Open mike 26/04/2024

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 26th, 2024 - 68 comments
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68 comments on “Open mike 26/04/2024 ”

  1. SPC 1

    Former MSP Regan has the deciding vote on a no confidence vote in Scotland.

    The SNP have 63 votes, the others have 64.

    The SNP have been in government for 17 years.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/c3g8dwn01gno

    https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-67248844

    • weka 1.1

      former SNP 👍

      Such an interesting political fallout. I can't figure out how much is about the failure of the climate targets, how much is Cass Report, and how much is Independence.

      Quick reminder of the numbers – SNP 63, Tories 31 + Labour 22 + Lib Dems 4 + Greens 7 + Alba 1 = 65 so FM will hope Greens either support him or abstain but having said today he is a "coward" and "not to be trusted" can they with integrity support him?

      https://twitter.com/holyroodmandy/status/1783471554786951315

      • weka 1.1.1

        also interesting is how similar the issues are to here. I'm listening in to a Scottish Space on twitter, and there is commentary like how much the Highlands and Islands have been neglected and the government focused on the cities. Too much about NB toilets, not enough ensuring ferry crossings are functional.

        I really hope NZ GP and Lab are learning the right things here. We are lucky that neither party leadership do the kind of relationship destroying behaviour we've seen in Scotland in the recent past.

        • Ad 1.1.1.1

          Scotland's Labor Party have been on the rise for a decade, now into the mid-30% and primed to replace SNP. With the Greens struggling to crack 5% forever.

          https://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/polls_scot.html

          That's a whole different scenario to New Zealand.

          • weka 1.1.1.1.1

            I wasn't talking about the MP/Party make up. I was talking about the issues that matter to voters and why the SNP and SGs are in such a mess.

            The last big dip I am aware of for the SNP was when Sturgeon was interviewed and couldn't explain how trans women are women but shouldn't be in women's prisons. Voters hate numpties.

            As I said above, it's complex, because there are at least three distinct issues playing directly into what just happened: the climate targets, the Cass Review, and Independence. But those sit within a broader cultural context of what matters in people's day to day lives. That's very similar to here.

            (and as an aside, but following on from that and your comment, looks to me like Scotland is getting MMP better than we are, with a better distribution of power across parties rather than retaining a two party system with add ons like NZ does).

            • Ad 1.1.1.1.1.1

              With 63 of the 129 seats, the SNP will stumble on as an administration until the next election in 2026. On the issues in play to Scotland’s political makeup, only climate registers with voters here.

              If Scotland is what successful coalition government looks like, we've done well to avoid it. Scotland's Greens should be taking lessons from us.

              • weka

                I've just been listening to a Scottish voter talking about the broader issues and they sound similar eg people concerned the liberal government parties are focusing on the wrong things.

                Climate is an issue for the split in Scotland because the SG membership wanted a vote on whether to stay in the Bute House agreement after the SNP pulled out of the climate targets (as far as I understand it). Yousaf apparently decided not to wait for that, but I get the sense there is more to it because now the SNP are in a precarious position. That's a different set of dynamics than what ordinary voters want, which is what I was referring to.

                If Scotland is what successful coalition government looks like, we've done well to avoid it. Scotland's Greens should be taking lessons from us.

                Dunno about that, we currently have a successful coalition government tearing the country apart 🤷‍♀️

                Scottish and UK Green Parties are insane because of their handling of the sex/gender wars and their lack of real politik and reading the room. The Scottish Green co-leader has denied the Cass Review findings and is doubling down on making the TRA agenda a priority. The UK Greens went through several scandals around a trans identified man and his father who was a child sex offender. How they handled that makes the NZ Greens' handling of problematic people seem very good.

                The NZ GP removing Kerekere speaks to them having better sense of real politik. She was a loose unit, and because of that they were heading down the same path re gender identity that the SG and UKG have gone. It's silo mentality, and I really hope the NZ GP are in the process of leaving that behind.

                • Ad

                  Our own Green Party delivered massive legislation and policy programmes from a fairly small position last term. Neither NZ Greens nor any other party are revisiting the Birth Deaths and Marriages Act and nor will they ever: dead issue for all our political parties. Our Greens handled their leadership change with aplomb and their 2023 results are the strongest they've ever had.

                  I have no view of the Scottish Greens' level of sanity, but our Greens are on a roll.

                  • weka

                    yes, they are. And, there are challenges coming up. The Cass Review, the MoH review of puberty blockers, and the myriad of issues that have been arising in societies elsewhere and we are just getting started on. Those aren't going away and at some point the pressure will be on the Greens. My hope is that they learn from the SG and GPEW (UK) on what not to do, because those GPs are a shit show. The SG are in the process of major brand damage.

                    Self-ID may be a dead issue for political parties atm, but obviously not for voters. Hence Hipkins was completely unprepared for the 'what is a woman?' question, despite it being a major issue for UK Labour because women voters forced the issue.

                    If Labour and/or GP staffers are still giving them poor information on this issue, it will bite the centre left.

                    • weka

                      It's going to be an issue for Swarbrick, because there is a direct conflict between her plan to mobilise communities and the GP position of fuck off nazi terf bigot. Same with the Palestinian liberation and telling Jewish people they need to explore their racism. Her plan is good for building green left vote is good, but she has a huge blindspot as well. I hope she can resolve that over the next two years.

                    • Ad

                      The question to Hipkins changed not a single vote.

                      Same question could have been put to any NZ political leader and it would still have no effect at all.

                    • weka []

                      possible given that many of the people that would no longer vote for Labour or the Greens because of the gender identity trumps sex position had already made the decision before Hipkins was asked. Including TS commenters.

                      But it’s an odd assertion, given in the UK people saying they will no longer vote on the left over genderist policies, and we know that similar dynamics are playing out here. We also know that most people are supportive of trans people having the same kinds of rights as other people, but draw the line when those rights infringe on the rights of women and children.

                      The longer the liberal left stays in denial of what is happening, the more the narrative is handed to the right, and the bigger the backlash against trans people.

                    • gsays []

                      "The question to Hipkins changed not a single vote"

                      Well it was another reason for me not to give Labour either tick and confirmed a party vote tick for the Maori Party.

                    • Ad

                      You don't have to wait for the next Scottish election.

                      On May 2nd – 2 weeks time – there's the next British election.

                      So you can test whether UK reports about gender self-identification really do change votes. Or not.

                    • weka []

                      meanwhile, there’s to be a vote on confidence in the Scottish government, and the person that holds the balance of power is a gender critical woman who has already said that support for Yousaf depends on his support for women’s sex based rights.

                      I have written to Humza Yousaf this morning requesting a reset, and a return to competent government, where we prioritise independence and protect the dignity, safety and rights of women and children. I remain open to any discussion where we progress the priorities of the people of Scotland

                      https://twitter.com/AshReganALBA/status/1783769794824503712

                      That’s Ash Regan, who shifted from the SNP to the Alba Party last year.

                      So you can test whether UK reports about gender self-identification really do change votes. Or not.

                      That’s not how it works. People vote for a range of reasons and the only way to know to what extent gender identity pol is a factor would be to poll that specifically. I’m not aware of anyone doing that polling.

                      edit: the vote is about Yousaf not the government

                • Ed1

                  "The last big dip I am aware of for the SNP was when Sturgeon was interviewed and couldn't explain how trans women are women but shouldn't be in women's prisons. Voters hate numpties."

                  What should she have said, Weka?

                  • weka

                    "trans women are trans women, which means biologically male, and they appear to have same rates of violence against women as other males and thus like other males shouldn't be housed in women's prisons. Trans women are at risk of violence from men in men's prisons, which is why as government we are moving now to establish how trans women, other gender non conforming or vulnerable male prisoners can be protected from targeted violence. We further acknowledge that men's prisons have inherent levels of violence that need addressing"

          • Bearded Git 1.1.1.1.2

            Not true of the Scottish parliament Ad. Between 1999 AND 2021 lLabour has gone down steadily from 34% to 19, while the Greens have gone from 3% to 8.

            This is from Wiki….difficult to link as am in Dunedin cafe.

        • alwyn 1.1.1.2

          Please, what are "NB toilets"?

      • Obtrectator 1.1.2

        Have the Scottish Greens been captured by GI ideologues the same way as the wider UK party apparently has? (See https://thestandard.org.nz/chris-hipkins-values-matter/#comment-1993957) If so, I think it would be unwise to take any lessons from them.

      • SPC 1.1.3

        It appears it is concessions to Regan now an Alba MP (Salmond, which might influence strategy) from SNP.

        If not, then it's onto elections.

        That could result in a Labour led government, with either SNP, or LD and Greens.

        If SNP (under a new leader, say Forbes) remain number 1, they might seek partnership with LD (if they have the votes).

        • weka 1.1.3.1

          Can they not run a minority government? One would hope the SNP would still be able to pass legislation with either Labour, Alba or the Greens each time.

          Or do they need a confidence and supply agreement to stay as government?

          • SPC 1.1.3.1.1

            A no confidence vote would likely result in the SNP First Minister either resigning, or calling new elections.

            The alternative is a new SNP leader (Forbes a social conservative, who lost the last leadership contest, is not favoured by Greens).

            https://www.bbc.com/news/articles/c3g8dwn01gno

            It is if Regan votes with the SNP that they would continue as a minority government.

            • weka 1.1.3.1.1.1

              This now. Crikey.

              BREAK: Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar will lay motion of no confidence in the Scottish government this afternoon. If SG loses it would require Humza Yousaf to resign, there is 28 days to instal a new leader or face Scottish election.

              with an screenshot saying that if there is a vote of no confidence in the government, the First Minister and Ministers have to resign, then there is 28 days to elect a new FM. If parliament can't do that, parliament is dissolved.

              https://twitter.com/ConnorGillies/status/1783786023480123712

  2. Phillip ure 2

    There is a bit of excitement over here in vegan-corner…

    We have seen the future of protein/food…and it looks really good…

    Move aside plant-based meats ..here comes protein grown from a microbe ..and thin air ..

    At first glance it seems like magic..(and it really is..!..both in ending the cruelties/environmental damage from getting protein from animals ..and in fixing the problem of how to feed the planet..)

    The scientific explanation is that the microbe uses the hydrogen in the air .to grow ..

    Effing cool..!..eh..?

    And this is not a new concept..it is already tried and true ..the American space program used this method to grow food for astronauts in space ..in the 1970's…

    Anyone wanting to know more would be advised to google food from air ..(fill yet boots..!)

    And pass on the good news…

  3. Ad 3

    Apparently the war on farming is over.

    https://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU2404/S00323/government-ends-war-on-farming.htm

    Looks like our rivers lost that war. 45% of our river length is unswimmable.

    And our wetland lost tens of thousands of hectares.

    And of course all our native species lost that war. 94% of our reptile species, 82% of bird species, 80%of bat species, 76%of freshwater fish species, and 46%of vascular plant species are either facing extinction or are at risk of being threatened with extinction.

    Also forest cover in New Zealand has been reduced to below extinction levels in nearly all our districts.

    Maybe we just re-name ourselves New DeathLand.

    • tc 3.1

      May as well as it would appear the welcome mat's been laid out awhile to Capital of many varieties to plunder these shores.

    • Phillip ure 3.2

      The end of our enslaving of other species..(to do with what we will)..will see massive land use changes in NZ ..

      One would expect that that the rural land currently used/abused to those enslaving ends…will see a sharp drop in value…as those export markets evaporate..

      And one could also hope for a regeneration/re wilding of many of those ills you detail..

      Something else that is of note is how quickly we have done this to new Zealand…

      And one thing is for sure…we cannot continue doing the same..and expecting a different outcome..

      But that change is going to be taken out of our hands..

      It will just be a matter of NZ no longer needed as a source of protein…for the rest of the world…

      ..we need to get our heads around all this..

      • Phillip ure 3.2.1

        And those addicted to tearing flesh from the bone can relax ..this air-grown protein can be made into beef/chicken/pig-meat etc ..

        So there is no need of cultural change ..no need to see the light..and turn vegan..or anything like that ..

        Market forces alone will drive those changes…

        If the end product is indistinguishable from the animal based ones…one would need to be a bit of a sick puppy to insist that an animal must suffer/die..for you to eat..?..eh..?

        • Grey Area 3.2.1.1

          I don't think your out-there approach is gaining many converts Phil :), but if a true faux meat can be created for the carnists – woot!

          I'm hanging out for a synthetic milk so the dairy industry can go the way of the dinosaurs.

          • Obtrectator 3.2.1.1.1

            With you all the way on dairying. I've come to really hate what they do to cows (and have done, particularly the grotesque results of selective breeding).
            Oat milk, though pricey by comparison, is a pretty satisfactory substitute in drinks and pouring on cereals. Must now try and see how it goes in cooking.

            • Phillip ure go ft 3.2.1.1.1.1

              (a comment of mine just vanished.. where did it go..?

              And re the non-dairy milks:..the Pam's home brand soy milk has the best taste/texture for tea/coffee..

              And vanilla flavoured anything is good for breakfasts…

              The one to be wary of is almond milk…it has an elephant sized environmental footprint..

          • Phillip ure go ft 3.2.1.1.2

            I thought I was being quite restrained.

            The sooner people realise what is coming..the upending of our animal based export-industry..the better..

            We can still grow fruit/veg..like real farmers do..

            I don't think animal fatteners deserve the sobriquet of farmer…they don't farm…

            They just fatten animals for slaughter..

            So..the sooner we start making this protein from air..the better..

            Best to be before the curve..not trailing behind ..

            And what I say is immaterial to any outcomes..

            I am just standing on a rock.. shouting "oy..!..over here..!'..

    • Shanreagh 3.3

      On the plus side however Ad, we are making a name for ourselves in how to farm mud with cows used as an addition to really get the paddocks churned and thus hasten mud farming.

      Mud farming plays an important part in our aim to increase the percentage of unswimmable rivers from a mediocre 45%.

      When we use automatic irrigation systems on mud paddocks it enhances the runoff so it contains high fecal counts.

      When farming mud NZ farmers can lead the way in better breeeding with the traditional cloven hooves gradually making way for flippered single digit hooves. They are also looking at borrowing from self clean oven manufacturers to develop a self clean system for cows legs should cows ever want to graze on dry grassed pastures. That then brings us to the latest developments in cows being specially bred to eat mud. Inventors are looking at if the addition of hay and limestone plus a change in the gut from rounded to square can lead to formed adobe type bricks being excreted by cows. /Sarc

      There are still dopey farmers who don't self manage and actually needed the controls/restrictions imposed on not being able to farm mud. The lure of the mighty dollar overrides the need to protect cows or pastures. (People will say 'oh but farmers love their land and love their cows') They may do but it does not stop some from pushing, pushing the capacities of both to the nth degree.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/125623570/activist-photos-reignite-winter-grazing-debate-in-southland

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/country/404052/farm-animals-suffering-due-to-poor-winter-grazing-practices-taskforce-says

      Let us hope that Greenpeace is on the trail again.

      https://www.greenpeace.org/aotearoa/press-release/mud-farming-clear-evidence-of-too-many-cows/

      NB The work done by local authorities etc to restrict practices that lead to mud farming has led, in my view, to the gap in pictures of the worst offenders due to close monitoring/shame of those mud farmers spoiling it for everyone.

      NB on the so-called 'hardship' of fencing riparian margins my B-i-L fenced the margins of several creeks running through his Southland farm over 30 years ago. He was looked on as a sort of 'crazy man' then and looks like that attitude is still prevalent

    • Bearded Git 3.4

      Remember those farmers really need those holidays in Kenya to recuperate.

      I was running an Environment Court case for a Society in the Upper Clutha (Wanaka area) a few years ago where the farmer was pleading poverty and the consequent need to subdivide, but he let slip that he had just come back from an Africa jaunt.

    • Mike the Lefty 3.5

      The phoney war on farmers has ended.

      The real war on the environment has begun.

      National is responsible for both.

      • Hunter Thompson II 3.5.1

        Good point about the phoney “war” (which non-farmers would call justified regulation).

        Federated Farmers has played the role of innocent victim perfectly.

  4. Descendant Of Smith 4

    Can't wait.

    “It seems ghoulish, but it is a perfectly legal and common practice for chicken litter — the material that accumulates on the floor of chicken growing facilities — to be fed to cattle,” said Michael Hansen, a senior scientist with Consumers Union.

    https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2024-04-18/avian-flu-outbreak-raises-a-disturbing-question-is-our-food-system-built-on-poop

    • weka 4.1

      fortunately for NZ, we could probably transition fast off the more insane aspects of our animal farming if we had to. Not sure we would mind (and def think we wouldn't under the current government).

      • Grey Area 4.1.1

        "and def think we wouldn't under the current government".

        Which is why those who really care have to work to ensure this is a one-term government.

        I'm trying to make connections on my patch towards that. This nightmare has to end as soon as possible.

  5. tWig 5

    Big Hairy News and Paul the Other One discuss Minister of Children Chhour's decision to thumb her nose at Waitangi tribunal over changes removing Maori focus in Oranga Tamariki. This opens the door for others in government to refuse to speak to the Tribunal to justify their political decisions.

    Paul is very well-informed on this issue. Lots of political strategising on NZ First and ACT. Apparently, once legislation is in Parliament, the Tribunal cannot become involved. Hence, the fast-track of the Fast-Track.

    • Grey Area 5.1

      I don't think it's "Minister" Chhour's decision to thumb her nose at the Waitangi Tribunal, it's those pulling her strings. We have to work towards this being a one-term government. We have 30 months.

    • Dolomedes III 5.2

      Chhour hasn't "thumbed her nose" at anyone. The Waitangi Tribunal is not a court, and so has no power to summons anyone.

      • Ad 5.2.1

        It's a tribunal populated by judges.

        The Minister is showing herself incapable of engaging seriously with experts who are also jurists, within her own Ministerial portfolio field.

        Chhour is a fucking coward. She will get utterly mocked at Matariki.

      • Ed1 5.2.2

        As to the power to summons anyone, read the High Court judgement:

        https://www.courtsofnz.govt.nz/assets/cases/2024/2024-NZHC-931.pdf

        So yes they can summons people, but be careful with Ministers (the case is being appealed).

      • Phillip urel 5.2.3

        Surely it is part of her job description..?

        To interact with/explain gummint policies to relevant interested parties..?

        And surely the tribunal is that..?

        (Grr.!..name..!)

        • Dolomedes III 5.2.3.1

          What exactly does she need to explain to the Waitangi Tribunal that they don't know already? It's a power play by the tribunal, pure and simple.

          • Phillip urel 5.2.3.1.1

            No it's not…the tribunal is an agent of the people..taking care of their interests.

            And as such it most certainly behoves the minister to interact with the tribunal… seeing as it's the voice for many..

            ..and especially so when the policies the minister is enacting…are having/will be having such an impact on those the tribunal represents..

            The minister refusing to meet with them makes a mockery of democracy..

  6. joe90 6

    A former and possible future US president is telling the supreme court that he should have immunity to kill political rivals.

    Surreal.

    @abbydphillip

    For the record, Trump's attorney John Sauer argues before the Supreme Court that depending on the circumstances, assassinating a political rival could be considered an official act.

    https://twitter.com/abbydphillip/status/1783498625974198289

  7. SPC 7

    It's becoming clear from polls about the direction of the government that people voted Labour out because they were bored with their lives (surviving a pandemic only to work to pay rent or mortgage) so cheated on the New Zealand nation state society and formed a new relationship … with a dystopian nightmare.

    Bringing back that pandemic "horror excitement" in a new way.

    And all it took was a promise to prevent co-governance with Maori and any special place for the indigenous people (and Treaty) to launch it successfuilly.

    So here we are, the reduction of the nation state government (apart from building roads) and pandering to a collective of special interests instead … landlords, trucking, farmers unconcerned for the environment .. business seeking the same …

    • Ad 7.1

      It must be perplexing for this government that the Consumer Price Index remains stubbornly above 4.5%, interest rates have no schedule at all for coming down, and consumer confidence is the worst it's been since the 2008-9 GFC. Their austerity has cratered the economy of the Wellington region for years to come.

      No doubt the government-by-resentment will work a smart schtick for a year.

      But if the keep using austerity to crash the economy, I'm confident people will see their personal and family interests decline as a direct result of this government, and the mood will shift against this government.

      • Traveller 7.1.1

        I doubt anyone is perplexed that after just a few months all the problems of the world have not been resolved. As for ‘cratering’ the Wellington economy, given how few job losses there has been in Wellington so far, that’s some fantastic hyperbole there.

  8. joe90 8

    Right up Merk Mitchell's alley, I reckon.

    A US lawyer is cautioning New Zealand police to think twice about becoming more reliant on American taser and drone supplier Axon.

    Police are poised to replace their old Axon tasers with new ones that shoot further.

    They also use an Axon system called evidence.com to store footage from taser cameras and interview videos.

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/498887/ethics-questioned-of-us-taser-company-working-with-nz-police

    Taser maker and police contractor Axon has announced a new product called "Draft One," an AI that can generate police reports from body cam audio.

    As Forbes reports, it's a brazen and worrying use of the tech that could easily lead to the furthering of institutional ills like racial bias in the hands of police departments. That's not to mention the propensity of AI models to "hallucinate" facts, which could easily lead to chaos and baseless accusations.

    "It’s kind of a nightmare," Electronic Frontier Foundation surveillance technologies investigations director Dave Maass told Forbes. "Police, who aren't specialists in AI, and aren’t going to be specialists in recognizing the problems with AI, are going to use these systems to generate language that could affect millions of people in their involvement with the criminal justice system."

    "What could go wrong?" he pondered.

    https://futurism.com/police-ai-generates-police-reports-body-cam-footage

  9. joe90 9

    A cult in need of a king.

    ./

    The Republican base, it turns out, is now opposed to democracy. Their words, not mine, as you’ll soon see.

    […]

    Then they kicked it up a notch. They passed a resolution calling on people to please stop using the word “democracy.”

    “We encourage Republicans to substitute the words ‘republic’ and ‘republicanism’ where previously they have used the word ‘democracy,’ ” the resolution says. “Every time the word ‘democracy’ is used favorably it serves to promote the principles of the Democratic Party, the principles of which we ardently oppose.”

    The resolution sums up: “We … oppose legislation which makes our nation more democratic in nature.”

    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/the-wa-gop-put-it-in-writing-that-theyre-not-into-democracy/

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