Open mike 24/10/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 24th, 2013 - 125 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy). Step right up to the mike…

125 comments on “Open mike 24/10/2013”

  1. amirite 1

    NSA accused of spying on Merkel’s phone
    Merkel made it clear that she found such practices “completely unacceptable”.
    But spying on an ordinary Joe Bloggs is acceptable?
    Ha ha.

    http://www.thelocal.de/national/20131023-52547.html

    • Tat Loo 1.1

      Merkel, formerly of East Germany, has helped run the German partner spying apparatus which works hand in glove with the NSA in mass surveillance. Therefore I have doubts that her surprise or indignation is particularly genuine.

      • Populuxe1 1.1.1

        Germany does it’s own spying too – they have two intelligence agencies.
        The situation is something like this http://i.imgur.com/GRIHIoX.png

      • Murray Olsen 1.1.2

        I think she could be genuine. There would have been a “gentleman’s” agreement not to spy on the leaders, and it will be this that the seppos have broken. With Key, they wouldn’t need to. He’s probably microchipped and hooked up via wireless to the American Embassy so he can show them proudly how well he serves their interests.

  2. Paul 2

    1% of New Zealanders buy Meridian shares.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11145160

    Mum and Dad investors?
    Parnell Mums and dads only…

  3. logie97 3

    Can anyone explain why New Zealand Post has to make millions of dollars in profit? Can’t this be an industry where Mr Micawber’s philosophy can be applied?

    • lanthanide 3.1

      It’s an SOE so is expected to make a profit and operate without a government subsidy.

      • Tat Loo 3.1.1

        Another way of putting that is that as an SOE the Government expects it to remove financial surplus from the private sector and from households, and transfer it over as financial surplus to the government sector.

      • logie97 3.1.2

        If it makes a $1.00 profit it doesn’t need a subsidy!!!

        • Lanthanide 3.1.2.1

          It’s expected to make a commercial return on assets. A $1 profit might be acceptable if the asset base was up to $10.

          • Tat Loo 3.1.2.1.1

            Who expects it? Why is it expected? Are these the economic conventions which serves NZ the best? And if not do they need to change? You don’t seem to be willing to scratch deeper Lanth.

            Perhaps NZ Post’s $16B of assets should just be sold off and put into a high yield speculative fund – that would make more electronic credits for the government than the piddly <3% return on assets it is doing now.

            • Lanthanide 3.1.2.1.1.1

              I’m answering the question. It doesn’t mean I agree with or support the answer, or even think the answer is ‘correct’.

              “Perhaps NZ Post’s $16B of assets should just be sold off and put into a high yield speculative fund – that would make more electronic credits for the government than the piddly <3% return on assets it is doing now."

              Think about what this would actually mean, for a minute. If you "sold off the assets", you are literally dismantling and disbanding NZPost. Sure, they might get a higher return on assets, but we wouldn’t have a postal service anymore.

              The point is to maximise a return on assets, while also providing a service.

              • logie97

                Glad you clarified that Lanth. I imagined for a moment there that you thought I came down in the last rain shower. NZ Post, just like schools, hospitals, police stations, the fire service quite possibly occupy a lot of land/buildings/plant. But who decreed they have to “maximise” their paper values. They could operate on a cost plus basis for decades yet.

                It was of course the Business Round Table who were influential in the sale of public assets and setting up the SOE’s. You may recall when this body of leaders (many of inherited wealth) was looking to privatise the Fire Services. The spokesperson was horrified to discover that fire-stations had night shifts that got their heads down for some zzzzz’s. It was anathema to them and they wanted the practice punished. In the meantime, while the knights slept, their considerable investments increased in trading value – without having to do a bit of work.

      • red rattler 3.1.3

        The point about SOEs as specified by the original privateers who ‘took over’ Labour in the 1980s is that they prove they can compete in the market.

        Then to be scavenged by privateers – cronies dressed up as mums and dads.

        State assets have to be 100% and under workers control before they can operate at cost as part of socialising production for need and not profits.

        How long before we see the Greens and Labour tell English that they will never buy back state assets and reward a bunch of parasites.

        Rather they will control prices to cost of production freezing dividends and then take them back when their private owners abandon them.

        How long? Just put it to the people and wait for the cheers.

    • karol 3.2

      Anonymous Herald editorial: rural deliveries maintained because those are the areas where Nats rely on votes.

      And this gem:

      Paper mail is by no means alone these days in its need to adapt to instant digital communications. But mail is handicapped by public ownership. If NZ Post had been in the private sector it would have stopped daily deliveries years ago and looked for services it could provide that more people might use.

      • ianmac 3.2.1

        Years ago when living in rural Gisborne ours was a Mon Wed Fri mail delivery. It seemed to be quite reasonable especially as the crate of milk bottles, and any other items were also delivered. A bit sorry for the town posties who would lose half their pay.

        • idlegus 3.2.1.1

          no thats not quote how it will work, posties will still be working 6 days a week, just halving the amount of work that needs doing, so thats why half the posties will lsoe their jobs. also, we changed to a new pay model where we get paid by volume, which is what the epmu is so pissed off about because they convinced posties to sign up to it believing it would save jobs, but now the govt are having it both ways, pay by volume & 3 day delivery. & typical, the day after the announcements posties have one of their biggest work days, delivering rates, which pretty much go to every householder!

          it seems to me these cuts will affect the shop staff the most, with these ‘self serving kiosks’ whatever the hell they are, you can see bryan roache go all dreamy talking about them.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.2

        And that bit tells you just what would happen to society if we left it to the private sector – it would collapse fairly quickly as the private sector shut down essential services to increase profit.

      • millsy 3.2.3

        Thank you, NZ Herald for finally admitting what everyone already knows. Services reduce under private ownership.

        • Rosie 3.2.3.1

          Folks, this Firstline interview with John Maynard, President of the Postal Workers Union, Southern Branch, explains more about that private sector influence on the service cuts proposed for mid 2015. One point in particular that John Maynard makes is that at the time NZ Post was in discussion with govt re reducing mail delivery to every second day, the PWU asked NZ Post to discuss repealing section 17 of the 1997 Postal Services Act, which allows for subsidies to be provided to private mail operators.

          There is a lot of relevant points made by John Maynard and is well worth a watch. The interview begins with Brian Roche, the C.E of NZ Post.

          http://www.3news.co.nz/Political-agenda-behind-NZ-Post-cuts—union/tabid/369/articleID/318583/Default.aspx

  4. phil 4

    Can you explain to me why Angela should be exempt from being spied upon? Every one else is fair game for the NSA. 😉 haha ha.

    • greywarbler 4.1

      Everything is ironic these days.
      The news this morning.
      Len Brown NZ wanting more respect for public figures’ private lives.
      Angela Merkel Germany wanting respect for privacy personal and national, from spying by a foreign agency.

  5. Tracey 5

    On beneficiary bashing and any other ideological or discrim viewpoint

    To borrow from a recently awarded author…

    his are the kind of beliefs that do not depend on empirical fact, and indeed, were often flatly disproved by it, though no disproof were ever enough to change his mind. E catton…

    equally applies the benefit bashers

    ” he had decided long ago that (insert hated group or ideology) were duplicitous, and so they woukd be, whatever disproof he might encounter.”

  6. is it just me..?

    ..or does that royal baby already have the air of an arrogant toff..?

    ..it’s in his eyes..

    ..if you don’t believe me..

    ..check it out..

    ..phillip ure..

    • miravox 6.1

      Nah, he’s a baby. All babies are like that. It’s not his fault who his parents are… now if he makes “bad choices” about the world owing him a living some time in the future, that’s a different.

      • phillip ure 6.1.1

        you mean..if he becomes ‘a benificiary’..?

        ..oh..!..hang on..!

        ..he already is/will be the biggest bennie-bludger of all..eh..?

        ..and no..i’ve had babies..

        ..they don’t all look like a chubby eton prefect looking down their nose..

        ..like i said..

        ..it’s all in his eyes..

        ..and ‘george’..?

        ..seriously..?

        ..phillip ure..

        • miravox 6.1.1.1

          “you mean..if he becomes ‘a benificiary’..?

          ..oh..!..hang on..!”

          Exactly

          they don’t all look like a chubby eton prefect looking down their nose”

          Maybe not, but when well-fed with clean nappies they usually look pretty comfortable with their lot.

        • Populuxe1 6.1.1.2

          How exactly does a baby look down its nose?

      • greywarbler 6.1.2

        miravox
        Totally agree. When they are little they are the king and queen. I want that, and I want it now.
        It’s as they grow that they have to learn to manage life to get what they want. And often too well.
        I have just been reading about bringing up children, education and the ideas of Kurt Hahn on education to grow into people who are capable etc with good qualities. (Interested – look for it in today’s open mike somewhere.)

    • The Al1en 6.2

      “is it just me..?
      ..or does that royal baby already have the air of an arrogant toff..?”

      “..it’s in his eyes..
      ..if you don’t believe me..”

      That’s just a bit sad, Philip. Going to have to go with chip on the shoulder bullsh*t overcoming common sense.

      “..and ‘george’..?
      .seriously..?”

      Curious, but still sad. 😆

  7. bad12 7

    Bill from Dipton, the Minister of Finance, announcing His National Government’s failure at last nights mid-evening press conference had the demeanor and look of one who has either been on a week long whiskey binge or has been on the losing end of a bitter, vicious fight over who from the Government would carry the can of announcing this flop of this Government’s flagship policy,

    Whats a just descriptive for a Prime Minister without the intestinal fortitude to front the media Himself, gutless coward???, quisling carpet-bagger???…

  8. richard 8

    Buried in the Dom Post section of the stuff website is this detail of wealth transfer from the public to the private:-

    ‘Pet project’ scholarship is under fire

    More than $11 million had been spent providing Aspire scholarship students with $16,500 a year in tuition fees and course-related costs. This is more than double the $7217 spent on an average student attending a state school.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/9319255/Pet-project-scholarship-is-under-fire

  9. Tat Loo 9

    Gifting Colin Craig a new North Shore seat
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11145147

    Also mentions Hooten being asked to stand for Act in Epsom.

    • weka 9.1

      “Also mentions Hooten being asked to stand for Act in Epsom.”

      That could be fun 😈

      • phillip ure 9.1.1

        @ hooten/epsom..

        ..why not..?

        ..his famous catch-cry ‘i have never eaten frozen peas!..only fresh for me..!’..(must be said with a prince george face on..)

        ..that could become his campaign slogan..eh..?

        ..he could reach out to/capture – the ‘no frozen peas for me!’-snob-vote..eh..?

        ..there’s a bit of that around epsom way..

        ..so i’m told..

        ..phillip ure..

        • weka 9.1.1.1

          Does that mean we can shoot peas at him?

          The two people I know who grew up in Epsom are anything but Toffs. Has the electorate changed alot (boundaries or socioeconomics)?

          • phillip ure 9.1.1.1.1

            with a bit of luck/good management..

            ..the frozen pea could well become an icon/metaphor of any hooten-campaign..

            ..seriously denting any ‘i am here for you all!’-message..(shudder..!..)

            ..and re epsom..?..that intersection of crowded roads..?

            ..i have always been puzzled by people being snobby about living in epsom..

            ..to me..it has always been a haven/dormitory-suburb for middle-managers..

            ..i mean..what has it got..?

            ..fucken newmarket..?

            ..spare me..!

            ..eh..?

            ..phillip ure..

          • Naturesong 9.1.1.1.2

            I also grew up in Epsom, as did my mother. My grandparents lived there from 1949 having returned from the UK after the war (long waiting lists for passage – grandfather worked on radar, and priority was given to those who were in the armed forces).

            The Epsom I grew up in voted National, the Labour party representing the common folk, which was considered right and proper.
            The change in Epsom as far as I can tell has been that it used to be predominantly middle class by way of culture, and is now middle class by way of money.

            • greywarbler 9.1.1.1.2.1

              naturesong
              Interesting point about class distinctions for political parties. It’s not what is best for NZ – it’s oh Labour are for the workers.

              I struck this from passerby when I handed out leaflets about Labour in street. This was after Labour had trickled on to the workers under the leadership of their Right Wing subversives. The idea about Labour was fixed in this man’s head and he was so patronising. Just a dopey thoughtless snob as so many NACTS are that I know of.

              • Naturesong

                I don’t know anyone of my generation (X) that believes this.
                Those few remaining souls that cling to this misconception will be gone with the baby boomer generation.

            • bad12 9.1.1.1.2.2

              Sounds like Naturesong has to hold it’s nose when differentiating the deserving middle class from the undeserving who have arrived there from god only knows what slum via having gathered together a pile of that filthy lucre,

              How dare the ‘uncultured’ pollute the rarified air of the born to the brass spoon culture of those who arrived there by birth…

              • greywarbler

                Vinegar dressing bad 12
                You look at bit green and ready to come out phantom fighting to have a joust when someone’s comment about their life doesn’t fit with your world opinion.

              • Naturesong

                I’m describing the culture of my family. This was the class system I was born into, in a country that does not have a class system.
                I do not apologise for my upbringing, it is simply my experience.

                How dare the ‘uncultured’ pollute the rarified air of the born to the brass spoon culture of those who arrived there by birth…

                I did encounter some of this attitude growing up, but it was normally it was articulated by those who were newly middle class.

                My family looked down upon those in the middle class that were lawyers and accountants and bankers, those that chose to grub around with money, poor things.
                As opposed to those who worked with their minds, academics, architects, mathematicians, chemists physicists, teachers. Also wierdly several generations of postmasters, apparantly a very highly regarded position.

                I don’t hold my nose for anyone, I do find those who talk about money, wealth or show it off to be poor company.

                Science, learning and discovery for its own sake, maths puzzles and word games we had instead of toys.
                At the dinner table we weren’t asked how our day was, but whether we had discovered some thing or learnt something new.

                My cultural heritage was also matriarchal, though my late grandmother was the last. It did not survive intact the german invasion in WWII.

                Interesting point about class distinctions for political parties. It’s not what is best for NZ – it’s oh Labour are for the workers

                This is still how my father votes. Which is strange since two things he despises are wanton polluters and corruption. However he is not able to deal with the cognitive dissonance so he shuts down most of his brain and votes National. And consoles himself with the mantra that “the other lot must be worse”.
                My primary reason for voting normally is to counteract his vote, though I am hopeful that in 2014 I may convince him to abstain and be able to have a vote which actually counts.

                We all come from somewhere. This is where I started.

    • millsy 9.2

      I have great concerns about CC and his Conservative Party. From where I am standing, they wish to combine neo-liberal economics with social conservatism, If this party is elected we will see:

      Replacement of welfare with faith based charity
      Removal (forced) of books about sex from our school libaries,
      End of sex education in school
      Evolution being thrown out of our schools
      Anything to do with evolution being defunded
      Withdrawl of any subsidy for contraception in the public health system
      Criminalistion of teenagers who have sex
      Purge of homosexuals from the teaching profession
      Funding cuts for state schools in favour of christian schools
      End of no fault divorce
      Permanent ban on abortion (Ireland style)
      Encouragement of victim blaming for rape
      Repeal of SSM law
      And a christian version of Sharia law.

      • greywarbler 9.2.2

        millsy
        That list shows a definitely unhealthy obssession with sex and taking control of people’s lives. Christianity tends to encourage the individual to freely come to Jesus and make the right moral decisions. And many of the rules are I think meant to be guidelines and have been taken out of context and turned into strictures.

        Shame on Colin Craig and all his add-ons. Lift your mindes and eyes from thinking about public (sic) areas and up to higher ideas such as showing kind and intelligent consideration and compassion of people’s travails in this confusing world. Follow Jesus’ teaching and reaching out to all.

        That will leave you little time for witch hunting, stoning, punishing, and enforcing people who don’t receive your less than gracious approval. Cleanse your mind of a mental obssession with these practices (see wikipedia): Bondage & Discipline, Domination & Submission, Sadism … Just turn your mind to loving your fellow human being in a Jesus way. And I think Jesus was a good sort. Don’t you Colin and Co?

      • Rogue Trooper 9.2.3

        strong words and a summary execution g.

      • Naturesong 9.2.4

        I wonder what his stance is on usury?

        Both the old and new testament are pretty explicit about it being a no no.

    • David H 9.3

      That was mentioned on last weeks Citizen A, The panel was the both of them. Was Interesting and Hooten even made sense.

  10. BLiP 10

    Trevor Mallard . . . calling Trevor Mallard . . . come in, Trevor Mallard, you’re time is up.

  11. bad12 11

    Now it would seem would be a good time for the New Zealand Herald to re-brand itself so as to reflect the true nature of that shoddy rags political bias and leaning, the National Party NZHerald would seem more appropriate,

    Audrey Young would have to win a ‘Golden Turd Award’ along with another for the Herald with today’s analysis of the politics of re-electing a National Government for a third term in 2014,

    Centered around what appears to be the certainty of a ‘new’ electorate taking in parts of Auckland’s North Shore Young waxes long and lyrical on the chances of the Conservatives Colin Craig winning such a new electorate seat and thus providing the prop necessary to enable a third term for this National Government,

    Recent polls mean nothing to Young as She wanders through the realms of fantasy talking up Craig as the savior of National despite current polling pointing out that for any 1% of support Craig can gather to His Conservatives there will be a corresponding loss of support from one of the Parties of the right, ACT having been bled dry over recent elections only leaves one party from which Craig’s Conservatives can cannibilize any amount of voter support to feature in numbers in the next Parliament, that Party of course is National itself, welcome to the right wing dog chasing it’s own tail,

    The best i can add in support of the Heralds hiring practice as far as political journalists goes is to suspect them of hiring dumbies with deliberation and the only comment which saved this particular National Party advertorial from being at best a mediocre disgrace was the comment attributed to NZFirst’s Winston Peters apparently asked to comment on the Conservatives,

    ”Elephants don’t run round the forest stomping on ants”, unquote Winston Peters…

  12. Chooky 12

    From Morning Report…..a report out concludes that software will be NZ’s biggest export earner in the next few years….the only thing holding it back is not enough skilled NZ workers!…(imo this should be easily remedied at high school and govt level)

    …..pretty optimistic report and all the more reason TPPA should not be signed if it means signing away copyright and NZ’s high tech furture…

  13. Chooky 13

    Thanks BLiP….very interesting link…..(probably I phrased above wrong ….I meant resisting signing whatever US corporates want NZ to adhere to regards copyright…thereby undermining NZ’s future development re tech industry)

  14. BLiP 14

    Heh! From one of the more on-to-it Failfax reporters, Kirsty Johnston:

    . . . [National Ltd™ MP for Rodney, Mark] Mitchell told Fairfax Media yesterday that he had heard rumours, and they had been widespread within the National Party for two years . . .

    nekminnit

    . . . Mitchell called Fairfax back today to clarify that the “scuttlebutt” was not neccessarily within the National Party, but was circulating more generally – at events and in passing remarks.

    He said he had never talked to a member of Brown’s “camp”. He clarified that Webster was not a member of the Brown camp, but an independent Auckland councillor.

    “I have never had any contact with anyone in Len Brown’s campaign team and any comment I made to Penny, whom I have contact with in my role as MP for Rodney, was a very generic throwaway line about politicians and skeletons in the closet” . . .

    . . . the plot thickens.

    • Tat Loo 14.1

      It wasn’t a DELIBERATE National MP warning to Len Brown and his team!!!

      It was simply a casual THROWAWAY LINE to an independent city councillor.

      Someone please pass me a Tui.

    • Pascal's bookie 14.2

      “was a very generic throwaway line about politicians and skeletons in the closet” . . .”

      that’s different from what was reported yseterday. Yesterday the report was that he’d said the whaleoil was going to run astory. That was the rumour.

      Read his comments now and he’s trying to gie the impression that he talked obiquely about the affair, which he hardly knew anything about other than what everyone knew.

  15. Morrissey 15

    The Hall of Hogwash

    Exhibit No. 5: JIM MORA

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    “Without bashing poverty, ahhhh, you are saying that there is a demographic that is becoming poor because of addiction and alcohol issues…. uh, again, we’re not trying to bash people in poverty, but, uh, is there merit in making people more accountable for the money they make?”

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    —Jim Mora, The Panel, Radio NZ National, Wednesday 23 October 2013

    hogwash, n. 1. Worthless, false, or ridiculous speech or writing; nonsense; 2. Garbage fed to hogs; swill
    hypocrisy, n. 1. the practice of professing standards, beliefs, etc., contrary to one’s real character or actual behaviour, esp. the pretence of virtue and piety; 2. an act or instance of this

    More hogwash….
    No. 4 JIM MORA: “The United States has been a bulwark against totalitarianism, hasn’t it.”
    No. 3 JOHN KERRY: “The best way to give these negotiations a chance is to keep them private.”
    http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Kerry-prolongs-trip-set-to-meet-Abbas-in-Ramallah-320386
    
No. 2 DAVID CAMERON: “We never support, in countries, the intervention by the military.”
    
No. 1 BARACK OBAMA: “Madiba’s moral courage…people standing up for what’s right….aaaahhhh, the yearning for justice and dignity…”

  16. greywarbler 16

    A NZ education entity conducting outdoor activities that are either compulsory or very hard to get out of, is fined a little for conducting an activity badly, negligently and ignorantly in dangerous conditions and the most dangerous way it could. Three people died, one a supposedly trained adult who should have been trained to Level 2 instead of Level 1 (though that would only make a difference if he was authorised to cancel if conditions were unsuitable). Two youngsters also died who were in the care of these careless people. The charge should have been manslaughter.

    If parents do harm to their children, who they are bound to care for on a 24 hours basis, they are questioned, sanctioned, receive punishment. These education bods, who have the care of children for only a short time – and can choose to continue or to decide on alternative safe activity, or to return the youngsters to their parents and caregivers – receive a slap on the wrist.

    The police showed more concern for their members when they did not allow them to go down the Pike mine. Apparently children, in the hands of these outdoor education n.zis, are disposable. And deaths have happened before when parents were forced to allow their children to take part. There was one kayaking case and possibly others. It is a disgrace that outdoor education is elevated to a sacred ritual and children are allowed to be sacrificed to it.

    Interesting to read one of the ancients on training of children.
    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/plutarch-education.asp
    Ancient History Sourcebook: Plutarch:
    The Training of Children, c. 110 CE

    Is this attitude to physical training of children influenced by the Spartan model?
    The Spartans were famous for the fearsome training regime (agôgê) that they put all of their citizens through from age seven until they were aged about thirty, with the goal of making them ideal citizens and soldiers. The boys slept in a mess hall, on crude straw mats, and were given only a single garment, a cloak, to wear. They were trained to tolerate hunger and endure pain and physical discomfort, including being ritually beaten, and undertook physical exercise and training in the ancient martial arts.
    http://philosophy-of-cbt.com/2013/05/08/how-spartan-were-the-stoics/

    The beliefs expressed in the education of youngsters by Kurt Hahn (from the time that Outward Bound began) are worth reading.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Hahn
    Hahn’s values: concern and compassion for others, the willingness to accept responsibility, and concern and tenacity in pursuit of the truth. Punishment of any kind is viewed as a last resort.
    Also his Six Declines of modern youth and
    Ten Expeditionary principles

    Also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outdoor_education

    • richard 16.1

      gw, do you prefer punishment over rehabilitation?

      • greywarbler 16.1.1

        richard
        What are we talking about? That question is open ended? Rehabilitation for whom after what?

        Prevention is best so no necessity for rehabilitation. Punishment is not wrong, it however needs to be appropriate to the fault. It is better to make reparation the main response, rather than make punishment loom large.

        Other thoughts. I don’t approve of forgiveness as a satisfactory way to react to a fault though it is a way that people may adopt to lessen the pain and hurt and ensuring it doesn’t turn to hate which is self-destructive.

        It is better than living with hate to the wrongdoer, but I think change to prevent the fault recurring and a lifetime of reparation – striving to create good things in the community would be a better aim, then result in forgiveness.

  17. Morrissey 17

    Alan Seay and Willem de Lange ride roughshod over Kathryn Ryan
    These radio “interviews” were as hopeless as it gets

    National Radio, Wednesday 23 October 2013

    Aficionados of crap television may recall a risible late Sunday night Prime TV special from 2008, a totally bogus “debate” about Global Warming. Two meek and exceedingly diffident scientists were on one side, i.e. the side of science, and were “opposed” by a rogue earth-scientist from Waikato University called Willem de Lange and believe it or not…. (you might want to sit down)…. NewstalkZB’s house clown, mad conspiracy theorist and science denier Leighton Smith, the closest thing this country has to Glenn Beck. The “chairman” of this travesty was Eric Young, a sports announcer.

    Leighton Smith dominated the show. He did perhaps 70 per cent of the talking—or more precisely, shouting, scoffing and snarling—and continually interrupted whenever one of the two scientists tried to speak. They were obviously unprepared for anything like this; indeed, why should they have had to expect they would be confronted with anyone so deranged? Occasionally Smith’s “team mate” Willem de Lange started to speak, but Smith would almost always cut him off in order to resume ranting at the two shell-shocked scientists. Eric Young, who, remember, was supposed to be the “chairman”, looked baffled and unhappy throughout; possibly he was cursing whatever genius of a producer had landed him this gig.
    It was a real low-point in New Zealand television history, right down there with Paul Holmes’s instruction to viewers to “prepare to go ballistic” at Māori [1], Helen Clark’s hopelessly inept hatchet man Brian Edwards going after Lynley Hood [2], and Andy Haden’s malignant “three darkies” allegation on Murray Deaker’s horror show. [3]

    Of course, most of those involved on this late Sunday night black comedy deserved condemnation: the producers for even thinking of having Leighton Smith on to talk about something he knew nothing about; the two scientists for being so naïve as to expect Prime TV to have organized something serious; Willem de Lange for not only being a rogue scientist, but for letting himself be upstaged by a complete ignoramus; and of course Eric Young for his Joubertian failure to control a willful and cynical saboteur. Only Leighton Smith is beyond criticism; to chide him for hijacking a TV show and behaving like a halfwit would be like scolding an enraged elephant for going loco. It’s simply what he does.

    So anyone who remembered that show will have been interested to learn yesterday that Kathryn Ryan’s producer had lined up Willem de Lange, the scientist who let Leighton Smith do all the talking, to comment on the Greenpeace oil spill report.[4] Before de Lange’s comments on the report, they brought on another “expert”, one Alan Seay, who is none other than the corporate affairs manager for the Texas oil giant Anadarko. Seay’s comments were possibly even more insulting and scurrilous than John Key’s were later in the day. Although de Lange was milder in tone, his mission was obviously to undermine the credibility of Greenpeace; sadly for him, he was about as authoritative and convincing as he was when he acted as understudy to Loopy Leighton five years before.

    And that was that. There was no contradiction, or challenge, or demand for clarification. All that National Radio listeners were served up were two highly biased, extreme views by a rogue scientist and a savagely on-message corporate executive, both allowed to say anything they liked by an interviewer who was incapable of testing them. There are any number of credible, non-aligned, rigorous scientific commentators in this country. Instead we were subjected to Alan Seay and Willem de Lange.

    The decline in quality and integrity of Radio New Zealand National is now at a critical point.

    ……………..
    [1] Holmes’s rant was condemned at the time but was not mentioned by the likes of Brian Edwards in the eulogies for the great man earlier this year ….
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=3006313
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=3526611
    [2] http://www.peterellis.org.nz/docs/2003/HoodComplaint/index.htm
    [3] http://www.theroar.com.au/2010/05/28/crusaders-slam-hadens-racial-claims/
    [4] http://www.greenpeace.org/new-zealand/en/reports/New-Zealand-Oil-Spill-Report/

    • Rogue Trooper 17.1

      Madness in great ones must not unwatched go (though this be madness, yet there be method in it) 😀

    • i sometimes wonder about ryan..

      ..she is on record confessing she ‘watches far too much fox’…

      ..that is the only explanation i can come up with..

      ..osmosis/seepage..?

      ..and yeah..that uncritical arse-kissing of those two oil-pimps..

      ..that you refer to..

      ..was a nadir of sorts for both ryan and nat-rad….

      ..i’m surprised ryan didn’t finish with a rousing round of:

      ..’drill baby drill!’..

      ..phillip ure..

  18. risildowgtn 18

    This secret crap has to bloomin well stop by ALL parties

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9321684/Secret-bill-to-fix-mistake

    Hell will we ever have a fully transparent GOVT?

    • richard 18.1

      A backstairs deal has been sewn up to ensure the legislation has the support of both Labour and the Greens. Neither party would reveal any details last night.

      WTF?

      • Pascal's bookie 18.1.1

        Implies it’s a drafting stuff up, which if left as is could result in court cases being lost.

        Think of it as being like a software manufacturer spotting a vulnerability before a hacker exploits it, and closing it. I really doubt it’s anything else. Only interest is, what did they stuff up?

        • Pete 18.1.1.1

          Sloppy work. I wonder if the original bill this is amending had the benefit of scrutiny in select committee, or was rammed through under urgency.

          • risildowgtn 18.1.1.1.1

            http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9321684/Police-bill-to-fix-mistake

            Seems they were incorrectly sworn in…….

            Hope they havent arrested anyone if that is the case…….

            • McFlock 18.1.1.1.1.1

              [facepalm]

              So did they arbitrarily think they could do it, or did the commissioner incorrectly believe those powers could be delegated? Why so few over 4 years – when do officers actually take the oath?

              • RJL

                It only seems to have affected officers returning to the police force.

                So, presumably the police have managed to correctly administer the oath for new officers. Also, they may have accidentally got it right for some returning officers. The 63 fraudulent officers are just the ones sworn wrong.

                • aerobubble

                  New officers are sworn in at Police Training School and so were done correctly.
                  previously the swearing in was done quite liberally. But changes were made.
                  But it seems something similar had happened before and legislation had to be
                  introduced to clear it up, so its quite shocking that the problem would arise again.
                  The problem is that Police central command did not authorize under the act person suitable to carry out the oath and so Police winged it as they thought the old liberal way was still, I mean think about it last year you gave the oath, so why not this year.

                  Its not the first time or the last time national have waste parliamentary time fixing up their poorly managed legislation.

                  • RJL

                    I agree that is probably exactly how it has happened — local police have just muddled through without being aware that the rules have changed.

                    And now someone has checked what exactly a particular police role is authorised to do (say a new person in that role?) and thus A Cock Up has been discovered.

    • Daveosaurus 18.2

      I am waiting to see what the reaction this retrospective validation will be, on the part of certain of the local trolls…

  19. veutoviper 19

    PARLIAMENT TO GO INTO URGENCY TODAY TO PASS A SECRET BILL TO FIX MISTAKE

    Sorry for the caps, but this just up on Stuff

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9321684/Secret-bill-to-fix-mistake

    No-one is saying what the bill is about but something to do with the Police.

    The House will go into urgency immediately after Question Time to pass all stages of the bill over the next 24 hours.

    On the up side, this means that the TICS Bill will now not go through its third reading this afternoon and this will now not take place until the House sits in Nov as they are in a one week recess next week.

    Ooops, see it is already up above.

  20. bad12 20

    From RadioNZ National news at Noon, Greenpeace are saying that charges of piracy have been dropped against it’s activists held in Russia, they will now be charged with Hooliganism a lesser but still jail-able crime,

    GreenPeace will defend the new charges…

    • greywarbler 20.1

      Hooliganism – a Russian word? The Irish should have put a trademark on it. It seems to be used quite a lot these days in the Soviets. How are the pop singers getting on. They are brave to stand up to the state.

    • ianmac 20.2

      The hooliganism charges will bring a 7 year sentence rather than a 10 year sentence. The Dutch will still sue in the international court for wrongful seizure on the high sea.

  21. bad12 21

    Bill from Dipton, the Minister of Finance is now said to be challenging Labour/Green/NZFirst/Mana to buy back the part sold assets in what seems a bizaare admission that He will no longer be part of a Government after November 2014,

    Fair enough Bill, what we would need tho is one hell of a punitive ‘Bill English Tax’ to raise the necessary capital, hmmm, 70 cents in the dollar for the top 2% of the economy should just about do it, careful what you demand Bill you might just end up providing the steel in the Opposition camp which spurs them into doing it,

    Russell Norman talking more sense than most as usual has pointed out to Bill that because of the shonky ‘creative accounting’ being indulged in by Slippery’s Government the Government acounts are going to be an unknown pile of debt until such time as the Opposition take over the Treasury Benches,

    My opinion is that Russell is right on the money there, He can bank on the fact that when said books are opened there isn’t going to be any, money that is…

  22. risildowgtn 22

    Just been perusing the 2013 MP’s (perks) expenses

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1310/S00243/ministers-expenses-1-july-2013-to-30-september-2013.htm

    This has to stop

    For the 1 July 2013 to 30 September 2013 period

    Nearly a million $ from National alone

  23. ScottGN 23

    So Treasury thinks it’s a good idea to introduce a Capital Gains Tax and restrictions on foreign buyers as measures to curb rising house prices. They must be counting the days until we get rid of this useless bloody government just like the rest of us.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11145624

    • aerobubble 23.1

      Peak in oil means what? Well housing needs to be near employment, as the cost of car use increases it stands to reason that more investment is needed to bring work closer to sprawling suburbs, intensify existing suburbs and build public transport systems. Or turn its over, around, and ask hwy housing? Why did the tenements houses get built? employers wanted employees near factories. In the modern economy we need home owners to move to where the work is. During cheap oil it was necessary to have a much more active housing market, so facilitating moving, buy out of the housing and then buying back in. But with the internet, even with the understanding of local supply of food is actually going to increase, and with the higher cost of transport, and high cost of housing in build warmer, dry homes, etc. The question has to be asked where’s the leadership, because National belief that we about to return to the brighter future of growth is just not, realistic.

      Now the treasury wants CGT on homes, that would be far worse on the ability of employees to move to where the work is. Just as introducing a deposit on home buyers has been. Lowering the demand for homes has the negligent effect on the ability of employers to source from a large pool of staff, as the cost of moving home is increased. So WTF is National thinking, and the Treasury? A CGT is required to bring down prices and no CGT on the family homes is required to keep mobility up.

      But hey, National and the economic NZ press are stupid, they don’t get why we need savers in NZ, small savers need a deposit guarantee, but National screwed the deposit guarantee by extending it to finance companies. Why is it so hard for our chattering classes to understand why the world has these policies, and why they can so easily be allowed to get away with the idea that we cannot afford it. Its clear that we cannot afford NOT to introduce a deposit guarantee, a basic non-taxable income band, a CGT tax but not on the family home. Its just makes so much sense to be in lock step with other comparable nations, and stop funneling the wealth into the hands of oversea investors.

  24. McFlock 24

    Rental housing healthy homes bill drawn from ballot.
    Good policy.

    • risildowgtn 24.1

      Good.

      I dont rent but some of the places my friends rent are not @ all IMO suitable to rent out

      This is long overdue

    • ScottGN 24.2

      This is great news. Let’s hope Twyford can build a majority for the bill across the House.

  25. chris73 25

    Auckland Mayor Len Brown will retain his position as honorary president of a family values organisation despite his extra-marital affair with a woman 25 years his junior.

    – You couldn’t make this stuff up

    Alan Brookbanks – the council’s human resources director – is also the chairman of the board of the organisation.

    – Always good to keep on the right side of your boss

  26. johnm 26

    “The essence of neoliberalism can be reduced to the following: government should be used exclusively
    to help big business and the wealthy with tax cuts, subsidies, privatizations, anti-labor laws, etc., while all government programs that help working and poor people should be eliminated. It’s really that simple. “

    • joe90 26.1

      The maths that saw the US shutdown coming.

      Can a new mathematical model predict the endgame of empires? Peter Turchin says his work shows why the US is in crisis, and what will happen next

      […]

      The richest continue to become richer: as in many complex systems, whether in nature or in society, existing advantage feeds back positively to create yet more. The rest of the elite fight it out, with rival patronage networks battling ever more fiercely. “There are always ideological differences, but elite overproduction explains why competition becomes so bitter, with no one willing to compromise,” Turchin says. This means the squabbling in Congress that precipitated the current shutdown is a symptom of societal forces at work, rather than the primary problem.

      In Turchin’s theory, such political acrimony is paralleled by rising discontent among workers left with less and less, and increasing state bankruptcy as spending by the elite who control the government coffers spirals. Ultimately, the situation gets so bad that order cannot be maintained and the state collapses. A new cycle begins.

      • Tat Loo 26.1.1

        Ultimately, the situation gets so bad that order cannot be maintained and the state collapses.

        And that’s an excellent reason to have all your own citizens under surveillance, federalise the state national guard, and to operate drones and paramilitary units throughout the country.

      • joe90 26.1.2

        Turchin elaborates.

        It is no coincidence that the life of Communism (from the October Revolution in Russia in 1917 to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989) coincides almost perfectly with the Great Compression era. The Red Scares of, firstly, 1919—21 and then 1947—57 suggest that US elites took the Soviet threat quite seriously. More generally, the Soviet Union, especially in its early years, aggressively promoted an ideology that was highly threatening to the political-economic system favoured by the US elites. Reforms that ensured an equitable distribution of the fruits of economic growth turned out to be a highly effective counter to the lure of Bolshevism.

        Nevertheless, when Communism collapsed, its significance was seriously misread. It’s true that the Soviet economy could not compete with a system based on free markets plus policies and norms that promoted equity. Yet the fall of the Soviet Union was interpreted as a vindication of free markets, period. The triumphalist, heady atmosphere of the 1990s was highly conducive to the spread of Ayn Randism and other individualist ideologies. The unwritten social contract that had emerged during the New Deal and braved the challenges of the Second World War had faded from memory.

        http://www.aeonmagazine.com/living-together/peter-turchin-wealth-poverty/

        • greywarbler 26.1.2.1

          That’s what I’ve been saying. Now the USA has no moral constraints, and puts up Christian billboards along its Avenues to hide the poverty of mind behind.

    • Draco T Bastard 26.2

      +1

  27. chris73 27

    Mind you considering his past comments I guess its not surprising…

  28. Richard Down South 28

    http://yro.slashdot.org/story/13/10/23/1517237/aca-health-exchange-contractors-have-history-of-security-failures

    Is this the same Serco that has had massive issues in the UK, and is running our private prisons? I’d wager so

  29. Morrissey 29

    Chris Trotter has got his mojo back
    But not such good news about a couple of others

    The Panel, Radio NZ National, Thursday 24 October 2013
    Jim Mora, Michael Deaker, Chris Trotter

    PART ONE OF TWO

    In the lead-up to this show, host Jim Mora said they would be discussing “the ethical question of drones versus poison gas”. No sign of any such discussion in the first half of the program; instead, they talk with Brian Gaynor of Milford Asset Management about the National Government’s catastrophic (for the National Government) failure to flog off the publicly owned Meridian Power for more than the lowest possible price. Michael Deaker has no patience for Bill “Double Dipton” English‘s ridiculous claim that Labour and the Greens have “sabotaged” the flog-off and that the poor will suffer. Deaker slams the hapless Double Dipper’s rhetoric as “crass”.

    .….4:30 news…..

    After the news and weather, the gorgeous harmonies of Simon and Garfunkel play for twenty seconds or so. This is to introduce the next topic, some study that has found what music is best for soothing hurt feelings. Pop music is best, apparently, then classical (Beatles, Stones), then rock, then “indie”. Best tunes to lift the spirits of the depressed are “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, “Angels” by Robbie Williams and “Easy” by the Commodores. That’s odd, because whenever I hear Robbie Williams, I want to kill myself. Unless Robbie Williams himself were to be in striking distance, of course.

    JIM MORA: What would our Panelists like to talk about? Michael Deaker on the program, along with Chris Trotter. Michael, what’s on your mind today?

    Michael Deaker has a pleasant chat about how well behaved today’s Otago University students are. Contrary to what Family Fist and the S.S. Trust keep saying, kids are getting better. He scorns the dishonest nostalgia about the policeman in the old days who used to give kids a clip over the ear. “We had a bobby on a bike when I was a kid, but he was an old buffoon who everybody laughed at.”

    MORA: Ha ha ha ha ha! Michael Deaker on the Panel! Chris Trotter with him! Chris, what have you been thinking about?
    CHRIS TROTTER: Yes, well, I’d just like to draw your attention to the sentencing of TOPEC. The judge did not fine them! And even one of the families lamented the actual dealing out of justice. We do seem to give a pass to these sorts of organizations which we wouldn’t give to anyone else. Three young people died there. Then there were the five young people who died in the central North Island a few years before that. The people running these places should have faced the closing of their operation. I just wish New Zealanders were as absolutely keen on building the intellectual ability of their kids as they are on the physical. These outdoor activities like shooting down chasms and abseiling—-I’ve NEVER SEEN what that does for anybody apart from scaring them witless. It’s extreme and dangerous and should be closed. The judge says he wasn’t going to fine them. Well, I think you should have, Judge! There is a price everyone pays. I think we’re too fond of giving a pass to such organizations.

    After some recent ethical lapses by Trotter, this was a welcome speech. This was the Chris Trotter we expect to hear: clear, forthright and moral. Obviously, if he was in this frame of mind, he was not going to say anything depraved or idiotic in the Gas versus Drones discussion.

    There would, however, be more depravity and moral idiocy on display during the next five minutes than you’d find at an ACT Party fundraiser, a Destiny Church march or a S.S. Trust rally. It came from a couple of people, one of them a professor of legal ethics…..

    END OF PART ONE.

  30. karol 30

    Matt McCarten Radio Live Today – select 14.45 today – claims Jason Ede is the Nat’s black ops person, who orchestrated the Cam Slater, Brown smear. MMcM alleges that JE ghost writes for KB & WO blogs.

    Matthew Hooton hits the roof in response.

    Curious, because on Citizen A tonight, Selwyn Manning & Chris Trotter reckoned there was stuff known to the MSM journalists, and stuff SM & CT know also, that the MSM can’t publish because they have no definite proof – also to do with Nat’s machinations over the Len Brown smear.

    So, I am curious to know what so many others know, so I can try to judge the truth of it.

    Jason Ede? Far fetched?

    • Pascal's bookie 30.1

      “Steady Eddy.”

    • Anne 30.2

      … the MSM can’t publish because they have no definite proof – also to do with Nat’s machinations over the Len Brown smear.

      @ karol

      The most interesting comment to come out of that conversation was Selwyn Manning’s reference to … “the police should look into it” or words to that effect. From my own previous experiences, that suggests to me things like… illegal eavesdropping, searching of personal records without authority, and other variants of spying practices by individuals who may not be lawfully authorised to carry out such activity.

      I suspect Mr. Key’s top drawer might be bulging – but no questions would have been asked of course.

    • lprent 30.3

      He appeared to be all over the blogs maybe 4 years ago.

  31. Tat Loo 31

    OK I’ve just come back from a Labour type meeting where raising the retirement age to 67 was discussed (again), on the basis that it would make our super system “sustainable”.

    This remit is, politely put, a load of hogwash. The sustainability justification for it is based on a number of false premises.

    I’m going to repeat this ad nauseum between now and Conference in the hope that some people will figure it out.

    1) NZ Super is paid out in NZ dollars. NZD are merely highly accepted IOUs which can be traded for goods and services. The NZ Government is the sole creator of NZ dollars in the world. Therefore, the NZ Government need never run out of NZ dollars to pay NZ super with. If it wishes, it is fully capable of paying out NZ Super at age 65 without any fiscal limitations, no matter how big the baby boom bulge is.

    2) We are entering an economy where while there is plenty of work to be done, there will be less and less of it structured in paid jobs. Today, workers noticeably out number jobs. And I expect this trend to worsen. The last thing we need is to swell the numbers looking for work with those aged 66, 67 while up to 30% of our young people are unemployed. We need to be giving people the option to move on from the workforce, not try and keep them there (when there aren’t enough jobs around anyway).

    3) The real question around “sustainability” is whether or not we will have an economy with the level of real resources and productivity to deliver the standard of living and care which will be required by our retired citizens. No one is asking this question and it is the only relevant question.

    Bottom line: raising the retirement age weakens the NZ social security system, and the rationale for doing so (‘financial sustainability’) is underpinned by false assumptions. Labour – do NOT raise the retirement age, if you are going to do anything with the age, REDUCE it.

    As a note – if Stephen Joyce says that there is no problem keeping the retirement age at 65 but Labour is keen as mustard to raise it, something is very, very wrong.

    • xtasy 31.1

      “The NZ Government is the sole creator of NZ dollars in the world. Therefore, the NZ Government need never run out of NZ dollars to pay NZ super with. If it wishes, it is fully capable of paying out NZ Super at age 65 without any fiscal limitations, no matter how big the baby boom bulge is.”

      Yes and no, this is childlike economics and fiscals, even I as a socialist find this a bit simplistic, no this would not work like this, unless you change the rest of the world to sing from the same song sheet. I am waiting for that, have been for 20 or so years. Learn fiscal and economic realities before you post such naive stuff, please. Printing money is not a solutions, it can be at times, but not like this, stupid!

  32. xtasy 32

    This is a message to NZ students, to “bad12” and those that like to get at me, as I admittedly express serious frustration and disappointment with the lack of action and activity in New Zealand, and me having called a lot of New Zealanders “cowards”! I stand by my position, and NZ and people here, especially students and workers leave a lot to be desired and better learn, wake up and take bloody action.

    We have experiences in Chile and other countries worth studying, and I recommend this following video from Al Jazeera:

    “Fault Lines: Chile Rising”:

    If you want a failed education system, and that is what this government is pursuing, under Key and gang, and by one corrupt and lying John Banks and his despiccable ACT Party, look at this.

    Viva Chile, viva la revolution Chileno, and that is a lesson of history to learn, and I do not need to be told by Kiwis here, about my rants, my anger, and so forth. I see failure on the left here, a lack of action, a lack of competency and more, and you can disprove me by taking action and do what is needed! I am waiting for your action, not just relying on a new Labour leader, to do the job for you. Get going. I made a point and decision, I am now taking at least 2 and a half hours a week, to go out, to put up a sign, and to take a stand and protest.

    I suggest every individual with genuine concern do the same, and society will chance. Sitting at home, in front of a computer, consulting the keyboard may be ok, but it is likely to change fuck all.

    Good luck! X

    • bad12 32.1

      Yes well if you call people cowards and stupid i am sure they will be rushing to join you on the barricades, Lolz viva la X revolution,

      The little movie script in my head titled ‘In the shadow of Che’ the sun strikes X as he exhorts his mass movement of followers with cries of ‘cowards’ and idiots’ to storm the local WINZ office peacefully in a revolutionary manner overpowering the forces of evil in the form of the lone security guard,

      Lolz, have fun on the front line X,don’t forget to get lots of sleep…

  33. tricledrown 33

    Making kiwi saver compulsory and refunding the cullen fund capital gains tax land tax would ensure sustainability.
    Their will be less work less jobs
    New technology will see to that.
    Michael Cullen’s two initiatives showed Hey understood the needs of New Zealands future.
    While Key English Joyce do nothing aproach are guaranteeing a future of poverty.

    • Tat Loo 33.1

      You can make KiwiSaver compulsory, but you need structures which prevent Wall St from using the resulting billions to make bets with. Fund management by the NZ Government is the way ahead.

    • xtasy 33.2

      There should be no Kiwi Saver, as it undermines solidarity and the true social agenda. There should be ONE super scheme and none, else, and in this I even give Winston some credit re what he has thought out.

      Kiwi Saver allows people to “individualise” retirement income, and that means division, and it will lead to divison, like “I paid my share”, “you did not”, kind of thing. I fear that is what most want, but it will only add to social division, and not provide for truly collective care and solutions. But then again, I know, Labour do not want a truly “social” scheme anyway, and so they are “Soft Nats” after all, no matter what smart talk. Exposed again!

  34. xtasy 34

    No revolution or change will work without cultural inspiration, eg. with sprited popular music:

    Ilapu – Vuelvo, home coming, spirited song:

    This is amongst some of the best from Chile, way back and so, but what else can you ask for.

    All talk about some deals in NZ government, share sales, this and that, corruption, all that may work to convince the electorate for a change. But the damned “electorate” will not change much in “mindset”, most are ignorant ill informed and indifferent about most, only interested in self promotion.

    I am waiting for a RADICAL awakening and change in the mentality in NZ, otherwise we will just continue the every so often change from one to the other, back to the other, kind of bull shit, and that is what Labour are working on again right now. I have NO trust in them and will vote Green or further LEFT.

    Best of wishes and luck, THINK, please, if you can bother, please!

    But we NEED music and CULTURE to make things work, without that there is NO spirit, not one for change at all anyway. Listen!

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    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    4 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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