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Open mike 25/08/2016

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 25th, 2016 - 139 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

139 comments on “Open mike 25/08/2016 ”

  1. Paul 1

    Compulsory viewing.
    Rachel Stewart and Mike Joy are worth listening to on this issue.

    • Paul 1.1

      Dame Anne Salmond: Abusing water, part of our lucrative pure image, is crazy

      In New Zealand, we’ve recently been given painful lessons about what happens when waterways turn toxic. In Hawke’s Bay, thousands of people have fallen ill, some dangerously so. In Canterbury, Lake Forsyth has killed sheep and dogs. According to the Ministry of Health, tens of thousands across the country fall ill from water-borne diseases every year.

      Many of our rivers are no longer safe to swim in. The Hauraki Gulf, and other coastal waters are at risk. As the Rotorua Lakes illustrate, it is very expensive to try and restore degraded waterways. The costs may be unaffordable and it doesn’t always work.

      Increasingly, current land use regimes look reckless and short-sighted. Dairy cows, for instance, produce very large volumes of effluent, and much of it ends up in the ground water. Other kinds of industrialised farming, forestry and industrial activities are pumping large quantities of pollutants into our waterways…….

      ………If we all own the water, as the Prime Minister says, why has the Government set the bar for water quality in New Zealand so low? Whose interests are they serving? Kiwis want rivers, lakes and harbours they can swim and fish in, and pure, safe drinking water.

      In the case of irrigators and water bottling industries, how can they make large profits from water sources that belong to us all?

      Who is doing deals behind closed doors about pricing water? Who will get the money, and how will it be spent?

      At present, it seems clear that Parliament and regional councils are being lobbied by special interest groups (industrial farmers, forestry companies, irrigators, water bottling plants and the like) to allow them to degrade and deplete waterways owned by all New Zealanders. That is wrong, and strategically unwise.


      • tc 1.1.1

        Everything has a price under national and as long as their backers benefit they don’t give a toss about any impacts to the wider population.

        • Draco T Bastard

          A price that National ensures falls upon the poor while further enriching the rich.

        • aerobubble

          I disagree,you give national too much credit, they obviously dont value, price, anything. As they always backdown ashamed when the real costs undermine their economic credientials. They are inauthentic, parasites on the body politic, having only remain so ensconced due to thirty years of cheap high density fuels. Energy misused to pollute more, opportunities misses to grow globally, r thirty years instead of building a world green economy, we let the finacial sector churn paper and spend the wealth eating the planet, our future options, our collective mind. We’ve suffered from a generation that inherited a jobs market missing millions of workers who died in war, free education, shifting wealth to themselves by paying less into pensions to give themselves tax cuts. Even the humility of previous generations is gone, they think they full paid for the wealth they have recieved, though polution is rampent, ecosystems and climate pushing to collapse, soils water, eating up at pace. A financial stsyem cannibalising us all, drugs, jails all turned up to the max to extort profits, its just sad how stupid boomers are.

      • Garibaldi 1.1.2

        This Country has to change its direction – there are no two ways about it. However I am certain that it would take a monumental disaster for the dumbarses running the place to even contemplate the changes to our agricultural practices that are necessary. In the meantime we will just have to bear witness to Nature striking back at us for our ongoing ( and accelerating ) folly.

    • b waghorn 1.2

      Watched last night cheers for putting these up. What a bunch of gutless shits the fed farmers are.

  2. The Chairman 2

    New Zealand Land Wars

    Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox called for a public holiday.

    Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei said a public holiday during winter should be a consideration.

    Last year, the Prime Minister said there would be no new public holiday but he didn’t rule out replacing one of the existing 11 stat days.

    Labour leader Andrew Little suggested provincial holidays could be scrapped in lieu of a national NZ Wars commemoration day


    Should the NZ Land Wars commemoration day be a new public holiday, swapped over with another, or none at all?


    • BM 2.1

      The whole idea is shit and have to wonder what the hell National is thinking.

      A New Zealand day not some land wars day, fucking idiots.

      We already have Anzac day which covers the fighting aspect, then we have a heavily Maori orientated day in Waitangi day.

      How about this for a crazy thought , have a day where NZ shows off it’s diversity and celebrates who we all are in a happy and positive way.

      • marty mars 2.1.1

        Man why you want to call your political masters and betters idiots I’ll never know – they might adjust your words rate bub.

        We already have massive hollies for the things you outline. This idea is an idea whose time has come BUT it must be done correctly.

      • framu 2.1.2

        “then we have a heavily Maori orientated day in Waitangi day.”

        really – cause the biggest thing i hear on waitangi day is the annual “great white whinge”.

      • mauī 2.1.3

        That’s called Australia Day, maybe you could head over there to celebrate a day of ignorance.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.4

        We already have Anzac day which covers the fighting aspect

        No it doesn’t. It covers the European wars that we were in while ignoring the Land Wars.

        then we have a heavily Maori orientated day in Waitangi day.

        Doesn’t seem particularly Māori orientated to me.

        How about this for a crazy thought , have a day where NZ shows off it’s diversity and celebrates who we all are in a happy and positive way.

        Yeah, because sweeping all the faults and issues under the rug works so bloody well.

    • Good idea that needs lots of planning and work. Not so good that blinglish doesn’t want a day off and wants it to be regional?? commemorations.

      I wouldn’t change the provincial holidays but add this in at the appropriate date.

      What do YOU think chair

      • The Chairman 2.2.1

        I support the notion of the day having its own, new public holiday. But I’m sure a number of employers would disagree.

        It’s interesting to see Little prefers to replace a current stat day rather than having a new public holiday.

        • alwyn

          I have heard Little wants it to replace Labour Day.
          He knows that organised labour, as represented by the union movement and his own party is dead and beginning to smell.

          • The Chairman

            Little suggested provincial holidays could be scrapped in lieu of a commemoration day.

            However, one would expect workers unions would support employees having a new stat day off. Labour evidently don’t.

    • b waghorn 2.3

      They should just replace the queens birthday with it , it needs a better name than land wars holiday though.

    • DoublePlusGood 2.4

      Parihaka Day, Nov 5

  3. Bit of a laugh with some seriousness too

    “But they’re missing the real story – Clinton has an 11th toe. Here’s how The New York Times’ Frank Bruni addressed the cover-up of the Democratic candidate’s freakish, disqualifying digit: “Have you watched her walk? Look closely. She wobbles a bit, or maybe it’s more of a teeter, combined with a lurch, and the likeliest cause is podiatric asymmetry.

    “I consulted foot specialists. At least they referred to themselves that way online, and when I assured them that an interview with me could be their springboard to [Fox News’] Sean Hannity, they opened up.

    “‘Does Hillary Clinton have a superfluous toe?’ I asked one of them.

    “‘I can’t definitively rule that out,’ he said.

    “‘Hillary Clinton: Hobbled and hiding it?’ I asked the other, who agreed that ‘until she permits a thorough examination of her feet — and I mean both of them — how can we be sure?'”


    • b waghorn 3.1

      na it’s those pesky lizard claws , they’ve never made a heel that fits them properly .

        • Colonial Viper

          The real question is why Hillary Clinton is only doing one public campaign rally a week, max, if that. And why she hasn’t done a sit down Q&A press conference as a candidate for around 260 days now.

          • Andre

            Maybe because every time Trump does one, it sends another 100,000 voters her way. So why bother.

            • Colonial Viper

              Yes Hillary has to make some excuses for being the feet up take it easy candidate, but it seems a bit poor to not even bother to meet the voters.

          • TheExtremist

            I’m sure RT or the Trump campaign has already told you what to think so why don’t we skip the foreplay and you can just go ahead and let me [munt] your dumb beliefs like I did yesterday

            [Couldn’t think of a better alternative to the original word used, so lets’ go with munt, eh? TRP]

            • TheExtremist

              (Apologises to The Standard community – the above reads harsher than I intended but too late to edit…)

          • b waghorn

            Rope a dope , It’s the same strategy the nats are using . just lean back block the blows and wait for your the other side to tire and drop their guard.

            • TheExtremist

              Exactly. Watch Trump try wiggle out of the debates too.

              • Colonial Viper

                Exactly. Watch Trump try wiggle out of the debates too.

                Uh…what? AFAIK the debate schedule has been agreed between Trump and Clinton camps and it is all go.

                Next question – why has Hillary Clinton not done a sit down press Q&A for approx 260 days? And why does she barely do 1 or 2 public rallies a week, compared to Trump out there 6 days a week?

                • McFlock

                  Your “next question” was twice answered two levels up the subthread. Immediately after you asked it then.

                  Gotta love cut&paste obsessives who parrot lines they read off the nutweb.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    I actually found out the true answer – that Hillary is conducting multiple fundraisers a day with Hollwood A listers and corporate leaders.

                    She doesn’t have time or interest for entertaining the plebs when she can raise a couple of million dollars at each event.

                    • McFlock

                      Oh, so she’s not been suspending her campaign because of ill-health as you heavily implied.

                    • It’s almost like Clinton’s begun copying Barack Obama’s strategy from the last two elections; carefully selected public appearances, positive TV coverage built around regular chat show visits, and tens of millions spent advertising in the msm. All topped off with a savvy online presence.

                      On the hand, Trump has truckloads of bigots packed into sports arenas in crucial swing state towns like Shitkicker, Missouri and Linchemall, Ohio.

                      Gosh, it’s hard to tell which campaign will work best in 2016.

                      And, to be fair, Trump extending the tiny hand of friendship to the black voter might be a turning point. Will he discover he’s always loved hispanic migrants next?

                      Will he get the last few votes he needs by converting to Islam in the last week of the campaign?

                      Will Jill Stein offer him the leadership of the US Greens?

                      Yes, anything could happen and it’s too close to call just how badly it’s going to end for orange faced orator from Noo York City.

                      More coverage on page 94. Plus, our new competition! Vote Republican and go to Heaven! Let’s Make the Afterlife Great Again!!

                • Little extra toe is playing up?

                  Or solar flares have interferred with the instructions from the secret alien moonbase and the Clinton draco changeling cannot receive the messages on what to say or do thus a body double is actually doing everything at the moment and that is why there are so many non appearances.

                • TheExtremist

                  Oh I know the dates have been organised but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Trump try to get out of them some way or another.

                  Trump has said almost nothing substantive at all yet and is seemingly unaware of major geopolitical events. Clinton will smoke him…. Which I am sure you will claim is some sort of psy-op campaign or something.

                  • McFlock

                    I’ll be interested to see if his campaign coaches can get him to overcome 70 years of being a dick.

                    Their problem is that he did well in the primaries simply because he was the loudest and most outrageous guy in the crowded room. One on one, that behaviour doesn’t look so good. Like if the “life of the party” goes on a blind date, sort of thing – wearing a lampshade as a hat isn’t quite so entertaining….

                    One bad debate where he either loses his cool or just looks wooden and stupid, he’s fucked.

                    • TheExtremist

                      Don’t fuck with the lampshade on the head routine. It works in all situations.

                      But yeah, as soon as Clinton starts speaking about major international event and their various nuances Trump will lose his nut completely.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      LOL you have no idea McFlock, you truly do not.

                      Easy win TRump 2016.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      But yeah, as soon as Clinton starts speaking about major international event and their various nuances Trump will lose his nut completely.

                      Uh, this is not the way it is going to unfold.

                    • McFlock

                      That’s just how it looks to this mere mortal who isn’t receiving coded messages from the intrinsic intelligence of the universe.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Trump has said almost nothing substantive at all yet and is seemingly unaware of major geopolitical events. Clinton will smoke him…. Which I am sure will claim is some sort of psy-op campaign or something.

                    1) Shitcan NAFTA, the TPP and other free trade deals if they cannot be renegotiated.

                    2) Pull back US forces, make NATO relevant again and make sure that US allies pay their own way and pull their own weight.

                    3) Slam on taxes and costs on to any US company which tries to offshore its manufacturing.

                    4) Massive investment in crumbling US infrastructure like roads, bridges, airports.

                    5) Major upgrade of services and care for US veterans.

                    6) Work closely with Russia on multiple issues, but especially destroying ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

                    7) Aggressive control and vetting of immigration, especially from known centres of terrorism.

                    8) Actively manage China’s cheating in currency, manufacturing and other industries.

                    9) Boost mining in the USA, including coal, gas and petroleum exploration.

                    10) Build the WALL and make Mexico pay for it!!!

                    • TheExtremist

                      Yeah “substantive”. More mining, more fossil fuel use, reliance on other countries to just do what Trump says, demonise refugees and build an impossible fucking wall.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      These are all substantive policy positions. You may not agree with them, but there they are.

                      What are Hillary’s top ten substantive policy positions then? Does she even have any?

                    • TheExtremist

                      Demonising refugees, expanding fossil fuel use and building impossible walls are substantive?


                  • mauī

                    Yay, go Clinton… Look forward to the new dangerous geopolitical events that will likely start springing up in our own backyard if the Middle east and North Africa are anything to go by:

                    • TheExtremist

                      Not supporting trump doesn’t equal supporting Clinton

                    • Colonial Viper

                      But you sure do spend a lot of time bagging Trump instead of bagging Clinton

                    • TheExtremist

                      No I spend a lot of time bagging you for your weird support of a crazed demagogue of a candidate and your seemingly growing disconnect from the reality that is Trump.

                      Funnily enough though in some sense I would rather a Trump victory because of my utter dismay at Clinton as a presidential candidate. But I can only support Trump in the perverse sense that the US will get te candidate they deserve rather than jumping in head first into believing that Trump is actually a coherent, logical and upstanding choice for president which you seem to think

            • Puckish Rogue

              You have to be pretty damn confident to use the rope a dope though, in any situation

              • b waghorn

                National have no other option really ,every day another story comes out about their dishonesty or incompetence , if they front footed it all they would be getting slayed , they’ll be hoping that by hanging back while quietly gearing up their dirty politics efforts that they can pull off another win.
                I see dunne just shafted labour over some bill he was going to support ,so he must think the nats are odds on to win.

              • TheExtremist

                Rope and dope with Trump is easy though. He can’t stop talking and can’t articulate a coherent thought for longer than 10 secs

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    US Embassy Kabul advises US citizens to consider leaving; consider avoiding travel to Afghanistan

    Major hostage crisis at American University in Kabul.


  5. Colonial Viper 5

    AP finds big link between Clinton donors, and meetings/phone calls she held as US Sec State

    AP made a big effort to cross check the Clinton’s records and discovered that most meetings/phone calls that Hillary Clinton had with private interests as Sec State were also big donors to her.

    WASHINGTON (AP) — More than half the people outside the government who met with Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation. It’s an extraordinary proportion indicating her possible ethics challenges if elected president.

    At least 85 of 154 people from private interests who met or had phone conversations scheduled with Clinton while she led the State Department donated to her family charity or pledged commitments to its international programs, according to a review of State Department calendars released so far to The Associated Press. Combined, the 85 donors contributed as much as $156 million. At least 40 donated more than $100,000 each, and 20 gave more than $1 million.

    Donors who were granted time with Clinton included an internationally known economist who asked for her help as the Bangladesh government pressured him to resign from a nonprofit bank he ran; a Wall Street executive who sought Clinton’s help with a visa problem; and Estee Lauder executives who were listed as meeting with Clinton while her department worked with the firm’s corporate charity to counter gender-based violence in South Africa.


    • Andre 5.1

      They may have met with her. They may have given the Clinton Foundation money. But they don’t appear to have actually become the beneficiaries of unethical behaviour from it.


      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Didn’t the Uranium One mining interests get sold to the Russians after her signoff?

          • McFlock

            lolsnap andre

            CV: that’s what happens when you Cut&paste bullshit slogans: people sometimes find the same bullshit detector and independently point it out.

            • Colonial Viper

              Then there is Ericsson giving Bill Clinton $750,000 for a speech. (LOL you probably think that’s a fair days pay for a 30 minute speech).

              Soon after, a telecoms sanctions list was released by Clinton’s State Dept – and Ericsson had been taken off it.

              Probably you’ll say there was no proof of a quid pro quo. But the link is obvious. I can keep listing examples if you like.

              • Andre

                No doubt you can look forward to years and years of Republican congressional investigations into every one of these allegations, excitedly thinking all the while “this time they’re gonna nail her for sure”.

              • McFlock


                Or it was the other way around.

                But that one might actually be possible. Congratulations. Of course, it looks pretty shallow when it’s not surrounded by bullshit, but good for you.

                I’m sure you can keep going all day. That’s how bullshitters work: just keep spraying bullshit, regrdless of whether even the basics of the story are correct. Something might stick.

              • ianmac

                If we had suspicious minds we would wonder if it is a means of laundering money. Open. Declared for tax. Who would doubt its honesty?

    • cyclonemike 5.2

      So Hillary Clinton only met 154 people from private interests during her time at the State Department?
      Nonsense from go to whoa.
      Reading the whole piece, it looks like someone had an idea for a story and when they couldn’t find a scandal they wrote it any way.

      • aerobubble 5.2.1

        Trumps honesty, is he is a old piece of meat being passed off as fresh, whereas Clinton is a contradiction, same old piece of meat but with some fresh meat glued on to look like fresh. They both stink, Trump looks more honest, Clinton more palatable. Classic false dicotomy of two staged turd blossms. Where it matters neither has any integrity. We hope Clinton may but doubtful since the stronger she is, the more she’s responsible for her husband legacy, yet we also know Trump is a loose cannon only voters who hate America would press his button.

    • joe90 5.3

      The president of CharityWatch explains the Clinton Foundation’s “A” rating – it’s one of the top-rated charities in the US, 88% of spending goes to services with $2.00 spent to raise every $100.00.

      • TheExtremist 5.3.1

        Obviously a fraud cooked up by the Psy-Op team.

        • Colonial Viper

          So the Clintons have been accepting hundreds of millions from Saudis and Russians and Qataris for charity?

          • McFlock


            The foundation claims that none of the Clintons receive any salary or expense reimbursements from the foundation.

            I suspect the Gates’ foundation is run along the same lines.

            • Colonial Viper

              I don’t believe any of the bullshit PR from these outfits. RE: the Gates Foundation this is more like it:

              In a 54-page report released Thursday, U.K. social advocacy group Global Justice Now slammed the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for using its enormous giving-power to influence global health policies in the foundation’s own interests. The report also claims the Gates Foundation often invests in the same health care and pharmaceutical companies it funds, creating “a corporate merry-go-round” that benefits corporations while undermining support for basic public health systems.

              “The [foundation’s] program is not a neutral, charitable strategy for which the world should be thankful that a rich man is deciding to spend his money on good causes,” reads the report’s introduction. “Analysis of the foundation’s programs shows that it has an agenda—it is a specific ideological strategy that promotes neo-liberal economic policies, corporate globalization [and] the technology this brings, and a long outdated view of the centrality of ‘aid’ in helping the ‘poor.’”


              • McFlock

                Of course you don’t believe it, because it doesn’t suit your worldview.

                Now, you’ve been pissing on the Clinton Foundation for a while now – do you have any evidence of any personal gain from it for the Clintons? Or even of the donations going anywhere other than directly to humanitarian work or the reasonable administration of such?

                • Colonial Viper

                  Sure me and the NSA will collect that proof. You know, like signing off on Russian uranium deals after receiving millions in donations for poor children in Africa.

                  • McFlock


                    from politifact:

                    First, the State Department did approve of Russia’s gradual takeover of a company with significant U.S. uranium assets, but it didn’t act unilaterally. State was one of nine government agencies, not to mention independent federal and state nuclear regulators, that had to sign off on the deal.

                    Second, while nine people related to the company did donate to the Clinton Foundation, it’s unclear whether they were still involved in the company by the time of the Russian deal and stood to benefit from it.

                    Third, most of their Clinton Foundation donations occurred before and during Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid, before she could have known she would become secretary of state.

                    The bottom line: While the connections between the Clinton Foundation and the Russian deal may appear fishy, there’s simply no proof of any quid pro quo.

                    You need a better source than Trump.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Good to see how quickly you excuse corruption at the highest levels of the Washington DC establishment.

                      The Clintons helped to shephard the deal through the US bureaucracy. And its not the only time they did so for foreign $$$.

                    • McFlock

                      The Clintons helped to shephard the deal through the US bureaucracy. And its not the only time they did so for foreign $$$.

                      Except that there is no indication or evidence of any Clinton involvement in the deal or “shepherding” it through the bureaucracy, nor is there any indication or evidence the Clintons received “foreign $$$”.

                      Starving kids received assistance, and a deal was authorised by another 8 organisations other than anything Clinton had even possibly under her direction – and the deal might not even have had any financial interest for most of the donors by the time it was on the table.

                      Really, to say you’re grasping at straws is hardly “excusing corruption”.

          • joe90

            Yup, half of all adults and three quarters of all children being treated for AIDS/HIV receive financial assistance from The Clinton Foundation.

            The 2015 annual report of the CHAI, naturally, tells an inspiring story. The outfit has helped more than 11.8 million people in more than 70 nations gain access to low-cost HIV medicines (saving the global health system billions of dollars)


            Meanwhile, your bloke……

            Trump promised millions to charity. We found less than $10,000 over 7 years.


            In recent years, Trump’s ­follow-through on his promises has been seemingly nonexistent.

            The Post contacted 188 charities searching for evidence of personal gifts from Trump in the period between 2008 and this May. The Post sought out charities that had some link to Trump, either because he had given them his foundation’s money, appeared at their charity galas or praised them publicly.

            The search turned up just one donation in that period — a 2009 gift of between $5,000 and $9,999 to the Police Athletic League of New York City.


      • One Two 5.3.2

        A foundation formed by and named after one of the sleaziest & morally defunct family’s in political history…

        The likelihood that the foundation operates along a different strategic or ethical path from its founders would be improbable

        Many gullible hypocrites seeking ‘a win’

  6. save nz 6

    Environment court process in action.

    The Herald reported in 2011 how Auckland Council and North Shore City spent $322,838 on the court defence of the Redback resource consent to demolish the Masonic Taven, one of the cities oldest hotels.

    Now the 24-year-old heritage protection group has to liquidate after $27,000 bill trying to save the Taven.


    All this will be much worse under the unitary plan that further removed the little protection for historic buildings and trees in Auckland.

    When people say, why that apathy in NZ, that is why. The system is legally stacked against anything good in NZ, from preserving a historic site, to protecting an ancient Kauri, to preserving water quality.

    And the chickens are coming home to roost from these extremely poor protections and rule changes to help and encourage the rich and exploitative, through our RMA.

    • Bearded Git 6.1

      “When people say, why that apathy in NZ, that is why. The system is legally stacked against anything good in NZ, from preserving a historic site, to protecting an ancient Kauri, to preserving water quality.”

      ….to protecting landscape values from developers

      • save nz 6.1.1

        RMA giving more opportunities for money launderers and foreign buyers to speculate in NZ… no need to worry about pollution, visual impact, or infrastructure. Someones else’s problem… someone’s making a $1 which is all that matters, and under globalism whether it is a organised gang, foreign student, local plutocrat, polluter industry, or local Kiwi, we are all the same, to be treated equally as economic effects to some are just as important (as many paid experts will testify) as environmental effects (which are less than minor as some paid expert will testify) to some indigenous person under law who has their water supply or standard of living affected (someone else’s fault or non existant as some paid expert will testify) ..

        So actually although technically equal, those with access to paid experts and lawyers are actually much more likely to succeed that that group without funds.. so we are not equal at all under law and it is getting worse. Especially as Auckland council on behalf of the rate payers is the one defending the polluters and rich developers to make everything less equal… go figure.

  7. swordfish 7

    Hillary and the Glass Ceilings Illusion

    by Diana Johnstone

    A few excerpts …

    Meryl Streep must be a very intelligent woman to be such a good actress. So it was embarrassing to see her dressed in an American flag playing cheer leader for Hillary Clinton at the Democratic Convention. One must suppose that she is too busy studying for all her varied movie roles to have learned much about the sinister nature of Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy. She proclaimed that President Hillary Clinton would be “making history” simply by being a woman. That means symbolic history. The fact that President Hillary Clinton is more likely to make real history by starting another war even more disastrous than those she has already helped get us into seems not to have occurred to Meryl Streep.

    Nor does it occur to millions of other American women who share the same illusion.

    Those women are thinking too much in terms of symbols and images. They are ignoring the major issue facing the United States: whether to make peace or war.

    The feminist idea behind this illusion is that by becoming President, Hillary will be “shattering the glass ceilings” – the invisible obstacles – that prevent women from rising to the top. Women everywhere will benefit – just as American blacks all
    benefited from the election of Barack Obama. Oops, wait a minute, did they really ? …

    … Women seek the same feel-good experience. They believe it will be provided by Hillary Clinton when she shatters the glass ceiling – “for you”, as Hillary likes to say.

    In reality, hasn’t the “glass ceiling” preventing women from pursuing successful careers already been shattered, precisely by the current neoliberal world order which favors promoting women and token members of various ethnic groups ? Isn’t it part of the strategy of neoliberalism to prove that modern capitalism enables the best to rise to the top, a circumstance that should win the adherence of all “identity groups” – whose self-identification has largely succeeded in wiping the old concept of class consciousness out of people’s minds ? …

    … For most women, as for most blacks, when wages are low, their wages are low. When good housing or education is too expensive for most people, it’s too expensive for women. When spending for war ruins the economy, it’s their economy too.

    The plain fact is that the successful careers of these ceiling breakers do nothing for the majority of women who are nowhere near any ceiling that needs to be broken.

    Yeah, there are, of course, other reasons for American women preferring Clinton over Trump, but Johnstone does make a good point about the “glass ceiling” emphasis on the interests of a tiny number of women elites and the accompanying feel-good symbolism and imagery over far more fundamental concerns.

    And meanwhile, Hillary’s uber-hawkish foreign policy stance continues to be minimised, dismissed or quietly ignored by far too many erstwhile liberals and progressives.


    • Olwyn 7.1

      There has always been a sense of the presidency as the “top job” but it has been that in relation to the idea of service to the citizens of a country. The breaking of glass ceilings privileges the former over the latter. It says “look how far I’ve come!” more than it says, “I will do all I can to live up to the confidence you have shown in me.”

    • Chris 7.2

      Everyone knows a pointless war started by a woman is better than a pointless war started by a man.

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        And now women, like men, can be conscripted to fight in these pointless wars and the genders can die in equal numbers soldiering on the front lines. Progress!

    • Gangnam Style 8.1

      He’s very clever & funny, does he write books?

      “The reason Epsom houses command such prices is the quality of the public schools. (Epsom even has Mt Eden Prison, the highest decile prison in the country – and look how that went downhill once it went private.)”

    • Bearded Git 8.2


  8. alwyn 9

    Is Andrew Little really as dumb as this comment indicates?
    Or does he not regard a Maori as not being a “proper” Maori unless they support the Labour Party? I wonder if he considers National Party supporting Maori to be Uncle Toms?
    “We have a good and growing and flourishing Maori caucus … they are an integral part of the Labour Party. Four of them are in my shadow cabinet and two of them are on the front bench – they’re not an add on to a Government like the National Government has done with members of the Maori Party,” Little said.”
    This is from the leader of a party in which only 1 of the top ten rankings is a Maori.
    In the National Party on the other hand 3 of the top ten are Maori.
    More tellingly, given the different sizes of the parties, we can say that there are no Maori in the top 20% of the Labour rankings but there are 3 in the top 20% of National.
    Does he really not know who the members of the National Party are? Does he not consider them to be “real” Maori? Perhaps someone should print out a list for him.
    A lesson in remedial arithmetic might also help.

    • Bearded Git 9.1

      Alwyn-the MP will continue to be punished by the electorate for cravenly taking the baubles of office while doing precious little for their people and propping up Key’s robber barons.

      I can easily see Hone coming back to parliament though, so at least in one respect the king may get his way.

      • alwyn 9.1.1

        I don’t really think this is specific to the Maori Party.
        None of the minor parties that have become part of the Government have survived as a real party afterwards.
        Look at the Alliance. 160,000 votes in 1999. Went into Government and dropped to 26,000 in 2002 and vanished.
        New Zealand First got 130,000 votes in 2005. Went into Government and dropped to 95,000 in 2008 and went out of Parliament.
        United Future went from 136,000 in 2002 to 61,000 in2005, and continued to fall while supporting various Governments.
        Only the Green Party have lasted, mostly unscathed, because they have never been in Government. If they got into Government I think they would collapse at the next election.
        As for Hone getting back I couldn’t make a sensible comment. I don’t know enough about Maori politics, or the far north for that matter to have an informed opinion. Kelvin Davis has proved a great disappointment though so if he went out he wouldn’t be a great loss.

    • framu 9.2

      1, your reading into that a bit arent you?

      2, “He said Tukuroirangi (Tuku) Morgan, the newly appointed president of the Maori Party and personal adviser to the King, had “far too much influence” on the matter.”

      • alwyn 9.2.1

        The comment about Tuku was by Henare, not Little.
        I was only commenting on Little’s seeming view that Labour had leading Maori figures, when they don’t, while attacking National who actually do have more Maori members and give them much higher rankings.
        He still seems to have the traditional Labour view that Maori should be grateful for the scraps they are allowed.

        • maninthemiddle

          National has done far more to advance the cause of Maori than Labour.

        • framu

          “The comment about Tuku was by Henare, not Little.”

          yes – but did you miss the bit where it points out that the maori kings statement was really a maori party broadcast? This changes the way a response is worded

          its all party sparring

          “while attacking National who actually do have more Maori members ”

          he was commenting on the way national treat and use their maori coalition partners, not the rankings of maori nat MPs.

  9. swordfish 10

    YouGov have apparently carried out 2 polls of Party Members on the UK Labour leadership contest over recent weeks, yet (strangely enough) haven’t released either of them. Word is – they were commissioned by Owen Smith’s team. If so, his numbers may not be where he might have wished them to be.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Even with all the biased questioning and skewed sampling they turned out shite? Oh dear.

    • Ad 10.2

      Corbyn should win well enough.
      UK Labour will then be more strongly left than it has ever been. Its stars will then be Left with Left rising.

      Except for nearly every MP they have in Parliament.

      Can’t see a happy ending.

      • swordfish 10.2.1

        I’m in the Owen Jones (not to be confused with Owen Smith) camp regarding Corbyn.

        (1) Strongly supportive of the swing towards traditional Left Social Democracy under Corbyn – as opposed to Blairite quasi-Thatcherism and then a confused triangulation under his predecessors (the notion that Corbyn and McDonnell are “Trots” is ridiculous)


        (2) Realistic about Corbyn’s pretty dire Leadership ratings (among voters in general as opposed to Labour members)


        (3) By no means uncritical of Corbyn and his team’s performance (although their media strategy’s clearly improving and he’s been in an impossible position over the last 12 months – unexpectedly winning the leadership with only minor preparation and having to withstand constant sabotage from the more recalcitrant members of the PLP, not to mention a veritable storm of abuse and ridicule from the British Establishment and all its flunkies)

        Part of me thinks he should stand down in a year or two in favour of a hand-picked successor from either the Corbynite Campaign Left or the Soft Compass Left, someone with less baggage and more intuitive populism. Someone like Clive Lewis (rather than a comical fake like Smith).

        Other part of me thinks: With May enjoying a voter honeymoon and the Tories Gerrymandering the constituencies (meaning Labour would need to win a whole swathe of extra seats just to be in their present position and would require an almost unprecedented swing to win power) – the next Election is already lost. So maybe Corbyn needs to stay longer and transform the Party root and branch.

        If a section of the PLP splits .. then It’ll be a tragedy for all concerned.

        • Ad

          I thought you were a big optimistic Corbyn fan?

          Your optimistic ‘other part of you’ is saying that a previously nationwide reformist party will consign itself to a boutique specialist outfit, while congratulating themselves on being as pure as the ideological snow.

          Tony Blair’s long lament in an interview this week about the collapse of centrist politics – while of course licking his own political balls as luxuriantly as an aging Labrador – is nevertheless on point. The small c conservatives are looking rarer, and more sensible.

          • swordfish

            “I thought you were a big optimistic Corbyn fan ?”

            Sympathetic to the Corbyn-McDonnell ideological revitalisation of the Party ? Yep. But I’ve made a number of comments over recent months pointing to Corbyn’s poor – and sometimes dire – ratings with British voters as a whole (as distinct from Labour Party Members and, to a somewhat lesser extent, Labour voters) and I’ve suggested before that the Corbyn team are by no means beyond reproach when it comes to their media strategy.

            “Tony Blair’s long lament in an interview this week about the collapse of centrist politics … is nevertheless on point … “

            “Your optimistic ‘other part of you’ is saying that a previously nationwide reformist party will consign itself to a boutique specialist outfit, while congratulating themselves on being as pure as the ideological snow.”

            Shouldn’t have thought so. You’ve obviously fallen for the Blairite / Media Establishment line that Corbyn / McDonnell represent some sort of purist, “Trotskyite” Cult. In fact, their platform simply updates the traditional Social Democracy that, for example, the Wilson Governments of the 60s and 70s pursued.

            I saw an interesting analysis a few weeks ago that showed that – apart from a more clear-cut rejection of austerity – little daylight in fact existed between the policies of the Corbyn-led and Miliband-led Labour Party.

            We need to move away from the nonsense that there’s an electorally crucial “Centrist” group of voters whose views are roughly half-way between Labour and the Tories on every issue. Public opinion and voter behaviour is more complex than that.

            If we start to look at things on an issue-by-issue basis, we might just find that large majorities of UK voters support the re-Nationalisation of Railways, the Utilities and Postal Services, while strongly opposing further privatisation of the NHS.

            Same for a number of other core Corbynite policies.

            Goes without saying that you have to compromise to win power. And Corbyn is probably going to have to swallow a few dead rats – Trident being one of them (even though I agree entirely with his stance on the issue – as do, apparently, a number of leading Defence Staff, all off-record, of course).

            Immigration and attitudes to welfare are also going to be difficult issues to navigate. (pointing to significant cleavages that have opened up within Labour’s constituency).

            But it’s a matter of emphasising the issues where the public support you and minimising the space between you and your opponents on those areas where you’re less popular.

            All set against the fundamental backdrop of valence issues – how voters view the leader, the degree of economic competence they ascribe to the party and so on. The latter remains a real problem for UK Labour regardless of Leader or ideological direction …

            … As the British Election Study suggested:

            Some events realign parties with crucial issues. The economic crash in 2007/08 appears to have done for Labour what the exchange rate mechanism crisis did for the Conservatives more than 20 years earlier: it fundamentally altered the public perception of which party could be trusted on the economy. Given how long it took the Conservatives to recover a lead …

  10. weka 11

    “Giovanni Tiso ‏@gtiso Aug 23

    How you get to fascism is not the police giving the woman a fine. It is the crowd’s applause.”

    Yasmine Ryan @yasmineryan
    Muslim woman brought to tears after French police give verbal warning for wearing hijab on beach, as crowd applauds http://tempsreel.nouvelobs.com/societe/20160822.OBS6680/siam-verbalisee-sur-une-plage-de-cannes-pour-port-d-un-simple-voile.html

  11. aerobubble 13

    Gosman is an idiot19 July 2016 at 10:58 am

    And that is your problem. Already you’ve turned away from defending liberal concepts and ideals from those who wish to take it away from society towards attacking the supposed evils of neo-liberalism. You even fail to understand the reason neo-liberalism concepts were so successfully spread was because they shared the same basic principles that the liberal ideals you wish to defend have namely increasing individual liberty and freedom as opposed to an authoritarian power or group.

    Gosman believes neo-liberalism detractors are wrong. Gosman beliveves attacks on neo-liberalism is an attack on liberal ideals. Worse. That neo-liberakism are opposed to authoritarism, you know jailing people from the drug war, privatizing prisons, and throwing away liberty of citizens as they are criminals.

    Gosman is a idiot, reminds me of Hooten, both have a shallw hold of the reality in whuch they live. Typical shorters.

  12. Repateet 14

    I watched David Carter this afternoon bringing the House into disrepute again.

    His stunningly sharp mind discerned someone trying to slip in an extra supplementary question to show you can’t get anything past him.

    That was a short time after I saw Jonathan Coleman make his usual “just making things up” about Annette King. Ms King got up and explained her sources exactly which showed she was not “making it up.” Things carried on and I thought Coleman was a lying bastard who had been allowed to lie. I wondered about who to approach about scummy behaviour just being accepted in their highest court in the land.

    Shortly later someone got up and brought the matter to the attention of Carter. He of rapier mind and sharp ears (and great skill at counting supplementary questions) said he didn’t pick it up.

    A Speaker who rants about disorder in the house not picking up what was a very clear slur, worse than some of the stuff he gets all righteous and pompous about is clearly incompetent.

    Apparently Speakers get upset about being called biased. His gently chiding of Gerry Brownlee today after geting stuck into Opposition people on a number of occasions, his perpetual allowing the Prime Minister free reign and the incident today could easily attract allegations of bias. It is either that or incompetence.

    I wonder if I’ll get an invite to the conferring of his knighthood?

    • Gabby 14.1

      It’s very unfair of you to suggest that Hone’s bro isn’t capable of bias and incompetence.

  13. Ad 15

    With many apologies for putting up the full text of the release, but it is very rare for a PM to comment on the dynamics of interaction between Ministers and public servants in such an explicit manner:

    PM sets ground rules for ministers’ treatment of public servants

    By Pattrick Smellie

    Aug. 24 (BusinessDesk) – Prime Minister John Key has laid down the law about the way ministers and public servants should interact, saying ministers may not always like the advice they receive, but they must listen to it carefully, respectfully and professionally.

    In a speech to public sector leaders at the parliament, Key said that in return the government wants its “free and frank advice” from public servants in written form, and expects officials to be politically aware, but not politically active.

    Launching a major project intended to lift the quality and consistency of public policy-making, known as The Policy Project, Key said “it takes a lot of confidence to be the only person in a room of ministers to raise a problem, or advise against the preferred option”, but it was important to have well-qualified public servants able to do that.

    “Ministers need to listen too,” he said. “In my experience, confident ministers value hard-hitting advice even if they may not act on it. My ministers know that I expect them to behave in a professional way toward everyone they deal with, including officials who may be giving them, at times, unwelcome advice.”

    On significant decisions, “I expect departments to provide their free and frank advice in writing,” said Key, in a nod to an environment created by the threat of disclosure under the Official Information Act being seen to stifle officials’ willingness to give controversial advice in writing, which has given rise to critical reports from the Office of the Ombudsman.

    “Written advice is fuller, allows for more nuance, and can better cover the complexities of the trade-offs we face,” Key said. “It also allows ministers time for reflection and to work through a problem in stages with officials to come to better solutions,” Key said. “It really shouldn’t be a big story when ministers and officials disagree – that’s the system working.”

    However, while the policy project framework cites the need for public servants to be “politically savvy”, advice from officials “should avoid second-guessing the politics of the choices we face. That’s our job.”

    I would sincerely hope this means that this culture is also reflected in faster and fuller (ie pre-emptive) releases of information, rather than having to go through the cumbersome OIA provisions.

    It would take out much of the mystery, paranoia, and suspicion about political decision-making of one could see how political calls have been made against the facts and within the context of official recommendations. It’s definitely better than it was a few years ago, but still vastly uneven. Too many smaller Departments don’t seem to have anything useful to say, and even large Departments like MBIE only respond in big published set-pieces.

    With thanks to Patrick Smellie for taking notice of this.

    Any future government – especially a more genuine coalition government – should be able to release its “full and frank” components after decisions to show how calls were made across the Cabinet table. It would be much, much harder for either media or Ministers to spin things their way. And hence also suck a whole lot of needless fuel off any future Opposition. Perhaps that’s too much to ask, but it’s possible.

  14. Rosie 16

    Have I been out of touch for so long that I am the only person who doesn’t know about this tawdry little site?


    Why do they bother? Nothing better to do?

    • srylands 16.1

      Why do you think he bothers? There is hardly a lack of material here for taking the piss is there?

      The blog was established by The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrel. And you are correct. He had nothing better to do.

      Anyway it looks like it is dead.

  15. Rosie 17

    Is there a reason my comment isn’t coming up?

    [I’ve just released a comment of yours, Rosie, which I presume is the missing one. No idea why it was in limbo, though it’s possible the site you link to is on the naughty list. TRP]

  16. Colonial Viper 18

    University of Chicago tells new students to not expect “safe spaces” and “trigger warnings”

    You will find that we expect members of our community to be engaged in rigorous debate, discussion, and even disagreement. At times this may challenge you and even cause discomfort.

    Our commitment to academic freedom means that we do not support so-called “trigger warnings,” we do not cancel invited speakers because their topics might prove controversial, and we do not condone the creation of intellectual “safe spaces” where individuals can retreat from ideas and perspectives at odds with their own.


  17. Rosie 19

    Impending fustercluck approaching in your town:


    Awesome way to absolve yourselves of the difficulty of dealing with Easter trading laws Nat Govt.

    (That wasn’t the comment I was talking about earlier btw)

    • Paul 19.1

      Poorly paid workers will lose the opportunity to take holidays on days special to their faith.
      But that’s ok.
      Neoliberalism only worships one God too.

      • Rosie 19.1.1

        And, workers, regardless of faith or no faith, who previously only got to spend 3.5 days off, now will only 2.5 days off at the same time as their friends and family. Key words are “at the same time”.
        Everyone else gets 11 days off. Retail and hospo staff get only get 2.5 now, depending on what kind of public fight goes down in their town about keeping the shops shut or open.

        It was really slimey how the govt passed it off to councils to deal with.

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