Open mike 26/01/2015

Written By: - Date published: 7:01 am, January 26th, 2015 - 319 comments
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319 comments on “Open mike 26/01/2015”

  1. Pete George 1

    The topic of holding the Government to account came up in a discussion on The Standard yesterday. The results suggest that Labour didn’t do this very well last term, failing badly in the election.

    [Stephanie: This comment was literally a copy-paste of an entire post from your site. This is in clear breach of the policy on “link-whoring” and you have been warned about this before.

    Anyone interested in Pete’s thoughts on the Labour party in Opposition can go here:

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1


      Responses to this comment will be republished at Yawns.

      • Pete George 1.1.1

        I wonder when you’ll tire of that approach. The same principles apply to blogging.

        Perpetual pissy attacks damage your own credibility. That didn’t work out well for Labour last term. The prospects are looking better under Little but it’s up to more than just him.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          You’re too dishonest to admit that you’re soliciting free content for your own benefit, so I’m going to do it for you.

    • Pascals bookie 1.2

      People can go and read yesterday’s discussion and see how Petey spins it. What a cretin this man is.

      The funniest part is how he presumes to know what and why NZers like things. He was a UF candidate and booster of various weird ideas that never seem to get off the ground. Because reasons.

    • Skinny 1.3

      If you took Key out of the equation I doubt very much National would win. The opposition must ‘keep holding them to account’, after all that’s what opposition party’s do, so can’t agree there.

      The single biggest thing the opposition party’s need to achieve is working contructively together. I am all for L/G/NZF to hold primary contests in winnable seats. Vote splitting is gifting National too many seats. Deals can be done so the G/NZF party’s actually win electorate seats. I mooted this with a senior Labour MP who was quite open to this approach.

      Another hurdle is the large bloc of people that don’t feel compelled to vote. So how is this to be addressed? A couple of killer policies, the less is more tactic, however will this have an effect on those who do vote.

      Personally I don’t like the thought of a Labour that is nothing more than National lite.

      • weka 1.3.1

        If you took PG out of the equation, we could probably have a decent conversation. Anything that happens from this point on is just a repeated of yesterday, and all the other days when PG troled for attention and to use ts to spread his beige agenda.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.3.2

        Another hurdle is the large bloc of people that don’t feel compelled to vote. So how is this to be addressed?

        It’s not as none of the main parties actually do anything for the majority of those that don’t vote.

        Personally I don’t like the thought of a Labour that is nothing more than National lite.

        And that’s all they’ve been since 1984.

        • Skinny

          Fair point Draco, it tends to niggle away in the back of ones mind. Even the Greens are positioning themselves a bit lite these days too. Cutting an MP’s pay in half may rid the troughers and get people in there for the correct reason.

          MP’s get too cosy sitting on 150k, lean them up, make em hungry for the cause. Also make it that much easier to slash public & state sector executives outrageously out of control & obscene salaries.

          • Draco T Bastard

            I like the Alliance’s idea that MP’s salaries be set to the same as a third year teacher. Wonder how many of National’s MPs would complain that teachers are paid too much then 😈

            • Murray Rawshark

              I made a submission to a welfare task force years ago. They asked “How can we ensure benefits are enough to live on?” My submission was to pay MPs at beneficiary rates. For some strange reason, it was not adopted.

              • James

                Not a strange reason – your suggestion was just stupid.

                Perhaps if you had of come up with sensible suggestions you could have helped.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  In what way was it stupid?

                  After all, the MPs have expense accounts to cover their work expenses.

                  • McFlock

                    apparently if we don’t pay them hundreds of thousands a year, the calibre of MPs we have will be even lower.

                    Let’s all just try and figure out how that might even be conceivably possible…

                • Murray Rawshark

                  What’s stupid about it? Don’t they stand because they want to serve the community? They would still have their limousines and their expense accounts.

                  Perhaps if you had come up with a sensible reason you could have helped.

      • Chooky 1.3.3

        +100 Skinny…good points

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.3.4

        I am all for L/G/NZF to hold primary contests in winnable seats. Vote splitting is gifting National too many seats. Deals can be done so the G/NZF party’s actually win electorate seats. I mooted this with a senior Labour MP who was quite open to this approach.


        • Lanthanide

          It’s an interesting idea, but I just don’t see the public buying it?

          By definition, the election is to decide who represents the electorate. Having a pre-screening ballot before the election itself, that only a minority of parties contest, doesn’t seem to pass the sniff test to me.

        • Skinny

          I will credit the senior MP for suggesting a deal that the others get electorate seats, which we concurred should happen if they come forward with their best candidates i.e Peters, Marks & Norman, Hughes as examples.

          @Lanthanide Well something ‘a bit outside the box’ needs to be tried or it’s ground hog day, except it’s not day, it’s 3 years. Others keep mooting not standing candidates from the outset. Which to my thinking removes a contest, atleast what I propose entails a contest. I see the positives outweighing the negatives.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Funny thing is, the Standard just bounced me to this post that Ad wrote:

            From the Thick of It to Borgen

            In it he talks about how Labour needs to show that it is willing to engage with the Greens in a deep multi-term partnership in government. And what you suggest would be a perfect way of starting to do that.

        • DoublePlusGood

          I recommend campaigning for preferential voting in electorates as well, so that people don’t have to worry that they might waste their vote for a 3rd party candidate any more.

    • Bearded Git 1.4

      PG setting the discussion agenda again. This seems to be a tactic to crowd out more useful and constructive discussion.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.5

      This is a polite request that people who link to Yawns do so using the “do not link” webpage, so as not to increase traffic.

    • Halfcrown 1.6

      “Anyone interested in Pete’s thoughts on the Labour party in Opposition can go here:”

      Thanks, but no thanks

      • phillip ure 1.6.1

        maybe pete should write a book..?

        ..’the thoughts of (former united party branch secretary)- pete’ as a working title.?

        ..or maybe he cd go a bit edgy..?

        ‘..i’m pete..!..let me p.g. all over you!’..? ya go pete..!..

        ..the nation awaits..!

    • Clemgeopin 1.7

      You have been a myopic hot and cold blowing simpleton being fooled and enamoured by this National party/government mirage!

      Are you blind to the spin, bullshit, dirty politics, lies, razzmatazz and propaganda indulged in by Key, the National party, Cosby Textor, the powerful corporates, the RW blogs and MSM outfits that manage to constantly publicise a false dishonest ‘positive’ narrative of the government, drowning or ignoring the negatives, the ineptitude, the poor policies and their corrupt practices?

      In comparison to National, Labour and the left are forthright, are more democratic, have enlightened values, are modern, principled, patriotic, honest and caring for the social and economic well being of all the people and the country for both the short term and the long term.

      If you are a person of integrity and honesty, you will realise the truth of what I have just said.

      Think it over instead of putting Labour and the left down and batting directly or indirectly for these rotten Nats and the RW rogues.

    • Pete George 1.8

      This is in clear breach of the policy on “link-whoring”

      I thought link whoring involved linking and I didn’t include a link or reference to any link. Can you please clarify the policy about unlinked comments.

      • mickysavage 1.8.1

        Penny Bright has been pinged for the same offence. If you are going to post something it should be an original comment. The Policy says “You can link to your own site provided it isn’t excessive, explains why you think it should be read (so people can decide not to go there without clicking into it), is short, and you either do it in OpenMike or within the context of the post or surrounding comments.”

        So posting from your site is fine as well as long as it is a synopsis rather than the whole thing.

        • Pete George

          It was an original comment. I usually do summarise or post excerpts but I thought this topic was better complete, but if you don’t want that then so be it.

          Ironically someone else posted a link, not me. A bit bemusing.

          [Stephanie: It was original neither in content nor the ideas therein. Your post at YourNZ made no mention that it had originally been posted as a comment here. What you “think” bears no resemblance to the clear stated policy of this website, especially given the numerous warnings you have received for this behaviour. Stop being so bloody rude.]

          • Te Reo Putake

            A quick clarification for racebaiting’s Pooter George:

            Your safest bet if you’re finding this confusing would be to not post any fucken thing at all. Your credibility could do with the karmic lift that would come with making so many TS readers instantly happy.

          • Psycho Milt

            Allow me to end your bemusement. If you go and have a squizz at this site’s comments policy, it rules out “pasting long materials from other sites.” If the definition of “long materials” is also bemusing, as a handy rule of thumb keep in mind that “entire post from your site” totally qualifies.

            • Pete George

              I’d like clarification on your judgement. I took what you refer to as meaning long quotes of what other people have posted on other sites. MS referred to “original comment”, which it was.

              I presume length wasn’t an issue, posts that size aren’t uncommon here.

              • mickysavage

                The key words are “other sites”. Just summarise and put in a link.

                • Pete George

                  “Just summarise and put in a link.”

                  Which often gets called link whoring. But ok, I’ll follow your advice.

                  • weka

                    No, it doesn’t. Link whoring is when you just put a link with no explanation, or you link multiple times. For someone who’s apparently been on the internet as long as you, you’re really playing the Dunce tonight.

                    Hmm, duncetrole, that’s a subtype I guess.

                    • Pete George

                      “Link whoring is when you just put a link with no explanation, or you link multiple times. ”

                      I don’t do that. But that’s bollocks as a definition, it’s far from all that’s referred to as link whoring.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Wiki definitions:

                      link whoring
                      (Internet, idiomatic) The practice of going out of one’s way to place links to one’s website on someone else’s webpage.

                      link whore (plural ‘link whoars’)
                      (idiomatic, Internet) Someone who goes to great lengths to get other people to link to his/her website or blog

                    • Sacha

                      ‘link whoars’


                    • weka

                      “I don’t do that.”

                      I didn’t say you do.

                      “But that’s bollocks as a definition, it’s far from all that’s referred to as link whoring.”

                      Of course, but for the purposes of this conversation it’s what gets treated as link whoring on ts.

                      You seem to be having considerable comprehension problems in this subthread.

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    …ok, I’ll follow your advice.

                    To the letter, I’m sure.

                    To the spirit, not so much.

                    In summation:

                    It was original neither in content nor the ideas therein.

                    …ideas that never seem to get off the ground.

                  • Which often gets called link whoring.

                    For fuck’s sake, and for the second time, try actually reading this fucking blog’s comments policy. It says, among other things:

                    You can link to your own site provided it isn’t excessive, explains why you think it should be read (so people can decide not to go there without clicking into it), is short, and you either do it in OpenMike or within the context of the post or surrounding comments.

                    It’s perfectly clear. If you need other commenters to read this stuff and draw your attention to it, maybe you shouldn’t comment in the first place.

                  • Skinny

                    Look pretty professional Pete a commercial venture like this must have caught the atention of the MSM outfits for a buy in. You must be making a tidy packet out of it so should stump up for a monthly linking fee.

              • weka

                “I presume length wasn’t an issue, posts that size aren’t uncommon here.”

                Yes. They are.

                You’ve had three very clear explanations, two of them by moderators both of whom were polite and excessively generous (myself, I wish Lynn had handled it).

                What is is about micky’s comment that you don’t understand?

                You can link to your own site provided it isn’t excessive, explains why you think it should be read (so people can decide not to go there without clicking into it), is short, and you either do it in OpenMike or within the context of the post or surrounding comments.

                I swear to god, this subthread is stupid even by the beige parrot’s standards. Liked the bit about karma though.

                • Sacha

                  “I presume length wasn’t an issue, posts that size aren’t uncommon here.”

                  To be fair, lately he’s correct. Ask anyone who has tried to scroll through Penny’s copypasta or Phil’s .. . sparse …. textual .. efforts … on a mobile screen.

                  • weka

                    Yeah, on a phone it would be pretty bad. But Penny doesn’t post that often, and phil’s comments are more punctuation disarrays than long complete comments.

              • Sacha

                “MS referred to “original comment”, which it was. ”

                For the pedantic, perhaps read that as “unique comment”, though you are not the only one who pastes the same stuff on multiple blogs including this one.

                Obviously I’m not a mod here. Personally, I welcome people linking to their own blogs providing they have the courtesy to explain briefly why it’s relevant to go there. Quote a par or two at most. Save my scrolling finger…

  2. a cautionary political-history tale for the labour party..

    in greece..there was/is this political party called ‘the socialist party’..

    ..and like labour here..they weren’t really ‘socialist’/’labour’..

    ..they were centrist/neo-liberal..

    ..and the socialist party dominated greek politics during the 80’s and 90’s..

    (with the ‘conservative’party..they did a tweedle-dum/tweedle-dee swapsies at leading the country..)

    ..(still sounding familiar..?..)

    ..anyway..this socialist (in-name-only)party has insisted on still clinging to the pillars/shards of neo-liberalisim..

    (as has labour here in new zealand..c.f. their election ’14 policies..which offered absolutely nothing for the poorest/to fight the worst of inequality..) are still in lock-step..?..that mirror-effect still prevailing..?

    ..well..greece has just had an election..

    ..where a true-left party has swept into power..

    ..and where that clinging-to-those-shards-of-neo-liberalism ‘socialist party’..

    ..that ideological first-cousin of our labour party.. expected to get about 5%.. that tale doesn’t have labour people quaking in their boots..

    ..and if it isn’t a wake-up call..

    ..they would have to be dead from the neck up..


    • vto 2.1

      Yes it is very interesting (putting aside the human cost etc)….

      Greece needs to cancel its debt, or a significant chunk of it. Or repay over time, without interest. Or, as the victorious party apparently claimed to derision, print its own euros …… which would be the ultimate irony given that that is exactly what the Eurozone does anyway …. prints money

      Why should lenders get money (interest) for printing euro notes?

      Greece is exposing the sham and Ponzi scheme that is our money system.


      • phillip ure 2.1.1

        i understand the new greek leadership is calling for full cancellation of the debt..

        ..and a fresh start..

        ..(polling shows most greeks don’t actually want to leave the eu..(70%+ from memory..)

        ..and i wd submit that the sudden decision to print money in the in part for them to have to wriggle-room/to be able to throw some money at greece/cancel debt..

        ..and of course there are parties echoing this greek left party.. span/portugal/ ireland..

        ..the socialist national party is going to totally wipe out both the tories and labour in scotland..(and will become the third largest party in the british parliament..making it the very large tail wagging any labour govt..)

        ..and like i nz labour…wake up..!..

        ..yr very existence is in peril..

        ..yr only option is to return to yr roots.. ‘end poverty’ by announcing a universal basic income..

        ..and a massive programme of building smart/clever state houses/apartments/terrace-houses/w.h.y..

        (..and to out-green the greens..promising to ‘clean-up’ nz..)

        ..and that just for starters..

        ..continuing to jostle with national for their space on the ideological-spectrum..

        ..will just see you ending up in the dustbin..

        ..along with yr greek first cousins..

        ..and u will be where you will deserve to be..

        • Psycho Milt

          ..(polling shows most greeks don’t actually want to leave the eu..(70%+ from memory..)

          I bet they fucking don’t. If the Jerries were subsidising a pleasant lifestyle for NZers to the tune of billions per year, I doubt that we’d be keen to give it up either.

          • phillip ure

            given the realities in greece..

            ..and austerity-policies/selling of assets demanded by merkel..

            ..yr claim that they are somehow living high on the hog..

            ..from german largesse..

   beyond glib..

            • Psycho Milt

              They’re not living high on the hog from German largesse now the bubble’s burst, no. That gravy train reached its final station in 2008. But their interest in staying within the Euro has everything to do with wanting a return to the pre-2008 lifestyle of regarding taxes as optional and having a ridiculously low retirement age (while the Jerries paying for it got to work until 65 like the rest of us).

              Electing a left-wing government and rejecting the debt the austerity fans saddled them with is a start, but it’s destined for ignominious failure unless the majority start figuring out that corruption isn’t cute local colour, and demanding extensive government services while avoiding paying any taxes isn’t a good long-term prospect.

              • tricledrown

                Pysycho melt down.
                The Tycoons and shipping magnates are the ones paying no taxes.
                Ordinary Greeks work the longest hrs in Europe and pay taxes.
                Corruption of their Politicians by the most powerful corporates most likely at the behest of the Greek non taxpaying Tycoons wining and dining Greek politicians with Goldman Sachs and rorting(rating) agencies mates on these Tycoons Luxury yatchs is the reason
                Why the peasants have to pick up the their Tab.
                Austerity for the peasants another bailout for the Tycoons!

                • Foreign waka

                  Psycho and Tricledown – you both have touched on the problems. They are far more complicated then a forum like this can express. And no, actually the work hours are not the longest, you need to understand that the lunch breaks during summer (6-7 months) are stretching between 3-4 hours because of the extraordinary heat. It is not feasible to work physically, really – its not possible without inciting a dehydrated breakdown. So the the day is actually broken into 2 distinctive times: 7-12noon and 4pm -9 (or beyond for nightclubs).
                  The second issue is that as soon as it became known that Greece is facing a financial crisis, all (and I mean ALL) wealthy people have withdrawn they wealth and moved it to the usual hiding places. (Swiss anyone?) This left the Bank close to ruin and the Government not able to borrow.
                  The issue that nobody is looking at is that, Greece is to a certain extent the bastion against the east, always involved in wars from the Classical, Hellenistic, Roma, Byzantine, Ottoman right trough to the WW.
                  This is often forgotten and that the Greek people pay the price of being the meat between the sandwich.
                  As for the Germans, don’t get me wrong but if many people would be as industrious and as educated as they are, things would look a hell of a lot better, belief you me. Besides, they are also just pawns in the game of the rich.

              • Tracey

                only public servants could retire at 55. everyone else at 65. the ps havent been able to retire at 55 for some years now.

          • tricledrown

            Goldman Sachs to you PM.
            The loan sharks Goldman Sachs and credit rorting agencies defrauded both Greek governments and Northern European banks Psycho.
            Goldman Sachs and the rorting agencies should be paying for their Ponzi scam.
            But alas No Goldman Sachs managed to get their inside man appointed to become the EU’s finance minister.
            So avoiding investigation and have to pack the Losses on their corrupting Ponzi Scheme!
            Pssycho facts please.
            Delirous rants from are expected .
            Conman believable therapy is no substitute for the truth!

          • tricledrown

            Psycho white washing the truth.
            So why is Europe in the doldrum.
            One reason is consumption is down especially in southern Europe.
            Austerity is having an effect on Northern Europe because Greece and other southern European countries are not buying BMW’s,VW’s,Merc’s, Audijs Porcshe’setc!
            So their production workers are not affording holidays in Greece Southern Europe!

            • Foreign Waka

              Europe is in the dole drum because there are 33 countries and 55 languages that have to find a common ground. NZ cannot even find this often with its own Maori people. Before you have some judgement on hand, take into consideration a people 45 000 years in the making (not 800), with distinctive cultures developed over this period and many wars fought to keep the identity. To find a bridge to span this history and forge a future that has validity for all is certainly not child’s play or indeed some black and white knight sessions from the good ol’ Anglo saxen stall.
              As for the bankers wishes to simplify their means to get more money out of the working people – European Union – and the convolution resulting by the immigration to mainland Europe from the East, you would talk completely differently if this would be NZ. To put this into perspective, to cope what these countries currently trying to deal with, we are talking about 47 million people who need to be housed, educated, health service provided etc. The majority moved, incidentally – to Germany. 9.8 Million or 12% increase in the population by 2010. Who knows how many that is today. Now if this would be NZ, it would mean that 500 000 additional people need to be accommodated, with that I mean full benefits or workplaces. This is the size of it. To say that Germany (or the UK or any other major immigrant nation) has to accommodate even more is just plain ignorant.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 2.2

      The present Labour Party caucus still has some distance to go in terms of shaking itself off from ACTing lite after the 1980s.

  3. joe90 3

    Looks like a Syriza win,

    Skai TV exit poll: Syriza 36-39 ND 24-27 Potami 6,5-8,5 GDawn 6-8 KKE 5-7 Pasok 4-6 Ind.Grks 2,5-4,5 GPap 2-3

    Kapa Research Exit Poll: SYRIZA 33.5 – 37.5 ND 25 – 28 Golden Dawn 5.5 – 7.5 To Potami 5


    The whining begins,

    5m ago18:20

    The sniping from Europe’s elite has already begun.

    Sweden’s former prime minister Carl Bildt claims that taxpayers in other European countries will have to foot the bill for Syriza’s victory.

    Carl Bildt ✔ @carlbildt

    Syriza in Greece has won the election by promising that taxpayers in other Euro counties will pay even more to them. Rather daring.
    7:11 AM – 26 Jan 2015

    • AsleepWhileWalking 3.1

      Great news. That will mean that Yanis Varoufakis chap will be able to implement his ideas.

      In the interview below he talks about how people have been “liquidized” during the last few years. Appropriate term.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2

      So, what will the ‘mainstream’ ‘left wing’ parties do? Solidarity or muttering nervously in a corner?

      • phillip ure 3.2.1

        they/it is gone…their ‘labour party’ has got a single-figure result..

        ..’solidarity’ what..?

        ..the neo-liberalism/austerity-policies that the people they used to rule over have so rejected..? i think ‘muttering nervously in a corner’ will be their only option..

        ..and if labour here don’t get their ideological shit together..

        ..and ditch neo-liberalism..

        ..they too could well be looking for a corner to ‘mutter nervously’ in..

    • Bearded Git 3.3

      Brilliant site here for watching the Greek election result live.{“cls”:”level”,”params”:{“level”:”epik”,”id”:1}}

      Click on “Parties” at the top

      • swordfish 3.3.1

        Thanks for that Bearded Git. Looks like the Island of Crete (long a bastion for the Left in Greece)* is leading the way, giving roughly 45% to Syriza.

        *and, of course, with close WWII emotional ties to New Zealand.

    • joe90 3.4

      David Gormley ‏@dayvyg

      Syriza supporters singing anti-fascist anthem Bella Ciao at the party’s election centre in Athens:

    • joe90 3.5

      An interview with economist and Syriza candidate Yanis Varoufakis.

      What is the current economic situation on the eve of the elections in Greece? Can you give a kind of snapshot?

      In brief, everyone owes everyone, and no one can pay. The banks are bankrupt; they owe money to the state, to each other, to foreign banks. Citizens owe money to the banks and owe money to the state. The state owes money to everyone. So we have a triple insolvency: bankrupt banks, a bankrupt state and a bankrupt private sector. There are of course pockets, like everywhere, within society of people who are really well off. They have money in banks in Switzerland, in the city of London, on Wall Street, in Frankfurt, and even some money in the Greek banks.

      But the overall situation is that — even though in the last year or so there’s been a small rebound, not in terms of income but in terms of expenditure — the economy is quite clearly still in a downward spiral that is filling everyone’s soul with negative expectations.

      • nadis 3.5.1

        Looks like Syriza are on the cusp of an outright majority which will actually be preferable to a coalition with the Independent Greeks who will be way less flexible than Syriza.

        I really don’t know what comes next – if exiting the Euro is off the table the new Greek Government has very little ability to do anything. The end of austerity – great concept, but if you are only able to run at a 5% budget deficit cos you received EUR12 billion in direct subsidies, you don’t have a lot of ability to do anything.

        With Euro exit off the table (this is the only viable tool that Greece has to make any change to their economy) and repudiation of debt already excluded by Tsipras maybe Syriza/EU have already done a deal. Business as usual, a softening of the terms, but business as usual. Maybe throw a few subsidies out to the poor, but business as usual.

        With an inability to borrow, a budget deficit, and a committment to staying in the Euro, by definition nothing can change except the terms that the EU agrees to.

        And interesting to note 10 billion euros of deposits outflow from the main Greek banks since December – that’s 4% of the remaining deposit base. The banks already have a pending request in to the ECB for emergency liquidity.

        Overall, not too much bargaining power from Greece………

        • Draco T Bastard

          With an inability to borrow, a budget deficit, and a committment to staying in the Euro, by definition nothing can change except the terms that the EU agrees to.

          Yep, Greece’s only option is to remove themselves from the Euro.

        • James

          I agree – and I do not see this ending well for Greece.

    • nadis 3.6

      Well – whats the alternative? Please list a few ideas in bullet point format to educate the rest of us. Please note Tsipras has already ruled out exiting the Euro.

      • Foreign Waka 3.6.1

        The only way out would be either to forgive the debt or to space it at 0% for 100 years.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 4.1

      There is a certain correlation with low income areas and dog attacks. It is happens that coloured folks in habit large chunks of those areas.

      TG we have a white man around to *educate* the browner ones how to behave! Pity this will get more coverage than the fact that we have dogs attacking people and this needs to be stopped.

      • Sacha 4.1.1

        “There is a certain correlation with low income areas and dog attacks.”

        And a correlation between higher income and fences. And between number of dogs and number of attacks in an area. Further analysis before opening his mouth might have helped silly old Bob.

        • weka

          Also a correlation between white people and racism.

          • vto

            stereotyping racist and bullshit artist

            no wonder it never stops when those claiming the moral high ground in this arena undertake the exact behaviour they abhor


            • weka

              very dissapointing from such an important organisation and one wonders what he thought he might achieve.

          • James

            Yeah – because non-whites cannot be racist.

            • weka

              I didn’t know that.


              I think you and vto might have missed the point I was making. Correlation is not causation.

      • Psycho Milt 4.1.2

        Pity this will get more coverage than the fact that we have dogs attacking people and this needs to be stopped.

        Well, yeah, but that would involve doing something about the large number of people who own psychotic attack dogs they don’t either look after or restrain. Good luck trying to overlook the correlation between low-income areas and dog attacks while doing that…

        • weka

          If he’d said lower income areas instead of South Auckland and that immigrants and Pasifika aren’t natural dog owners, this would be an entirely different conversation. The media coverage would be different too.

          • Psycho Milt

            It was very foolish of him to mention ethnicity, indeed. Still, I expect he has no education in the social sciences and the thinking didn’t go much beyond “south Auckland, hmm that’s where all the PIs and Maoris live. Must be something to do with them.” The fact that it’s a fairly typical thought process is depressing.

            The stuff about migrants strikes me as a red herring. Are new immigrants to NZ really deciding that a pit-bull/mastiff cross would make an excellent family pet, or a good watchdog? Personally, I reckon that piece of poisoned thinking is local, not alien.

      • nadis 4.1.3

        I thought most owners of dangerous dogs tended to be bogan pakeha.

        • Murray Rawshark

          The owners of the most dangerous dogs, that are actually trained to attack people, are ngati poaka.

          Funnily enough, the only dog that has ever bitten me was a Labrador, not generally thought of as dangerous.

      • Murray Rawshark 4.1.4

        There is also a correlation between probability of prosecution and wealth. In this case, the correlation is negative.

    • kerridge..the vivisection-pimp..has also been factchecked by the head of auckland animal control..

      ..she says there is no ethnic-basis/stand-outs around the owners of dogs who attack..

      ..racist bob just disengaged his brain..

      ..and let his prejudices talk..

      ..and of course..the media..with their constant diet of nasty dogs on chains..and owned by brown-people..

      ..have only fed/fostered these prejudices..

      ..but kerridge should have known to factcheck before opening his mouth.. his claim is both factually-inaccurate..and racist..

    • Rawsharkosaurus 4.3

      That just shows that some palagis shouldn’t be allowed to use their mouths without adult supervision.

  4. “..7 States That Are Next in Line to Legalise Marijuana..

    ..Four states and DC have already legalized marijuana –

    – here’s the next crop..”


    • vto 5.1

      mr ure, how do you deal with the dulling effect that comes from use / frequent use? Having dabbled at times over the centuries I always found that the following day the mind was blunt – like running a sharp blade over a lump of granite …..

      • TheContrarian 5.1.1

        I hate smoking pot. It makes me to complete opposite of mellow and since I have ceased smoking it about a year or so ago my memory and cognitive ability has increased dramatically.

        • tricledrown

          Well one positive is states and countries where pot has been legalized usage has gone down especially amongst the young!
          Crime has also gone down as well.
          Instead of putting money into the failed policy of eradication.
          Taxes can be raised and used on education,rehab,and funding govt instead of criminal gangs!

      • phillip ure 5.1.2

        @ u use alcohol..?

        ..’cos that hangover effect – i get that from alcohol..

        ..not from pot..(esp. not from moderate use..)

        • vto

          p. ure, no I don’t use alcohol

          so no blunting of sharp mind of yours thru use of pot? hmmmmmm ………. I will believe though thousands may not ..

    • b waghorn 5.2

      I don’t smoke weed amy more.
      I don’t like what I’ve seen it do to people I know.
      I don’t like the way when I’m with my mates who smoke they become boring as bat shit after a good go at it.
      I do think It should be legalized in an effort to stop the effect of having people lured into crime in a effort to make some easy cash because it fucks communities.

  5. Pat O'Dea 6

    “I believe people are capable of amazing things and I do believe that climate change can be halted and even reversed. I just hope it happens in my lifetime. I don’t want to become the generation that future children talk of as having destroyed the planet. I’d like to be the generation that fought back (and won) against human induced climate change. The generation that worked out how to live in harmony with the planet – that generation!”
    DR JENNIE MALLELA Australian National University Researcher Biology and Earth Sciences

    “So whilst there is enough good and committed people we can change our path of warming,” However, he went on to add, “I am always hopeful – but 4 to 5 degrees Celsius of change will be a challenge to survive.”
    DR JIM SALINGER Honorary Research Associate in climate science with the University of Auckland’s School of Environment.

    Read More, What Scientists Feel About Climate Change; HERE

    3pm today marks the start of the campaign to stop Solid Energy, the heavily taxpayer subsidised State Coal Miner reopening the mothballed Kopuku 1 open cast mine just south of Auckland.

    We are not calling for currently operating coal mines to be closed, which is what the science demands, we are merely demanding that no more be opened.

    The demand that No New Coal Mine operations be started, or restarted is a moderate one.

    Those who support the opening of New Coal Mines in the age of climate change inhabit the lunatic fringe.

    This day marks the start of an epic battle for common sense and even conservativism against extreme ego driven radicals bent on self aggrandisement at all costs to the community the environment and the climate.

    Join the campaign for common sense and against climate extremism today. Details; HERE

    • Kia ora Pat

      Good luck with this campaign.

      For me the talk that we can still avert the effects of climate change distracts from what we could be doing to create resilience and community to help people cope with the effects and the changes that are here.

      ‘moderate’ has its place (maybe) but around climate change it seems like a waste of time. I’d like Mana to put the line in the sand and stay on that line – as we (Mana) have done on other issues – we need leadership and the kaupapa of Mana is desperately needed to help people see and find hope. Kia kaha.

  6. Pat O'Dea 7

    I am extremely slow to escape moderation today.

    Any reason?

    [r0b: sorry – random chance – no one is about. lprent – can we fix Pat always going to mod??]

  7. Morrissey 8

    Why are the flags at half mast on the Harbour Bridge?
    Radio NZ National, Monday 26 January 2015

    The medieval dictatorship of Saudi Arabia is, next to the United States, the biggest funder of Al Qaeda and ISIS fanatics. The terrorists that flew jet airliners into the World Trade Center in 2001 were Saudi Arabians. Public executions are common; fifteen people have been beheaded there this year alone. In spite of all this, listeners to Radio NZ National were treated to this disgusting little announcement at 9:45 a.m. ……

    KATHERINE RYAN: We’ve had a lot of texts this morning, asking about the flags flying at half-mast on the Auckland Harbour Bridge today. Well, they’re flying at half-mast at the request of the Prime Minister John Key, as a mark of respect for the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

    • vto 8.1

      Excuse my language, but fuck that. Get that flag back up.

      More lies and absolute hypocrisy by Key and the USA.

      No credibility. None

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 8.1.1

        Too late. The flag is being manipulated by tricKey. He wants to change it and is now half-masting it.

    • ma rehemo 8.2

      “Why are the flags at half mast on the Harbour Bridge?”

      I thought those in control might be mourning that on Auckland City’s 175th birthday so many people were suffering from the exorbitant government backed housing market in their fair city.

    • Pat O'Dea 8.3

      Officially, flying our flag at half mast may be our Right Wing government’s way of showing international solidarity with the violent undemocratic Right Wing despots that rule Saudi Arabia. Unofficially, it could also be taken as a sign of grief by the International Right, at Syriza’s peaceful democratic victory in Greece.

    • tricledrown 8.4

      Maybe we should ban women drivers and have some public stonings beheadings as well!

      • Morrissey 8.4.1

        If you want those things, talk to someone from ACT, Family First and/or the Sensible Sentencing Trust.

      • Ron 8.4.2

        Can I start my list of suitable contenders for stoning/beheading?

        Maybe we should ban women drivers and have some public stonings beheadings as well!

      • Colonial Rawshark 8.4.3

        Taking the hands off some bankster style rentier thieves may be a start.

    • Pat O'Dea 8.5

      Put the flags on the Auckland Harbour Bridge up to top mast in international celebration.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.6

      That is absolutely fucken disgusting but I suppose it should have been expected. John Key only cares about the rich and just doesn’t give a fuck about the damage that they do to everyone else.

    • Chooky 8.7

      +100 Morriessey….very well put…and absolutely weird! ….where are the Opposition Party leaders on this is ?….they should be making mince meat out of John Key Nact!

    • Foreign waka 8.8

      Just wonder whether this is what NZ aspires to be if Mr Key is supporting and admiring a nation that forces its people to belong to a state religion.
      Maybe he is not aware that:
      Wahhabism is the Arabic sect of the muslim religion and associated with a lot of atrocities. The majority of the world’s Wahhabis are from Qatar, UAE and Saudi Arabia.
      Wahhabi mission, or Dawah Wahhabiyya, is to spread purified Islam through the world, both Muslim and non-Muslim.
      I for one do not want to be part of this.

    • Murray Rawshark 8.9

      The same leaders who staged a march to support Charlie Hebdo will meet at the tyrant’s funeral. Maybe a few bloggers could be flogged for their entertainment? It shouldn’t be too hard to arrange for the beheading of a rape victim as well.

      No way should we be mourning the death of that slave owning murderous piece of shit. No way José.

  8. Michael 9

    Syriza in Greece might even achieve an absolute majority.

    Also here is Syriza’s 40-point plan:

    should be interesting to see what happens

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 9.1

      A brief report of four points of their programme is compelling and persuasive enough for many:


      ~ that no family is without water or electricity (in nine months of 2013, 240,000 households had their power cut because of unpaid bills)

      ~ that no one can be made homeless

      ~ that the very lowest pensions are raised

      ~ that urgent steps are taken to relieve child poverty (now at 40%)

  9. Morrissey 10

    This cartoon “violated press Standards of Practice”
    according to the Australian Press Council

    See the cartoon here….

    See how unfair it was by clicking here…..

    and here….

    Perhaps the august and learned members of the APC needed to speak to Sir Gerald Kaufman….

    • vto 10.1

      why were these principles not applied to the Charlie hebdo thing?

      Is it because the jewish religion is more important than the muslim religion?

    • Murray Rawshark 10.2

      I wonder whether they would also condemn the photo of the Jewish guy on the couch, wearing a kippah. I thought the cartoon quite appropriate, although the nose maybe went a bit far.

  10. fisiani 11

    Without John Key I suspect National would struggle to win in 2017 and 2020. Every attempt to attack the popular John Key is ignored by the public. Nicky Hagar’s and Crim Dot Con’s scurrilous attempts to try to bring down the government actually resulted in an increased National majority as National voters flocked to the polls. John Key is a phenomenon. He is admired and respected everywhere he goes. His is the voice that those at Davos listened to. National’s current polling is 52% whilst Labour wallows on just 26%.
    I cannot see John Key losing an election but assume that the Left may have a chance when he eventually retires.

    • weka 11.1

      You are telling lies Fisi. National got 47.31% of the vote in 2011 and 47.04% of the vote in 2014. That looks like a decrease to me.

      • swordfish 11.1.1

        No, he’s doing exactly what Key did recently on the same subject – carefully misleading rather than flat-out lying.

        Key recently told The Times that New Zealand voters had given National an increased number of seats, thus implying that there’d been a swing to the Party in popular support. Just like Fisi – although Fisi rather clumsily tries to reinforce the implication by going one step further with: “…….as National voters flocked to the polls.”

        National, of course, did indeed increase its seat number (from 59 to 60) – a direct corollary of an increase in wasted Party Vote at the 2014 Election (relative to 2011). But, as you’ve said, their Party Vote share actually fell marginally.

        As with Farrar and so on, it’s all about leaving a mistaken impression favourable to the Nats, while allowing just the teensiest bit of wiggle room for deniability if challenged.

  11. millsy 12

    You are probably right except that after the speciaks were counted Nationals vote was roundabout the same as in 2011.

      • fisiani 12.1.1

        National MP’s in 2011 59
        National MP’s in 2014 60
        National votes in 2011 1,058,…..
        National Votes in 2014 1,131….
        That’s one more MP and 63,000 extra votes

        John Key is really really liked by the public. He has never lost and probably never will.

        • swordfish

          National Party-Vote Percentage in 2011 47.3%
          National Party-Vote Percentage in 2014 47.0%

          Opposition Bloc Vote in 2011 1,034,021
          Opposition Bloc Vote in 2014 1,104,288
          (= + 70,267)

          Two can play at this game, sweetness.

          • Lanthanide

            Thanks for your unfailing attention to these details, swordfish. I’ve found your analysis of polls, and particularly the analysis of commentary on them, very illuminating.

            • weka


            • swordfish

              Cheers for that, Lanth and Weka. Appreciate it.

              And apologies to readers of my blog for the (unplanned) hiatus. I’ve been too busy and too tired over recent weeks (and, to be honest, I can’t say I’ve been overly happy with the quality of my prose on the blog. If even I’m getting bored with my own writing then I can’t expect anyone else to be too enthused).

              I’ll probably make a brief announcement on The Standard once I start posting again. Hopefully with a bit more vim.

          • fisiani

            Remind me Labour vote was lowest in 80 years. Green numbers down and Mana Dot Con came nowhere.
            Face it. As long as John Key wants to be PM he will be.

            • vto

              Finally sussed who you are fisiani ….

              Trump or Palin for the US Presidency?

              You are most definitely a loony republican..

            • swordfish

              “Green numbers down…..”

              Greens down 0.4 points
              Nats down 0.3 points

              Both down in percentage of the vote

              Both up in raw number of votes (largely due to increased turnout)

              Once again, that tendency of yours to make superficially plausible-sounding claims that, on closer inspection, turn out to be utter bollocks.

        • Clemgeopin

          “John Key is really really liked by the public. He has never lost and probably never will”

          John Key is really really fooling the public by lies, bull shit, spin, propaganda, copying of many Labour policies, indulging in dirty politics and use of big donors and their money. He has lost his mana. What does it profit a man if he wins the whole world and loses his soul?

        • weka

          Hardly an increase flocking to the polls. Someone elses can look at issues like population increase and boundary changes. Swordfish above has a more intricate analysis, but I’m happy to still call you a liar.

          “John Key is really really liked by the public”

          Yeah, that’s why only a third of eligible voters voted for his party. Like I said, liar.

  12. Morrissey 13

    Mike Williams starts as he means to go on, obviously
    From the Left and From the Right, Radio NZ National, Monday 26 January 2015

    Matthew Hooton starts off with a minatory rant, cleverly designed to undermine and cast doubts on Andrew Little. After several minutes, it is time for the representative of “the Left” to speak. This is what he said….

    MIKE WILLIAMS: Yeah, I would agree with absolutely everything Matthew just said.

    ….ad nauseam….

    • While he’s not a member now, Williams encapsulates or caricatures everything that was wrong with Labour for the last six years: aged, lazy, as bloated with hot air and privilege as Mr Creosote, bereft of ideas, disconnected from the people they once pretended to champion and childishly beholden to the right simply because they have lots of bling.

      And the pairing of those two oxygen thieves shows what’s wrong with political commentary on Radio NZzzzz. A solipsistic Punch and Judy show drowned in cold porridge.

      Now I’ve got that out of my system, I hope to do something productive today.

      • Chooky 13.1.1


      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 13.1.2

        Well, when I hear Williams on RNZ, I can’t help but think that Labour has nothing much to offer, e.g. why bother.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Perhaps you need to switch your critical faculties on prior to listening, Kiwiri. Mike Williams does not represent Labour any more than any other ordinary party member does. He has never claimed to be speaking on that show, or any other, as an official spokesperson.

          Of course he has authority in the sense that he used to be president and still has contact with senior LP leaders. But that doesn’t excuse your lazy thinking, which we also see repeated here by people who think TS is the official blog of the NZLP.


          Moz, I didn’t hear the words ‘just said’ in the sentence, which possibly makes the statement worse in one sense. But, clearly, he was referring to Hooton’s comments. The problem is, much of what Hooton said in his opening piece was both factually correct and reasonably framed to begin the discussion. So, basically, your criticism is that Mike Williams agreed with comments he couldn’t reasonably disagree with. That’s a poor level of analysis from someone we know has the highest standards of accuracy and astonishingly well honed critical faculties.

          Is it the heat?

          • marty mars

            Isn’t that a contradiction TRP

            he doesn’t represent labour but he has authority because he is exprez and still has contact with senior members – and is on the radio with all those credentials explicitly known.

            • Te Reo Putake

              No contradiction, marty. He’s earned the right to speak authoratively about the party, but that doesn’t mean he speaks for the party. And because his credentials and current status are well known, there is no excuse for confusion.

              • weka

                The problem isn’t that he has connections to Labour. It’s that for some infathomable reason he can’t represent a left wing view.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Like so many others who were senior or well connected within Labour.

                • left for deadshark

                  Because he’s not,(left wing) weka.hence his downward spiral,poverty of intellect.As you might have noticed,he scoffed at the presidential candidates ability to rash money for the party,it seems he thinks he’s the only one to have had that ability.

              • Clemgeopin

                Politically astute and aware people may not be confused in understanding the nuances and fine points you are implying regarding Mike Williams.

                The problem for Labour/left wing is that most people who hear so called left wing people like Mike Williams and Josie Pagani will take on board directly or subconsciously the negative perception about Labour or left wing created by their comments, especially when the commentator agrees and endorses the RW points made by the RW supporting commentator like Hooton.

                It is astounding that experienced left wing commentators like Williams and Pagani do not understand this basic media stuff and come across as weak in their passion, support and views.

                Often when I hear them I think, ‘With friends like these, who needs enemies!’

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Or we should just admit that Williams and Pagani know exactly what audience they are addressing, and it’s not those in the bottom 50% of the wealth pyramid.

          • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark

            The great thing about Williams on RNZ is that he has the effect of turning off any critical faculties.

          • weka

            “So, basically, your criticism is that Mike Williams agreed with comments he couldn’t reasonably disagree with.”

            No. It’s that Mike Williams isn’t doing his bloody job as a left wing commentator. He doesn’t have to agree or disagree with Hooton at all. He can just respond with a left wing perspective.

            Am off to dig up Pb’s very useful comment on this.

            btw, as I’m sure you know, Morrisey’s transcripts are notoriously inaccurate, and reflect their perspective and perception as much as anything.

            • weka

              This is in response to Pagani, but it’s general themes are appropriate,

              A partisan* pundit’s job is to move the conversation towards their view, and away from their opponents. By doing that they shift the centre. A political party has to capture the centre when in opposition. It’s harder to do that when the pundits who are their supposed allies are calling them and their supporters ‘radicals’ or ‘loons’ or otherwise framing their own side as weird.

              This is basic, basic, stuff. If you are a left wing pundit, then every time the right wing pundits are agreeing with you about the ‘nasty left’ and saying ‘there there’ you are getting your butt kicked at your one fucking job.

              You are not, (if you are a pundit), an academic analysing the left. You are the bloody left as far as the average punter sees things. So you should be attacking the right by highlighting the ways in which the right is out of step with the centre. One fucking job.

              Josie Pagani replies

            • Te Reo Putake

              ” … Morrisey’s transcripts are notoriously inaccurate …”

              Say it ain’t so, weka!

              I have it on good authority that the atomic clock is wilfully slack in comparison to Moz. He is the one constant in this world of shadows, shams and shameless distortions of the truth. Cutting definitively through the daisies of disinformation, Morrissey Breen is the last true star in the constellation of crap that passes for modern media.

              No, no, NO, I say!

              I’ll not have it said that he is capable of innacuracy in any form. I demand satisfaction. I will meet you at dawn with pistols drawn if you do not withdraw your vile and bassless calumny against a writer whose every utterances is as mother’s milk to a mewling baby and equally pure of heart and essence.

              For shame, weka, for shame!

          • Anne

            I agree with TRP @

            Hooton’s comment was indeed correct, but he can’t resist snide observations on the side about Labour leaders. He did it in a big way to Cunliffe and he’s chosen to follow suit with Little.

            Whether you agree with his strategy or not, Mike Williams chooses to ignore Hooton’s put-downs and concentrates on the issue under discussion. He’s probably right to do so because it’s better to ignore Hooton than risk giving his put-downs any more oxygen. Except when he goes over the top, Ryan has adopted a similar policy.

            Btw rhinocrates as far as I know Williams is still a member of the Labour Party.

            • weka

              I haven’t listened to the clip. Did Williams say he agreed with Hooton or not?

              • Anne

                Yes he did weka. What Hooton always does is to take advantage of a discussion to throw in mischievous and invariably inaccurate barbs about Labour and Green leaders. But when you take out the barbs, his analysis of a situation is usually more or less correct. Williams ignores the barbs and bases his responses on the analysis. It’s very annoying for us listeners but except when Hooton says something which is seriously over the top, it’s probably the best course of action.

                • weka

                  I think that Pb’s analysis stands. Just don’t agree with Hooton, because that’s what people hear at the start and that sets the tone for whatever else is said next. Williams has one job, to shift the narrative to the left, and he generally fails to do that. Maybe he thinks that by agreeing with Hooton he’s being conciliatory, but it just keeps the narrative in the centre.

                  We really need more actual left wing commentators, esp in that spot.

                  • Anne

                    Someone like Scoop’s Gordon Campbell would be ideal. He wouldn’t let Hooton get away with anything.

                    • weka

                      Gordon Campbell would be great! (although I don’t think I’ve heard him on radio before).

      • rhinocrates 13.1.3

        … while I’m at it: a man dubiously blessed with the ability to suck all of the oxygen out of a room and refill it with methane. So there.

      • greywarshark 13.1.4

        @ Rhinocrates
        Incisive and humorous. Are you a journalist? Where do you publish. Oxygen thieves, Radionzzzz, Punch and Judy and porridge. Brilliant descriptions. There’s something for everyone.

        • mac1

          Nah, I’m still grumpy about the first derogatory epithet cast at Labour by Rhinocrates. “Aged” indeed.

          I also listened to the first part of the political segment on RNZ. I have to agree with Te Reo Putake above when he wrote “The problem is, much of what Hooton said in his opening piece was both factually correct and reasonably framed to begin the discussion.”

          I know of the criticism levelled at Williams by various commentators here on the Standard when he states his agreement with Hooton. I suspect he does it now to wind up commentators here. This time, I listened to Hooton and Williams’s response with that criticism in mind, and I had to agree with Hooton’s first comments and Williams’s approval.

          Approval can mean that he agrees; it also indicates to a listener that he is not churlish about comments from a political opponent just because he said it; it gives Williams credibility in noting what is reasonable and forrest; and it also encourages Hooton to stay reasonable and factually correct.

          If he ignored Hooton’s comment by not passing any judgment, as Weka suggests, then those three pluses for that style of engagement are lost.

          • rhinocrates

            Don’t worry mac1 – I have privileges – I’m somewhat “aged” too 🙂

            greywarshark, yes I do publish, but under my own name and in other, obscure media/fora – academic literary criticism and the odd (sometimes very odd) creative work mainly. I prefer to preserve my pseudonymity here when Hoots or Curran are collecting addresses.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              I think you said it best.

              Labour remains a crawling mass (mess?) of class contradictions.

            • greywarshark

              @ rhinocrates
              Sometime you may have to blow your own horn before the poachers come along and cut if off!

          • greywarshark

            Willliams could try to be slightly unbalanced on the left side though! Instead of seemingly so to the right. He could say e.g. Yes you’ve got a point there, but not a strong one, and I think on the other hand that Little is shaping up well or such.

            And as for winding us up!! You’re joking aren’t you. We’re not in a game.
            So if he was to think along those lines, he could get on his skateboard and roll. Time for a change anyway. Who would we get instead? Someone remembering past left, recent past left and present and who still is in touch with his left side. Not some well-rounded bloke or blokess who just spins like a top with no sharp edges.

            • mac1

              “And as for winding us up!! You’re joking aren’t you.”

              Yes, I’m joking. About Williams caring about the commentators here overly much. But when the commentators, as Phil Ure states lower down, gets it wrong and mishears because of their bias, then I’m not joking. The reason being that there’s one thing in saying that it’s serious and not a game which I’m in agreement with, and with being so wound up that people hear what they want to hear, and are plain wrong.

              There’s a danger there where reasonable people fear to tread…………..

              If we are full of bullshit, then we lose. To the reader, and to the voters who are at the present, according to the latest Ray Morgan, happy with Key’s government and also with business confidence above the past decade’s average, which is what I suspect Williams was talking about with the Hawkes Bay references he made.

              Both commentators gave the relatively new Labour leader, president to be elected and to be appointed chief media advisor a year to get this perception changed. It won’t be changed by fulminating bullshit. From anywhere, Williams, Hooton or our commentariat included.

        • Anne

          grewwarshark @ 13.1.4
          Rhinocrates has yet to surpass his brilliant piece on this site about a fictional speech given by Shearer when he was leader. The problem… Shearer was putting his supermarket shopping list together at the same time and the inevitable happened. He got the two muddled. The tears of laughter streamed down my face.

          • freedom

            for those who missed it

            Weapons of mass distraction

            • Anne

              Oh dear, I nearly split my side all over again.

              • greywarshark

                That was good rhino.
                But after being stirred and shaken the next commenter produced this..

                One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.1
                15 April 2013 at 8:18 pm
                Laugh all you want. I can reveal that dirty foreigners have accessed the National Party’s website and right now are seeking to copy the government’s education policy, assett sales and economic management program in an effort to export them and destabilise their own countries the way we have this one.

    • greywarshark 13.2

      That Williams eh. Have you seen those gizmo parrots with a recording device which repeats everything you say and it’s in a funny voice. Hilarious. What a pity Radio isn’t television, it’s got as vacuous with this pair of political pollies, but the parrot must be seen to be effective comedy.

      On radio the humour doesn’t come off. I suggest listening to 9toNoon at 11.45 a.m. and get Pinky Agnew and Radar et al for laughs and some political stuff gets in there, probably as much as in the official discussion. Really the two fatheads known as the Hooton and Williams duo or Mutt and Mike, are neither use nor armament (Freudian slip).

    • i have to call you on that..morrissey..

      ..i went and listened to it..

      ..and this is one of the few times i can agree with williams saying ‘i agree with matthew’..

      ..’cos what hooton did..he didn’t ‘undermine’ little..he just noted that @ 26% in the polls..that little has one yr to turn that around..

      ..that if that is still the number then..thaat there will be more talk of a leadership-change..

      ..what’s to argue with about that..?

      ..he then went on to note that the speech from little on wed is very important..

      ..that little has to do a version of brashs’ orewa speech.. the sense of seizing the agenda..with bold policy/ideas..

      ..(i wd suggest a universal basic end poverty in one fell swoop..

      ..or a return to people being able to capitalise child-benefit for housing deposit etc..

      ..combined with a massive building program of smart/green/clever variations on buildings..running the gamut from tiny-houses in clusters..onwards..

      ..hard to see what else would grab the imagination..) was what hooton said.. what was to disagree with..?..and how was he ‘undermining’ little..?

      ..that is a serious distortion of what actually happened..there..morissy.. the extent..u shd withdraw it..and apologise for misleading us punters..

      ..but i hasten to add that pretty much everything else williams said was absolute shite.. one stage he was prattling on about how he and sll his middle class mates are ‘feeling pretty good’ out the hawkes bay..

      ..ryan called him on his bullshit..and then he furiously agres with every counter argument the compere made..(!)..(as he does..)

      ..i think the inside of williams head must be like a fairground at full volume..

      ..and hooton got in the first official chicken little/’the sky is falling in!’ rightwing bout of panic at the election of the leftwing govt in greece..

      ..predicting doom/gloom/disaster for all..

      • phillip ure 13.3.1

        a mea culpa from little/labour for neo-lib/labour losing their way –

        – wouldn’t go amiss..

        • Te Reo Putake

          Who gives a shit, Phil? Only political tragics even know what you’re talking about. It has no relevance to the vast majority of voters, especially the yoof.

          • phillip ure

            you can look at greece..and spain..and portugal..and ireland..and scotland..and say that..?

            ..and please tell us how a steady-as-she-goes strategy will drag (a withering neo-lib) labour above the forseeable-future..?

   you reckon leave it until just before the next election..?

            ..if not that..what..?

            ..and in labour election policy ’14..

            ..did you support the policy of doing nothing for the poorest..?

            ..and do you think labour should continue with such a policy..

            ..going into 2017..?

            • Te Reo Putake

              Put those goalposts back, Phil, they don’t belong to you.

              • yeah..thanks for not answering..

       u think it makes u look good..?

                ..unable to defend yr orifice-pluck on any

                ..and i’ll tell u that u supported that give the poorest

                • Te Reo Putake

                  Drug fucked again, Phil? Can’t even remember your original comment? Focus, man, focus!

                  • my original comment unpacked morrisseys’ comment..

                    ,..what on earth r u rabbiting on about..?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Yes, quite. The comment I was replying to:

                      a mea culpa from little/labour for neo-lib/labour losing their way –

                      And the reply:

                      Who gives a shit, Phil? Only political tragics even know what you’re talking about. It has no relevance to the vast majority of voters, especially the yoof.

                      So, got a response to what I actually wrote? I reckon it’s ancient history. Your counterpoint is … ?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      So no answer at all? Ok, that was a fun discussion.

                    • how about stopping yr stupid game..

                      ..and answering one question..?

                      ..did u support the labour ’14 election-policy of giving/doing nothing for the poorest..?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      I asked first.

          • greywarshark

            You are in attack mode again. I thought phil made good points. Even if they don’t praise the sainted Labour Party up to the sky they sound fair and reasoned. So does have relevance.

            • Te Reo Putake

              Yes, Phil made points. But the question remains; what would be the use of Labour apologising for Lange/Douglas? Who would care? What difference would it make?

              • quite a few people wd ‘care’..

                ..and it wd mark a clear break from the past..

                ..that is the ‘difference’ it wd make’.

                ..labour just doing more of the same old same old..

                ..will get the same old same old result..

                ..the withering will continue..

                • greywarshark

                  I liked what phil said and how he went through the points in 13.3. After that it was the point about possibly saying sorry that you objected to TRP.

                  Perhaps if you had acknowledged the earlier points, as well as disagreeing with the sorry idea, we would have had a dozen less coments. I agree with you about not saying sorry. It is not appropriate or useful, but it would be good if it could be acknowledged that Labour had taken the wrong approach in the 1980’s..

                  But more than that, what would energise us now is new policies backing a determination to improve NZs wellbeing, economy and support for regions infrastructure and enterprise. And we need control over our assets and resources, including not selling houses to foreign investors, Labour should give us the ability to have a stake in our own country, not continue policies downgrading our lives to make money for a few.

              • Te Reo Putake

                Cheers, Phil. Basically, it would achieve nothing much and risk being another ‘sorry’ moment. Why bother?

                • how about you now answer my election ’14 s.f.a. 4 poorest question..?

                  ..did u support that policy..?

         u think it is a policy labour should take into election ’17..?

                • “..Why bother?..”


                  ..u have a labour party that has slumped to mid-twenties support..

                  ..where have all those former labour supporters gone..?

                  ..and why..?

                  ..and how to get them back..

                  ..that is what shd ‘bother’ labour-people..

                  ..and the fact is a lot left because labour has betrayed basic principles/them..

                  (..and..y’know..! cd labours’ election-policy for the poorest in ’14..

         a country/time with record inequality/poverty (both child and adult..)

                  ..and our ‘labour’ party..went into an election a few months ago..

                  ..promising to do absolutely nothing for those suffering the worst from that poverty/inequality..

         the fuck cd that not be a big fucken neon-sign..

                  ..saying..’labour party..!..lost..!’..

                  ..that is all just part of the reasons why u shd ‘bother’

  13. Colonial Rawshark 14

    What Greece / Syriza / Tsipras should do

    1) Clamp on capital controls .
    2) Hair cut 50% of every bank deposit over €200K; depositers will gain rights to Greek public land and assets as an IOU.
    3) Hire 20,000 people into the public service at the minimum wage, supporting services and NGOs for the poor and homeless.
    4) Issue every citizen with 200,000 drachmae, the nominal equivalent of €500 for spending. Make it clear that an annual tax of 400,000 drachmae will now be levied on each citizen.
    5) 10% of all public employees salaries to be paid in drachmae. 20% for the top decile of public employees.
    6) Put a fully empowered government appointed member on the board of every financial institution in the country.
    7) Sign extended, cheap, energy deals with Russia.
    8) All government purchasing to go to local Greek companies only.


    Invite the Troika in for talks.

    • Colonial Rawshark 14.1

      Oh yeah, Syriza should enter into coalition with both Potami and Pasok to create unbreakable numbers in their parliament.

      • dave brown 14.1.1

        Looks like they have an absolute majority
        So the don’t need to make alliances with parties that will drag them down.

        I wouldn’t call in the Troika, they are the enemy, the banksters.
        Greece is a colony of Germany and France. It has nothing to gain by forcing workers to pay EU bankers out of their miserable wages.
        The EU is not a partnership of equals but a convenient fiction for the bosses to pump surplus out of workers.

        The central committee of Syriza wants to stay in the EU and negotiate a fair deal. This is a delusion. Lambs lying down with wolves.

        Syriza must be forced by mass protests from below to break with the banksters. Then the workers in the other PIGS will be inspired to follow. The flow on effects to the rest of Europe and the world will be strong.

        * Cancel all debts!

        * Expropriate the capitalists and in particular the so-called “50 families”!

        * Nationalize the key corporations without paying compensation and place them under worker control!

        * Break all links with EU institutions and leave the Eurozone!

        * Significantly increase the minimum wage!

        * For a public works program in order to rebuild the country!

        * For the right of national self-determination for national minorities! Equality for migrants (full citizenship rights, right to use their native language, equal wages, etc.)!

        * For a workers’ government based on action councils which will organize the workers and popular masses and establish an armed workers’ militia!

        * For a workers’ republic in Greece! For a United Socialist States of Europe!

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 14.1.2

        And so it has started – the presstitutes are wanting to see Syriza break up over infighting and disagreements:

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Thing is, I am betting that the Greek populace don’t give a flying &$%*(# about the corporate media any more.

    • greywarshark 14.2

      Email that to the new Greek leader when h gets in. He might be pleased to know that more than people in Greece support them in their efforts to restore their economy and polity.

    • Draco T Bastard 14.3

      And timed perfectly for the Syriza win:

      he new Greek government has plenty of challenges ahead of it: A towering debt, chronic unemployment and relations with the rest of Europe. But it also has an urgent security problem.

      Greece has become an unwitting crossroads — both for jihadists trying to reach Iraq and Syria from Europe, and for fighters returning home from the Middle East.

      So, that would be a US invasion sometime in the near future then?

      • Colonial Rawshark 14.3.1

        The way I see it, the US and its proxies have pretty much already had control of Greece for the last 5 years.

        • Draco T Bastard

          But it looks like they’re about to lose that control with the voting in of Syriza.

          • dave brown

            Voting doesn’t cause the US and NATO to ‘lose control’.
            Parliament is a fig leaf in this power game.
            But it will make them play their hand, sanctions, destablisation, even invasions, which will raise the game to the next level of popular armed defence of democracy against the No 1 world terrorist.
            It will also bring Russia and China into play since they have an interest in seeing that Greece is not turned into ‘failed state’ to justify an invasion.

          • The Murphey

            Q. Do you really believe that Syriza stand a chance of being ‘let out’ without the cartels firing bigger artillery ?

            • Colonial Rawshark

              If it looks like the Economic Hitmen can’t do their job, they’ll send in real Hitmen. If I were Tsipras I’d be making sure that all the military Generals and diplomatic protection squads were on side, ASAP.

              • The Murphey

                He will do well to survive if he even attempts to walk the talk from a couple of years back

                That said the Euro is dead in the water one way or another

                • Draco T Bastard

                  The Euro is dead in the water. It was dead from the time it was mooted but the Europeans got it dumped upon them anyway.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Note that Greece has been buying billions in American and German military equipment form large western corporations, using bail out funds. These orders were not subject to the austerity measures imposed by the IMF, ECB.

              What a fukcing scam.

            • Draco T Bastard

              Nope but that doesn’t mean that Greece doesn’t get out from under the thumb of the banksters and new feudal lords.

  14. An article that’s interesting – there’s ittle that’s new or secret, but that’s the point – it’s all in plain sight. Anyway, some – pardon the pun – handy ammunition:

    View at

    On leaving office in 1960, Eisenhower warned of the power of the emerging “Military-Industrial Complex”. With America now a plutocracy (who can gain office without huge campaign donations and without being beholden to their donors?), it’s much worse.

    Cheney’s links with Halliburton and his war profiteering are well known, but this shows that rather than being the corruption of one man, the entanglement of industry, the military and congress is now wider, deeper and more insidious.

    Quote: “the Boston Globe found that 80 percent of retiring three- and four-star generals went to work for defense related firms” That is, they often become lobbyists, the leash-holders of representatives.

    It may not be news to many and there’s no Snowdenesque revelation of secret material – worse, it’s all plainly known already. The tracing of names and flow of funds in an accessible form is useful.

    Considering the chronic mismanagement of defence programmes such as the F-35 (a costly turkey of a plane) and pressure to retire proven effective systems such as the A-10 close-support aircraft and the forcing of unwanted production of M-1 tanks that go immediately into storage, even the right-wing hawks should be concerned at the undermining of America’s defence capacity.

    We may not have Lockheed Martin here, but we do have Sky City and similar dynamics are at play.

    • Colonial Rawshark 15.1

      And while the military-industrial-surveillance-complex corporations keep getting the big billions, the US military is giving thousands of its service personnel and officers redundancy notices because there isn’t enough money in the Pentagon budget to pay ordinary wages and HR expenses.

  15. weka 16

    I’m getting quite a few of the links opening in old posts bug. Anyone else?

  16. weka 17

    Two rivers that are unswimmable,

    Moss said Fish & Game was concerned at the recent reporting of toxic algal blooms in the region’s waterways, and believed it was another indication that local rivers, streams and estuaries were deteriorating while agriculture intensified across Southland.

    “While cyanobacteria is naturally occurring, its growth is promoted by high nitrate levels, which is generally derived from stock urine.”

    Fish & Game was concerned that the recent bloom was occurring so far upstream and with indications that the remainder of the summer could be drier than normal, the situation was only going to get worse, he said.

    “Unless there is a concerted effort to reduce the quantity of nitrate that is being lost to both ground and surface water, these blooms are likely to become commonplace over the Southland summer.”

    “I’m sure all Southlanders look forward to Environment Southland setting robust catchment nutrient limits, as they have signalled, to make sure our rivers are safe for swimming, fishing and food gathering.”

    The reality of our rivers today. The Waitara.

    @Delwynd1 @dairymanNZ @Tikorangi @hamish_keith yes Waitara is holding…that is our new water standard…holding to wadeable not swimmable.

    Council sign on risk in swimming and other activities in the Waitara river

    • Chooky 17.1

      some rivers “unswinmmable”….and some rivers ain’t there any more….disappeared between the stones ……no use going there with your togs …..just hot stone wadis…and a few ribbons of slime

    • marty mars 17.2

      so sad that we are at this stage – I really believe our rivers are like veins or maybe arteries??? Anyway… they are essential, just so important – it is getting close, if not already there, when we are going to have to fight for our rivers and by that I mean literally take back that ‘commons’.

      In the bay over the weekend we swam on saturday in the sea and in a river, and on sunday did the same. Lots of people (for us) there, children, laughing and fun – and the water was beautiful, cleansing and invigorating – we reveled in the environment, in the sun and water and the gift of being there enjoying our pastimes. This is for everyone, this is living. And building connection and community and resilience. I will fight for the right for everyone to be able to enjoy clean and safe water and rivers.

      clean is relative for sure – our rivers in the bay are not ‘clean’ just cleaner than some others

      and in the hottest parts of the day the dairy farmers spray water across their fields, water taken from the river and aquifer, and they spray it into the hot evaporating sun and then they spray some more – that to me shows total arrogance and ignorance.

      • weka 17.2.1

        “This is for everyone, this is living.”

        Completely agree.

        We need to legislate nature rights. It’s the only way to protect nature and human-proof it.

  17. greywarshark 18

    This is an intereting clip of public service broadcasting from USA. The Washington Week Webcast Extra program. Gwen Ifill is a very likeable capable interviewer. This clip would be of interest to those wondering why new tech programs while expensive, employing skilled people, often don’t work properly. There the Healthcare program started and still wasn’t working right. The word that crops up continually is ‘contractors’ Q to the lead contractor – how is it going. A. Fine. We’ve got the best people working on it. And so on down the line with all the sub-contractors. Then, later. Q. What went wrong. A. I don’t know we had the best etc. And so it goes.

    The tech people at the bottom had to direct themselves it seems, and they spent a month ceaselessly working to get it going. The analogy used was they were still fixing the engines while the plane was flying.

  18. greywarshark 19

    1 Why does No Right Turn Idiot/Savant pieces get sampled twice in the right column?
    2 King Abdullah’s death is recognised? If somebody like Chavez dies I presume we would honour him and his country the same? I wouldn’t like repressive oil barons to get all the adulation.

    • alwyn 19.1

      You ask whether we recognized Chavez’s death by flying flags at half mast.
      The answer is we did, as you can see from this link.
      This is from a Tauranga paper but it does say that all Government Offices flew them that way and describes the New Zealand policy.
      Of course many people might say that he was also a repressive oil baron.

      • Colonial Rawshark 19.1.1

        Repressive to capital perhaps. But he did survive a US sponsored military coup, which is quite a feat.

    • weka 19.2

      The president’s death is also specified under the New Zealand Flag Notice 1986. The notice describes when the flags are flown at half-mast including the days of national commemoration and in the case of the death of a foreign head of state.

      From alwyn’s link.

      I/S’s post might show twice if he edited/republished it twice.

  19. saveNZ 20

    Interesting article about the rise of private armies. (Extract)

    Five characteristics distinguish PMCs from other armed nonstate actors in global politics. First, they are motivated more by profit than by politics. This is not to suggest that all PMCs disregard political interests and serve merely at the whim of the highest bidder, but they are fundamentally profit-seeking entities. Second, they are structured as multinational corporations and participate in the global financial system. These are not shady “lone wolf” mercenaries stalking the jungles of the Congo during the wars of African liberation. Third, they are expeditionary in nature, meaning that they seek work in foreign lands rather than providing domestic security services. There are exceptions to this, especially when it comes to homeland defense, but in general, these firms are foreign focused and are not domestic security guards. Fourth, they typically deploy force in a military manner, as opposed to a law-enforcement one. The purpose of military force is to defeat or deter the enemy through organized violence, while law enforcement seeks to deescalate violent situations to maintain law and order. This intrinsically affects how they operate. Fifth and most important, PMCs are lethal and represent the commodification of armed conflict. There will always be exceptions to these five features, but they serve as a good test of whether an armed nonstate actor is a PMC.
    When the United States invaded Iraq, few imagined at the time that it would also introduce a new norm in modern warfare: the privatization of war. The next chapter explores the deepening dependency between the superpower and the private military industry and implications for the American way of war.

    • Colonial Rawshark 20.1

      It seems now that the latest US invasion of Iraq was in fact largely a for-profit venture. Not proftable for the USA as a nation or its peoples, but profitable for USA Inc.

      • greywarshark 20.1.1

        @ CR
        I have the idea that there was a lot of Iraq money that had been frozen, in USA coffers. If the USA declared war they could take possession of the cash as spoils of war I suppose. Then the war would be paid for by the defending state. And the arms for the war would be bought from the USA’s businesses so the money would be passed to them and some of it would come back to the US government. Also it provided employment for the USA young men and women. A good financial scheme if they had hold of Iraq’s cash

        Later I seem to remember they were said to have sent container loads of cash to Iraq, a spokesperson saying lamely that it was their money. It was not channelled into needed infrastructure replacement, it was handed over to leaders who the USA chose no doubt and only a small percentage went into the people’s hands and the economy.

        If anyone has a summary of the financial dealings perhaps they could put up a link as mine is from memory and may not have been correct in the first place.

  20. AsleepWhileWalking 21

    Holy crap. IBM laying off 100,000 employees. That would be like a quarter of Wellington…got to have a ripple effect over in NZ

    • Colonial Rawshark 21.1

      Apparently tens of thousands of those jobs going will be in India. There goes India’s long heralded middle class IT boom.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 21.1.1

        10k workers is very approximately 3% of the IT workers in India, in a sector that’s adding c.200k jobs per year.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          From what I read it’s going to be several tens of thousands of workers. And if IBM has picked that there is going to be large scale consolidation in the industry you can expect others to follow.

  21. “..10 best vegan cookbooks..

    ..the cookbooks that use the healthiest ingredients –

    – and prove there is life after cheese..”


    (i like that line..’life after cheese’..heh..!..)

  22. Todays Australian honours list shows just what a farce the scheme is. Not only here but in alL the former Empire countries. SIr Phillip Windsor what a joke.

  23. Morrissey 24

    The Panel is off to a typically mirth-filled start today
    Radio NZ National, Monday 26 January 2015
    Jim Mora, Stephen Franks, Chris Gallavin, Julie Moffett

    First up today, a thoughtful, enlightening discussion about who should and should not be called terrorists….

    JULIE MOFFETT: The BBC says the people who carried out the Charlie Hebdo killings should not be called terrorists.

    …..Pause to indicate they’re thinking seriously…..

    JIM MORA: Nnnnyeah, you would think that the Charie Hebdo killings were reasonably terroristic wouldn’t you.
    CHRIS GALLAVIN: Well, one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist! Oh, I don’t know WHAT’S happening Jim, quite frankly!
    MORA: Hur hur hur hur!
    CHRIS GALLAVIN: It’s summer time, Jim!
    MORA: Hur hur hur hur!
    JULIE MOFFETT: Ha ha ha ha ha!

    He hasn’t appeared yet, but listeners who can bear listening to this dreck should keep an ear out for the sepulchral ex-ACT MP and S.S. man Stephen Franks, who will no doubt deliver one of his smarmy little homilies about “wickedness”.

    FACT: Jim Mora never once said, last year, or in 2008-9, or in 2006: “Nnnnyeah, you would think that the Gaza/West Bank/Lebanon killings were reasonably terroristic wouldn’t you.”

    • @ morrissy.. u plse address the issues raised in comment 13.3..

      • greywarshark 24.1.1

        @ phillip ure
        You’d be lucky. IIRC Felix tried to achieve that unsuccessfully.

        • phillip ure

          i am actually gobsmacked the facts of the matter were twisted so much..

          ..and that he won’t answer/address the questions just compounds that..

      • Morrissey 24.1.2

        .cd u plse address the issues raised in comment 13.3.

        Yes, you’re correct, Phillip. Hooton was not actually lying, he was simply putting the most negative spin on the state of the Labour Party that he could possibly get away with.

        My problem with Williams is that he didn’t even demur at the tone of Hooton’s disrespectful, exaggerated dismissal of Andrew Little, and announced that he agreed with everything that cynical National Party operative had just said. He was signaling from the outset that, once again, he was going to let Hooton make all the running, and was going to agree with him whenever possible. No doubt that kind of back-scratching was how Williams conducted his political career; he doesn’t seem to have noticed that there is no quid pro quo in it; Hooton simply treats him with contempt.

  24. space sciency comet stuff

    The grandest of the consolidated surfaces – the fifth type of terrain – is Hathor, a towering 2,950-foot (900 meter) cliff that dominates the underside of the comet’s duck-like head. Its distinctive linear features, which run both up and down and across for much of its height, reveal brighter material that suggests we’re seeing the internal structure of the comet’s head. Tucked along an alcove on the cliff are additional bright white spots less than 30 feet (10-m) across that may be patches of sublimating ice.

    one of the few times that I rate ‘balance’ is the contrast of looking out as well as in, looking locally well as universally. Space is cool.

    • Draco T Bastard 25.1

      We should be looking for ways to nudge those comets into Mars. Get enough mass there and Mars will become livable. It’s not at the moment due to the lack of atmosphere and electromagnetic field.

      • TheContrarian 25.1.1

        Directing comets to Mars to increase it’s mass and make it livable?

        Wut? Increasing Mar’s mass isn’t going to increase its magnetic field. Not to mention slamming comets into a planet is a fairly poor solution to making a planet livable.

        Da faq you talking about

        • Draco T Bastard

          Molten core
          Magnetic field

          Of course, slamming Mars with asteroids and comets still may not be enough to re-heat it’s core and thus get its magnetic field going or replace it’s atmosphere. May have to nip out to the Kuiper Belt or the Oort Cloud and grab a dwarf planet or two.

          Not to mention slamming comets into a planet is a fairly poor solution to making a planet livable.

          Worked for Earth.

          • TheContrarian

            Earth’s magnetic field comes from it’s internal dynamo. There is nothing to suggest slamming a planet with comets will do anything about reheating its core and kicking off the dynamo. Least of all anything to do with mass (look at Venus – very similar mass to earth, tiny magnetic field)

            “Worked for Earth.”

            Firstly it wasn’t just being slammed with comets that made earth livable but, secondly, if you have a few hundreds of million years available then go right ahead.

            “May have to nip out to the Kuiper Belt or the Oort Cloud and grab a dwarf planet or two.”

            Wow…really? Just “nip” out there and shackle a dwarf planet, send it back to mars and slam it into it. Wow.

            This is stupid even for you. These are events that are millions on millions on millions of the years in the making. I can’t even

            • McFlock

              not to mention all the new planetary shrapnel flying around the solar system from all these impacts.

              And then rather than waiting 100million years for mars to cool enough for us to live on, maybe we should just drop some unobtanium bombs down a really long martian mine shaft and melt the core that way? 😉

            • Draco T Bastard

              These are events that are millions on millions on millions of the years in the making. I can’t even

              Yeah, typical RWNJ – just can’t think long term.

              • TheContrarian


                I am thinking long-term you nitwit. You are apparently not. You have really jumped the shark this time

              • McFlock


                By the time that plan is due to work at the earliest possible opportunity, we either won’t need mars at all, or we’ll have been long-extinct.

            • UglyTruth

              “Earth’s magnetic field comes from it’s internal dynamo.”

              You don’t know what you’re talking about.

              • tinfoilhat

                😆 😆

                • UglyTruth

                  “I’d like to see that land beyond the (North) Pole. That area beyond the Pole is the Center of the Great Unknown:”

                  Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd

                  • One Anonymous Bloke


                    “We have sailed many weeks, we have sailed many days,
                    (Seven days to the week I allow),
                    But a Snark, on the which we might lovingly gaze,
                    We have never beheld till now!

              • Clemgeopin

                Your link showing the supposed ‘Space Station Footage of The North Pole Opening to Hollow Earth’ seems suspect to me.

                I am skeptical.
                If the theory is true, then it is astonishing that the scientists have not confirmed this. Besides, there are thousands of satellites from scores of different countries circling the globe. None of them have photographed or indicated the voracity of the theory.

                I had never heard of ‘hollow Earth’!

                So I googled and found lots of links.
                Here is one:

      • McFlock 25.1.2

        how will increasing the mass generate a magnetic field?

        And how big would mars have to get, given mars is 1/10th the mass of earth. That’s a shedload of comets.

    • Draco T Bastard 25.2

      Talking about things going past at high speed:

      At the closest point to the Earth, asteroid 2004 BL86 will be at a distance of 1.2 million kilometers which – approximately three times the distance from the Earth to the moon. Estimated to be 0.5 km in diameter, it is classified by scientists as potentially dangerous.

      Probably need a good set of binoculars though.

  25. stephen franks on the panel..

    ..ew..!..just ew..!


  26. Colonial Rawshark 27

    Greece’s new Finance Minister: “we are going to destroy the Greek oligarchy system”

    And here, on the Max Keiser show some time back:

    • Clemgeopin 27.1

      The Guardian‎ : ‘”The hour of the left has come. Hope has arrived”

      I hope that things will get better for Greece in the next few years.

      • Chooky 27.1.1

        @Clemgeopin….yes hope that things will get better for a lot of people in the next few years… this is worth watching

        ‘Wealth Abyss’

        • Clemgeopin

          Interesting and intriguing scenario in Greece!

          Here is a good article to understand the ‘revolution’ that has been instigated by the young. Could be a harbinger for similar future revolutions all over the capitalist western countries sooner or later:

          Greece Shows What Can Happen When The Young Revolt Against Corrupt Elites

          By Paul Mason

          January 25, 2015 “ICH” – “The Guardian” – At Syriza’s HQ, the cigarette smoke in the cafe swirls into shapes. If those could reflect the images in the minds of the men hunched over their black coffees, they would probably be the faces of Che Guevara, or Aris Velouchiotis, the second world war Greek resistance fighter. These are veteran leftists who expected to end their days as professors of such esoteric subjects as development economics, human rights law and who killed who in the civil war. Instead, they are on the brink of power.

          Black coffee and hard pretzels are all the cafe provides, together with the possibility of contracting lung cancer. But on the eve of the vote, I found its occupants confident, if bemused.

          However, Syriza HQ is not the place to learn about radicalisation. The fact that a party with a “central committee” even got close to power has nothing to do with a sudden swing to Marxism in the Greek psyche. It is, instead, testimony to three things: the strategic crisis of the eurozone, the determination of the Greek elite to cling to systemic corruption, and a new way of thinking among the young.

          Read more here:

          • Clemgeopin

            Some interesting bits from the above article:

            * The Eurozone’s crisis is easiest to understand – because its consequences can be read so easily in the macroeconomic figures. The IMF predicted Greece would grow as the result of its aid package in 2010. Instead, the economy has shrunk by 25%. Wages are down by the same amount. Youth unemployment stands at 60% – and that is among those who are still in the country.

            * So the economic collapse – about which all Greeks, both right and leftwing, are bitter – is not just seen as a material collapse. It demonstrated complete myopia among the European policy elite. In all of drama and comedy there is no figure more laughable as a rich man who does not know what he is doing. For the past four years the troika – the European Commission, IMF and European Central Bank – has provided Greeks with just such a spectacle.

            * As for the Greek oligarchs, their misrule long predates the crisis. These are not only the famous shipping magnates, whose industry pays no tax, but the bosses of energy and construction groups and football clubs. As one eminent Greek economist told me last week: “These guys have avoided paying tax through the Metaxas dictatorship, the Nazi occupation, a civil war and a military junta.” They had no intention of paying taxes as the troika began demanding Greece balance the books after 2010, which is why the burden fell on those Greeks trapped in the PAYE system – a workforce of 3.5 million that fell during the crisis to just 2.5 million.

            * From outside, Greece looks like a giant negative: but what lies beneath the rise of the radical left is the emergence of positive new values – among a layer of young people much wider than Syriza’s natural support base. These are the classic values of the networked generation:
            self-reliance, creativity, the willingness to treat life as a social experiment,
            a global outlook.

            *I’ve reported the Greek crisis since it began, and what changed in 2015 was this: Syriza had already won the solid support of about 25% of voters on the issues of Europe and economics. But now a further portion of the Greek electorate, above all the young, are signalling they’ve had enough of corruption and elites.

            * Greece, though an outlier, has always been a signifier, too: this is what happens when modern capitalism fails. For there are inept bureaucrats and corrupt elites everywhere.

            * We face two years of electoral uncertainty in Europe, with the far left or the hard right now vying for power in Spain, France and the Netherlands. Some are proclaiming this “the end of neoliberalism”.

            I’m not sure of that. All that’s certain is that Greece shows how it could end.

            • dave brown

              The Communist Tendency inside Syriza opposes the formation of a government with the Independent Greeks, an openly bourgeois right-wing anti-immigration UKIP-type party.
              Despite winning more than 50% of the vote in the cities Syriza fell short of an absolute majority by 2 seats.
              The Communist Tendency argues that this will put a limit on Syriza’s ability to pursue a strong anti-capitalist agenda that meet the needs of its popular constituency.
              Being in government with a rightwing bourgeois party will also provide and an excuse for conciliatory elements within Syriza to make concessions to the Troika.
              By rejecting the Independent Greeks and exposing the anti-worker refusal of the KKE (Communist Party of Greece) to join the government, Syriza sends a clear message to its supporters that it will not form a government with the bourgeoisie and should go back to the country to win an outright majority.


  27. weka 28

    Another privileged farmer apologist. This one’s pretty gobsmacking. I wonder if there is some cultural reason why some farmers seem unable to understand how this would come across (although willing to bet it made plenty of other farmers cringe too).

    This week, its case against AB Wood Holdings convinced the judge to impose a $134,500 fine after the death of one of its workers. The apple orchardist had dared to Grow Apple Trees On A Slope, a terrible example of Doing A Thing. Not only that, the company hadn’t bothered to flatten the slope, so the worker rolled his tractor while mowing the orchard and died.

    • greywarshark 28.1

      @ weka
      This Narelle Henson seems to have quite a lot of negative comment. People Thinking at the Same Time as They are Doing Things. Another example of our outdated educaton system. People who have learned to write their names, and read but not realise the import of the information or their connection with other human beings.

    • joe90 28.2

      Narelle’s a RWNJ playing at being a jonolist.

    • b waghorn 28.3

      I have to say that is a rubbish article all right it seems like a war of the dimwitted journalist on either side of the farming fence at the mo
      I can only assume stuff are cutting costs buy hiring morons.

  28. Draco T Bastard 29

    Wikipedia Has Banned Five Feminist Editors From Gamergate Articles & More

    By my informal count, every feminist active in the area is to be sanctioned. This takes care of social justice warriors with a vengeance — not only do the GamerGaters get to rewrite their own page (and Zoe Quinn’s, Brianna Wu’s, Anita Sarkeesian’s, etc.); feminists are to be purged en bloc from the encyclopedia.

    There’s always going to be some issues with a community edited encyclopedia but the ones that should be getting banned from editing it are the ones that are lying.

  29. Cave Johnson 30

    Nigel Haworth and Robert Gallagher nominees for Labour Party Presidency. Both are current office holders.
    Does anyone have any direct experience of working with either of them?

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    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    3 hours ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    4 hours ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    1 day ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    1 day ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    4 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    4 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    4 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    4 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    4 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    4 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    5 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    5 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    5 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    5 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    5 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    6 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    6 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    6 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    6 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    6 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    7 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    7 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    1 week ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    1 week ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    1 week ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    1 week ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    1 week ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    1 week ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    1 week ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    1 week ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    2 weeks ago