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Open mike 24/05/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 24th, 2021 - 90 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

90 comments on “Open mike 24/05/2021 ”

  1. Saw this very apt comment on a twitter thread:

    the trouble with neoliberalism is that eventually you run out of other people's public institutions to asset-strip.

    • Macro 1.1


      Regretfully so true.

    • the trouble with neoliberalism is that eventually you run out of natural assets to strip-mine.


    • the trouble with neoliberalism is that eventually you run out of the people's sufference and have to ether have to back off, or turn to the extremist politics of repression and division, exploiting sectarianism and fascist tendencies to force your neo-liberal vision on society.

      Instead of giving his full backing to the violent insurrectionists and pardoning them, and then calling on the armed forces to not oppose them. As he could have done. (polls of military personal showed many military people supported them.) Trump backed down and retreated to his Mar-a-Lago golf resort.

      Every neo-liberal leader faces a choice, turn to violence or retreat. Trump tried a little bit of both. But not every neo-liberal leader faced with this choice has backed down.

      How Bashar al-Assad Became So Hated

      The Western-educated ophthalmologist was never intended to be the Assad brother in charge. Did his inept policies contribute to the civil war?

      By Majid Rafizadeh

      When he assumed power, the lifestyle the West still occupied Assad's mind — In his inaugural speech he emphasized that it was time to begin modernizing Syria. But to modernize Syria and remake it in the "image" he desired, he needed to adopt neo-liberal and capitalist policies,…..

      The gradual increase of neo-liberal policies and privatization exaggerated the inequality between the poor and the rich, which was especially felt in middle-class areas, and mid-sized and large cities. While a small portion of the crony capitalists and loyalists to Assad were able to benefit from these policies, the vast majority of the population was disenfranchised…..

      Did Bashar's idealistic vision of creating a "Switzerland" Syria — but still consolidating power at the top — play a role in the uprising? Did his vast and sudden economic and neo-liberal reforms, which in the end only benefited his gilded circle, have an impact on the current civil war?

      Perhaps the combination of all of these factors led to the rampant rebellion and mistrust of the people that Bashar had been chosen to lead.


  2. aom 2

    Well, well, well, the dogs are on their hind legs yapping over a blogger: (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/may/23/belarus-diverts-ryanair-plane-to-arrest-blogger-says-opposition).

    Where were they in 2013 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evo_Morales_grounding_incident) or don't heads of state matter?

    • Macro 2.1

      And Morales was arrested and "disappeared"?

      • aom 2.1.1

        Isn't it a bit too soon to rewrite history? So far there doesn’t seem to be evidence that anyone has been ‘disappeared.

        It took about six years 'disappear' Evo Moralis politically and look how that turned out!

        • Macro

          I’m facing the death penalty here,” a trembling Protasevich reportedly told a fellow passenger from the plane before he was led away by Belarusian police. The mass unrest charges against him carry a sentence of up to 15 years. His current whereabouts are unknown.

          From the link you pasted above.

          Morales had breakfast with the Austrian President and then resumed his journey.

          • francesca

            You will remember Macro, that the target wasn't Morales, he was just collateral damage, the target was Snowden, for his exposure of secret, mass surveillance by the NSA.

            Who knows what would have happened to Snowden if he'd been on that plane.

            The US is not known for it's tolerance of dissidents and whistleblowers

            • Grumpy

              "The US is not known for it's tolerance of dissidents and whistleblowers…"

              The name Seth Rich springs to mind…..

            • Macro

              You will remember Macro, that the target wasn't Morales, he was just collateral damage, the target was Snowden, for his exposure of secret, mass surveillance by the NSA.

              Yes I am well aware of that fact. But that was not the framing put on the "what about-ism" by aom. Furthermore, Morales plane was not escorted away from its flight plan by fighter jets, endangering the lives of innocent people. Morale's aircraft was obliged to land in Austria because the other European counties had at that time refused to allow the aircraft to overfly their countries. It was suspected that Morale (who had openly opined to allowing Snowden to asylum in his country) had Snowden on board. This would have created an international incident between the US and the EU for allowing a fugitive from the US to escape by overflying their countries. Once the fact that Snowden was not on board was ascertained, other European countries also apologised and allowed the plane to overfly their territories.

              The US is not known for it's tolerance of dissidents and whistleblowers

              That may be true but it is important to note that Snowden whilst we may applaud the actions of Snowden for revealing the abhorrent nature of the US PRISM surviellence programme, under US law he committed an offence, and does not have the defence of being a "whistleblower".

              Snowden has been indicted in the United States on charges under the 1917 Espionage Act, including theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information, and willful communication of classified communications intelligence to an unauthorized person. If found guilty, he faces 30 years in jail and additional fines.

              Given the broad nature of the 1917 Act, a public interest or whistleblower defence would not be permissible; the judge would only have to prove that the information had been stolen and shared. Other whistleblower laws would also provide no defence, and the American government is free to add on more charges at will.


              The US is not alone in harbouring intolerance towards dissidents – the subject of this current thread springs to mind.

              • Morrissey

                …whilst we may applaud the actions of Snowden for revealing the abhorrent nature of the US PRISM surviellence [sic] programme, under US law he committed an offence,

                The substantive illegality and offence in this shameful matter was committed by the U.S. government.

                and does not have the defence of being a "whistleblower".

                That is exactly what he is. He blew the whistle on an enormous and illegal U.S. government operation of spying on its own citizens.

                • Macro

                  The substantive illegality and offence in this shameful matter was committed by the U.S. government.

                  I'm not arguing that!

                  The fact of the matter is however that The US has the power to prosecute breaches of their Espionage Act (which Snowden's taking of files and giving it to others not entitled to that information clearly was), even if it was done with a highly moral intention. And I, having previously signed the Official Secrets Act of NZ, could expect to be similarly prosecuted were I to have taken, or copied, secret information to which I was privy, and published that. Snowden knew what to expect – that is why he went to Hong Kong and then subsequently to Russia. We must respect him for that, and his bravery. It does not reduce the fact that he broke a law and the US Govt has the right to pursue that offence.

          • Professor Longhair

            Morales had breakfast with the Austrian President and then resumed his journey.

            ???? WTF?

            Hard to decide which is more irritating in this fellow's comment: his ignorance or his complacency.

    • joe90 2.2

      Whataboutism in defence of state sanctioned piracy. Really?


    • aom

      24 May 2021 at 7:41 am

      Well, well, well, the dogs are on their hind legs yapping over a blogger:….

      Where were they in 2013 …

      ….or don't heads of state matter?

      Hi aom, since your comment about 'yapping dogs up on their hind legs' was followed by a link from the Guardian.

      I guess that you are suggesting the Guardian's objectivity is questionable and that the Guardian ignored the grounding of Morales' aircraft, that the Guardian cherry pick their journalist investigations and reports to favour the West over Russia.

      I did a quick google search, which brought up two Guardian articles published at the time, highly critical of the grounding of Morales aircraft by the Western powers.



      [some links have been removed to avoid auto-moderation]

      • aom 2.3.1

        Au contraire Jenny, just the first report on the matter that attracted my attention. The issue was clearly highlighted by fransesca with the comment prior to yours.

        That said, the Guardian can be disappointing with the bias often it displays.

        • The first 3 Ws of good reporting; what, when, where.


          24 May 2021 at 12:14 pm

          ……the Guardian can be disappointing with the bias often it displays.

          'often it displays' implies that it would be very easy to find an example to prove an allegation of bias by the Guardian.

          So's, hows-a-about-it, aom.

          Please, if you could – just to help me out here.

          Can you give us just one example that shows the Guardian 'often displays' bias.

          • aom

            Fair cop Jenny – old guys who are half attentive when wandering down blind alleys deserve to be mugged.

            I hadn't realised until reviewing the comments, that you seem to have assumed the target of the original remark was the Guardian. Not so!

            From the report, there is a veritable array of 'yapping dogs' including the Polish prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, Tom Tugendhat, the chair of the UK foreign affairs select committee who joined counterparts from the US, Ireland, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland and the Czech Republic. Surprisingly, Biden hasn’t jumped to the forefront with grand gestures.

            It also seems Tom Tugendhat had forgotten about Assange when he said, “If aircraft can be forced to the ground … in order to punish the political opponents of tyrants, then journalists here in the UK, politicians anywhere in Europe will find it harder to speak out.” Of course, grounding aircraft is just one of many strategies but not as extreme as taking out a duly elected Government then having the Met move in to do the dirty work.

            On the other count, I note on reflection that you specifically referred to the 3W's of reporting. The generalisation was more influenced by Guardian 'Opinion' contributions in which neutrality and objectivity should not be an expectation and don't necessarily reflect the editorial policies of the publication.

            • aom

              24 May 2021 at 12:14 pm

              ……the Guardian can be disappointing with the bias often it displays.


              24 May 2021 at 4:56 pm

              The generalisation was more influenced by Guardian 'Opinion' contributions…..

              What 'Opinion' contributions are chosen for publication is always an editorial decision.

              Accusations of being often biased of any media outlet are serious allegations to make, and need to be justified with at least one example.

              Your allegation that The Guardian is 'often' 'biased' still needs to be proven.

              The words 'often' and 'bias' you associate to Guardian, opinion pieces, should make it easy for you to give an example of a biased Guardian 'Opinion' contribution piece.

              Even just one example of what you think is a biased Guardian 'Opinon' contribution would be good.

              Thanks Jenny





              1. unfairly prejudiced for or against someone or something.

                "we will not tolerate this biased media coverage"

      • Incognito 2.3.2

        What a lovely narrative!

    • Gabby 2.4

      So, you're supporting the actions of Belarus in this, I gather.

  3. Incognito 3

    Glacial change from enforcing to encouraging “social obligations” to making it easy and accessible for parents on a benefit.


  4. Incognito 4

    A Left Politics-101 by Dr Bryce Edwards that is thought-provoking and a good read. There are many bits to cherry-pick – better you read it yourself – but I cannot resist just one:

    This leftwing elite approach is very compatible with a more censorious approach to politics. Whereas the traditional left has been the force in society that is most favourable to “free speech” and towards mass participation in politics, it’s now quite the opposite. Traditionally it was forces of the right and the Establishment that clamped down on political expression and activity. Historically, the left has championed the rights of the oppressed or marginalised to organise, to communicate politics, in order to win human rights and political gains. And this is why it’s somewhat surprising that increasingly the left want either the state or society to put limits on political debate and expression.


    It raises one question with me that some keyboard warriors may want to answer: is Dr Edwards cautiously re-nailing his colours to the mast?

    • Sacha 4.1

      He has been firmly rightwards for years now, and it biases everything he publishes.

      • Incognito 4.1.1

        What did you think of the article?

      • Muttonbird 4.1.2

        Agree. The discourse doesn't make sense.

        The Left of which he speaks still seeks to promote the voices of the oppressed and marginalised, the actual oppressed and marginalised, not the fake oppressed and marginalised, ie, outraged white conservatives who, for some reason, are convinced the European race is under threat.

        I suspect any loss of privilege makes them and Dr Bryce feel oppressed and marginalised.

        Any so called censorious approach is to ensure actual oppressed and marginalised voices are to be heard, free from the powerful elite drowning them out.

    • McFlock 4.2


      Firstly, asking a bunch of freshers the meaning of "left wing" might simply indicate the dominant messages in popular culture, rather than a genuine appraisal of the term with reference to political movements in New Zealand. But it's a handy anecdote to support one's own agenda, I guess.

      Secondly, he's in part correct about "the left" ignoring economics. But that has nothing to do with "identity politics". The problem was that Keynesianism was the dominant centrist economic philosophy in many Northern,Western nations, so the economic training of young lefties atrophied a bit. Then came stagflation and the Chicago School providing a "solution" to the problem, which in NZ changed the dominant political-economic narrative.

      But the rise of giving a shit about people in a non-homogeneous society "identity politics" happened alongside those developments, not one replacing the other.

      Recognition of society's diversity and the power structures therein are not at the expense of recognising economic class and the power structures therein. But it might erode the status of established "left wing" personalities who prefer to ignore the realities of a diverse society.

    • Muttonbird 4.3

      I read it and started writing something but then realised it wasn't worth my time.

      It's a shame VUW has put its name to such bullshit.

  5. Patricia Bremner 5

    Bryce Edwards chooses extracts from others which support his hypothesis truly examining another point of view is often touched lightly only, or framed in a disparaging manner. He has little belief in the views of Leftwing politics, and I personally lost all regard for him when he constantly held up the Herald's Armstrong as a source, seldom doing the same for Fallow, a far more balanced voice. However he is smart enough to know Jacinda will have a long tenure, and the changes being wrought cause him to be more circumspect. Just my opinion.

    • Incognito 5.1

      Thanks for sharing your opinion on Dr Edwards.

      Do we still have class struggle or even class war? If not, are we missing or overlooking something crucial?

      • Patricia Bremner 5.1.1

        Incognito his othering bothers me. "Left wing elite" so if you are educated articulate and successful you can't be Left wing, because you are not sexually culturally or class challenged? "Right wing politics won the economic battle". So 1% owning 90% is an economic success? The man makes too many unsupported generalisations. IMO

      • McFlock 5.1.2

        Of course we do. People still talk about the 1% and capitalists. New unions are rising up to fight oppressive employers in industries established unions considered not unionisable.

        But class warfare isn't the only conflict within society. We can hope an economic utopia solves all other conflicts, or we can fight those other conflicts now, as well as the economic one.

  6. I am a retired teacher. I graduated from the then, Lincoln College in 1972 with a BagSci. My year four subjects; Microbiology, Dairy Science, Soil Science and Ecology. I have followed the unfolding disaster in Canterbury for years. It was exacerbated when John Key's government sacked the elected ECAN Councillors and put in"Commissioners."They were politically selected and commissioned to specifically consent conversion of dry land cropping and sheep farmland to dairy. It does not take a study of soil science to understand that shallow soil developed on alluvial shingle beds, will be very free draining. When you then irrigate it, add tens of thousands of cows and toss tens of thousands of tonnes of urea on top, guess what? Nitrates from cow urine and dissolved urea fertiliser get washed into the underground aquifers. I have been predicting toxic nitrate levels in shallow wells and surface waterways for any years. If dairy farming in Canterbury stopped tomorrow, it would take generations for the dissolved 'slug' of nitrates to be removed from the aquifers. Unless action is taken, places like Ashburton, Lincoln and Christchurch will all be drinking polluted water. Ashburton and Lincoln first. I hear that Fronterra obligingly, trucks water to farms with already polluted wells. This is emptied into water tanks before the milk is collected. One hand washes the other it seems and they ALL keep very quiet!

    • Patricia Bremner 6.1

      Nic 181, you would have been gutted watching all that unfold.

      • greywarshark 6.1.1

        Patricia B I always read what you say. You are a 'cool' thinking head! And thanks for that thumbnail portrait of what has happened in Canterbury Nic 181. I wonder when Ashburton will wake up to its true history and feel regrets – I connect that place with blindfolded drive for personal advancement no matter what. But actually it is like a mascot for what has gone down, as they say, in Ca. They can't canter away from their toxic legacy, neither can they bury it (it just leaches away and spreads).

    • Pat 6.2

      Question….if urea application and stocking type/rates returned to pre 2000s level how long do you estimate it would take for that nitrate loading to revert to last centuries levels?

      • Nic181 6.2.1

        I don’t think anyone can answer that. It is known that the flow rate of water through shingle is slow. Nitrates don’t change chemically in that environment. It is known the aquifers link with waterways. The lower Selwyn River and Lake Ellesmere show how nitrates can accumulate. To reduce the nitrate load, the farms above the aquifer need to de-stock and stop irrigating. It’s not going to happen until babies start to die unfortunately. That can be prevented by families drinking bottled water. It seems an insane solution to a greed induced problem to me!

    • AB 6.3

      One business opportunity begets another – it's a chance to sell water-purifiers to households with infants or women of childbearing age, or to open a private obstetrics clinic. If you conceive of society solely as a place where business occurs, it's all good.

      • Nic181 6.3.1

        Nitrates are very water soluble, so you can’t filter them out. Some Ion exchange resins have some success in fixing nitrate as it passes through. They are expensive and with a high nitrate load, would need fairly frequent replacement. The best option, I think, would be an old fashioned water distillation set up but they are quite large and not cheap to run. Who wants to have to distill your own drinking water and who wants you to? Frontera, Synlait and the farmers that supply them. We need another Erin Brockovitch.

        • Grumpy

          Reverse osmosis works.

        • Brigid

          We don't have Erin Brockovitch but we have you. And Mike Joy.

          If you keep talking, if the rest of us keep repeating what you say, perhaps something will change.

          The situation is absolutely bloody outrageous

    • gsays 6.4

      You may find this interesting, it was on the radio this morning.


      Reinstating the ECAN board would appear to be a simple step the government could take.

      • Grumpy 6.4.1

        "Blue baby syndrome" is a known side effect of high nitrate levels. NZ allowed levels are much higher than other countries such as the US.

        Some of our rural areas are prone to high nitrate levels. The relationship to dairying is not conclusive but obviously the likelihood is that it does not help.

        The ECAN board was fired because it was dysfunctional. Years of political restructuring had resulted in Canterbury's groundwater expertise being transferred to private sector consulting companies. ECAN lost several very important hearings before Commissioners purely over the science. They did not event have a decent water plan. Eventually the Government had enough with what was a rogue organisation and sacked them.

    • Grumpy 6.5

      I think you are overegging the relationship between dairy farming and nitrate levels in the Lincoln and Ashburton areas. Nitrates have always been high in those areas and dairy farming is such a recent development that its impact is uncertain. Obviously adding Urea in bulk on already prone soils is not a great idea but there are high nitrates in areas that have no history of dairy farming and none further upstream either.

      Some soils seem prone to nitrate buildup and when disturbed by roading, subdivision or well drilling release nitrates into the water supply.

      • Pat 6.5.1

        Natural upper level of nitrates in water is around 3 mg/l ….think we can fairly attribute levels above that to the (fairly) local activities that are ocurring around areas with considerably higher levels….stocking rates and fert application has definitely increased with the growth of irrigation in Canterbury, most of it dairy related, but I wonder if there isnt a middle ground that sees the benefit of irrigation with lower stocking rates and reduced urea application in conjuction with riparian planting.

        Canterbury without irrigation has a very uncertain future in terms of production given CC.

        • Grumpy

          I did a nitrate test on a shallow bore at home and got 11mg/L, after pumping for 24 hours it came down to 7. (enough to get a building consent) So, I got a deeper well drilled well into the 3rd aquifer and got 17mg/L. The welldriller said that always happens in a new bore due to ground disturbance but to pump it for a few days. It came down to 3mg/L after 4 days continuous pumping.

          My property has never been historically dairy farmed and nor have any between it and the Southern Alps.

          [removed text from user name]

      • millsy 6.5.2

        Sorry, but allowing farmers to dump whatever crap they like into our rivers for profit, leads to poisoned rivers.

        That is why we need clean water regulation. I encourage you to look at Somalia, where they have no clean water law. Unsuprisngly, their rivers are bascially open sewers.

        • Grumpy

          I can agree with you on this. Never been to Somalia but have been to many countries with similar environmental awareness.

          Just don't believe Canterbury nitrate levels in water is that good a match…..

      • greywarshark 6.5.3

        Well that's new. Some soils seem prone to nitrate buildup and when disturbed by roading, subdivision or well drilling release nitrates into the water supply.

        Often in music today, the same effects will be repeated again and again. When it comes to scientific findings that have found their way into mainstream, the same thing occurs. Scientists, activists say these things for years and then have people pontificating the facts back to them, or should i say regurgitating. We know already – now do something real about it now it has penetrated into your brains.

    • Rosemary McDonald 6.6

      If dairy farming in Canterbury stopped tomorrow, it would take generations for the dissolved 'slug' of nitrates to be removed from the aquifers.

      Goddess preserve us…how many times and in how many ways do we need to be told?

      Remember this? From 2013…and you'll recall how the messenger was shot.

      'There should be a block on further dairying until farmers can prove they can reduce nitrates'

      ''Lincoln University has shown in theory, on a model farm, you can completely remove the threat. There's nitrate inhibitors in the feed, different plantings, sheds, the fencing of streams, a whole range of mitigation measures.

      ''But the problem is it isn't happening. We are just barrelling on. The gap between theory and practice is too wide. So let's demonstrate we can get it right first, get our house in order, before we allow more intensification.''


      "It's all very well to say babies will die. It's something you can never disprove. But it gives no timeframes or indication of what the actual risk is," says Rolleston.

      "For a private citizen to get up and say that would be fine, because their credibility is what it is. But for an officer of health to get up and say it is a completely different thing. They have a responsibility to be far more objective than those comments appear to be."


      • Brigid 6.6.1


        50 or so years ago urea top dressing was very much frowned upon because if the pasture needed additional urea the sward was lacking. Growing a certain percentage of clover was the traditional method used to increase nitrogen in the soil. Of course high clover content meant more rigorous animal husbandry in preventing bloat – more work for the farmer.

  7. Margaritte 7

    anyone else want to hazard a guess on these two points

    1 who pays the listener to run unsigned dishonest propaganda as "editorials"

    2 who authors these hit jobs.

    here is my guess

    1 the taxpayers union

    2 mike horseshit

    • Patricia Bremner 7.1

      Second that Margaritte.

    • Incognito 7.2

      Perhaps you could enlighten non-readers of The Listener with what you’re referring to and what is making you flip your lid?

      • Margaritte 7.2.1

        hmm I have looked but cannot seem to find an online version of the listener to link to.

        Anyway in the print version they now have an "editorial" on page two and labled "editorial" and yet there is no indication whatsoever who the author is. I think this is simply wrong. In content these pieces look like they belong on whaleoil. I am wondering where they came from and looking for any snippets of info that might help figure out what is going on with them

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Media editorials are almost never attributed to a writer…. because they are seen as a collective view .

          Why even care about something no one has read about something (almost) nonone cares about

        • alwyn

          Can you please tell us what copy of the Listener you are referring to?

          The current copy, May 29, has a Editorial on page 3 about the enormous number of SUVs on our roads. I can't see anything in it to complain about.

          The previous copy, May 22, had an Editorial, also on page 3, commenting on the likely effect of the rather clumsy Public sector wage freeze. Considering that it would, as announced, have condemned many teachers and nurses to pay freezes it also seems pretty non-objectionable.

          In both issues page 2, as is generally the case, was the Contents page.

          I don't have any earlier copies still around so I can't look any further back. However if the one you are talking about is more than 2 weeks ago what week was it, and what did the Editorial have to say that you dislike.

          In any case the Listener, like any other magazine that publishes unsigned editorials, is explicitly publishing the views of the Editor, in this case Pamela Stirling. Complain to her if you don't like what is said. She may not have written it but she takes full responsibility for it.


    • joe90 7.3

      It's owned by a private equity crowd. The board says it all.


  8. Andrew Yang has his Tony Abbot moment.

    Andrew Yang Can’t Explain When Asked Why He Supports Israel Bombing Gaza


    Is this the last we hear of Andrew Yang?

    Once describing himself as the Anti-Trump candidate, Andrew Yang joins beltway( politicians, (on both sides of the aisle), that have traditionally sided with Israel and turned a blind eye to Israel's oppression of the Palestians.

    Andrew Yang's long time message to voters is that robots are going to take over, and that mass unemployment and social dislocation will be the result.
    Andrew Yang has Championed and popularised the idea of a Unversal Basic Income for all US citizens.

    But Proving that futurists are not neccesarily humanists, Yang's stance on immigrants and now Palestinians is far from liberal.

    From being a contender to a no-show, future catastrophist Andrew Yang, stumbled in his campaign to be mayor of New York City.
    Giving one sided support to the bombing of Gaza by Isael, but staying silent on Israel's oppression and violence against Palestinians that led to the conflict, and finding himself unable to explain his position when challenged on it, alienated this famously liberal city. Leading to a precipitous drop in the polls.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1

      Easy answer to that.

      The Jewish vote matters in New York City democratic primary for the Mayoral election.

      Last poll shows Yang to be leading on 20% , which is all he needs

      • Jewish Americans are at a turning point with Israel

        Arielle Angel

        I felt alone as a Jew attending a Palestine solidarity rally in 2014. I don’t feel alone any more…..

        …..More Jews speaking up against Israeli apartheid weakens that justification, leaving politicians, lobbyists and others to account for what their support is really about.


        Andrew and/or his advisors must have missed the memo.
        Goes someway to explain, Andrew Yang’s wordless gawping.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Its the Guardian… wishful thinking from a columnist….hardly news that activists dont support Israel, even in israel there is a some opposition to what they do.

          The polls says hes in the lead , the Guardian doesnt count the votes so it doesnt matter what they think some others are thinking.

  9. mac1 9

    Found this bit of nonsense by the purported new Leader of the Opposition. It really points out the need to have an opposition to the Opposition!

    "Compulsory union contracts mean teachers who go the extra mile are paid the same as those who show up just to eat their lunch."

    Mr and Mrs Mac1 both have one thing to say to David Seymour having both been teachers. "Teachers who show up just to eat their lunch get eaten by their students!"

    This 'eating lunch' meme is just a silly use of an overused saying to criticise unmotivated students to in turn criticise teachers. It does not help the debate, being a gross exaggeration.

    It is a dog whistle to all those former students who had a poor experience with a teacher (and who didn't?) and who also had not learned their lessons at school about critical thinking.

    • Patricia Bremner 9.1

      It is also a dig at the provided lunch IMO

      • mac1 9.1.1

        Teachers turn up to eat their students' lunch? It gets worse……

        • greywarshark

          And students who don't turn up to get their lunch, is there one at home for them? Does the teacher get to eat it then? Will that become part of the perks of teaching which result in a drop in wage parity for them?


          Ministry of Social Development (MSD) said checking people's compliance had become a "burdensome administrative process" – and it cannot offer people any meaningful help if they cannot comply.

          And even though social obligations were not being enforced, the government has not said whether or not they will be scrapped as part of its review of the sanctions regime.

          Social obligations, which came into effect in 2013 under the previous National government, require parents on the benefit to have their children enrolled with a primary health organisation and ensure under-fives are up-to-date with their Well Child checks.

          Funny that government expects bennies who are struggling to fill social obligations when pollies and uncivil servants don't recognise any similar obligation. Perhaps MSD can't afford Thomson and Clark's services to monitor this draconian demand. There are just too many struggling bennies to spy on.

          • mac1

            "And students who don't turn up to get their lunch, is there one at home for them?"

            A good school-provided lunch is another reason for turning up; it's also a way of a government providing targeted help to needy children.

            Of course, good nutrition goes beyond the boundaries of family income when comfortable families still eat poor quality food.

          • Incognito

            I cannot help but notice that your comment helps to spread a divisive message; David Seymour will be grateful for your moral support crying

        • mikesh

          Students with no lunch eat their teachers' ?

          • mac1

            Not recommended because of poor nutrition, disease risk and who knows what, genetic manipulation, knowledge transfer.

            But luckily, we have grammatical entities like apostrophes to occupy both teachers and students, that make for clearer meaning, as I now recognise you have used in your comment- teachers'! Much more nutritious than teachers………

    • ghostwhowalksnz 9.2

      Employment law requires everyone to have a contract.

      Teachers arent on compulsory union collective contracts at all. They can sign an individual contract if they so wish, but the terms are dictated by the employer ( they use a standard one with the same pay scales as the collective contract)

  10. Professor Longhair 10

    Is this the last we hear of Andrew Yang?

    Let's hope so.

  11. Jimmy 11

    Seems like a this burglar got more than he bargained for and a bit of swift justice.

    Would-be burglar seriously injured after being confronted by homeowner | Stuff.co.nz

    If you break in to someone's house at 3:30am in the morning, what do you expect. Hopefully this is a lesson learnt and he will not do it again.

    • Patricia Bremner 11.1

      Unfortunately the home owner does not have that right, and could be charged unless "in fear of his life".

      • Jimmy 11.1.1

        If I found someone in my living room at 3:30am in the morning I would definitely be in fear of my life. Sorry, but no sympathy from me for the would be burglar and a big well done to the home owner. The burglar's next victim may be a 90 year old lady, so this home owner may have prevented a death of an innocent person.

      • McFlock 11.1.2

        Here's the thing: technically the homeowner should be charged regardless. Then fire off a self-defense to the charge of assault/aggravated assault/attempted murder (depending on how seriously the homeowner fucked up the intruder).

        But money and court time being what they are, prosecutions are declined based on a probability of a successful prosecution against cost and likely sentence resulting from said prosecution.

        Current NZ law is pretty reasonable: you can use reasonable force to defend property as long as you don't strike or do bodily harm to the person.

        You can use reasonable (according to your belief about the circumstances) force to defend yourself or another person.

        You can't shoot anyone to defend your jewellery, but you can shoot them if they look like they're about to shoot you. That's basically the venue security game right there – someone needs to be ejected unwillingly, so one calmly takes hold of them and moves them towards the exit. They try to take a swing at venue security person, so that moves from "defending property" to "defending yourself". As long as one is careful to honestly indicate in the paperwork why force levels were escalated, you're golden.

        You can do as much as reasonably necessary to stop someone hurting your partner, but after they're down, restrained, or otherwise no longer a threat you're not allowed to kick them in the nuts for good measure.

        As Jimmy says, any intruder in their home in the wee small hours automatically gives someone a reasonable fear for their safety.

  12. mosa 12

    Obscene wealth reported as Corbyn supporters want him reinstated as a Labour MP.


  13. greywarshark 13

    I thought that Sir Walter Raleigh was a sort of pirate, and flashy courtier. But changed when read this synopsis of book ' THAT GREAT LUCIFER: SIR WALTER RALEIGH' by Margaret Irwin. He is just amazing and would put most of our leading people into the shade.

    "No lover of history can fail to recognize in the man who cast his cape gracefully across a puddle to protect the feet of his queen, the symbol of the Elizabethan Age. For Sir Walther Raleigh was more, much more than the courtier portrayed in the painting. He was truly the Elizabethan incarnate – soldier, sailor, captain of the Queen's guard, explorer and colonizer of the New World, poet, scientist, military engineer and literary patron. In an age both cruel and romantic, the figure of Sir Walter Raleigh stands high above the contemporaries who eventually cast him down.

    He it was who devised the plan that brought about the destruction of the Armada, who sailed into Cadiz harbor to grapple with Philip of Spain's war fleet and who, before he laid his head on the block, called to the headsman to let him feel the edge of the axe. Margaret Irwin was a noted authority on the Elizabethan Age. In this biography she brings all her skills as a historian and novelist in telling the story of this most remarkable Englishman."


  14. greywarshark 14

    End of past history – Guy Fawkes etc. I am so pleased with The Warehouse making this responsible move.


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