Open mike 25/11/2010

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 25th, 2010 - 110 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

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.

The usual good behaviour rules apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

110 comments on “Open mike 25/11/2010”

  1. millsy 1

    More attacks on our cradle to the grave social security system from those who will never have to worry about hardship or anything like that.

    Paula Rebstock attacks the sick, single mothers and the unemployed, while John Whitehead attacks the retired.

    What does their vision of society look like?

    The streets, bridges and alleyways teeming with those who have blown their time limit, children being raised in orhpanages, and the elderley having to work minimum wage jobs at supermarkets when they should be enjoying a well earned retirement.

    I really cant blame those teenagers in the North Shore for holding drunken parties on facebook, it gives them a chance to let go before entering a lifetime of insecurity and expenability, going from day to day, week to week with the threat of having the rug pulled out from under them.

  2. D14 2

    Wasn’t Rebstock responsible (in part) for the monitoring of the Finance companies.
    And we know she was really successful in that job.

    AND when was the report due to be released? Was it released early under the Pike River Disaster?

    • millsy 2.1

      I think it was always due to be released today. The coal mine event was just bad timing, and has the unintended concequence of pushing it off the headlines.

      Which is probably a good thing. Last thing I want to see is the NZ Herald calling for the poor to be chucked out on the street.

  3. vto 3

    What on earth is Key doing being a prime minister? I finally gave up on him completely last night after watching him on the Pike River tragedy.

    He stumbled and mumbled his way through his carefully prepared (by someone else) speech, careful to say every word and not anything else. This is pathetic. A true leader would have perhaps a few of their own notes and then speak from their heart to lead and empathise and offer warmth and community. As a Lange would, or a Kirk or Muldoon even. And Clark. Key is like a boy.

    It is a bloody tragedy for f…s sake. If he can’t go off the bat in a situation then he never can (oh except when he talks about currencies – whatever that morphed up world is). I am seriously flabbergasted at his showing.

    He is not a leader. He is bloody useless and should go back to his useless currency ‘industry’.

    Piss off Key.

    • Carol 3.1

      Yes, just saw a clip of his speech on Al Jazeera. They used a mercifully short clip, because his delivery was so painful – he looks totally dead behind the eyes, with such a vacant look in a what should be a very emotional moment.

      • Alexandra 3.1.1

        Ive commented on Key’s increadibly poor address on the mining post. It was embarrassing. Perhaps Key’s media training has only prepared him for upbeat and relaxed performances and he just cannot cope with events of this kind. His address should have been a heartfelt and solemn one, offering the nation some comfort and confidence in our leadership. Instead his upbeat and light modulated voice made him sound insincere. The constant and anxious glances to his notes should have been unnessasary if he was fully briefed on the events leading up yesterdays explosion. It all added to the appearance of incompetence under pressure.

        • Lanthanide 3.1.1.1

          Go back to the Anzac day air crash and I believe Key fronted with a speech then. I didn’t see it, but clips might be available on youtube or one of the TV sites, if you’re lucky. See if he was as useless then, as well?

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.1.2

          So you were surprised that he didn’t go into a “Hey, I’m actually quite relaxed about what’s happened…”

        • ianmac 3.1.1.3

          Alexandra. Just been reading a curious novel “The Night Book” by Charlotte Grimshaw (numerous award winner). It features a very wealthy self -made millionaire who has been chosen by the National Party to become the next PM by ousting a female PM. The author shows the superficiality of the future PM and his supporters including the women who are wowed by the Leaders charm. Set around 2008. Almost like peering in the window. “Beware the foolishness of pretence.”

        • Fisiani 3.1.1.4

          I just dont know what broadcast you partisan hacks are seeing.You seemingly want an actor to role play ‘genuine’ grief. You want a professional politician playing the cameras to squeeze every last vote from the beguiled tearful viewers. You want a Hulun Klark. You saw a caring human being. Trouble is , you have to be one to see it.

          • Alexandra 3.1.1.4.1

            “You seemingly want an actor to role play ‘genuine’ grief.”
            Fisiani, I certainly dont want an actor for PM or one that is “… a professional politcian playing the cameras..” But since thats what were stuck with, for the time being, I’d prefer that he at least deliver a compelling and convincing performance, or get off the stage.

      • Bored 3.1.2

        A few tears and no notes might have been in order, but to give Key the benefit of the doubt none of us know what his emotional makeup really is. It is all too heart wrenching and awful , it would behove us more to show some respect for the families of the fallen rather than score political points.

        • Alexandra 3.1.2.1

          Your reply is understandable and predictable. However, labeling an observation and comment on the performance of our leader as political point scoring is unreasonable and arguably political point scoring in its self. There is not right or wrong time to expect our leaders to deliver their duties with dignity and skill. Key failed to do that at a critical time. Unlike other leaders who have fronted the media over the week.
          I’m not at all concerned about Key’s emotional make up, rather my concern is his utter failure to convey the depth of feeling, anguish and concern for the victims with any skill and natural sincerity.

          • Bored 3.1.2.1.1

            Circumspection please: we all show emotions and react in a different manner. How Key does it I cannot comment on because I am not him. As such I dont think it worthwhile speculating on his emotion response, let alone having an expectation.

            For the record my over all opinion of Key is slightly lower than shark shit.

            • travellerev 3.1.2.1.1.1

              Funny,

              I expressed the same sentiments on this thread and it was removed and put in the open microphone section without so much as an explanation as to why it was OK for you to say this and not for me. SO just for the record. Hear, hear. We all show our grief in different ways. Some of us in anger and some us us not but in a shallow ways. To call one political and the other not is just hypocritical.

              [lprent: Sorry – I was trying to fix a problem with the threading of comments on that post. I moved comments that I thought were causing the issue (possible replies to a already moved comment), and yours was one of them. I ran out of time to put them back . I shelved it for a weekend job to write a permanent fix for the problem (set that data set on the test server).

              Your comment and a couple of other comments were ‘collateral’ casualties – there was no reason for it apart from me trying to figure out what was going wrong.

              We do need that ability yo move off-topic comments as an alternative to zapping. But the current mechanism breaks the comment threading badly. ]

      • felix 3.1.3

        He has had no problem speaking about himself, for himself. Telling us how he knows famous people and they’ve sent him “personal” messages; no doubt they’re all worried about how the PM is feeling. That’s when he speaks from the heart, when the subject is himself, his ego, his own sense of importance.

        Last night was his chance to speak for us as a leader and he showed exactly how much of a shit he really is.

        vto is right. He’s a fucking child. Is it “political” to point out that our supposed representative and leader is emotionally and mentally incapable of representing and leading us?

        Is it really? Because I don’t intend this to be political and I don’t think vto did either. I’m personally fucking embarrassed of and disgusted by John Key.

        • Bored 3.1.3.1

          Hi Felix, looks like I will have to leave the full on assault on Jonkey to you today, plenty of barbs and razor blades in your missive. Myself, I am going to take today off from killing Key on his emotions and the mine issue. Any other subject and he is fair game, cos lets face it , he is fucking embarrassing and a totally shallow shit.

        • pollywog 3.1.3.2

          Is our PM a psychopath ???

          Not a murderer, vicious criminal or rapacious scam-meister, but a manager who oozes charm and charisma with no emotional depth – more sizzle than steak.

          These are the ones who are manipulative and ruthless enough to do whatever it takes to succeed and will stick the knife into anyone standing in their way.

          With their finely honed political skills, sharp timing and chameleon-like abilities, they thrive on risk, chaos and upheaval. And they are cold-blooded enough to claim later that they did nothing wrong.

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion/4386697/Is-your-boss-a-psychopath

          • Carol 3.1.3.2.1

            Oh. Thanks for the link. It does sound like a PM near us. And also, he always responds to criticism as if thereis no problem… denial – from pollywog’s link:

            What are the danger signals? Jo Owen at BNET identifies six traits to watch out for: they are highly egocentric and the world revolves around them; they have superficial charm and will say anything to get their way; they feel no guilt or shame about their actions; they take excessive risks; they blame others or completely deny there are problems and they are highly manipulative.

      • Once again, as I have said a couple of times .Has this guy got a drink problem ?

    • Jim Nald 3.2

      Yes. On Tue 23rd when he read out the Government Motion in the house, he sounded quite awful and useless. Heard his speech yesterday and this morning. No improvement.

      He fails to come across as natural when empathising. Just hasn’t got it. Would have helped if he had the gravitas in his delivery to make up but zilch, zero, nada there too.

      • Olwyn 3.2.1

        John Key’s media minders have concentrated on the brand. He was chosen as leader of the Nats on the basis of brand power, and voted into office on the same grounds. Meanwhile the “brand” has been kept at a distance from the potentially unpopular policies lest it get tarnished. All this has no doubt left him ill-equipped for fronting up as a national leader to a national tragedy. Especially since the sort of aspiration at which his brand is pitched is not compatible with tragedy.

        • Jim Nald 3.2.1.1

          ‘aspiration’ is too grand a word for his brand

          and his performance during question time has been more like stand-up comedy

          • Bored 3.2.1.1.1

            “Aspiration” is now visually linked to the All Blacks, Jonkey cant get out of the black World Cup jacket. Thats really pisses me off.

          • Olwyn 3.2.1.1.2

            Aspiration, when it doesn’t just mean “breath” means “ambition.” But it acquires a transcendent air when said with a blue sky in the background and a lavender tie beneath the mouth saying it.

            • Jim Nald 3.2.1.1.2.1

              ‘Aspiration’ in the positive, teleological sense, has not been much on donkey display.
              But more has been evident in the sense involving bodily function, eg hot air, the contradictory stances of blowing hot and cold, or just what stinks. Along the lines of a ‘tax switch’ in the fiscal area, there should be a ‘lexicon shift’ in Nats’ propaganda to try to be more honest and move away from aspiration to a more fitting word:
              Flatulence.

        • prism 3.2.1.2

          Perhaps he needs a look-alike as Winston Churchill used in WW2. That way he can leave the actor to convey the emotion, concern and determination for practical solutions that King John the Clueless should feel. His direction can then follow its natural path of quick, light, fast-moving pace like a Monarch butterfly (called the Wanderers because they travel long distances to other countries).

          captcha – derive (wrong pick of program – should have been deride)

    • big bruv 3.3

      Vito

      Would you have preferred Key called them feral inbred’s?

      • felix 3.3.1

        Can we ignore the troll today plox?

      • Bored 3.3.2

        You feral inbred shit head. I did not think anyboody could get lower than Key and his acolytes, but you take the biscuit.

      • joe90 3.3.3

        Can produce an actual reference to Clark saying ‘feral inbred’ BB?.

      • r0b 3.3.4

        Would you have preferred Key called them feral inbred’s

        Ahh BB, no lie so old that it isn’t worth telling again and again eh? Clark never said that.

        She did say some silly things though, being a real, fallible human being, with more brains and balls in her left toe than Key has in total.

      • vto 3.3.5

        bb, while Clark’s choice of words then were completely out of line, and exposed some of her own shortcomings, that is far from the same context. In these circumstances Clark would have shone, and left Key floundering in the leadership skill stakes. And I say that as someone who generally in fact votes to the right not the left. So there aint no ‘playing politics’ in this for me. It is about leadership by our prime minister and the millions of tears being shed across the country today.

        But I suspect you knew such anyway. Enough taking the bait for me.

        edit – if she in fact said it at all. is it now folklore?

        • r0b 3.3.5.1

          OK – what she actually said was:

          PM’S `FERAL’ COMMENT UPSETS WEST COASTERS.

          Greymouth, 14 April 2000, NZPA – West Coasters would strongly resent being described as “feral” by Prime Minister Helen Clark, lobby group Coast Action Network (CAN) chairman Barry Nicolle said today.

          Miss Clark made the comment yesterday on talkback radio after being questioned about the fight pro-logging groups have put up to the Government’s scrapping of the beech scheme on the West Coast…

          … Attitudes on the West Coast could be “fairly feral,” she said…

          And “inbreds” she has “no recollection” of saying. The original news reports are not on line any more but my source is here: http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2009/03/feral_inbreds.html#comment-545006

    • Richard 3.4

      It was a pretty typical speech for Key. He’s just not an articulate or convincing or empathic speaker.

      DPF, of course, feels compelled to tell us what a great and moving speech it was (and broadcast by CNN and the BBC!).

      Key was speaking about a great and moving event. His speech was neither great nor moving.

  4. Carol 4

    More student protests in the UK, and now the police are charging the protesters on horses:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/nov/24/student-school-pupils-protests-walkout

    I am also saddened to learn that there are plans to cut teaching grants by 100% to arts, humanities and social science courses in England. It looks like the Tories don’t want courses that might throw some critical light on their policies and the impacts they could have on society and the economy.

  5. just saying 5

    A bit of light relief from Lyndon Hood. A fable about a bear trying to lead a little pig out of the woods by carrying on in same same direction, but just a bit further to the right.

    http://werewolf.co.nz/2010/11/from-the-hood-lost-in-wiseacre-wood/

    • ianmac 5.1

      To go right must be right, mustn’t it? And round and round we go just like the 80s and 90s. Poor old Pooh. He will have time for a little something then have to think of a very clever plan like umm umm….

  6. just saying 6

    Don’t know if it is just my computer, but I’ve been having some problems with this site this morning.

    My comment disappeared so at risk of doubling up, I’ll repeat.

    Labour’s response to the welfare razor gang report:

    “Labour social development spokeswoman Annette King said the report was light on detail, and the public would have to wait a further four months to see National’s plans. She said calls to do more to manage the most-needy claimants and help people back into work were rich, when National had axed programmes started by Labour.”

    Words can’t express my contempt.

    • Bored 6.1

      Not sure what your contempt is for, Labours response or for Rebstocks razor?

      From my viewpoint the vapid logic and self serving ideology that underpins the report is beneath contempt. The only reason Rebstock and Bennett et al dont actually try and kill the poor is that they might get shot in the process. Instead they stand well back at a safe distance and try to starve them out. Best thing Rebstock can do is go back to Canada, (if they would let her back in).

      • just saying 6.1.1

        To put my comment in context Bored, yesterday I wrote:

        This will be the acid test for Labour’s purported change of heart. Will they go all out to defend the vulnerable citizens under attack, or will they make some mealy mouthed non-statement…..

        Acid test fail

        The ‘few’ in Labour’s slogan about governing on behalf of the “many not the few’ are the poor, the sick and the vulnerable.

        So I guess there won’t be a place laid at the table for “every person” under a (increasingly unlikely) Labour goverment.

        Business as usual

        • Bored 6.1.1.1

          JS, Have to agree, I have beeen calling for the heads of Goff and the Labour old gaurd for a while so I need little persuasion to the accuracy of your observation. There is a large chunk of “insiders” on this blog who will disagree on the basis of unity in defeating Key, myself I cannot see the point of replacing NACT with NACTlite.

  7. jcuknz 7

    Furher to my comments yesterday with regard to security and the American/America’s problem there is this piece in the NYT which ends with this
    http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/afghanistan-and-vietnam/?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=ab1
    … saying it much better than I could though I’ve thought it for some years now..

    “It would mean convincing Americans that — sometimes, at least — we have to absorb terrorist attacks stoically, refraining from retaliation that brings large-scale blowback.

    That’s a tough sell, because few things are more deeply engrained in human nature than the impulse to punish enemies. So maybe the message should be put like this: Could we please stop doing Al Qaeda’s work for it?”

    There is a viewpoint which says with regard to 9/11 … America asked for it and got it, now they should examine how and why they asked for it and try to modify their actions to correct the situation rather than going to war. [Turning the other cheek etc] That was one of my reactions as the twin towers were falling and nothing has happened since to change my opinion. I felt guilty to have those thoughts as thousands died but it was the crux of the situation..

  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    A guy crunches some numbers and discovers signs that point towards vampire squid:

    http://blogs.hbr.org/fox/2010/11/the-real-story-behind-those-re.html

  9. So what if starting April next year sometime someone who just got a job in a mine wants to point out that some of the wiring is shoddy or maybe the guys are to tired to work safe?

    For John Key to call these poor blokes brothers while his mates have passed a law making all workers less save while those guys were perhaps fighting for their lives in the mine is appalling and yes, it makes me angry and sad to see the ruling elite using the death of these guys for their own gain.

    I’m sure most salt of the earth Kiwi workers feel for the families as if they were brothers and sisters right now but if there is one man who lost the right to speak for them in that fashion it’s mister “$ 50 million, tax cuts for the rich, killing labour rights for the poor (and let’s face it, compared to him those miners were)” asshole.

    I’m sorry, but if we are talking grief and anger… that is a heard felt one from me.

  10. Jim Nald 10

    Newsflash from the Nats Nuts – Alan Peachey warns his Government that ACT’s campaign against the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill is costing Nats votes:

    “The Act Party is running a campaign based on misinformation and half-truths in this electorate [Tamaki], which is gaining some traction. I am receiving a lot of communications from constituents … who are really quite angry at what they are describing as a betrayal by the National Government. Many of the people in touch with me are threatening to resign from the party and to never vote for National again.”

    Misinformation and half-truths?
    Another instance of political karma ripening?
    Whatsoever ye soweth in the previous electoral cycle, ye shalt also reap.

    captcha: fire
    yes. burn.

    • jcuknz 10.1

      Foreshore & Seabed Bill ….. The current bill that ACT is arguing against is so full of fish-hooks that it should be thrown out, should never get to first reading. You should listen to a lawyer explaining what a desparately poor piece of legislation it is. It seems to me that instead of the relatively sensible bill by Labour it seems a back door way of giving everything to Maori, in a completely legal way without any redress or ability to question actions of individuals in government … The left should join with ACT is throwing the bill out on its ear. Don’t get mislead by your dislike of ACT … they are on the right track with this.

      • Alexandra 10.1.1

        How is the proposed law a back door to giving everything to Maori and why are Maori rejecting the bill if they stand to gain everything?

  11. Pascal's bookie 11

    Piece of work of the day:

    http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2010/11/24/armed-mn-lawmaker-arrested-near-planned-parenthood/

    ‘No officer, you’ve got it all wrong see, I ain’t planning on shooting up the family plannng clinic, I’m just ‘checking up on’ the lying bitch who I dated a coupla times but who won’t give me her phone number for some reason. It’s perfectly innocent.’

    • Olwyn 11.1

      That is up there with R L Burnside’s claim: “I didn’t mean to kill nobody … I just meant to shoot the sonofabitch in the head. Him dying was between him and the Lord.”

  12. Iprent,

    Not cool. Felix is expressing the same sentiments and so are some of the others. At least a mention as to why my expression of grief is selectively removed would have been nice.

    [I’m very busy and not much here this week, so I’m just passing by. But I can’t see anything in the trash, it doesn’t look like anything has been removed. — r0b]

  13. joe90 13

    Just a thought but it would be nice if the families of the other hundred or so who will die at work this year had the support of the country.

    Evidence shows that:

    * workplace injuries are killing about 100 people a year
    * annually, more than 700 people die prematurely from work-related illness or disease

  14. Good to see the moral police on The Standard relaxing a bit. What about a bit of the class solidarity that drove the original The Standard? This is not a national disaster but a disaster for the workers and their families. Key’s class of banksters and profiteers are facing a financial hit but hardely a disaster. They are using the same approach to the failure of this mine as the failure of SCF. The banksters get away with murder while posing as national leaders in national disasters. There is only one national disaster and thats the NACT disaster.
    Oil and Gas will pay their $500,000 conscience money, recover the bodies and after a decent interval reopen the mine. There is already a campaign building to blame the disaster on the difficulties of ‘surgical mining’ forced on the company because it couldnt use opencast mining on Conservation land.
    But we can’t allow this boss rule politics to shift the blame from the operation and management of the mine onto the Greens or some freak mishap. After all its Coasters that started coming out with ‘blame’ comments right from Friday. Former mine workers commented on safety defects in the mine. Then the MSM got into the act. They have their reasons (keeping the disaster movie interesting) but they did hit some pay dirt. Similar mines in the US now have failsafe ventilation systems since if the ventilation system fails in ‘gassy’ mines explosions are almost inevitable. Disasters in the US today are due to owners negligence. So its not use talking about Pike River as the ‘latest’ such mine. Peter Whittall himself while developing Pike River reported that the Mining regulations needed updating and there was a shortage of mine inspectors. A critical report from 2008 has not been acted on. Then we heard that Pike River itself had a dangerous build-up a few days before the explosion and workers came out and it took 20 hours to clear the gas. That presumably was with the ventilation system operating.
    Of course we wont know the full facts until an Official Inquiry is completed. But meanwhile our solidarity should be for the workers families and not for the parasites that are hanging around this disaster sucking the blood of the working class.

  15. joe90 15

    And while the tories go about their work dismantling the union movement Ark Tribe was acquitted yesterday of failing to attend a compulsory interview with John Howards industry watchdog after he “illegally” organizing safety meetings at the construction site where he worked.

  16. BLiP 16

    There are calls for peaceful protests in Ireland to take back the country now its politicians have sold future generations into debt.

    As philosopher Alisdair MacIntyre recently said:

    . . . we have already entered a new age of “darkness and barbarism” similar to the decline of the Roman empire. “This time, however, the barbarians are not waiting beyond the frontiers; they have already been governing us for quite some time. And it is our lack of consciousness of this that constitutes part of our predicament.” The survival of virtuous civilisation may depend, he implies, not on a world revolution but on the persistence of isolated communities similar to the monasteries that withstood the depredations of the dark ages. “We are waiting not for a Godot,” he concludes in After Virtue, “but for another—doubtless very different—St Benedict.” But who or what would that look like? He does not, as yet, say.

    • Bored 16.1

      Thats a bit vexing BLiP, it brings to mind the concept that the “barbarian” nature of leadership always absorbs challenges, especially for reform, and makes them part of the corruption. It brings to mind St Francis, who said he “came to rebuild a church” (meaning the Church which had become focussed as a temporal as opposed to spiritual power). Francis’ example and his order threatenned the hierachy of a corrupt organisation: they responded by giving ground until they could absorb, own and corrupt the message.

      • BLiP 16.1.1

        If one considers the necromantic economics driving globalisation as akin to the corruption of the Roman Empire, I think MacIntyre’s analogy holds. I’m not that au fait with my saints, but Benedict was well before Francis. As society crumbled with the fall of the Romans, Benedict gathered scholars and artists into his monastries and fostered their pursuits as far as he was able given the rabble at the gate. In short, Benedict sought to keep the best of humanity safe while the barbarians roamed Europe. That he used a commune model (The Benedict Rule) largely beyond the reach of politics, national boundaries, and economics is, I think, what MacIntyre is suggesting needs to happen if the lessons of capitalism are to be learned by future generations who may emerge from our own “Dark Age” which seems to be upon us. Rather than threaten the ruling order as per Francis, MacIntyre seems to be suggesting that we withdraw into our own, like-minded and self-sustaining communities.

        • Bored 16.1.1.1

          He is of a mind with John Michael Greer and others who suggest that we organise as local communities sharing our skills and goods directly for the “commonwealth”. I think myself that systemic collapse of economies and authority will drive this behavoir, and the results will vary in humanity. Which is why planning of how to evenly share the downside is central and highly unlikely to happen because it will require those with most to lose most. A withdrawal as MacIntyre suggests would most threaten those with most as they have most to a great degree through their exploitation of the rest of the community. They will resist.

          PS If we do as well as Benedict we too will hand down a magnificent liquor for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.

          • BLiP 16.1.1.1.1

            Heh! What a wonderful pursuit that would be. Thanks for the tip about Greer. I’ve sort of heard of him before and, yeah, I am in agreement with much of what he says and have now put his website into my bookmarks. Cheers.

    • Olwyn 16.2

      Unable to resist adding this quote from the Mac Intyre piece:

      When it comes to the money-men, MacIntyre applies his metaphysical approach with unrelenting rigour. There are skills, he argues, like being a good burglar, that are inimical to the virtues. Those engaged in finance—particularly money trading—are, in MacIntyre’s view, like good burglars. Teaching ethics to traders is as pointless as reading Aristotle to your dog. The better the trader, the more morally despicable.

    • KJT 16.3

      “When it comes to the money-men, MacIntyre applies his metaphysical approach with unrelenting rigour. There are skills, he argues, like being a good burglar, that are inimical to the virtues. Those engaged in finance—particularly money trading—are, in MacIntyre’s view, like good burglars. Teaching ethics to traders is as pointless as reading Aristotle to your dog. The better the trader, the more morally despicable”.

  17. Bored 17

    Whilst we are bitching and moaning about Key, the mine etc etc theres a person who is very busy in the background quietly ensuring you will pay private interests for WATER in the future: Rodney Hide intends and has legislation in the House at present to MAKE YOU PAY.

    Water Privatisation by stealth is his latest little treat for you. Be very afraid. Get aware and get active.

    • Jim Nald 17.1

      Water is the last frontier where the battle of privatisation will be waged.
      Will the many surrender by inaction?

  18. BLiP 18

    WTF!! At a time when we need our leaders and have questions requiring answers, the government takes the day off!!

  19. jcuknz 19

    From today’s “Star”, one of the Dunedin free newspapers, is a story by Bruce Munro. Resulting from an OIA request he has found that there is a considerable drop in expenditure on new housing of money coming from the sale of existing housing. On the other hand the Minister explains that the Housing Corp has 1361 more houses than three years ago and that in addition to upgrading exisiting homes they are leasing houses to rent out. Obviously leasing is cheaper than building, at least in the short term, and houses once they reach their use-by date can be quickly dumped. But my impression is that leasing is long term foolishness unless you can write off the expense in a business where it is short term expediency. Is what is good in business be good in welfare?
    Could this be a thread by one of the brainy types here to evaluate the pros and cons of this policy?.

    • BLiP 19.1

      I am among the least brainy here but, first impressions:

      Short term: a “leasing” arrangement, as opposed to a “rental” agreement allows the owners of the property to write off a greater amount of depreciation and other costs allowing speculators to continue enjoying the tax breaks removed from the “mum and dad” investors.

      Long term: its a thin end of the privatisation agenda. There are various costs removed from the Housing Corp budget which will see less and less money coming in as the government boasts of all its apparent “savings”, the service offered by Housing Corp is gradually degraded and, eventually, the argument can be made that “what’s the point – the “market” already provides X amount of houses, it might as well provide them all”.

  20. BLiP 20

    So much for “the many” and big cheers from “the few”.

    Labour will make bold changes to the economy including allowing public-private partnership for transport, considering an “inbound transactions tax” and allow private shareholders to own shares in subsidiaries of state owned enterprises, finance spokesman David Cunllffe said today.

    “We can turn old models of government participation in economic development on their head by using equity rather than grants, private sector experts rather than bureaucrats and rigorous performance measures rather than public sector doubletalk.”

    Thanks Labour – I’m lovin’ it.

  21. freedom 21

    “allow private shareholders to own shares in subsidiaries of state owned enterprises”

    Great in theory but in reality i would like to see low limits set favouring individual holdings to avoid the predictable takeovers from big corporates. This might actually allow state owned enterprises to be owned by people. I know that flies in the face of the free market doublespeak so i will be quiet now.

    • BLiP 21.1

      KiwiBank, of course, is a subsidiary of New Zealand Post.

      • Lanthanide 21.1.1

        He also said this about KiwiBank:
        ” And it would over time build Kiwibank into a full-service, full-scale bank. At the moment the bank concentrates on retail customers and has only limited business banking.

        The Government’s own banking, currently contracted to Westpac, would be put up for tender. “

        • millsy 21.1.1.1

          Personally I think government banking should return to the Reserve Bank. I see no compelling reason why we should have a private retail bank (even if it is Kiwibank) as the governments banker (frankly, there are severe risks associated with this practise). Of course, we could go the whole hog and merge Kiwibank and the Reserve Bank…..

          • millsy 21.1.1.1.1

            (I would also break up Treasury as well, and split some of its functions between the MED, MSD the RBNZ, and leave the rest as a very small policy advise ministry – Treasury, has rotted the civil service with the right wing crap it has peddled over the past 25 years, and has succeeded in nuking any form of science, technical and engineering expertise in the civil service – its time for Treasury to take a nice dose of its medicine)

            • Colonial Viper 21.1.1.1.1.1

              Also make the Government the sole issuer of money, not associated with private banking or interest bearing debt i.e. put an end to the creation of debt based bank cash.

      • jcuknz 21.1.2

        There is a danger of take-overs but surely it can and should be arranged that private shareholders be genuine New Zealand citizens to avoid foreigns taking over. Perhaps it is too simple to work but there has to be a way for savings to be invested in safe NZ ventures.

        • KJT 21.1.2.1

          Why not just keep it in the hands of all New Zealanders.

          • Colonial Viper 21.1.2.1.1

            If we are talking about new startup subsidiaries of SOEs focussed on tackling new business areas or bringing new innovations to market, then PPP’s may have some good uses.

            If we are talking about (part)selling off existing SOE’s subsidiaries then the case in terms of advantage to the tax payer must be very good indeed.

            • KJT 21.1.2.1.1.1

              PPP’s like the innovation incubators associated with the Universities are a good example of partnerships which should be encouraged as they work for the entrepreneurs and everyone else..

              Things like infrastructure ownership, banking and control of our currency should be kept in public hands as the private sector have proven to be too costly.

              New startup businesses are another example where a PPP with Government equity can encourage the sort of innovation and sustainable production we need for the future.

              • Pascal's bookie

                The problem is that he okayed, as a broad principle, selling shares in soe subsidiaries. he didn’t say start ups or joint ventures or any such thing. He said if English wants to sell half of kiwibank, Labour can’t call that privatisation.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Well of course it starts getting daft now, like you saying that salt is important to have in the kitchen (which it is) and them someone else coming along and putting it on your ice cream, in your wine, in your sugar bowl, and explaining their actions by saying “Well, YOU said its important to have salt so that’s what I’m doing, whats the problem.”

  22. jcuknz 22

    This year the Commonwealth Fund conducted their thirteenth survey of peoples experience and response to health insurance in eleven countries including Australia and New Zealand. The link is
    http://content.healthaffairs.org/cgi/content/full/hlthaff.2010.0862v1

  23. Carol 23

    As bored said on the welfare working group thread, the leaders of the London demo over night couldn’t be identified by the police (or journalists). I’ll post this link here as the WWG thread is not really on this topic. According to the Guardian, the main reason that the police were having difficulty identifying leaders/organisers is because the students are using social networking and mobile phones:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2010/nov/24/student-demos-in-twitter-age

    After two chaotic student protests in the space of a fortnight, the question police will be asking is: who are the new rebel leaders? The unfortunate answer for them is that there are none.

    Unlike student movements of the 1960s and 1970s, actions developed organically, with social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter, providing an ideal platform for grassroots organisation….

    Police forces elsewhere in the country faced a similar problem. Some journalists tried to expose student “ringleaders” posting messages on blogs; largely, they got it wrong, for while politically active, few, if any of the writers, were encouraging people to be violent……

    …Clare Solomon, president of the University of London Union,… Solomon led the London march early today with a megaphone but found her directions overruled when students, instructed via mobile phones, spontaneously sprinted toward parliament

    • Pascal's bookie 23.1

      Saw something today about how kettled protesters were calling the police emergency line to report that they were being illegally detained.

      The kids are all right.

  24. Pascal's bookie 24

    Oh ffs.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4388486/Labour-signals-economic-policy

    Cunliffe just gave the nats a free ride on privatisation.

    If you’re a LP supporter that doesn’t want our shit sold, then force labour into coalition with the greens by party voting green. Doing so cannot make a labour led govt less possible, but it’s the only way to make one worth having.

    • Pascal's bookie 24.1

      Oh right, scroll up dickhead.

      • Carol 24.1.1

        Well, I didn’t see the post earlier about it. How depressing. So it definitely looks like I’ll be voting Green again next election.

    • RedLogix 24.2

      Monbiot gives a serve to the Private Finance Initiatives that have contracturally stuck the UK public sector with billions of pounds of ‘odious debt’ that it must keep repaying… at a time when every other expense is getting slashed.

      Cunliffe has some work to do before I’d be convinced his ‘public-private partnerships’ would not in the long run amount to the same scam…public welfare for private corporates.

    • Colonial Viper 24.3

      Please don’t rush to conclusions, Cunliffe was very clear in his speech that the NATs are going to leave Labour with nothing in the kitty and a much bigger public debt than there is today. Unless Cunliffe raises taxes significantly or borrows signficantly or delays implementation greatly, the scale of ***NEW*** rail and other new projects he is envisaging is going to require assistance and participation from the private sector.

      Let me be clear about this: He is not proposing to sell off existing transport systems to private enterprise.

      He is proposing to involve private enterprise in partnerships with Government in ***brand new*** innovative transport projects.

      This is not about PPP’s and schools, prisons, hospitals. It is about getting some critical transport stuff done when there is no money in the bank.

      I personally think that while not ideal, its a frakin brilliant solution which combines strong values with practical nous to actually get stuff done for real for quick. G 😀 FF for 2 😀 11!!!

      • just saying 24.3.1

        It’s not long since Cunliffe was talking tax relief* for middle income earners. Admittedly that was before the alleged change of direction, but frankly there has been no sign of any such change yet.

        So is the tax relief* bidding war for the well-off voter still happening? And are PPPs how Labour intends to pay for it?

        Still sounding very much like National to my ear, though I do admire your faith CV.

        *highly offensive neolib jargon

        • Colonial Viper 24.3.1.1

          but frankly there has been no sign of any such change yet.

          1) Rewriting the RBA to include broader economic targets than just inflation. That is a change.
          2) Implementing currency and capital controls. That is a change.
          3) Prioritising the tradeables economy ahead of non-tradeables. That is a change.
          4) Preserving economic sovereignty by reducing/eliminating sales of core assets and productive farmland. That is a change.
          5) Focusing Government purchasing on NZ made goods and services. That is a change.
          6) Consideration of a CGT and an estate tax. That is a change.

          There’s actually quite a long list IMO, did you want me to go further?

          It’s not long since Cunliffe was talking tax relief* for middle income earners.

          Really mate? Where/when did this happen?

          • just saying 24.3.1.1.1

            Morning CV,

            Firstly, yes, I’d like to see the entire list of new policies or statements that demonstrate Labour has abandoned the neoliberal economic and social framework that the party first inflicted on the electorate without a mandate, in the eighties. That show that social justice, and “a place at the table for every person” are core and non-negotiable guiding principles, rather than empty rhetoric.

            And given the number of people whose place setting on that “table” was callously removed by changes enacted by Labour government, and continued through subsequent the Labour governments which includes the entire current labour leadership, who now admit they were, aah, wrong, actually, – I’d like to know how they intend to make amends for the harm done to those people, and ameliorate the damage to them, their children and grandchildren. Policies that don’t involve locking more up, or reducing resources to those with the least, to discourage the most disacvantaged from becoming “dependent” on subsistence “lifestyles” would be particularly nice to hear about.

            As to Cunnliffe and middleclass tax relief, so far I’ve only found an entry on red alert on May 21st this year agreeing that middleclass “tax “relief” was appropriate and saying that they would have got more under Labour. (Couldn’t seem to successfully cut and paste the verbatim) I haven’t been able to find the piece I was thinking of when I said the above, so I retract the middle-class tax relief bidding war claim until/unless I can.

            http://blog.labour.org.nz/index.php/category/tax/page/3/

  25. The Voice of Reason 25

    Completely apolitical link this, because it doesn’t remind me of anyone in NZ politics. No Siree.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/opinion/4386697/Is-your-boss-a-psychopath

  26. Jenny 26

    .

    “There is such an abiding and pervasive vision of mining as being a dirty business blood diamonds, all those things none of it helps. That is the public perception.
    “But it is a really, really great industry. All companies operating in mining in New Zealand operate at a high level, a leading edge level of safety, of environmental standards, of professional standards. Why we can’t get that out I don’t know.”

    Wylie did not believe investors would be scared off the New Zealand exploration industry by the accident.

    “I believe the [investment] industry will see the Pike River tragedy in the context of what it is, which is the New Zealand industry is one of high performance, safe performance, continuous performance and of growth.”

    “That is our normal business, our normal way of doing things. I believe people will understand that.
    “Our business is responsible, sustainable, it’s environmentally and socially responsible and profitable with good growth prospects, and there is a high level of professional involvement in it.”

    Cam Wylie, chairman of the New Zealand arm of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.

    Read Wylie’s words here.

    In the upside down world view of big business, the Pike River tragedy, is in the words of Cam Wylie, “what it is, which is the New Zealand industry is one of high performance, safe performance, continuous performance and of growth.”

    The last word, “growth”, of course being the big business code word for profits.

    Speaking of profits Wylie reveals a deeper truth when he says that investors will not be scared off from coal mining by the Pike River accident.

    If the possibility of their industry slowly parboiling the planet, didn’t put investors off, then I can see why the deaths of 29 men in New Zealand wouldn’t phase these same investors in the slightest. Except, as hard to counter, bad publicity, which seems to be Wylie’s main worry here. Wylie presaged the above statement by saying:

    “I think the industry struggles to explain itself and get itself understood by the public. It is the case in almost every country I have worked.

    And further:

    Wylie says the Pike River deaths will further “challenge” New Zealanders’ view of the mining industry.

    I hope so. Because in my opinion, it is way past time, this industry was begun to be phased out.

    UN: “climate warming worse”
    .

  27. Jenny 27

    .

    “That is our normal business, our normal way of doing things. I believe people will understand that.
    “Our business is responsible, sustainable, it’s environmentally and socially responsible and profitable with good growth prospects, and there is a high level of professional involvement in it.”

    Cam Wylie

    Would anyone like to pick the lies?
    .

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    8 hours ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    8 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    16 hours ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    16 hours ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    17 hours ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    2 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    5 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    5 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    5 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    6 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    7 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.