Open mike 26/03/2012

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, March 26th, 2012 - 115 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step right up to the mike…

115 comments on “Open mike 26/03/2012”

  1. Bored 1

    Who listened to Nicole Foss with Kim Hill Saturday morning? Kim got scratchy as her future dreams and aspirations were explained away, poor dear.

    • Tc 1.1

      That’s the issue with hill, when she’s interested in the subject she’s top of the game but when it’s not in her interest zone she gets very unprofessional starving listeners of viewpoints she’s not up for hearing.

    • KeepOurAssetsDon'tSell. 1.2

      Thanks Bored for the link
      Really interesting interview! She’s saying in a light academic easy listening way the same message as R Atack,in his abrasive way and AFewKnowTheTruth have been batting on with for a long time!
      Primary Points:

      1. 50% of oil left but it’s lower quality stuff, harder to refine and increasingly more and more difficult to access and get out This means a decline in available oil due to declining EROEI (Energy return on energy invested) This mean going into a permanent supply decline probable beginning this year. Decline has already set in but has been covered so far by new discoveries but these are are only at band aid level.

      2. The fiat debt interest bearing money creation system depends on the infinite growth paradigm which is now sunk on the peak oil Peak and other resource decline plus a used up maxed out environment. Hence this money system has collapsed also due to the incredible amounts of debt incurred which cannot ever be repaid.
      Human World– Money system— Physical resources. The money system is the interface between the two. The creation of the fiat interest bearing debt is a claim on future resource acquisition when the latter fails so does the former.

      3. The era of globalised trade is doomed probably within the next 10 years or less and we will all have to begin relocalising.For the reason of higher and higher fuel costs. The era of lots of stuff will be over.

      R. Heinberg The End of Growth review

      Industrialized economies have grown most years since the mid-19th century. Globally, economic output per person increased tenfold between 1900 and 2000. Richard Heinberg says that this long run of economic growth is reaching an end owing to a number of factors: depletion of fossil fuels, minerals and fresh water; the escalating cost of industrial accidents and environmental disasters in the wake of global climate change; and financial disruptions due to the inability of our financial system to service “the enormous piles of government and private debt” generated over the past few decades.


      • Lanthanide 1.2.1

        “3. The era of globalised trade is doomed probably within the next 10 years or less and we will all have to begin relocalising.For the reason of higher and higher fuel costs. The era of lots of stuff will be over.”

        I’m not quite sure what to make of these claims. Undoubtedly globalised trade will diminish, quite probably drastically, maybe as much as down to only 5-20% of it’s current amount, but trans-national trade has always existed and likely always will so long as nations exists and have excess things they can trade.

        • Colonial Viper

          Agree. Trans-national trade will continue even if it is by sailing ship and steamer, as per the days of old.

          But there will be big differences. For instance, this won’t simply be a matter of NZ having its iPad 3’s delivered on a steamer instead of via air-freight.

          The complex, expensive supply networks and just in time logistics needed to put an iPad 3 together in the first place simply won’t be viable any more. Costs will go up, which means design complexity (specifications) will have to fall even as the retail price rises. Higher store prices combined with worker incomes falling in failing economies means far fewer units sold. (Peak-credit will exacerbate the situation). This economic calculation will feedback to Apple who will drastically change which products it pursues development of, which markets it decides to serve, and how it serves them.

          Put another way – a lot of material stuff is going to gain real value and rarity status again, just like in the old days when people really treasured and looked after individual items they owned. The end of throw-away consumerism.

          • Vicky32

            a lot of material stuff is going to gain real value and rarity status again, just like in the old days when people really treasured and looked after individual items they owned. The end of throw-away consumerism.

            This is a gloat, gloat speak for yourself moment! 😀
            In our family we’ve always done that – looked after our ‘stuff’. Even my mobile phone is years old, and was ‘old tech’ then – (not that I wouldn’t like a fancy one, but can’t afford it. )

          • Gareth

            Nuclear powered superfreuighters anyone

        • Draco T Bastard

          Trade has always existed but nation states haven’t been as dependent upon it as they are now. The amount of trade was far less because long distance trade is, without the cheap energy of fossil fuels, far too expensive to maintain.

          • Bored

            One of the things I believe the energy gap of the future will drive is true costs becoming transparent and extremely localised. Which has the potential for the individual to be rid of “taxes” inherent in transfer costs within corporations (i.e if you understand the whole supply chain because it is short and visible you wont pay for anything other than what is explicit). In effect we will probably have much less income but will get a proportionally better return for it.

            For those RWNJs I am describing a market as Adam Smith understood it without the distortion by “rentier” activities (i.e corporate transfer costs etc etc).

    • Tony W 1.3

      Actually, I thought Kim Hill was rather placid, indicating that perhaps she understood that what Nicole was saying was hard to refute.

  2. Tc 2

    Brewer attacks brown over the size of his mayoral office. When is Len going to grow a pair and expose this divisive supershity council The Nats designed that they thought Banks would be heading.

    POAL is a great opportunity to get out there in a statesman like manner and show akl they’ve been shafted……the time is now, what are ya made of Len?

    • muzza 2.1

      Brewers comments seem to fit in well with the attempts to curb local government, by central govt. This is simply a poor attempt to point score by Brewer, who one really cant have much time for, he is not a good councillor for AKL, but serves his purpose for the right.

      Yes LB should really get a set…I can tell you that is not going to happen!

  3. logie97 3

    Did you hear our Prime Minister, this morning, championing “our proud record on nuclear disarmament…”?

  4. Carol 5

    Oh dear! Little Johnny is relegated to stalking Obama in the hotel gym:

    Prime Minster John Key will be seeking out United States President Barack Obama in their hotel gym this morning. And he wants his room back.

    The pair are staying at Seoul’s plush Grand Hyatt hotel for the Nuclear Security Summit tonight. It’s Mr Key’s second visit to the five-star hotel on Mt Namsan. But although the red carpet was rolled out for his arrival on Saturday, he’s not getting the same special treatment as Mr Obama.

    “He’s got my room,” Mr Key said. “That’s the room I stayed in last time. I guess they don’t call it the presidential suite for nothing. I might see him in the gym tomorrow morning.”

    • Dv 5.1

      I think i stayed there 10 years ago there was a strike and that was the only advailable rooms.

      Anyway what surprised mer was ethere was a high level conference in the top of the hotel with shipley, japanese, etc. And i was able to get up to the conference room with out any securtity checkor being even questioned. Different time!

    • Kevin Welsh 5.2

      Key a gym junkie? Not that you can tell…

    • johnm 5.3

      Well said by our Hawaiien President following the disastrous U$$$$ economic model.

  5. Colonial Viper 6

    Thousands of unemployed UK construction workers on secret employers’ blacklist

    highly illegal. UK police contributed information on activists and protestors to it. Private company was profiting from distributing the list.

    • Bored 6.1

      Funny thing, back in the 80s after the Tour a number of us seemed to get rejected from any government job we applied for, did not even get the interview. I was always suspicious, who knows? Fortunately for me commerce worked out better and more financially rewarding.

  6. happynz 7

    “He’s got my room,” Mr Key said. “That’s the room I stayed in last time. I guess they don’t call it the presidential suite for nothing. I might see him in the gym tomorrow morning.”

    “Look at me! Look at me! Look at ME!” Insecure much, Mr Key?

  7. Lanthanide 8

    I think maybe all my comments are going into moderation this morning? Maybe not, just 2 comments in the give way post did.

  8. Olwyn 9

    For those interested in reading about Labor’s devastating loss in Queensland.

    “Labor’s numbers are so small it must rely on the mercy of Mr Newman for it to retain official party status.”

    While various arguments have been put forward as to the reasons for the loss, such as the rejection of a woman premier, the carbon tax, Rudd’s challenge to Gillard and Bligh’s turning from “nice” to “attack dog,” this stood out for me:

    “Bligh did not tell Queenslanders before the last election that she intended a massive sell-off of state assets, and she and her colleagues implied such a thing wasn’t being contemplated. Then, in government, the sell-off went ahead, with Bligh arguing it was necessary for her state’s economy. The public did not forgive, and most observers believe it was a major reason for her downfall.”

    It is all too easy to think that Labour must move to the right because voters are “so over” left wing values, when what what voters are in fact rejecting are parties that purport to stand for left wing values but do not.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      It is all too easy to think that Labour must move to the right because voters are “so over” left wing values, when what what voters are in fact rejecting are parties that purport to stand for left wing values but do not.

      I think its time for some in the Labour hierarchy to accept that it’s they who are over left wing values, not the rest of us.

      Core voters and activists will not support a weak party which compromises on its own principles in order to pander to transient swing supporters.

      • tc 9.1.1

        Good point, Oz labor partys are fairly centrist and mostly go on branding and personalities, there’s not alot between them and liberals, the sell off was foolish, not required and without electoral mandate so she paid the price.

        labor has been in 20 yrs in QLD and they just had some of their worst natural disasters. With the opposition getting it’s act together a perfect electoral storm prevailed.

  9. The Problem of Online Anonymity

    There’s something freeing, to be sure, about being able to say anything you want. You can engage in unfounded name-calling, or intentionally hurt someone’s feelings, or just generally behave like a twelve year old. And no one will know it’s you. And that’s why I don’t read many blogs that are written by people who prefer to remain anonymous or who write under pseudonyms when there isn’t really any reason for them to do so.

    In fact, I don’t think there are any blogs I read on a daily basis whose authors are anonymous. The anonymous or pseudonymous blogs are often just filled with cruelty, name-calling, and bad arguments. Indeed, there are a great many people who choose to write under an assumed name because they want to harrass or offend others.

    In my experience there’s some truth to that.

    When I read a blog post that anonymously uses phrases like “Both sides are scum” and “making a dick of himself and pathetically trying” it immediately diminishes in stature for me.

    When comparing the general tone of that with this post, which is also politically critical but a more reasoned and reasonable tone, I know which one I respect more. Notably this author has chosen to identify themselves.

    About Anonymous Blogging

    They believe their anonymity means they create better writing. It is a specious argument and one that largely leads to their blogs becoming echo chambers.

    I believe that if more of them “came out” that there would be a better more honest, reasoned, political discourse in the NZ blogosphere.

    I agree. It can still be robust debate when you are up front and honest about who you are.

    (I’ve posted my own blog on this but chosen to put it in full here to reduce nitpicking over linking. I undertsand that some people have good reasons to blog anonymously, but political commentary has enough suspicions about motive as it is without being cloaked.)

    • Lanthanide 10.1

      Oh god, not this again.

      The Standard doesn’t have “anonymous blogging” as you like to imply, it has pseudonymous blogging. That is very different.

      Go search and read others of Eddie’s posts and you will see the tone in them is often quite similar to the one that you are whining about. Similarly r0b’s posts have always had a similar tone, before and after he decided to start putting his real name on them.

      It’s no different than if Cameron Slater were pseudonymous – his blog would still be a vile sewer. Attaching his name to it clearly hasn’t made him clean up his act.

      • Pete George 10.1.1

        I think an identity can make a significant difference to credibility (obviously it doesn’t make it credible, just lends more credibility).

        I know I’ll probably get hammered again here, but if what I say is disliked or not, anything I comment or post I’d be prepared to say face to face to anyone.

        I disagree with Whaleoil as much as I agree with him and his method of operation, but I find his blog far less deviously vitriolic than here – and there’s more freedom to say what you want there. In other words, there’s generally more shit here, so the sewer accusations are kinda weird.

        • McFlock

          You seem to be under the impression that when, for example, I am in face to face encounters, I do not call an individual, on occasion, a stupid fucking self-absorbed moron. I have. If that lowers their regard for me, I don’t care. They’re fucking morons.
          On the single-digit occasions I’ve been to KB or WO or their equivalents, most of the epithets I’ve seen have been aimed at entire cultures or social groups rather than individuals. And without any moderation if someone crosses over into personal-safety issues. I’ll call you a dick to your face, but not your entire culture.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Posting under your given name doesn’t add to the argument, at all, ever. And, yes, I’m quite willing to call you a delusional fuckwit to your face as well.

  10. Bored 11

    Pete you are boring the most Bored person in the world. Dull dull dull dull….now whilst you are talking “scum” and a person “making a dick of himself” might I bring up a name you are familiar with? A Mr Peter Dunne, the man who wants to sell us down the river.

    • Vicky32 11.1

      Pete you are boring the most Bored person in the world. Dull dull dull dull….now whilst you are talking “scum” and a person “making a dick of himself” might I bring up a name you are familiar with?

      Oh ma dai! You’re proving his point, by being so abusive. You may find him dull (really, you usually say much worse than that to him.) I rarely agree with him, but on the other hand, the abuse here on the Standard is sometimes so incredibly foul, it’s obvious that Standardistas have huge issues with being disagreed with.
      (I am keeping a mental note of every foul name I am called, and every bit of race and sex-based abuse handed to me.)

  11. Bored 12

    Who here has caught up with the latest scandal to hit the Torys in UK? The deputy Chancellor selling off time with the Prime Minister for “contributions”, and having private individuals “issues” to the Policy Committee for “consideration”. Democracy for sale……

    • mikesh 12.1

      I imagine that a large enough donation to any party would gain access to its leader. Regrettable, perhaps, but a fact of life. This is why various countries, including NZ, attempt to limit campaign spending.

  12. prism 13

    The commentators are going hot and strong about our terrorism laws this morning on Radionz.
    Annette King has highly exercised their minds.

    • Anne 13.1

      Matthew Hooten distorted Annette King’s interview, and attempted to turn the tables by accusing Helen Clark of having had “an unethical, close working relationship with Howard Broad” and that she leaked knowledge of the meeting in question to the media before it had taken place. No evidence to back up such an absurd claim, and he did his usual shouting over the top of the two women, Josie Pagani and Kathryn Ryan. I found his allegations interesting given all the embarrassing “leaking” that has been occurring over the ACC/Pullar/Boag/Smith/Collins/Key affair.

      Nat. Party panic mode is at full throttle methinks.

      • tc 13.1.1

        Says alot about Ryan and RNZ that they persist in having the badly beahaved boy hooten on, can’t wait his turn to say his piece must shout and prevent others making their point.

        Bad radio, bad behaviour, rewarded every time with another soapbox slot for mr shouty.

        • Vicky32

          Bad radio, bad behaviour, rewarded every time with another soapbox slot for mr shouty.

          Exactly, he’s unendurable…

  13. Kotahi Tane Huna 14

    What’s a Prime Minister to do?

    On the one hand his party has accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes donations, on the other, he wants to keep up with the Australians and this is an opportunity to look tough. Decisions decisions…

    • muzza 14.1

      The Australians will do as they are told by the USA, this much as become clear over the years, and so having taken the money from Huawei, and even had them in NZ looking for prey to purchase, Key really is in a tight spot…

      Good link that one….potentially some more “xenophobia” coming along!

      The thought of Key feeling under seige by his ministers, and possibly stuck between OZ/US and China, really should give one pause for a smile!

      • deuto 14.1.1


        These paragraphs in particular stood out for me, especially the last bit of para 2 re Key singling out the firm:

        “The New Zealand government has welcomed Huawei’s interest in the ultrafast broadband (UFB) network.

        Trade Minister Tim Groser, Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Finance Minister Bill English visited the company in China after Prime Minister John Key singled out the firm for possible involvement in the UFB network.”

        • Kotahi Tane Huna

          The National Party’s desire to get paid has so far outweighed the national interest on every occasion – education policy, gambling laws, asset sales, penal reform, resource extraction, etc etc.

          Will it outweigh Australia and the USA’s interests too?

    • Draco T Bastard 14.2

      And that is one of the reasons why we need to be able to produce what we need here.

  14. Randle 15

    70 more jobs to go from a government department…..

    Govt fishery observers told to get ready to pack up

    Published: 6:23PM Sunday March 25, 2012 Source: ONE News

    A leaked email from the Ministry of Fisheries reveals that observers on commercial fishing vessels will have their jobs outsourced by the end of the year.

    The observers are stationed on commercial fishing vessels to monitor the catch and conditions on the boats.

    The leaked email reveals that around 70 Ministry of Fisheries observers have been told their jobs are being outsourced by December.

    Industry insiders say that the move will rob the watchdogs of their independence.

    One former observer says that they play a vital role.

    “No-one has questioned the quality of their information and it shouldn’t be compromised for money, and certainly not when the fisheries are under pressure.”

    Critics argue that outsourcing will allow fishing companies to pick observers who are prepared to turn a blind eye in order to keep their jobs.

    Currently observers are employed by the Ministry of Fisheries on short term contracts while they are at sea.

    The Ministry recoups their pay and administration expenses from the fishing companies.

    Glenn Simmons from the University of Auckland told ONE News he cannot see the logic in the change.

    “I really can’t see any cost savings in it, so I really wonder what is driving this, particularly from the Ministry’s point of view.”

    But documents show the fishing industry has been pushing for outsourcing for at least six years.

    The Ministry of Fisheries would not be interviewed for this story, and refused to give an explanation of the benefits gained by outsourcing the observer roles.

    The Minister of Fisheries, David Carter told ONE News that observers are not likely to be outsourced by December.

    “At this stage there’s still a lot more work to be done as to how best to deliver observer services on foreign charter vessels and other vessels no decision has been made about outsourcing.”

    Nevertheless, one former observer says that the decision seems fixed.

    “They’ve already decided, it appears they’re not asking any questions here.”

    • Clashman 15.1

      …and all the issues about slave labour in our waters will magically dissapear

    • Draco T Bastard 15.2

      Watch as our seas get raped even more as the private providers who are supposed to be watching the catch find that it’s more profitable to cut back on the number of observers making it impossible to actually regulate the industry as required.

      “I really can’t see any cost savings in it, so I really wonder what is driving this, particularly from the Ministry’s point of view.”

      It’s just another way for this government to hand over our wealth to their rich mates.

    • Clashman 15.3

      Speculating because im not that knowledgable about the industry but I expect this means boats will fish in areas they arent allowed, mis reporting of bycatch especially marine mammals, rorting of the quotas and maybe that final nail in the coffin for the Hectors dolphin.

    • Fortran 15.4

      Great to see that details are still being leaked from Government Departments.
      Keeps the public service busy.
      Long may it continue providing the informants cannot be traced, but that is getting easier to trace.

  15. muzza 16

    So no word about pushing the imperials to dissarm then John.

    Nah don’t want to upset the masters eh!

  16. deuto 17

    Peter George – how about getting your great leader, Peter Dunne, to have his head shaved in support of this very worthy cause?

    • I could ask – but shaving heads is not for everyone. I don’t have much left on top but have never felt inclined to take the lot off. I do donate to things without taking part in the marketing gimmicks, as I’m sure many people do.

  17. deuto 18

    Perhaps Brownlee should replace McCully as Minister of Foreign Affairs?

  18. Draco T Bastard 19

    Profiteering companies prove, once again, that they stand in the way of people getting what they need.

    Interestingly, PRC’s mission statement starts with “We Believe Everyone Deserves A Voice.” Perhaps “We Believe Everyone Who Purchases Our Devices Deserves A Voice” or “We Believe Everyone Except Those Needing An Affordable App Deserves a Voice” might be more appropriate alternatives.

  19. ianmac 20

    Well that is a bit weird:
    “Police will not lay charges against freelance cameraman Bradley Ambrose over the so-called “teapot tapes” affair, Assistant Commissioner Malcolm Burgess says.
    He said police will issue Mr Ambrose with a warning after referring the matter to Crown Law.
    …….clear that the actions of Mr Ambrose were unlawful.”

    That needs clarification:
    Was it unlawful to leave his recorder on the table?
    Was it unlawful to retrieve it?
    Was it subsequent actions that made it unlawful?
    What does unlawful mean against a criminal act?
    Sort of cleared but damned.

    • Draco T Bastard 20.1

      IMO, the police have just decided to change the law but have not gone to the extent of having that law change tested in court.

    • aerobubble 20.2

      That needs clarification:
      Was it unlawful to leave his recorder on the table?
      He left it there quite reasonably. And really what value was it to reporters if they could not publish it, and did not? Maybe it was a turd blossom Key’s minders wanted leaked, making Key look like a victim of the nasty press.

      Was it unlawful to retrieve it?
      It was his property, and arguable are you allowed to break the PM security to retrieve your property?
      Was it subsequent actions that made it unlawful?

      What does unlawful mean against a criminal act?
      If he was given a warning, what were the specifics of the warning he was given????

      Sort of cleared but damned.
      Police must think there was enough evidence but the prosecution may believe he already suffered enough.

      • ianmac 20.2.1

        My point is that I am unsure what the unlawful bit is? (Just in case I mislay my recorder, or hand it on when found or even need to know when a public place is a private place.)

        • McFlock

          The allegation was of intentionally recording someone when they would have reasonably expected a private conversation. I.e. apparently banks and key were expecting to be able to whisper intimate nothings into each other’s ear without being heard.   
          Given that it was at a media event with cameras rolling just on the other side of an open door, and that the camera operator claimed to have forgotten the mic in all the hubbub, and that the private conversation took place in a public cafe the police have decided to pretend that the offence was committed without all that difficult “proof” stuff.

      • Draco T Bastard 20.2.2

        Police must think there was enough evidence but the prosecution may believe he already suffered enough.

        I’m pretty sure that the police believe that no jury will convict.

  20. Colonial Viper 21

    Anna Bligh former Labor Premier for Queensland maintains state asset sales were “absolutely necessary”

    Why do we even need Tory political leaders when we have Labor leaders like this hanging about?

    • Bored 21.1

      Political parties need funding….need I say more.

      • Colonial Viper 21.1.1

        With 7 MPs left they’re really going to need that funding now. A great scheme, the Liberals in power in Queensland for the next half generation.

        • ianmac

          No Right Turn shows the amazing Stats.
          Lib/National 49% of votes but 87% of seats
          Labour 27% of vote but 8% of seats
          Greens 7% of vote but 0% of seats.

          Hooray for MMP.

  21. Gosman 22

    Quick question for you lefties and then I’ll leave you alone again.

    Is Cuba regarded as having a better or worse system than Western free market economies?

    I’m just reading a very interesting survey on Cuba on the Economist at the moment and find the left wing policies there mind bogingly dumb and was wondering if they are consistent with any left wing thinking here. For example, apparently advertising is not allowed WTF?

    • Bored 22.1

      Yawn, it’s afternoon tea time..time for a quick men and I have been making the hard cash today..and here comes Gos.

      Gos understands the mind numbing complexities of Zimmers and now Cuba, paragons of “errant” left wing thinking. These Gos equates to socialist thinking everywhere…..such a broad brush stroke over such a broad church.

      Interestingly Gos displays a very extreme ideological purity over what is also a very broad church, right wing thinking. The mind numbing neo lib orthodox version.

      • Gosman 22.1.1

        It was a simple question Bored. All it required was an answer along the lines of ‘We like it’s social policies but the majority of it’s economic policies and it’s political repression is reprehensible so the West is better in that respect’. Not hard to do really.

        • felix

          Yeah and it was a simple answer too: No one gives a fuck about you and your world view.

          Not hard to understand really.

          • Gosman

            Ummmm…. I’m not asking anything about my world view. I’m asking about lefties world view in relation to Cuba. I’m not interested in getting into a debate on the rights or wrongs of this. Think of it as intelligence gathering or ‘Know thy enemy’.

            • Bored

              Hey Gos, watcha been up to since the Cold War ended?

            • McFlock

              It looks more like a greasy teen jerking off than a super-army-soldier behind-blog-lines intel grab.  

            • Frank Macskasy

              Gosman, it occurs to me that you often begin any point you make by asking a question or multiple questions, and demanding answers.

              You keep demanding answers until one (or more) is provided.

              You then deride the answer.

              In affect, you’re using a tactic called “explaining is losing”, a common theme in politics.

              Carry on.

          • Bored


        • ianmac

          Cuba has one of the highest Literacy rates in the World, and on a very slender shoestring.

          • prism

            They couldn’t beat China though. I’ve seen their circus performers and they can do anything on a shoestring, spinning 20 plates too.

          • Gosman

            Thanks. That is what I was interested in seeing.

          • prism

            Did anyone hear on Sunday 7pm Radionz World Book Club: James Ellroy – American Tabloid.which goes through the Bay of Pigs debacle and ties it into the assassination of John Kennedy.
            Ellroy pondered what things would have been different if Cuba had been invaded as planned (Kennedy had envisaged 16 planes but only sent in six)according to this fictionalised account.

        • Clashman

          I think their most significant economic “policy” has been dictated to them by the US.
          How well do you think NZ would be doing if Australia had the same trade embargos with us?

          • Gosman

            Not wanting to get into a massive debate about this but the embargo by the US should not really be that much of big deal now. Cuba is free to trade with numerous other countries. To try and place the blame for economic difficulties on that is not really fair.

    • lprent 22.2

      What makes you think that they are left-wing? I read the articles on the weekend and thought that they reminded me of the days of Muldoon.

      Looks more like a standard controlled economy. A bit like the UK during and for a decade after the second world war. For that matter our current labour laws that forbid freedoms of association are much the same.

      In other words, just use your brains….

      • Gosman 22.2.1

        Depends on your definition of left wing I suppose. The idea of guarranteed minimum living standards would be more left than right. Also the aversion to private property. What was interesting, as stated, was the fact that they outlaw advertising. I don’t know if that is regarded as left wing or not hence one of the reason asking the question.

        • james 111

          Gosman I totally agree with you Cuba is way worse for being a company based on Socialism, as were many of the Eastern block countries.
          One of the main issues of Socialism ,and someting they have never been able to get to grips with. Is eventually you run out of other peoples money

          • lprent

            Of course having a economic embargo hasn’t had any impact at all?


            • Gosman

              I’d argue that it hasn’t. Cuba can redirect trade elsewhere and did so in the past.

          • Frank Macskasy

            … although the reason Cuba “ran out of money” was because of a US-sponsored embargo. So of it’s it’s unsurprising they “ran out of money”. So would you, if you couldn’t earn an income.

            Hardly ‘cricket’, is it?

            And definitely anti-free market.

            Though I guess using Thatcher’s slogans is easier than reality?

            • james 111

              Frank why did the Eastern Block countries run out of money, and Russia no embargo there? they were collapsing all over the place. Agree with Cuba though understanable Kennedy didnt want nukes there

              • muzza

                Why did the USSR collapse James…..go on read some history, I dare you!

                Why was South Osetia such an issue?

                • james 111

                  In simplified terms because no one wanted to buy their products. When you take competitors out of the situation and only supply state made products. You dumb everyone down to the lowest common denominator. Many of their products were shite. There was a total lack of innovation because of state control. It became just a job with no passion no critical thinking

                  • muzza

                    “It became just a job with no passion no critical thinking” – Well done mate you have just described 90% of the worlds jobs, if not nearer 100% as they exist under the current prevailing system!

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Many of their products were shite. There was a total lack of innovation because of state control. It became just a job with no passion no critical thinking


                    The state can innovate and take risks far more than the private sector is willing to do, James.

                    Everything from the atomic bomb, to the transistor, to the foundations of the internet, to supersonic jet travel, the state has led the way while private companies only become interested once the hard risky expensive work has been done on the public purse.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    There was a total lack of innovation because of state control.

                    And that would be why the USSR was the first country in the world to orbit the earth with a man made satellite and why, once they got over being terrified, the USA landed on the moon…

                    Oh, wait…

                    BTW, it’s impossible to run out of money as the banks print it as fast as possible. The real problem is that we’re running out of resources due to the capitalist free-market (which, of course, is no where near “free”).

          • muzza

            Gosman or James, have either of you been to Cuba and or know many Cuban people?

            Or is it just commenting again from lets call it, best guess!

            • Gosman

              I’m not really commenting on the Cuban situation at all beyond stating that you can’t blame the economic problems in Cuba on the embargo by the US.

              Cuba did relatively well up to the 1980’s. It didn’t need to trade with the US during this period.

              The US hasn’t got the ability to massively impact other nations trading with Cuba either. Name me some countries or companies who have suffered as a result of doing business with Cuba.

              I don’t agree with the economic embargo myself as it is counter productive but the US has every right to decide who it trades with. As leftists I am sure you would agree with that logic. It forms the basis of many of your objections to free trade pacts. You know – sovereignty blah blah.

              • RedLogix

                Fine. No-one was arguing the right or ability of the USA to impose this embargo.

                But you cannot discount the reason why it was imposed in the first place… the USA hoped to break Cuba economically, and it certainly had a big negative impact on their economy. You can’t simply ignore it because it doesn’t suit your argument. In the long run the embargo will probably prove counter-productive as the Cubans have also learned to make do with far less and have a more resilient economy as a result. It is certainly not as ‘efficient’ or ‘prosperous’ according to conventional measures… but as the Egyptian’s discovered when Joseph ruled them; the seven years of plenty meant little during the seven years of famine.

                Interestingly if you read The Spirit Level closely enough, you will notice that Cuba is also the only country in the world that is close to being both socially and environmentally sustainable… at least according the to way the authors measured these things.

                • Gosman

                  “… and it certainly had a big negative impact on their economy”

                  I respectively disagree. The embargo was put on in the 1960’s as you will see from the graph below the Cuban economy was able to redirect trade to other sources and managed quite good GDP growth through to the end of the 1980’s. Of course when those other trading sources fell over then their economy tanked but that is hardly the US’s fault.

                  What you seem to be saying here is that the US should be obliged to support economically the Cuban economy by allowing them to trade with them. It would be like trying to argue that Australia should be obliged to trade with us.


                  • lprent

                    You should reread the Economist articles again and do it a bit more closely this time.

                    The Cuban economy was effectively being subsidised by the USSR especially with low prices for imported oil and high prices for exported sugar. This was largely as a response to the US embargo. When the USSR started to disintegrate in the late 80’s, the subsidies and markets diminished.

                    The embargo was (and still is) in place. In the late 80’s it included most countries in the america’s and western europe. This included the Panama canal. If you have a look at the available trade routes you’ll find that leaves very little that is a possible trade route apart from going half way around the world. Mostly africa, the middle east, and eastern europe. None of them exactly bursting with export potential for the commodities that Cuba produced and all with closer sources of supply.

                    The wonder was that the cuban economy didn’t fold under the embargo in the 90’s. But the embargo that has been stupidly maintained by US domestic politics was definitely the main constraint on their economy.

                    • Gosman

                      I’m sorry but nothing in that survey suggested the embargo was anything but an major irritant to Cuba. It certainly didn’t place the blame for the lack of economic performance on it. In fact it mentions that Cuba has an opportunity to become a significant economic player if it makes changes regardlesss of the embargo. If you disagree then please show where the survey supports your view rather than mine.

                    • lprent []

                      Apples and oranges. Late 80’s and 90’s compared to now. The embargo now has more holes on it than solid sections.

                      I’ll have wait until tomorrow night at the earliest to dig into TE. Work is a bit demanding during the day.

      • “For that matter our current labour laws that forbid freedoms of association are much the same. ”

        Indeed. It’s interesting how repressive and controlling National actually is. they labelled Labour as “nanny state” – and yet they pass more restrictive laws than any Labour government.

        Yet, they manage to cultivate an image as the “party of freedom”…

        • marsman

          Yes and they say things like ‘eventually you run out of other people’s money’ about Labour while they are busy hoovering up as much ‘other people’s money’ as they can for themselves.

      • Gosman 22.2.3

        “…or that matter our current labour laws that forbid freedoms of association ”

        What aspect of our labour laws forbid freedoms of association?

  22. james 111 24

    Interesting report on the Aotearoa blog think you guys need to go easy on Merryl Lynch and John Key or you could end up with a heap of egg on your face! Russai has put out an arrest warrant for him kind of ironical really

    Soros is regarded by many as a sort of leftist saviour who finances leftist media outlets and who is fabulously wealthy. What is interesting is that Soros’ has been financing many colour revolutions around the world through his NGO’s causing death, destabilisation and mayhem in the chosen countries.

    You may want to remember that our new lefty leader David Shearer actually worked for one of Soros’ NGO’s called The international crisis group which has such criminals as Zbignew Brzezinski and Richard Armitage on its board and as advisors.

    • muzza 24.1

      Jimbo, you are on fire tonight – Soros is in fact a complete insider criminal of the very highest order..

      I have huge reservations about Shearer, and any politician who has been indoctrinated via the USA educational brainwashing facilities, followed by their political pre screening services, and further brainwash. I also include the UN, and any of the alphabet soup organisations you can name, which far as I can tell are little more than criminal oganisations, masquerading as being the “good guys”

  23. felix 25

    That shaven-headed, thin-lipped, angry middle-aged dickhead at the skatepark.

    National voter or ACToid? I reckon National.

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  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

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