Open mike 25/04/2023

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 25th, 2023 - 92 comments
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Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

92 comments on “Open mike 25/04/2023 ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    Not a big ANZAC day fan personally. The day realistically could have ceased being marked when last ANZAC died…

    It has been a cynical exercise in jingoism for years now, hooking younger people into war being a respected sacrifice, feel good even, narrative–NZ Defence and 5 Eyes machinations lurking in the shadows. WWI was an inter imperialist war that slaughtered working class people in huge numbers totally unnecessarily.

    The self righteous celebrators of war even got the Gallipoli numbers wrong for many years until around 2013. NZ troop participation was almost twice greater than quoted throughout the 20th century. So NZ and Australian casualty percentages were actually similar. (no relief to the bereaved descendants).'s-true-gallipoli-numbers-revealed

    nb. My uncle was blown to bits at Monte Casino, 1944 in WWII. He is recorded in the Auckland War Memorial Museum records and name on the wall. WWII was the anti fascist war that a number of leftists did support.

    • Bearded Git 1.1

      Agree Tiger. There is too much glorification of war in the ANZAC day ceremonies for me. Ukraine shows the true horror of war.

      My dad fought in WW2-in fact he was on the HMS Belfast which was a WW2 cruiser and has now been preserved on the Thames in London as a floating museum operated by the Imperial War Museum.

      • gsays 1.1.1

        One person's glorification is another's sombre remembrance.

        My Uncle served in Malaya, came back a profoundly changed man. He would have been at the cenotaph in Feilding today with the RSA contingent. Unfortunately, strokes and a heart attack have him laid up in hospital and unlikely to leave.

        A good turnout this morning, hopefully some of the many youngsters there can question their parents when the 'China bad' war drums start beating…

      • Hunter Thompson II 1.1.2

        I visited HMS Belfast when in London in 1990 – a very interesting exhibit.

        I guess we will always need a defence force because extremist clowns like Hitler, Stalin and Putin keep on turning up (China's leader seems to have expansionist ideas too).

        Its always the politicians who get us into the mess, but the young men who do the fighting. Possibly WW II could have been averted had Neville Chamberlain stood up to Hitler, but England and the French had lost an entire generation in the Great War so they were desperate to avoid more conflict. As a result, Chamberlain gave in to a series of German territorial demands.

    • Ngungukai 1.2

      Likewise my grandfather was one of the few New Zealander's to get off Gallipolli alive, fought at Chunnuck Bair with the Wellington Mounted Rifles, he lost both his brother's in France & Belgium in WW1.

      Then we lost an Uncle in WW2 flying Wellington bombers out of El Alamien, disappeared over Palermo, Sicily, to this day he or the wreckage has never been found.

    • Corey 1.3

      You're not supposed to be a fan of Anzac day or war it's meant to be a somber day where we reflect on the mistakes of the past and the horrors of war and the many, many many dead.

      We will never get rid of Anzac day.

      Anzac day is not pro war, They say least we forget so we don't repeat the mistakes of the past.

      I do not want to lose another generation to war.

      Occasionally the left needs to pull our heads out of our arses and stop acting like philistines and accept some traditions.

      • Ngungukai 1.3.1

        More a somber rememberance for our family members, the damage done from war to surviving family members carries through the generations, mainly alcoholism and physcological issues. I can remember having discussions with a friend of my parents who was young teenager tending to the wounds of Returned Servicemen of the Maori Battalions after WW2 in Tokomaru Bay. He said it was a very sobering experience, the trauma must of been horrific for Ngati Porou and it's people.

        I did some work with some of the Maori Trusts on the East Coast, and one of the trustees, was one of the last surviving Officers of the Maori Battalions, he said Ngati Porou lost most of their leaders fighting in WW2.

        • RedLogix

          one of the trustees, was one of the last surviving Officers of the Maori Battalions, he said Ngati Porou lost most of their leaders fighting in WW2.

          Indeed. One of them was my paternal grandfather. It is a common pattern that war takes a disproportionate toll on the young men from rural areas.

          • Ngungukai

            My paternal grandfather was a Major in the Otago Regiments in France & Belgium in WW1, he fought in the First Battle of Passchendaele and was recommended for a MC. However in the Second Battle of Passchendaele the Otago Regiments lost 90% of their troops in half (1/2) an hour, fortunately he was on leave in Paris. I have read and copied his War Letters describing these events, which I will place in the Hocken Collections at the University of Otago.

            One of his duties was to write the letters back to the families in New Zealand on the death of New Zealand troops. Dick Travis (aka Dickson Savage) VC was his Chief Scout in France & Belgium, he was supposedly an Uncle of Captain Pita Awatere an Officer in the Ngati Porou Cowboys (Maori Battalion) in WW2.

            I have two great uncles buried in France & Belgium, Andrew O'Brien was a Private in the East Kent Regiments died 1914, and his older brother Charles was a Captain in the Irish Guards died in the last week of WW1. We have just located a descendant of Charles Stuart O'Brien. The damage done to families in any conflict is immense and it is supposedly carried in our DNA.

            • RedLogix

              Very interesting. It was once explained to me that one way of looking at the difference between Maori and Pakeha cultures is that a Maori had a worldview of him or herself as standing in the present and looking back to the ancestors who came before and the legacy of their whakapapa which largely defines who they are.

              While Pakeha tilt the opposite way, standing in the present looking to a future and the potential of who their mokopuna might be.

              Obviously this is not a black and white matter – just a description of differing propensity. But it does go some way to explaining why you describe the loss of that generation in the wars of the last century as 'embedded in your DNA'. While as a predominantly Pakeha I tend to intellectualise the same loss as ‘service to ideals and a sacrifice for country’. Perhaps they amount to the same thing in the big picture. Either way it speaks to how history has such powerful roots in the present – and often deeply embedded in our psyches.

              As for my paternal grandfather Frank – we know he was trained as an engineer and is listed in the online Battalion records as a 'motor mechanic' – yet that is pretty much all we know. Linda his wife contracted tuberculosis as a nurse during the war and died in 1942, and as a consequence the family lost almost all knowledge of what happened to Frank after he left for the war. The records tell us nothing and he never returned to NZ as far as we are aware. What I do know is that he was from an East Coast hapu – Ngāti Kahungunu from memory.

              Literally days before we came to Australia in 2013 we bumped into a relative of his who we probably should have kept in touch with. On reflection I should probably make the effort to find out more.

              • Ngungukai

                I have only found out this information by researching in the last 20 years, fortunately I have an Uncle who is still alive and an old trunk with my grandfathers War Letters in it. Growing up as a little boy I remember hearing both my grandfathers fought in WW1, the paternal grandfather was Scottish and my maternal grandfather was Irish, he was born on a military base in Deal, Kent so was from a military family, he was a merchant seaman and arrived in Wellington around the turn of last Century, became a shepherd at Kiwitahi in the Manawatu, until the outbreak of WW1 joining the Manawatu/Wellington Mounted Rifles, they took their farm horses by boat to Egypt, these had to be shot b4 they departed for Gallipoli Turkey. He was subsequently busted up on Chunuk Bair in 1915 and invalided back to London, I remember him limping around the house. My paternal grandfather was teaching at Otago Boys High School before sailing to the UK in 1916, he rose to the rank of Major, fought in France and Belgium and was involved in the march and occupation of Germany. He was one of two Officers selected to attend a Short Course at Oxford University as part of the Military for a debrief course in 1919, he was the Adjutant that brought the vessel Remuera back into Auckland, where he met my grandmother through family war connections. Fortunately both got back alive although one severely injured.

              • Ngungukai

                Thanks for the dialogue Red Logix interesting to find someone on the same wavelength.

  2. Bearded Git 2

    I know that this is a couple of weeks old (and may have been the subject of debate in TS) but Trotter is on the money here for me. Anybody who hasn't read it should read it.

    • Tiger Mountain 2.1


    • Stephen 2.2

      But the comments!

    • Anne 2.3

      I gave up reading Bowally Rd because Trotter's muses became so over the top. But every now and then he seems to come up with a gem and this is one of them. It is summed up nicely with this paragraph from BG’s link:

      If McAnulty’s colleagues have the courage to follow his lead, then the looming election may yet become an historical turning-point. With National and Act offering nothing more than more of the same, Labour, the Greens, and Te Pāti Māori have been given the chance to join the most progressive elements of the older generations with the hopes and aspirations of younger New Zealanders, thereby forging an electoral alliance equal to the challenges of an uncertain and demanding future.

      Despite media attempts to portray the young generation as a pot-pourri of robbers and ram raiders, I have met enough of them to see the enormous potential in them. They seem to possess a wisdom and maturity well beyond their years, and it augers well for a better future for everyone.

  3. ianmac 3

    A long time ago I asked a war vet if he regretted his action in Egypt where he famously was wounded horribly. A terrible stomach wound where the surgeon just sewed him up as he would die anyway.

    Derek's response to me was an angry defence of the "most wonderful time of his life! Friendship and togetherness never better!"

  4. arkie 4

    Tucker Carlson fired from Fox:

    In a surprise announcement, Fox News on Monday cut ties with its controversial yet top-rated prime-time host Tucker Carlson, one of the most influential voices in Republican politics.

    The apparently hasty parting — Carlson gave no indication he was leaving in his last nightly appearance Friday, and the network was still running promos for his show Monday morning — came less than a week after Fox settled a defamation lawsuit from Dominion Voting Systems, which had sued the network for false claims about the 2020 election. Carlson was among several on-air personalities expected to testify.

  5. Ad 5

    Sayonara Tucker Carlson.

    Fox fired his ass without ceremony. No final show, no thanks, just done.

    Presumably he goes on to AONN.

    • Sanctuary 5.1

      Presumably Martyn Bradbury will now lament the fall of yet another kindred spirit, a scalp for the woke before posting his ANZAC special – "Smeared: the untold story of a poor Austrian painter".

    • SPC 5.2

      Or Epoch Times, he will have to be militantly anti-China though.

      The other option is to join Glenn Greenwald and Russel Brand and Joe Rogan on Rumble. The right wing platform hosts Truth Social and claims its the place of free speech rather than a MSM (some were paid to go there from other places such as You Tube).

      I refer to it as, let us go brandon/onbrand, central. Where once reasonable people go to be less responsible – Fox News was the place of transition for Carlson (who once aspired to be the voice of reason on the right but instead became a Murdoch orc.

    • arkie 5.3

      Rumble is the natural place for him to go, join recent interviewee Russel Brand.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 5.4

      Tucker's main motivation is probably money.

      My guess his next home could be RT.

      Need to run a sweepstake!

      • RedLogix 5.4.1

        It is my sense Tucker backed the wrong horse over Ukraine. While I think he instinctively wanted to tap into that old and always potent strain of American isolationism – I suspect the mass of US Republicans and conservatives were not on board with this message at all.

        • SPC

          The You Tube link 4.2 indicates his reasoning on Ukraine – he does not think the USA can cope with a geo-political/economic/military alliance between Russia and China. He wants the USA to pressure Ukraine to do a deal – involving the formal cession of Crimea and other ethnic Russian areas.

          • UncookedSelachimorpha

            Tucker's reasoning?

            Personally I couldn't care less what he thinks, about anything. He is a moron with no morals or wisdom. His only "qualification" of any type is fame.

          • RedLogix

            Yes. There is some sense in that appraisal. Just as at the end of WW2 the US realised it had no appetite nor the capacity to confront the Red Army on European soil – it now makes better sense to build alliances and work toward containment rather than full on confrontation.

            In this the demographic and geopolitical realties favour the West in the long run. Russia has a terrible demography, and China faces imminent population collapse. Depending on whose data you believe the mainland Chinese population is on track to dropping by 50% to 650m by just 2050. That is before you factor in the perfect storm of other vulnerabilities they face.

            The other thing that should be apparent is that US intelligence probably knows more about what is being talked about in the Kremlin than Putin does. And while for the moment they assess that on a rational basis there is only a small chance of nuclear exchange – you only have to watch what is happening on Russian state TV every night to understand rationality is not a universal condition. Which is why their support for Ukraine has been carefully calibrated to ensure they can neither quite lose, nor quite win.

            A defeated Kremlin could be a very dangerous beast indeed, with many unpredictable consequences. In war it is wise never to force an outcome until you are reasonably sure what it will be.

            • roblogic

              American support is also calibrated to draw the Russian military into a long and painful war of attrition. Ukraine is useful but expendable in their overall plan to remove Russia as a strategic threat

              • RedLogix

                Shorn of their legacy stockpile of nuclear weapons Russia is not a strategic – anything. Conversely there are nations who do have nuclear weapons, UK, France, India etc, that are not a considered a strategic threat either.

                Nope the problem is that Russia ticks both boxes, nuclear armed AND acting like threatening arseholes. Bad combination.

                There are of course any number of things you can say about the post WW2 Washington led world order, but it would be delusional to argue that a Stalinist or Maoist led version of it would have been an improvement of any kind.

  6. Ad 7

    Massive turnout in Wanaka this morning with on my crowd count 400 people there, which is easily 5% of the resident population.

    Two biplanes did the flypast, while a young teenager spoke about what it all meant to them.

    • Sanctuary 7.1

      What did it mean to them, pray tell? Genuinely interested.

      I don't do ANZAC day. I didn't like most of the veterans when they were alive and nowadays to me it is just a chance for largely Pakeha New Zealanders to engage in a quasi-pagan ceremony and wear a rather mawkish and maudlin nationalism on their sleeves, before they go back to demonstrating to everyone their relationship with NZ is pretty transactional by posting in the comments section of the Herald and Stuff that they can't wait to gap it to Aussie.

      Pay all your taxes, be law abiding, help your landlady take out her garbage and if anyone invades Google how to make a Molotov cocktail. No need to get up on a cold morning to do any of that.

      • Ad 7.1.1

        I daren't speak for the silent thoughts of the crowd.

        But you do get a little glimpse of its collective meaning from who showed up:

        – The Scouts

        – The nurses in uniform

        – The firefighters

        – The Police

        – The retired veterans, their descendants, all wearing service medals

        – The young and very young

        – The politicians (insofar as we have politics at such a local level)

        – The bagpipe players, the anthem singers, assorted celebrants

        – The tradies, their families, the retired people of Wanaka.

        Who knows, somewhere in there is New Zealand giving thanks to each other.

        • AB

          Yes that's fair. Something is going on.

          Probably most of that crowd couldn't have given a short description of the Sykes-Picot Agreement of the Balfour Declaration, or how after initial Russian gains against Austria-Hungary, Germany was controlling the eastern front and could throw plenty of resources to the west, or how the operation itself was botched, etc..

          So the commemorations we see aren't really about the event itself. Something else is happening. I'm open to the possibility that it's potentially a good thing that is being manufactured here, but far from certain that it is.

        • roblogic

          The lawful good. God bless 'em. (I'm probably more “chaotic good”)

      • Anne 7.1.2

        "I don't do ANZAC day."

        I don't do ANZAC day either. At least not in the normal sense.

        My Dad fought in both world wars. As a very young man (he lied about his age) he saw action in France in the last twelve months. His most treasured possession was an album of studio photographs of his war-time mates who did not survive that war. In WW2 he saw action in the Pacific.

        He didn’t talk much about his war experiences but he hated war – any war – with an abiding passion. He didn't do ANZAC either. He regarded it as a "glorification of war" and he wanted no part of it. He never stepped inside RSA's for the same reason. Looking back I think there was trauma there that he never managed to fully overcome. He saw some terrible things. Apart from the worst cases, there was no help for returning soldiers in those days. You were expected to just get on with your life as though nothing had happened.

        At the end of ANZAC day when everyone has gone home, I visit the local memorial and plant two poppies. One for Dad and one for Mum as both of them knew the true cost of war. There is usually no-one around, and I can reflect on their lives and feel grateful for the values they instilled in me.

  7. Mike the Lefty 8

    Since it is Anzac Day I wanted to comment on something I saw earlier.

    On Tuesday last week I saw former All Black Wayne (Buck) Shelford talking on Seven Sharp calling for an extra memorial day for defence force vets, as well as more money and privileges for vets.

    He said that we don't support vets enough, citing how in the US vets are given special privileges, special seating at sports arena, and much more publicity.

    He was persuasive, but I don't agree with them that we should be more like the US in how vets are treated. Shelford said that at football games the announcers ask them to stand up before the game so that people can applaud them. I don't really think that NZ vets would really like this kind of thing somehow. They certainly appreciate thanks for their services and sacrifices but in a less ultra patriotic more New Zealand way.

    And I don't know if an extra public holiday to celebrate the services of vets would get much support in NZ. It is fair enough to want that, but perhaps it should be part of the evolving nature of ANZAC Day celebrations. Perhaps ANZAC Day could be remodelled into vets day, seeing as there are now no longer any surviving men from that dreadful day.

    Comments please!

    • ianmac 8.1

      In USA the vets are not treated well. Currently the Republicans are creating Bills to cut Vet medical care and cut Vet social services. Echoes of reducing Government (Federal) spending. Nicola will be applauding.

    • Belladonna 8.2

      At our local ANZAC Day service, it was the service men and women, past and present, who were honoured at the beginning and ending of the service.

      The address by the local high school head student referenced the WW1 honor board – of those students who had died during that war. It is a tradition that their names are read, and so they were this year. Her address focused on WW1 – but it was the only one which did so.

      I think that most ANZAC services are already morphing away from the specific WW1&2 memorials.

    • roblogic 8.3

      Despite its claim to separate church and state, America's state religion is 'christian' nationalism that idolises militarism and gun violence. They venerate military service but the machine churns up men and damages them for life then spits them out onto the street. Obsession with flags and guns and uniforms is a crap form of virtue.

      "Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" – Samuel Johnson

  8. Sanctuary 9

    I was watching this youtube video on the eve of ANZAC day and made me most pessimistic and rather pensive. The presenter casually noted the desire of Japan to DOUBLE it's defence spending by 2026 and to create a force projection capability to defend it's outlying island (and Taiwan, one would think) from attack. Wht 2026? because Xi has said China will be in a position to take back Taiwan by 2028.

    A confrontation between heavily armed North Asian powers in the Taiwan strait could be closer than we think, an incredibly depressing thought. I have hoped that I could see out my days without us getting involved in a big war. I still hope, but the drums are getting louder.

    • Ad 9.1

      The Chinese were in full dare-me mode consistently entering Taiwanese airspace and doing wargames after Speaker Pelosi's visit in August last year.

      That stopped being a full response of Taiwanese fighters going into China airspace because they and the US figured it was better to show restraint right at the moment.

      In response in March this year the PLA and airforce and navy rehearsed blockades and invasion tactics in the open, all around Taiwan.

      That’s how close it got.

      The US will defend Taiwanese democracy better than the UK defended Hong Kong democracy, independent judiciary, free press, right to free expression, right to political non-interference by intelligence services, etc.

      We are not yet at a full-on carrier group crisis like the mid-1990s but we are getting very close.

    • SPC 9.2

      Military enhancement without diplomacy to resolve the matter is a fools path.

    • RedLogix 9.3

      I see you have already discovered Perun's excellent and highly regarded channel. As he puts it, if anyone has suggested that a channel dedicated to hour plus Powerpoint presentations on defense economics would gain 400k subscribers in less than a year – he would have scoffed at you.

      He remains anonymous, but has stated that he works somewhere in the Australian defense logistics world and he clearly knows his stuff. As in 'standing under a fire-hose' of it stuff.

  9. Incognito 10

    The campaign is on for a third Medical School in Waikato. This shot across the politicians’ bow is full of lazy rhetoric from another ‘Mr Fix-It’. Of course, this doesn’t matter if the aim is to generate a groundswell of public opinion, or just a ripple from a vocal minority. Once it registers in the focus groups, National will elevate it to a bullet speaking point in their election campaign aka a ‘policy’.

    Looking into the messenger, he does seem to fit the mould of a stereotypical National-aligned politician. Turns out he’s apparently also a fellow-blogger. Interesting fellow and I suspect we’ll hear more from and about him in future – not worth wasting any oxygen on just yet.

  10. Peter 11

    A Washington Post headline says, "How Tucker Carlson became the voice of White grievance. " He is the face of white, conservative, fearful America. He is their Mike Hosking.

    One good clip I've seen today is Carlson in full flight:

    "Imagine forcing yourself to tell lies all day about everything in ways which were so transparent and so outlandish that there is no way the people listening to you could possibly believe anything you said.

    Then imagine doing that again and again and again every day of your professional life for your entire life. Could you do that?"

    • Sabine 11.1

      we should just get rid of 'white' people and then all would be good. s/

      Never mind the viewership – but i guess they must be all white, no non white people would watch the show. lol


      The Nielsen MRI Fusion numbers reveal that in October, Fox News unsurprisingly got the majority of the audience of self-proclaimed Republicans, with 69% of them overall tuning into total-day programming and 73% of them in the demo tuning into primetime programming.

      More surprising are the stats about Carlson and Fox News’ pull with self-proclaimed Democrats.

      Of those demo-aged viewers surveyed who identified

      as Democrats, 39% chose Fox News,

      31% chose MSNBC and 30% chose CNN for programming from 8 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET.

      In total-day viewership, Fox News grabbed 42% of Democrats aged 25-54, CNN nabbed 33% and MSNBC got 25%.


      Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson drew an audience of 3.473 million viewers last week, making Tucker Carlson Tonight the highest-rated show in cable news for the week ending February 12. Carlson’s show also delivered 490,000 viewers 25-54, the demographic group most valued by national advertisers.

      Carlson helped propel Fox News to its 104th consecutive weekly ratings victory over CNN and MSNBC, with an average prime time audience of 2.5 million viewers and 359,000 viewers in the key demo. Fox News Channel also won the week for total day ratings (6 a.m. to 6 a.m.), with an average total audience of 1.54 million viewers and 205,000 viewers in the key demo.

      in the meantime

      Fox Corporation shares dropped on Monday after the media company said in a terse comment that it is parting ways with star host Tucker Carlson, raising questions about the future of Fox News and the future of the conservative network's prime time lineup.

      Carlson, whose last show was on Friday, April 21, is leaving Fox News even as he remains a top-rated host for the network, drawing 334,000 viewers in the coveted 25- to 54-year-old demographic in the 8 p.m. slot for the week ended April 20, according to AdWeek.

      That was more than twice the audience of his competitors at CNN and MSNBC in the same hour, and also represented a bigger audience than other Fox News hosts such as Sean Hannity or Laura Ingraham.

      Shares of Fox closed 3% lower on Monday after dropping as much as 5% earlier in the day.

      But surely only white people with grievances would have watched that show. Totes. Totes. Totes.

      In the meantime CNN fires Don Lemon – who knows for what, it certainly can not be white people with grievances that watched him to much, right? s/

      Don Lemon says he was fired by CNN without warning. Network blasts ‘inaccurate’ statement

      Prominent CNN host Don Lemon on Monday announced that he has been fired after 17 years at the cable news network.

      “I was informed this morning by my agent that I have been terminated by CNN,” Lemon wrote in a statement posted on Twitter. “I am stunned. After 17 years at CNN I would have thought that someone in management would have had the decency to tell me directly.”

      His departure was swift. Lemon had appeared on “CNN This Morning” earlier in the day.

      The network confirmed the news in a statement.

      “CNN and Don have parted ways,” CNN Chief Executive Chris Licht said in the statement. “Don will forever be a part of the CNN family, and we thank him for his contributions over the past 17 years. We wish him well and will be cheering him on in his future endeavors.”

      But CNN also challenged Lemon’s account of how he was fired.

      “Don Lemon’s statement about this morning’s events is inaccurate,” the network said in a statement posted online. “He was offered an opportunity to meet with management but instead released a statement on Twitter.

      My guess is that the one who got fired by Fox was for actually doing journalism and showing segments / interviews of stuff and people that the good left wing media would not touch and someone put the kibbosh onto Fox and well they caved.

      CNN however just got rid of someone who had miserable ratings and a rather sketchy reputation for being a bit of diva with complexes of grandeur.

      My guess is that Tucker Carlson will have a bit of a rest and then do his thing, whilst Don Lemon will just have to grovel and hovel in order to be re-hired anywhere.

      • Peter 11.1.1

        Your guess is that the one who got fired by Fox was for actually doing journalism?

        Your guess is as good as anyone's.

        "According to ‘The Atlantic’, that’s where his transformation from journalist to commentator truly began. It has since blossomed into something much more than that since his arrival at Fox News. He has been called racist, dangerous, and an immigrant fear-monger … but not a journalist (except on his wiki page)."

        • Sabine

          Every one who differs in opinion from the prescribed truth as per media/academia and liberal politics is a racist, a fear monger, anti immigrant, anti trans identified people if they insist in biological reality, a white supremacist if they are not self hating/self canceling whites, bigots/nazis/phobes if all the other slurs did not work to shut them down.
          Its easier to insult and smear, then to actually acknowledge that almost 40% of democrats – irrespective of color of their skin or sex or creed – watched him, and that according to your previous comment that would make them white supremacists cause they watched Tucker Carlson who obviously is a white supremist and fear monger. Guilt by association i think is the term.

          I don't particularly care about him but have tuned in when he had people on his show that would not be platformed by the approved non racist, non white supremacist, gender before sex mainstreem media. Not because i cared much about what he had to say, but because i wanted to hear what those de-platformed by the mainstream media, those others, had to say.

          And i would venture a guess that Tucker Carlson will do very well in a Joe Rogan Format. And again, that many people who self identify as democrats will tune in to listen to those that are not allowed a voice elsewhere. Go figure.

  11. arkie 12

    Emily Writes interviews Renters United on the need for rent controls in NZ:

    In the middle of a cost of living crisis and the climate emergency wreaking havoc across Aotearoa, there’s a really strong case to be made for instituting a rent freeze. We know that for the vast majority of renters their largest expense is rent, and as such one of the best short-term policy tools we have to alleviate economic hardship is to call time on rent increases through a freeze.

    They outline their preferred implementation:

    Our preferred iteration is as follows and we’re confident that this is balanced towards all parties, while also offering genuine and meaningful reform:

    • Limit rent increases to no more than inflation, based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) in the preceding 12 months.
    • Allow reasonable and proportionate rent increases above CPI where significant improvements have been made to the quality or facilities of the home – beyond ordinary maintenance. Such improvements would not include those made in order for the property to comply with minimum standards.
    • Prevent unreasonable rent hikes between tenancies by requiring the landlord to set rent within a reasonable range of the previous rent charged for that property (except where significant improvements beyond normal maintenance have been made) and inform incoming tenants in writing of the rent paid by the previous tenants.

    • RedLogix 12.1

      Yes – constraining the supply of rentals in order to solve the shortage of rentals has got to be the solution. /sarc

      The problem is not just in New Zealand. Here in Australia the challenge is just as acute. We had to buy an apartment on moving to a new role in Perth a few months ago – not because we had planned to – but because literally we were queuing up with 100 more more people just for the mandatory inspection. And as a contractor unable to produce evidence of my past three months of full time employment income, our chances of getting past the paper work was zero. I'm not grizzling about this, I realise we are fortunate enough to have had an option – but the experience of just how much the rental market is under pressure was pretty vivid.

      The reasons for this are complex. This recent article explores them in good depth and even-handedly:

      There is a housing crisis in Australia with an undersupply of both properties for rental and for sale.

      The surge in immigration and the return of international students has seen a demand for housing boom.

      The extra half a million people who will be coming over the next year or two have to live somewhere, and they don’t bring houses with them.

      This means they are competing with locals in the rental market, where vacancy rates are at near-record-low levels and rents are rising at a strong double-digit pace.

      I realise the source will not meet your left wing purity test – but it is an informed and accurate view of why we have gotten to this place. And usefully it suggests some intelligent responses.

      My other challenge to many readers here is to ask – just how many of you have applied for a mortgage recently? It is all well and good to point to excessively high prices as a challenge to home ownership, but all too often the biggest hurdle to making the transition to ownership is when people sadly discover that they do not qualify for a mortgage at any price. This can happen for a host of reasons, insecure income being one of the most commonplace, but some of them quite unexpected.

      Very recently a younger colleague told me how they wanted to buy into a home closer to work in order to reduce their excessive fuel bills. When they applied for the mortgage they were turned down because – they were spending too much on petrol!

      • SPC 12.1.1

        We're trying the end of the mortgage interest deductibility for existing property (either to first home owners or those who can buy without debt) to realise divestment and purchase of new builds for rent – it would work if it was bi-partisan (and not rising OCR and thus declining developer activity) but National's potential return to power is an obstacle.

        • RedLogix

          I understand the commonplace left wing hatred of renting drives simplistic solutions like 'smash all landlords', but again it overlooks reality. There is a strong and organic demand for residential rentals and it continues to grow.

          People are far more transient than they were in our parents generation who typically were born, educated and lived in the same region all their lives. In the office I work in at present out of the 35 of us, there are migrants from 15 different countries, and just 3 who were born in this city.

          More people are waiting until much later in their lives before they finally put down roots in one location – hell I am nearly 70 and still have not. As our generations get older, the occupancy rate decreases – older people being typically way less keen on sharing accommodation unless it is with close family.

          And many people, often professionals with good incomes, prefer to invest elsewhere than in the house they live in.

          All of these – and more – are legitimate reasons why home ownership has been declining and the demand for rentals increasing. Yet at 8% interest rates only the brave and well pocketed are going to build to supply that market. It is inherently a long-term market and when govts constantly intervene, it introduces a degree of risk few have the appetite for.

          • adam

            FFS really, the old supply is the issue argument. Come on Red get a grip on reality mate.

            The problems are way more than that one trick, let developers solve it – mantra – that has dominated the debate for the last 40 odd years. When that particularly pony gave us leaky homes, slave labour from north Asia, and suburbia – which has led to all our councils being perpetually broke.

            Contrast that with, Auckland being awash in unoccupied properties. Or my personally favourite 6 bed rooms with one person occupying them. Or how about boarded up properties – which litter our cities?

            No the main problem is, and has always been, the political will for the greedy to feed their greed at the expense of everyone else.

            There is no solution in fixing the supply – As 2 homes are empty for each homeless person in NSW.

            We have a problem which is political in nature and a lack of will to change a fubar economic system which is only making it worse.

            • SPC

              Perhaps a 1% land tax on vacant land and housing with no occupants (or 0.5% if only half the bedrooms are occupied).

            • RedLogix

              In what world do you imagine reducing the supply of something will fix the problems caused by a shortage of it?

              and a lack of will to change a fubar economic system which is only making it worse.

              Apart from smashing capitalism that is.

              • adam

                In what world do you imagine reducing the supply of something will fix the problems caused by a shortage of it?

                Not what I said and you know it, good try at a strawman though. And changing an economic system towards a social democratic one is not smashing capitalism, only in far right wet dream would that be the case.

                We need to build what is needed, large public housing projects. Not rely on developers to fix what is in their interest – not to fix. My problem with what you said is how you effectively cut and paste the propaganda you have been spoon feed.

                • RedLogix

                  We need to build what is needed, large public housing projects.

                  Yes social housing does have it's place, and everyone acknowledges this. Sadly the record of these projects is however not pretty; especially when at large scale. Nor is it clear to me that whether or not what you are really intending is a mass nationalisation of a large fraction of the housing supply – aka the Soviet model. (Which I have personally experienced.)

                  Moreover the article I referenced lists about 8 other possible measures that all seem like steps you would want to consider – before reaching for that somewhat drastic and risky solution.

            • tWiggle

              friendlyjordies youtube vid on NSW housing crisis

              From about 2 min in friendlyjordies examines the corruption of NSW developers.

          • SPC

            A lot of funds are moving into residential property in the USA – this is going to be the zero debt investment source. It's low rest and secure returns our local conservative super funds will move into this.

          • Visubversa

            People rent at different times for different reasons. I have a good friend who has rented since her husband died as she does not want the responsibilities of home maintenance etc in her later years. My partner and I are thinking of doing the same as the organisation of a big house, gardens and so on will become beyond us. We don't want a retirement village, we want a good apartment with good view and a supermarket on the block.

            • RedLogix

              Exactly – home ownership is a responsibility and burden not everyone wants to take on. There are so many diverse circumstances people find themselves in these days, that a traditional one size fits all housing solution no longer applies.

              For many kiwis I still think a most pressing structural problem is an inadequate retirement income provision, and a real shortage of alternate investment pathways other than housing.

              NZ Super was originally conceived and set at a level that worked if you were a home owner at retirement – and mortgage free. For just about everyone else it fell well short. These days home owning costs have risen to the point where even owning a home is not enough. Between rates, insurance, power and telco – fixed costs leave not too much change out of $10k pa, and then there is the 2% of capital value you should be spending on R&M. For many people this is a slow pathway to running out of money.

              Especially when you consider that it is no longer uncommon to live another three decades beyond retirement.

              Personally I like the idea of group housing associations – entities set up as an incorporated society that take care of managing all the administrative issues around common land, rates and insurance – a sort of a blend between strata management, retirement home and non-profit. I have long said that NZ could do well to look overseas to study some of the alternatives – we need more options for people beyond the three staples of the NZ market – social housing, renting and owning.

            • tWiggle

              There is a UK based charity which expanded in NZ somewhere, based on a community paper article I read about 5 years ago. It helps organise older people to flat together in 5-6 bedroom homes. The article specifically discussed a home with widowed friends. They get company, can pool resources like paying for domestic help, cook for each other, and keep an eye out for each other as they age.

              If they are homeowning, that can free up some of their own homes for rent. A wrapround non-profit renting agency, like the mental health NGO Commcare, which supports mental health clients by managing all aspects of their tenancy (right up to smartly kicking out problem tenants in the nicest possible way), could provide stress-free management for co-oping oldies to rent their homes. The agency could organise getting older houses read bto rent.

              One flat or shared house then provides 3-5 rental homes. Flatting in old villas with large rooms with many flatmates was a social pleasure for me up to my 40s. I would be happy for a financially secure option that allowed me this option in retirement.

    • SPC 12.2

      A good time fora rent freeze (counters inflation).

      During the pandemic when the number of tourists visiting New Zealand was near zero, many owners of properties which had been in the short-term rental pool or which accommodated foreign students made these houses and units available for long-term tenants. Now, that situation is changing, and the rent implications seem clear.

      Units are being let again to students and tourists – with returns from servicing the latter group tending to easily exceed returns from taking in Kiwi families and individuals.

      In a monthly survey of landlords which I run with Crockers Property Management we can see a rising proportion of investors are planning to raise their rents, and the average rent rise they are seeking is increasing.

      Rising rents versus falling prices is rapidly shifting the equation for current renters in favour of buying and that is going to create an interesting situation somewhere down the track – maybe late this year.

      Prices may have just about stopped falling, but rents will keep rising while population growth accelerates because of the migration boom, and newbuild supply growth is set to slow quite a bit.

  12. SPC 13

    What Russia is up to with the Presidency of the UNSC.

    • RedLogix 13.1

      Why does Russia remain a permanent member of the UNSC? That privilege surely expired when the USSR that was the original signatory dissolved in 1991.

      • SPC 13.1.1

        Ukraine was a member nation state of the UN from 1945, while part of the USSR. Whereas other parts, such as Russia, became independent of each other with the end of “Soviet Union”.

        My guess is that the USA was in be nice to Russia under Yeltsin mode (and they and Ukraine, for a time, would have the nukes) and Russia did allow the liberation of Kuwait.

        Some interesting perspectives from some nations as to the set up of the UNSC – an awareness of the flaws.

        • alwyn

          Byelorussia also had a seat in the General Assembly from 1945 to 1991.

          Actually Stalin originally wanted 16 seats for the 16 Republics. The USA countered with the proposal that they should have 48 for the, then, 48 States. The ended up giving Joe 3.

      • Francesca 13.1.2

        Russia was the successor state to the USSR, along with all the debts and credits.

        It forgave Cuba it's debt of $32 billion in 2014, and paid off its lend lease obligations to the US in 2006

        • RedLogix

          That was also the Russia that signed the Budapest Memorandum in the 90's. It made pragmatic sense for a nuclear armed Russia to inherit the UNSC seat of the USSR.

          Putin however has repudiated not only that obligation, but if you listen carefully to the rhetoric in Russia, the internal narrative in 2023 is the restoration of the USSR borders or even those of Imperial Russia. If you recall early last year when justifying the 'special operation' in a speech, Putin characterised Russia as a nation that 'cannot be held back' that some nations have an eternal destiny, while others are nothing more than colonies. The whole of Eastern Europe decoded this accurately enough, even if we chose not to hear it.

          At some point the UN General Assembly is going to say enough is enough.

          • Francesca

            They may do , but what legal recourse do they have ?

            And surely US would have to be thrown out for its illegal invasion of Iraq

            Sauce for the goose etc

    • mikesh 13.2

      Giving them a few home truths.

  13. UncookedSelachimorpha 14

    Tucker making a run at the US presidency is very unlikely but not outside the realms of possibility. Despicable as he is, I think he might have a better chance of success than Trump.

  14. joe90 15

    A rapid unscheduled disassembly has consequences.

    Now, residents and researchers are scrambling to assess the impact of the explosion on local communities, their health, habitat and wildlife including endangered species. Of primary concern is the large amount of sand- and ash-like particulate matter and heavier debris kicked up by the launch. The particulate emissions spread far beyond the expected debris field.

    As a result of the explosion, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) grounded the company’s Starship Super Heavy launch program pending results of a “mishap investigation,” part of standard practice, according to an email from the agency sent to CNBC after the launch. No injuries or public property damage had yet been reported to the agency as of Friday.

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