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Open mike 25/11/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 25th, 2015 - 118 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 …

118 comments on “Open mike 25/11/2015 ”

  1. Paul 1

    Guyon Espiner’s interview of Russell Norman on RNZ was a disgrace this morning
    Is he paid by Shell, BP and. Exxon Mobil to conduct interviews like this?

    • tc 1.1

      As expected, shilling for big oil as per the handlers instructions.

    • Nessalt 1.2

      was he asking hard questions of russell? should Russ be given a free pass because it’s public radio and he works for a political activist movement? jesus wept, guyon gives everyone grief. he’s angling for kim hills hallowed crown.

      go through much tinfoil at your hat factory?

      • Paul 1.2.1

        Ad hominems don’t make an argument.
        It would appear you revert to name calling quite regularly on these threads.
        The whole ‘conspiracy theory’ charge is always used to shut down debate. If your intention is to silence certain opinions, it won’t work.

      • Pat 1.2.2

        Guyon seldom gives anyone grief…as an interviewer he’s pretty tame…if he was on the ball today its likely an aberration,

  2. Gael 2

    Is this the ghost of the future?… beware ‘book-building method’ …. The european taxpayers bailed out Greek banks and now the corporate vultures have ‘looted’ it all…. is this for real?


    • vto 2.1

      The people get screwed again.

      The banking system is a joke. It is a joke here and it is a joke over there. The world’s largest ponzi scheme running wild and out of control…

      …. but don’t worry eh folks, not really happening. And interest rates lowest for half a century – shows the system is working eh… nah, actually shows the wheels are falling off right now. That is what extreme low interest rates show. It is a canary on the ponzi ferris wheel of fools.

      dump your debt and pull your cash

      don’t trust a bank

    • Murray Simmonds 2.2

      Very interesting link thank you Gael!

      An excellent example of why the control of every nations’ economy should be taken back from the banks and returned to the “sovereign” governments that are ‘democratically’ elected to RUN those countries.

      As i (dimly) understand it, money creation within a country was once something that was handled by governments and not by the banks. Perhaps some economic historian out there could fill us in on how, when and why that was changed. And more importantly how we have been better as a consequence of these changes?

      By “we” of course i’m referring to most of us, and most definitely NOT just the 1% who have undoubtedly benefited from the changes.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1

        Perhaps some economic historian out there could fill us in on how, when and why that was changed.

        How We Got Here

        Laws that make it illegal for you to print your own £5 or £10 notes have been in place since 1844. But when these laws were passed, they overlooked the fact that money can also exist in the form of bank deposits (the numbers in people’s bank accounts). Because of this oversight, banks now have the power to create money through a simple accounting entry. As a result, today almost all money exists as electronic bank deposits, and is created when banks make loans.

        It’s never quite as simple as that and David Graeber in his Debt: The first 5000 years notes the use of debt based currency in Sumer ~5000 years ago. IMO, it’s no coincidence that all religions that come out of the Cradle of Civilisation ban interest/usury outright.

    • crashcart 2.3

      Says every thing that needs to be said about large corporates. I hate to think of the amount they would have spent on lawyers trying to find a way to take advantage of Greek financial desperation.

      It only makes it worse that once they did find it they all jumpped in and ruthlessly plundered a country that is trying deperately to get back on its feet.

      • Murray Simmonds 2.3.1

        What it seems to mean is that the major economic decisions that were once made by governments have been transferred to (not publicly elected) private bankers so that they can make obscene private profits.

        The GFC was ‘handled’ by quantitative easing – which was in effect the printing of money to bail out the banks at the expense of the taxpayer. As i understand it, next time it will be “handled” by some new laws that enable the banks to bail themselves out by seizing a portion of the money deposited in the bank by their customers.

        So when GFC-2 arrives, the long-suffering person-in-the-street will once more be forced to hand over THEIR money to the rich, rich RICH bank owners because, once again we will be told “the banks are too big to be allowed to fail”.

        • Draco T Bastard

          So when GFC-2 arrives, the long-suffering person-in-the-street will once more be forced to hand over THEIR money to the rich, rich RICH bank owners because, once again we will be told “the banks are too big to be allowed to fail”.

          When you loan someone money you’re taking the risk that you’re not going to get it back.

          Yes, when you deposit money into your bank account you’re loaning the bank that money.

        • alwyn

          “enable the banks to bail themselves out by seizing a portion of the money deposited in the bank”
          I am getting rather tired of trying to correct this fallacy.
          No they will not be able to do that. If a bank fails a receiver will be appointed who will take charge of the organisation. He/she will be able to freeze part of the account balances with the remaining balance being immediately available to the customer.
          However before any customer loses money permanently the ENTIRE shareholders funds will have been written off. The current shareholders will have lost everything. That isn’t really “the banks bailing themselves out” is it?

  3. tc 3

    So looking at this flag effort if the second question pitched up first i.e. do you want to change the flag? The response to this could stop it right there and maybe save some money.

    What have I missed here as I haven’t followed this process as that would seem a more logical approach.

    • Paul 3.1

      It’s called FJK’s vanity project.
      His legacy to the country.
      And a feeble attempt to get people to talk about flags rather than the state of New Zealand.

      • tc 3.1.1

        Yeah I get all that but this just appears so brazenly wasteful to not have the questions reversed and possibly not require a vote on 3 ferns, a peak and a swirl.

      • Smilin 3.1.2

        Yeah if we could just “flag it” it would be great- Keys little niggle over history that don’t suit him
        The bastards mental and he is costing the country money unnecessarily
        Where’s the prudent fiscal govt spending in this one ?

      • Amanda Atkinson 3.1.3

        New Zealand is doing just fine, that’s why so many people want to live here, and it;s why record numbers are coming home. Also, good story on the murder rate last night too, NZ is becoming safer, as a result of the efforts of both Labour and National governments over the years. Can we do better? Of course. But NZ is one of the most desirable places in the world to live for a reason, again, as a result of National and Labour led governments over time. Stop trying to make out that our country is a hell hole. It’s not true, and no one believes it. Suggest ways to improve by all means, but telling people something that is not true is unhelpful, and a waste of your time when it is not believed. The flag vote is not a vanity project. It was Labour policy too. No one remembers who the Canadian prime minister was when they changed the flag. If ours changes, no one will remember it was Key as PM when it happened. He knows that. Personally, the whole thing is a waste of time and I hope the current flag stays, but to call it Vanity project is not very insightful. If you don’t want it changed, miss the first vote, and vote for the old one in the 2nd. It’s pretty simple. Just stop whining about it like a little child.

        • vto

          I don’t think people are rushing to live here silly. Our longer term population growth rates are below those of the wider world. Do you know what that means Amanda? It means more of the world wants to live elsewhere, contrary to your ostrich piece above.

          • Amanda Atkinson

            I’m talking migration, where people want to live, or not. Record numbers of people want to uproot their lives to move here. We are not discussing birth v death rates, life expectancy and all manner of other demographics that contribute to population growth or otherwise. But, you know this already. Cherry picking statistics is not very helpful or insightful. Good grief, I am not saying we are perfect. Only that we do not live in a hell hole, like many try to make out, and the evidence that do not live in a hell hole, is that so many people want to move here. That’s all my point is. If you think we live in a hell hole, perhaps you should consider adding yourself to the exit queue and go to your happy place. People were moaning for years about the brain drain, now everyone is coming home, and they still moan. Moan, moan, moan. Just like you did, pulling out completely irrelevant stats to have a little whinge.

            • vto

              you don’t even have any statistics so wtf you on about?

              And fuck off with your “if you don’t like it join the exit queue” patheticness. How ignorant

            • Kay

              I’d like to leave Amanda, but I have this slight problem of being considered a “drain on the health system” of pretty much any country, so I’m denied any sort of visa beyond a tourist one. So I’m suck here forever but that won’t stop me “moaning” about what our country has descended into.

            • Paul

              It is ‘not’ moaning to point out that a lot of NZers are really struggling.
              Some people call that empathy.

              I appreciate you are doing fine and it is clear that is all that matters to you.

              Sadly this selfish approach to the world had been fostered by neo-liberalism. And folk like you are its product.

            • Puddleglum

              Hi Amanda,

              I think there are two comparisons that you might be confusing.

              The first is the simultaneous comparison between New Zealand and other countries. The second is the comparison between New Zealand now and New Zealand in the past (say 30-40 years ago).

              For example, it’s possible that both New Zealand and the broader world are getting worse overall on many measures (e.g., inequality, economic instability and/or lower growth rates, perpetual austerity and reductions in social provision, etc.) but that, relative to other countries, New Zealand is either not getting worse as quickly as other countries or started from a better starting point and so remains relatively more desirable given the conditions elsewhere.

              I would argue that on many measures life in New Zealand is far more stressful today for ordinary people than it used to be some decades previously. There is far less structural support for people, far more disruptive change in their lives and far more uncertainty and complexity. In short, it is less human and humane an experience in that general sense of living an ordinary life.

              I agree that many aspects of life are better in objective terms but, oddly and despite all those supposed benefits, people are more stressed and ‘under it’ today than they used to be.

              Aspirational rhetoric – which many people buy in to and even internalise – tends to disguise these fragmented lives and associated stresses but they come out in things such as anxiety, depression, substance abuse, interpersonal conflict and a general experience of ‘flatness’ in people’s lives.

              Some are certainly thriving – and you may associate with many of these people – but most are not. I think that’s because there’s not only been an increase in economic inequality over the past few decades but, perhaps in association, an increase in experiential inequality: A relatively few number of people’s life experiences may well be soaring to the highest heights but far more people’s lives are plumbing the depths than used to be the case.

              It’s a pity we don’t have a regular survey like this APA Survey of US Stress that has been running since 2007.

              Interestingly, since 2007, overall stress has declined- i.e., since Obama’s presidency, overcoming the GFC and some positive economic indicators.

              There’s lower levels of health related stress which may be partly about the healthcare reforms there. The ageing population may also be a factor in reducing stress levels at the population scale (it is well known that ‘happiness’ tends to be higher at older ages when responsibilities reduce). The ‘boomer bulge’ is entering the ‘happy’ years.

              Nevertheless, as the graph on page 4 of the report indicates, a gap has developed in stress levels between low income and higher income families. Similarly, parents, younger generations and women also now report significantly more stress than others.

              • The lost sheep

                Puddleglum, I’m a major fan of your contributions, and look forward to them with great anticipation…
                But honestly, I think you are on your strongest ground when you drill down on the objective with facts, and give the subjective a literal poke in the eye with the blunt stick of evidence.
                Some are certainly thriving – – but most are not……
                …. an increase in experiential inequality: A relatively few number of people’s life experiences may well be soaring to the highest heights but far more people’s lives are plumbing the depths than used to be the case.

                Say what? Where is your usual factual evidence to support those claims?
                It certainly does not reflect my experience from the 1950’s through to today. I would say completely the opposite in fact…

                And then the only factual evidence you do produce actually shows that stress levels have reduced at the population scale, and the boomer bulge is entering the happy years.
                Is that not the ‘most’ you claimed are ‘not thriving’?

                I know misery is the signature theme of the contemporary Left, (and god knows they need a point of difference), but objectively, is it really possible to substantiate that most people are living lives that on an overall scale are worse than they were in 1950?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  That’s a laugh Sheep: when was the last time you found a single piece of evidence for any of the things you believe?

                  Off the top of my head I can recall several studies that provide proxy support for Puddleglum’s thesis: infectious disease admission rates, child poverty, homelessness, etc. etc.

                  The only support you ever offer your dogma is that you think it,

                  • The lost sheep

                    is that you think it
                    Have a thought, express it as an opinion.
                    Silly me, I thought that was the primary purpose of this blog.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      In my opinion, it’s worth passing a reality check over my opinions. One good way to do that is to invite criticism, and hence blogging.

                      Another good way is to look for evidence that contradicts them – my opinions, that is.

                      “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do?”

                • Hi the lost sheep,

                  Thanks for your compliment about most of my comments. Much appreciated.

                  I agree that it is important to have objective evidence or strong logical argument in support of any knowledge claims that are made and apologise for not providing the evidence in this comment.

                  Unfortunately, there is quite compelling evidence from studies to support increased levels of depression, anxiety and associated stress over the past few decades in modern societies. I have mentioned some of these in previous comments but am happy to reiterate that evidence here.

                  Perhaps some of the most disturbing work has come from Jean Twenge whose PhD work on anxiety in young people and children was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology in 2000 – the title of the paper was ‘The Age of Anxiety? Birth Cohort Change in Anxiety and Neuroticism, 1952-1993’.

                  Follow up studies by Twenge on depression in young people and, very recently, increased rates of depressive symptoms for Americans of all ages.

                  From the last link:

                  A study by San Diego State University psychology professor Jean M. Twenge shows Americans are more depressed now than they have been in decades.

                  Analyzing data from 6.9 million adolescents and adults from all over the country, Twenge found that Americans now report more psychosomatic symptoms of depression, such as trouble sleeping and trouble concentrating, than their counterparts in the 1980s.

                  “Previous studies found that more people have been treated for depression in recent years, but that could be due to more awareness and less stigma,” said Twenge, the author of “Generation Me: Why Today’s Young Americans are More Confident, Assertive, Entitled — and More Miserable than Ever Before.”

                  “This study shows an increase in symptoms most people don’t even know are connected to depression, which suggests adolescents and adults really are suffering more.”

                  Admittedly, those are studies of American young people and adults. Here’s a bullet point summary of the findings from the most recent survey results from the Sovereign Wellbeing Index run by AUT in New Zealand:

                  People with strong connections to family, friends and those living within a supporting community are doing the best.
                  Kiwis aged 55+ are the most awesome.
                  It’s not necessarily what we earn but whether we’re living within our means that matters.
                  Getting enough sleep is an important foundation for wellbeing.
                  Nearly two thirds of young people show signs of depressed mood.
                  New Zealand wellbeing compares poorly to that of European nations

                  The details of those surveys (two so far) suggest that New Zealanders do particularly poorly – relative to other countries in the broader international survey – when it comes to social connectedness.

                  I could find many more references if you would like to learn more about this issue.

                  • The lost sheep

                    Many thanks Puddleglum, you’ve caused me to waste far to much time this morning following your leads….

                    Happily, because I’m an incurable optimist, I have to say that I didn’t see in any of that substantiation for your contention that….
                    Some are certainly thriving – – but most are not……
                    A relatively few number of people’s life experiences may well be soaring to the highest heights but far more people’s lives are plumbing the depths than used to be the case.

                    Certainly there is evidence of deterioration in some areas of life / specific countries, but on the other hand there is plenty of evidence of improvements in quality of life and well being also?
                    It seems to be one of those topics that is very open to distortion by selective evidence. You can point to the USA as ‘evidence’ for example, but if a single aspect in a single country proves an overall point why don’t we use Denmark, Panama or Chad as our reference points?

                    But if we are talking about NZ, I simply don’t see any of the evidence supporting the idea that ‘most of us are plumbing the depths’ and still sinking!
                    The Well being report you reference has 46% of us ‘Awesome or nearly there’, and no change in that since 2012. Strangely, they don’t even define ‘could do better’, let alone grade it into classes, but I would think it fair to assert that the entire category is not people ‘plumbing the depths’? So on that assumption at least half of us have pretty good well being and that figure is stable?

                    And then there is this..
                    If that is accepted as credible, surely it disproves the contention that only ‘relatively few’ NZ’ers are having a life experience that they are happy with?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      It’s time for your reality check.

                      Here’s a heads-up from Treasury. Note the left hand portion of figure 1.

                      You will seek ways to deny and ignore these findings.

                    • The lost sheep

                      As always OAB, when faced with evidence you find uncomfortable, you are attempting to shift to new ground without addressing the point in hand.

                      Perhaps you’d like to go back and address the specific points and evidence I raised?

                    • The lost sheep

                      The research you cite contains some analysis of direct relevance to the points under debate OAB.

                      The results indicate an increase in the inequality of market and disposable income per adult equivalent person (using the individual as the unit of analysis) from the late 1980s to the early 1990s. Subsequently, inequality has – with some variability – remained either constant or has fallen slightly.

                      This does seem to further undermine the idea that an ongoing rapid increase in economic inequality is causing associated ‘experiential inequality’.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Hi Puddleglum,
                      Once again, this recent evidence does not seem to support the theory that ‘most’ of us are increasingly plumbing the depths ?

                      “59 percent reported their income was enough or more than enough”


                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Sheep – Treasury’s figures show that inequality increased as a result of “free-market” vandalism and has remained higher than its base (1983-84) level since then.

                      This doesn’t undermine PG’s point at all.

                      The consequences of the vandalism are quantified by The Lancet, and again, they support the thesis.

                      The World Happiness Report covers the last three years: your pretence that it is useful information when examining the last thirty is pathetic. Oh, and “happiness” is a subjective measure at best: hospital admissions not so much.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Treasury’s figures show that inequality increased as a result of “free-market” vandalism and has remained higher than its base (1983-84) level since then

                      That’s correct. Since the early 90’s inequality has remained either constant or has fallen slightly. It’s great that we finally have some credible evidence to give us clarity on that oft argued point. Thanks for pointing to it.

                      This doesn’t undermine PG’s point at all

                      Not necessarily, depending on how you would resolve all the other aspects that contribute to well being that PG outlines. (It’s important to keep in mind that inequality may well impact on well being / life satisfaction, but it is far from being the sole determinant).

                      But strictly in regard to inequality, it does clarify the question PG raises…
                      ” it’s possible that both New Zealand and the broader world are getting worse overall on many measures (e.g., inequality,………
                      but that, relative to other countries, New Zealand is either not getting worse as quickly as other countries or started from a better starting point….”

                      The answer for inequality is that for the last couple of decades NZ is not getting worse at all.

                      The World Happiness Report covers the last three years: your pretence that it is useful information when examining the last thirty is pathetic. .

                      PG’s thesis was that compared to 30 years ago ‘most’ of us were ‘plumbing the depths’, and only ‘relatively few’ were thriving.
                      The WHR, The Household Economic Survey, and the Well Being Index are all credible sources that contain evidence that suggests that is not actually the case.

                      You don’t think that is significant?
                      Well here’s 2 potential accepted starting points for almost any political conversation…
                      ‘Almost everyone is actively suffering and it’s getting worse all the time’.
                      ‘The majority of us are satisfied or better, and that situation is stable’.

                      You don’t think it makes any difference to the conversation which one of those is true?
                      As you say OAB. A reality check. We’re not going to get anywhere if we are clinging to false memes.

                    • McFlock

                      why are you talking about the early 1990s when the time reference was “30 years ago”?

                      Oh, that’s right, you’re a tory cherry-picker.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      I suggest you acquaint yourself with the measures that go into making up the GINI coefficient. Pay particular attention to those that apply across all strata of society.

                      The negative effects of inequality are not confined to income distribution.

                      Also see the OECD on national productivity.

                    • The lost sheep

                      You’re running off to new ground again without dealing with the evidence in hand OAB?

                      You complained that I never produce evidence, and now we’ve got evidence for Africa you don’t want to discuss it?

                      Straight up then. Yes or No.
                      The Treasury Report, The Well Being Index, The Household Economic Survey.
                      Are they credible sources we can take as accepted ‘evidence’, or do you reject them?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Who’s running to new ground? Treasury cites the GINI. Are you acquainted with the way it’s calculated yet?

                      The OECD, also citing the GINI, calculates our lost productivity. You asked for evidence that we’re worse off. You have it.

                      As for the Wellbeing survey, I’m comparing NZ c.1983 with NZ c.2014. The Wellbeing survey covers the last three years of the period and is to all intents and purposes irrelevant..

                      The household economic survey measures economic statistics. The GINI – as the Treasury report probably notes somewhere – is a better measure of overall well-being.

                    • The lost sheep

                      Yes, or, No OAB?
                      It’s a pretty straightforward question.

                      If I know anything with any certainty, it is that when people are unwilling to answer a simple yes/no question, it is because they know that doing so will fatally compromise their position…

                      Takes courage to answer honestly under those circumstances…

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Are you so dense you haven’t noticed that I answered your question? Sad.

                      Edit: you really are that dense, eh. I’m citing Treasury, you moron, and I covered the other two, and what McFlock said, dimwit – your cherry-picking is flat-out dishonesty.

                  • The lost sheep

                    Was that yes or no?

                    Oh. Far too complicated for someone of your intelligence, eh?

                    • ropata

                      yes I’m sure that most people in your circle of delusion are thriving off their unearned wealth and enjoying the fruits of living in a society thats far more unequal than at any time in history


                    • ropata

                      Our kids are worse off than ever


                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      You asked about three studies. I answered regarding each of them. Is counting to three too complicated?

                      I note you are avoiding my answers. It takes courage to answer honestly under those circumstances?

                    • The lost sheep


                      A. We are actually discussing overall well being and life satisfaction. As you will see if you follow the links, these are reasonably high in Aotearoa. That’s the reality as established by credible research.
                      We can accept that without implying that everyone is happy?

                      B. I earned my wealth the hard way my friend, by working 18 hour days for 10 years straight – after spending 20 years as a manual worker on minimum wages. Now i am wealthy, I get to assist far more people and causes every week than I did in years when i was poor. So you can take your implications and place them you know where.

                      C. You are wrong about historical inequality. See below. I trust you will adjust your worldview accordingly.

                      inequality in historical pre-industrial societies is equivalent to that of today’s pre-industrial societies, ancient inequality was much greater when expressed in terms of maximum feasible inequality. Compared with the maximum inequality possible, today’s inequality is much smaller than that of ancient societies.

                    • The lost sheep

                      I’ll take that as a ‘YES’ then.
                      In that case, all my points are valid.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Meanwhile, on Earth, here’s what I actually said:

                      As for the Wellbeing survey, I’m comparing NZ c.1983 with NZ c.2014. The Wellbeing survey covers the last three years of the period and is to all intents and purposes irrelevant.

                      The household economic survey measures economic statistics. The GINI – as the Treasury report probably notes somewhere – is a better measure of overall well-being.

                      I note that the only answer you have is to put words in my mouth.

                      McFlock already pointed out how dishonest you are. Choke on it.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      …an example of this dishonesty is the way you take a Treasury report comparing New Zealand c.1983 with New Zealand c. 2015 and pretend that a study comparing the last three years in New Zealand with (say) Denmark has anything useful to say at all on the subject.

                      So, on the one hand we have the Treasury department, the OECD, The Lancet, who all support PG’s point, and you, cherry-picking irrelevancies.

                      Thanks for validating my predictions about your denial and willful ignorance.

                      What a waste of oxygen you are.

                    • The lost sheep

                      You wouldn’t be the arsehole we love to hate if you didn’t claim that any evidence that doesn’t support your worldview is irrelevant OAB.
                      That’s a subjective call you are free to make obviously.

                      But objectively. That doesn’t alter the facts. And unless you are going to claim otherwise, that means that the evidence tells us that inequality has not increased over the last 20 odd years, and that a majority of Kiwis are quite satisfied with their lives. Fact.

                      The contention that relatively few of us are thriving and most of us are plumbing the depths is false.

                      You hate that idea don’t you! You want the world to be miserable!

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Do you understand the OECD’s point, dimwit? What the increase in the GINI thirty years ago has cost us in lost productivity (never mind child morbidity)?

                      Even you, in your self-made worship-bubble, would have been better off.

                      If you had any information contradicting that you’d cite it, and you don’t. Have you educated yourself on how the GINI is calculated yet?
                      The factors that negatively affect everybody. Of course not – you’re too busy making up lies about me.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Here are some data for you to ignore and deny.

                      In New Zealand, income inequality had been relatively stable in the last decade, but this masked growing wealth inequality of the kind Piketty had identified, Bertram said.

                      A very large rise in income inequality from the mid-1980s to the early 2000s had translated into a concentration of wealth at the top, and Statistics New Zealand research showed poor households borrowing large amounts while wealthier households saved, exacerbating existing inequalities.

                      And more.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      PS: if you can demonstrate the relevance of data from the last three years to the situation in 1983-84, go for it. Until then, the world happiness study – while interesting, has nothing to say on the subject.

                      The data, by the way, were collected by Gallup, who point out that they’re based on face-to-face one hour interviews or half-hour phone conversations, and are “nationally representative”, apart from areas “where the safety of the interviewing staff is threatened”.

                      I’m sure you can detect no possibility of sample bias arising from such methodology.

        • DRUM

          For some Amanda, for some. I work as a social worker and over the last 10 years have been into scores of homes that could be described as hell-holes. Not enough money, food, work, warmth etc. It might be good here for some….but for many it’s not!

          • Rosie

            Thank you Drum. Thank you for pointing that out and thank you for the work you do 🙂

            And Amanda, try living in my shoes for a week, then come back here next week and say NZ is doing just fine.

            You are looking at the world from your eyes only. To appreciate how hard this country has become to live in you need to step in another’s shoes. An old cliche, but true.

            Glad for you if you’re life is going well, but don’t make judgements about others based on your own experience. Remove those blinkers.

        • RedBaronCV

          Looks like both the flag and immigration are coming up as negatives in the focus groups. But:
          – net returning New Zealanders from Aus is about 100 a month. The rest of our immigration increase is new from outside with our unemployment climbing to 6% plus. Aus unemplyment is lower. The student inwards migration is not adding anything as NAct fueled changes mean that they are working here (at minimum wage no doubt) and funding their studies from this.
          -planning to change a flag need not be a vanity project but somehow Key has managed to throw sufficent money at it without professional input to feed the perception that it is just that. As to how to vote – if people want to spoil ballots that is indeed in a democracy their choice.

        • Draco T Bastard

          New Zealand is doing just fine,

          No it’s not hence the increasing poverty.

          and it;s why record numbers are coming home.

          No, record numbers are coming home because a) they’re being screwed by Australia b) the global finances are collapsing which results in c) NZers will be able to get help from the NZ government whereas they probably won’t be able to from other governments (see a).

          Stop trying to make out that our country is a hell hole.

          National is turning NZ into a hell hole. It’s what they always do.

          The flag vote is not a vanity project.

          It probably is to some extent but mostly, IMO, it’s a re-branding exercise after JK trashed our clean/green brand on Hard Talk. Not that we were actually clean or green.

        • tracey

          I have a VERY comfortable roof over my head. I have a fixed term job which ends on February 12. I eat well, I can get luxuries and I get holidays. BUT I also know that some of that was luck…

          Most of it was not by my own hard work per se. Not by working harder than anyone else I know.

          The coming and going (the brain drain as you call it) – is cyclic and seems to bear a direct correlation to how the economies of the places people leave NZ to go to, are doing. (I don’t the stats behind that, just my observation).

          Also, many immigrants are coming through the skills category. This means they have to have high skills and usually need a job offer. That employer needs to prove no kiwi cand o the job. So the corrolary to your sunny day take on it is that we have people without these skills. Let’s build THEM up aye? BUT our tertiary institutions are chasing money to survive, so look overseas, they are being directed by Joyce to focus on degrees which are in demand today. There is no future proofing going on.

          My desire for NZ and all NZers is that they are afforded the chance to THRIVE not just survive. For a decent section of our fellow citizens they are not THRIVING. For a multitude of reasons, many controllable, some expensive and some cheaper to fix.

          I don’t know what motivates Key. I am not in his head. But it seems to me that asking the people if they want to change the flag might have been a more sensible approach AND presiding over a decent public discussion about what “we” see NZ as standing for?

          NOT having people living on top of rubbish dump is never going to be the measure of when *I* expect myself and my fellow citizens to stand up and say ENOUGH

          • Whispering Kate

            Amanda, you obviously have not had the rough edges knocked off you. You sound youngish, from a comfortable family, I may be wrong, but you definitely haven’t “lived” by the way you speak. Many people, through no fault of their own, experience hardship, misfortune, tragedy in their lives. It doesn’t matter what type of family you are raised in, its a toss of the dice what life will hand out to you. Others here have said try walking in the unfortunate’s shoes and have compassion for people who are enduring hardship, they are absolutely right because we, each and every one of us is a heart beat away from a series of events which will crush your spirits and burden you and then you will have to find the fortitude to pick yourself up and carry on.

            Unfortunately for you, if and when it happens you will be the least able to cope with the pain and hardship so I feel darned sorry for you. “There but for the grace of God go I” – you should be repeating this mantra on a daily basis and be grateful you are coping with your life. Stop being judgmental and full of bitterness.

            • tracey

              Hi Kate

              Your reply was to me, so Amanda may not see it.

              • Whispering Kate

                Thanks Tracey, hopefully she will find it – she sounds like a hard hearted person, am glad I don’t have any dealings with her.

        • Paul

          ‘New Zealand is doing just fine’……

          Yes the wealthy in NZ are doing fine.
          The rest aren’t.

      • mary_a 3.1.4

        @ Paul (3.1) absolutely correct.

        Then when the flag issue is done and dusted early next year, wait for the pandas to be rolled out. That’s already in the wings waiting to make an appearance and be “discussed” at a convenient time!

        The pandas will be the major distraction from the “prominent NZer’s” court case coming up next April. Timing seems to coincide.

        How, or more to the point when, do we rid ourselves of this hideous excuse for a government?

      • McFlock 3.1.5

        chap at a party on the weekend who had spent time in the US had an interesting theory: Key picked on the flag issue because of his yankophilic persuasions.

        Flags are big in the US, so Key places greater importance on the cloth than most normal NZers. He definitely looked on it as his legacy project – and frankly the thought of an unchanged flag being a constant reminder to him of his failure in that respect makes me a little bit happy.

        • Ergo Robertina

          It ain’t exactly hard to figure out. The reason for mooting the change is to get people exercised and engaged by something that is stripped of constitutional implications.
          I can see why he thought it would work – both in terms of ‘debate’ and eventual outcome – but he has comprehensively failed on both counts (I suppose the mood could change in respect of the outcome, but it’s hard to envisage).
          I doubt this has much to with Key’s proclivities other than that he’s a purely cynical and disingenuous operator.

    • ScottGN 3.2

      Judging by the comments starting to come out of the PMO they realise the gig’s up and have launched the softening-up job on the public ahead of an embarrassing low turnout for the first referendum and a big ‘no’ vote for the second one.

    • Chooky 3.3

      @tc…to summarize the answer to your question

      Little wanted the existing flag included on the first referendum to save money on a costly second referendum but the Greens did a deal with jonkey in order to get Red Peak in (, which they support, or at least James Shaw supports and other prominent Greens support) …hence the Greens snubbed Labour and NZF and the general public of New Zealand who do not want the costly two referendums and 80% of NZers want their existing flag ( and think $26 million on John key’s vanity project is a shocking waste of public money)…by doing this the Greens dug John Key out of a hole

      For more details and to get up to speed on the sorry saga read:


    • Draco T Bastard 3.4

      That is the logical process. The process we have is due to National thinking that they could build a groundswell of opinion to change the flag during the pick a flag part and so they put it first.

      IMO, most people cottoned on to their duplicity fairly quickly.

  4. veutoviper 4

    If you haven’t been following the disaster/own goal that is happening at Mediaworks recently (including their newest and possibly shortest product “Scout”), Duncan Greive at The Spinoff has been producing some really good investigative journalism.

    His latest yesterday reveals that Mark Wheldon’s contract with Mediaworks has apparently been renewed recently – despite the ongoing train wreck.

    Most of the comments to date are from disillusioned ex- Mediaworks employees backing Greive’s reports and opinions.

    His earlier articles are also worth reading for context – eg this one (and the other links in the above article).


  5. Smilin 5

    Dr Jarrod Gilbert: The police have deemed me unfit to undertake crime research because I know criminals-NZ Herald this morning

    A very damning report on how our police control information to govt work
    Explains in a nutshell what kind of society we live in now since this govt has been in power
    It would appear now that any form of independent inquiry in to police conduct will never see any resolve that could implicate police being held to account if they could be shown to be at fault
    Our free democracy is not what we believe it is any longer

  6. Sabine 6

    and the dam collapse in Brazil, that saw a town washed away in mining waste, that saw the watersupply for 250.000 people poisioned, is still a gift that keeps on giving.

    quote: round 50m cubic metres of mining residue has been working its way down the Rio Doce since the accident at the Fundão dam, controlled by the mining company Samarco, on 5 November.

    Anger rises as Brazilian mine disaster threatens river and sea with toxic mud
    Twelve people have been confirmed dead and another 11 are still missing, as the tide of sludge wiped out several communities in the state of Minas Gerais, before making its way into the Rio Doce.

    The mud has extinguished vast amounts of plant and animal life along a 400-mile (650km) stretch of the river, with the heightened turbidity drastically reducing the levels of oxygen in the water.

    Concern over toxins in the mining residue has led the national water agency, ANA, to ban the use of the river water for human consumption. Hundreds of thousands of residents in the area are still dependent on supplies of bottled water.


    mean time in the US some individuals are trying to exempt ‘honest mistakes’ like mine collapses and global financial world wide crises to be considered as ‘honest mistakes’ that need no prosecution and / or jail time. Of course not.

    Quote:The public debate over criminal justice reform has focused on reducing severe sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. But some influential conservative voices, including the billionaire Koch brothers and the Heritage Foundation, have quietly advocated for curbing prosecution of corporate offenses as well.

    The House bill would eliminate a host of white-collar crimes where the damaging acts are merely reckless, negligent or grossly negligent. If enacted, it would make it more difficult for federal authorities to pursue executive wrongdoing, from financial fraud to environmental pollution.

    Department of Justice spokesman Peter Carr blasted the legislation in a statement provided to HuffPost, saying it “would create confusion and needless litigation, and significantly weaken, often unintentionally, countless federal statutes,” including “those that play an important role in protecting the public welfare … protecting consumers from unsafe food and medicine.”

    The House Judiciary Committee will begin marking up its criminal justice reform package, including the latest bill, on Wednesday. Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the panel’s top-ranking Democrat, have been working on bipartisan legislation for months.


    But hey all the world misleaders are on a tax payer paid junket trip to lovely paris to do nothing. All is well……:) Gotta make hay while the sun is shining. Right ? 🙂

  7. savenz 7

    THE TPP TEXT HAS BEEN RELEASED. WE NOW KNOW: The Technical Barriers to Trade Chapter of the TPP includes extensive provisions intended to reduce or eliminate federal and state regulations to protect our food supply and our right to know what’s in our food: http://bit.ly/1P4f5fK.
    Technical barriers to trade (TBT) “provisions are already in effect under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules and have been successfully invoked to overturn federal food labeling standards, including Country of Origin Labeling for meat.”
    “Labeling rules are specifically targeted. The TBT chapter would also impose a ‘necessity test’ such that labeling requirements ‘should be limited as far as possible to what is essential and to what is the least trade restrictive to achieve the legitimate objective pursued.” The objective being to protect the unfettered interest of transnational biotechs.
    “Business groups have openly stated their interest in using these trade agreements to thwart state regulations.”
    “Foreign governments’ concerns would be injected into domestic policies and procedures, and procedures intended to ‘harmonize’ standards could result in setting federal and international minimum standards as the regulatory ceiling.”
    “The TPP also includes regulatory cooperation requirements applicable to U.S. states.”
    “Although the investor-state [ISDS] tribunal has no power to directly nullify U.S. laws, in practice, when a country loses to an investor, it will change the offending law, pay damages or both. Under ISDS, transnational corporations could sue for claimed lost profits due to food labeling requirements or GMO disclosure rules that companies claim will lower sales of GMO-containing products.”
    “Even unsuccessful challenges take years to resolve, cost millions to defend and have a chilling effect on the development of new legislation.”
    FULL ARTICLE: http://bit.ly/1leDguF

  8. Sabine 8


    so it appears that the man who pretends to be prime minister is not aware of happenings in the country that he pretends to be prime minister for?

    So we could conclude that a. he is aware but does not give a fuck and lies, b. he is unaware and does not give a fuck and generally just lies, or c. his staff is aware but he is so unaware they can’t give a fuck in telling him and are just generally lying to him, or d. he is aware, pretending to be unaware, still not giving a fuck about nuzilnd, and all he wants to do is pull hair and horse around?

    Any of the resident bots want to comment on the comments of their ‘leader’.

    Quote or the ‘leader of nuzilind’: However, the Prime Minister was none the wiser that the Citizens Advice Bureau has had a substantial increase in requests for emergency housing.

    John Key said he hasn’t read the report.

    “I can’t verify whether that is right or not.”

    “There certainly haven’t been funding cuts overall, but you know you can always make the case that someone is getting less, but you have to look at the actual details, but we’re putting more money into them.”

    Key said the Government welcomes discussions with the bureau.

    • vto 8.1

      A leader who lets his villagers sleep rough is no leader at all

      It is failure at the most basic level

    • tracey 8.2

      Oh, he’s back in “dont know” mode. Yesterday he had more knowledge of the secret services operations than he ever did when he was actually responsible for them..

  9. Kiwiri 9

    In the right column on this page, I saw Chris Trotter’s piece “Labour And The Art Of Deckchair Rearrangement: Andrew Little Re-Shuffles His Shadow Cabinet”.

    So when will AL announce the reshuffle?

    If in a hurry, have a quick scan of the last few paragraphs of interesting observations and comments:

    Nothing and no one of such prodigious capability lurks in Little’s caucus. Not only has Change failed to encounter a champion among its ranks, but she also struggles to find anyone interested in making much happen at all. Such reforms as Labour promised at the elections of 2011 and 2014 have been ostentatiously wiped from the agenda. And such rhetorical skill as Little is able to summon to Labour’s cause is of the sort that serves only to polish the achievements of the past. Lange’s extraordinary oratorical power; his ability to paint a future in which New Zealanders were eager to take up residence, is nowhere in evidence.

    Certainly, there is nothing about his finance spokesperson which calls to mind the incandescent passion of Roger Douglas. Grant Robertson is not the sort of person who quotes Neitzsche, writes alternative budgets, or publishes a book entitled There’s Got To Be A Better Way. Although entrusted with heading-up a special party commission dedicated to The Future of Work, there is scant indication that Robertson’s investigation is likely to produce anything that The Listener wouldn’t be proud to publish.

    The Wellington Central MP could, of course, be hiding his light under a bushel, and the final report of The Future of Work Commission could end up calling for a dramatic reduction in the length of the working week; a radical reformation of the law regulating workplace relations; state-subsidised retraining; and the introduction of a Universal Basic Income. But a Labour caucus willing to embrace economic and social policies of such radicalism is unlikely to look and feel as somnambulant as the one Little leads.

    As Little prepares to lead his re-shuffled shadows into Labour’s centenary year, he needs to consider whether his party’s future is likely to be rescued by people, or policies. If Jacinda Ardern and Kelvin Davis are the best politicians he has to offer New Zealand, then it is definitely bold new ideas that he needs to start bringing forward.”

    • Sabine 9.1

      maybe when he is back from Australia? He seems kinda busy at the moment.

    • John Shears 9.2

      “Certainly, there is nothing about his finance spokesperson which calls to mind the incandescent passion of Roger Douglas.”

      Oh Dear Oh Dear why do we need to have his name brought up in 2015 we know what a mess he made of things including going bankrupt running a Pig Farm .

      Give me a break

      • John Shears 9.2.1

        Woops! sorry this should be deleted. See below.

      • alwyn 9.2.2

        Do you have a reference for your statement that Roger Douglas went bankrupt?
        It is not the same thing as a pig farm in which he was involved going into receivership you know.
        As an accountant I think he would have been quite able to keep himself well clear of bankruptcy.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          My understanding is that the problem was the business model: the pigs were completely unregulated, and given full responsibility for their own well-being. For example, if a pig was malnourished it was held to have made “bad choices” and was fed to the others.

    • John Shears 9.3

      @ Kiwiri “Certainly, there is nothing about his finance spokesperson which calls to mind the incandescent passion of Roger Douglas.”

      Oh Dear Oh Dear why do we need to have his name brought up in 2015 we know what a mess he made of things including going bankrupt running a Pig Farm .

      Give me a break

      • Kiwiri 9.3.1

        The point of the comparison is that the name brought up was able to get the job done in changing the economy in terms of being thoughtful and scholarly (the reference to Nietzsche), deliver the goods as a finance spokesperson as well as finance minister-in-waiting would (writing alternative budgets) or actually doing some of his own writing (book publication).

        The way in which RD re-shaped the NZ economy and the resulting outcome do not and did not have my support, but he had the wherewithal to do that in the first place.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Yep, Douglass had the gumption to actually change the system which our present Labour Party and other parties of the Left are missing despite the fact that the evidence is clear that the system needs changing.

          • Kiwiri

            Yes, indeed. The present opposition crew who are “in waiting” do not convey the aptitude, attitude and ability to change the system for our current challenges and this century’s pressing problems.

            9.3.1 should be edited to read more smoothly:

            The point of the comparison with the current finance spokesperson is that the name brought up was able to get the job done in changing the economy

            – in terms of being thoughtful and scholarly (the reference to Nietzsche),

            – in terms of delivering the goods as a finance spokesperson as well as finance minister-in-waiting would (writing alternative budgets) or

            – in terms of actually doing some of his own writing (book publication).

          • McFlock

            Dunno about gumption.

            He was thoroughly captured by religious treasury advice.

            • Draco T Bastard

              While true about the capture he did, as a matter of fact, change the system and did it fast and against popular protest.

      • tracey 9.3.2

        I guess that’s how devastating his reign was…

  10. Ergo Robertina 10

    The Guardian’s run a sustained campaign (launched around the start of last year) against female genital mutilation, and it’s working. Gambia plans to outlaw the abuse.
    It appears to be a great example of a persistent but relatively low key media campaign, and the Guardian should be commended.
    Rather than focusing only on leaders or main stakeholders, the campaign has a practical focus:

    ”Next week, a Guardian-backed radio campaign will be launched to get the message to the isolated communities where those that cut their daughters have only community radio to bring them the news.”

    And of course continued pressure will be needed to ensure it actually happens.
    Background of the Gambia campaign:
    The news story about the decision:

  11. Morrissey 11

    The world’s leading terrorist sang a hymn in a church earlier this year;
    Paul Brennan says he thought it “an incredible moment, …really cool.”

    The Panel, RNZ National, Tuesday 24 November 2015
    Jim Mora, Graham Bell, Rob Salmond, Zoe George, Paul Brennan

    PAUL BRENNAN: Kia ora Jim!
    JIM MORA: Good afternoon, young Paul, how ARE you?
    PAUL BRENNAN: I’m young. Thank you!
    JIM MORA: Ha ha ha ha ha!
    PAUL BRENNAN: I feel younger now! Thank you!
    JIM MORA: Don’t mention it! Hello everybody, very nice to have your company. Now Zoe shortly with What the World’s Talking About, ahhh, the meme that Anonymous are using to attack ISIS—quite a few complications for this; the Pope gets a bit down on Christmas; Ahmed the Clock Boy wants fifteen million dollars; the world rallies for a lost teddy; uh, Enya is back, and Coldplay are sampling Obama. On the Panel today, Graham Bell. Good afternoon Graham.
    GRAHAM BELL: Good afternoon Jim.
    JIM MORA: And I don’t know if we’ve got Rob Salmond with us yet, but he’ll be joining Graham after 4 o’clock. Clearing up misunderstandings regarding the flag referendum, and asking some germane questions about it too, on your behalf. Ahh, as Auckland approves the doubling in size of an already large mall, we ask: do we need mega-malls? Can you read self-help books and find happiness, or do you find the opposite? …. Thirteen to four. Now before Zoe we’ve got time for One Quick Question. We’ve got a few of your Quick Questions, actually, in the body of the program today, as they pertain to the Flag Referendum, but here’s another subject entirely: “A group of us were discussing the meaning of moreporks, ruru, in Maori mythology and superstition. One of my friends said that her iwi saw a morepork as a wise bird and a good omen; I have heard from other Maori sources that a morepork is a bad omen and to be avoided. What is the truth? Being a European of origin, I’ve always seen owls as wise and auspicious, e.g. with the goddess Athene in Greek mythology.” So that question from Conrad Hickson of Upper Hutt. And answering it, Julian Wilcox, Ngai Tahu and the former Maori Television presenter of course. …. [skip Wilcox’s entirely predictable “the truth is both” answer]…. Okay. So the truth’s complex. Thank you Julian. Zoe George, good afternoon!
    ZOE GEORGE: Hello, hello. Uh, I’ve gotta say I always like to play a bit of music whenever I come onto the Pre-Panel, and Anonymous are delivering on their threat to hack ISIS and are using THIS song to do it. … [she plays a snatch of Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”]
    PAUL BRENNAN: Oh that’ll do it!
    ZOE GEORGE:Ha ha! So it’s called Rick-rolling. What happens is that Anonymous are flooding ISIS messages with Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up”…[giggles]… which is a very famous meme.
    MORA: It’s an interesting meme.
    PAUL BRENNAN: I remember that song when it came out. It was quite a big hit at the time wasn’t it Jim?
    ZOE GEORGE: 1987!
    MORA: Is that how long ago it was?
    ZOE GEORGE: Yes!
    MORA: Oh God, that ages us all.
    PAUL BRENNAN: Skinny guy with a big voice!
    MORA: There’s been a suggestion that in fact they’re closing down sites that are useful for intelligence. [snickers]
    ZOE GEORGE: Yes they are as well. [snickers] U.K. Metro reports that the attacks have been successful. They’re finding and shutting down over 5,000 Twitter accounts linked to ISIS, but it also indicates that the professional security agencies have seen sources they monitor shut down as well. So, long story short, Rick Astley is drowning out intelligence as well as recruitment.
    JIM MORA: Right, so all the Five Eyes guys are tuning in and they’re hearing Rick Astley too.
    ZOE GEORGE: Ha ha. Yeah.
    GRAHAM BELL: How does Rick feel about this?
    MORA: Yeah how does Rick Astley feel about this?
    ZOE GEORGE: Yeah I want to know how much money he’s making in royalties out of this meme.
    PAUL BRENNAN: I don’t think it’s his song, he’s just the guy who sang it I think.
    MORA: I don’t think he’ll be going after the royalties somehow.
    GRAHAM BELL: Hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm, hmm. Ha ha!

    An extended discussion ensues about playing Barry Manilow to drive teens out of shopping centers at night.….

    ZOE GEORGE: … Apparently in 1998, the first year of this meme coming out, more than 18 million Americans were Rick-rolled.
    MORA: Hmmm. …[Pause]… Now the Pope’s strange utterance about Christmas.
    ZOE GEORGE: Ye-e-e-e-es…. he said during a mass at the Basilica di Santa Maria in Rome that this year’s festivities are just “a charade” due to the spread of fighting across the Middle East.


    MORA: It’s a bit late to be coming out with this, isn’t it? I mean it’s interesting that he’s—
    ZOE GEORGE: Yeah.
    MORA: —-that finally a Pope has talked about Christmas in these terms.
    ZOE GEORGE: Well yes, he says that the world has not understood the way of peace, ummm, and that yes, there will be lights and parties and bright trees and nativity scenes but the world continues to wager war, and the whole world is at war, and he continued to say “a war can be justified, so to speak, with many many reasons but when all the world as it is today at war, piecemeal through that, that war may be a little here, a little there, there is no justification.” That’s his direct quote.
    JIM MORA: Maybe there was something lost in the translation of the pontiff’s sermon.
    ZOE GEORGE: Maybe.
    MORA: Is there anything wrong though with trying to hold on to a time of year when, y’know, people make an effort for peace and goodwill? That’s the thing.
    GRAHAM BELL: What we SHOULD be doing.
    <MORA: Yeah.
    PAUL BRENNAN: He says the whole world is at war, but it’s not REALLY, is it. Not the WHOLE world.
    MORA: No. It feels like it sometimes.


    MORA: Hmmm. Now, the, uh, the Clock Boy returns.
    ZOE GEORGE: Ye-e-e-es. [snickers] Fifteen million dollars in compensation AND a written apology is what they are asking for. Lawyers for the family of Ahmed Mohamed, umm, who was the boy arrested in Irving, Texas, ahhh with the clock that he created was supposedly a bomb but wasn’t, um, lawyers have said that they will file a civil suit in the next sixty days if offcials, both school and local body politicians, fail to comply, ahmm, with their needs. So they’re asking for 15 million compensation as well as written apologies from the local mayor and police chief, and they’re asking that ten million be paid by the City of Irving and five from the school district.
    MORA: But they’re living in the Middle East now aren’t they?
    ZOE GEORGE: They ARE, they’re moving to Qatar.
    MORA: Oh they’re moving there?
    ZOE GEORGE: Yeah, they’ve accepted an invitation from the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.
    MORA: It was interesting, because the whole narrative on Ahmed changed a bit. I mean, the, Obama was said to have given him the cold shoulder, slightly, at the White House, and there was all that subsequent analysis about how he was a bit reluctant to volunteer information about the clock at school.
    ZOE GEORGE: Mmm.
    GRAHAM BELL: Mmmmm.
    MORA: It was a slightly—
    PAUL BRENNAN: How do you get to fifteen million?
    MORA: What LOOKED like a very simple case of, you know, dreadfully handcuffing a small boy probably was still that, but there were just interesting strands to it.
    ZOE GEORGE: Mmmm. They’ve said that the fifteen million came about because, ahhh, the teenager’s civil rights were violated, and that he was singled out based on his race, national origin and religion.
    MORA: Yeah. No, it was a, a bit of a sorry episode. Rob Salmond, good afternoon.
    ROB SALMOND: Good afternoon.
    MORA: Joining us for the Panel after four, and you’re with Graham today, who’s with me in Auckland. Now, from the clock to what?
    ZOE GEORGE: Teddy Bears! Oh bless!
    MORA: Oh I saw this.
    ZOE GEORGE: Capturing the HEART of people around the world! A teddy bear left behind in Perth Airport has gone viral. ….

    ….She proceeds to relate a tedious, inane social media non-story. Even by the standards of this chat show, this is desperate. Eventually she stops talking and there is an awkward pause.….

    MORA: We’re a funny, illogical species, aren’t we. I mean, we can’t stand too much reality. It’s nice to rally to the cause of a bear.
    GRAHAM BELL: Hur hur.
    ZOE GEORGE: Absolutely! Yeah, so true. So true. I think that’s why we love cat photos as well, you know, it’s just something so frivolous!
    PAUL BRENNAN: Did he lose his boarding pass?
    ZOE GEORGE: A he he he! The bear? Well, yes, it could be a he, they ARE wearing a floral dress, ahh, the bear, and it’s attracted nearly seventy thousand people, ahhh, likes and comments.
    PAUL BRENNAN: Could be a cross-dressing male bear, you just don’t know.
    ZOE GEORGE: Well, this is it. Just because, you know, you’re wearing a dress doesn’t mean that you have to be female.
    ROB SALMOND: I think if the bear’s gone viral, that might not help it get a boarding pass later on.
    ZOE GEORGE: Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    MORA: That’s a very good point.
    GRAHAM BELL: It is.
    PAUL BRENNAN: It’ll show up on facial recognition software.
    ZOE GEORGE: Ha ha ha ha ha!
    PAUL BRENNAN: Ha ha!


    MORA: Now the really big story of the day, the return of a very famous television series.
    PAUL BRENNAN: I used to LOVE this show!
    ZOE GEORGE: Yes, Netflix is developing a Lost in Space remake, which is so EXCITIIIING!
    MORA: Lost in Space!
    PAUL BRENNAN: “Danger Will Robinson!”
    ZOE GEORGE: Yes, that’s right, that’s right. The original series, which lasted three seasons and 83 episodes, set in the futuristic 1997… [an affectionate, nostalgic, witty and amusing discussion ensues.….


    MORA: Coldplay, and the President.
    ZOE GEORGE: Yes, they’ve got their new album coming out, Headful of Dreams, and they are sampling the President’s rendition of “Amazing Grace”, which Obama sang during his eulogy for the pastor killed in the Charleston church massacre earlier this year.
    PAUL BRENNAN: That was an incredible moment, by the way, him bursting into song like that. I thought it was really cool. [1]
    MORA: It’s interesting that they’ve been given permission.
    ZOE GEORGE: Yes, well they said that they wanted—they had to get permission from Obama himself and also from the Charleston church who recorded it, but they said they wanted to use it because of the historical significance of what he did, and also that the song about being “I’m lost but now I’m found”, so it’s quite—
    PAUL BRENNAN: You wouldn’t expect George Bush to do something like that, would ya? Or Ronald Reagan.
    GRAHAM BELL: He’d get the words all wrong! Ha ha ha ha!
    PAUL BRENNAN: He’d mash it up wouldn’t he!
    GRAHAM BELL: Yeah! Hur hur hur hur!
    MORA: It’ll be an interesting song to listen to actually.
    GRAHAM BELL: “Agazing Mace!”
    PAUL BRENNAN: Ronny would have forgotten the lyrics!
    MORA: Now Enya’s back as well.
    ZOE GEORGE: Yes. After seven years she’s releasing her eighth studio album Dark Sky Island this Friday.
    JIM MORA: I met Enya once.
    GRAHAM BELL: Oh really.
    MORA: When she came to New Zealand. She was very nice to meet actually.
    PAUL BRENNAN: She’s worth $136 million I see.
    ZOE GEORGE: She lives in a castle near Dublin.


    MORA: Before we go: Taylor Swift. I sort of shudder to talk about Taylor Swift in a way but she’s touring here isn’t she…

    After the break, first topic for discussion was the flag referendum. I didn’t listen.

    ….ad nauseam….

    [1] http://thestandard.org.nz/open-mike-27062015/#comment-1035414

    • tracey 11.1

      “So, long story short, Rick Astley is drowning out intelligence as well as recruitment.”

      Kinda like killing innocent citizens and getting a few terrorists too.

      IF they can disrupt most/all of the recruitment working online, then the state/s can use their intelligence on different stuff.

    • savenz 11.2


      Here is video of conceptual artist Tao Wells….
      It is an hour but if you watch it through it is very interesting from a discourse point of view, how he subverts MSM commentators..disrupts main stream messages and lovely footage of our Paula Bennet and so forth….

  12. Puckish Rogue 12


    I’m conflicted here, on the one hand they brought it on themselves but on the other they obviously had no idea of what was going to happen to them

    • tracey 12.1

      I really do wonder how many (including suicide bombers) change their minds, even at the last minute. Wasn’t there a report that one of the SB’s in Paris had been in a crowded restaurant, but actually went out and detonated in a less populous area? May be confusing my stories.

      I also think that maybe the recruitment process may be different and less “honest” than we give credit for? Do you know what I mean? They “lure” people and only after a process/time do they find themselves in the death for Allah place? Then there is the coersion, the if you don’t do this we will kill family member, loved one etc… ?

      Cos I notice that some bombers from Paris “escaped”. So, not everyone is trying to get to the virgins and Allah as soon as they can? And definitely not amongst the leadership.

      • McFlock 12.1.1

        The threats against family members idea has been used a fair bit in Iraq, particularly in regards to some of the “green on blue” incidents.

        But there is also a well-practised routine of reinforcement and validation in recruiting teenagers to become suicide bombers – the videos of the bombers themselves beforehand also provide pressure to follow through or risk shame as a coward, extensive grooming in the initial recruitment phase to join the organisation creates strong organisational bonds before making the ultimate request, and of course the icons/images of previous bombers lauded as martyrs provide encouragement.

        Basically, from what I’ve read suicide bomb organisers work to provide a disenfranchised and alienated teen with promises of belonging and fame and then making them commit before they know the full extent of their manipulators’ wishes. A bit like a cross between gang recruiters, a pedophile ring, and NZ Idol.

        • Puckish Rogue

          The NZ idol comment made me laugh out loud

          • McFlock


            My tendency to deflect from depressing topics with humour does occasionally get me into trouble at work, though.

        • tracey

          I am probably being sexist, but men seem to find it more appealing to go gun toting and exploding things that women?

          “Basically, from what I’ve read suicide bomb organisers work to provide a disenfranchised and alienated teen with promises of belonging and fame and then making them commit before they know the full extent of their manipulators’ wishes. A bit like a cross between gang recruiters, a pedophile ring, and NZ Idol.”

          Yup, I kind of thought that as what I wrote LOL

      • Puckish Rogue 12.1.2

        Its bad enough men joining up but why a teenage girl would join up is beyond me bu tI’ll hazard a guess theres a variation of the love bomb going on


      • alwyn 12.1.3

        “May be confusing my stories.”
        You may have been thinking of this story. The vest is believed to be one that was worn by the organiser of the attacks. It was good enough for his brother to have blown himself up but this one seems to have changed his mind. As you say “definitely not amongst the leadership”

    • Ergo Robertina 12.2

      Nah, you’re not conflicted; you’re a troll who doesn’t care about these women, and you pretend there’s an issue over whether or not we blame the victims of psychopathic militants who enslave women and lure the lost and confused.

  13. esoteric pineapples 13

    An interesting read …..

    “Key’s Impossible Timeline

    May 1991 John Key is interviewed by the Serious Fraud Office, they were investigating the failed company Equiticorp and it’s executives’ dodgy dealings, including a series of faux foreign exchange transactions carried out by Key’s old employers, Elders Merchant Finance. His ex-colleague, Paul Richards was facing fraud charges. Key was asked to corroborate Richard’s evidence about a ‘lunch’. I propose the entire statement is a fabrication, the lunch never took place and that Key had left Elders in 1987, just like he told media in 2007. When his statement surfaced in 2008 however, Key quickly claimed he’d simply gotten his dates wrong and meant to tell media he left Elders in 1988 – funnily enough – just like his fabricated ‘SFO statement’ said.”


  14. Gael 14

    “Key said the Government welcomes discussions with the bureau.”

    You’re kidding….Good God in heaven, how far out of touch is this guy… CAB is a volunteer organisation with barely enough funds to keep the photocopier in paper, they are funded by…


    Ministry of Social Development: Family and Community Services
    The Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment
    Inland Revenue Department
    The Department of Internal Affairs
    Immigration New Zealand
    NZ Lottery Grants Board

    (!) and staffed by volunteers – grandmas, and vocational community spirited people on low incomes or unemployed hoping for something to put on their CV for the most part – helping their communitiies by listening… giving people information pamphlets ….when they don’t know where else to go. Now Key says the Government was to discuss whether they can help with social housing?

    Oh deary, deary me – the Government doesn’t know where to go to discuss social housing? HOUSING NEW ZEALAND and DEPARTMENT OF BUILDING AND HOUSING… Oh that’s right you sacked most of the staff and assimilated them into where now?

    Feks sake, stop borrowing overseas money to fund fuzzy trade deals Nat, put $200m back into Housing New Zealand and let them get on with the job they were designed for. She walks off stage left shaking her head in disbelief… sigh.

  15. Karen 15

    Vernon Small has just posted an article about the National Party misusing public money for party political purposes by Nick Smith and others. It is an interesting read:


  16. Karen 16

    More Paula Bennett lies about people declining state house for frivolous reasons exposed by Graeme Edgeler who OIA’d Housing NZ:

    Graeme Edgeler ‏@GraemeEdgeler 2h2 hours ago
    It seems Housing NZ do not know in which year such refusals occurred, or even what city the house was in.

    Graeme Edgeler ‏@GraemeEdgeler 2h2 hours ago
    Housing NZ declined to confirm that these events ever occurred, and did not say that they told the Minister the events occurred. (cont.)

    Graeme Edgeler ‏@GraemeEdgeler 2h2 hours ago
    Housing NZ instead referred me to the Minister’s responses to written questions where she said HNZ had told here these things.

  17. Gangnam Style 17


    “NZ Post may charge people $20 to receive overseas parcels if the Government slashes the threshold under which items can be bought from foreign websites GST-free.

    The new fee of between $15 and $20 per parcel would cover the cost of red tape associated with collecting tax at the border, NZ Post said in a document obtained under the Official Information Act.”

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