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Open mike 24/04/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 24th, 2021 - 90 comments
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90 comments on “Open mike 24/04/2021 ”

    • Treetop 1.1

      This is the outcome when a pandemic becomes rampant in a country which has a very high population. The logistics of being prepared for Covid in heavily populated countries is massive.

      It is a very worrying time for anyone who has family in India. International aid will probably be required. This can be said for Brazil as well.

  1. Flight hesitancy, is it a thing?

    Kiwis stuck in Perth might be giving people second thoughts.

    And when they do come back, will they have to go into isolation hotels?


    Food for thought.

    Travel paused between New Zealand and Western Australia due to Covid-19 outbreak


    • Treetop 2.1

      I am watching to see what will happen in Melbourne as the infectious man in Perth flew to Melbourne. Probably a domino effect shutting state borders in Australia.

      I have not been in favour of a trans – Tasman bubble at this stage in the Covid pandemic. Covid is such an unpredictable bastard on so many levels and to jeopardise hard won gains is/was foolish.

      • Graeme 2.1.1

        It's looking like the bubble is pretty much a fizzer from a tourism pov so far.

        Most, as in pretty much all, users of the services into Queenstown are New Zealanders going to see the whanu, to and from the wider southern region. We haven't had an Australian through the gallery, or heard any in the street, but the town's quite busy with New Zealanders with the school holidays.

        I was working above Queenstown airport yesterday and two flights came in from Australia that we so light they were able to slow and go off the taxiway 2/3 the way down the runway, and without much effort. Domestic flights were having to use the full length to stop and some were working hard to do so, it's a very short runway.

        There's been a bit of flight cancellation by Air New Zealand in/out of ZQN but that's adjusting to an unknown demand. Also a bit in the media about low demand after the first few days as they picked up the slack from customers who delayed travel after the announcement to avoid MIQ. https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/travel/2021/04/trans-tasman-travel-bubble-air-nz-cuts-flights-as-demand-lags-behind-expectations.html https://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/transtasman-travel-bubble-the-big-difference-between-australia-and-new-zealand/RCSUOZZDR5CI2V6J6LVN66THAI/

        Also noticing a change in language around town about interest in travel. It's gone from "strong bookings", ie the best rooms have been grabbed for the peak times and wholesale bookings for resale the week before travel as ski packages, to " strong search interest" or even "oh, there's a bit of search interest". We'll see what happens come July and August.

        It's looking that people in Australia and New Zealand are being very responsible with their travel and trying to keep their exposure within definable bubbles. The VFF category is easily contact traced, it's mostly within a family bubble rather than out in the wider community as individuals. VFF is also very good for our community and individual wellbeing, and with most New Zealanders having family or friends in Australia the ability to travel and meet with them is something we need to do as soon as we are able. The risks are no different to travel in/out of Auckland, or interstate in Aussie, during an out break and we can manage that fine.

        Independent leisure tourism is a bit trickier and people get that. Australian tourism has trouble getting Australians to travel to leisure destinations internally and has spent AUD 1.2 billion subsidising domestic airfares to try and get them traveling (and save their tourism industry) People don't want to travel and be around perceived strangers. We're seeing the same here with mainstream resorts doing a starve but less mainstream places just down the road having good trade because people feel they will be less crowded and less "tourist".

        • woodart

          good post graeme. maybe the tourists are being more responsible than some in the tourist industry.

          • Graeme

            Nearly all the statements / press releases I've seen from industry players pleading for, or praising, the bubble can be interpreted as efforts to kick the bank manager can as far down the road as is physically possible.

            Quite possible all they are going to achieve is a sore toe. With a couple of local examples it might be a very sore toe.

        • Ad

          Looking forward to the Blanket Bay 5 night special coming down from $6k soon. Yeah nah sigh.

        • Sabine

          we never expected any 'tourism' from the bubble expansion here in Rotorua, just maybe a few people coming home without having to go into quarantine or people coming to visit.

          And to be honest, where would the money come from to travel also. Oz may be subsidizing people into travelling but here we say nah nah nah to that.

        • Treetop

          Hearing about first hand observation is good.

          Were the border to close like it has in Western Australia, not having to pay for a bed needed to have been considered. Some people on trans – Tasman trips could be weighting up relocating closer to family.

          I expect a refundable ticket is also required.

        • Graeme

          Further to my comments above about flight loadings into ZQN, this popped up on my FB feed, sums up the bubble very well. The flight is NZ264 from Melbourne to Queenstown yesterday.

          Hopefully it works, edit, does if you click on the FB link

        • @ Graeme

          Well put.
          In my opinion, your considered and insightful eyewitness account, coming as it does from an insider's point of view deserves, to be more widely published and read.

          Could you forward it to the admin of this website for consideration as a post.


    • Muttonbird 2.2

      This aligns with the mood of the nation on opening borders. Most just do not want it. It's nice that some families can visit each other, but mostly this was done to shut up mouthy right wingers.

      Again, most responsible people simply do not want to travel for leisure at this time.

      Incredible the tourism industry and airlines got this so wrong.

  2. Treetop 3

    NZ cannot even manage cervical screening and to think a trans – Tasman bubble can be managed, give me a break.

  3. Adrian Thornton 4

    Turns out yet another bit of anti-Russian cold war propaganda disseminated by the rabid war mongering Liberal press and their useful idiots is just another piece of fake news…anyone else see a pattern forming here?

    U.S. Intel Walks Back Claim Russians Put Bounties on American Troops

    • mauī 4.1

      Thank you.

      But according to some any alt-media that doesn't agree with the MSM is by default working for the Ruskies.

      • Adrian Thornton 4.1.1

        Yes you are right, every year it seems that MSM, and sadly pretty much all so called Liberal MSM entrench themselves further as nothing more than voice boxes for war, conflict and division when called upon to do so.

        When the most effective medium for whistle blowers in our life times in the shape of Julian Assange is publicly humiliated, tortured and imprisoned, our media remain almost silent..but then to illustrate just how effective their propaganda model is, MSM actually get the public worked up enough over the openly racist and super dodgy Navaldy to protest and cry foul about him, but not Assange..that is really saying something disturbing about the effectiveness of mass media manipulation, even after four years of Russia gate, conducted by the most powerful information gathering organizations ever to exist that led to absolutely nothing, you would think people would learn, however in many cases, apparently not.

        • francesca

          Selective amnesia on display

          The news was hot with tales of Russian doping dastardliness…oh those Russians ..

          We were subjected to weeks of Russian depravity on the field, the cheating bastards !!

          But when those athletes took their case to appeal, and had the opportunity to cross examine the "whistleblower" Rodchenkov…he didn't come out well..28 athletes had their ban overturned and 7 medals were returned .

          Quietly forgotten .We are left instead with the initial outrage

          • Adrian Thornton

            Thanks francesca, I wasn't aware of those developments in that story. This state fueled propaganda is getting pretty out of control…I just had my official complaint to RNZ over their coverage of the Douma poisoning rejected because the stories are over ten weeks old. However as I said in my complaint, I wasn’t complaining about their coverage at the time, I am complaining that they haven’t covered any of the recent developments of that that story which debunk the original accusations.

            "Returning to the United Nations, veteran German diplomat and former top UN official Hans von Sponeck calls for an end to the stonewalling of accountability for the OPCW's cover-up of its April 2018 Douma chemical weapons probe."

            • “I just had my official complaint to RNZ over their coverage of the Douma poisoning rejected because the stories are over ten weeks old.”

              Adrian Thornton

              Kia ora Adrian, It is a shame that RNZ rejected your complaint on grounds that it was over ten theeks old, rather than over your dispute of the facts of the Douma poisoning.

              It is a disapointment, because if RNZ had bothered to go into the substance of your complaint more deeply it would have been instructive for all of us.

              However if you want to cut and paste a copy of your complaint to RNZ to this forum, I for one would be interested in reading it to decide for myself if it has any merit.

              Cheers J.

    • Adrian Thornton 4.2

      And while on the subject of Liberal fake news…here is a great piece from one of the very few remaining US journalists that is worth a damn..Matt Taibbi

      Rachel Maddow is Bill O'Reilly

      After hyping a fake story for a year, cable's leading anchor doesn't blink and moves on to the next fable


      Or if you can't be bothered reading his piece, a short clip…

      • Morrissey 4.2.1

        It's interesting to consider the New Zealand equivalents of these U.S. personalities. Our own versions of Matt Taibbi would be John Stephenson, Nicky Hager, Gordon Campbell, Paula Penfold. (John Campbell has been excellent in challenging the powerful, and has angered many politicians, including Helen Clark, Gerry Brownlee, and the Prime Minister of Samoa; however, his credulous acceptance of the Russiagate conspiracy theory would amuse and appal Matt Taibbi.)

        Bill O'Reilly: sadly this country has far more replicas of that ill-informed but opinionated right winger than it does of Matt Taibbi. The list is long and depressing: Mike Hosking, Karl Du Fresne, David Farrar, Neil Miller, Sean Plunket, Richard Harman, Bill Ralston, Duncan Garner, Barry Soper, Heather Du Plessis-Allan, … ad nauseam.

        Rachel Maddow: Who's a New Zealand woman who has earned a reputation as an intelligent and perceptive interviewer, but has done much to erode that reputation by uncritically aligning herself with the right wing of the Democratic Party and its glum bunch of ideological warriors? Step forward, Dame KIM HILL.

        Speaking of Kim Hill, Adrian, did you hear Jennifer Robinson this morning politely but firmly telling her that her statements about Julian Assange were false? It was the most complete demolition job done on her since another Australian human rights champion, John Pilger, took her to task for retailing Pentagon talking points in 2003.


        • Adrian Thornton

          Hi Morrissey, yes I tuned in especially to see how Kim would handle that interview, it went pretty much as I expected, Kim knows enough to know when she is on the wrong side of history, so was never going to seriously tangle with Robinson on Assange, just like she quickly backed off her guest (sorry forgot their name) who was on her show to talk about conspiracy theories recently, when he used Russia gate as an example of a contemporary conspiracy theory…it has been obvious from the outset, if these liberals talking heads had any confidence in these things, they would be only happy to interview Greenwald, Taibbi, Mate' etc, but of course never did and never will…enough said.

          • Morrissey

            I was still shocked to hear her repeat the lie about him irresponsibly releasing files on WikiLeaks. Judging by her hesitant tone, I don't think she actually believed a word of what she was saying, but she said it all the same.

            It raises, yet again, serious questions about her judgement and her integrity. It also raises questions about the judgement and integrity of her producer, who must have been aware of the questions and allegations she had prepared.

            • Adrian Thornton

              Yes I noticed her half hearted tone during that exchange as well..I don't believe there is any question about RNZ's producers or management, they represent New Zealand's own version of The Guardian, who have proved that they are one of the greatest threats to any serious progressive Left Wing project ever getting traction.

              They are just centrist free market liberals who defend that ideology just as much as every other ideologue defends theirs..myself included, the only difference is that I happen to be fighting for the right one and they are not.

            • Brigid

              And then Kim asked Jennifer Robinson why she thought dis-information was so readily taken up by people.

              Perhaps Kim you could stop producing it.

              I was most impressed with Robinson. She refused to be subdued by Kim's attempt to mollify her.

              • Adrian Thornton

                @ Brigid +1

                "Perhaps Kim you could stop producing it."

                That was exactly what thought.

              • mauī

                Robinson had the best answer too, that when misinformation gets repeated enough in the mainstream press people start to believe it – a brilliant indirect jab at RNZ. Let me guess.. this will be Robinson's first and last interview on this rather odious station.

    • Nic the NZer 4.3

      At the time it seemed the more pressing bounty for Trump to eliminate was the one out on the Venezuelan president. But that is still being put up by the Biden administration.

  4. Anne 5

    I think this is a good summing up of NZ's position re – China and Nanaia Mahuta's most recent comments re – 5 Eyes:


    And for all the talk of New Zealand ‘sucking up” to China or being the “West’s woke weak link” from some British MPs and news outlets, it really reeks more of a long post-colonial confusion within the UK about what its role in the world is. It is still struggling to get used to its diminished importance as the structural power centre of the world moves east.

    I say amen to that.

    • Pat 5.1

      It is worth remembering that the dominant member of the 5 eyes alliance is the US….the UK is as subservient as the other 3

      • Anne 5.1.1

        True yes. But the UK still over- estimates its place as a world power. My comment was more in relation to the patently stupid responses coming from sections of the UK media.

        In short, NZ is once again showing its ability to be slightly ahead of the rest of the 5 – Eye countries. It happened in the mid 1980s when we moved on the insane escalation of nuclear weaponry. We stuck to our guns and eventually they fell into line and followed us… not the other way round.

        • Pat

          My assessment would be the 'sections of UK media' are likely acting at the behest of the dominant 'partner' rather than any inflated sense of importance….and would contest the notion that any of the other 5 eyes members have followed our anti nuclear position….rather it is studiously ignored.

          • Anne

            … would contest the notion that any of the other 5 eyes members have followed our anti nuclear position….rather it is studiously ignored.

            They aren't as transparent as NZ, but both East and West did agree to limit the number of nuclear weapons they held which was an accomplishment of sorts – along with the world-wide anti-nuclear movement.

            Of course since then the sabre rattling has restarted on both sides but I'm too old now to care much about it. Its all so puerile in my humble opinion.

    • Stuart Munro 5.2

      I would say it is less their imperial power, than their status as a centre of culture. One cannot have a clown PM like Boris or a clown President like Trump and expect the world to take you seriously. The VRWC, in choosing populism over public interest policy, has, like the later Roman emperors, condemned their nations to decline and loss of influence.

  5. Pat 7

    Alluded to yesterday by Incognito and highlighted again in this piece by Brian Easton,


    "About a year ago the decision was made that the merger/takeover would proceed and the Ministry of Culture and Heritage outsourced the policy function to PwC, an accounting firm, to make a business case. (Note the term ‘business’. The framework is the commercialisation of RNZ – even had PwC much expertise in public policy, its advice will be trapped in a Rogernomic framework.)"

    Our governments have abdicated the formation of public policy to the idealogues of neoliberalism for decades past so its unsurprising the same mistakes are being perpetuated….this wont change until we redevelop in house capability/capacity

  6. joe90 8

    Oh joy, they're eating each other.

    • AB 8.1

      This is the real locus and range of political choice and debate in the UK, i.e. what sort of Tory government are they going to get – Dodgy Dave, Clown Boris or Dry Stick Theresa – hard or soft Brexit, austerity or not so much austerity, etc. The Murdoch propaganda machine has done its job.

      • Morrissey 8.1.1

        Get used to the Tories, AB. The Labour Party, which under Jeremy Corbyn became the biggest political party in Europe, has been reduced to a pile of ashes by the Blairite rump. We will never see another Labour government in Britain.

  7. aj 9

    Jennifer Robinson: fighting for Assange, West Papua and public education. A number of commenters on this site should listen to this podcast.


    • Morrissey 9.1

      Thanks aj. She politely but firmly refuted every one of Kim Hill's false statements about Assange.

      • weston 9.1.1

        Kim couldve been a lot more demonstratedly ill informed i reckon morrissey T he corporate news talking points she did mention didnt extend to many of the familiar smears no mention of sweden etc didnt even repeat the one about him being mean to his cat !!Im not in love with lots of stuff the boss,s in rnz manage but at least they allowed kim to say assanges name a few times and have i think a quite pleasant interview with JR.

        • Morrissey

          That's a very fair point, weston. For all her faults, I still rate Kim Hill highly.

  8. Sabine 10

    The things with legacy ………one does not really get to choose how people remember one, or what ones legacy is. I have seriously never come across anyone more detached from the reality of poverty than the current crew that runs this labour government. Out of touch, arrogant, useless.


    Fears of an emerging "motel generation" are beginning to grow in Hawke's Bay as the number of children living in emergency accommodation spikes.

    Ministry of Social Development data revealed to Hawke's Bay Today shows there are now 3888 children living in emergency housing nationwide – 225 in Hawke's Bay alone.

    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Hawke's Bay Today that while alternatives to emergency housing are sometimes worse, the Government is not satisfied with the current arrangements.

    However, Ardern said she did not believe that a "motel generation" of children would be part of her legacy as Prime Minister.

    Dear Leader, it is already your legacy. It will always be your legacy. No matter how much you protests to the contrary, if you want the good you need to also acknowledge your failures and when it comes to housing, poor people and their poor kids your legacy stinks to high heavens right next to the legacy of John Key. Two peas, one pod.

    • Drowsy M. Kram 10.1

      John Key and Jacinda Ardern.

      "Two peas, one pod."

      Sabine, if you're implying that there's really nothing of substance to choose between the two, then I respectfully disagree with your opinion. I know which ‘peaI prefer.

      I Eat My Peas with Honey (by Anonymous)

      I eat my peas with honey;
      I’ve done it all my life.
      It makes the peas taste funny,
      But it keeps them on the knife.

      • Incognito 10.1.1

        To some people, truffles, bonbons, pralines and Roses are just chocolates. Distinctions are useful or inconvenient, depending on the narrative (AKA wheel-barrow) one wants to push.

        • Sabine

          It seems to me that you don't know much about chocolate. Only that could explain you considering roses as 'just chocolate' while in effect it is 'just rubbish' as is the motel warehousing policy of this government. Chocolates would be the government stopping to continue to do what did not work under National, considering that they are so different. But then i hear there are people who consider Cadbury chocolate. Some just can't be helped.

          • Andre

            Yeah. Everybody knows Hershey's Kisses are the only true chocolate.

          • Incognito

            Yeah, nah, life is like box of Roses chocolates, they’re all the same. With some people, you know exactly what you’re gonna get.

            • Sabine

              It is truly sad to me that you never in you life ate decent chocolate.

              You should remedy this, but remember you always get what you pay for. And no one should pay for a box of Roses.

              Life can and should be a box of good chocolates.

              • Incognito

                When I’m hangry, I have a Kit Kat. Now, that’s good chocolate!

                Roses are for saying “thank you”, of course; you don’t buy them for yourself!

    • Treetop 10.2

      I am a bit surprised that Davidson and Menendez have not been more vocal in having MSD pay the rent shortfall so people do not need to live in a motel.

      The urgency of avoiding people living in a motel needs immediate attention and action. Introducing the old special benefit and having allowable costs worked in the past before temporary additional supplement replaced it apart from some still being paid a special benefit.

      • Sabine 10.2.1

        The Greens can do no more then Labour could when National warehoused people in motels and rundown properties for top dollar. Crow, from the back benches to no avail.

        there is literally no difference between this under National in 2014


        to 2016

        Winz will loan people money to rent out a motel room as emergency housing, when there is nowhere else to put them.

        People then have to repay the debt, and many say that is just not possible.

        Earlier this week, when asked what people living in cars or garages should do, Prime Minister John Key had a simple reply.

        "My really strong advice is to go and see Work and Income," he said, "and we'll see what we can do, because I think people very often don't understand what's available to them.


        The government now spends more than $3 billion per year on housing assistance – with more and more of that money being spent on motels.

        Emergency housing grants, which cover short term accommodation, were introduced in July 2016 as a stop gap measure but are increasingly being used for longer stays as the housing crisis bites.

        There are 1899 households in private motels, with 381 of those in motels for more than three months at a cost of $1500 each a week.

        Figures show it's big business for some motels, with five providers alone receiving $20m in the last three years to provide shelter for the homeless.

        The top earner is an Auckland motelier, Auckland Astro Residences – it's been paid $6.1 million.

        Feb 2020


        The Government is defending its decision to charge those staying in motels as emergency housing rent.

        It announced Thursday, as part of a $300m homelessness package, that those who stayed in motels as a form of emergency housing longer than seven days would now be charged rent equivalent to 25 per cent of their income – the same amount charged for those in public and transitional housing.



        Fears of an emerging "motel generation" are beginning to grow in Hawke's Bay as the number of children living in emergency accommodation spikes.

        Ministry of Social Development data revealed to Hawke's Bay Today shows there are now 3888 children living in emergency housing nationwide – 225 in Hawke's Bay alone.

        Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Hawke's Bay Today that while alternatives to emergency housing are sometimes worse, the Government is not satisfied with the current arrangements.

        However, Ardern said she did not believe that a "motel generation" of children would be part of her legacy as Prime Minister.

        i would like to know if the 25% that people in emergency housing have to pay of their benefits for the pleasure to be housed unsafely, over crowded, amongst gangs, drug, booze, abuse, violence are truly charged. I remember people here getting upset and writing posts about the dastardly nationalistas and paula benefit who charged emergency housed with the costs – refundable 5 NZD a week. I would really like to know if they went ahead with it, mind i would not put it past them. Callous is as callous does, and these guys are callous.
        They truly are two peas in a pod. A blue pea, a red pea in the pod of NZ. And neither one of them consider the homeless their constituency unless its e lection time, or time to hug a baby for the cameras to show some ‘kindness’ and some ‘gentleness’ for the poor unfortunate people this country has no place and no use for.

        • McFlock

          Not sure putting people further into debt with accommodation loans is the same as charging them rent as a proportion of their income.

          The use of motels themselves is shit, but better than the streets until someone figures out how to fix the housing market.

  9. Muttonbird 11

    Experts in dairy intensification no more:


    Not remotely sad about this.

    • Treetop 11.1

      Reply to 10.2.1

      There is a reason why the government do not want to bridge the gap by paying a shortfall in rent to prevent people needing to live in motels.

      Menendez needs to do costings, once the accommodation supplement and temporary additional support caps are reached the shortfall would be $100 – $200 a week. Compare this to the cost of a motel.

      • Muttonbird 11.1.1

        Probably a reply not meant for my comment but I will chuck this in on the subject:

        It is a poor indictment on the prevalent amateur landlord culture in this country that cheap motels are in better condition than most private rentals.

        • Treetop

          In some cases that would be the case.

          I think the government do not want to send a signal to landlords that the government will subsidise a person's rent past a point. Government probably think this would slow an increase in market rents. Subsidising motel owners is preferred.

  10. Sabine 12

    never mind asking an associate minister, there will be no answers.

    In 2018, a parliamentary inquiry said introducing the new test should be done immediately. “Any delay in implementing primary HPV screening will have significant adverse effects and risks.”

    It described unnecessary cervical cancer as a “serious threat”.

    Ginny Niwa was eventually diagnosed with cervical cancer in the UK after having clear smear tests in NZ. In the UK, she was told her cancer would have been there for at least three years. She's advocating for a new test that the Government has failed to fund. She is pictured with her daughter Indi Niwa, 17 months.

    Stuff asked Associate Minister of Health Ayesha Verrall ​what she thought of diagnoses being missed because of the delay, if she supports funding for primary HPV testing, and when a new programme should be implemented.

    In a statement, spokeswoman Ranjani Ponnuchetty said: “The Minister is working hard on this issue. Regarding any funding decisions, they are matters for Government Budgets.”

    She should have just said that at this stage she could not comment. Ask the minister. It would have had more value then "the minister is working 'hard''. That is a quote worthy of a Trumpian spokesperson.

    this is from 2019


    Will women be able to take their own samples?

    In the future it is possible that some women will be able to take their own sample for HPV testing. There are still questions to address regarding how self-sampling would work in New Zealand and how women would be supported for any follow up testing or treatment required.

    The Ministry of Health is funding further research about the acceptability and feasibility of self-sampling in New Zealand and is also investigating the effectiveness of different self-sampling devices.

    Any self-sample test needs to be as safe and effective as a sample collected by a smear taker.

    This is from 2020


    The self-test was meant to be introduced next year – after already being delayed three years – but that will now no longer happen.

    Doctors have written to Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield pleading with the Ministry of Health to overturn that decision.

    Victoria University women's health professor Bev Lawton said self-testing was 60 percent more effective than the current "substandard" smear test.

    "Women will get cancer unnecessarily and some of these women will go onto die from it," she said.

    it was advocated for by Maori in Auc 2020


    Māori doctors are urging the Ministry of Health to reconsider postponing a self-swabbing cervical cancer programme they say is more effective, less invasive and more affordable.

    This here is the money quote that strikes right into the heart.

    It was due to be rolled out in 2018, but the government put it on ice.


    three years. some 90 women affected per year, 270 women since one of them Kiri Allen. I guess we don't care enough.

  11. Muttonbird 13

    NZ Bus loses in court. NZ Bus is owned by an Australian private equity firm. Wellington's bus issues started after that sale in 2018.

    Why do we do this to ourselves?


  12. Pat 14

    Rent controls

    "…But it was hated by landlords, real-estate investors and members of Germany’s conservative political parties. The lawsuit against the cap was filed by 284 parliamentary members of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and Christian Social Union (CSU), and the neoliberal Free Democrats (FDP)."


    "Last week’s ruling represents a defeat for Berlin’s housing movement, but it may yet prove to be a pyrrhic victory for the city’s landlords and speculators. Anger over the nullification of the rent cap is fuelling support for the expropriation and remunicipalisation of thousands of units of public housing that had been privatised. Some activists would like to go further and expropriate empty flats."

    • Treetop 14.1

      The article shows how divisive rent control is between a tenant and a landlord and the extent a landlord will go to to stop it.

      • Pat 14.1.1

        not just the investors but the politicians (who took the legal action)….the peoples representatives(?)

        • Treetop

          Rent controls are a political issue. When it comes to being homeless there are property investors who look the other way, a political party says no rent control and banks allow too much money to be loaned so high rent is required to pay the bank.

          Having different interest rates, a high one for a property investor and a low one for a first home buyer.

          • Pat

            Everything is a political issue….i find it curious that after 5 years of (presumably) a political decision, possibly at local level it has been legally challenged by the political class.

            As noted in the piece, the victory(?) may well be pyrrhic…when something is unsustainable , one thing is certain….it wont continue.

    • Graeme 14.2

      That article illustrates very well how international and intractable the accomodation crisis is. When rental housing is the best, or only, investment with any sort of return and perceived lowish risk the shit's going to hit the fan for the poor bastards that have to rent.

      We'll see if the imminent rise in interest rates, with a flow on to deposit rates will start to ease things for tenants.

      • Pat 14.2.1

        The last ponzi standing?

        • Graeme

          Not so much ponzi, but the last reasonable investment with the perception of a manageable risk.

          Housing will generally give you 5%, pretty risk free. Bank investments, the best my bank is offering is 0.90%. What are you going to do? The Share Market and Managed Funds offer better returns, comparable or maybe better than housing but require more knowledge and present more risk. Also most of the people putting their money into housing now were around when fortunes went down the gurgler in 1987 and 2008, often their fortunes, so are a tad wary of those sorts of investments now.

          • Treetop

            A rent strike could send a message to greedy landlords. Or not to pay the increase in rent.

          • Pat

            Agree 1% is a poor return (esp with bail in) but I suspect that many are due to find out that RE is no less susceptible to losses ….and ponzi is exactly what it is, increasing credit to sustain existing credit, and it all has to be underpinned by an (shrinking) economy with only one direction for servicing costs.

            The folly will be obvious after the event…all too late.

            • greywarshark

              That should be published as a poster! Could everyone of an activist nature, copy this message without name or other information to distract the eye, on half of an A4 sheet (a size easier to find a place for on a bulletin board etc), in about 14 font, clear and easily read, and pin, staple, bluetack – whatever is appropriate, somewhere in a public place. And repeat in about two weeks somewhere else etc. It could be a new way of breaking through the great disease of Plum Smugness (ie the boy with the pie who pulled out a plum. This was a sly rhyme about a trusted servant who stole the title to lands hidden in a pie!

              Just these words – (under the heading of Financial Loss for Real Estate investors – a simple, striking and unwelcome message.)!

              Financial Loss for Real Estate Investors ie Houses

              Real Estate is susceptible to losses …. frown

              and Ponzi is exactly what it is,

              increasing credit to sustain existing credit, and

              it all has to be underpinned by a (shrinking) economy

              with only one direction for servicing costs. no

              The folly will be obvious after the event…all too late.

              …Chris Roberts dissect the meaning of the nursery rhyme "Little Jack Horner." It's about a real estate swindle in 16th-century England. Roberts is the author of Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind the Rhyme.

              You think the real estate market is treacherous today, try England in the late 1530s. That's what the nursery rhyme "Little Jack Horner" is really all about. ..

              `Little Jack Horner sat in a corner eating his Christmas pie.
              He stuck in a thumb and pulled out a plum and said,
              "What a good boy am I."'

              Where to begin with this? This is talking about the dissolution of the monasteries, Henry VIII taking property from the Catholic Church. Jack, as we know, is actually called Thomas Horner. Now he was a steward to the Abbot of Glastonbury during the reign of Henry VIII. This is how the story goes: He was entrusted to take some title deeds of properties to Henry VIII as a bribe so the abbot could keep the main monastery, but was prepared to give away some of the lesser properties.

              Now the title deeds were held and sealed in a pie, and Jack's off to London. But instead of delivering the bribe to Henry VIII, he helps himself to the pie, puts his hand in, pulls out a plum piece of real estate–in this case, a place called Mells Manor-


    • Sabine 14.3

      Berlin has a nice history of squatting. 🙂

      And the CDU/CSU – the federal german and bavarian state capitalists are neither Christian nor social.

      As for the FDP – years ago they almost got taken over by students in a concerted effort to swamp membership for this party- so much fun, but sadly they found out too soon and stopped accepting membership request. This Party is useless on its own and can only get traction as part of a coalition and is usually considered a 'filler party' for the above mentioned Parties if they have to have a coalition partner that will be silent and roll over on demand.

      And yes, while Germany is a federation we do have a Free State with its on set of laws – Bavaria, we have a free State City Hamburg with very much its own set of laws. Sadly Berlin – to new a town in terms of German history never got elevated to a 'free' status. And thus like in the eighties is still run by the same set of hostage takers it was in the 80s when we squatted due to no availablity of flats.

  13. greywarshark 15

    Why do we privatise? It's the latest economic fashion. Unfortunately they don't change economic OS as fast as clothing fashions. You have to put up with obvious bad management even criminality for so many decades it turns into an era. When it should be seen to be a glitch in a good record and quickly abandoned when noticed.

    The UK government had had a postal service since 1516. I see from Wikipedia that a directive came from the EU to privatise it and that was done in 2012. I am so ignorant, I didn't think that the EU did this sort of thing. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Mail#Privatisation

    There had been lots of complaints about it before that. Poor delivery service: Often a miserable, underpaid temp, who stuffs all the mail for six flats through the door in one torn and crumpled bundle because he or she is so frightened of being penalised by the manager for not meeting a preposterous delivery target that there is no time even to take the rubber bands off.

    In beefing the delivery targets to unmanageable sizes per worker, then sacking postmen for failing to meet them, in axing the second post and generally thumping down the iron fist, the Royal Mail managed this year to make a £321m operating profit. They celebrated by imposing an immediate pay freeze on the workers.
    2009/Oct.18 https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/oct/18/victoria-coren-royal-mail

    Then they had started jailing the small subpostmasters for theft and hiding the fact that discrepancies were likely to be caused by faults in their tech caused by their Horizon operating system.

    The Post Office ultimately settled the civil claim brought by more than 550 claimants for £57.75m, without admitting liability, in December 2019.

    Justice Fraser found Horizon contained “bugs, errors and defects” and that there was a “material risk” shortfalls in branch accounts were caused by the system.

    ……Subpostmasters’ lives were “irreparably ruined”, as they lost their jobs, homes and marriages after they were prosecuted by the Post Office – which knew the Fujitsu-developed IT system had “faults and bugs from the earliest days of its operation”, the court of appeal heard last month.

    Lawyers representing 42 former subpostmasters said evidence of serious defects in the Horizon system was “concealed from the courts, prosecutors and defence”, in order to protect the Post Office “at all costs”…
    2021/Apr.23 https://www.theguardian.com/business/2021/apr/23/former-subpostmasters-expected-to-have-names-cleared-after-court-appeal

    A pregnant subpostmaster was jailed and said the baby stopped her from thinking about suicide. One man, imprisoned, found himself crying every day. Their names have been blackened, their ability to get work affected, they had to declare themselves criminals n forms at the airport etc. They felt forced to plead guilty as advised by their barristers, rather than take on the mighty power of the now unscrupulous Postal Service, once held in high esteem. These two people were both Indian. I just note that as of interest amongst all the disturbing facts of this dreadful business of the UKPost

    • Drowsy M. Kram 15.2

      Chicken run: New Zealand Post will start delivering KFC to beat mail slump

      Thanks Grey, disturbing info on UK Post. The idea of public service has been affected/infected by the pernicious profit motive pandemic. Too late for a vaccine?

      No profit from the pandemic – vaccine for all!
      Global Health Day 2021 Statement: On the 7th of April, we celebrate Global Health. The COVID-19 pandemic has showed us how vital health and care services are to our lives and our societies. The pandemic has also demonstrated that only publicly owned, not for profit health and social care services are able to efficiently cope with major health crises and, most importantly, ensure accessibility for all citizens, regardless of economic status. Finally, COVID-19 has shown that health and social care are public goods.

      Public services can guarantee the right to care for all. They can ensure the preparedness and resilience of health and care services for future health emergencies. One of the main lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic is that, more than ever, we need to protect health and care from commercialisation and privatisation. No one should be making a profit from the pandemic.

      Marketisation and Privatisation in Criminal Justice (2020)
      As privatisation, outsourcing and the impact of market cultures spread further across the system, the authors look ahead to future developments and signpost the way to reform in a ‘post-market’ criminal justice sphere.

      Criminal justice used to be thought of as a field that ought to be autonomous from politics and the economy, with the management of crime and punishment being seen as essentially the responsibility of the state. Now, however, it is widely agreed that decades of marketisation and privatisation have blurred the institutional boundaries and functions of the public sector with those of for-profit and civil society interests in many parts of the penal/welfare complex. The ‘mixed market’ in criminal justice services, pursued by successive governments since the 1980s, accelerated sharply in the wake of the Austerity Agenda and the reconstruction of the social economy post the banking crisis of 2007. The ascendancy of market imaginaries is such that their influence on policing, prisons, probation, legal services and the courts, let alone numerous ancillary services from prisoner transport to interpretation services, is seemingly irreversible.

      On Kneejerk Negativism, Cardi B, And Linda Manz (August 2020)
      Evidently, the government has looked at (a) the deadly role that incompetent private security firms have played in the deadly outbreak of community transmission in Melbourne and (b) at the role of private security staff in the latest privacy breach committed here. Serco and the private prisons fiasco had already shown that the profit motive is all but incompatible with maintaining high standards of security.

      What Is a Capitalist Economy Example?
      New Zealand is a prime example of a capitalist economy. This wealthy country in the Asian Pacific region has systemically deregulated and privatized many industrial and professional sectors since the 1980s. Its judicial system recognizes and enforces private property interests and contracts. Government subsidies are low, and an open, liberal attitude to global trade and investment is well-established. Tariffs are low on imports and exports, which comprise around 50% of New Zealand's GDP.

      Unravelling + reMAKING the public good
      Part 2: Unravelling privatisation
      Unravelling and then reMAKING the public good is not something to be done alone or at high speed. In Part 1, we introduced the idea of the public good and what it might mean for helping us to achieve an Australia reMADE. In Part 2 we look at the way privatisation and marketisation threaten the public good.

      • greywarshark 15.2.1

        Good reading there Drowsy – (you aren't!). That ReMADE approach, I’m thinking now about our new health project. Is Labour attempting this with the Health Project meant to give our health system a vaccine against poor management? It needs to go to the very source of the flow of medical services – the Ministry of Health (or as Rosemary McDonald has sarcastically described as the Misery of Health.)

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