Open mike 25/05/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, May 25th, 2010 - 26 comments
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Open mike is your post.

It’s open for discussing topics of interest, making announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

Comment on whatever takes your fancy.

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Step right up to the mike…

26 comments on “Open mike 25/05/2010”

  1. Jenny 1


    Debate Is capitalism working?

    Wednesday, 26 May 2010
    Library Basement Theatre B15
    Auckland University

    Unite on Campus and the AUSA International Affairs Officers host this debate, an ideological boxing match between New Zealand activists and personalities fighting over the question: “Is capitalism working?’

    Over the last few years the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression has decimated housing markets, toppled international finance companies and seen Governments in the USA and across Europe try and rescue banks at the cost of trillions of dollars. American Vice President Joe Biden describes the bank bailouts as “socialism for the rich and capitalism for the poor’ and with general strikes and riots in Greece, the legitimacy of the free market system is in crisis.

    A red team consisting of

    Matt McCarten left-wing Herald on Sunday columnist and National Secretary of Unite union.
    Mike Treen Global Peace and Justice Auckland organiser.
    Maxine Gay from the National Distribution Union.

    A blue team, headed up by

    Matthew Hooton political commentator and former National Party speechwriter
    Fran O’Sullivan Senior Business Columnist, NZ Herald
    Nikki Kaye Auckland Central National MP

    Open to all students and the wider public. Refreshments provided afterwards.

    For more information, please contact Joe Carolan, Unite On Campus Co Ordinator-
    029 44 55 702 email: 0800 2 UNITE

  2. Ron 2

    That really isn’t fsair on the Blue team to have Nikki Kaye in there

  3. 1 Million angry Aucklanders, 700,000 angry kiwibank Customers i would suggest have the real potential to bite National on the bum.

  4. Lazy Susan 4

    Granny Herald trumpets “Super City u-turn: People power wins”.

    As far as I can see from their “Main Changes” list most of these are window dressing. Laughable that ‘Aucklanders are in charge of their city, says select committee chairman’ and ‘Rodney Hide will consult mayors on CCO directors’ are listed as main changes. Select committee chairman being National MP and champion of democracy John Carter.

    Lots of ‘consultation’ in here but hardly the ‘sweeping changes’ that the Herald describes.

    I had been surprised how anti-Super City the Herald had been but now looks like a classic softening up operation.

    • Bored 4.1

      From here in the capital I look on with concern. Rodders the corporatist is given free rein by his mates in the Nats to do this to Auckland (and Canterbury). It strikes me that this government holds democratic principles in contempt. The whole concept of allowing the assets and services to a community to be run by an unelected (or accountable to an elected) person is one step short of fascism (the dreaded word had to come). And toallow that same appointee the power to make bye laws is disgusting.

      Here in Wellingon, and I know it is also being murmured elsewhere such as in Canterbury there are calls from local body leaders for “super cities”…they want them too. Its just a power grab, its dangerous and it self interested.

      What concerns me more is that the opposition parties have not loudly enough renounced this and set firm policy in place to renew local body democracy, to reverse the insidious crawl toward corporatism that begun with that paragon of right wing virtue Michael Bassett. Its time for devolution, not concentration of power.

      • Tigger 4.1.1

        The title of the Granny article is laughable. ‘Win’? More like ‘Fail’. They are ironically using Superman’s logo on the Supercity ‘Your Comments’ graphic – ironic because Superman stands for truth and justice, two things there have been precious little of during this process…

      • prism 4.1.2

        It seems that each time the Right get control now, they subvert democracy and the social system the country has worked for and I think, wants. They have been able to devise devilish methods to do this which fall under the comprehension of most because we don’t understand the long term effects. The previous Rogernomics move was seen as a revolution by those who could see the breadth of the changes.

        There is a corruption of NZ ideals and vision but because it does not involve money and regular bribery, citizens give good reports on our country’s standards to Transparency International surveys.

        The wealthy don’t care, they have their money and their certainty that looking after their interests is all important. That’s what they want from the government and expect it from Nats. The middle class like to connect with the rich and are aspirational to be in that group, so many don’t apply much criticism of Nats strategies. The poorer concentrate on managing and getting occasional concessions, like crumbs to the pigeons. But pigeons are sometimes called the rats of the sky. And wealthy Nats contain a large group whose attitudes towards human ‘strugglers’ is much the same.

        • Bored

          So right Prism, it was / is a revolution. You dont mention the biggest intentional misdeed of the lot, the diminution of the human spirit from individuals being active participants to consumers. Its all so ugly.

          One of the major reasons for the emergence of representative democracy during the twentieth century was that it allowed a framework for the resolution of class conflict by peaceful means as opposed to revolution or dictatorship. The counter revolution of the right since the 70s has attempted to roll this back without redress. Few on the right realise that they face the same danger as the left did in moving to far. The democratic left managed to resist the urge to the communist extreme, I have no doubt that this right have in their triumphalism failed to see this danger, it always leads to extreme conflict. The current scenario cannot but engender this reaction.

          • prism

            Yes Bored I agree. Interesting listening to Peggy Seeger or Ewen McColl or the pair – they sing in the 1970’s? about having to fight against rising fascism and how the powers will drag people away but not the people who looked the other way. They will be left and I think the line goes ‘Because you really didn’t care’.

            It seemed my birthright to have democracy and rights and a responsible government acting to serve people’s needs, providing opportunity and making reasonable provision for security, now it appears that this condition can only be partially achieved and that has to be continually defended. I find that awareness, knowledge and work is needed to retain it. I didn’t understand there is a continuing cycle or slip towards a mean that is likely to be mean and nasty. I think Ranginui Walker’s book title Struggle Without End applies to all not just Maori.

            • Bored

              “slip towards a mean that is likely to be mean and nasty.” Beautifully put, says all that needs to be said.

    • BLiP 4.2

      Meanwhile, the cost of the transition has now blown out to over $100 million, most of which is to be repaid by Aucklanders as National Ltd burdens the new corporate entity with so much debt the TINA Doctrine means the wholesale disposal of assets.

  5. Hone Harawira gave a pretty good account of himself and his parties dilemmas on MaoriTV’s ‘Native Affairs’ program last night.

    Bilge English came off like a smarmy white rich prick who doesn’t give a shit about poor brown people and just enjoys the power of playing paymaster with our money. While there were numerous opportunities for the interviewer, Julian Wilcox, to follow through on a line of enquiry and nail Bilge’s arse to the wall, he lacked the nous to do it.


    • Bored 5.1

      Good on Hone for exposing English as a rich prick who does not give a shit about poor brown people. What I would ask Hone to do is make as much noise for the benefit of poor white people aswell. We are after all, how would he say, “in the same waka”?

    • ianmac 5.2

      Given the bright interview Espiner V English it was pretty disappointing that Julian did not live up to my estimation of him. As for the English spin it was deplorable!

  6. Bobby 6

    See the Government now has to sell 30% of the LAVS that Goff was warned against purchasing in the first place.
    This will no doubt be another huge write down on what the unsuspecting taxpayer paid for them in the first place. Phil Goff would have to go down as one of our defence ministers.

    His mucks ups were unbelieveable he purchased Navy boats that couldnt go below bluff without launching or losing their lifeboats. He bought Gunboast that have been duds ever since we got them. You have to wonder if he got his defence planning ideas from The Fabain Society.

    [lprent: Probably your waffle would be more credible if you could articulate it correctly.

    Just to generally answer your bullshit. It is all about purpose for which they were purchased rather than whatever strange criteria you seem to be using (boneheaded stupidity seems to be the criteria rather than military reasoning).

    The LAV’s from memory are largely for training – not for deployment because we’re too damn far away from most theatres to send our own equipment. Same reason as why I trained on APC’s in the 70’s. The LAV’s were to train our troops in light of the lessons from the Yugoslavian conflict. It will be interesting to see what the NACTs replace them with. But I wouldn’t hold your breath – National governments talk a lot about defense, but hardly ever put any money into it.

    Similarly you seem to be attempting to say that our patrol boats should be deep water navy. I guess you are too stupid to understand the difference in roles between a patrol vessel and a frigate. ]

    • prism 6.1

      Blaming government ministers for signing the cheque to buy defence equipment that turns out now to be a best buy, is pretty stupid. The equipment would have been researched by the Defence Dept themselves and recommended by them.

      It is possible that all the LAVs we got, a large number, were ‘cheaper by the dozen’ or that there was a government strong-arm from the powerful country that was due to sell us more fighter aircraft. We made a practical, strategic decision to not have this sort of expensive equipment and wanted to withdraw from agreement to do so. So I wonder if there was a sort of we don’t agree to let you withdraw without a cost, so you can put the money into something else.

      • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1

        The aircraft (f16s) were to be bought from the USA. The LAVs come from Canada.

  7. Kate Sutton 7

    This is one last push for submissions against Mining our precious conservation land. Submissions are due 5pm tomorrow (Wednesday 26th May). Submissions take 2 minutes via this online form. Our natural landscape is surely worth a couple of moments of your time?

    Online form here –

    for more information see this great website.

    Be the change you want to see in the world – make a submission and pass this message on.

  8. prism 8

    Japan has foot and mouth disease in their animals. This has serious consequences and they have killed some of their prime breeding animals.
    I have read that there is a vaccination against this. A requirement would cost and I think it slows growth gains, but leaving the herds unprotected results in terrible losses of money, and breeding advantages and also biodiversity as rare breeds get culled too as in Britain.

    NZ is behind getting agreement and co-operation from other countries on methane gas reduction from animals. We should use this opportunity to get vaccination accepted and start programmes in our and other countries.

  9. Lazy Susan 9

    Granny is running a poll on the sale of KiwiBank.

    While I loathe the unscientific nature of these things thought readers would like to know.

  10. just saying 10

    A good illustration of one of Labour’s problems in providing effective opposition.

    In a similar vein, I went to Red alert earlier and saw David Cunliffe blithely talking about tax ‘relief’ in regard to the middle class. Does this guy need a thesaurus, or has he got his head jammed so far into neo-liberal ideology that it’s blocking out the light? Can he not think of any more neutral word? How about cut, reduce, or lessen……..

    Relief is an emotive term. Think famine relief, oxfam relief appeals…….. Is he spinning for the right or what? Next thing he’ll be referring to upcoming service cuts as ‘reforms’ mark my words.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    An amusing look at Rodney Hides consultation process.

  12. Sam 12

    Something that has gone totally unnoticed by the blogosphere and the MSM is the shafting that tertiary students are going to get. It was all slipped in very much below the radar last week, but AUSA has a press release here –

    Fee maxima has been scrapped and replaced with a system that is meant to sound cheaper, but actually delivers higher, more consistent fee rises every year. Where Fee Maxima capped the amount that universities could raise their fees by to just above CPI, this new policy gives universities the ability to raise fees by 4% every year. This means that your average conjoint student would see their fees rise 20% over the course of their degree.

    It also has significant issues in implementation – I don’t know the specifics, but I’ve been informed that there has been little regard for how universities will manage this across the sector, Bill English was more focussed on cutting money out than knowing how things would actually work.

    They also cut the summer scholarships program that they offered as a bribe to offset the cut from the sector in the last budget. This means that at a time when there is more pressure than ever on higher education, the amount of scholarships available has more than halved.

    This is National’s idea of a brighter future, apparently; a low-wage, low skill economy.

    If you want to know more I’d probably contact the person listed in the press release – it’d be good to see some discussion about this travesty.

  13. Lazy Susan 13

    Nice piece on the budget by Bomber Bradbury in the Panel Part 2 on RNZ this afternoon.

    The other panel member Michelle Boag not very happy at all. Bomber challenged her to tell him where all the high income people were going to go if the top tax rate hadn’t been reduced seeing as most countries have a higher rate than NZ. Her answer:

    They’re going to go to all these other economies where they can have tax free havens.

    Great, so no specific countries – just tax free havens. I thought the original spin was Australia etc. now its tax free havens.The logical conclusion to that is to stop the mythical outflow of the rich we turn NZ into a tax haven of course. Softening us up for the next budget maybe?

    Then in the next breath:

    The reason that people come back to New Zealand is for lifestyle.

    Ah so there are some reasons Michelle why rich people chose to live in New Zealand other than money. But you still want to give them a nice fat tax break anyway. Good work

    You couldn’t make this shit up if you tried.

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