you were trying to push for a bloody revolution.

      • Sabine 4.5.3

        Angela Merkel was raised and educated in East Germany. Her Father was a lutheran pastor. She might have got stuck in East Germany with her family when the wall went up, which happened to a lot of people. No wall in the morning, oops a wall in the evening.

        as her bio: Early Years

        German stateswoman and chancellor Angela Merkel was born Angela Dorothea Kasner on July 17, 1954, in Hamburg, Germany. The daughter of a Lutheran pastor and teacher, Merkel grew up in a rural area north of Berlin in the then German Democratic Republic. She studied physics at the University of Leipzig, earning a doctorate in 1978, and later worked as a chemist at the Central Institute for Physical Chemistry, Academy of Sciences (1978–90).

        She entered politics in 1989, with the fall of the Berlin Wall. She was the pet of Helmut Kohl, who himself was chancellior for 16 years replacing the SPD Chancellior Helmut Schmidt.

        Angela Merkel is a lot of things, but she is not a Nazi or a Neo Nazi. She is a capitalist, and maybe an opportunist.

        AS for the well being of the low income countries of the EU, frankly they should have never entered the EU fully. They were set up to fail.

        Btw. The reason Germany managed to get into the monetary Union was be re-evaluating the Gold Reserves under then Finance Minister (article from 1997 in German ) the reason he did this was to reach the thresholds set to actually be a Member of the Einheitswaehrung (single currenzy).

        Read up here in english.

        Without Theo Waigel the EU would not exist today.


        I would not draw a line between the Nazi History of Germany and Angela Merkel. That is a bit far fetched. She is a corporatista and a capitalist. WE have these guys running and indebting our country currently. What is little NZ gonna say when the overseas interests that hold our debt come collecting?

        • greywarshark

          There were things about Merkel’s background that were similar to those of Margaret Thatcher’s. Wikipedia –

          Margaret Thatcher’s father was a Methodist, he was a grocer, and also a local preacher and was in local politics being Mayor of Grantham for a short time.

          She was originally a research chemist, then became a barrister….

          She was influenced at university by political works such as Friedrich von Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom (1944), which condemned economic intervention by government as a precursor to an authoritarian state…

          In 1948 she applied for a job at ICI, but was rejected after the personnel department assessed her as “headstrong, obstinate and dangerously self-opinionated”…

          She stood for Dartford in early 1950s elections and did well, losing but greatly reducing the Labour majority. She married. She qualified as a barrister and specialised in taxation in 1953, and that year also had twins.

        • Psycho Milt

          …Angela Merkel was born Angela Dorothea Kasner on July 17, 1954, in Hamburg, Germany. The daughter of a Lutheran pastor and teacher, Merkel grew up in a rural area north of Berlin…

          I didn’t know she was born in Hamburg. Weird to think of people moving from the Bundesrepublik to the DDR, the traffic was mostly the other way. The Kasners must have been spitting when they discovered what “really-existing socialism” meant in practice.

    • vto 5.1

      Lordy. More and more blather

    • weka 5.2

      She’s a comedian so she can’t be a feminist obviously.

    • McFlock 5.3


      I’ve been trying to work out what a Tory feminist is, because I keep seeing photographs of female Tory MPs in the newspapers, wearing T-shirts with ‘This is what a feminist looks like’ on them.
      That’s what it says on the front, anyway, of the Tory feminists’ T-shirts that they’re all wearing now. And on the back it says, ‘Not really, I’m a Tory, you gullible dick.’

      • joe90 5.3.1

        That’s what it says on the front, anyway, of the Tory feminists’ T-shirts that they’re all wearing now. And on the back it says, ‘Not really, I’m a Tory, you gullible dick.’


        Most of those bourgeois women who act like lionesses in the struggle against “male prerogatives” would trot like docile lambs in the camp of conservative and clerical reaction if they had suffrage.

        Rosa Luxemburg

  5. Tracey 6

    “New Zealand’s five major banks are on track for another bumper year, with profits already up strongly in the first quarter.

    ANZ, ASB, BNZ, Kiwibank and Westpac made $1.69 billion of pre-tax profit in the three months to March 31, up 5.9 per cent from the last quarter of 2014.

    The gains came from an increase in “other” operating income and lower expenses, offset by falling interest income and a higher level of bad loans.

    Total gross loans increased by $6b, or 1.9 per cent, but interest income fell slightly.

    PwC partner and banking and capital markets leader Sam Shuttleworth said that reflected the very competitive lending market.”

    above average wage increases all round for the workers, right? To reflect/acknowledge that no company can make profit without great work by all its employees, right?

    • vto 6.1

      the banks make obscene profits

      the poor live in substandard housing

      this is how our current system works folks

      you vote for it

      • Colonial Rawshark 6.1.1

        their extraction of profits is the taking of financial capital from every sector of NZ and from every household in NZ

        $7B pa, gone into the pockets of the banksters

        And both National and Labour are fine with it

  6. Penny Bright 7


    23 June 2015

    Mayor Len Brown

    ‘Open Letter’ /Request for speaking rights at Auckland Council Governing Body Meeting, Thursday 25 June 2015

    Dear Mayor,

    I wish to address the Auckland Council Governing Body Meeting, under ‘Public Forum’ on the following matters:

    1) The failure of Auckland Council to provide information on how Auckland Council Rates Assessment Notices and Rates Invoices are double-checked for statutory compliance with the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002, in the LGOIMA reply received (3 months late) on 1 May 2015, on the grounds this information was ‘legally privileged’.

    2) The request from Auckland transport for an ‘extension of time’ to my LGOIMA request, that they provide information about the amount of public subsidy for private passenger transport providers of Auckland bus, ferry and rail operation and management, information which I believe is critical before the proposed ‘transport levy’ is voted upon.

    3) Concerns about how the ‘Special Housing Areas’ have been generated by the, in my view, purported Auckland ‘housing crisis’, which has been based upon the use, by yourself and (former) Chief Planning Officer, Dr Roger Blakeley, of the Department of Statistics ‘high’ population growth projections, when they recommended ‘medium’ – an extra 300,000 people, and my consideration of another Parliamentary Select Committee of Inquiry into this matter.

    4) My concerns, as an ‘anti-corruption Public Watchdog’, of the alleged use of the Auckland real estate market for ‘money-laundering’, and what is Auckland Council doing to minimise this risk.

    5) A formal request, in the interests of transparency and accountability, for you, Mayor Len Brown, to voluntarily provide the ‘Trust Deed’ for the New Auckland Council Trust, so that the public can see who are your main financial backers.

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright


    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

    2009 Attendee Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference

    2010 Attendee Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference

    2013 Attendee Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference

    2014 Attendee G20 Anti-Corruption Conference

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate (polled 4th with 11,723 votes)

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate

  7. Ffloyd 8

    Looks like j key is going to have to resort to *rent a crowd* for the meetings on the flag change. Apparently 13 in Auckland BUT 50 IN Invercargill. Woohoo! What else is there to do in Invercargill?

    • Chooky 8.1

      Where can you buy t-shirts with the New Zealand flag emblazoned on them?!

      …I want one …or two ..or three

      …be a good money maker for the NZLP or NZF or the Greens

      ( no one wants this jonkey corporate vanity project flag…and the committee being used to steer it reads like a list of wannabes, crooks and trash )

      …pity it is costing the new Zealand taxpayer so much money …$ 28 million?… when New Zealanders are going hungry, cold , without state housing, young people cant afford tertiary education, Continuing Education has been axed ,State Assets have been sold , NZ soldiers have been sent to Iraq, health funding has been cut…and secret corporate rip off TPP looms

    • Tracey 8.2

      watch the Ads change to food and drinks available…

    • RedBaronCV 8.3

      Judging by the meeting I went to, the email had gone out to the local Nat party members to come along and make the place look less empty. must do a post on this soon – something didn’t feel quite right about the whole deal

  8. Colonial Rawshark 9

    UK LAB leadership candidates booed at leadership hustings

    The 3 major leadership candidates refuse to condemn Tory benefit cuts, are all for replacing Trident nuclear missile submarines.

    • Bill 9.1

      That’s not the first time ‘the big three’ have been booed by Labour members. This time, same as last time, it appears that Jeremy Corbyn is the only one of the four who ‘gets it’.

      What does it say that the more popular candidate, at least as far as audience reaction goes, is continually poo-pooed by major media?

      That’s a rhetorical question btw.

    • Clean_power 9.2

      UK Labour is going the way of the moa/dodo/dinosaur. It is inevitable: Boris Johnson will be the next PM (two terms).

      • halfcrown 9.2.1

        Clean Power, are you trying to tell us that after another 5 years of Camorons austerity if there is not a revolution before hand, that the Tories are going to win with that fucking clown Johnson as premier for 10 further years.

        I cannot see that happening as long as your arseole points downwards.

  9. Penny Bright 10

    So – in whose interests is NZ Prime Minister John Key working …….?

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact does not yet include an acceptable deal on access for New Zealand’s most important exports, dairy products, with little more than a month to go before the controversial 12 nation trade deal could be concluded.

    “I think the way I would describe it is there’s a deal. It’s probably not at the level that we would currently like,” said Prime Minister John Key at his post-Cabinet press conference in Wellington. He was referring to comments last week by Trade Minister Tim Groser that negotiations on dairy access to the heavily protected US, Canadian and Japanese markets had “barely started.”

    A vote is due in the US Senate as early as mid-week to grant “fast-track” negotiating authority to US President Barack Obama to conclude the deal after a crucial vote in the Congress last Thursday left the Senate as the final hurdle.

    Key took issue with Groser’s comments to BusinessDesk last week that there was so far “no deal” on dairy products.

    “It’s not to say that there’s a bad deal on dairy products, it’s more to say that there’s no deal,” Groser said last week. “We’ve barely started. Phony negotiating positions have been put on the table but that doesn’t help a professional negotiator make a judgement as to where the landing zone is.”

    However, Key said: “From what I’ve seen at the moment, if in theory we froze time and concluded the deal as I see it, it’s net positive for New Zealand. But it wouldn’t be doing enough for dairy for us to be comfortable and we would like to do some more there. There are a lot of other sectors that would be very happy about it.”

    Key said his “gut instinct” was that the Senate would follow the US Congress, which by a narrow vote last week approved US President Barack Obama’s so-called “fast-track” authority to negotiate a conclusion to the TPP deal. “We’ll eventually get the chance to potentially get a deal before the summer recess” Key said.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Thing is, opening up the US dairy market or even any of the others won’t get NZ dairy into those markets as they’re all quite capable of producing their own dairy. Hell, the US has been ramping up dairy production for years now and will probably end up flooding their own home market and thus will need other countries to dump excess on which will probably include NZ.

  10. Save NZ 11

    Someone do a request for how much the taxpayer has paid for Groser to be conducting these ‘forced’ trade deals and then see what could the money be better spent on.

    The poor and increasingly former middle class starve and freeze in NZ while our money is spent on hair straighteners and junkets for Groser to further enslave us..

    In a similar vein in Auckland Council, the public COO Ports of Auckland illegally try to steal our harbour and the council use the ratepayer money on barristers to defend it.

    Oh another rates increase….. And the public has to pay to defend themselves from the illegal actions of the council resource consent officers….

    • Atiawa 12.1

      Who cares?

    • Tracey 12.2

      That headline is appalling. It actually distracts from what seems to be suggested which is a form of sexual harrassment (if true). So it serves no one but the stupid editorial push for salacious headlines.

  11. Charles 13

    Self-acceptance and harassment

    Watching a youtube clip about internet harassment posted here today, it doesn’t escape notice that people often use the internet because of a lack of close relationships that allow them to express themselves freely, without threat of violence or punitive repercussions. I certainly use it for that reason.

    Fighting everyone all the time about everything wears thin after a few decades, sooner, for those with little to no social status. Expecting one person to win against the collective power of any culture is a big ask, and the internet is the perfect place to resume that fight and not take so many direct hits. The same distance created by the screen that allows people to be or say what they like, also allows others to reply in an equally negative manner.

    I hope the solution is obvious, though clearly not so obvious that people can easily access multifarious, safe, real-life, community. Some of the problem will be that the more vulnerable aspects of their personality or lifestyle they still, themselves, find embarrassing in some way; or by being overly aware of the cultural value attached to it, or something along those lines.

    It’s a matter of accepting oneself first, he says, but in the classic catch-22 situation, people often can’t access that place in real life until real life allows them to access that place. To say it’s difficult, time-consuming and expensive to overcome one’s own emotional and psychological tendencies and scars and just accept oneself is gross understatement. It’s one of the times that “pulling yourself up by your bootstraps and doing it all yourself” is not practical advice. That idea just makes it worse.

    Doing it all yourself is contraindicated, because even if you are “successful” you’ll end up isolated in your own personal – if safe – world; a world which divorces a person from the social interface of a healthy psyche. It’s not all bad, though: living in your own personal world might make you an expert observer of the human condition, an academic unrestrained by official ideology, an artist of particular skill; or perhaps some unforeseen disastrous external event will catapult you into a position to act for the social good, with well-honed skills that mainstream people will never have developed. On a day-to-day basis though, it’s likely to be all small private victories, and mostly failures, and not much in the surrounding external culture will change.

    Nothing gets done by one woman or one man against the World. It’s what we like to tell ourselves, though: it’s great flattery, good for destructive myths and Hollywood movies – and most often distorted by economic theory.

    All the great people of progressive social change depended on their ideas being enacted and supported by other people who could act, by followers in the thousands, if not millions. The World, and the British, were in India before Gandhi was born. Social Chaos reigned before Muhammad had his vision of a new way of living. King Herod was already ruthless and threatened before he attempted to kill Jesus of Nazareth. Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr. were spokespeople of a collective awareness, not isolated individual saviours. And anyone else who starts today isn’t the source of their own future power. Not even John Key created the trends of the National Party… though you could argue that last one isn’t into social progressive anything, or particularly “great” in a World history sense. Sorry, John.

    Accepting oneself… the many methods and the associated fear, yes… that’s what I was attempting to say. What’s some of the misunderstood and early blockades to self-acceptance? Reminding myself of them could be good exercise… if a little pedestrian…

    “If this person looks like me and thinks like me… they seem like nice people… no wait, they’re that …I could be them! I can’t be them. I hate that idea, it disgusts me. I have too much to lose. No, I must reject that person to protect myself, my family, my way of life.”

    Whoa, whoa there cowboy! The reasons why things happen in other people’s brains is not caused by external indicators. The gene for skin colour does not also assure gender. Dressing in jeans and a t-shirt doesn’t mean you listen to rock music. Wearing a skirt doesn’t make you a woman, in the same way as wearing Rayban sunglasses will not instantly make you “cool”.

    New Age ideas that have crept into progressive culture have been ruthlessly trimmed down to “We are all the same, we are all one” – except we aren’t and never were. The philosophical origin of those New Age ideas says, “We are all from the same original source, made of the same life-breath, which takes the form it must to maintain balance in the world. The reasons we are all different is unknown.” This means we should respect the inherent life force within each other, whatever our external appearance; not that we are all the same person, will turn into the same person under the correct circumstances; or that by sitting next to the disabled person on the bus your leg will begin to twist; or if a poor person lives next door to you you’ll lose your inherent personal worth; or that if you hug a transgender person (with their permission, of course) your dick will fall off. Although it’s good to find the commonalities between each of us (for the sake of exercising compassion, for example), the differences are equally important. Focussing on either at detriment of the other will cause problems and manifest in rejection and division.

    “My brain can’t take this shit, I think I have an identity crisis going. Entertaining the idea of dealing with these different people shakes me up too much!”

    Congratulations, you’ve fallen in the deep-end of self-acceptance! Already you’ve learned that ideas cannot maintain a static reality, but if you could calmly paddle back to the shallow end of the pool, that’d be best for everyone, and possibly you, too. But if you enjoy it there, swim around a bit. Make your own calls. The most important thing to remember is this: I am not you, you are not me, in human form we are separate beings, that’s the law of Nature. Unless someone is rushing at you with an axe, there is no other immediate physical threat. So no need for abuse towards the thing that you think you fear.

    Telling a fearful brain the above is not really possible while it’s freaking out, although forewarned is well-armed. Sometimes the psychological threat is enough to instil terror. The best I can offer is anecdotal advice: Last time I was in identity crisis town, the loss of conscious control did not give me up to imagined wild extremes. One thing did not follow another. The sense of terror in potentially having no conscious control, while impressively overwhelming, did not automatically become what I thought it might, what logic thought it could. Logic was gone, so did not apply. If you ever go there, if you even just take a quick trip past there, remember that nothing happens till it happens. Remember that feeling of the incredible vastness of the unknown: that’s how big people are, not some small description of lifestyle, gender, skin colour or socio-economic status. When you get back, you’ll have proved to yourself you have the courage to face any other thought you might have, and the courage to refuse the urge to restrict people to your own categorisations.

    “So, what, I have to give everything up my house and BMW and go find less fortunate people to help?”

    Only if it eventually turns out that way. I’m not one to demand you follow the strict either/or of a monotheistic religion for your behavioural cues. It always disturbed me that when the rich man who realised he couldn’t follow Jesus example turned away sadly, that Jesus didn’t immediately add, “Oh but hey, you should totally check out XYZ religion… they have a temple about two days that direction, you’ll fit right in there. You’re doing ok, bro, don’t be discouraged!” Maybe he did. Already there’s a lot of paper in the bible. They might’ve edited for brevity.

    Do what comes naturally, progressively, whatever you feel. Don’t follow a list of common misconstrued expectations. Forcing the issue out of guilt, duty or collective identity of the group you support is not recommended. It won’t be true, and if anything goes wrong, if your expectations of gratitude or outcome are not met, you’ll blame the people you tried to help instead of realising you didn’t understand your own motivations. Just be where you are, change what you know you can change. That feeling of discomfort when you know something is not quite right, as you’re doing it and that goes away shortly afterwards, that’s your conscience alerting you to inspect why you do things.

    Do you occasionally resent or avoid the people you help?
    Then how are you neglecting yourself? What personal requirements are you not getting and instead filling that gap with consumption of material accumulation, personal sacrifice, or comforting and strictly ideological ideas? Are they helpful, overall, or do they need to be adjusted?

    “My losses are in the past, the neglect was in the past, I can’t change what I never had, I can’t go back and stop things happening that happened. Nothing in the present will change the way I am. The changes I would have to make would hurt too many people. I can’t take another failure.”

    That’s up to you to decide. Shit happens to everyone. Thanks to us all actively or passively supporting our respective cultures, shit happens a lot more to some than others – a lot more. But we’ve also identified that punishing other people for our pain isn’t right either, neither is sneakily spreading it around a little to ease our relatively lighter load. No matter what we do to them, it can’t solve our past, or our present predicament.

    I get the impression that many people think culture is made by external authority, then people conform to it, when in actual fact people express their internal attitudes externally, and the collective similarities become culture. Soon as people consciously choose to conform, rather than express, culture begins to stagnate and die. The problem we often see in NZ is that one part of the collective expressive range is shamed into repressed non-existence.

    Failure doesn’t exist. Like most things in the Western mind-set the idea of failure depends on someone arbitrarily stopping a hypothetical clock, halting the inexorable continuum of time as we know it, and saying, “Done. You’ve failed, you’ve lost, conclusively. Global, galactic, Universal Time has stopped and nothing more can happen.” A person can miss a deadline, there may be consequences to that missed time-point, but time will continue and so will you. Calling someone a loser, a failure, or useless, is a gross expression of idiocy – and their pain, as described above. Failing to boil a potato doesn’t mean you’ve failed as a parent, or that you can’t refill the pot and try again. As long as time happens, as long as you’re alive, there is opportunity to continue constructively in some way.

    ”Nup, way too hard, too much effort, no time, no interest, nothing in it for me, too many other things to do. Life is good. Fuck off, you idiot loser.”

    Other than finding opinions that make me think, the aspect I enjoy the most about this place is that I can say my idiotic piece to whoever wants to listen, relatively unmolested and not often censored, whereas in other places I can’t.

    If we attempt to create spaces in real life, and in ourselves, where other people can risk (if they want to) admitting, suggesting, or implying by omission that they’re fucked-up too, without the either of us deriding, punishing or shaming the other, maybe together we can help each other progress. It’s a big ask, but the risk of harassment in such a space would be minimal:

    “Oh hey did you hear about that person?”
    “No, what happened?”
    “Turns out they’re human.”
    “Me too!”
    “That’s what I thought.”
    “We should go see if they have any cake…”

    Sounds like the best anyone can do.

    For harassment to work, we have to have collectively agreed to promote the idea that some things that are simply human, and some things that don’t even exist, are wrong, worth ridicule, or are shameful. If strong supportive real-life communities existed, the idea of sticking someone’s face to a chipmunk body and saying they were available for sex and posting it online would not only not happen, but if it did, people would just move on – secure in their safe realities, with no reputation to uphold – and not attempt suicide as a first-option response. Their psyche would either be strong to the threat, resilient to the impact, or they’d be immediately supported by someone who could help.

    The reason we don’t have supportive strong community is because we think we’re all isolated individuals who must do it all by ourselves or be deemed worthless. The internet has failed to provide safe communities. Legislating punishments won’t change that, and might inadvertently let us go on believing destructive ideas about other people. Opportunity for progressive social change may still exist in real life, starting with the attitudes we measure ourselves by.

  12. Ruth 14
    Don’t know the form for posting links but thought this an interesting read and you could almost replace America with New Zealand as we seem to be slavishly following the Great American Way

  13. One Anonymous Bloke 16

    The Market will provide.

    Look, here it is, providing.

    The experiment has failed. Drag it ’round the back of the barn and kill it with an axe.

    • adam 16.1

      That one I’m not complaining about, nice to have no planes fly over head.

      That said, I agree – capitalism, post-scarcity capitalism, or what ever name it’s running by this week – needs to be put out of it’s misery. It’s going to kill us all, look, we tried reforming it – and that did not work – it just kept on monopolising and burning up everything.

      What’s a lay person’s definition of madness again…

      It’s well past time we applied that to the current economic thinking…

    • The lost sheep 16.2

      A technical fault in a radar system proves that the Free Market system has failed?
      And implies that under a different system all technology would work perfectly?

      1000 lashes for a criminal abuse of the noble science of Logic OAB.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 16.2.1

        It’s another piece in a jigsaw of which we have the vast majority of the pieces in place already. Most of them have been there for centuries.

        Get some perspective.

        • The lost sheep

          If your ‘jigsaw’ is representative of the state of left wing logic, it’s no wonder that even in Denmark voters are turning Centre Right.

          See, I can make a logical linkage every bit as dumb as the one you make above.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            nah, yours are way dumber

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            Oh clever Sheep! You made your very own shiny strawman and knocked him down! Aww!

            Piece of jigsaw, “proof”. Do you know the difference? Apparently not.

      • Puddleglum 16.2.2

        A technical fault in a radar system proves that the Free Market system has failed?

        No. But see my link in 15 above for some evidence that it is hardly gold-plated economic wisdom.

  14. Penny Bright 17

    URGENT ‘Open Letter’ /OIA request to NZ Prime Minister John Key, regarding the TPPA, from ‘anti-corruption Public Watchdog’ Penny Bright:

    23 June 2015

    Dear Prime Minister,

    Please be reminded of your extensive employment background in the investment banking industry, including your significant role in the ‘derivatives trading market’:

    “Mr Key launched his investment banking career in New Zealand in the mid-1980s.

    After 10 years in the New Zealand market he headed offshore, working in Singapore, London, and Sydney for US investment banking firm Merrill Lynch.

    During that time he was in charge of a number of business units, including global foreign exchange and European bond and derivative trading.

    In 1999, he was invited to join the Foreign Exchange Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and on two occasions undertook management studies at Harvard University in Boston. ”

    Please be reminded (again), that according to the 2015 NZ Register of Pecuniary Interests, you are (still) a shareholder in the Bank of America:

    “Rt Hon John Key (National, Helensville)

    2 Other companies and business entities

    Little Nell – property investment (Aspen, Colorado)

    Bank of America – banking ”

    (Please be reminded, that I have previously asked you about your personal shareholding in the Bank of America, back in February 2011, at the following Grey Power Public Meeting:


    Please provide the information which confirms that:

    1) The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), will NOT provide big banks with a backdoor means of rolling back efforts to re-regulate Wall Street in the wake of the global economic crisis.

    2) The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), will NOT require domestic law to conform to the now-rejected model of extreme deregulation that caused the crisis – such as forbidding countries from banning particularly risky financial products, such as the toxic derivatives that led to the $183 billion government bailout of AIG.

    3) The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), will NOT threaten the use of “firewalls” – policies that are employed to stop the spread of risk between different types of financial institutions and products.

    4) The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), will NOT bar the reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act, that helped eliminate banking crises for four decades by prohibiting deposit-holding commercial banks from dealing in risky investments.

    5) The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), will NOT ban capital controls, an essential policy tool to counter destabilizing flows of speculative money.

    6)The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), will NOT prohibit taxes on Wall Street speculation, that means that there would be no hope of passing proposals like the Robin Hood Tax, which would impose a tiny tax on Wall Street transactions to tamp down speculation-fueled volatility while generating hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of revenue for social, health, or environmental causes.

    7) The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA), will NOT empower financial firms to directly attack these government policies in foreign tribunals, and demand taxpayer compensation for policies they claim undermine their expected future profits.

    (Please be advised that I have based these questions upon information from the following: )

    If you cannot provide ALL of this above-requested information, please confirm that you, as the Prime Minister of New Zealand, will no longer continue to advocate for, or in any way support this TPPA, from which you may personally profit, given your shareholding in the Bank of America, which, in my considered opinion as an ‘anti-corruption Public Watchdog’, is potentially a significant corrupt ‘conflict of interest’.

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

    2009 Attendee Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference

    2010 Attendee Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference

    2013 Attendee Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference

    2014 Attendee G20 Anti-Corruption Conference

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate (polled 4th with 11,723 votes)

    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate

  15. Colonial Viper 18

    Grindingly slow science discovers: chemicals considered individually safe may act together in the human body to cause cancer

    • McFlock 18.1

      Not all of us can read the matrix code as it flies by, or great one. Some of us need things like “evidence” before we leap to a conclusion.

      But keep up with that anti-science schtick. It really shows how much of an authority you are when it comes to logic.

      • TheContrarian 18.1.1

        CR yesterday: Pffft science!

        CR today: This science isn’t fast enough!

      • Lanthanide 18.1.2

        CV is a complete jerk. He knew all along that these chemicals together would cause cancer, but he refused to tell anyone, instead he kept it for himself.

        • McFlock

          while Big Chiropracty makes a killing curing it with spinal manipulation, and Big Homeopathy refuses to add the cure to the municipal water supply in statistically non-existent concentrations.

          • weka

            He does have a point though. Why has it taken science so long to explore this hypothesis? People have been talking about it for a very long time.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              the big money for academics, researchers and journals is in testing new drugs for Big Pharma, one chemical at a time. There simply is much less money and career reward in doing this kind of much more complex public good work.

            • Lanthanide

              Because generally experimenting on humans is frowned upon, and population-based studies are very time consuming an expensive.

              The simple answer is that society doesn’t dedicate enough money towards science.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Given that science has helped lead us into this civilisational dead end, that’s no surprise.

                • Lanthanide

                  Everything about civilisation has lead us to this dead end.

                  Pillorying ‘science’ as the root of all evil is quite bizarre.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    It’s the one which has created the means to destroy the entire world in under 6 hours (global nuclear warfare) so it’s up there in the rankings.

            • McFlock

              what lanth said.
              And factors that work together disproportionately are exponentially more difficult to identify above margin for error, replicate the results a few times, and then filter out into the general safety/awareness system.

              Things like smoking/lung cancer and asbestos/asbestosis are exceptionally low-hanging fruit.

              Look at sudi/sids/cot death: smoking was an easily identified risk factor, bedsharing/sleeping arrangements less clear. But only a few years ago was the disproportionate association between the two identified: as risk factors together, they multiply rather than add.

              That took epidemiology to identify and pig models to determine a biologically-plausible mechanism by which it manifests before a variety of responses/interventions could be piloted. And both of those were identified and measured risk factors before the relationship was identified.

              So yeah, it took a whilefor researchers to go through the obvious ones before individually benign factors were compared together on a macro scale to find an association.

              The problem is that CR’s list of things that his hippie friends were concerned about that have not and will never be associated with an actual hazard is impossible to collate due to the illogical nature of confirmation bias and our inability to foresee the future.

              • weka

                Sure, complexity, but I also think it’s because once you go down this track it’s harder to hang on to the reductionist world view. And that presents other problems, like how to deal with individual reactions to chemicals.

                • McFlock

                  I’m not particularly surprised at that.

                  • weka

                    surprised at what?

                    • McFlock

                      That some commenters here would believe that a research direction his put off because any resulting data might actually raise further research problems and challenge the scientist’s reductio-whosie-whatsits to a comparable degree as the basic volume of data and methodological complexity required to explore a research question. After all, scientists are terrified of learning anything new.

                      I mean, even a couple of decades ago the technology might not have existed to even examine the possible low-incidence interactions between an assortment of random chemicals to create an unknown health effect in a large, international population for a study that involves global collaboration of researchers in a timely and not-space-program-expensive manner. But no, I’m not surprised that some commenters here would feel that a significant factor in preventing this research in the 1980s or 90s would simply be the hesitancy of a scientist to have their “reductionist world view” challenged.

                    • weka

                      Fuck off McFLock. I’m not even going to bother reading that properly. I’m not ‘some commenters’, I’m one commenter. If you can’t address the points in the actual comments I make and feel a need to make generic statements about unspecified arguments that just feeds the impression that your ideology is blinding you here.

                      “After all, scientists are terrified of learning anything new.”

                      Fuck off again. I’m guessing that you actually have no idea what I meant by my comment and instead of engaging meaningfully and asking, you just kept on with the prejudicial diatribes.

                    • McFlock

                      So you won’t read it properly, then claim I never addressed the point.

                      Allow me to expand on some of the points you couldn’t be bothered reading:

                      Sometimes shit doesn’t get looked at because the technology doesn’t exist to look at it and there is more low-hanging fruit to look at. But nah, you leap at the idea that it’s because scientists don’t want to change their world view. When in fact robustly demonstrating something that requires a revolutionary change in understanding would actually make a scientist’s career – look at the holographic universe theory, or gastric ulcers being caused by bacteria.

                      So nah, I couldn’t then and can’t now be bothered getting into a debate about “reductionist world views”.

      • Adele 18.1.3

        Kia ora McFlock

        I am anti the arrogance of science. However, I have just attended a science symposium and I thought eureka.

        What was so enlightening about this particular convention was an acceptance of a Science – Maatauranga Maaori collaboration.

        Maatauranga Maaori is Maaori knowledge and Maaori science

        In other words, Science in NZ is acknowledging that an alternative view of existence is valid.

        Its an impressive development scientifically, and bi-culturally.

        • McFlock

          I’d be interested if there was a link to the proceedings.

          Don’t let my bickering with CR mislead you – even within the “mainstream” there can be a bit of snickering between the quantitative and qualitative crowds, or even the population vs case analysis crowds, but each of us would be significanty less without the others.

          Except chemistry majors. They’re basically the polytech cookery students of the sciences 😛

        • Psycho Milt

          I am anti the arrogance of science.

          For my part, I’m anti the arrogance of culturally-based evidence-free assertions, but we all have our biases.

          • Adele

            Kia ora Psycho

            ” For my part, I am anti the arrogance of culturally-based evidence-free assertions, but we all have our biases.”

            Well, stop reading your own posts then.

    • Colonial Rawshark 18.2

      Gawd all you Scientism types are struggling. Ah well, seems like my new age hippy friends were right about the dangers of this environmental chemical cocktail shit 20 years ago. Smart people.

      • Lanthanide 18.2.1

        A stopped clock is right twice a day.

        • weka


          • Colonial Rawshark

            And these are the self proclaimed rational scientific intellectual analytical thinkers amongst us.

          • Lanthanide

            No, not at all. It’s very easy to declaim that any sort of new science or technology is going to be bad and have bad outcomes, and to be very general about it. Throw enough darts, some of them will hit bulls-eyes occasionally.

            But the real point here actually, is that it’s very easy to say “all vaccines are bad”, and then when *a* vaccine is bad, use it as an example that backs up your claim that “all vaccines are bad”, when actually it’s just a one-off occurrence and the vast majority of vaccines are fine.

            It reminds me of AFewKnowTheTruth, who was very insistent that come 2015, people would be literally starving to death in Auckland due to peak oil and lack of resources and the entire world economy collapsing. He made a very specific prediction – and was quite clearly wrong. It’s much easier to claim to be correct if you make really vague predictions and then say anything that happens to fit your claim proves you were right all along.

            Nostradamus was pretty good at this.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              I for one have never said all vaccines are bad

              You are the one who has said all vaccines are good

              I think each vaccine needs to be judged on its own merits and used only when the situation demands it.

              • McFlock

                your expression “only when the situation demands it” demonstrates that you have no fucking idea whatsoever.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  I wonder what groupings of chemicals are in those vaccinations.

                  • McFlock

                    sorry, I missed that as I’m currently dying of sepsis from a shaving cut.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      There’s a vaccination for that

                    • McFlock

                      no, antibiotics.

                      But you’ll pretend to have known that already.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      antibiotics meh

                      colloidal silver

                    • McFlock


                      a good disinfectant, but not the same.

                    • weka

                      “sorry, I missed that as I’m currently dying of sepsis from a shaving cut.”

                      If science were really on the ball, it would be exploring more in depth why you got a blood infection from that particular cut at the particular time and why your mate who shaved himself in the same bathroom cut himself but didn’t get an infection.

                      If we’d done that we might not be on the verge of running out of antibiotics.

                    • McFlock

                      It’s lucky that scientists have sooo many people telling them what they should be researching (or even that we have people like CR who know the answers without dirtying themselves with “evidence”), then.

                    • weka

                      It’s pretty easy to argue that science shouldn’t be left to scientists alone.

                      But I see we’re at the let’s just make up smartarse shit point in the conversation.

                      Night then.

                    • McFlock

                      You might want to look up Ignaz Semmelweiss, in the time when people thought bad air caused disease.

              • Lanthanide

                “You are the one who has said all vaccines are good”

                Pretty sure I haven’t said that, actually. What I would have said is that with modern vaccines, there is no reason to doubt the medical fraternity that they are safe and effective.

                The only valid reasons not to receive routine childhood vaccinations are if there’s a specific medical reason why you shouldn’t receive the vaccination, such as compromised immune system, or just allergic to one of the chemicals or processes used to create the vaccine.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  They hid critical facts about the MMR vaccination in the UK circa ’88, they hid critical facts about the effectiveness of the MeNZ B vaccination in young children circa 2002, they consistently overstate the practical value of the flu vaccination in preventing deaths, hospitalisations and sick days, they’re hiding critical adverse reaction issues with the HPV vaccination right now.

                  I don’t think that trusting the authorities at face value is really an option.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              It reminds me of AFewKnowTheTruth, who was very insistent that come 2015, people would be literally starving to death in Auckland due to peak oil and lack of resources and the entire world economy collapsing. He made a very specific prediction – and was quite clearly wrong.

              Cut the guy some slack yeah. He’s only about 15 years out.

              • Lanthanide

                Potentially, but the point is he was making a very specific near-term prediction. The ones that should be more accurate.

                Barring completely unexpected events like a solar flare shutting down the electricity grid etc, I think there’s likely to be several years of declining and very bad financial news for the world economy, before it gets to the point of people literally starving to death in Auckland.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  indeed, though i would say that younger and older people in Auckland dying of the secondary effects of insufficient nutrition is basically upon us.

                  • Lanthanide

                    Hmm, I’m not sure that the rate of the deaths that you could contribute to those nebulous causes would be any higher now than in the past.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Well, child poverty is way up compared to 1980 so I am guessing there is a big negative effect somewhere there although it is likely hard to quantify exactly…

                    • Lanthanide

                      Death rate amongst children is really quite low. If there had been any noticeable upsurge in child deaths that could be clearly linked to malnutrition, I think we’d have heard about it.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      then increasing levels of child poverty perhaps aren’t that big of a problem

                    • McFlock

                      Parents tend to starve themselves beforetheir kids, no matter what the fucking tories say.

                      But we’re also really good at letting kids get sick and saving their lives at the last minute.

                    • Lanthanide

                      “then increasing levels of child poverty perhaps aren’t that big of a problem”

                      Wow, really? Did you honestly just say, that if children aren’t dying, there mustn’t be a problem with child poverty?

                      Some pretty high bar you have to reach, there.

      • Psycho Milt 18.2.2

        Ah well, seems like my new age hippy friends were right about the dangers of this environmental chemical cocktail shit 20 years ago.

        You do know that the environment is a chemical cocktail, right? As are we, and any matter in the universe you might not have automatically assumed under the heading “environment.” Still, if your new age hippy friends had some evidence-based insights into what particular combinations of chemicals constitute “dangers,” it’s a shame they never published their findings and reaped the rewards.

        • weka

          Very odd how otherwise intelligent people can’t differentiate various uses of the word ‘chemical’ in context. It’s not the hippies or CV misuing the word (I understood what he meant).

          The hippies did publishe their findings, you’ve just been reading the wrong things.

  16. Penny Bright 19

    [Sitting date: 23 June 2015. Volume:706;Page:11.
    Text is subject to correction.]

    9. FLETCHER TABUTEAU (NZ First) to the Prime Minister : Does he stand by all his statements?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): Yes.

    Fletcher Tabuteau : Given that he stated that all New Zealanders should trust him regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, why then, with the endgame now playing out and after years of negotiations, is your Minister of Trade now saying: “It’s not to say that there’s a bad deal on dairy products; it’s more to say that there’s no deal.”?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY : Because the Minister is technically correct. We are in a negotiating phase, and so there is not actually a completed deal yet.

    Fletcher Tabuteau : In saying that he would like to do some more for the dairy industry, what will he do for Beef and Lamb New Zealand and the Fonterra Cooperative Group, which have gone on record saying that they would struggle to support the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement if, like the Chinese free-trade deal and the South Korean free-trade deal, there are no actual free-trade clauses for them in the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY : The member will have to wait and see, on the basis that the US Senate ultimately gets through it and we get to a deal. But on the basis of what I have seen as being proposed at the moment, I think net-on-net the benefits are positive for New Zealand, and many sectors, I think, will be happy.


    So – is NZ Prime Minister John Key primarily working for NZ’s Fonterra – or the Bank of America?

    Follow the dollar ….. ?

    In which company does Prime Minister John Key have shares?

    Oh – that’s right.

    The Bank of America …..

    Happy with THAT New Zealanders?

    I’m not.

    Penny Bright

  17. Heartbleeding Liberal 20

    MS sufferer who cannot walk, talk or feed himself told to attend job center for interviews:

    • Chooky 20.1

      …that is so disgraceful it is funny…and this sort of thing is what Bill English and jonkey nactional have plans for in New Zealand

    • McFlock 20.2

      goldfish moment – mouth opening and closing, but no words fit the idea

  18. Chooky 21

    ‘‘Saudi Cables release is just one tenth of what we have’ – WikiLeaks to RT’

    …“We are seeing how the oil money is being used to increase influence of Saudi Arabia which is substantial of course – this is ally of the US and the UK. And since this spring it has been waging war in neighboring Yemen,” Icelandic investigative journalist and spokesperson for the WikiLeaks organization Kristinn Hrafnsson told RT.

    On Friday, the whistleblowing website released the first tranche of nearly 70,000 secret government files, providing an insight into the kingdom’s interior and foreign policies. Hrafnsson said that this is “only one tenth of the documents that we have which, will be released in the coming weeks.”…

    ( God bless wikileaks and Julian Assange …and investigative journalists for revealing the truth and fighting oppression and corruption)

  19. lprent 22

    Unjammed the RSS feed. It was choking on some bad RSS / HTML in the last post from WatchBlog.

    I have trashed picking up from that site for the moment, dropped all of their entries, and kicked the cache to get rid of it.

  20. lprent 23

    Test comment for Edge 0.11 on Windows 10

    So far I haven’t seen any problems.

    Even the re-edit editor works.

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