Open mike 24/10/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 24th, 2011 - 131 comments
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Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step right up to the mike…

131 comments on “Open mike 24/10/2011”

  1. rosy 1

    Just heard David Cameron has cancelled his trip to NZ…

    • And Brash is going over there …

      A knowledgeable friend of mine says that the banking system is on the verge of collapse.

      The FT reported on October 9 (behind a paywall)

      “David Cameron has urged European leaders to take a “big bazooka” approach to resolving the eurozone crisis, warning they have just a matter of weeks to avert economic disaster. 
      The UK prime minister wants France and Germany to bury their differences and to adopt before the end of the year what he claims would be a decisive five-point plan to end the uncertainty, which was having a “chilling effect” on the
      world economy.”

      Guess Cameron has more important things to do than to come to NZ to help Key’s reelection prospects. 

      • travellerev 1.1.1

        Here is my take on Don Brash’s sudden trip to the powers that be!

      • Huginn 1.1.2

        Soros sums it up neatly in the New York Review of Books:

        The euro crisis is a direct consequence of the crash of 2008. When Lehman Brothers failed, the entire financial system started to collapse and had to be put on artificial life support. This took the form of substituting the sovereign credit of governments for the bank and other credit that had collapsed. At a memorable meeting of European finance ministers in November 2008, they guaranteed that no other financial institutions that are important to the workings of the financial system would be allowed to fail, and their example was followed by the United States.

        Angela Merkel then declared that the guarantee should be exercised by each European state individually, not by the European Union or the eurozone acting as a whole. This sowed the seeds of the euro crisis because it revealed and activated a hidden weakness in the construction of the euro: the lack of a common treasury. The crisis itself erupted more than a year later, in 2010.

        http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/oct/13/does-euro-have-future/

  2. RedLogix 2

    Steven Keen addressing Occupy Sydney. (Starts 10 min in.)

    The more I listen to Steven the more impressed I am. I’m wondering if he’s not the Maynard Keynes of our generation.

    Incidentally the Aussie cops have moved in to shut the protest down…

  3. Tigger 3

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10761048
    Brash flying overseas to chat about how to fix the world’s economy. Last ditch effort to shake out some ideas that might interest voters? Desperate attempt to avoid RWC overload? Had to use up some air dollars before the expired?

  4. RedLogix 4

    Radio NZ has an interesting program coming up at 10:00am today.

    • Carol 4.1

      Thanks for the tip. Interesting history of the NZ Labour movement and government suppression.

      I first heard of Joe Hill when I saw Joan Baez sing the song

      in the Woodstock movie in 71/72. It was one of the stand-out performances in the movie.

      • prism 4.1.1

        What a pity I missed that. I am sure it will be on audio though. I couldn’t stand any more victorious rugby commentary and turned off before the radio found a talking kea to give a squawk on the matter. But it was a great win. France rose and scored so well in the second half and the All Blacks stood firm with a win on their home ground for this auspicious NZ event.
        Enough said.

  5. I think it’s time for the Occupy movement in New Zealand to be open about what their motives are. They seem to be trying to establish support based on extended vagueness. It’s time they were up front and honest.

    Occupy Auckland – no politics except a New World Order?

    • Bored 5.1

      Pete, I am certain that the bogie man is lurking somewhere amongst the OWS movement in NZ, he will come and burn down your house and destroy the status quo you so adore, you are so right to be paranoid about the OWS motives.

      Meanwhile as you focus on and scan the OWSers motives, some banker is helping himself to large rewards by defrauding YOU of all your cash. Get the picture?

      • Pete George 5.1.1

        Actually some banks somewhere have enabled me to own the property I’m living on (establishing a degree of self sustainability). I’m sure you have benefited from a bank sometime too. Yes, there are valid issues with international banking (and politics and business). But without them the world would not be able to function sufficiently to support it’s population.

        Don’t you think it’s hypocritical to discourage political comment on the surface but to be actively involved in destroying our democracy and replacing it with communism?

        • Bill 5.1.1.1

          …to be actively involved in destroying our democracy and replacing it with communism?

          What about being supportive of going beyond a representative parliamentary democracy, which is no democracy at all by any meaningful use of the term, and building substantive participatory democratic structures?

          Know what I mean Pete? Democracy whereby we each have an input into decisions that affect our daily lives to the extent that we will be, or are likely to be, affected? Partcipatory democratic structures in our communities and workplaces and in our schools and unversities etc.

          A polity and economy whose shapes and actions are determined by democratic participation on the part of us all rather than by a few excercising the power that is concentrated in them by present configurations.

          Attempting to formulate a democracy that is immediate, real and empowering in the stead of the disempowering representative systems we labour within at present, is surely worth engaging in and supporting, no?

          • Pete George 5.1.1.1.1

            Yes, I know what you mean Bill, because something very similar to that is what I have been proposing for Dunedin for the last six months and is what I am offering to help implement if I’m elected. And if I’m not elected it will be a bit harder but I’ll still be trying.

            If a participatory model of democracy can be established and proven at electorate level it may then spread to other electorates and grow into a new national way.

            I still think this makes much more sense than some in Occupy who suggest we scrap everything and start again, with no way of knowing what may eventuate. I went to OD with a lot of interest becasue I thought we were on a common quest, but I was very disappointed with their narrow idealism and preference for destructive revolution.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.2

          But without them the world would not be able to function sufficiently to support it’s population.

          Tell me, how does having a “bank” allow the world to support the human population which is presently estimated to be in excess of sustainable capacity by about 6 billion?

    • The Voice of Reason 5.2

      “They seem to be trying to establish support based on extended vagueness.”
       
      Oh, the irony!

      • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1

        😆

      • mickysavage 5.2.2

        Aye TVOR

        Do you know Petey how often various commenters try to pin you down to try and work out what you actually believe.  And you twist and turn like a twisty turny thing and never commit.

        Maybe Petey is a fifth columnist for the occupation movement?

        • Pete George 5.2.2.1

          And everyone diverts from what is going on.

          Are you happy to see Mana and possibly Greens using the Occupy label to campaign for the election? Did you see McCarten’s column in the Herald yesterday?

          • mickysavage 5.2.2.1.1

            And everyone diverts from what is going on.

            Petey you are without exception the best diverter I have seen on the web.  

            Shock horror, left wing parties believe that there is something fundamentally wrong with our economic order and want to do something about it. 

            • Pete George 5.2.2.1.1.1

              I think there is something fundamentally wrong with many things, and would like to try and do something about them.

              I also think there may be something fundamentally wrong with Occupy NZ. Scrapping our democracy and scrapping capitalism is a bit radical don’t you think? Do you want our democracy scrapped?

              Have you heard of 11.11.11?

              • Draco T Bastard

                No, we want better democracy and to get rid of the failed capitalist (see that “financial” collapse out there? That’s capitalism failing – again) paradigm.

              • Vicky32

                Have you heard of 11.11.11?

                What’s that? Armistice Day? 🙂

          • Pete George 5.2.2.1.2

            Someone asked about this and must have deleted. McCarten:

            “Last Saturday, a core group of 200 Aucklanders set up an Occupy camp in Auckland’s Aotea Square. They intend to stay there around the clock until Election Day.”

            And to avoid vagueness – McCarten, Unite, Mana, Occupy

            • marty mars 5.2.2.1.2.1

              you see a big conspiracy, a plot, but have you ever thought that maybe the Mana Party have declared that part of their approach is to target non-voters, those who feel disinfranchised by the system you idolalise. Surely you would encourage everyone to vote, to exercise their rights, and if a political party offers representation then surely that is good and proper – that those previous non-voters now vote for whomever they want to. It seems your just being peevish because the occupiers didn’t bow down to you and exhalt you as some messiah – they actually had their own ideas and yours didn’t fit and because of that you have embarked on a sour vendetta. Tell me it ain’t so pete?

              • Pretty much every you say here ain’t so, except that I do encourage everyone to vote. And I encourage all parties to be open about how they campaign.

                • Pete you say this below inanother thread

                  “And people involved and organisations involved are not exactly hiding what they want – scrap our democracy and replace it with their democracy – a version where nothing seems to be decided, not in the open anyway.

                  People involved talk open about revolution. And they talk openly about their preferred communist-like utopia.”

                  so they are ‘not exactly hiding’ what they want and banners are being flown and people are talking to others and somehow all this is not open. You seem to not have any idea that people with these ideas exist – they are communist – that quaint term. That leads me to think there is another real issue that you are not saying – what the hell is it so we can stop the bullshitting around.

                  • Occupy jumped into this without thinking some things through. They are learning that if they want to generate momentum as a generic popuolar movement they have to walk the walk, and sideline activists oushing their personal barrows.

                    Highlighting hypocrisy and bad images helps them, if they react smartly. Occupy Dunedin got a bad image as being a doped hazed party pad – they have now tried to ban pot and alcohol. Someone has just reported they have taken down the Mana banners. I don’t know about the Socialist sign. They told me have put up a banner clarifying their “visible support” position.

                    Saying “excuse me, isn’t your political situation hypocritical” didn’t get any reaction. Highlighting and publicising it did.

                    If the Occupies keep dealing with and learning from mistakes they will improve and they may grow, to become popular they need to overcome a bad start. Many people in Dunedin don’t look at them favourably.

                    • RedLogix

                      I suggest you have a read of the history of the French Revolution. It really is required reading for anyone interested in politics.

                      You can of course point to the period of the “Terror” in which tens of thousands were guillotined and fairly conclude that violent revolutions are a bad thing. You could indeed say that the mob who stormed the Bastille really hadn’t thought things through.

                      On the other hand from the point of the French Revolution onward, the ancient idea of monarchy as supreme ruler began an inexorable slide into historical irrelevancy. It is no exaggeration to say the the modern nation state has it’s first real incarnation in the French Republic. So in this sense revolution is a good thing.

                      Right now the world needs another revolution. The forces of greed and inequality are creating injustice and pressures that will ensure it will happen. The status-quo as you know it and believe in it Pete, is broken. Many people have come to the conclusion that ‘working within the system’ doesn’t get useful results anymore.

                      So now we have reached the point where the only useful question is what kind of revolution do you want? I’d suggest that if we took the Occupy movement seriously we’d get an exciting and anxious making ride, but with luck the process wouldn’t actually hang too many bankers from actual lamposts.

                      Ignore them and all bets are off.

                    • KJT

                      Pete. I think these problems are in your own mind.

                      I could not think of anything more hypocritical than present day politicians who accept public money, while actively working against the best interests of their employers.
                      A private sector employee who did that would be, rightly, sacked or even convicted.

                    • so you are concerned that the occupy team have made mistakes but why is it hypocritical?

                    • Redlogix – I’m interested in the idea of a modern revolution, in my own small way that’s what I’m trying to stoke. I was attracted by the apparent blank canvas approach of what I understood Occupy to be, and I was disappointed to see that in Dunedin it appeared to be a few activists using it to push their own old barrows.

                      Should it be revolutions? I’m trying to stoke up a revolution in how people vote. In theory it would be simple to use the exisitng voting system and the imminent election to make potentially a huge impact. The most difficult aspect is overcoming voter apathy.

                      Hypothetical situation – Peter Dunne wins Ohariu, maybe two or three get in on the UF list, I win Dunedin North, UF ends up holding the balance of power, just. Ordinary person with a strong commitment to representing ordinary people and trialing a more participatory democratic system at electorate level now has significant potential sway.

                      While there are many possible outcomes of the election the above scenario is quite feasible – if enough voters see the value in it.

                      Replicate that over several electorates and you start to get the ability to make a significant difference. Revolutionise voting habits and a lot is possible.

                    • “a few activists using it to push their own old barrows”

                      instead of your old barrow?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Many people have come to the conclusion that ‘working within the system’ doesn’t get useful results anymore.

                      When the system is broken working within it just results in nothing being fixed.

                      I’m interested in the idea of a modern revolution, in my own small way that’s what I’m trying to stoke.

                      No, what you’re trying to do is hold on to the ways of a broken system.

                      While there are many possible outcomes of the election the above scenario is quite feasible – if enough voters see the value in it.

                      The proportion of voting in western democracies has been declining for some time. I’d say that this is possibly because more and more people see little value in voting in the present system where the only “people” listened to are the psychopathic corporations.

                • felix

                  So you don’t see a plot?

                  Or you don’t realise that Mana are targeting non-voters?

                  Or you don’t think the occupiers have their own ideas?

                  If not, then what do you mean by “Pretty much every[thing]you say here ain’t so”?

          • Bill 5.2.2.1.3

            Although I disagree with much of the reasoning you use to reach your conclusions Pete, on this one point I do agree.

            I’d be interested to know whether Matt McCarten was talking of November 15th being the end of Occupy Aotea Square on the back of a decision made by a GA there (in which case fine), or whether he was referring to ongoing ‘official’ involvement by Mana and Unite.

            If the latter, then questions of whether those ‘good old’ Leninist strategies are at play really ought to be asked. Particularily by those heavily involved in the Occupations. If (and this is a big if) Mana, Unite and organisations associated with or undepinning Mana and Unite are going to suddenly disappear come November 15, then remaining Occupiers ought to be prepared, both mentally and otherwise for a ‘hole’ suddenly appearing in their spaces.

    • RedLogix 5.3

      “extended vagueness” ha..

      They do have a point Pete. You might want to have a long hard think about it.

      • Pete George 5.3.1

        Are you part of the diversion squad?

        You might like to think about the concerted (or habitual) diversions from an issue that I am far from vague on.

        • RedLogix 5.3.1.1

          You started this, so you finish it. You are the one insinuating that the OWS movement has a hidden ulterior agenda, so you tell us what you think it is.

          No more vagueness please.

          • Pete George 5.3.1.1.1

            It’s not so hidden – McCarten admits to using it for election campaigning.

            And people involved and organisations involved are not exactly hiding what they want – scrap our democracy and replace it with their democracy – a version where nothing seems to be decided, not in the open anyway.

            People involved talk open about revolution. And they talk openly about their preferred communist-like utopia.

            If you open your eyes it’s not vague beneath the surface.

            But instead the diversion and abuse continues, doesn’t it ak.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.3.1.1.1.1

              Nothing in our “democracy” is open – just look at the hidden TPPA talks. It seems to me that the Occupy groups actually want open democracy – a democracy where people have a say and not just the corporations. Yes, it would remove power from the politicians and the rich – this is a Good Thing – but that seems to be your main complaint against it.

            • RedLogix 5.3.1.1.1.2

              scrap our democracy and replace it with their democracy –

              Well at the moment it is THEIR democracy, the democracy of the top 1%. Open your ears and you will also see voices plainly telling you that what you call ‘our democracy’ has been thoroughly subverted by a tiny elite who use their extreme wealth to capture the process.

              It may not be so obvious or extreme here in NZ just yet, but all the numbers tell us that we are on exactly the same path that has taken the US and Europe into a dead-end where social inequality has become extreme, the financial system is in more or less permanent melt-down mode and real unemployment numbers are at Depression-era levels.

              So exactly ‘whose’ democracy is it Pete? And exactly why are you defending it?

              • It’s far from perfect but we have one of the best democracies there is or has been.

                Open your ears and you will also see voices plainly telling you that what you call ‘our democracy’ has been thoroughly subverted by a tiny elite who use their extreme wealth to capture the process.

                Partly – yes. But to a large extent because most voters vote like sheep for the “same old”. The people let it happen.

                I saw a FB post this morning where a young person suggested many young people force change by only voting for small parties, disempowering the large parties. Something like that is doable and it could change things dramatically within two months using our current system.

                Use MMP instead of letting parties abuse MMP.

                Electorate vote: don’t consider party, vote for the best person for the electorate. That will increase the quality of MPs in parliament.

                Party vote: spread the power across multiple parties so:
                – any important legislation has to be negotiated
                – parties and MPs are forced to pay far more atention to their electorates and voters

                Occupying city centres may achieve something eventually, but they don’t look like the can reach consensus on anything important by the election.

                Occupying the polls is where the immediate power is. We can have a revolution right now if enough of us want to.

              • Bill

                Y’know, looking through the various demands, there seems to be two currents of thought or approach to them. There is the reformist approach that would have each demand tackled on a case by case basis. And there is, what I would term ‘the demand of the demands’, which is for democracy.

                If efficacious democratic structures, that were participated in by both reformers and revolutionaries, were to gain ascendancy over our current representative structures, then all of the demands would be satisfied.

                eg a democratic economy simply cannot produce the situations or results we see around us today.

                It’s a curious irony that reformers are actively engaging in revolutionary activity (developing and refining meaningfully democratic structures), all the while calling for mere reform. 🙂

                • I don’t think we could function as a country in the world as a total participatory democracy, because that rules out capitalism and market – which I know is what some Occupiers want to eliminate.

                  I don’t think adjusting the exchange rate based on popular vote would work very well. Neither would justice.

                  And the biggest problem is the allocation of resources, it is not feasible to allocate benefits by consensus, and it wouldn’t work very well if 51% of people voted to give themsleves all the benefits.

                  • Bill

                    Do you understand that the market is not a natural phenomena? That a market economy is only one among a number of possible economies? And that the market, as a mechanism for production and distribution has deeply deliterious effects both on the overwhelming majority of people alive on this planet today as well as for the natural environment?

                    Here’s a link to an intro for another economy. (the vid on the top right of the page) It’s not strident ‘bible bashing’ nonsense. Please do watch it if you have the broadband capacity. I’d be very curious to hear your reaction / initial thoughts.

                    http://www.zcommunications.org/topics/parecon

                    • He talks about the level of participation being relative to how much something affects you, I agree with that, as opposed to the global one size fits everything approach.

                      Councils – a different name for a common idea. I want to set up an electorate council, one that different community and business councils can feed ideas and opinions into. As an MP I would then take directions from the electorate council to the parliamentary council. A bottom up approach to politics rather than a party down approach. That’s why party people either don’t understand or actively oppose some of the ideas I float here – standard practice is to attack the messenger.

                      There’s a lot in that and I’ll have to keep going back to it. It has inspired certainly more curiosity, but more than that. Too much for one comment here. Interested in meeting?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    it is not feasible to allocate benefits by consensus,

                    Yes it is. Using modern technology and the internet it is possible to bring about a democratic economy where resources are allocated by votes rather than through money.

                    • Bill

                      Or by having communities material demands weighed against productive possibilities. (Consumer councils and producer councils). And having the resultant information pass back and forth between the variously affected consumer and production councils until a balance is achieved.

                      So if 2000 tonnes of pig iron will be needed by various workplaces looking to produce for the needs of communities, but the producer coouncils n the primary sector say that only 1500 tonnes will be able to be produced, then the various consumer and production councils affected by that pass altered demands and possibilities back and forth until the total need falls in line with productive possibilities.

                      This can be done without concentrating the information flow through a set of people (as happens in a command economy) and so sidesteps ‘information as power’ problems.

                  • KJT

                    So we continue with 1% voting to give all the benefits to offshore investors while they get the crumbs. And the rest of us continue towards third world status.

                    In fact the evidence shows that given the power, the majority, on the whole, make more sensible decisions than a few group thinkers.

                    And. As no right turn says. “At the end of the day, even if it is wrong, it is our decision to make”.

                    Your answer just shows the usual politicians hubris.

                    Why do you think you have any better right, or competence, to make decisions about our future than the rest of us?

                    • Why do you think you have any better right, or competence, to make decisions about our future than the rest of us?

                      I don’t think that.

                      My aim is to represent the decisions of the electorate in parliament first and foremost, rather than always putting ideology and party first.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      In my expeienced many, probably most employees don’t want the extra responsibilities and time commitment of running a business, they are happy to work for a wage or salary.

                      Given that a huge number of former employees have moved into their own contracting, consulting or self employed businesses in the last 20 years, this sounds like horse shit.

                      Many NZ managers don’t have sufficient expertise to make sensible management decisions.

                      FIFY

                      e.g. Pike River, Rena disaster, Southern Canterbury Finance (and subsequent bail out), etc

                    • RedLogix

                      But are they rigid? There are many different business structures and degrees of involvement of staff in management and ownership.

                      Yes they are rigid. While there are alternatives that Bill, DtB and myself have pointed to, in this country at least, there are very few actual examples in action. Every business organisation I’ve run into (and that’s hundreds at least) follow the same top down shareholder/director/executive/middle management/worker model everwhere.

                      In small privately held SME’s there’s more likelihood of these rigid demarcations being blurred somewhat… but certainly never in any decent sized corporate I’ve experienced. Bill is right that while the ownership structure of Fonterra is a cooperative, the actual production side certainly isn’t. As DtB puts it, socialism is fine for the farmers… but not for their workers.

                  • KJT

                    Works for the Swiss. they seem to function rather well.

                  • Bill

                    Contemporary business councils represent elites (obviously). And contemporary community councils are not composed of people from particular geographically located communities.

                    As such, neither is a meaningful expression of democracy. So why consult with them? And why position yourself ‘above’ them, ie in a representative position?

                    They have already disempowered the citizenry by claiming to be our voice. Your attempt to represent their views (representation lacking legitimacy in the first instance anyway) compounds our disempowerment by legitimising their position.

                    The producer councils in parecon are composed of workers (there being no bosses)
                    Community councils in parecon are composed of citizens from geographcal locations.

                    Most people would be particpants in both consumer (community) councils and producer councils.

                    And they would not conduct their dialogue through intermediaries.

                    • Most people would be particpants in both consumer (community) councils and producer councils.

                      If current behaviour is any indicator most people would not be bothered participating.

                      Many people are actually happy to go to work, earn a wage and not worry about the running of the business.

                    • Bill

                      In an environment where workers are not given any information or access to decision making processes, and often spend 8 + hours doing rote, soul destroying shit, then they ‘work to live’.

                      Where there is information and empowerment (no bosses) and no requirement to do only brain deadening tasks over and over (mixed job complexes), then that whole disempowered and disengaged ‘actually (a-hem) happy to go to work, earn a wage and not worry about the running of the business ‘ approach withers.

                      And if you don’t believe that to be the case, then show me the person who gives up empowering and interesting work to do shit.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Many people are actually happy to go to work, earn a wage and not worry about the running of the business.

                      Are you sure about that?

                      From all the whinging about the bosses and their bad decisions I’d say that a lot more people than you think would be willing to have a say. In fact I think that you’ll find that the only reason why they don’t engage in the running of the business now is because of the dictatorial way that business is set up.

                    • I don’t buy that Bill. I’ve worked for large and small companies at varying levels including management, I have been self employed and I have owned businesses in partnership.

                      In my expeienced many, probably most employees don’t want the extra responsibilities and time commitment of running a business, they are happy to work for a wage or salary. Many workers don’t have sufficient expertise to make sensible management decisions.

                      Do you know how many workers would actually want what you suggest? If you know of some, I’d like to know why they haven’t set up their own co-operatives, they are free to try that.

                    • McFlock

                      Really, Bill, I’ve spoken to lots of peasants and they’re actually happier that we make the big decisions for them. Most of them just aren’t suited to running an estate, so we’re doing them a favour. /sarc

                    • Bill

                      Co-operatives are set up all the time. Admittedly, there aren’t many examples I can point to in NZ, but in the UK, across Europe and in the US and Australia they are fairly common.

                      I don’t know why it is so markedly different in NZ, but hey.

                      But lets say a the idea of a co-op is suggested (funded through people pooling their redundancy compensation and taking over their old workplace for example).

                      Well, maybe people in NZ have no tradition or experience to fall back on and no examples to look at and learn from. With the internet, the lack of local examples is not an insurmountable problem….experiences, suggestions and advise can be ‘imported’ via the net.

                      But it’s difficult to get to that point because far too many people have internalised the crushing judgement of the type you yourself make in your comment when you assert that “workers don’t have sufficient expertise to make sensible management decisions.”

                      Now, such judgements or assertions are absolute fucking tosh and don’t apply in the case of a collective or co-op. For a start, one person management systems are gone. They don’t exist.

                      That means decisions are made via inclusive and democratic structures. Now lets say we are talking of some small factory setting that has been taken over. Jo can’t read. Jo can’t write. (this is the case for many semi and non skilled workers) Can Jo make a contribution to decisions? Of course! People like Jo are specialists in the parts of the system of production that they have been forced to work for 10 or 15 or 20 years. They know more about its limitations and potentials than any manager ever did.

                      And in a collective, Jo isn’t going to be forced to remain doing the same old monotonous shit all day every day. By developing a more varied work ‘routine’ that includes some of everything that is required to make a workplace run (and that’s far more than just filling order books), Jo becomes empowered and also gains experience and confidence. And when jo can read and write, even more opportunities for more variety and more empowerment present themselves.

                      And if you had been the former boss? You could still be there. But you would be no more the boss than Jo. Both you and Jo and every other worker would fulfill and excercises that function co-operatively and democratically. And just as Jo is learning new shit, so would you and everyone else be too.

                    • RedLogix

                      Co-operatives are set up all the time. Admittedly, there aren’t many examples I can point to in NZ,

                      umm… Fonterra.

                      Remarkable how socialist our farming friends are actually.

                    • Many small business partnerships could be regarded as a form of co-operative. Maybe that changes if the business employs someone but that would rule Fonterra out too.

                    • Bill

                      Nah. Not Fontera. It isn’t a co-op in any meaningful sense. The vertical divisions of labour and the specialised niches (where power resides) and general disempowerment of most persist

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Look at the histories of PGG Wrightson, Silverfern Farms, CRT, etc. And the Farmers Union.

                      Rural folk love socialism, and they know co-ops work.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Many workers don’t have sufficient expertise to make sensible management decisions.

                      Is it the lack of expertise or because arseholes like you put them down destroying their self-confidence?

                      …I’d like to know why they haven’t set up their own co-operatives, they are free to try that.

                      If they’ve got the resources available to them which they probably don’t because the 1% have appropriated all the wealth.

                      Remarkable how socialist our farming friends are actually.

                      Oh, they love socialism – for themselves. They’re quite happy to take handouts from the government (us) they just don’t want to have to pay for them and work to ensure that everybody else does.

                    • RedLogix

                      Yes.. Fonterra is a different sort of cooperative to the one Bill is describing.

                      Here is another corporate story about Oticon.

                      So Kolind abolished the formal organization. Projects, not functions or departments, became the defining unit of work. Today at Oticon, teams form, disband, and form again as the work requires. Project leaders (basically, anyone with a compelling idea) compete to attract the resources and people to deliver results. Project owners (members of the company’s 10-person management team) provide advice and support, but make few actual decisions. The company has a hundred or so projects at any one time, and most people work on several projects at once. It is, essentially, a free market in work.

                      Kim Hill did a feature interview with Kolind back in the 90’s some time… it was remarkably thought-provoking. I’m unsure how his innovative management ideas have stood the test of time, but Oticon still remains a world leader in hearing technology.

                      The point is, the rigid corporate hierarchy we unthinkingly accept as the ‘only way’.. isn’t. There are alternatives that are a lot more effective.

                    • But are they rigid? There are many different business structures and degrees of involvement of staff in management and ownership. It’s up to those involved to structure it how they want, and it’s up to employees to work for the corporation or not. It’s totally impractical to change this by forcing specific ways of structuring and managing and owning.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Sorry PG in the future, unless you are a worker, you’re not going to have a say over how the business is run.

            • mik e 5.3.1.1.1.3

              Pg your vagueness is only outdone by your naive vain boasting

      • ak 5.3.2

        petegeorge, n. & v.t. 1. Being obtuse in the extreme, inane; divert, deflect, evade question and introduce irrelevance; refuse to commit to stance; draw off attention of (from one embarrassment to another); distract, confuse, obfuscate; (he ~ s every attempt at discussion) 2. Male sexual organ of gibbon. Hence ~MENT, ~IFICATION [21st c orig unknown]

    • KJT 5.4

      Pete.

      Management 101. Effective change management.

      1. Establish a consensus that there is a need for change.
      2. Figure out what needs to be changed. Again by consensus.
      3. Invite ideas and positive changes from the shop floor.
      4. Managers should act as facilitators and supporters of change agents.

      Lasting and effective changes, need to have the active support of the majority of the workforce, at all levels.

      Authoritarian managers are rarely effective at making lasting changes. People always find a way to derail changes they do not support.

      Despite some of the best research on Management and Leadership coming from the USA. Places like the USA, NZ and UK ignore it. Leaving effective implementation to Germany, Japan and Scandinavia.

      It is strange that despite all the research that says they are less effective, the cult of the Authoritarian Manager/National Leader still remains. Maybe the answer lies in the research about Authoritarian followers. Those who like certainty, even if it is leading them into a country like Somalia.

      OWS is at stage 1 at present.

      What is frightening politicians, who dream of absolute power, is they know OWS will grow.

      We will soon see the solution is democracy. Very scary for those who have been ripping us of while accepting a Parliamentary salary from us.

      Why should we leave our future up to a power hungry, greedy minority.

      • Pete George 5.4.1

        I agree with most of what you say. I initially approached Occupy Dunedin because I thought I shared some of their ideals and aims – in fact I still think (and have told them) that in theory our aims to address a lack of democratic process are similar, we are just taking different approaches.

        But I discovered I have a major difference with what they want to achieve.

        I am trying to join and change our current democracy by democratic means.

        Some in OD (and OA) at an organisational level want to scrap our current democracy and replace it with their own ideal – which sounds much like communism to me. And they are not exactly doing it in a democratic way. If you haven’t already read Bill’s post and all of his comments:

        An Occupation Occupied. What’s Next?

        I think the Occupy movement should be open and honest about what they are doing. As should the Mana Party. And the Green Party should clarify their position.

        • KJT 5.4.1.1

          Pete.

          Our current system of Government. IS NOT A DEMOCRACY.

          Nothing wrong with the ideals of communism. Or Democratically regulated capitalism, either.

          Both or a mixed economy all work, when people have democratic control.

          The most successful States ever, in delivering prosperity and a fair stable society to all their citizens have been the mixed socialist democracies of Western Europe.

          Why are you so scared of communism. Or do you conflate communism with the Authoritarian Dictatorships of Cuba, Russia and Zimbabwe, which were no closer to the communist ideal than our society is to Democracy.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.4.1.2

          I am trying to join and change our current democracy by elected dictatorship means.

          FIFY

          Despite there being many supposed types of democracy, democracy itself only has one meaning – rule by the people.

          • KJT 5.4.1.2.1

            Representative Democracy is just as much of an oxymoron as anecdotal evidence, benevolent dictator, or an honest burgler.

      • Uturn 5.4.2

        I hope they aren’t using management 101 as outlined above. It’s been around since the seventies and has consistently returned only short term results. The model is especially easily infiltrated and then turned towards normal authoritarian hierarchial forms.

        Personally, I think the problem is that the system used to unite the people is inherently bonded to the world view of the leaders/managers/facilitators. To find a long term solution to the destructiveness of capitalism, you’d have to find a universal language of morals/ethics, at least. We all know how difficult that has been/would be. No one agrees, no one knows where to look, and many get hysterical at the thought of there even being a right and wrong, on the off-chance that what they do is wrong and their enemies, right. (speaking in the context of short term human lifespan.)

        Early examples of management 101 have been pushed by the personalities of the leaders/managers and their development. Eventually they outgrow the people they’re helping and the people, of varying degrees of self awareness, then descend into the doubt/stall/chaos that signals new beginnings. At that point the people are weakened and cast about for the ideas of the good old days, not realising that those ideas are single use, time and situation specific, solutions. This wouldn’t be a problem if self-interest and greed were not inherent human conditions.

        The fastest way to end the OWS movement would be to define it’s goals or organise a set of leaders. Or to use an old mangement theory slogan, they should use the “both tight and loose” model: Being aware of what needs to be done on an individual level, also aware of collective participation, but not trying too hard to force it when it looks like it’s deviating. Lasting change begins with the individual making daily decisions to influence their world in a new way.

        • Pete George 5.4.2.1

          Now here is some sense:

          To find a long term solution to the destructiveness of capitalism, you’d have to find a universal language of morals/ethics, at least.

          Lasting change begins with the individual making daily decisions to influence their world in a new way.

          Morals/ethics in a secular world.

          Except I wouldn’t say “destructiveness of capitalism” – not all capitalism is destructive, just as not all socialism is a failure. I think we need to try and find the best balance of isms and thenj keep striving and adjusting in a changing world.

          • KJT 5.4.2.1.1

            Secular people don’t have a problem with morals or ethics. Neither do the founders of most of the great religions.

            They are remarkably consistent. Treat other people as you would like to be treated.

            It is believers in religions who seem to have flexible ethics. For instance.

            “Thou” shalt not kill. Unless it is someone who disagrees with our religion!

            “We believe in personal responsibility”. “Except when it is our fault”.

            “Jesus Christ wants me to be rich”

            “We believe in capitalism”. “Until it fails. Then the socialists can bail us out”.

            • Vicky32 5.4.2.1.1.1

              It is believers in religions who seem to have flexible ethics. For instance.
              “Thou” shalt not kill. Unless it is someone who disagrees with our religion!
              “We believe in personal responsibility”. “Except when it is our fault”.
              “Jesus Christ wants me to be rich”
              “We believe in capitalism”. “Until it fails. Then the socialists can bail us out”.

              All of these ideas are very much minority opinions amongst ‘religious’ people, confined mostly to the American right, (contrary to popular Standardista belief, most Christianity in NZ is leftist, not rightist). In fact even in the USA, a significant chunk of Christianity is leftist – have you ever heard of Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker movement, or of Tony Campolo and Brian McLaren?
              I call bigotry, KJT…

              • KJT

                I will take that is a compliment.

                I suppose it is not surprising that followers of Authoritarian Fundamentalist Religions, Catholicism, Neo-Liberalism, Brethren etc. react with personal attacks and denigration when they are exposed.

                They also, all seem to be obsessed with regulating others sex lives. And have a fear of Women.

                I do not have the numbers, but I doubt very much that the majority of church goers, even in NZ, are leftist. Definitely not in the USA.

                I know several Christians and Muslims, who I like and respect, who follow the ethical teachings of their respective church founders. Who agree with me about organised, establishment, religion. Though I suspect they would be moral and thoughtful people no matter what their religious beliefs, or lack of them.

                • RedLogix

                  I do not have the numbers, but I doubt very much that the majority of church goers, even in NZ, are leftist. Definitely not in the USA.

                  That’s an interesting question. In my experience it’s a very mixed bag. The fundamentalist churches are as a rule very authoratarian and conservative, and while they tend to be rather noisy and visible it’s not clear where the numbers lie.

                  Then there are of course the main-stream Christian churches like the Presbyterians, Anglicans and Methodists who still retain a strong, sometimes surprisingly liberal, social justice agenda. And you also get confounding groups such as the Salvation Army, who while dressing up in a strongly authoritarian regalia… actually deliver a lot of useful social services on the ground. (I’ll refrain from mentioning the Catholic Church here because I really don’t have an informed opinion on them..)

                  Sitting in the pews most people avoid being too political. Fellowship with others is more important than winning an argument, so for the most part church goers eschew overt discussion of politics. But it’s my experience that while most are relatively conservative in terms of personal behaviour, that doesn’t necessarily translate into their wider political convictions about a ‘just and sanctified society’.

                  Most mature believers I know hold quite clear views about the greed and excessive materialism that grips much of the secular world. Indeed it’s worth remembering that the first Labour party meetings were held in Methodist church halls, and that generation of trade unionists and reformers were often motivated by a muscular Christian belief in justice.

                  • swordfish

                    Traditionally in New Zealand (up to the 1980s), Anglican and Presbyterian regular church-goers voted National,
                    while Roman Catholics, Protestant Non-Conformists and Athiests/Agnostics/Non-Church-goers voted Labour.

                    More recently, the New Zealand Election Survey data (Elections 1984-2002) suggest that regular church-goers in general are much more likely to vote for The Political Right than everyone else (although among these regular church-goers there remains a slight division,  Catholics and Methodists still being a little less likely to vote Nact than other  Protestants).

                    The religious demographic most likely to vote Green is the Non-Christian Religious vote (which presumably includes the vast majority of Buddhists and probably New Age types, as well as perhaps Muslim and Hindu voters, including recent migrants).

                • Vicky32

                  I will take that is a compliment.

                  Why am I not surprised? 😀

                   
                  They also, all seem to be obsessed with regulating others sex lives. And have a fear of Women.

                  And yet, and yet, so many of us are women! (Including me). Why do you think that is?

                  I do not have the numbers, but I doubt very much that the majority of church goers, even in NZ, are leftist. Definitely not in the USA.

                  Yet whether you wish to believe it, and you evidently don’t, it’s true! I never said the majority of American Christians are leftists. Don’t misquote me, I am sick of being misquoted here..

                   

                  • KJT

                    “And yet, and yet, so many of us are women! (Including me). Why do you think that is? “”

                    Stockholm syndrome!

                    • Vicky32

                      Stockholm syndrome!

                      Cos you reckon we women are like, too ‘dumb’ to think things through, so we have to have been stockholmed? Men… bless you all, but I hate being patronised…

                    • RedLogix

                      bless you all, but I hate being patronised…

                      hehe… hell did I learn that the hard way some time back.

        • KJT 5.4.2.2

          The point is that most of our structures ignore the points I made above.

          Instead of following best practice for making change.

          You are ignoring my point that successful changes are always from the bottom up. The Neo-Liberal elite know this. Even though they do not follow it.

          That is why they are so terrified of a mass movement for change.

          Ultimately any structures or changes not supported by the majority will fail. The Soviet Union failed from within. And so will the Neo-Liberal corporate State.

          Change is continually imposed from the top by a few people who are either nakedly self interested (NACT) or who believe we should be forced to act in the way they believe we should be (Some on the other side). I suspect they are just as self interested, but are motivated by a desire for power.
          (Why my calls for Democracy are just as unpopular on almost any political party site).

    • mik e 5.5

      maybe they should join Untitled Fairytales UFs motto is Vagueness being upfront and honest yeah right PG your just a grovellers for soft national votes

  6. Tigger 6

    Pharmac under attack. Locals have the bare story but the texts they refer to are here and worth a look. http://www.citizenstrade.org/ctc/blog/2011/10/22/leaked-trans-pacific-fta-texts-reveal-u-s-undermining-access-to-medicine/

    Sadly I thought they were actual phone texts (or textses as Key would say). The original articles aren’t that comprehensive! Still , worth wading into…

  7. Carol 7

    Occupyauckland play rugby, satirise the wealthy, have some fun, and experiment with consensus decision- making.

  8. Uturn 8

    There is nothing vague about what Pete George stands for. It was in his first letter to the occupiers of The Octagon last week.

    • Thanks uturn, that’s right. I stand for our current democratic system and rule of law.

      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        In other words you don’t want to understand the occupy movement as it wants to change the present system.

        • just saying 8.1.1.1

          Pretty much, life’s pretty sweet for Pete. Just one little tweak:
          More power and money for Pete George.

          But he’s working on that now, and that’s what all this boring bullshit is all about. There’s no point in debating anything with him because he doesn’t give a flying fuck. All the empty slogans and dog-whistle bigotry, and interminable blah blah blah is just about raising his profile to that one end.

          My pick is that he’ll end up in council. As if there aren’t enough self-serving blowhards there already.

      • KJT 8.1.2

        IT IS NOT DEMOCRATIC.

        Why should we accept a rule of law that is
        1. Imposed by a very small minority.
        2. Imposed for the benefit of an even smaller minority.
        3. We have almost no power to change.

        “The law, in its wisdom, deals equally with the rich and the poor. Both are forbidden to sleep under a bridge”.

        Or to quote another famous man. “If voting made any difference they would abolish it”.

        • Pete George 8.1.2.1

          It is democratic – there are many forms of democracy.

          Everything cannot be decided by everyone:
          – not everyone can be bothered being a part of the process
          – there are far too many things to be decided
          – some things require immediate action and don’t have time for democracy eg if a container ship hits a reef there is no time for a referendum

          So what we really should be talking about is what balance of representative democracy and direct democracy would suit us best.

          • Bill 8.1.2.1.1

            It is not the case in a democracy that everything is decided by everyone. Everyone participates in those decisions that affect them to the extent they are affected by them.

            If you’re workplace or community is making some decision that will have no effect on me, then why would I be a party to those decisions?

          • KJT 8.1.2.1.2

            You still do not get it.

            Parliament should be our administration. To implement what we decide.

            To return to a business model. The manager makes day to day decisions, but the general direction and priorities should be set by the board.

            An administration can make decisions where they are immediately required, but the direction should be set by us. E.G. In the case of a ship hitting a reef we decide what the priorities should be beforehand. Our democratically decided priority may have been that we do not allow ships on our coast that the US coastguard would have turned away.

            There are not many forms of Democracy. There is Democracy and there are various systems of rotating dictatorships that claim to be Democracy.

            There is no such thing as representative Democracy. It is an oxymoron.

            If you want a model. The Swiss one is the closest. Delivered years of peace and a stable prosperous society.
            Decision making starts at the town and Canton level for things that only affect that area.

            Despite all the evidence, that top down authoritarian structures are the least effective in good decision making, we still persist with them.

            • Pete George 8.1.2.1.2.1

              The Swiss one is the closest. Delivered years of peace and a stable prosperous society.

              It has some good democratic ideas but hardly stellar –
              “Women were granted the right to vote in the first Swiss cantons in 1959, at the federal level in 1971 and, after resistance, in the last canton Appenzell Innerrhoden in 1990.”

              I visited Appenzell last year, interesting place. They are well known for their Landsgemeinden, open air democratic assemblies.

              • KJT

                The lateness in giving votes to Women reflects their society.
                The votes against taxation in California reflects their society. Other referendum states in the USA have voted for the impeachment of austerity Governments and more taxation.

                A Democracy in NZ would reflect our society.

                Which values fairness, looking after our children and elderly, and equality. Or we did before the Neo-Liberal meanness took over.

                In NZ votes for women, like homosexual law reform and the several other advances were held up by Parliamentary conservatives, not a majority of voters.

                • Colonial Viper

                  NZ society also values hard work and hates those who can’t be bothered to make the effort (‘bludgers’). New Zealand society has always expected people receiving state help to make an effort for themselves.

                  This is the unconscious meme that National has always played to, and very successfully.

                  And one that Labour has failed to address adequately.

                  And this is not a new trait for NZ. Remember, if you were given a state house in Savage’s time, you were responsible for properly looking after the house and its gardens to a high standard of tidiness, or risk losing it.

          • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.1.3

            So what we really should be talking about is what balance of representative democracy and direct democracy would suit us best.

            BS, that’s what you think suits you best. How about this:

            We fire the representatives but keep the government departments. The government departments then ask us what we want to do with the resources we have available (Note: Resources, not money) and we vote upon that.

            In this system the government departments do the day to day administration (responding to accidents and other things that require immediate action) using rules and regulations that we’ve collectively voted upon as their guide and the resources we’ve allowed them to use. Everything that they do is, of course, published.

            On top of that because we know what resources the country has available we also get to vote on how those resources are used and distributed – in trade, in R&D, etc, etc.

            • Pete George 8.1.2.1.3.1

              Why don’t you find out what level popular support you would get for that? If it was overwhelmingly supported in Dunedin North I would support it, but I would also advocate strongly for checks and balances. Any system has it’s weaknesses and downsides and unforeseen problems so you need safeguards..

              • Draco T Bastard

                Ever considered that’s what the Occupy movement is about? They want to get rid of the present system and they want democracy. No, of course you didn’t, you just called them names and told them to go away as they were upsetting you.

                And I noticed that you pulled one of your no answer answers there. Tell me, have you got a patent on that yet?

              • Tiger Mountain

                Tory Pete, your multiple ‘if not that then how about this?’ posts here do seem some weird attempt to construct a fact free virtual confusion device.

              • KJT

                And you are happy with our present system?

                The checks and balances in a democracy is the collective knowledge of everyone who is interested in a particular policy.

                In our “representative democracy”. Parliament is supreme. At the end of the day a group of determined nutters/facilitators of moneyed theft, can hijack the whole thing. They did in 1884. And are at the verge of doing it again. Helped by outright lies in the media their masters own.

                I am advocating for democracy. The mix of State and private ownership is something for the majority to decide looking at evidence of what works best.

                The market works fine in some situations where one player cannot naturally dominate. The State works better for infrastructure and public good.

                Criminal convictions for politicians and journalists who are ‘economical with the truth” will help the public with good decision making.

                In Switzerland politicians now they have to back up decisions convincingly with evidence, or they will be overturned by referenda.

  9. Jasper 9

    Looks like this election is shaping up to be an even 49% either side

    Interesting points:

    Labour + Green have more than National at 37.3% (National at 36.8)
    Will Colin Craig’s Conservative Party beat ACT? They do have a pretty nice brochure and I have heard from some people they plan to vote CP based on the lovely brochure.

    Will Chauvel beat Dunne? Will Banks be Spanked? Why have 10% of Labour voters gone to National?

    • Campbell Larsen 10.1

      Striking parallels to NZs own proceeds from crimes act – the burden of proof being shifted to the defendant with forfeiture being the default, and seized monies going to enforcement agencies (tho in NZ this is split between the crown and the police.
      This incentive to seize must be removed (all funds to go instead towards mitigation of social harm via, for example health agencies) and forfeiture strictly limited – the law is not supposed achive compliance in the community by behaving like a feudal lord who intimidates and impoverishes the people of the realm willfully, or on a whim, to expand a control apparatus or an empire.

  10. randal 11

    who is the dreamer claiming 10% of labour voters have gone national.
    I dont think so.
    National is engaging in a class war of the nastiest sort aided and abetted by the media who of course have a vested interest in retailing unneeded gew gaws and gimcracks to the unsuspecting.
    Only Labour can save the day.

  11. joe90 12

    A fortnight old but worth the read.

    7 Major Advance Warnings

  12. Kty 13

    So banksie boy is off to London to assist with the economic crises, W.T.F. havent they got enough problems.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10761048

  13. randal 14

    pete goerge. the election will decide all that and Labour will win it.

  14. MrSmith 15

    The most dangerous drug isn’t meow meow. It isn’t even alcohol …
    Newspapers are the biggest threat to the nation’s mental wellbeing

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/mar/22/charlie-brooker-newspapers-dangerous-drug 

  15. Out of interest when do the debates start on tv for the election?

  16. Draco T Bastard 17

    More leaks from the TPPA negotiation. It seems that this time we’d get an ACT bill has been inserted without public discussion or even notification.

    • joe90 17.1

      Kelsey says the real risks lie in the cross-fertilisation of these ‘regulatory disciplines’ with other TPPA chapters. The ‘transparency’ chapter would guarantee foreign investors input into New Zealand regulatory decisions, while the ‘investment’ chapter could allow foreign investors to sue the government in private offshore tribunals if it proceeded with new regulations that eroded the investment’s value or profitability.

      Same old, ya reckon?

      • Draco T Bastard 17.1.1

        Yep, the Right Wing Authoritarians are trying to take us back to the bad old days.

  17. Colonial Viper 18

    Charlie Rose speaks to billionaire hedge fund founder Ray Dalio

    http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/11957

    Pretty good stuff, from one of the richest people in the world.

  18. Huginn 19

    I wish I could have written something like this:

    Everyone knows David Cameron is a lizard. So why does the Telegraph continue to deny the truth?
    Don’t just take my word for it. Ask all those who have seen the reptilian demon in action

    Last week, during the opening preamble to a fairly pedestrian whinge about glitzy BBC promo trails, I called Prime Minister David Cameron a “pitiless blank-eyed hell-wraith” and described his familiar evening ritual: a stomach-churning rite which opens with ceremonial skin-shedding and climaxes with the swallowing of a live foal.

    So far, so utterly reasonable. But Graeme Archer of the Daily Telegraph was less than impressed. In a riposte entitled “Charlie Brooker and the Tragedy of the Modern Left”, he wrote that he was appalled that “Mr. Brooker felt the need to spend four paragraphs to tell us that the Prime Minister is, in fact, a lizard [and] that he is served by lizards who aid him in the consumption of live flesh once the sun goes down.”

    read the rest here:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/oct/16/charlie-brooker-cameron-a-lizard

  19. Colonial Viper 20

    Wall St Banker calls OWS Protestor a Monkey

    The racist arrogance is breathtaking. Watch from 2 mins in.

    http://www.youtube.com/user/RussiaToday#p/u/9/lYL6DgfvosU

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