Open mike 24/01/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 24th, 2016 - 78 comments
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openmikeOpen 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 …

78 comments on “Open mike 24/01/2016”

  1. swordfish 1

    Some discussion yesterday (on both the Redlogix and NATWATCH threads) around the allegedly unprecedented popularity of both John Key (as Preferred PM) and the current third-term National-led Government (particularly in relation to Clark’s popularity and that of her Labour-led Government at the same point in its third-term).

    This mirrors a series of dubious MSM memes regularly regurgitated over the last few months – memes that I’m in the process of closely scrutinising in a post that I’ll publish on Sub-Zero Politics at some point in the next few days.

  2. Tautoko Mangō Mata 2

    TPP and sharing of seeds

    UPOV 91
    One of the other treaties that TPP countries are required to join is the International
    Convention for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants 1991 (UPOV91).
    UPOV91emphasises seed company rights over farmers’ rights compared to UPOV78. For example:

    UPOV 91 requires IP protection to be provided to all species (compared to UPOV78’s 24 species)
    UPOV91 requires IP protection for 20 or 25 years (compared to UPOV78’s 15 or 18
    years)
    UPOV91 stops farmers from exchanging their seed (something which is allowed under
    UPOV78) which is inconsistent with the practices of farmers in many developing
    nations, where seeds are exchanged for purposes of crop and variety rotation

    https://wikileaks.org/tpp-ip3/upov/UPOV%20and%20NZ.pdf

    • savenz 2.1

      +1 TMM

    • Chooky 2.2

      +100 TMM…”emphasises seed company rights over farmers’ rights”….this is very scary….would seem to make New Zealand farmers susceptible to multinationals and genetic modification of seeds

      ( what about the GM swede scandal in Southland? …cows going belly up?…what would happen to a human if they ate these swedes?)

      farmers organisations….the Labour Party and Opposition parties should be jumping up and down about this…In Europe I am told they are increasingly against genetically modified seeds and produce

      …TPP has the potential to cut new Zealand farmers and horticulturalists and orchardists off from many markets in Europe …including Russia which is increasingly going organic

      http://www.collective-evolution.com/2015/10/07/heres-why-19-countries-in-europe-just-completely-banned-genetically-modified-crops/

      http://ecowatch.com/2015/10/05/european-union-ban-gmos/

      http://rbth.com/business/2015/03/25/sanctions_boost_russian_organic_food_production_44629.html

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Yep, what we can do is being ever more confined at the behest of the corporations. Capitalism is slowly taking our freedoms and turning us more and more into serfs and slaves.

      • Tautuhi 2.3.1

        Monsanto were on the verge of bankruptcy when they discovered the glysophate herbicide, Round Up the commercial name, now I am lead to believe they control 80% of the worlds seed supply and are one of the worlds largest Agrochemical companies, scary stuff the amount of control these multinationals have over the worlds food supply?

    • CR 2.4

      Thank you for posting on this issue – intellectual property in relation to farming and food production is of huge concern to all New Zealanders.

      One of my big concerns about the TPPA is that it diminishes New Zealand’s protections against large scale industrial food production and processes that will be damaging to our environment, our farmers and workers, our international reputation for food safety and quality, and our own health, by consuming inferior food.

      I have watched a lot of documentaries and done a lot of reading about this in the last few months.

      This documentary is a good start for anyone interested…and we all should be interested.

      Food Inc (2008). It runs for 130+ minutes, if you haven’t got time, skip to the third minute of the film for a glimpse of the horror of a beef CAFO (Confined Animal Feeding Operation). These animals live in pens on dirt, eat corn and anti-biotics, are filled with e.coli, stand ankle-deep in their own faeces all their 5-month long lives and when slaughtered their carcasses washed in bleach to kill all the e.coli bacteria that proliferates in their gut due to the corn-diet.

      http://www.filmsforaction.org/watch/food_inc/

    • What’s the complaint, exactly? If it’s that IP protection is being extended in an unreasonable way by the TPPA, as has happened with copyright, then yes, that’s bad. But if it’s that companies that develop new plant varieties shouldn’t have a right to protection of their IP for a period so they can recover costs, the complaint lacks merit. It’s not clear which of the two is involved here.

  3. savenz 3

    “Independent economists: TPP will kill 450,000 US jobs; 75,000 Japanese jobs, 58,000 Canadian jobs”

    http://www.newsforage.com/2016/01/independent-economists-tpp-will-kill.html?spref=fb

    Jobs, jobs, jobs, not under TPP….

    • Chooky 3.1

      +100 savenz…we should not be signing the TPP….who is this agreement for?…certainly not for New Zealanders

    • Draco T Bastard 3.2

      The TPP, just like all other FTAs isn’t about jobs or the benefit of the nations signing but about making the rich richer. Looks like it’s going to do that well. Everyone else though will be fucked – just as planned.

      • Tautuhi 3.2.1

        All the Free Trade Agreement with China has done is increase Chinese immigration and boosted Chinese house investment in Auckland?

        • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1.1

          No but it’s main effects in NZ has, for the majority of people, been detrimental. It’s not of much good if it leaves the people who live here struggling to get a house while rich offshore owners are reaping massive capital gains.

  4. savenz 4

    Under TPP “NZ is projected to lose 6,000 jobs over a 10 year period.
    “The Trans-Pacific Partnership meant to create the world’s largest free trade area will cost Canada 58,000 jobs and increase income inequality, says a new U.S. study.” The U.S. is estimated to lose 448,000 jobs over the same 10 year period.
    “Perhaps more surprisingly, the study found that the two largest economies in the TPP — the U.S. and Japan — would actually shrink as a result of the trade deal, and that the deal would result in fewer jobs overall in all the participating countries.”
    “In all, the study estimates that the 12 countries involved in the proposed free trade deal would lose a net total of 771,000 jobs in the 10 years after the deal comes into force.”
    1) FULL ARTICLE: http://huff.to/1TdyueC
    2) Global Development & Environment Institute at Tufts University: http://bit.ly/23jVi0C
    __________________

    • Gangnam Style 4.1

      In todays Stuff (of all places) “The TPPA will also protect the US and other heavy users of agricultural subsidies. This will hinder WTO efforts to reduce them.” Rod Oram http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/76114721/Rod-Oram-Dark-clouds-on-the-horizon

    • Wayne 4.2

      This study will of course be nonsense. The Tufts academics are claiming there is a net loss of jobs across all TPP nations, notwithstanding all TPP nations benefit (according to the World Bank).

      No doubt the Tufts study has been done as part of the campaign to persuade Congress not to ratify. But I suspect the Tufts academics will have limited influence on Republican members of Congress. It would the equivalent of Jane Kelsey being a major influence on Tim Groser.

      As I have noted before, the whole TPP issue is now really being fought in the US on the issue of Congressional ratification. This will be a huge fight. President Obama will pitch into it. It was part of his State of the Nation address.

      However, fundamentally the Republicans are in control of the outcome. If they want it, TPP will go through, no doubt with limited Democrat support.In contrast if Canada does not ratify, that will not be a deal breaker, although it might influence some members of Congress.

      • Pat 4.2.1

        “This study will of course be nonsense.”
        ..which indicates a prejudgement…surprise surprise

        and of course the MFAT analysis has been a robust credible example that hasn’t used unsubstantiated assumptions nor ignored inconvenient cost implications….Tui moment

        • Tautuhi 4.2.1.1

          MFAT wouldn’t have a clue as they are not the ones doing the growing or the exporting, it would be a hypothesis on an Excel Spreadsheet.

          • Pat 4.2.1.1.1

            not quite…but not much better

            “The estimates are based on modelling undertaken prior to conclusion of the negotiations, using a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model.4 A commentary on the modelling5 concluded that, while CGE models are commonly used to model trade policy changes, their validity depends on crude assumptions about how real-world markets function and their results are very sensitive to errors in these assumptions.
            The commentary found that the standard of documentation of the modelling is dreadfully inadequate – just 20 pages of text in the published report. The authors should have chosen, or been asked to present, a much weightier and more detailed account of every facet of the data, assumptions, modelling and results.”

            https://tpplegal.files.wordpress.com/2015/12/ep5-economics.pdf

      • Stuart Munro 4.2.2

        Of course Groser would never listen to Kelsey, “Ignorance is strength” is the Gnatzi credo.

        • Tautuhi 4.2.2.1

          I doubt whether Groser or Key have ever worked in the real world and I sincerely doubt whether either of them would know how to grow a cabbage?

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.3

        The World Bank says that the TPPA will be good for nations?

        What a fucking laugh. Is there a single country that the World Bank has been involved with which hasn’t been brought to its economic knees and lost its sovereignty to corporate interests?

      • Incognito 4.2.4

        ” This study will of course be nonsense.”

        Thanks, that’ll save me having to read it just as you seem to have done.

        ”No doubt the Tufts study has been done as part of the campaign to persuade Congress not to ratify.”

        Your supreme confidence has a calming effect on me and saves me having to take my medication.

        ”It would the equivalent of Jane Kelsey being a major influence on Tim Groser.”

        What is poor old Jane going to do when Groser is off to Washington? Maybe she could do a sabbatical over there?

        ”As I have noted before, the whole TPP issue is now really being fought in the US on the issue of Congressional ratification.”

        Indeed, it is a fait accompli and we here in little old NZ shouldn’t lose any sleep over it and just get on with our daily ordinary lives and leave the fight to the Republicans and Democrats in the US. What were we thinking that there are 12 signatories to the TPPA? They are mostly there to fill one A4 of the Agreement with little doodles signatures to make it look pretty and impressive.

        I recognise good arguments when I see them, Wayne 😉

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.4.1

          The establishment elite is gradually losing legitimacy with the citizens that they are supposedly leading.

          In the US, this is represented by the mass popularity of alternative candidates like Trump and Sanders.

          Wayne is well aware that his reach – and the reach of his six figure income ruling class friends – extends fuck all distance into the actual community.

          • Incognito 4.2.4.1.1

            Yes, agreed; he’s not even trying to make a real effort or even pretending anymore.

      • Ad 4.2.5

        At least it’s open to democratic scrutiny in the United States.

        If the benefits are so amazing, Key should put his pen down and have a proper public debate.

        We’re seriously all reliant on the US Republicans to let the public voice be heard?

      • Sacha 4.2.6

        There is nothing inconsistent in jobs being lost while owners of capital increase profits. Very common trend.

      • savenz 4.2.7

        @ Wayne – one of the studies is the world bank – good enough for you?

        They also have found negliable economic benefit and that is against the extreme negative risks.

        What government sells itself out for corporations to sue them in separate courts, – but they can’t sue corporations?

        Makes zero sense for any government doing due diligence to sign it.

      • Wisdumb 4.2.8

        We are forever in your debt, Wayne, for pointing out the kernel of this TPP issue in your comment. Truly, you are an towering beacon of constitutional incandencence; and a steel-trap mind combined with political perspicacity and wrapped up in lapidary prose. Is it true that your students sometimes could not talk for three days from the wonder of your law lectures? O Master! O Grand Regal Legal Beagle!

        Because what you raise is the fact that the Americans, even with the crazy plutocratic political system that they have, ARE ALLOWED A REAL VOTE ON THE TPP. A VOTE!! In fact, their process has given them one already and they will have another if Obama looks like winning, as you incisively perceive.

        Whereas in New Zealand the proto-fascist National gang of hoods (OK, proto-totalitarian for the squeamish) does not trust us with the right to vote on this crucial issue, that pries so aggressively into our Kiwi polity. Key and Groser etc., do not understand democracy. Or sovereignty. Or nationhood. Or citizenship. They don’t give a flying feck for NZ full stop. How else to explain their acquiescence in the terms of the Agreement and their unbelievable insulting arrogance and acquiescence in having the TPPA signed two days before Waitangi Day. It wouldn’t surprise me that they suggested it themselves.

        You have a nice day Wayne, I’m off to practice my whakapohane.

      • Rosemary McDonald 4.2.9

        Wayne!

        Well done mate.

        You managed a whole comment plugging the TPPA without once using the words “free” or “trade”.

        A step up my son, a step up.

  5. Penny Bright 5

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/01/22/lets-not-lose-our-tempers-if-john-key-wants-a-riot-outside-sky-city-dont-give-him-one/#.dpuf

    ON THE FACE OF IT John Key has made a serious tactical blunder.

    By insisting on hosting the signing of the Trans-pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) in New Zealand, just two days before Waitangi Day, at the country’s most notorious beneficiary of crony capitalism, he would appear to have given his opponents an unparalleled opportunity to rally their forces and reinvigorate their campaign.

    Frankly, I’m suspicious.

    Because John Key is not prone to making tactical blunders.

    Which raises the worrying possibility that the readily predictable consequences of his decision – mass protest action outside Sky City, with a high probability of violence and property damage – may be exactly what he wants to happen.

    The Chinese philosopher-general, Sun Tzu, wrote: “If your enemy is of choleric temper – irritate him.”

    Few would argue that, at present, the opponents of the TPPA are in a very bad mood indeed. Even fewer would suggest that they have not been extremely irritated by the National Government’s decision to host the official signing of the TPPA at Sky City in Auckland on 4 February.

    Is John Key setting them up?

    That might be the case if it was within John Key’s power to refuse to host (or, at least, delay) the signing ceremony. To decline this honour (as the NZ Herald describes it) would, however, involve a tremendous loss of face by Key’s government.

    It was, after all, New Zealand that set the whole process in motion more than a decade ago. It would be an unthinkable humiliation for its government to ask another signatory to host the signing ceremony.

    But if Key has no option but to host the signing of the TPPA, he most certainly does have a choice as to where it takes place.

    Which raises the question: Why Sky City?

    The ceremony could just as easily have been staged at the exclusive Millbrook Resort outside Queenstown.

    This was where President Clinton stayed in 1999, and where the Intelligence Directors of the “Five Eyes” nations gathered just a few years ago.

    Far away from New Zealand’s major cities, and easily defensible by a relatively small number of police and security personnel, the Millbrook Resort would not only have offered splendid “visuals” but also the smallest chance of disruption.

    Which brings us back to Sun Tzu.

    What does the Prime Minister know, that the people he is goading into besieging the Sky City complex do not know?
    …….
    _________________________________________________

    In my view, the choice of Sky City as the venue for the proposed signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is a deliberately provocative venue.

    Back in December 2012, a peaceful anti-TPPA protest (outside Sky City) was hijacked, in my view, by provocateurs who arbitrarily changed the demand from ‘don’t sign the TPPA’ to ‘close down the TPPA’.

    For the public record – I am absolutely opposed to any form of violent protest / ‘riot’ outside Sky City on 4 February 2016.

    Although I totally understand how frustrated and angry many people feel about the TPPA – any form of violent protest / ‘riot’ will just be used as an excuse to clamp down on the democratic rights and civil liberties of ALL New Zealanders.

    I for one am advocating a HUGE peaceful protest of New Zealanders against the signing of the TPPA on 4 February 2016, from 12 noon to 1pm, that starts at Aotea Square and ends at Britomart, and does NOT go to Sky City.

    That those who are in paid employment in Auckland can therefore peacefully protest during their lunchtime, and the world can see WHY New Zealanders are opposed to this effective pro-corporate attack on our national sovereignty, where our banners and placards can ‘do the talking’ – because the WORLD will be watching …

    Penny Bright
    2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

    • Anne 5.1

      In my view, the choice of Sky City as the venue for the proposed signing of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) is a deliberately provocative venue.

      You make some good points Penny Bright. Imo, that is exactly what Key and his mates are hoping for – a violent confrontation. They have nothing to worry about of course because they will be heavily protected. The trick will be to launch a large and effective protest without resorting to any physical violence.

      • sabine 5.1.2

        dress in the sunday finest,
        be silent on your march – after all it is a funeral
        bring the national flag – not the teatowel
        and just stand there, do nothing, say nothing, be witness to the burial of the country. Maybe turn your backs when the Leader and his posse arrives.

        We could take inspiration from the http://www.afscme.org/union/history/mlk

        • Chooky 5.1.2.1

          +100 sabine…”bring the national flag – not the teatowel”…(agreed not jonkeys teatowel corporate take over flag)…

          btw our NZ flag representing the founding legal Treaty of Waitangi agreement between Maori and Pakeha can be got from the Two Dollar shop for $5….(a nice big NZ flag)

          ….this told to me on the last anti -TPP demonstration by Maori carrying and waving the New Zealand flag…many Maori were carrying the NZ flag

          • Tautuhi 5.1.2.1.1

            In the 1930’s Maori considered entering a Partnership with The USA and the French however through their investigations they felt the British were the best alternative, hence the Union Jack is symbolic on the NZ Flag.

            Key is putting the cart before the horse, he has not consulted with Maori, and wants to sign an agreement with the USA with out consulting the NZ Public and at the same time he wants to change the country’s flag which resembles my old
            Auntys tea towel.

            This represents how the guys mind works?

            • Magisterium 5.1.2.1.1.1

              In the 1930’s Maori considered entering a Partnership with The USA and the French however through their investigations they felt the British were the best alternative, hence the Union Jack is symbolic on the NZ Flag.

              wut

        • mary_a 5.1.2.2

          Hear hear Sabine (5.1.2).

          I’d like to see a mass silent vigil outside the signing venue, with protesters standing hands joined with heads bowed. There will be no excuse whatsoever for police to interfere with us then, as it will be a peaceful protest.

          However, should police attempt to harass us, then we should sit down, offering no resistance, only if it’s necessary to protect ourselves from harm. Let the police expose their boss FJK to the rest of the world as the filthy, treasonous despot we already know he is!

      • Penny Bright 5.1.3

        The simplest way for those who are opposed to potential violence / ‘riots’ outside Sky City, is to AVOID Sky City on 4 February 2016?

        I for one, as a very experienced ‘veteran’ protestor, have no intention of being drawn into, (in my opinion) an obvious TRAP.

        In terms of my proven commitment to effective, non-violent protest, I’ll rely on my track record that goes back over 40 years.

        Let’s FILL Queen Street on 4 February 2016 – with a MASSIVE lunchtime PEACEFUL protest against the signing of the TPPA!

        Penny Bright
        2016 Auckland Mayoral candidate.

      • Sacha 5.1.4

        “You make some good points”

        Credit where due – the top two thirds is by Chris Trotter.

    • Paul 5.2

      Police Infiltrate Peaceful Protest Dressed as Black Bloc Anarchists

      Read more at http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=570_1321357264#sbAMK4Pe2ZdyByxd.99

  6. savenz 6

    How Obama has sold TPP was to create US jobs – the opposite it true. Good video showing how the agreement is stacked in favour of corporations. Corporations can sue governments but the governments can not sue corporations.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      The Democratic Party has been selling out workers for decades now. Bill Clinton destroyed millions of US blue collar jobs with NAFTA, now Obama continues the very same work on behalf of the transnational corporate class.

  7. Jenny Kirk 7

    Rod Oram spells out the dangers of the TPPA to NZ on Stuff this morning :

    Rod Oram: Dark clouds on the horizon

    The benefits for New Zealand’s from the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal will be meagre.

    The weaknesses and dangers of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement are analysed in a set of research papers now available at bit.ly/TPPApapers .

    This columnist contributed sections on TPPA’s likely influence on value chains and 21^st century trade agreements. The conclusions for New Zealand are ominous.

    TPPA will likely reinforce our position as a commodity producer and hinder our progress up the value chain where greater economic prosperity lies.

    For example, large-scale overseas companies with close connections to their consumers will find it easier to tap into our resources than our small companies will find it to develop relationships with overseas consumers.

    Similarly, restrictions on labelling through the TPPA’s sanitary and phytosanitary measures may restrict opportunities for our food exporters to build a high quality, differentiated market position.

    The TPPA will also protect the US and other heavy users of agricultural subsidies. This will hinder WTO efforts to reduce them.

    Overall, TPPA reads very much like a charter for incumbent businesses, dominated by US ones, which are attempting to hold back the tides of economic change the world needs.

    Click on this link to read the rest of Rod’s column :

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion-analysis/76114721/Rod-Oram-Dark-clouds-on-the-horizon

  8. Descendant Of Sssmith 8

    http://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/jan/23/ministers-want-to-get-rid-of-social-housing-former-civil-service-chief-to-say

    I already annoyed at councils selling housing but it’s all part of the right wing plan.

    Of course here in NZ we’re giving private landlords subsidies while refusing to give councils who are a large social housing provider the same support.

  9. Ad 10

    Barry Brickell RIP.

    Deep Green, made a difference, from beginning to the end.

  10. weka 11

    More on strategy and tactics for the upcoming TPPA protests,

    Is Divide And Conquer The New TPPA Strategy?

    Why did the government offer to host the signing of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement? (TPPA)

    Why at an Auckland Casino and not parliament?

    Why on February 4th before parliament sits for the new year?

    Why do it just 2 days before Waitangi Day which has often been a focus of protest over Treaty related issues ( and knowing that the TPPA raises significant concerns over Treaty obligations and Sovereignty)?

    Have these decisions been the result of sheer stupidity with no thought to pressure and unnecessary costs it puts on our police over security issues ?

    Or the result of political cunning?

    While stupidity can’t be ruled out, those of us who remember the 1981 Springbok Tour protests against sporting contacts with apartheid South Africa, haven’t forgotten how the then Prime Minister -National’s Robert Muldoon- was able to turn peaceful demonstrations into a law and order issue through the use of baton wielding riot squads.

    Why? Because he had his eye on the election later that year and he wanted to present himself as a strong leader.

    It put the police into the invidious position of behaving like Muldoon’s private army
    and it damaged their relationship with the New Zealand public (that is so dependent on trust) for a very long time.

    Does the Key government want to spin legitimate concerns over the TPPA into a law and order issue?

    Or has National simply blundered in their timing and created a security nightmare for our police?

    I don’t know.

    What I know is the police are practicing their riot drills and that if protestors confront the police on February 4th with anything but peaceful demonstration, the TV pictures of violent clashes will allow Key to paint the protestors a an unruly mob of radicals who want to stop ‘what’s best for New Zealand’.

    So let’s not give him that opportunity.

    Let’s not get arrested.

    Let’s remember what a previous National Prime Minister did

    By all means let’s protest on the day, but let’s be clever about it.

    Kia Kaha

    • Chooky 11.1

      Really the New Zealand Labour Party led by Andrew Little should be coming out in force on this march/demonstration and on Waitangi Day to protect New Zealanders and New Zealand

      …and to help prevent any possible violence from Jonkey’s lackeys

      Labour Party where are you?

  11. Draco T Bastard 12

    Shear Panic?

    Sources in the financial markets throughout Europe have confirmed to SuperStation95 that “These bank runs will spread” to other countries, with one analyst saying “This is the beginning of the end for all of Europe.”

    In fact, it is likely to spread to Germany next. Just this week, Germany’s largest bank, Deutsch Bank, revealed they will post a loss of 6.7 BILLION Euros for last year; the worst loss in that bank’s entire history! Investors were stunned by this news and there is now open and public worry that Deutsch Bank may not be solvent.

    If true, this is going to hurt.

  12. Draco T Bastard 13

    Eating the Seed Corn

    Yet those concerns, those instincts, have considerable substance. Kiwis are naturally concerned when they see a large proportion of our national economy and productive capacity passing into foreign hands – a larger proportion, as it happens, than for almost any other developed country. They don’t need degrees in economics to understand that if the ownership of income-bearing assets changes, so too does the right to the income. Assets that used to benefit New Zealand owners now produce income for foreign owners – and the repatriation of that income overseas imposes a further burden on our already overstretched balance of payments.

    The old analogy of selling off the family silver and then living off the proceeds is not easily dismissed. And it is not only the income stream that we lose; we also give up the rights of ownership and control over more and more of our economy, so that decisions of great importance to us are made in foreign boardrooms far away by people who know little and care less about our interests.

    This really is common sense and yet the people who most loudly proclaim that common sense should be followed will be telling us that the selling of NZ is good for us.

  13. One Anonymous Bloke 14

    The risks associated with money laundering don’t go away just because the National Party gets a cut.

  14. lprent 15

    Testing mobile autofill
    Ignore.

    • I did start reading it, but the “What, this shit again?” reaction was so strong I didn’t get past the first couple of paragraphs.

      • Incognito 16.1.1

        The title gave it away, didn’t it – the usual click bait. Hide has long ceased writing original pieces and has become so predictable it is boring. He’s not the only ex-ACT person that has run out of ideas and meaningful things to say. What a waste of space.

        • Jilly Bee 16.1.1.1

          Hear, hear Incognito, Psycho Milt and Paul – I have just had another look at the article and no one has even bothered to comment. Says it all really.

          • Incognito 16.1.1.1.1

            The NZH has a bad habit of not loading comments over the weekend; they’ll appear sometime Monday morning or in the afternoon. It is a real killer for online debate, which just shows that the NZH has no real interest in giving its readers an opportunity to engage in important debates or simply provide an opinion on relevant issues. The Editorial on Euthanasia is not even open for comments, which is ironic given the title ”Time’s running out for debate”.

    • b waghorn 17.1

      He’d probably go up in the polls.
      I just keep getting the feeling he’s doing it for a grand piss take, a commentary on the share stupidity of of at least 30% of humans.

      • Pat 17.1.1

        it would be a bloody expensive piss-take….hes funding himself

        • Andre 17.1.1.1

          I read somewhere that he’s actually managed to avoid spending much of his own cash, and that in fact most of the campaign expenses have been met by donations. Don’t remember if it said where the cash came from, tho.

  15. sabine 18

    John Pilgers documentaries available for free

    http://johnpilger.com/filmography

  16. Pat 19

    “George Soros, the financier who forced Britain out of the European exchange rate mechanism by betting against the pound, used his appearance at Davos to warn that a hard landing for China was now “unavoidable”. Soros stressed that he was not offering a prediction. “I’m not expecting it,” he said. “I’m observing it.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/24/stock-markets-world-financial-crisis-oil-china

  17. joe90 20

    Woody Guthrie wrote a song about Fred Trump.

    For Guthrie, Fred Trump came to personify all the viciousness of the racist codes that continued to put decent housing – both public and private – out of reach for so many of his fellow citizens:

    I suppose
    Old Man Trump knows
    Just how much
    Racial Hate
    he stirred up
    In the bloodpot of human hearts
    When he drawed
    That color line
    Here at his
    Eighteen hundred family project ….

    And as if to leave no doubt over Trump’s personal culpability in perpetuating black Americans’ status as internal refugees – strangers in their own strange land – Guthrie reworked his signature Dust Bowl ballad “I Ain’t Got No Home” into a blistering broadside against his landlord:

    Beach Haven ain’t my home!
    I just cain’t pay this rent!
    My money’s down the drain!
    And my soul is badly bent!
    Beach Haven looks like heaven
    Where no black ones come to roam!
    No, no, no! Old Man Trump!
    Old Beach Haven ain’t my home!

    https://theconversation.com/woody-guthrie-old-man-trump-and-a-real-estate-empires-racist-foundations-53026

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